A few months ago we looked extensively at the multiroom speakers from Vifa . However, the Danish company has also recently launched a portable Bluetooth speaker. In this review we look at this small speaker, called the Vifa City.
What is the Vifa City?
The Vifa City is a compact and portable bluetooth speaker, developed for those who want good sound on the road, on the beach or during the picnic. According to the manufacturer, the City offers a 360-degree sound, a 12-hour battery life and a design that is available in six different colors; Lemon, Stone Gray, Burgundy Blush, Sage Green, Terracotta Blue or Ultramarine Coral.
The portable bluetooth speaker has a weight of 300 grams and has an aluminum housing that is resistant to water and dust. Under the hood we see a 65 mm woofer and a 15 mm tweeter. Bluetooth with NFC is available for connection with a smartphone. There is also the possibility to connect a playback device via USB. The Vifa City is for sale for a price of 139 euros.
The Vifa City is a small and compact bluetooth speaker with a stylish design. The speaker has a round shape, with a colored ABS housing and a colored aluminum grille. There is also a choir attached so that you can easily hold or hang up the speaker in your hand. There are different color variants of the speaker for sale, so something for everyone. The speaker is only 39 mm thick, has a diameter of 105 mm and weighs 300 grams. This makes the speaker ideal to take with you, and a travel bag is also supplied for this.
Charging is via the USB-C port, to which an external USB playback device can also be connected. You can use the City everywhere, but keep in mind that the speaker has an IPX4 certificate, which means that it can stand a splash of water but cannot be submerged. The speaker can also take a light beating, but it is not expected that a hard fall will be survived. All in all, the City comes with a neat finish and stylish design.
Installation and use
If one thing is important with a Bluetooth speaker, it is easy to use. Within a few seconds the speaker must be connectable to your phone and the operation must also be very simple. Fortunately, that is also the case with Vifa City. The control buttons can be found on the back of the speaker. Between the two volume buttons is the mode button with which the different modes can be switched on and with which you can connect the speaker to the phone. At the Vifa logo we see the NFC location with which you can directly connect a smartphone with NFC support, and below that is the button for recording, hanging up or rejecting a telephone conversation. A little further down, more on the side, the status LED is placed with which the different modes are indicated.
Pairing the speaker with your smartphone is child's play. Hold down the mode button until the LED turns white and the speaker is therefore on. Then you keep the mode button pressed until it turns blue and Bluetooth is activated. On your phone you see the speaker appear with the Bluetooth devices, after which the connection is made almost immediately. If you want to listen to music via USB (use a USB-C cable), turn on the speaker in the same way, connect the cable and the status LED automatically turns green, after which you can play the music. As soon as you receive a call, the status LED starts flashing and you can pick up the telephone by pressing the handset on the back. Hold the button down to reject the call.
Finally, you can still connect two to four Vifa City speakers (called Kiss'n Connect), for example for a stereo effect. You do this by connecting one speaker to your phone using Bluetooth and then holding the bottom of this speaker against the bottom of the speaker to be paired. After a few seconds a sound will sound, after which both speakers are connected and simultaneously play the music. They also take on the same volume, which is handy. If we still have to mention a minus point then it is that you cannot skip songs on the speaker itself. Forward and backward must still be done via your smartphone. The ease of use of the Vifa City is largely good. Within a few minutes you have everything through and you can get started with the speaker (s).
What is also not unimportant for a bluetooth speaker is the battery runtime. Vifa promises a battery life of 12 hours and on paper that sounds very impressive for such a small speaker. Of course this depends on how exactly you use the speaker, but we were able to get 9 to 10 hours off on average, which is still more than enough for a day out. The City also scores points in this area.
As soon as we have a compact Bluetooth speaker in front of us, expectations quickly fall. The format is often the limiting factor and as a manufacturer you don't do much about it. Even now the expectations were not high, but immediately after the first sounds we were surprised at the sound quality that the small Vifa City produces. No, it is not a hi-fi speaker and we still recommend a decent stereo set for listening to music in the house, but despite its compact size, the Vifa City still manages to create music vividly, tightly and with sufficient balance. The speaker offers quite a bit of power in the low tones, gives the vocals enough warmth and keeps the treble tight and clear. Unlike many other small Bluetooth speakers, the sound does not appear tinny or closed. It is just a little more open and lively than we would expect. Here and there the bass is somewhat dominant, which is probably because at Vifa people wanted to tackle that point at all costs, but it never gets disturbing. Even with rougher music with a lot of dynamics, the speaker is less able to hold on to the control, but we cannot blame the City for that because of its size and it does not become uncomfortable.
We couple a second City then we can actually form a 'stereo image' and the whole comes to life a little more. However, we should call it a party mode rather than a true stereo play. The audio reproduction is improving and we don't want to go back to one speaker at all. If we throw the volume all the way open, the speakers get a bit harder and the dynamic starts to disappoint us. So keep it at about 80 percent of the maximum volume, which is still sufficient to fill an average room with quite a few decibels. An important aspect of audio quality is the positioning. Play a little with the placement and you will get more out of it immediately. Flat on a desk or table sounds a lot less than slanting against the wall, for example. This also ensures that the low tones resonate a little less with the furniture on which you place the speaker.
The Vifa City is a stylish, nicely finished and user-friendly bluetooth speaker. with a hefty price tag. For 139 euros, however, you get a bluetooth speaker that sounds better than its size suggests, and even sounds better than many a bluetooth speaker of a few tens more. No tinny and closed sound but a lively and well-balanced audio reproduction for this segment. We see the City mainly as a nice and good sounding speaker for in it, in the garden, when traveling, in the park, on the terrace or even in a small office or bedroom. The City is not perfect, because you have to take into account that the speaker is not completely watertight and that you cannot skip songs on the speaker itself. In addition – and that is actually no downside – we think that two City’s sound better than one, which makes the best proposition even more expensive, although that is a personal consideration. All in all, given its size, design, accessories, sound quality and long battery life, we can only recommend the Vifa City for those who are looking for a compact and good-sounding Bluetooth speaker for it.