We regularly watch wireless speakers, equipped with bluetooth, access to streaming services and a sleek design. But, we can go one step higher because there is also a premium segment in this product category. In this segment we find Vifa, a Danish audio brand that recently launched a variety of wireless speakers. In this review we are going to take a look at Vifa Copenhagen 2.0 and Vifa Stockholm 2.0 wireless speakers.
Who is Vifa?
Vifa is a Danish audio brand that recently launched five new audio systems. On the outside, the systems have the rugged textiles of fabric manufacturer Kvadrat – something that we see more and more often – in combination with a seamless aluminum frame. On the inside we see the speaker technology of the brand back. The systems are given the names of Scandinavian capitals: Reykjavik, Helsinki, Oslo, Copenhagen 2.0 and Stockholm 2.0. Vifa mainly focuses on lifestyle; a combination of sleek and high-end design, ease of use and high-quality audio playback.
The Vifa Copenhagen 2.0 and Vifa Stockholm 2.0
The portable systems come with bluetooth technology, Airplay, WiFi and access to streaming services. Some models have rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and all can be connected to the mains. In this review we look at two models from the new series; the Copenhagen 2.0 (wireless and mains) and the Stockholm 2.0 (only mains), both equipped with the so-called Vifa Home-system, can be set with the Home app on your mobile phone. This allows you to listen to your music through multiple speakers, in different rooms and through various sound sources. The Copenhagen 2.0 and Stockholm 2.0 also have a special button that activates Vifa Link. This allows all units to be linked and automatically connected to the Home system. In this way you create your own music zones at home. This function also only works on these two models from the series.
The Copenhagen 2.0 comes with two tweeters, two midrange drivers and four woofers, supported by four passive radiators. With the Home-system the speaker can be operated and connected to multiple sources. Vifa Link interconnects each unit. The dimensions (hxwxd) are 268x362x90 mm, the weight is 4.65 kilograms and the suggested retail price is 699 euros.
Where other suppliers recommend a separate woofer, this is unnecessary at Stockholm 2.0, according to Vifa . Four 100 mm units have to provide a deep bass. The frequency range of this system is 42 Hz – 20 kHz +/- 3db. For those who want to give the Stockholm 2.0 a permanent place: it comes with an invisible wall bracket. The Stockholm 2.0 is equipped with the Home-system and Vifa Link with which all units can be interconnected. It comes with a matching zinc die-cast black remote control. The dimensions are (hxwxd) 215x1010x100 mm and the weight is 9.8 kilograms. The recommended retail price is 1,299 euros.
In terms of design, both audio systems of Vifa immediately score quite a few points. You have to love it of course and it must fit into your interior, but the finish is of high quality, the fabric is tightly and seamlessly placed around the sleek aluminum housing, the materials are of premium quality and the systems have sufficient weight, which also that little extra quality feeling. We see the kvadrat fabric on more and more premium audio products and is one of the trends of the moment. It gives the speakers a chic but at the same time soft appearance.
Both models come in different colors on the market; Anthracite Gray, Pebble Gray, Sand Yellow, Ocean Blue, Pine Green and Mountain Blue. For the review we have access to the anthracite gray variants. The Stockholm 2.0 is supplied with a wall bracket so that the system can be placed almost invisibly against a wall. You can also just put the speaker on a cabinet.
The Copenhagen 2.0 is also delivered in so-called travelbags, so you protect the system can also take with you. In addition, this model comes with a handle, which is part of the housing.
Both audio systems are equipped with connectors and buttons at the rear. They come with a USB port, a 3.5 mm port (for analog 3.5 mm or optical 3.5 mm), the connection button for WiFi or bluetooth, the power button and the Vifa link button. On the front we see on the fabric very lightly the buttons for volume up and down, and a Vifa Play button with which preset favorites can be switched on. There is a status LED behind the dust.
Incidentally, you might consider the Stockholm 2.0 as a soundbar, given its size. That is not it. You can use the speaker as a soundbar, but then you will have to give the system enough space on the wall under your TV. Moreover, you only have an optical 3.5 mm port at your disposal. Placing it for TV is not an option because the speaker is too high for that. Despite the design of a soundbar, it is actually a ‘normal’ stereo speaker that you most likely place elsewhere.
Installation and use
What we especially look for in this type of system is ease of use. A child can do the laundry is the motto, and fortunately that is the case with Vifa systems. Installing and setting up the systems is a matter of downloading the Vifa Home app, turning on the speakers, searching them via your WiFi networks, setting them up as an AirPlay speaker and then automatically placing them in the app. Verver does not have to be adjusted or adjusted to get started.
As mentioned before you can start immediately, without much adjustments. What you can still arrange via the home app is the naming of the speaker, which is as easy as you have several. You can also assign each speaker via Vifa Play (see below) favorites that can be started immediately. An equalizer or other tools to adjust the audio output are unfortunately not available; you have to do it with the view from the box.
The Home app is the app where everything is located. This way you can see for each speaker what the status of the WiFi connection is and whether the firmware is up-to-date. You can also access the streaming services, the physical inputs, music on your device and music within your network. So it is actually a portal that gives you access to all options. The app also gives an overview of what is currently playing and you can make a playlist here. Finally, you can view the status per speaker in the device list, pair them (Vifa Link) and also set them as left, right or stereo speakers.
The menu of the Vifa Home app is clear and clear. Here you will find all the possibilities for streaming music, both physical connections and the various services that are supported. And in itself every page, including the playlist and device list, is structured, beautifully and clearly designed. However, it is the switching between all these pages and the range of underlying pages which gives the app an unclear feeling. There is no clear overview menu with all those pages and at the top the pages are not named the same each time. When we are on the playback page the menu is called ‘Vifa’ and the device list bears the name of one of the speakers. On other pages the menu is shown purely with the ‘<‘ symbol. You can use the ‘∨’ symbol from the playback page on another page, which again depends on what you have previously chosen in the menu. Earlier we came across the Hudige page where we saw a button that led us to the Vifa Play favorites of that speaker. However, we lost them when we once used the search function. By returning to Spotify and returning, the page appeared again. We can make a longer story of it, but it is sometimes quite a puzzle to know exactly where it is, especially if you also work with multiple sources and services. In terms of appearance, speed and features it is good with the home app, but the layout and navigation can really be much better.
The question is how often you use the Home app. You can control Spotify’s music and other services from the relevant app of the service and also choose the speakers. In those cases, the Home app is mainly used for (disconnecting) speakers and selecting a different input.
The Vifa Stockholm 2.0 and Copenhagen 2.0 are richly equipped with possibilities and features. You can stream music via bluetooth or Apple’s AirPlay (unfortunately no AirPlay 2), you can play music from your own network through DLNA and you can stream through services like Spotify (Connect), Tidal, TuneIN, Napster and Qobuz. If this is not yet to your liking, you can physically connect sources via the 3.5 mm port (analog and optical) or the USB port. Actually, we have to say that everyone can play their favorite music through these systems through the broad support.
Battery life Copenhagen 2.0
The Copenhagen 2.0 is not just a speaker for indoors that you plug in must hang. The speaker also has an internal battery that can be charged on the mains during operation. At the back of the speaker is a led that indicates whether the battery is charged. Fully charged (which takes a couple of hours) the battery can provide you with 6 to 7 hours of truly wireless music playback.
Vifa Play is one of the functions developed by the company itself. Both in the app and physically on the speakers there is a Play button with which you can choose from three preset favorites. What those favorites are exactly was not known to us at first use, but after a short search it became clear. You can assign a specific radio station to one of the positions, and also link a service with the associated playlist to the positions. So, for example Spotify playlist Martijn, Tidal playlist Martijn and Radio 1. Network music or music via USB can not be added here. Unfortunately, it is often too long to find where you can change the favorites in the app again. Once set, the fun and useful function is to quickly set your favorite music, which is also possible via the Stockholm 2.0 remote control.
Vifa Link is the multiroom function of the Danish company. You can use this physically by pressing the Link button on the back of one of the speakers and connecting it to other speakers in the house. This works fairly quickly; after a short tone, one (non-active) speaker is paired with the other active speaker. From the app, however, it can also be done on the Device List page. Here you hold down one of the speakers and slide it over the other. Then they are linked within a few seconds. You can still reach and operate the speakers separately. They are only linked for the input.
An all-in-one speaker that is easy to use is of course important, but in the end you also want a matching audio reproduction. The two speakers from Vifa that we tested are both stereomodels, equipped with woofers and midrange drivers as well as tweeters. They are both designed for premium audio reproduction, but does the sound also fit the price?
The Copenhagen 2.0 is the smaller of the two, although you would not immediately say that in terms of sound. Place these speakers somewhere in the corner of a medium sized room and you would expect a much larger model. The loudspeaker knows how to easily fill the room with sound, and even at a somewhat higher volume, this model is retained without distortion and without obvious limitations. The Copenhagen 2.0 provides a clear, full and lively sound image. The sound image is not very wide but dynamic, even with some depth. Especially the vocals come out impressively well; sparkling and with emotion. And even the low tones are not snowed under by focus on the middle and high. No, it does not go very deeply and on higher volume you miss the impact, but the low tones are tight and controlled. In general, the Copenhagen 2.0 is a very neat and good-sounding speaker for the small to medium-sized room, and thanks to its portability you can also use it everywhere. The loudspeaker offers an audio reproduction with a good balance, lots of details and a warm coloring.
The Stockholm 2.0 is not only higher in terms of size and price; you also notice a clear difference in audio reproduction. This model is clearly aimed at the larger spaces where you also get a controlled and lively display at a slightly higher volume. In particular the spread and placement stand out, in comparison with the Copenhagen 2.0. The Stockholm 2.0 knows how to set a clear wider sound field, with a little more depth and also a better placement of the vocals and instruments in the room. The sound image simply comes to life even more. In addition, the larger housing also offers more space for the woofers, making the layer much deeper and a better balance between high, middle and low is found. The bass has significantly more impact, there is more control on high volume and details remain tightly audible. Just like the Copenhagen 2.0, the Stockholm 2.0 offers a clear and full audio reproduction, with a warm nuance that is especially evident in the vocals.
If we add everything together we have to say that Vifa with its new series of Scandinavian speakers does a lot of good. The brand responds to the trends of design and interior, offers high-quality audio reproduction, enables multi-room viewing and offers broad support for services and sources. They are real premium speakers that are not out of place in a modern house, and they just sound very good. The Stockholm 2.0 is a model that is particularly suitable for the larger living room (although you have to take into account the large format), while the Copenhagen 2.0 is an ideal speaker for the bedroom, the office or even the terrace. Nevertheless, there are some points for improvement. The app is beautiful and offers all the options you need, but the navigation is too confusing on many points. There is no equalizer available to adjust the audio output. Finally, the prices of these models are not bad, but if they are attractive in appearance and functionality then we dare to say that they will not disappoint you in terms of audio quality.