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VZR Model One - Audiophile Gaming Headset

WondrousHippo

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So I'm mostly a lurker here, but my day job is that I do public relations for a video game PR firm. And one of the clients I've been working with, VZR, just announced their debut product: the VZR Model One. While it works as a gaming headset with a really nice mic, what's primarily of interest to y'all is going to be the fact that it's a really good audiophile pair of headphones. The company was founded by Victor Tiscareno, who was formerly lead acoustics engineer at Apple, and him and the team are using some patented acoustic techniques to make a really cool headphone. I've gotten to listen to them myself, and I really enjoy them -- there's a fantastic, spacious sound that sounds the most speaker-like experience that I've ever heard from headphones.

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You'll see some media previews going live on some big tech sites in the coming days and weeks ahead of pre-orders in Q2 2021, but Grover Neville's preview at Part-Time Audiophile should get you excited. I was sitting in on an interview between him and the VZR team, and I was sitting there slack-jawed at the comparisons he was making. Also it was just fun to hear a bunch of audio nerds chatting with each other.

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I'm a proud member and supporter of ASR, and really hope y'all give the VZR Model One a shot later this year. Since I am a PR guy, I had to include the press release I helped draft below. I don't often get to combine my day job with the thing that I waste my wages on, so if nothing...please help ensure I can keep buying stuff Amir reviews well :D

VZR Model One Headset for Audiophile Gamers Makes Waves Q2 2021

Debut Product by Former Apple Lead Audio Engineer’s New Company

SEATTLE -- Feb. 8, 2021 -- VZR™, a new audio products company founded by Apple’s former lead acoustics engineer, Vic Tiscareno, and veterans of the video game and audio industries, today reveals the VZR Model One audiophile gaming headset, with preorders and shipments beginning in Q2 2021. Visitors to the VZR website can sign up now to be the first to know when pre-orders begin.

The VZR Model One delivers natural, expansive, audiophile-quality sound and is particularly adept at accurately rendering immersive 3-dimensional soundscapes. Every component in the VZR Model One has been optimized to deliver class-besting performance and the Model One features the debut of a ground-breaking, proprietary and patented innovation called CrossWave™ that truly sets it apart from competitors and more expensive audiophile headphones.

Commercially available for the first time in the VZR Model One, CrossWave™ is a passive acoustic lens technology that selectively and strategically reshapes audio waves to emulate the way one would perceive the sound in real life without headphones, resulting in improved separation, openness and accurate 3D spatial positioning - all without digitally altering the audio source.

Competitive players will benefit from the more accurate, realistic positional audio, with the potential for improved in-game performance through superior spatial awareness and a greater ability to pinpoint small but crucial details like footsteps and gunshots. Proprietary VZR testing in virtual reality applications shows that the VZR Model One enabled subjects to determine the location of positional sounds more quickly than with competing gaming and audiophile headsets.

Even for those who play immersive single-player games or want a headphone that will let them rediscover their favorite music, the VZR Model One performs beautifully. VZR designed the headset to deliver the fidelity and detail of a studio reference speaker system alongside the warmth and openness of open-backed audiophile headphones - all in an affordable headset that offers best-in-class performance no matter how it is used.

The VZR Model One utilizes modular, high-quality, custom-sourced components, with standard 3.5mm connections for maximum compatibility and minimum latency. The detachable boom mic features a patent-pending noise-canceling design that ensures clear communication. The included headphone cable comes equipped with an inline microphone that activates when the boom is detached, and a mute switch.

Experts in gaming and audio tested the VZR Model One during its several years of development and endorse it, including Ed Lima, the BAFTA-nominated sound designer known for his work on Doom 3 and Borderlands, GRAMMY-winning musician and producer Anthony Ray, better known as Sir Mix-a-Lot, and many more prominent figures in their respective industries.

“We meticulously designed everything about the VZR Model One, using years of research, decades of experience, and feedback from audio experts to refine the headset to maximize its performance,” said Vic Tiscareno, Founder, VZR. “From the drivers to the cable and earpads, we’re not cutting any corners to make the perfect headphones for gamers, audiophiles, and anyone who demands great audio.”

The VZR Model One will be available for preorder from VZR’s official website for $349 in Q2 2021. For more information on VZR and to sign up to get notified when preorders go live, visit the official website and follow VZR on Twitter.

Assets

Photos, Logos, Trailer Download

About VZR

VZR was founded in 2014 by veterans of Apple, THX, SRS Labs, Samsung Design Lab, and THQ. Composed of experts in the field of audio engineering and acoustic design who are fans of gaming and high-quality sound, the company sets out to bring WINNING SOUND to all. By utilizing decades of expertise in both hardware audio electronics and sound design to create state-of-the-art designs, VZR’s products meet the needs of competitive gamers and music fans without compromise.

Media Contacts

Carter Dotson / Cody Furniss
Stride PR for VZR
[email protected] / [email protected]
 

boselover61

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Hello friend. Thanks for the post. Do you have some measurements for this?
 
OP
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WondrousHippo

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Hello friend. Thanks for the post. Do you have some measurements for this?

Not yet, we only have a few hand-built units out in the wild at the moment so I wouldn't expect any third-party measurements for a bit.
 

Racheski

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Are you sending to ASR for measurements?
 

JDragon

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I received my preorder today and was quite disappointed. It sounds muddy and congested, with a condensed soundstage. Volume felt like it kept on going up and down as well. Maybe I got a defective unit.
 

VZR-Mike

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I received my preorder today and was quite disappointed. It sounds muddy and congested, with a condensed soundstage. Volume felt like it kept on going up and down as well. Maybe I got a defective unit.
Hi, there, I’m Mike with VZR. We at VZR appreciate you ordering a Model One. Sorry to hear about your experience. We’ve yet to receive that kind of feedback; actually I’ve received several messages stating quite the opposite! One thing to check: if you’re using the 1/4” adapter supplied, it needs a good connection otherwise you won’t get proper playback. Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] to help resolve this or any issue you’re having.
 

JDragon

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Hi, there, I’m Mike with VZR. We at VZR appreciate you ordering a Model One. Sorry to hear about your experience. We’ve yet to receive that kind of feedback; actually I’ve received several messages stating quite the opposite! One thing to check: if you’re using the 1/4” adapter supplied, it needs a good connection otherwise you won’t get proper playback. Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] to help resolve this or any issue you’re having.

Ok, I can confirm it's the 1/4" adapter that's the issue. No matter what I tried with it, I just could not get good sound with it. I reseated the 3.5mm plug multiple times and used 3 different amps - same condensed, muddled sound with all.

None of my amps have a 3.5mm port so I finally dug up an Apple dongle and powered it off my phone using the 3.5mm plug. The difference was immediate as I heard what I assume these headphones are supposed to sound like.

Revised impressions:

Soundstage and separation are pretty good for a closed back, as advertised. It's not spectacular, but this is a strength of the Model Ones. They sound like a decent pair of open backs in this context.

Highs are crisp and come in cleanly.

Bass is powerful and visceral, but does get flabby.

Vocals sound weird - both male and female. The intonation feels off for me. Voices are artificial and veiled compared to my reference Focal Utopia and a similarly priced pair of cans in the Bose QC35 II. This has much better spatial qualities than the Bose though.

Overall I can't say I'm blown away, but it's certainly better than the mess I heard trying to use the 1/4" adapter.
 
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VZR-Mike

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Ok, thanks for confirming the 1/4” adapter. One thing to try: use the supplied PC splitter cable by plugging into the main cable then use the 1/4” adapter off the “green” plug. That should work for you. Let us know if that works. Thanks.
 

VZR-Mike

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Ok, I can confirm it's the 1/4" adapter that's the issue. No matter what I tried with it, I just could not get good sound with it. I reseated the 3.5mm plug multiple times and used 3 different amps - same condensed, muddled sound with all.

None of my amps have a 3.5mm port so I finally dug up an Apple dongle and powered it off my phone using the 3.5mm plug. The difference was immediate as I heard what I assume these headphones are supposed to sound like.

Revised impressions:

Soundstage and separation are pretty good for a closed back, as advertised. It's not spectacular, but this is a strength of the Model Ones. They sound like a decent pair of open backs in this context.

Highs are crisp and come in cleanly.

Bass is powerful and visceral, but does get flabby.

Vocals sound weird - both male and female. The intonation feels off for me. Voices are artificial and veiled compared to my reference Focal Utopia and a similarly priced pair of cans in the Bose QC35 II. This has much better spatial qualities than the Bose though.

Overall I can't say I'm blown away, but it's certainly better than the mess I heard trying to use the 1/4" adapter.

Hi, Mike here again. I was hoping to follow up with you about your 1/4” adapter, as we’d very much like your impressions after using your amp/DAC setup as opposed to your iPhone. Feel free to ping me direct at [email protected] to replace it for you. Just supply me your order number and I’ll look up your address to send one to you.

Also, as you’re likely very well aware, we recommend a few days (at least) for driver break-in. Vic recommends white noise for 30 hours, if that’s convenient for you.

Lastly, the ear pads may also need some break in period - we designed it so that over time it will flatten and settle. Suggest pushing with each hand on each ear cup firmly every time you wear then release.

Thanks again for your pre-order support and hope you enjoy our product!
 

XeVaD

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Hi. Plugging directly using 3.5mm jack (on an iPhone) as opposed to using a 1/4" adapter on amps makes night and day difference. It's sounds really good when plugged in directly to my iPhone listening to Norah Jones on hi-res via Deezer so I decided to use my dac / amps to see if it will sound better. To my dismay, the music sounded like some instruments are muted. I used several different amps and 1/4" adapter (even the one that came with the package) and nothing's changed. Is this intended not to be used with amps?
 

VZR-Mike

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I believe I know what the issue is: it turns out that a specific kind of 1/4” adapter must be used with the main TRRS plug. If the 1/4” used only supports TRS than the leads don’t meat here up correctly. I suggest using the supplied splitter cable and using the green end TRS to plugin into your amp. Let me know if that works. Also, PM me and we’ll send you the proper TRRS friendly 1/4” adapter to your address, thanks
 

XeVaD

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That fixed it! It sounds great! Comparable to my Audeze LCD 2 but more bassy. Now I'm loving it! Doesn't sound too good on a tube amp though but it's all good.
 

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XeVaD

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Trying them out right now on my PS5. So far loving them. Btw, I hooked them up on my cheap ass Loxjie P20 with upgraded tubes. I just figured the only headphones that sounded really good on them are my Sennheiser HD6XX (lol).
 

VZR-Mike

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BTW, We have a 32 ohm load…the tube headphone amp needs to support a low impedance. Most tubes amps out there are OK from 80 ohms up…300 - 600 ohms mostly FYI. We designed it low impedance so it can work with game controllers, phones as well.
 

XeVaD

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Hi. I want to upgrade the cables of my Model One for my amp/dac application. Will this work? TIA.
 

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