Many tech companies introduced their own virtual assistants after Apple’s SIRI. Like Google developed Google Assistant then Microsoft came with Cortana and now Samsung introduced their own Bixby.
They are now appearing on third party devices and we have reviewed Vinci 1.5, a smart headphones powered by Alexa.
It offers local storage, a comfortable fit, quality sound and compatibility with Spotify, Soundcloud and Amazon Alexa.
It also measures heart rate and offers great listening experience.
The basic idea behind Vinci is making the headphones the entire listening system. It is unlike a peripheral attached to a smartphone or other device (although it connects to a smartphone as well). It’s a very intriguing concept and there’s lots to like about Vinci.
Vinci 1.5 is not 100% promising product but company is working hard on software updates. First thing we noticed is Alexa does not understand everything you say this could be my accent. 3 out of 5 times it catches what you are saying specially title of songs or name of singer.
It comes in 4 colors black, silver, red and white designed with a modern, square look that includes a touch screen just like the ones we all have on our mobile devices.
Unfortunately it requires internet to allow voice interaction.
Silica Gel under headband gives it great softness and comfort while wearing, Hinge is durable as well. Square shaped ear cups though don’t seem to fit on ear but they do their job very well.
Most of the music controls are gesture based but power button, dual array mic (one beside power button other near MicrUSB port) and sim card slot is on front side of right ear where screen is fixed. At bottom we have aux port along with MicroUSB port and primary Mic.
Touch screen and voice commands
Some people are sure to find the notion of wearing a big touchscreen constantly displaying goofy visualizations on the side of their head a little off-putting, but for me it actually felt like kind of a cool look.
The touchscreen is very responsive and reliably for controlling playback, volume and summoning the voice assistant to listen to our next commands. Sensors in the headphones also notice when you take them on and off your head, to pause playback accordingly. Also works to summon Alexa as well as play, pause, skip (swipe) and favorite songs (double-tap).
Hot word “Hi, Vinci,” triggers voice assistant but unfortunately we can’t say the same about the helpfulness of it.
Adding songs to the favorite list by double tapping the screen works really great.
Not only this but it comes with touch screen and Android 4.2.2 based Operating System. Alexa enables it to be first voice controlled intelligent headphones. It provides direction, searches internet, suggests songs, head tracking, 3D sound recording and 3G sim slot.
Basically it is a smartphone in the shape of on ear headphones to make calls, answer calls, play music, get direction and record sound around you. So basically you can leave your phone behind and use only vinci alone.
Sound quality and comfort
Sound quality of Vinci is awesome with a remarkable amount of bass while having heavy screen wobbling when hanging it by holding one side of headphone but it feels very comfortable while wearing on.
When wearing the Vinci’s you definitely don’t hear much around you other than the music itself and that’s important. So to have these on a commute to/from work, on a plane or something like that these are very handy and useful. And you don’t even have to turn up the volume very loud to accomplish this.
Everything sounds crystal clear
The foam padding is amazing and the Vinci’s are adjustable for even more comfort since we all have a different size head.
As stated above, they block out most all noises around you and I didn’t expect that with this style of design but Vinci has really proven that they are focused on design and that they want to do it correctly.
Vinci houses MediaTek processor and sensors to anticipate the music you’ll want to hear, let you ask for all sorts of things with your voice, take hands-free calls and even read your text messages aloud (only you will hear it).
PRO version offers wireless charging
Vinci’s twin microphones allows binaural 3D audio recordings, so you can close your eyes, spin in a circle, and aurally feel just like you’re in a place you’ve been before.
With a proximity sensor, they automatically pause the music when you take them off your head, and resume when you put them on.
The hardware itself is actually pretty impressive for what you get. The battery lasts up to 4-5 hours with the screen on and almost twice as long with the screen off.
You can connect Vinci to your streaming services via Wi-Fi or a cellular sim card, and there’s 16 GB of local storage (32 GB in the Pro edition).
Vinci’s issues are software related and can be fixed and we are still getting updates even after Vinci 2.0 is being shipped a second generation sports model.
How Accurate Alexa is?
We had some how hard time with HI VINCI and it worked about 60% of the time but often seemed to be sleeping on the job. Recent updates have made it but more responsive as compare to earlier days.
Supposedly, Vinci uses “powerful machine learning” and biosensing software to curate a personalized audio experience. It is suppose to record preferences, heart rate, location and other factors for this purpose. But it is still unclear as, whenever Vinci said “Here’s a song you might like,” it always a song we never played.