20 July 2016

REVIEW: Damson Vulcan Bluetooth Speaker

Live long and... party!

One of our most favourite things of last year was the innovative Headbones bone-conducting headphones from Damson. We liked them so much that we've been keeping a close eye on the tech company (who are based in our home city of York) ever since, and recently we've delved back in to check out something else from the team. We review the Damson Vulcan.

Call something the Vulcan and you'll no doubt expect many (many) Spock and Star Trek puns from review journalists. So it is that we 'boldly go' into this review, to check out Damson's latest 'enterprise', after we 'Spock' to the company's PR. Okay, that enough? Right, lets move on...

The Damson Vulcan is a small and portable Bluetooth Speaker that is slightly chunkier and heavier than the typical 'pocket-speaker' breed of wireless music makers, yet far lighter and palm-friendlier than the larger, home-based units. It has a nice 'grab 'n' go' feel to the body, but is reassuringly weighty. And there's a good reason for that.

The Vulcan contains four separate drivers; two facing forwards in the traditional manner, and two more at either side. Those sideways positioned speakers possess Damson's Wide Field Stereo processing to spread the sound out as much as possible. Because of that it very much feels like a 360 degree speaker, with hardly any sound difference between the 'front' and the 'back'.

And what cracking good sound it was. Despite very much being a portable speaker, the quality of the audio seemed like that of a far larger device. It sounded like a full-sized soundbar, and featured that widely-spread rich audio that you expect from something like that. With our eyes closed, the Damson Vulcan certainly didn't sound like a bag-friendly Bluetooth speaker.

All genres of music sounded good, but the Vulcan excels at anything with deep and resonating bass. It is with bass-y and rich tunes that it really shows off those four multi-directional drivers, although lighter things and vocals were crisp and clear as well. Even when we really pushed the volume levels high, there wasn't much distortion or the crackle you'd expect from something this size; and because of that, coupled with the near-360 capabilities, it is the perfect summer party speaker.

On the inside you get a rechargeable battery which is officially good for six hours of constant playback, but after the initial charge we left it playing for closer to seven. You also have the option to swap out the grills to give the speaker a fresh look, with the panels themselves easily attaching (and detaching) with the use of small magnets. Oh, and the whole package is available in either black or white, which is always nice to have the choice (we were sent the white version – slick).

Just as with the Headbones, Damson have designed a great bit of kit here; one that performs far above it's size (and price) suggests it should. And, you know... GO YORK!


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