When I was younger I used to tote around a small Sony dual audio tape boombox everywhere I went to skate. It was an audio sidekick, providing the soundtrack for my friends and I as we’d skate around town, hang out at the park, or just chill curbside. The Vifa Helsinki loudspeaker reminds me of that era – albeit with a much more sophisticated and refined design – reminding me how powerful music can be when shared.
And indeed, the Vifa Helsinki is designed specifically to bring and share music, a portable dual speaker unit “built to accompany the feel-good moments”. With its combination of Kvadrat textile grill, leather strap, and petite profile, the Helsinki’s resemblance to a purse is undeniable. But to the credit of the Danish design team, the speaker’s design veers within the realm of gender-neutral appeal. Our test model’s Sandstone Grey fabric finish provided a contemporary presence that looked fantastic anywhere we placed it for a listen (or while off).
But looks are only one half of this Vifa Helsinki’s appeal. Inside, two 50mm full-range aluminium cone and neodymium magnet drivers do double duty as mid-range and tweeter, with left and right channel full range drivers spaced apart as far as possible and angled slightly backwards to separate stereo output. Two 60mm Vifa woofer units take care of the low-end.
Once connected the compact unit reveals surprisingly loud playback, especially with music focused on the high and mid-range. Playback volume is assuredly loud enough for small-medium rooms, and should sound fine outdoors, whether poolside, at the beach, or at the park where you want to share music close by, but not disturb those further away.
Bluetooth 4.0 aptX streaming is a cinch to connect to any compatible mobile device, and the controls are simplified and understated: three buttons, with two volume controls printed onto the front, and a single mode button with LED color coding to communicate connection/playback status.
As a complete package the Vifa Helsinki is amongst the most aesthetically pleasing portable speakers we’ve yet seen. That it also sounds fantastic makes the Helsinki an equally hot (and haute) choice for anyone looking to give or get a portable audio solution when aesthetics are factored in.