Have you ever seen a Bluetooth speaker wearing a wool sweater? Vifa’s Oslo Bluetooth speaker keeps those sick beats hot with a killer sound system and an equally impressive wool exterior that is reminiscent of its Danish origins — not Norwegian, despite appearances (all of Vifa’s speakers are named after Scandinavian capitals).
Unboxing the Oslo Bluetooth Speaker
The Oslo comes in a fairly large box, and unboxing it was downright fun. Vifa scores high presentation marks, with the Oslo coming in a drawstring linen bag marked “Oslo” along with a smaller matching bag for cables. After pulling on the drawstring opening, the handle of the Oslo is visible. The first impression made on me was the size and weight of the speaker. It is just over five pounds and measures 10.5″ tall by 7″ wide by 3.5″ thick. This is probably why they added a handle.
After hoisting the Oslo out of its bag, the texture of the front panel is immediately striking. The wool cover was designed by Kvadrat, a European textiles company, and was specially made for the Oslo. It is a complex weave of wool with blues, greys, and sparse touches of warm hues — if it came in a sweater, I’d buy it. While wool on a speaker is rather unorthodox, it really grows on you. The wool gives the speaker a sophisticated yet homey and familiar feel. This pairs well with the single piece die-cast cool aluminium casing, making for an interesting juxtaposition of the organic feel of wool next to the cold hard face of metal.
Setup and Sound
Ease of setup is on par with every other Bluetooth speaker out there — hold the Bluetooth button down until the light blinks, then use your mobile device to pair. After that, find a spot to charge up the battery (up to 12 hours on one charge) and get to cranking out tunes.
The sound, whether using a wired or Bluetooth connection, was phenomenal. It sounds luxuriant, full-bodied, and unadulterated. Like many Bluetooth speakers, the Oslo uses two drivers and two woofers — specifically, two 50 mm drivers and two 65 mm woofers with dual passive radiators, which allow for rich and clear audio, particularly for lows and mids. The left and right channel drivers take advantage of the generous girth of the Oslo, using separated chambers to keep them isolated from the woofers. The two woofers use flat sandwich cones placed back-to-back (front- and rear-firing), a configuration that results in the vibrations canceling each other out. Those units are connected to a digital pure path amplifier and DSP crossover, which Vifa says cuts down on distortion.
The Oslo really sounds fantastic, especially for how small it is. We tested it in several rooms in the house, even as a main speaker for the TV room. The sound when using the audio jack from the TV to the Oslo was really impressive, and it worked equally well in the kitchen while cooking and at my desk while working — it really is a versatile speaker. However, there is one thing I noticed that I simply can’t unsee — it looks exactly like a lunch box. I put it on my home entertainment wall and a friend came over and wondered why I left my lunch box on the TV. The handle on a rectangle with a sloped front is almost an exact match with the classic lunchbox design. That being said, it makes a cute quirky touch in the kitchen, on an office desk, or as a portable speaker.