Earphone manufacturers tend to make big claims when they market their products, but it’s rare to find an actual set of earphones that lives up to the hype.

I own way too many headphone sets. I got cheap ones, pricey ones, too many Apple earphones to count, those fitness-y wraparound headphones, tiny in-ear buds, foldable DJ headsets, big ole Vietnam helicopter pilot head coconuts, useless two-prong airplane earphones, you name it. I got too many to count, but I’m always down to try a new pair.

So when the opportunity came up to review the new Velodyne vPulse in-ear headphones, I jumped at the chance. And trust me when I tell you, these things are sick.

I mean these earphones look like they’re from the future. As soon as you open up the protective, crush-proof carrying case, you know you’re dealing with a different level of earphone beast. The cord looks like some slim, lightweight blue CAT 5 cable. It doesn’t tangle, even when you wrap it up and stuff it back in the case. It’s cord memory-free. The flat cord structure feels sturdy but not too heavy. You don’t have to worry about the cord tearing, but it’s not like these things weigh you down either.  The cable also features quick, intuitive controls for playback, volume and phone functionality.

The actual earbuds are just fantastic. They have a built-in elbow-type construction, so when you toss these thing in your ears, they fit super snug inside your ear canal, with the outside portion of the bud resting comfortable on the lowest ledge of your ear (the antitragus I think). The result is a give-free fit that keeps the buds stable and enhances noise cancellation. When you put these in, they function like earplugs. Even without playing any sound, the only thing you’ll hear when you put on a pair of vPulse earphones is the sound of your own heavy breathing. The unit comes with multiple earbud tips, so you can maximize that form-fitting comfort no matter what.

So the Velodyne vPulse in-ear headphones are built well, they fit well and they provide quality noise reduction without any of the crappy feedback/static sound you get from other headsets. But these things also produce fantastic sound, straight to your external auditory canal. The frequency response is 20Hz -20kHz. The highs are crisp without crackling and the lows are smooth and hit you to the core. It also seems like you can pump the volume up on these headphones way past 11, which is just awesome.

So yea, these in-ear headpones aren’t exactly cheap (they sell for $89), but if you’re tired of noise cancellation headphones that don’t cancel any noise, or if you want snug, comfy in-ear headphones that produce clear sound even at extremely high volumes, you need to check these out.