Wireless speakers in small packages typically fall short of the mark. The Oslo Bluetooth wireless speaker system by vifa pumps out beautiful sound in a compact modern minimalist design suitable for a modern living or office space.
The Danish designed Oslo features a single piece die cast aluminum body that is solid with a fabric grill cover that gives it that modern minimalist appeal.
The Oslo features Bluetooth aptX connectivity as well as direct aux cable input for easy to use no fuss no muss setup. There’s a bit of a negative for us without the ability to connect to WiFi, Apple AirPlay or Play-Fi networks.
On the front side is just up volume, down volume and LED indicator behind the fabric. On the rear is your Power/Mode button, Power indicator, Power/Charge port, USB service port, 3.5mm aux port and the reset button.
vifa has provided the Oslo as a courtesy so that we could provide first hand review coverage to our readers.
The speaker system features two 50mm fullrange drivers with aluminum cones and neodymium magnets that handle the fullrange sound. Additionally two 65mm sandwich cone neodymium magnet drivers are mounted in a back to back force balanced configuration with two passive radiators.
The Passive Radiators come in a 45mm x 80mm flat rigid cone design positioned at opposite sides of the cabinet creating a balancing effect of both cabinet vibration and woofer output. The Oslo is powered by a Class-D power amp and incorporates Digital Signal Processing or DSP for low noise and low distortion with high dynamic range. Frequency response 55 Hz – 18 kHz @ +/-‐ 3 dB
Connection is quick and simple with your choice of NFC hotspot which worked instantly for us, via Bluetooth directly or Aux cable input which is convenient and almost mandatory for any wireless speaker. Bluetooth 4.0 aptX, AUX 3.5mm mini-jack, NFC connectivity.
The Oslo measures 3.54 x 10.55 x 7.12 inches and weighs 5.3 lbs. In the box we find a universal power supply adapter cable with 3 plug attachments, 3.5mm aux cable, speaker bag, manual, quickstart guide and warranty info.
Charging can take between 3-4 hours with a playtime of up to 12 hours depending on your volume level. When charging the battery indicator on the rear will show Red below 5%, Yellow 5%-80% or Green for full.
The vifa app which you’ll need is very simple and offers adjustment of the volume, LED brightness, battery level indicator, Bluetooth connectivity indicator and optimized presets for wall/hanging, floor or desk stances.
Using the Oslo is a breeze, Bluetooth connectivity via NFC couldn’t be quicker but as we mentioned the lack of Airplay, Play-fi or WiFi integration is a bit of a downer. The Bluetooth 4.0 aptX audio standard works well enough but as you move away a relatively short distance we were experiencing choppy playback. To achieve any consistent audio playback we were forced to leave the smartphone next to the device. This seemed to happen more so on Android 6.0 Marshmallow than on the iOS.
Playback duration will vary depending on the volume but we were very pleased with the battery life, a little less pleased that the power plug adapter is a block and fairly large.
Sound output, as described by vifa is true to life and a realistic accurate reproduction of sound. What you’ll notice is the bass output is rich and full when compared to similar class speakers that can offer great mid and high end but lack any bass presence. The Oslo can pump out some thickness with it’s opposing force balanced configuration 65mm woofers.
If you have mediocre recordings don’t expect the Oslo or any other true to life style speaker to sound good as it will only amplify what’s there. The soundfield on the Oslo is somewhat narrow so as you walk from one end of the room to the other you might notice different levels of output. Placement can also be key, floor always works best for thickness of bass.
The Oslo is able to handle live performances like a champ provided they are recorded properly like Peter Gabriel’s Secret World Live. Modern pop music sounds full and loud while Symphonic or classical music absolutely sings out of the Oslo. It does fall a tiny bit short is with heavy metal, more so on the thrashy side even heavily produced songs like Pantera’s I’m broken don’t seem quite as thick as they should sound. That aside, make no mistake the Oslo produces some beautiful, consistent and full sound from a large array of different styles of music.
The Oslo most noticeably offers modern style that packs a punch, something a little different than we’re used to seeing out there. The performance is excellent and is more than capable of handling a majority of music styles out there with beautiful results. It’s compact size and power are hard to match. The Oslo features a clean minimalist design, up to 12 hours of playback time, 4 class D amplified and DSP supported speakers to provide you with rich premium quality true-to-life playback wherever you want to take it. Makes a great Valentines day Gift for that modern soul.
Available in Pebble Grey, Anthracite Grey, Sand yellow, Ocean Blue, Ice Blue, Pine Green
Update: nearly 6 years later, the Vifa Oslo still performs like gold.
vifa Oslo $549.00