Before we get into this review, you can view our testing process guidelines by heading here.It outlines how we test the headphones, and what we typically look for.

The Specifics

Who: Aëdle is a Paris-based company that prides themselves on creating high-end headphones and audio accessories.

The product: The VK-2 Legacy - a semi-open on-ear pair of headphones - which follows Aëdle's popular VK-1 model. A maximum of 1000 are created per year.

What comes in the packaging: Aëdle ID Card, Airplane Adapter, 6.5mm Adapter, Pouch with magnetic closure, 1.8m cable, and 1.2m cable with mic and remote control.

What are they selling us: Aëdle believe that these headphones offer an "immersive and precise listening experience." The main tagline is: "Enjoy a comfort made of refined materials and an outstanding sound signature."

Time to found out if they managed to pull this off.

The Design

Aëdle VK-2 Legacy Headphones

Picture someone in a turtleneck sat in a Le Grand Confort Armchair, headphones on, plugged into an expensive sound system - the VK-2 is just a coiled headphone wire away from making that Mad Men prop dream a reality.

Besides that obvious misstep, Aëdle have created one of the best-looking headphones on the market. No tacky branding, or garish colours, just a minimalist take on classic design - something that the company has stuck to religiously with this project. The packaging is simple, and stress-free to open (images above and below) - and the accessories complement the cans effortlessly (best pouch in the game).

If we were marking these out of ten, they'd get a 9.5. I can't think of a better-looking pair of headphones right now.

The Build

Aëdle VK-2 Legacy Headphones

The two main components at play here is the CNC precision machined T6063 Aluminium and the hand-stitched lambskin leather from South of France, which clearly works well together from an aesthetic point of view. From a 'will these fall apart easily because I'm an ass, and I tend to break things easily' perspective, I feel pretty confident that these will stand the test of time. The leather involved will probably age well (we've only had these for a few weeks, so it would be hard to test that out), and the aluminium feels strong.

The cable is detachable, as well as the magnetic ear pads, so we're giving Aëdle top marks for making sure the two-most damage-prone areas are easily replaceable (and at a reasonable cost, too).

The Comfort

I spend 70% of my work-life with headphones on, which is why I often reach for a pair of Bose Quiet Comfort's because, despite the often lifeless sound, they feel like a dream. Sadly, the VK-2s don't quite match them in that respect. It's an odd combination of being slightly (and I mean, slightly) too heavy on the ears, and a bit tight (which, to be fair, can be remedied by bending the Manganese spring inside the foam-padded headband). It's not a big issue, it's just something deep in the background that you might think about after 3 or so hours of use.

The Sound

Aëdle VK-2 Legacy Headphones

So we finally made it. We're at the dreaded sound section. Here's the specifications:

- 40mm dynamic driver made of titanium neodymium
- 32 Ohms DCR
- 20 Hz – 20 kHz frequency range
- 129Db sound pressure level
- <0.5% total harmonic distortion

Most of that won't mean a great deal unless you're a total nerd, so we'll take a look at the "immersive and precise" line from the intro. The song that I'd want those two qualities to shine through is 'Mountains' by Hans Zimmer (taken from the Interstellar soundtrack). It's a song that deals with a range of dynamics, climaxing in a pretty overwhelming fashion. If you're listening to the final 1:40 of that song, and it's sounding a little bit messy, then your headphones just don't cut it.

The VK-2s handle this song with relative ease. The amount of separation is impressive, so A+ on being 'precise'. In terms of immersion, you want that song to feel like an entire city is crumbling around you, without having to increase the volume. Sadly, I found that I had to kick it up a notch during the finale to make that happen. A solid B for that.

The bass is solid, but on a song like 'The Hills' by the Weeknd, you'll feel that drop at 0:44 is about 10% away from where you'd want it to be. Where it stands out for me is on a track like 'Tired of Sex' by Weezer. The drums sound impeccable, and the guitars cut through like you're listening to them live. The same can be said for 'Weird Fishes / Arpeggi' by Radiohead - which calls for warmth and plenty of space. Something most headphones would struggle to nail.

Outside of those slight imbalances, the VK-2s seem to handle everything I threw at it really well. In terms of sound leakage, it's definitely abover average.

Is It Worth The Money?

Absolutely. They're not the cheapest on the market coming in at $420 on Aëdle's official website, but when you combine the design and build, along with a sound that feels authentic across the board, they feel like an investment. And how many headphones can really be described in those terms?

You can purchase these headphones by heading here.