The Vifa Helsinki Wireless Speaker: Designer Style With Power

May 27 2019
Buy The  Vifa In This Review
Our Rating: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Is VIFA Helsinki the Best Intimate Listening Music System on the Planet?

Does it bug you that every stereo system out there clashes with the decor? When you think about favorite things, do you include “accessorizing” on the list? Does your partner or spouse complain about your stereo gear? Or, are fashion conscious and want great sound anywhere you go? If any of these sounds like you, or like someone you know… Then maybe you need to take a very close look at one of the best portable speakers we have seen, the VIFA Helsinki. We found to be the best “intimate listening system” on the planet.

Vifa Helsinki Colors

Image Name Color Output Power Rating WiFi Bluetooth Battery Power Connections Available Dimensions Weight Remote Control Details
Compare The Vifa Vifa Helsinki Vifa Helsinki Misty Blue Digital amp
No Yes, aptX® Yes Bluetooth 4.0 aptX, AUX 3.5 mm mini-jack, NFC 8.27 x 6.15 x 2.76 inches 6lbs No
Compare The Vifa Vifa Helsinki Vifa Helsinki Dusty Rose Digital amp
No Yes, aptX® Yes Bluetooth 4.0 aptX, AUX 3.5 mm mini-jack, NFC 8.27 x 6.15 x 2.76 inches 6lbs No
Compare The Vifa Vifa Helsinki Vifa Helsinki Sandstone Digital amp
No Yes, aptX® Yes Bluetooth 4.0 aptX, AUX 3.5 mm mini-jack, NFC 8.27 x 6.15 x 2.76 inches 6lbs No
Compare The Vifa Vifa Helsinki Vifa Helsinki Willow Green Digital amp
No Yes, aptX® Yes Bluetooth 4.0 aptX, AUX 3.5 mm mini-jack, NFC 8.27 x 6.15 x 2.76 inches 6lbs No

Style Form and Function With the Vifa Helsinki Wireless Speaker

No. That purse she’s carrying isn’t really a purse! In fact, it is probably the most elegant and beautifully constructed Bluetooth speaker you’ll ever see and it’s the VIFA Helsinki Wireless Portable Bluetooth Speaker. Yup. It’s all speaker and it kicks ass. The Helsinki comes in four very rich and luxurious colors, one of which is sure to match your mood. In fact, we bet one of them will even match with your decor.

Vifa has been around for a long time. The company was started in Denmark in 1933 and harks back to another great company in Denmark and that is, B&O. Vifa have been manufacturing high quality loudspeaker components that mostly ended up inside high-end speakers made by other companies including B&O and many others. That’s why, even though you may not know the name, we’re pretty sure you’ve enjoyed the OEM sound of Vifa speakers before.

The Vifa Helsinki Is Handbag Sized and Easy To Carry Around

The Future is Kvadrat

In 2012, Vifa decided to launch their own line of high quality portable and wireless speakers.

Along with the modern loudspeaker technology Vifa possessed and a Nordic Design aesthetic having very clean and attractive designs. There is a muted vibrancy to the colors, and the use of aluminum and natural materials blends into a near perfect product.

Inside the Vifa Helsinki has a rigid aluminum frame with a tough polycarbonate enclosure. Outside is a covering made of a special acoustically transparent woolen fabric provided by leading Danish textile designer Kvadrat, also popular with B&O. We love the fact it is specially chosen to “age beautifully”, while allowing the sound from the high quality drivers inside to pass unimpeded.

The Vifa Helsinki Works Well As A Standalone Speaker Indoors

There are lots of Bluetooth speakers out there that call themselves portable, but the Vifa Helsinki actually has a perfectly balanced handle on the top... a real handle that you can carry it by. Not only can you carry the Vifa Helsinki around with you, but you can actually play it while you’re carrying it around. You can even hang it from a doorknob, or a coat hook, or even a tree branch. And, yes, you can take the handle off when you don’t need it.

In fact, and this seems worth repeating: it seems natural to carry the Vifa Helsinki around with you. It doesn’t feel like you have to unhook stuff, trundle it into another location, and then hook it backup when you get there. It doesn’t feel like “a portable music system” at all, it just feels like “music you can carry around with you”, which is sort of the whole essence of a portable speaker.

It is almost like a magical multi-room system in one piece. You put the Helsinki on the table in front of you on the table to listen to tunes, then pick it up and take it with you when you wander into the next room, or out into the garden. The whole purse-and-handle gestalt really works!

The Vifa Helsinki In this Review Small Enough To Hang On A Door Handle

Technical Details

While the Vifa Helsinki displays a simple yet attractive design aesthetic on the outside, it packs the very best of modern tech on the inside. Low frequencies are delivered by a pair of extraordinary high-tech 60mm woofers, with a special flat aluminum sandwich cone design, mounted in a force balanced configuration to minimize vibrations, and assisted by a pair of passive radiator. High frequencies are delivered by a pair of 50mm aluminum cone drivers.

Power is provided by a four channel digital amplifier, and DSP crossover keeps everything running smoothly, and prevents distortion and clipping on passages with loud bass. Vifa claims a frequency response of 58 Hz to 18 kHz which is nice engineering.

The Vifa Helsinki unit itself is about 8” long, 6” high, and 3” deep, and weighs three pounds and includes a detachable leather handle. It has rubber on the bottom so it won’t slip off the table or move around when you crank up the bass. You can run it on its AC adapter, or from its internal Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries, which deliver op to eight hours of play time. It comes in four designer colors: Willow Green, Misty Blue, Dusty Rose and Sandstone Grey.

Vifa Helsinki Portable Speaker Review. It Is A Great Desktop Or Outdoor Wireless Speaker

Connectivity and Controls

The Vifa Helsinki isn’t heavy on controls and connections and doesn’t need to be. A pair of front-panel buttons control the volume and are design stitched into the front face. A single button on the right side controls pairing and your power. You control everything else from your phone or other Bluetooth device.

On the back you’ll find the connector for the AC adapter, a wired stereo aux input for connecting to a device that lacks Bluetooth capabilities, and a battery indicator LED. The Helsinki also features a sleep mode which activates after about three minutes of inactivity.

The Vifa Helsinki supports the best Bluetooth with 4.0 and AptX. All the other controls and options are provided by your smartphone or other Bluetooth device, so the Vifa Helsinki supports whatever services, file types, and options your phone or other device supports.

It’s About Simplicity

The Vifa Helsinki emphasizes both elegant design and simple operation. The Helsinki is intended to be used as an extension of your current Bluetooth device. It takes whatever you’re playing on your smartphone and expands it, so it can fill a room with sound, or you can play your music on the patio, or you can listen in the park with your friends.

However, while we don’t consider this to be a downside, you need to be aware of what the Vifa Helsinki doesn’t do. The Helsinki really is a luxury albeit very small form factor Bluetooth speaker. The only audio controls the Helsinki has are for turning the volume up and down. It is not meant to have fast-forward, rewind, or track-skip, and it doesn’t have a mute button, microphone, it won’t work as a speakerphone, it doesn’t have any apps or a fancy equalizer program. It really is a luxury audio item that is small, ultra-stylish, perfectly made, intimate listening Bluetooth speaker for by the bedside or the pool, plugged in or using its long life battery.

The Upside

We adore the Vifa Helsinki for what it is. It is simple to operate, stylishly elegant, small enough to be really portable, and sounds so very good compared to other Bluetooth speakers of its size, and it should for $500.

The Helsinki’s combination of stylish looks, simplicity, and small size, actually encourages you to carry it around with you. And, in a world where bells and whistles seem to dominate, it doesn’t offer a lot of complicated extras we really wouldn’t use. If you’re the sort of person who carries all their music on their smartphone, but really wishes their smartphone could play all that music loud enough and clear enough to fill their whole world, then the Vifa and Helsinki may just be for you.

Vifa Helsinki vs. all the rest...

Anything To Quibble About?

Even though we like the Vifa Helsinki…. We did manage to find a few drawbacks:

  • Price: The Vifa Helsinki is a luxury item and cost a bunch. It costs a lot more than most other simple Bluetooth speakers. It has a lot less features than many devices in its price range. You’re obviously paying for really exceptional design and build and sound quality, and not for bells and whistles
  • Limited output: The Vifa Helsinki delivers a lot of exceptionally clean sound for its size. However, it is small, and so doesn’t have room for a big woofer. It plays quite loudly, and sounds especially nice with vocals and music with lots of midrange and treble, but it really isn’t going to deliver room-rattling bass nor should it have to do that. It’s DSP circuitry does the job of avoiding distortion and tuning the bass.
  • Limited sound dispersion: The Helsinki sounds phenomenal, but it does sound better if you’re sitting right in front of it, and you’ll notice a loss of high frequencies if you sit off to the side, or don’t place the Helsinki more or less facing you. As we said, it’s for intimate listening situations and there is none better at that than Helsinki.

One Quirk

If you're spending the big bucks for this little device there’s one quirk that we noticed. When you have a Bluetooth device paired to the Helsinki, and you plug a wired source into its Aux input, your Bluetooth device remains paired. (We actually like it this way. However, since your phone won’t turn off automatically when you connect an Aux source to the Helsinki, you’ll want to remember to turn your phone off manually to save its batteries when you do.)

Vifa Helsinki - soundcheck


The Vifa Helsinki made our Top 20 as our favorite speaker in this category. Also in the running for small Bluetooth speakers with exceptional characteristics a case could be made for the B&O A2 Active having 24 hours of battery life. Also, for biggest sound from a small enclosure the Beolit 15 or 17.

Ultimately, we think Vifa Helsinki is the greatest small form factor Bluetooth speaker we have ever come across. So, if you’re looking for a compact, well-made, truly portable Bluetooth speaker, and you like luxurious and elegant design, then you should check it Vifa more closely.

For holiday shoppers if you’re looking to buy that special someone who listens to a lot of music on their smartphone or tablet, then you should definitely check it out the Vifa Helsinki, one of our top-rated wireless speakers.

Vifa Helsinki - Made to share, and made to move!

Helsinki - Made to share, and made to move!


Simon Kemp's picture

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The wonderful Vifa Helsinki in this review got a 5 star rating from Rateyoursound!

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