The influences of pulse, including the pulse width <i>T<sub>p</sub></i> and the peak pulse power <i>I<sub>peak</sub></i>, on phase-sensitivity optical time domain reflectometer (<i>φ</i>-OTDR) based distributed vibration sensor are investigated in this paper. A numerical simulation is performed to illustrate the relationships between pulse and fluctuations ratio coefficient (<i>FRC</i>) as well as visibility of interferential Rayleigh backscattering light. The simulation results show that the method of amplifying <i>I<sub>peak</sub></i> is benefit for increasing the <i>FRC</i> induced by vibration, while it is useless for improving the visibility. In contrast, the method of broadening <i>T<sub>p</sub></i> is useful for increasing the <i>FRC</i> by improving the visibility. Laboratory experiments are implemented by using the <i>φ</i>-OTDR prototype with an electro-dynamic vibration table producing stable vibration signals. The good agreement of experimental with simulated results validates the theoretical analysis.