One of the most sought after accessories this Holiday season is a good set of Headphones to upgrade that iPod or other MP3 player. There is no easier (and cost effective) way to dramatically upgrade the sound quality of your music. There are lots of options out there – and many have been reviewed on our site. V-MODA, makers of the highly acclaimed BAss FReq and Remix designs have just released a new ‘premium’ set of buds. Are these the ones that go in the stocking?
Read on for my thoughts.
The official line on the V-MODA Vibe, from their web site reads:
V-MODA is the music lifestyle brand based in Hollywood, California. It designs and markets innovative products that fuse high-fashion and high-function, while paying homage to a rock-and-roll and house music lifestyle. The Modaphone Hearwear Collection is part of the V-MODA collection of music-inspired products, apparel, and DJ compilations unveiled in 2006.
Founder Val Kolton, together with designer Joseph Bucknall, leads the innovation and creative nucleus responsible for transforming their music lifestyle vision into an inspired reality. More information about V-MODA and its progressive products can be found at www.V-MODA.com
The luxurious, unprecedented all-metal design of VIBE puts the earphones on par with high fashion jewelry, while the lightweight micro-size and ultra-soft silicon fittings provide a secure, comfortable fit during the most rigorous activities. VIBE is the first hi-fidelity earphone of its caliber to possess such mobile flexibility. At a suggested retail price of $101, VIBE is designed to coordinate with the iPod(r), the new Zune(tm) and other portable music players, as well as modern apparel and fashion accessories.
‘VIBE modaphones are the benchmark of the Hearwear category V-MODA has fashioned, ‘ said Val Kolton, founder and CEO of V-MODA. ‘They’re the first hi-fidelity earphones that don’t tether you to your chair when you want to experience pristine audio. And the sleek design and polished metal craftsmanship make a bold statement in a world of ordinary, carbon-copy plastic earphones.’
Premium metal composition and superior technology enable a sculpted response curve fashioned for the discerning audio enthusiast, providing a precise balance of rich bass, warm mids and unprecedented clarity. Utilizing V-MASQUE dynamic driver technology, VIBE is able to achieve a precise yet natural sound stage in comparison to other high-end earphones. BLISS (Bass Level Isolating Soft Silicon) technology further reduces outside noise for a precise and rich bass response (frequency 12Hz to 22Hz).
The Specs are as follows:
* vibrant bass, vivid mid-range, and vivacious highs
* alloy metal enables sculpted sound curve fashioned for discerning music enthusiasts
* rich and precise bass levels that accentuate bass-enhanced music
* V-MASQUE dynamic driver provides natural and warm sound stage
essential sport ergonomics
* three sizes of ultra-soft silicon fittings (S,M,L) provide comfortable, quick, and secure fit
* lightest earphone in class at 12 grams
* micro-sized and flush-fit for active lifestyles and relaxation
* durable even-length cables optimized for sport
noise isolating technology
* bass level isolating soft silicone (BLISS) technology reduces noise and enables deep bass
* unlike bulky active noise cancellation, BLISS introduces no artificial sound into your music and requires no batteries
leather pouch and modawrap cable manager
* gold leather pouch provides effortless storage
* modawrap provides convenient cable management
* VIP card access to exclusive ‘V-MODA modcasts’, music and gear
Compatibility: all iPod, Zune, MP3, DVD, computer, and CD players
Included Accessories: gold leather pouch, modawrap, six pairs (S,M,L) of clear and two pairs (S) black silicone fittings, V-MODA VIP Card
Frequency Response: 12 Hz – 22 kHz
Speaker Driver: V-MASQUE dynamic technology, 9mm neodymium rare-earth magnet
Cable length: 32′ plug to y-connector, 13.5′ even-length earphone cables
Cable diameter: 2.2mm optimal for sport
Plug: 24k gold-plated, straight 3.5mm (1/8′) stereo plug
Weight: 12 grams (0.42 ounces)
Impedance: 16 ohms
Sensitivity: 92 dB (at 1kHz 1mW)
Rated Input Power: 2mW
The V-MODA vibe is an in-ear, semi noise canceling design. It doesn’t go as far in as other true noise canceling design earphones – which can be a good thing. The VIBE is a metal earphone – which sounds like it should be heavy and uncomfortable, but it is anything but. The Chrome finish is available in three colors on the web site – my sample was in ‘Flashback Chrome.’
There are silicon tips that fit onto the end of the VIBE. V-MODA thoughtfully includes several sizes. The cable is plastic encased and feels very sturdy.
Overall, the build quality of these Earphones is simply amazing – sturdy, solid and very expensive looking and feeling.
The Vibe was a superbly comfortable Earphone to wear for extended periods of time. I thought that I would somehow ‘feel’ the metal in my ears – but in my testing that just didn’t happen at all. The Silicon tips were very comfortable and made a tight enough seal that I never thought they would fall out – yet, the seal wasn’t so tight that the whole world was blocked out. For me, this is the perfect balance between form and function in an Earphone.
I found I could listen for hours on end with little or no discomfort. I was even able to take a nap wearing these Earphones – a true testament to their comfort.
I know what you are thinking – OK, so they are very cool to look at and hold – but how do they sound? Well, if you remember my review of the V-MODA Bass Freq Earphones and how impressed I was with them – these blow pretty much every sub-$150.00 Earphone I have tested right out of the water. They sound amazing.
That being said, these might not be for the ‘audio purists’ of the group. There is a definite ‘sound’ that V-MODA is going for here – one that is very full at the low end, clear at the high end and sort of like a dance club in your head. This is not a ‘Flat’ sound – far from it. That being said, I really love the sound. It was so full at the lower frequencies that I could turn off the EQ on the iPod and get more bass than almost any headphone out there – save the Super.fi. EB – which costs two and a half times as much! With no EQ, the sound quality of the iPod is also much improved.
I tried all sorts of music and found the Vibe to reproduce vocals beautifully, instruments were clear and crisp and the Bass was amazing. It is hard to believe that these things only sell for $101.00
This is an amazing set of Earphones. It is a work of art in design and a work of genius in sound engineering. For $101.00 you simply cannot go wrong picking up a pair.
Final Grade: A
Pros: Great build quality, great looks, wonderful sound
Cons: Definitely has a unique bass heavy sound signature (which many will enjoy)
The Vibe can be purchased for $101.00 at www.vmoda.com or at the iPod store and other online retailers
Written by Gary