Headphone maker V-moda may be a newcomer in the digital audio domain, but you wouldn't realize it listening to the company's products. Both the Remix M-Class and Bass Freq earphones garnered positive critiques from the tech press, including CNET. V-moda is continuing its brand proliferation with the premium Vibe in-ear headphones ($101), another fashion-forward set that offers rich, if a bit bass-heavy, audio response.
The V-moda Vibe earphones offer the most understated design of all of the company's headphones: each pair offers a simple, black cable (approximately 48 inches long) with metallic accenting designated by the model. You can choose from gunmetal black, flashback chrome, or la mocha (not yet available at press time). The earpieces are small and stylish with an almost jewelry-like appearance, thanks to the shiny finish. The cable is quite thin, but seems durable, and V-moda includes a Modawrap in the package to help prevent tangles. You also get several sets of silicon fittings in three sizes, which should let most users create an effective seal with the ear. Comfort also should not be an issue for those with average-sized ears, but this small-eared reviewer found that the eartips put pressure on the inner ear cartilage causing some soreness after about an hour of use. The squishy foam fittings that come with Shure's E4cs are much more comfortable.
Although V-moda doesn't advertise the Vibe earphones as sound-isolating, the earbuds do a great job of keeping out ambient noise. They also include a small leather pouch, making them ideal for travel. V-moda throws in a card that gives you free membership to the company's VIP service. Benefits include event invites, product previews, and free podcasts of music mixed by selected DJs.
We put the Vibes to the test with our in-house , and we were not disappointed. The earbuds provided rich, warm audio with excellent range and clarity. But it must be said that the Vibe headphones are geared toward bass addicts. The low-end might be overpowering for some listeners on bass-heavy tracks. We tended to like the enveloping feeling of such a full low-end, but audio purists could disagree. Also, there was one song where the extreme bass caused some unpleasant vibration, but as it was a single occurrence, it wasn't particularly problematic. We rather appreciate the Vibes' ability to amplify audio coming from the sound source--by a lot. We were able to listen to music at about half the volume than we normally would, which will probably conserve an MP3 player battery more than usual--always a plus.