V-Moda has gained quite a reputation for its stylish, low-profile earbuds. The good word has been helped along by the fact that these 'phones offer plenty of low-end thump for those who have only experienced the anemic bass offered by stock earbuds. The latest model to be pumped out of the V-Moda factory, the Vibrato Remote, is no exception. This $129 pair offers plenty of thump, a slick and durable design with a built-in mic and remote for use with the iPhone and iPod, and a unique plug housing that's designed to withstand wear and tear. Better yet, overall sound quality is solid, and the call answer button works with Android devices as well. Just don't get these if you prefer a more recessed low-end.
V-moda really excels in the design department, and the Vibrato Remote earphones are a perfect example of this. The set starts with a standard gold-plated plug, which is encased in a modified L-shaped rubberized housing--it's reminiscent of a hose spray nozzle and seems more rugged than that of previous competitors. This is followed by 34 inches of cloth-coated cable, which splits at a hefty chrome-plated accent piece into an additional 13 inches of Y-cable that leads to the two tiny earbuds. Along the way to the right 'bud, you'll find a shirt clip as well as a module containing volume controls and a call answer button that also serves as playback controls for the iPhone and iPod.
The earpieces themselves are a testament to V-Moda's commitment to stylish-yet-durable design. They're constructed from zinc alloy using a die-casting metal technology that not only gives them a geometric, jewelry-like style, but also makes them much sturdier than plastic 'buds. Further, the fabric around the cord is woven Kevlar, which gives us high hopes for the staying power of these earphones.
However, one thing about all this durability is that it makes the Vibrato Remote earphones rather heavy on the whole. We could feel a slight pull at the earpieces from the cable and accent piece, so using the included shirt clip isn't exactly optional. Beyond the weight, we found the set to be quite comfortable for at least an hour, thanks largely to the small overall size of the earpieces. Plus, V-Moda includes eight sets of color-coded silicone tips ranging from XS to L in size, so most people should find a good fit. The package also contains a leather pouch and a pair of "active flex" sport earhooks to keep the earphones secure during workouts.