Bespoke headphones accessories like XL cushions and laser engraved side panels (also called "shields") have been popular sellers on V-Moda's website for years, but the company is ready to move into the next stage of production with custom 3D-printed shields sourced from raw metals, stainless steel, and even precious metals like 14k white gold and platinum.
V-Moda CEO Val Kolton dropped by CNET's New York office last month carrying a menacingly large case that looked like the glowing gold briefcase Vincent and Jules crack open in "Pulp Fiction."
The movie never tells you what's inside, but Val was eager to show us his own treasure: a sample of 3D-printed shields that range in price from $40 all the way up to $40,000.
All of V-Moda's over-ear and on-ear headphones come with plain shields screwed into the sides, but the company is now offering personalized, 3D-printed creations that you build yourself, starting with the color.
After you choose your preferred palette, you'll select your material of choice (how crazy do you want to get with the cost?) and your design based on five different selections including monograms, laurel leaves, studs, and more.
Let's get the most expensive tier out of the way first: precious metals like sterling silver and 14k white gold are a great way to advertise the size of your bank account, and they'll likely be the preferred pick of the same person that would drop $17K on an Apple Watch Edition.
I'm tempted to just leave out the price entirely for that reason, but if you have to know, the flagshipbundles cost between $900 and $40,000 for the sterling silver, solid gold or platinum shields.
It's reasonable for anyone spending that much on headphones to expect some extras, so I should also mention that at this level, V-Moda will also emboss your shields with a design of your choosing, for free, in addition to lifetime warranty coverage.
There are some limitations, like brands and sports teams, for example, that won't work for licensing reasons, but almost any other design is fine, so check with V-Moda before you order.
The next tier down will likely be V-Moda's most successful category of materials. The raw bronze and raw brass kits cost between $180 and $330 for on-ear models and $350 to $500 for V-Moda over-ears, or you can purchase bundles that include theor the .
Val brought a pair of raw brass M-100s that he's been testing for a few months, and I think users will really dig the roughed-up patina that develops over time and gives each pair a unique resulting finish.
The Stainless Steel tier is a dose of luxury at an affordable price. Available in matte black, stainless steel, polished gold, polished bronze and matte bronze, the steel shields cost $100 for on-ear and $150 for over-ear kits, or $270 for the XS and $400 for the M-100 with shields included.
Finally, budget-minded customers can pick up the fiber shields in nine colors at just $40 for on-ear and $50 for over-ear shields.
This tier has the added bonus of being the lightest shields in the bunch, which may appeal to those that travel and can't get down with the shield accessories weighing more than the headphones themselves.
V-Moda is also lowering the price of the Crossfade M-100, XS and Crossfade LP2 to encourage customers to pick up the new accessories. Check out the V-Moda website for more details on pricing of the 3D headphones.