These ears get to hear a lot of great- (and horrible-) sounding headphones, but the style of these musical monitors rarely changes: black and white synthetics are the norm, with an occasional chrome accent. V-Moda aims to change look of our ear wear with two lines of fashion-forward earphones, the Bass Freq and the Remix M-class, both competitively priced at $50 a pair. The Bass Freq, a brightly colored bass-enhancing model, is the subject of this review.
The Bass Freq earphones' main style point is the brightly colored earbuds and cable. You can choose from eight colors: black, blue, camo, green, orange, pink, red, and white. The camo version features an olive cable and orange earbuds with olive accents, but the rest of the styles are uniform in color but for a bit of chrome accenting. The result is a fashion-forward design that can blend with your favorite outfit. And though I didn't expect the stylishness to make much of a difference in practice, it did: the colorful cord is much more jewelrylike--and thus looked significantly more stylish running down the front of me--than the thick white cord of my Shure E4cs. Also, though the 46.5-inch cable is insufficient for most at-home use (with your computer or stereo, for example), I found it to be the perfect length for on-the-go use.
As is standard for sub-$100 headphones, the Bass Freq earphones come with few extras, but I was surprised and pleased to find V-Moda's Modawrap in the box. It's a simple-but-handy tool for stowing your cord--and you'll want to use it, because the Bass Freq's ultrathin wire tangles easily. There are also three sizes of silicone ear fittings to help ensure a comfortable fit and provide the necessary seal to provide the deep bass that's implied by the product's name.
As for that implication, the Bass Freqs truly live up to their name. These 'phones really thump on the low end--just make sure you get a good seal in your ear. And I was pleasantly surprised by the overall sound quality of the 'buds, especially considering their low price point. The bass was heavy, but it didn't overshadow the mids and lows in most cases (a handful of rock songs had a slightly muffled quality to them). In general, music sounded rich, warm, and detailed. Hip-hop, jazz, and electronica tracks really shined; even certain rock songs were great--during the Clash's "London Calling," I felt like I was in the studio, and Depeche Mode's "Strangelove" sounded fantastically deep and dark.
Like their sibling, the Remix M-class, the Bass Freqs are also a surprisingly loud set of earbuds--they amplify the music from the sound source by a significant amount compared to other small earphones (so use caution when switching to these 'buds). This factor combined with the many color options make this a perfect set of earphones for the Creative Zen Micro Photo series of MP3 players.