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V-Moda Remix Remote in-ear headphones review: Approved for form, function, and fidelity

Our new favorite sub-$100 earbud headphones, the V-Moda Remix Remotes combine an attractive design with the sonic chops and long-term indestructibility to merit CNET's Editors' Choice Award.

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Justin Yu
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Justin Yu

Associate Editor / Reviews - Printers and peripherals

Justin Yu covered headphones and peripherals for CNET.

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5 min read

The V-Moda Remix Remote headphones sell for $79.99 on Amazon.com and they're one of the best overall values in the headphone category. This is not just due to their impressive sonic reach and noise-isolating clarity, but also because V-Moda customers are treated to a level of attention and responsiveness that I haven't experienced from any other vendor.

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8.3

V-Moda Remix Remote in-ear headphones

The Good

Durable metal housing, a Kevlar-braided cable, a two-year warranty, and a generous frequency range give the <b>V-Moda Remix Remote</b> earbuds an edge over the competition.

The Bad

These are stunning headphones inside and out, but they're stylistically reserved compared with the glitz of other flashy, modern designs.

The Bottom Line

The V-Moda Remix Remote headphones earn our Editors' Choice recommendation with a colorfully dynamic sound profile, a generous two-year replacement warranty, and a handful of accessories that ensure a tight seal and versatile usability.

CEO Val Kolton is an active player on multiple message boards for hi-fi heads where he responds to nearly every query and complaint from customers, and even uses their collective ideas to influence product plans. Headphones are jury-tested by working DJs from all genres, and though you may spot the V-Moda Crossfade M-100 over-ears on Avicii or Deadmau5, you should know that these artists aren't paid to use them onstage -- it's by choice.

As the audio industry continues its mission to convince everyone that it's worth spending money on a decent pair of headphones, the V-Moda Remix Remotes are a great example of how companies should earn that trust. They're featherweight at just 17 grams, though their all-metal earbud construction will do more for long-term durability than the simple glued-together plastic style used by the competition.

Nine-millimeter dynamic drivers in each bud give off hearty bass and luscious tones across a wide frequency spectrum, and a two-year manufacturer's warranty offers a comforting security blanket for a product designed for pocket travel. If you're looking to replace your stock earbuds for less than $100, the V-Moda Remix Remote headphones are practically flawless and deserve your attention.

Design and features
V-Moda understands that the value of a pair of headphones is only as good as their endurance against the threats of everyday transport. The Remix Remotes are armed to do battle with metal ear fittings that house the 9mm neodymium drivers, and a Kevlar sheath wraps the 32-inch braided cable in an extra layer of durability.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The most common stress points on earbuds are at the joints -- that is, where the earpieces connect to the wire and down at the bottom at the plug. V-Moda reinforces these areas with extra rubber articulation that allows more bending to accommodate deep earphone ports on a lot of modern case designs.

Sarah Tew/CNET

With all that extra material, one might assume that you'd have to sacrifice weight for durability, but as I mentioned, these headphones weigh only 17 grams, which includes the three-button rubber remote and microphone that sit beneath the Y-split left and right cables. You use the three buttons to play and pause your music in addition to adjusting the volume of the track, depending on which smartphone you own.

Sarah Tew/CNET

It's also worth noting that the placement of said remote is no coincidence -- lots of headphones put the remote halfway down the cable of the right ear, which exerts enough pull on the earpiece that even a slight jostle can rip it out.

The universal truth about earbuds is that a proper fit can make a big difference in comfort and sound. Whenever someone asks me how they can get better noise isolation out of their existing headphones, I always respond with a question about fit: what material are the ear fittings? Have you tried out the other sizes? Are you inserting them in your ear properly? While the build material for the ear fittings is supremely important to achieving great sound, an equally important and often overlooked detail is the angle at which the cables protrude out of the individual earpieces.

V-Moda accommodates a "universal fit" as best it can with a slightly obtuse bend that should extend just slightly away from your ears, in hopes that the absence of something rubbing against your ear will help you to wear them for longer periods without physical fatigue.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Remix Remotes come with a bounty of accessories that help to create an ideal fit. You get four pairs of clear silicone eartips as well as four pairs of black ones that range in size from extra-small to extra-large, all of them featuring a conical design to match the shape of your ear canal. The goal of a properly fitted pair of ear buds is a degree of passive noise isolation without a "canned" response.

In other words, the music shouldn't sound trapped between your ears. V-Moda also goes a little further and includes an extra pair of detachable ear hooks that act as guiding stabilizers while you're going hard at the gym. Though the Remix Remotes aren't exactly marketed as "sport" headphones, their lightweight portability and the added accessories mean they're just as comfortable on the treadmill as they are in an office cube.

Performance
Before I jump into a description of the Remix Remotes' sound design, there's one more detail to point out in terms of V-Moda's commitment to quality. One of the inherent flaws in earbud headphone architecture is the process of joining the components inside. Almost all headphones are put together by hand in factories overseas, and a less-publicized fact is that even a small drop of extra glue outside the normal recommended size can cause up to 30 decibels of sound variance, even between the left and right channels.

These oversights can easily cause hearing loss in higher frequencies, and it's the manufacturer's responsibility to vet these occurrences on behalf of the consumer. V-Moda's version of quality control comes in the form of its variance guarantee, which states that all V-Moda headphones graduate from its testing program carrying a variance of 2 decibels or less from unit to unit.

V-Moda designs its sound profile for every headphone using a 31-band equalizer in its test labs, and the Remix Remotes are simply your best option if you don't want to spend more than $100. With frequencies that reach from 5Hz to 24Hz, the 9mm drivers and V-Moda's custom tuning serve nearly any genre well. They're also excellent at blocking out external noise, so these are certainly headphones to consider if you're shopping for something to take you away from the ambient noise of a daily commute or the drone of a busy office environment.

My only complaint about these headphones is that the cord tends to transmit rubbing noises to the earbuds when I'm walking around, but this is easily fixed just by affixing the plastic spring-loaded clip to a shirt.

Conclusion
Sound quality is often given too much weight when deciding the metrics by which to judge the overall quality of headphones. The V-Moda Remix Remotes do sound incredible, with crystal-clear highs and resonant bass, but they get our Editors' Choice Award because of their excellence in all the important categories: built from tough materials designed to last, paired with a generous two-year warranty, and protected by the company's "Immortal Life" replacement guarantee. These details give shoppers confidence that no detail was left unscrutinized. The Remix Remotes are a top performer in the sub-$100 category on CNET and deserve your serious consideration if you're on the lookout for a new pair of earbuds.

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8.3

V-Moda Remix Remote in-ear headphones

Score Breakdown

Design 9Features 9Sound 9Value 8
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