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Product review - V-Moda Vibe Duo iPhone headphones
These stylish headphones are made primarily for the iPhone and iPod, and feature "V-MASQUE high-definition clarity and 3D soundstage with noise isolating BLISS technology". Marketing speak aside, these premium headphones are quite attractive and feel very well made.
The earbuds are very light, and are made of metal with a grooved ring around them, making it quite easy to insert and remove the headphones. The version I tested is called "gunmetal rouge", and as the name implies, the color is a combination of gunmetal and red.
Included in the package, you'll find the headphones themselves, a leather carrying pouch and 2 packs of replacement silicone ear fittings, one black and one clear. Each pack of fittings comes in 3 different sizes so you'll always be able to find the perfect fit.
The V-Moda Vibe Duo headphones are one of the first I've ever seen in this price range with a fabric covered cable. This fabric lined cabled means you won't have as much risk of breaking the cable as with regular rubber cables.
Down one of the earpieces is the V-Moda call control button/microphone. The call control button functions just like the button on the original iPhone headphones, so you'll be able to answer and hang up a call and pause your music. The microphone is quite good, and callers never complained about not being able to hear me.
It's hard to judge the audio quality of these headphones, especially since sound is such a personal thing, but I can say that I was very impressed with them. They produce some of the richest bass I've ever heard in a pair of headphones, and even on a loud volume setting, I did not head any distortion. The plug on the V-Moda headphones fits the recessed jack of the iPhone, and they also work on the iPod and most other phones with a regular 3.5mm stereo jack (like on some Blackberry smartphones).
Because the headphones are "in-ear" and use a silicone sealing fitting, you'll get a fairly decent noise isolation. It's by no means as efficient as a pair of active noise canceling headphones, but it's certainly enough to block out the background noise of fellow passengers chatting on their phones.
The V-Moda Vibe Duo headphones cost $99.95 (or as low as $86.49 on Amazon.com), so they are clearly not cheap. After testing them for several weeks, I can say that they really do feel they are worth the price. They are several times better than the headphones Apple includes with the iPhone, and if you listen to a lot of music on the device, you'll learn to appreciate the increase in sound quality and bass.
My only minor complaint is the ease at which the silicone rubber fittings come off, in the first few days I had already lost one set of them. Even though V-Moda include replacement fittings, they are in 3 different sizes. Once you have used all the replacement fittings in your size, you'll have to order a new pack from V-Moda for $7.99.
In conclusion, the V-Moda Vibe Duo headphones are a great replacement for the boring white headphones included with the iPhone. They are also the perfect size and quality for travelers or frequent fliers, as the basic noise isolation can help reduce background noise on your plane (just remember to put the iPhone in flight mode). The price may not be for everyone, but they are similarly priced to most other premium noise isolating headphones.
Filed under: Gadling Gear Review