V-Moda Vibe II Headphones [Gadget Review]

by oz on September 8, 2009

vmoda headphones

We rarely write about products on HearYa, but if the gadget is sent to us for free, it’s relevant to our audience and it’s high quality, I’m all for sharing. My only regret in receiving the V-moda Vibe II headphones is that they arrived two days after I bought a pair of Shure headphones.

I love the Shure headphones, but they have a heavy plastic cord that is modular and extends to an oversize three feet long. That’s where V-moda comes in, offering an extremely thin and flexible fabric cable.‚  Here are the pros and cons for the Vibe II headphones:

Pros:

  • They are sexy as hell, offering stainless steel alloy ear buds.
  • They double as a headset for your music playing phone with in-line hands free microphone and call control button.
  • Designer leather carrying case.
  • Eight pairs of silicone ear fittings in clear and black and detachable sport ear hooks.

Cons:

  • The weight of the ear buds make them tough to keep in while working out (and I didn’t have the patience to figure out the ear hooks). I’m still testing different fittings to see if it helps.
  • The fabric wire is awesome, but you can sometimes hear it rubbing against your clothes and it interferes with the music.

All in all, they are great headphones at a reasonable price. When I first opened them, I didn’t think there was a chance that something so sleek would actually sound good. I was stunned. Apparently they have some high-def noise isolating technology that enables deeper bass and the sound quality is fantastic.

The V-moda Vibe II headphones are available for about $120 at the Apple Store or online at Apple.com. I’m not sure what their return policy is, but I’d make sure to ask at the store. I wouldn’t buy any headphones from a manufacturer that doesn’t allow you to return them after trying them out.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Derek Jordan September 9, 2009 at 12:01 am

headphones that don’t stay in while working out is a deal breaker! my iPod earphones probably aren’t the best though.

Shirk September 9, 2009 at 6:52 am

While living in NYC and subway commuting daily, i had a pair of these:

http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er6i.aspx

They sounded awesome. The noise isolation was great. I felt very comfortable checking my studio mixes on them because they weren’t TOO hyped. They did increase the low end a little bit, but not in a muddy way. Very tight. The high end was extended and clear…never harsh.

The only downer was that you had to really get familiar with how to insert them in order for them to function correctly. If the fit wasn’t correct, then the low end was lacking. After a week of use, that problem went away.

They lasted me probably three years or more before finally getting ripped apart by somebody catching the wire on their briefcase in a hurried attempt to exit the F train one busy morning. Since then, I’ve gone back to cheaper headphones because my ipod gets very little use here in Chicago.

oz September 9, 2009 at 8:14 am

I agree about working out, but my shure headphones don’t stay in that well either. Could just be my ears.

I typically use my ipod ear buds while working out instead of noise canceling headphones. It’s nice to be able to hear people compliment me on my biceps, glutes and what not. Noise canceling headphones I typically reserve for long flights so I can tune out the humans and pretend I’m not inhaling other people’s breathe out of the A/C for 5 hours.

lp009 November 4, 2009 at 10:01 am

I own a pair of the original vibes (Vibe I) that I purchased about 16 months ago. And the sound quality just blew me away. Mind you, these are the most expensive headphones I’ve ever owned @ $68 (0n sale) so I don’t know how they compare to headphones that cost several hundred dollars. But I can’t ever see me paying that much when I can get sound quality this good for under a $100.

That said… just a few days ago my vibes inexplicably developed a short in the right channel at the plug. Having owned innumerable pairs of IEMs, over the years that have developed this problem.. I made sure to handle my Vibes with kid gloves to avoid just this problem. I pampered these things.. always making sure that no undue stress was applied to the plug/cables, always using the cable wrap, never putting the plug/mp3 player in pants pockets or anywhere where it could get tangled or compressed. Always carrying the mp3 player/plug/cable wrap in my breast pocket…. My point being that I took damn good care of these headphones!

So I’m pretty damned pissed that this ‘manufactured failure’ should be present in such expensive headphones with such quality sound. In my search to discover how to repair them, I’ve found many, many others who have also had the same problem.

This has left a sour tone for my regard of the V-Moda company. They could have easily had a customer or life, instead they have lost one.

Geek Gadget March 14, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Is it true that you have to “break in” headphones. A friend told me that I wouldn’t be at their peak until I’d used them for over 100 hours. Is there any truth in this?

Thanks

Shirk March 15, 2010 at 8:25 am

I know that is the case with speakers…there is definitely a “break in” period. 100 hrs seems a little excessive to break in headphones. That seems more like the amount of usage required to get them to actually break and stop working. (i.e. a short in the thin cable or L-plug)

Simon July 27, 2010 at 10:23 am

The earhooks are very easy to work out, just LOOK at them and then put them on the wires. They work great and also reduce microphonic sound.

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