Jetplane Review: V-Moda Vibe Duo

Posted on Aug 17, 2008 in Featured, iPhone, Reviews

Introduction

As many iPhone owners may have noticed, the headset Apple includes with the device is pretty decent and very useful – but the sound quality is just not that great. Other headphones you have may sound better, but don’t offer the handy microphone / clicker functionality of the original.

Enter V-Moda. Despite being relatively new to the Apple accessory industry, their flagship Vibe Duo earbuds for the iPhone seem to be the ideal replacement for Apple’s stock ‘phones…

What’s in the box

The Duo’s are in-ear headphones that are designed to block outside noise and sit just inside your ear canal. They feature an attractive all-metal enclosure and a sturdy fabric-shielded

cable. Apart from “Gunmetal Rouge” (pictured), V-Moda also offer black and chrome versions of the Duos. The main selling point for iPhone users is the built-in mic / clicker that lets you answer calls and skip tracks just like you can with Apple’s headset.

V-Moda includes a cloth carrying pouch as well as a fit kit including a total of 6 clear and black pairs of ear pieces. This is a important as in-ear headphones only “work” if they fit tightly inside your ear.

Build Quality

The Duos feel extremely solid and well put together. The earbuds are slightly heavier than expected due to the metal enclosure, but sit quite comfortably in your ears. The cable is also thicker than that of most other earbuds and the 3,5mm headphone plug is also very sturdy.

In fact – the only aspect of durability I was worried about was the iPhone itself: The Duo’s audio plug is a perfect fit for first generation iPhones, but relatively long. I usually carry my iPhone in my jeans pocket and initially was a bit worried that the additional length of the Duo’s metal plug might be cause pressure on the iPhone’s audio jack if I sit down. It seems to be fine however, but it’s something to bear in mind the first time you try these out.

Other Features

The cable features a clip that you can use to prevent the weight of the cable and mic / clicker from pulling the earbuds out of your ears. It will also help to minimize microphonics (rustling noise caused by the cable that is common for in-ear style earbuds).

Sound Quality

The Duos have a fairly bass-heavy sound to them, that also gives you a good taste of mids. The higher ranges seem a little underdeveloped though. So if you’re into Rock, Pop or Electro, they will sound really good. If you’re more into Classical, or female vocalists the Duos still sound much better than the stock earbuds, but might not be an ideal match for these cans.

Having said that: Prices for more detailed in-ear headphones are easily 2-3 times that of the Duos, so bear that in mind as well.

Calls sounded great and people on the other end said my voice also sounded very clear. Since the Duos block out ambient noise, it’s a lot easier to hear the other person, even if you’re out and in a noisy area.

Overall

The V-Mode Vibe Duo in-ear headphones look great, sound pretty good and are a very practical replacement for the stock headphones. Available at most retailers for $99 they are also excellent value for your money.

Recommended.

Support The Jetplane Journal: Purchase V-Moda’s Vibe Duos at Amazon.com

Pros

+ Great sound

+ Remote / mic clicker

+ Nice robust industrial look & feel

+ Cable feels very robust

Cons

– Bass a little overwhelming for some genres

– Headphone plug fairly long