Review: v-moda vibe duo In-Ear Headphones w/ Mic

The v-moda vibe duo In-Ear Headphones w/ Mic, available in the iMore Store for $99.95, are compatible with the iPhone 3G, iPhone 2G, iPod Touch, and iPod Touch 2G. In a sea of headphones ranging from the very inexpensive to the absurdly expensive, v-moda has found a nice middle ground in price without compromising quality. The design is stylish and the performance is above-average. Keep reading for the full, detailed review!

Headphone Design

The v-moda vibe duo has an in-ear design with a selection of two earbud colors, black and clear (frosted), and three sizes in each color: small, medium and large. The headphone driver housings are black with an etched chrome-like band around the housing, giving the headphones both a stylish look and providing a textured surface for a more sure grip between your thumb and index finger when putting the headphones in your ears. Another nice addition is the small black carrying case that will accommodate the headphones and extra ear tips, if needed.

The fabric cable is an excellent upgrade from lesser headphones. I'm a big fan of fabric cables because they are both more durable and less inclined to tangle. The v-moda vibe duo sports an adjustable/removable plastic clip for securing the headphones to your clothing, thus supporting the weight of the cable at the point of the clip rather than having the weight pull the earphones from your ears.

About six inches down from the right earphone is the mic and call control button housing. The "duo" in this product's namesake is the ability to listen to audio but also take a call. The call control button can be depressed to answer or cancel a call. In addition to simple call handling, the call control button is compatible with the iPod features of one click for pause, two clicks to forward to the next song, and three clocks to listen to the previous song. My only gripe with this setup is the size of the mic/call control button housing. It seems a bit large and hefty and it would be nice to see it trimmed down in size and weight.

Performance

The v-moda vibe duo In-Ear Headphones w/ Mic deliver a clean, crisp sound with punchy bass and clear high-end levels. The volume range is just about right and if you use the right size of ear tip (requires a bit of experimentation), you will be rewarded with a firm fit in your ear delivering superior sound quality and impressive noise-isolation.

Making and receiving calls with these headphones is impressive. The sound quality during calls is more than adequate, with stereo sound during the call. The people I spoke to while using the headphones could hear me just fine and I could hear them without difficulty. Using the "clicker", or call control button, to answer and end a call is convenient, as well as using it for one, two, or three clicks while listening to music for pausing, skipping ahead, or listening to previous songs.

The plastic clip is a great feature to have. I really like being able to clip the headphones to my clothing so as to support the weight of the fabric cable, which in turn allows the headphones to remain securely in my ears without the nuisance of the weight of the cable pulling the ear tips from my ears. This can be more of a problem when you are doing something active, so the clip solves the problem. The fabric cable performs very well, giving these headphones a durable build quality and a greater resistance to tangling. 

Conclusion

For $99.95, the v-moda vibe duo In-Ear Headphones w/ Mic deliver quite a bit of bang for the buck. You can certainly spend much more for headphones, particularly if you are a serious audiophile, but these could be the earphones you use on a regular basis for a long time due to their quality. The sound is better than average, the inclusion of a call control button and microphone for calls is great, and the plastic clip and fabric cable are wonderful upgrades to justify the additional expense. Having two sets of ear tips in two colors and three different sizes is very convenient, especially given that losing an ear tip is a possibility during your time of ownership. I dislike the size of the call control button/mic housing. I wish it were smaller. Other than this small little gripe, the overall design, quality and performance of these headphones make them easy to recommend.

Pros

  • Fabric cable is durable and tangle-resistant
  • Punchy bass, clear highs and good noise-isolation = great sound quality
  • Includes clip, two sets of ear tips in 3 different sizes, and carrying case
  • Answer and end calls with call control button

Cons

  • Call control button/mic housing is a little large

TiPb Rating:

The iPhone blog 4 Star Review  

 

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Reader comments

Review: v-moda vibe duo In-Ear Headphones w/ Mic

17 Comments

i had these, but i never really liked them. the sound travled from the wire, so if anything would rub against it, you would hear it.

I have a pair of these and they're excellent. Two annoyances though... The pair I picked up in the Apple store didn't have the fabric cable, just rubber. I didn't realize there was a fabric type. The reason this is important is that you get a lot of cable noise when you move with the plastic cable as the phones fit so snugly in your ears..
I also find they don't stay in all that well unless you stay quite still! Apart from those small gripes, they are excellent.

Hmm, I have the rubber ones too. I think I would have much preferred fabric. Can't exactly justify spending another $100 bucks for a minor gripe though... Oh well.

I was looking into these a few months ago. I heard something either about a defect that caused the left ear bud to stop working. It was actually at an elecontics store in the Atlanta Hatsfield airport. In any event they said they were great head phones. Not sure if this was and or is still a problem, but at the time I forgot my head phones and was in transit. Didnt want to take a chance on a $100.00 Defect at 30,000 Feet in the middle of watching a movie.

My gf got me a set of these yesterday from the apple store i love them very nice not the best sounding but for day to day use they are amazing very clear highs and bass they sound better than the bose in my opinion

I've owned these now for over a year and I don't leave home without 'um!! I, personally, love the fit & convienence. I'd recommend them to everyone!!

I just got these too. Love the noise isolation. Makes my music sound more full, and for calls they work great. I hope they last.

I have this and I had the apple's inear and the differences become quite clear.
Apple's hp doesn't produce big bass like vibe.
Spend the extra 20 and get the vibr

I had to send three pairs of these back to the manufacturer because the sound went out in one or both of the earpieces in each case. The sound went out in the fourth pair within a couple weeks and by then the warranty had expired. Obviously I wouldn't recommend these.

I had a similar experience. I sent three back -- they lasted somewhere between 2 weeks and 4 months. Even the redesign sucks. Stay away from these.
As for the audio quality, I found the bass to be a little too intense. Distorted guitar rock could often sound messy.

These were a nice Christmas present from 'Santa' to me. I love the in-ear noise isolation as I bet I listen to the volume at almost half of what I used to. The sound is great. I also occasionally have the issue where the cable rubbing against clothing or something travels up into the ear and is a bit annoying. The mic/button is larger than I expected but the clicker/mic on my apple earphones that came with my iPhone doesn't work half the time now. These are my go-to earphones and I use the black case all the time.

Purchased in January 08 and the left ear went dead 3 times. Seemed to happen during the 3rd month each time. V-Moda replaced each pair but the minute I was out of warranty V-Moda said I was S.O.L. I'm back with the original iPhone earbuds that still work since summer 07.
WHEN they worked the sound was great. But not worth the $100 headache.

I sent three pair back over the last 11 months - they lasted between 3 weeks and 3 months. They suck. Stay away!
As for the audio quality, great...when they worked.
I only use these to walk to work 1 mile in each direction and they can't hold up. Absolutely ridiculous.
At least they honor their 1-year warranty, however once that is over I will need to buy from a different company.

I can attest to this problem (original post below). I have sent my pair in TWICE to Vibe people and they were replaced. However, each time takes like 10 days! And, last night, the left earbud crapped out for the THIRD time. I would avoid these headphones with the iPhone! Sorry, my experience has been pretty disappointing.
I was looking into these a few months ago. I heard something either about a defect that caused the left ear bud to stop working. It was actually at an elecontics store in the Atlanta Hatsfield airport. In any event they said they were great head phones. Not sure if this was and or is still a problem, but at the time I forgot my head phones and was in transit. Didnt want to take a chance on a $100.00 Defect at 30,000 Feet in the middle of watching a movie.