The V-MODA Vibrato isn’t exactly new, but it’s the latest in V-MODA’s line of thumpingly awesome in-ear headphones. As was the case for the similar V-MODA Vibe II line before it, the all-metal Vibrato design attempts to turn your earphones into a bit of a fashion accessory: the kevlar wiring, all-Zinc construction, and the chrome […]
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Review: V-MODA Vibrato Earphones with In-Line Mic, Volume, and Playback Controls

The V-MODA Vibrato isn’t exactly new, but it’s the latest in V-MODA’s line of thumpingly awesome in-ear headphones. As was the case for the similar V-MODA Vibe II line before it, the all-metal Vibrato design attempts to turn your earphones into a bit of a fashion accessory: the kevlar wiring, all-Zinc construction, and the chrome accents on the Y-Splitter and earbuds add a lot of flair to these powerful little earphones.

But the beauty of the Vibrato isn’t just skin deep. The kevlar cable really is quite sturdy and isn’t nearly as tangle prone as other rubber earphone cables out there. The metal earbuds and Y-splitter do tend to weigh the cable down a bit, but V-MODA includes a set of sport ear hooks and a shirt clip to get rid of most of the resulting wire noise. As a side note, I’ve gotten used to wearing my earphones upside down (looped up and over my ear), which negates all of the cord shaking.

Sonic B.L.I.S.S.

V-MODA’s B.L.I.S.S. tips for the earbuds (complete with fake acronym) have gone through another design iteration, and although I’m usually adverse to ridiculous market speak for earphones, the tips really do seem markedly improved. I’ve used the V-MODA Vibe, Vibe II, and Remix and I’m quite certain that the seal and sound isolation on the Vibrato are the best on offer by far. Overall, the sound quality seems to be very similar to the Vibe II, meaning that the Vibrato will sound pretty clear for mids and highs, but can also be overwhelmed by the rumbling bass.

Extras

I tend to use the Vibrato the way it came out of the box, but it’s worth noting that these headphones came with quite a number of extras. There are four sizes of ear tips, flex grip add-ons for sports wear, and an Italian-designed leather case that looks great, but feels just a little too small for everyday use.

Great Controls, Mediocre Mic

One big step up for the Vibrato is the inclusion of dedicated volume buttons, which are always welcome on headphones, as far as I’m concerned. This means that you can pause, play, and control your volume…all from the right earpiece.

One thing that hasn’t changed much since the Vibe II, unfortunately, is the microphone. Aside from being combined with the in-line playback controls, the mic on the Vibrato is pretty much exactly like the one on the Vibe II, which really wasn’t very good at all. Voice quality is alright indoors, but gets completely lost when you step outside.

Conclusion

The passable microphone may upset some potential buyers (which is fair, given the $130 price point), but I think that the build and sound quality do more than enough to justify the purchase price. Although there are probably more sonically balanced earphones available in the low $100 range, it’s the unique mix of style, sound, and durability (the kevlar cable rocks) that make the Vibrato a very interesting purchase. The Vibrato looks, fits, and sounds great, and I think it’s well worth a buy so long as you don’t mind adding a bit of extra thump to your tunes.

The V-MODA Vibrato was provided by the Max Borges Agency for review on iSource. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.

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