New iPhone headphones have arrived: V-moda Vibe duo

This monday, my new headphone set for my iPhone arrived, courtesy of UPS.

It arrived in a largish box with a very small box in there, which contained the headphones and the ear fittings. You get two colors for the fittings : black and transparant. I opted to stay with the black ear buds. The smallest of the black ear fittings are already installed on them. The wire itself is a fabric cable that seems to be very flexible yet strong, and looks more like it is a woven thread than an audio cable. The microphone thingie with button is made of smooth polished lacquered metal.

You get a small black bag with the earphones to keep them in.

When you hold the headphones plus rolled up cable in your hand, they weigh almost nothing, except that the ear buds look like some glinting pieces of (red, in my case) jewelry. They do look to be very solid made, and give the impression of being indestructible.

I have to admit that I thought the gunmetal rouge would be more, you know, red, like they were shown on the website, where they are a bordeaux red. Instead it’s a more palish red, even going a bit towards the purple-pinkish side. And I don’t want to walk to work wearing pink earbuds ! But you can’t really see them when inserted, and my wife assured me I looked manly enough wearing them…

How do they feel in your ears ? If you are not used to inner-ear headphones, in the beginning they feel slightly strange. It also seems that I have two different ear sizes : the smallest plug fit tightly in my right ear, and was loose in my left ear. I tried them like that for a day or two, but the uneven fit quickly became an irritant feeling of unbalance : after half an hour I wanted to yank them out of my ears.

So yesterday I changed the smallish plugs out for the medium black ear plugs. They are bigger, but the feeling of imbalance vanished, and they still fit in my ear. What really surprised and disquieted me was the feeling of disconnection you then get, once the plugs fit correctly, with the outside world. The regular iPhone headphones are very loose in my ear, and if I keep the volume to medium, I can hear pretty much everything that is going on around me. These babies isolate you from the world, you feel more remote is how I would describe it. I wouldn’t wear them when running, although they certainly can stand up to the running, I would be too afraid of being run over by car coming from behind me when crossing the road.

The sound itself is everything as described on the V-moda website : crispy, deep, bassy, and since you are more isolated, you really hear even the smallest sounds. I heard cymbals or other instruments in familiar songs that I never really heard until I heard them via the vibe duo headphones.

I also had to turn down the volume on the iPhones – my usual volume is about two-thirds of the iPhone volume slider, and it is now set to about half. Turning the volume up to full I can stand it for a minute or two, but then it becomes very uncomfortable.

Conclusion : I needed a few days to get used to them, but they are very comfortable now, and the audio quality is sublime (mind you : this is not coming from an audiophile, but from a ‘normal’ guy). Your mileage may vary, of course. I can only say that I really enjoy them and the sound they provide me.

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