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V-MODA Vibes: OMG !!!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
The vibes came today in the mail. Out-of-the-box impression is unbelievable! Did i buy a HD595 replacement for $100?! I am extremely impressed with the sound. Being my first pair of decent IEM, i must say it really wow'ed my socks off. Following is a short review of the phones.



Construction and Fit (9/10)

Vibes' small size definitely took me by surprise. The default black silicons fit snuggly into my ear. They do not go too deep into the ear, but enough so it won't fall out easily and partially isolate some external noise when music is playing. But if you are looking for complete isolation, don't bother with the vibes. For me, the partial isolation is favorable because being aware of outside noise is often one of my concerns. For safety reasons, I need to be capable of knowing whats going on while walking down the street, for example.
I ordered the Gunmetal Black version. The tone of the color is very appealing and being examined under fluorescent lighting, it definitely matches my impression for the color of "gunmetal." Everything is smooth and well textured. Also, the length of the wire is just right (for me at least). However, the black cable could be a little less stiff. Overall, it's well constructed fits very comfortably in my ears.




Accessories (8/10)

While accessories are not a vital part of the sound experience, including a variety of fittings is a must for IEMs. The Vibes offer 3 sizes of fittings and they should fit well for most people as the silicons are really soft and can adapt to most small variations. As for the included gold pouch, i do not like it. It reminds me of some lady's old-fashioned purse. Perhaps for future improvement, Val can include a different storage device for his masculine version of the kit.

The Sound [in price-to-performance ratio] (8.5/10)

Having tried many top-of-the-line headphones from various manufacturers, I am totally impressed with the Vibes' sound quality. Of course, this is not to say that it trumps a $300 headphone, such as the HD650, but for its price, it's definitely a bargain. Its sound signature is very similar to that of the HD595 from Sennheiser and IMO, can perform almost 80% of that similar sound quality.

First off, the bass. It's definitely there. It's a tiny bit more muddy than the HD595 but exerts much more presence. Impact of drums is accurate, but a little less "punchy." At times, the bass does color the music a bit and muddies the separation of lows and mids. However, the coloration does not seem to be overwhelming. I think the back of the packaging describes the Vibes' bass performance very accurately: blissful.

The Vibes' mids are definitely what make these phones so enjoyable to listen to. They are rather forward and warm. The low-mids seem to be emphasized, while the high-mids seem to be put on a secondary level. As a result, it is less vivid and becomes more fluid, comfortable, and gentle.

The highs are also there, but comparing to the bass and mids, they are less emphasized. Again, I completely agree with the wording "vicacious highs" advertised on the back of the packaging. The highs are neither overwhelming nor piercing. I think Val and his sound engineers made a very good decision to tone down the highs as piercing high notes in IEMs will definitely make one's ears very fatigue.

Last but not least is the soundstage, and it is wide! Considering the phones carry a forward sound signature, the soundstage is definitely very decent. Listening to the virtual 3D soundtrack (the one with a guy shaking a box of matches), the soundstage of the Vibes give a very well balanced and "out-of-the-head" experience.

Subjective Sound Score Breakdown :

Bass: 8/10
Mids: 8/10
Treble: 7/10



Conclusion (9/10)

Undeniably, the V-Moda Vibes are no referencing IEMs. The sound is colored and high-mids and treble are less emphasized. However, I believe this coloration allows the Vibes to become an extremely fun, warm, and liquid-like earphones. And yes, they are definitely worth the money I paid for.


A few last notes:

Amplification:
I tried amping the Vibes with a tube amp and they really shined! All aspects of the phones are improved with a much better separation of low, mids, and highs. Soundstage and bass impacts also greatly improved!

Static:
I know it's weird, but i've been experiencing a lot of static shock in the ear when the Vibes are connected to my laptop or amp. The reason probably being me moving my feet in plastic slippers on a carpet, and that metal is prone to conduct electricity. The result: BAM my ears get shocked. This, however, does not happen if the Vibes are connected a mp3 player. Weird. Val, perhaps your engineers/designers would like to come up with a resolution to this
post #2 of 12
BIAS a bit?
post #3 of 12
sound 80% like the hd595?

whew, must be some awesome stuff...
post #4 of 12
Congrats and welcome to Team Vibes! They are quite the impressive little canalphone - especially at their pricepoint.

Enjoy!
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by exX08 View Post
BIAS a bit?
I hope my review isnt being taken as a bias one. I clearly mentioned in my conclusion that "...the V-Moda Vibes are no referencing IEMs. The sound is colored and high-mids and treble are less emphasized." The phone gave me a very musical feeling and I definitely like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by uraflit View Post
sound 80% like the hd595?

whew, must be some awesome stuff...
Yes, the sound does resemble the signature of the HD595, but with a more emphasis on bass.
post #6 of 12
Nice review. And I really like your conclusion. Sums things up quite nicely...


Ply
post #7 of 12
My experience is that as they get many more hours of use the frequency balances out better. They can, in my experience, mirror the amp and source, so while they may seem to be colored, I have found that they are less colored than thought and more telling of the upstream information being fed to them.
post #8 of 12
Ya hd595 comparison is just, not sure about the exact percentage, but hd595 and vibe get very different source treatment in my room.

Uraflit: lol come and hear, these have more bass while hd595 has the stage and treble down.
post #9 of 12
Never tried the Senns... but I hate to admit I was underwhelmed by my Vibes a bit, enough to the point where I'm using KSC-75s in favor of them (and will be selling them soon).

This must be one of these things where ears differ, since most people love the vibes.
post #10 of 12
congratulations!! sorry for your wallet
post #11 of 12

well

Quote:
Originally Posted by penguindude View Post
I hope my review isnt being taken as a bias one. I clearly mentioned in my conclusion that "...the V-Moda Vibes are no referencing IEMs. The sound is colored and high-mids and treble are less emphasized." The phone gave me a very musical feeling and I definitely like that.



Yes, the sound does resemble the signature of the HD595, but with a more emphasis on bass.
Why should you apologize? You're expressing your favorable opinion of a product. Audio-taste is subjective; of course you're biased . That's what an opinion is.

These guys cry "bias" in a setting where it would mean something only if maybe you have a financial stake in what you're applauding.

Geez; you can't just like something around here without getting stung by hornets.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post
My experience is that as they get many more hours of use the frequency balances out better. They can, in my experience, mirror the amp and source, so while they may seem to be colored, I have found that they are less colored than thought and more telling of the upstream information being fed to them.
Lol, if ever there was a perfect burn-in sample, I think it would be the Vibes'. They open up so much after a good amount of time. I have a pair I bought back in October and the sound is much smoother now. Bass has lessened a bit and mids are more pronounced. A better overall presentation imho...


Ply
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