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V-MODA Forza Metallo Wireless Discussion with Val Kolton + Impressions, Etc.

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

NOTE:  If you can't see the embedded video above, please CLICK HERE to see the video.

 

 

V-MODA CEO Val Kolton stopped by Head-Fi HQ to give us a look at their first Bluetooth wireless in-ear monitor being released today: The V-MODA Forza Metallo Wireless. Learn more about the Forza Metallo Wireless and what makes it unique on this episode of Head-Fi TV.

 


 

V-MODA FORZA METALLO WIRELESS produced by Jude Mansilla and Brian Murphy
post #2 of 17

Got the Gunmetal Black ordered...

post #3 of 17

Interesting , will definitely look in to it 

post #4 of 17
Congrats on the release! They look like they're among the finest wireless in-ears on the market, possibly the finest.
post #5 of 17

CUSTOMER BEWARE: V-MODA wireless support is a scam.

 

There is no support for AAC (MacBooks and iPhones), Apt-X only (premium Android devices).

 

The CEO is ignoring 50-ish pages of questions in the Crossfade 2 Wireless thread.

The support is instructed to ignore all AAC-related questions.

When you do have a problem related to your wireless, support asks you to refer to an Apple Store.

 

Original wireless problems thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/842582/v-moda-crossfade-2-wireless-we-discuss-it-with-val-kolton-head-fi-tv

post #6 of 17
Macs do support Aptx and the wide variety of Android phones from $200 Moto G to the $850 Samsung S8+
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamkornholio View Post

Got the Gunmetal Black ordered...
Just ordered mine also.. hopefully everyone will post there opinions on these!
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yaroslav View Post
 

CUSTOMER BEWARE: V-MODA wireless support is a scam.

 

There is no support for AAC (MacBooks and iPhones), Apt-X only (premium Android devices).

 

The CEO is ignoring 50-ish pages of questions in the Crossfade 2 Wireless thread.

The support is instructed to ignore all AAC-related questions.

When you do have a problem related to your wireless, support asks you to refer to an Apple Store.

 

Original wireless problems thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/842582/v-moda-crossfade-2-wireless-we-discuss-it-with-val-kolton-head-fi-tv

Scamming people isn't the same as not answering questions.  V-Moda would be scamming people if they charged for support service and didn't deliver the service.  V-Moda would be scamming people if their headphones advertised AAC support but they didn't actually support it.  They're being cryptic but definitely aren't scamming anyone.

 

Also, as previously stated, MacBooks (made in the last ~4-5 years) support aptX just fine and Android phones have supported aptX even longer.  In fact, the most popular Android phone line (Samsung Galaxy S) has supported aptX for a while.  We also don't know if the Crossfade Wireless 2's have AAC support or not, nobody has confirmed it one way or the other in that thread.  People are up in arms over the thread title "we discuss with Val Kolton" when that's the name of the video in the thread, it was not an AMA with Val Kolton.  I understand that people are upset and V-Moda hasn't answered any questions (even when contacting support) but they definitely aren't scamming anyone and you have zero proof that their support is instructed to ignore questions regarding AAC support (that's a conspiracy theory).  I also don't recall anyone posting in the CFW2 thread where they were pointed to an Apple Store regarding AAC support with their device and if that was the case, the customer support rep was likely confused.

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by PDevil View Post
 

Scamming people isn't the same as not answering questions.  V-Moda would be scamming people if they charged for support service and didn't deliver the service.  V-Moda would be scamming people if their headphones advertised AAC support but they didn't actually support it.  They're being cryptic but definitely aren't scamming anyone.

 

Also, as previously stated, MacBooks (made in the last ~4-5 years) support aptX just fine and Android phones have supported aptX even longer.  In fact, the most popular Android phone line (Samsung Galaxy S) has supported aptX for a while.  We also don't know if the Crossfade Wireless 2's have AAC support or not, nobody has confirmed it one way or the other in that thread.  People are up in arms over the thread title "we discuss with Val Kolton" when that's the name of the video in the thread, it was not an AMA with Val Kolton.  I understand that people are upset and V-Moda hasn't answered any questions (even when contacting support) but they definitely aren't scamming anyone and you have zero proof that their support is instructed to ignore questions regarding AAC support (that's a conspiracy theory).  I also don't recall anyone posting in the CFW2 thread where they were pointed to an Apple Store regarding AAC support with their device and if that was the case, the customer support rep was likely confused.

 

Agreed, well stated.

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by PDevil View Post
 

Scamming people isn't the same as not answering questions.  V-Moda would be scamming people if they charged for support service and didn't deliver the service.  V-Moda would be scamming people if their headphones advertised AAC support but they didn't actually support it.  They're being cryptic but definitely aren't scamming anyone.

 

You've made very reasonable comments, let me elaborate on my previous post.

 

Initially, in my post, I've decided to just include a link to the Crossfade 2 Wireless thread, for everyone to judge the situation. However, the thread is now almost 50 pages, and it's hard to pick up the main points.

 

Allow me to try and make a journal of what's been happening.

 

Val announces V-MODA Crossfade Wireless. Great idea, but lacks AptX. At the time of the announce, I have already tried some wireless headphones, noticed the AptX support on my Mac, so I was the one of the first people to point that out. No buy.

 

Later in the same thread, Val started raving about AAC. To summarize his thoughts, V-MODA Crossfade Wireless had AAC+ support, which is ideal for Apple devices and, basically, one of the Apple engineers told him that AAC is the way to go. V-MODA site gets updated with this info as well, listing AAC performance for the product.

 

Seems very reasonable for me! I've finally ordered my unit. Unfortunately, upon arrival, I was not able to enforce the usage of AAC codec (SBC only). I've checked every macOS + Bluetooth tutorial out there (later wrote my own!), used XCode Developer Tools, even debugged Bluetooth a bit. Nothing.

 

Following that, I wrote a letter to V-MODA support to ask if they are sure the unit supports AAC and if there is a sure way to use it with macOS. After several pings and a tweet, I got the advice to visit an Apple Store. It was at that point I have assumed that maybe my old Mac and old firmware is the problem.

 

V-MODA announces Crossfade Wireless 2. In the video Val mentioned that it was made with iPhone 7 in mind; of course, the inclusion of proper pads, cliqfold and a better sound signature seems like a winner; Val also starts to answer all kinds of questions on the forum. 

 

But something's not right: it's still not clear if the unit supports AAC at all (it can run a different chipset, after all!) and Val does not answer a single question regarding AAC. 

 

People start to write letters to support and everybody gets a reply with the same non-answer. Support does not have that information. Even worse, all mentions of AAC for the first revision of Crossfade Wireless get removed from the website.

 

To get you to understand how crazy that is. Let's time travel several years back — 4G smartphones are the newest thing, everybody starts making those. You seem to like a new smartphone from your favorite brand, but it's not clear if it supports LTE for your carrier (one of the major ones). You can't get any info on that from their public accounts, twitter, and even their support! Instead, some people try to talk you into thinking that it does not matter — after all, you can voice-call without any 4G support. Sure, but that's not why you upgrade! Even worse, their previous phone had LTE support with all the little details on their site.

 

I tried to make a small guide for the people in the thread who can get their hands on the new revision, just to check it for AAC support. I've posted it here and on Reddit, here's the Reddit version: https://www.reddit.com/r/headphones/comments/643512/how_to_check_if_a_bluetooth_headphone_supports/

 

Now things are even more interesting: lots of folks are reporting that they could not get their Crossfade Wireless 1 to connect using AAC as well even on newer Macs, while other headphones (think Bose, etc.) work just fine. Same settings and test results as me, no AAC.

 

At this point, it seems that either there is a macOS bug that denies AAC for Crossfade Wireless' chipset specifically, Crossfade Wireless has a defect that does not allow it to use AAC with macOS, or maybe it does not support AAC at all. I would love to think it's one of the first reasons, but support does not seem to be knowledgeable enough.

 

'nuff said, the Crossfade Wireless 2 does not support AAC for sure, and Val — or support — did not answer the AAC question in any way up to this date.

 

Next, the Forza gets announced. This one does not have AAC for sure, so it's only my attempt to warn iPhone users that this unit won't be very effective with their iPhones. Val is still nowhere to be seen.


The point of my post here is as follows:

 

1. Warn iPhone users about the lack of AAC.

 

For the past year or so, most newly released wireless headphones from major brands that "support" iPhones include AAC support. Beats, Sony, B&W, even smaller companies like Master & Dynamic seem to (at least, according to the reviews, did not test it myself). So a non-techie, when getting a pair of headphones for use with iPhone, will assume everything is great with codec support at this price point. That was not the case with Crossfade Wireless 2 (again, Val did mention iPhone 7 in the announce video).

 

I don't think any misinformation regarding codecs was specifically made in the Forza announce, but it still does not make the product very good when used with an iPhone.

 

2. Warn potential V-MODA customers about some shady tactics that are going on.

 

As I've already pointed out, 

- support was not able to help with AAC problems with the unit that most definitely did support AAC, and this issue was reproduced by other users as well
- V-MODA removes all codec support info for the first Crossfade Wireless from their site!
- support cannot answer anything about the presence of the codec, pre-sale!
- It's understandable that Val does not want to speak about the shortcomings of the product, but unlike the absence of cliqfold mechanism on Crossfade Wireless 1, codec support is the defining characteristic, as most reviews out there place it under the wireless category (google or youtube Crossfade Wireless 2)

 

3. Try to get any answers from Val or V-MODA support, finally

 

Self-explanatory.

 

I loved my M-100 and I do sympathize with V-MODA a lot, ordered lots of units in the past couple of years for myself and my company. But the shady tactics listed above piss me off.

I hope I gave you enough information on why do I seem to think there is some shady things/scam going on.

 

And thanks for keeping the discussion civilized, I appreciate that.


Edited by Yaroslav - 4/20/17 at 12:40pm
post #11 of 17
While I don't think it's a scam, everything else about Yaroslavs post appears to be correct. I'm disappointed with V-Moda on this one and I hate to say that because it's a guy and company I really root for. I certainly understand not shouting out the shortcomings of your product but not answering a direct question like this is silly.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by PolkManiac View Post

While I don't think it's a scam, everything else about Yaroslavs post appears to be correct. I'm disappointed with V-Moda on this one and I hate to say that because it's a guy and company I really root for. I certainly understand not shouting out the shortcomings of your product but not answering a direct question like this is silly.


I also really respect and root for Val and V-MODA but I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks the lack of AAC in their latest wireless products isn't being blown out of proportion. Bottom line is that Apple devices need AAC support to sound their best via Bluetooth.

 

I think Val's the type of guy to come out with V-MODA's next wireless products and say "we heard the huge outcry for AAC support and made sure to add it to Crossfade Wireless 3.0." He has posted about the importance of AAC so it's extremely odd that Forza Metallo Wireless, which obviously can only be used in wireless mode, likely doesn't have support either. 

post #13 of 17
To be clear, it's not the lack of AAC that bothers me the most. I understand that all products are compromises and packages of emphasis and I'm not going to fault them for not having AAC even though it means I personally won't buy one. What bothers me is the lack of communication on the issue and refusal to answer a very simple and direct question about their product.
post #14 of 17

It don't surprise me to be honest. I am a big advocate for v-moda. I have owned most of their products.

When the M-100 first got released they done some kind of giveaway on Facebook and all the winners were people in the music business who had previous correspondence with them; I called them out on this with screenshots and they were deleted and I was blocked haha!

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yaroslav View Post
 

You've made very reasonable comments, let me elaborate on my previous post.

 

That's an awful lot to take in but I'll do my best to respond.  I was not disagreeing with you and your underlying argument but rather your wording.  A scam is a scam only when it's a scam, if that makes sense.  V-Moda is not defrauding, cheating, or making a fraudulent scheme to make a profit.  They are being quiet and not informing customers but that's definitely not the same thing as a scam.

 

I still think you're stretching a bit by saying that the CFW2's don't support AAC simply because questions aren't being answered and you still didn't provide any proof showing that customer support was told to ignore questions about AAC compatibility.  Now, they could very well not support AAC but, to my knowledge, nobody has tested them yet.  There is also a known issue with Macs and forcing them to connect via AAC.  I've helped people with Bose QC35's try to connect and their systems are still defaulting to SBC.  One person was able to get their MacBook to finally connect using AAC to their QC35's after constantly rebooting both the Mac and headphones.  I tried to help someone with an iMac connect both their QC35's and QC30's via AAC and they never worked, that was with an iMac that was less than a year old.  I even had issues with my Mac connecting to a Bluetooth speaker that I know supported AAC yet it would initially only connect via SBC.  But I could force it to aptX without issues (still auto-connecting using SBC).  I just think that there's something flaky going on with macOS as people, including myself, are having issues with devices that are known to work with AAC and fit within Apple's Bluetooth accessory standards (yet it seems like the iPhone always connects using AAC).

 

Like I said, something secretive is definitely going on but that doesn't make it a scam.  Their headphones would be a complete scam if V-Moda said "hey, these support AAC and work great with an iPhone" only for them to ship out headphones that don't support AAC or the boxes are filled with rocks.  Then again, Val really didn't stick around on the forums when the CFW1's were announced and released and he definitely hasn't posted anything in here.  Maybe he's hard at work out in the world promoting V-Moda.  Or they could just be laying back and not answering questions.  It wouldn't be the first time that a tech company either answered questions incorrectly or didn't provide enough information about their products.  I'm still getting nothing from Microsoft as to whether or not my Surface Pro 4 supports aptX.  Windows 10 added native aptX support but I don't know if it has to be unlocked by the vendor or if MS unlocked it for the SP4.

 

It's definitely frustrating and I do think people deserve an answer even if it's "these do not support AAC but we made sure that the SBC implementation produced the same audible results."  People could be making a bigger issue out of the lack of AAC support than need be.  These could sound great in SBC or they could sound like garbage.  I also think this brings up the bigger issue that Apple should support more codecs.  Right now, Android smartphones could support them all.  It's up to the device manufacturer to support them but Android itself supports multiple audio codecs.  Android O is going to change that by making SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX-HD, and LDAC (maybe even AAC+) support standard, you'll even be able to switch between codecs with compatible devices.  Apple already supports SBC, mp3, AAC, and aptX with their Macs.  Why they refuse to add it to the iPhone and iPad is one of those great Apple mysteries.

 

That's where I was coming from.  Yes, you are overall right but the use of the word "scam" doesn't fit this situation.

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