Review – V-MODA Vibrato Remote noise isolating headphones

This morning, headphone maker V-MODA unveiled the newest product for their fall 2010 lineup. For the past week, I’ve been reviewing the new Vibrato Remote in-ear headphones, and if you hate reading long reviews, all you need to know is that these are the best in-ear headphones V-MODA has ever made.

Building upon their previous headphones (the Remix Remotes), V-MODA re-engineered the headphones to look better, and sound better. The biggest change is the use of a fabric and kevlar reinforced cable – fabric cables have the advantage of not tangling as easy as plastic.

The earbuds themselves also went though a redesign – and the final result really is pretty damn awesome. The buds feature a two-tone black/silver design, not unlike something you’d find on a watch. Another very welcome improvement is in the silicone earpieces – the Vibratos come with an assortment of sizes, and for the first time, they used dual-tone silicone for each one. The end result really does look pretty neat.

The various earpieces – in the package, you get three sizes of clear buds, and three in black.

The inline remote allows for volume and track control. Even though they are designed for use on the iPod, iPad and iPhone, I was able to control play/pause on my Android devices (Nexus One and T-Mobile G2). The Vibrato’s put the controls towards your left ear, so you won’t be able to look down to see the buttons, which means you’ll need to learn to control them blindly.

Included in the box are two Active Flex ear hooks. I’ll admit that I was initially uninterested in these -but for the test, I tried them out anyway. Thank goodness I did – because they took me completely by surprise. Not only do they make the headphones very comfortable (by reducing the weight hanging from your ears), they also reduce cord noise, a problem almost all in-ear noise isolating headphones suffer from.

Now of course on to the most important aspect of any pair of headphones – audio and noise isolation. Without any audiophile skills, all I can say is that these things sound awesome. I played limited quality MP3’s and a couple of FLAC files, and found the volume and bass reproduction to be great. Best of all, because the Vibrato offers good noise isolation, you won’t need to crank the volume too high to enjoy it, reducing distortion.

The Vibrato features an angled gold-plated headphone jack – this really is the perfect compromise – it suits people who prefer angled plugs, and people who like straight plugs. The whole thing feels well made, and sturdy.

Call quality through the in-line microphone was way above average – callers never complained about excess noise, even when I made calls from a noisy or windy environment. Also, because the headphones isolate so well, hearing the other side of your call is never an issue.

The V-MODA Vibrato headphones come with a stylish carrying case, a variety of earpieces and the two Active Flex earhooks. As usual, V-MODA delivers the headphones in an amazing box – but you’ll need about ten minutes to unpack them.

The new V-MODA Vibrato headphones are available today – and retail for $129.99. You’ll find them at your local Apple retail stores and at Yes – $130 for a pair of headphones may be hard to justify, but in this case, you get headphones that sound as good as they look – assuming they match your personal taste of course!

Bottom line is that the the Vibrato headphones are the best sounding, and best looking in-ear headphones V-MODA has ever made. Their noise isolation properties are perfect for travelers, the Active Flex hooks are ideal for active use, and the quality seems to easily justify the price tag. V-MODA provides a two year premier warranty on all their headphones, and will even offer a 50% discount on new ones if you damaged them beyond the regular warranty coverage.

Daily deal – Shure I2C-MP noise isolating headset for $39.69

My daily deal for today is for the Shure I2C-MP stereo noise isolating headphones. These headphones combine passive noise isolating headphones with a microphone. The combination means you can use them on your regular MP3 player as well as a compatible mobile phone or smartphone.

They have been tested with the Apple iPhone and the Blackberry Curve, but should work on any phone with a 3.5mm stereo headset jack. If you plan to use these headphones on the “old” iPhone, you’ll need to order a headphone adapter, thanks to the silly recessed headphone jack design.

These headphones normally retail for a little over $100, but has them on clearance for just $39.96. Of course, at this low price there is a slight trade-off; they do not feature a call pickup/hangup button. This means you’ll have to reach for your phone to control the call.

Despite that minor detail, under $40 for a pair of Shure noise isolating headphones is quite a bargain. The advantage of noise isolating headphones is that they are very light, and they don’t require batteries to operate.

The headphones include a personal fit-kit consisting of several different earpieces and a nice Shure carrying case.

Remember, Amazon ships their own items for free (when over $25), and Amazon Prime members can get these headphones sent with 2-day shipping for free.