With more people using their smartphones as music players, headphone makers have beefed up their offerings to include multipurpose earphones.
The V-MODA Remix Remote is one of those multipurpose headphones and is designed primarily for iPhone and iPod owners.
With a built-in mic and remote control, the Remix Remote makes it easier for users to juggle phone calls and listen to music without having to whip out their phone or music player. Read on for my thoughts on the device:
Handy remote access: A remote integrated into the V-MODA Remix Remote gives users easy access to controls for volume, song skipping and backtracking, and play and pause commands. The play/pause button also doubles as a button for answering phone calls for folks who use the headphones with an iPhone. The remote is nicely sized compared to the tiny controls seen in some earphones, making it easier to use the buttons. The only issue is the "skip back" function, which requires you to quickly press the middle button three times. Doing so can sometimes be hit-and-miss.
Receptive mic: A built-in mic provides added convenience for folks who want to answer phone calls without having to pick up their iPhone (or compatible BlackBerry). The mic also works with iChat and Skype. Soundwise, the mic does a pretty good job picking up a person's voice. Try not to have it rub against anything, though, since that leads to annoying background noise for the person on the other line.
Nice sound: The V-MODA Remix Remote definitely sounds much nicer than the stock headphones you get with an iPad. It also has more than enough thump for bass lovers without being overwhelming. Noise isolation is quite good when the earbuds are fitted perfectly.
Solid look and feel: The V-MODA Remix Remote is one of the best-looking earbud-type headphones I've seen, sporting a nice design and a high-quality feel to its construction. The plug, for example, looks and feels pretty sturdy compared to regular plugs. The accompanying clip for keeping the wiring in place is also a nice addition.
Plenty of extras: Everybody likes extra stuff and the V-MODA Remix Remote certainly doesn't disappoint in this area. Besides the earbud fittings that come attached to the earphones, the Remix Remote comes with seven extra sets of fittings that range from small to large. It also comes with a set of sport hooks to help keep the headphones in place in your ears, plus a pouch for storing it.
Some distortion: I like using custom equalizer settings in my music players and noticed some sound distortion with the V-MODA Remix Remote when using certain custom EQ adjustments, particularly at louder volume. The distortion isn't as big an issue for consumers who just use stock iPod settings. Then again, any stereophile typically isn't satisfied with just stock settings.
It's mostly iPod/iPhone-specific: While the actual headphones will transmit sound from any device, the remote doesn't work with all players. I tried it on a Sansa and even an iPad, and the controls didn't work. The mic and call/music button does work with newer BlackBerry smartphones.
Price: The $99 price tag might be a bit steep for some consumers. Keep in mind, though, that the V-MODA Remix Remote also includes a mic and remote control, and is not your basic set of headphones.
Loose ends: If, like me, you have trouble keeping earbud-type headphones in place, then you'll likely have the same issue with the Remix Remote. I must say, however, that out of all the earbud-type headphones I've tried, this one fit the best. The addition of the sport hooks also makes a difference in keeping the earbuds in place.
The V-MODA Remix Remote is a nice set of headphones overall, delivering good sound and added convenience in one package. Folks who don't have an iPhone, iPod or compatible BlackBerry will want to look elsewhere. But for folks who use any of those devices and have no issues with earbud-type headphones, then the Remix Remote just might fit the bill.
Disclosure: A review sample was provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
COMPATIBILITYThe remote and mic works with:
- iPhone 3GS
- 4th-generation iPod nano
- 120GB iPod Classic
- 2nd-generation iPod touch
- MacBook Pro
- 2009 Mac Pro
*The remote also supports the 3rd-generation iPod shuffle.