V-Moda Vibe II Headset Lightning Review (A Sequel That Beats the Original)

Illustration for article titled V-Moda Vibe II Headset Lightning Review (A Sequel That Beats the Original)

The Gadget: V-Moda Vibe II, the first real successor to the Vibe and Vibe Duo headphones, with a totally new eco-friendly design, sport earhooks and most importantly, better sound than the originals.

Illustration for article titled V-Moda Vibe II Headset Lightning Review (A Sequel That Beats the Original)
Illustration for article titled V-Moda Vibe II Headset Lightning Review (A Sequel That Beats the Original)
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Illustration for article titled V-Moda Vibe II Headset Lightning Review (A Sequel That Beats the Original)
Illustration for article titled V-Moda Vibe II Headset Lightning Review (A Sequel That Beats the Original)

Price: $128, "a nod to the BPM of most dance tracks" (no, really). Verdict: Okay, so the new METAL + gem aesthetic decidedly appeals more to ladies, goth kiddies or Eurotrash. But! Everything else is better. The Vibe IIs mostly preserve V-Moda's super-bassy signature, but are less intensely boomy, which is a good thing, since now they've definitely got more clarity in the mids and highs than the old set, and an overall cleaner, more balanced sound. (Though they're still plenty bassy.) The mic was clearer too, or at least that's what my mom told me. The included accessories package is bumped up as well. You've got four bud sizes—up from three—to choose from, so people with Obama-sized ears down to munchkins should be able to find one that fits. And there's a pair of clip-on sport earhooks that add stability for running and working out—jogging and bouncing around the house, they made the fit surprisingly more secure. The only real issue with the clips is that it seems like they're begging to be lost. I still hate the tangle-prone fabric cord, but at least they've got the recently introduced less suicidal headphone jack, so they hopefully won't run into the same plague the original run did. Overall, these are a solid update to the original Vibes and Vibe Duos, that are better in every way (except looks). If you like them, you'll be a fan of the Vibe II. That said, if you've already got a pair, it's probably not worth chunking them to pick these up. But when those die, or if you're looking for a slightly bassier iPhone headset, check these out. [V-Moda]

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DISCUSSION

Vibes have issues with the rubber buds popping off all the time, discomfort of worn for a long period of time (knurling metal in my ear? Nice!) the crummy fabric covered cord, the difficult to find (by touch) microphone button. For listening on an airplane or in a still situation they're good. But for any real activity (sports no way!) they don't cut it. Oddly, the Apple stock headphones have been the best for phone use. What I really want is a pair of beefed up Apple headphones with wind protection on the microphone! I'm on my fifth pair of Apple stock headset(s) since the microphone button stops responding after about a month.

Most in-ear buds seal up my ear - I find it uncomfortable and like to be able to hear a little ambient noise, especially while driving.

The search continues.