The V-Moda Remix Remote headphones sell for $79.99 on Amazon.com and they're one of the best overall values in the headphone category. This is not just due to their impressive sonic reach and noise-isolating clarity, but also because V-Moda customers are treated to a level of attention and responsiveness that I haven't experienced from any other vendor.
CEO Val Kolton is an active player on multiple message boards for hi-fi heads where he responds to nearly every query and complaint from customers, and even uses their collective ideas to influence the product roadmap. Headphones are jury tested by working DJs from all genres, and though you may spot the Crossfade M-100 over-ears on Avicii or Deadmau5, you should know that these artists aren't paid to use them onstage -- it's by choice.
As the audio industry continues its mission to convince everyone that it's worth spending money on a decent pair of headphones, the V-Moda Remix Remotes are a great example of how companies should earn that trust. They're featherweight at just 17 grams, though their all-metal earbud construction means more for long-term durability than the simple glued-together plastic aesthetic used by the competition.
Nine-millimeter dynamic drivers in each bud give off hearty bass and luscious tones across a wide frequency spectrum, and a two-year manufacturer's warranty offers a comforting security blanket for a product designed for pocket travel. If you're looking to replace your stock earbuds for less than $100, the V-Moda Remix Remote headphones are practically flawless and deserve your attention.
Design and features
V-Moda understands that the value of a headphone is only as good as its endurance against the threats of everyday transport. The Remix Remotes are armed to do battle with metal ear fittings that house the 9mm neodymium drivers, and a Kevlar sheath wraps the 32-inch braided cable in an extra layer of durability.
With all that extra material, one might assume that you'd have to sacrifice weight for durability, but in fact these headphones weigh only 17 grams, which includes the three-button rubber remote and microphone that sit beneath the y-split left and right cables. You use the three buttons to play and pause your music in addition to adjusting the volume of the track, depending on which smartphone you own.
It's also worth noting that the placement of said remote is no coincidence -- lots of headphones put the remote halfway down the cable of the right ear, which exerts enough pull on the earpiece so that even a slight jostle can rip it out.
The universal truth about all earbuds is that a proper fit can make a big difference in comfort and sound. Whenever someone asks me how they can get better noise isolation out of their existing headphones, I always respond with a question about fit: what material are the ear fittings? Have you tried out the other sizes? Are you inserting them into your ear properly? While the build material for the ear fittings are supremely important to achieving great sound, an equally important and often overlooked detail is the angle at which the cables protrude out of the individual ear pieces.
V-Moda accommodates a "universal fit" as best they can with a slightly obtuse bend that should extend just slightly away from your ears, with hope that the absence of something rubbing against your ear will encourage you to wear them for longer periods without physical fatigue.
The Remix Remotes include a bounty of accessories that help to ensure an ideal fit. You get four pairs of clear silicone ear tips as well as four pairs of black ones that range in size from extra-small to extra-large, all of them featuring a conical design to match the shape of your ear canal. The end game of a properly fitted pair of ear buds is a degree of passive noise isolation without a "canned" response.
In other words, the music shouldn't sound trapped between your ears. V-Moda also goes a little further and includes an extra pair of detachable ear hooks that act as guiding stabilizers while you're going hard at the gym. Though these aren't exactly marketed as "sport" headphones, their lightweight portability and the added accessories mean these are just as comfortable on the treadmill as they are in an office cube.
Before I jump into a description of the Remix Remote's sound design, there's one more detail to point out in terms of V-Moda's commitment to quality. One of the inherent flaws in earbud headphone architecture is the process of joining the components inside. Almost all headphones are put together by hand in factories overseas, and a less-publicized fact is that even a small drop of extra glue outside the normal recommended size can cause up to 30 decibels of sound variance, even between the left and right channels.
These oversights can easily cause hearing loss in higher frequencies, and it's the manufacturer's responsibility to vet these occurrences on behalf of the consumer. V-Moda's version of quality control comes in the form of its variance guarantee, which states that all V-Moda headphones graduate from its testing program carrying a variance of 2 decibels or less from unit to unit.
V-Moda designs its sound profile for every headphone using a 31-band equalizer in its test labs, and the Remix Remotes are simply your best option if you don't want to spend more than $100. With frequencies that reach from 5Hz to 24Hz, the 9mm drivers and V-Moda's custom tuning are complementary to nearly any genre. They're also excellent at blocking out external noise, so these are certainly in your wheelhouse if you're shopping for a device to take you away from the ambient noise of a daily commute or the drone of a busy office environment.
My only complaint about these headphones is that the cord tends to transmit rubbing noises to the earbuds when I'm walking around, but this is easily fixed just by affixing the plastic spring-loaded clip to a shirt.
Sound quality is often given too much weight when deciding the metrics to judge the overall quality of headphones. The V-Moda Remix Remotes do sound incredible, with crystal-clear highs and resonant bass, but they're awarded our Editors' Choice award because of their excellence in all the important categories: built from tough materials designed to last, paired with a generous two-year warranty and protected by the company's "Immortal Life" replacement guarantee, these details give shoppers confidence that no detail is left unscrutinized in the Remix Remotes. They're a top performer in the sub-$100 category on CNET and deserve your serious consideration if you're on the lookout for a new pair of earbuds.