VModa Vibe Duo Nero Earbuds Review

I had long known that the included Apple i-Buds(?)…earbuds…earphones simply, just do not cut it. They’re big and clunky when you put them in your ear and half the time don’t even stay in. But when I got my iPhone, the included earphones had one great feature: the press button answer/hang-up/pause/skip-to-next-track button & microphone. So I dealt with it for that one main feature until I saw the VModa Vibe Duo Nero.

Build Quality

The VModa Vibe Duo Nero are built extremely well. The wires are encased in a nice cloth spider-like web that allows it to flex and bend easier than just plastic. I found the Vibe Duo Nero’s cables much easier to manage than compared to the Shure E2C-N that I tried, partly because the cable on the Duo Nero was about 3-6 inches shorter, but slightly longer than the Apple earphones’ cable; which works out quite nicely. For the price, ~$99, you certainly feel the level of quality. By using cloth/nylon covers for the cable, it definitely reduced (not eliminated) the annoying rubbing sound you would get with the E2C-N when walking and the cable knocks up against your shirt. Trust me, it’s something that can get very annoying very quickly and was very apparent with the E2C-N.

There is also mention on sites like Amazon.com about build quality issues and my set was just perfect, right up until the shield on the plug came loose. I guess the glue had worn out. And not too long afterward, the right ear bud’s sound gave out. The call-control button still functioned properly. Fortunately I was still in the warranty period (purchased in December 2007 and crapped out in July 2008) so I contacted VModa’s customer service and sent my defective ear buds to VModa in Hollywood, CA for warranty repair. I’ll post an update when I receive my ear buds back. Back when they first came out, they had a higher rating, but the quality issues have certainly brought their rating on Amazon down a bit.

I will echo what others have mentioned: the call-control button is too small. Unlike the Apple stock ear buds provided with the iPhone where the call-control button is the entire mic box, the Vibe Duo Nero’s call-control button is a small switch underneath the mic. This sometimes makes it difficult to switch or pause songs quickly as your fishing for the button. Minor annoyance.

Comfort and Fit

The Vibe Duo Nero definitely fit more comfortably than the Shure E2C-N. I don’t feel like my ear canal is being crushed or deliberating headaches like with the Shure. It’s a bit unnerving the first few times that you stick the earbuds in because they’re small and they feel like they would go all the way to your ear drums. Fortunately, you can’t stick it that far, and if you can, there are other problems you probably should worry about. The go easily in and the silicone coverings create a nice sound barrier reducing background noises by about 20 decibels or so. This means you can certainly wear them walking around on the streets and not have to worry about being hit by a car because you can’t hear the horn or a fire truck because you can’t hear the siren.

The Vibe Duo Nero can be worn for long periods without any discomfort, I know because I wear them walking to BART and riding BART home. I also like how the cable isn’t too long like with the Shure E2C-N because it was annoying to have so much excess cable in your pocket. The Apple earbuds are about just right in length, but sometimes a bit short whereas the Vibe Duo Nero aren’t super long, but isn’t as short as the Apple earbuds.

Sound Quality

The sound quality of the VModa Vibe Duo Nero are excellent. They produce nice solid bass, but not nearly as much bass as someone who listens to rap/hip-hop or heavy percussion instruments (like drums) would probably enjoy. But if you listen to a broad array of music, from classical to pop to alternative and some rock, these earbuds work great. By no means does the sound produced from the Vibe Duo Nero are considered exquisite compared to some of the more pricier Shure and Ultimate Ear models, but for the price and what you get, they certainly do fit the bill.

The Vibe Duo Nero are sound isolating earbuds and not sound cancelling. The difference is that sound cancelling uses software that emits a similar sound wave as the background noise in an effort to “cancel” out the noise. Sound cancelling causes additional “noise” to be introduced to the music. That’s why the more expensive earbuds, earphones, headphones do not utilize sound cancellation but rather sound isolating. The sound isolating works as it should; on BART the noise of the train on the tracks are reduced considerably.

Recommendations

I would definitely recommend the VModa Vibe Duo Nero earbuds. I think they are excellent for the price. Other than for slight issues with the build quality, I don’t really see any major issues with them. The sound is very pleasing, authentic, and has just the right amount of bass (for me). The mids can be a bit higher, but the highs are certainly great without any notes of metal tings that can be heard with cheaper ear phones and ear buds. I find the majority of the time, I only need to have my volume at a little less than half way and hear perfectly fine.

Having the added advantage of being able to answer the phone while listening to music is certainly a big plus. Plus being able to use the call-control button to mute and skip to next track is also very handy in situations where you need to hear something fast and can pause without having to pull out your iPhone is great and same with being able to go to the next track. Although the button is small and easy to miss, it is a welcomed feature unlike the Shure E2C-N where you have to purchase the additional MPA-3C Music Adapter for iPhone which means an even longer cable to an already long cable.

The Vibe Duo Nero comes with a cool little soft leather carrying pouch to store the earbuds in when not being used. Very cool.

VModa Vibe Duo Nero Gallery Images

One thought on “VModa Vibe Duo Nero Earbuds Review”

  1. Complete WASTE OF MONEY!!! My brother bought a pair for each of us. My right ear bud was broken after 2 months.. His were broken in one month. Over a period of a year I had mine replaced two more times, he had his replaced once more before he lost his. I still have my third pair, but only one side works. Extremely UNETHICAL of V-MODA to continue selling this product with a lousy 1 year warranty. Within that 1 year I only got about 8 months of usage because they were being sent back to VModa soo often. WARNING WARNING!!! DO NOT BUY!!!

    If you dont believe me simply google reviews of them. There are countless disgruntle consumers that have left their opinions of these defective earbuds.

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