Many audiophile earbuds sound great, but don’t have much to offer in terms of durability. Is it possible that these ‘buds excel in both areas? Are they the best-kept secret in the world of personal audio?
Can you use them at the gym, or are they better for casual use? Throughout this review, we’ll do our best to help you understand the best and worst features of these headphones, as well as hopefully answering any questions you have!
If you’re anything like us, you probably agree with the importance of having all the facts before you make your decision! Keep reading our V Moda Zn Review to see if they really do offer audiophile-grade sound and outstanding durability!
V Moda Zn Review – Durable Audiophile Earbuds
Basic Features & Technical Specs:
- In-ear canal wearing design
- 3 button in-line remote w/built-in microphone
- 45° gold-plated 3.5 mm connector with DiamondBack Kevlar-reinforced cable
- Fully-compatible with Android & Apple devices
- Includes: Active Flex sport ear hooks, carrying pouch + 8 pairs of BLISS ear tips
- Also Includes: 50% Immortal Life Replacement Program + 2 Year Premier Warranty
- Driver Type: Dynamic
- Driver Size: 8 mm
- Frequency Response: 2 – 25,000 Hz
- Sensitivity: 105 dB @ 1 kHz
- Impedance: 16 Ohms
- Weight: 0.73 ounces
Before you move on, take a quick look at the links below that you can use to navigate our review. Each section will provide an in-depth analysis for each individual performance aspect.
Here are the 5 most important features you’ll want to consider before making your decision:
- Build Design & Military-Level Durability
- Comfort For Active & Casual Use
- Sonic Performance – Audiophile-Grade Playback?
- What Is The Immortal Life Program?
- Who Are These Ideal For?
Now that you’ve taken a quick look at the technical specs, let’s start by examining two of the most important features – their build design and durability!
Build Design & Military-Level Durability
You probably noticed (in the picture above) that these ‘buds have an extremely unique and somewhat flashy design. They manage to pull off a futuristic and stylish design that’s also looks very rugged and built for the road. Just because they look awesome doesn’t always mean that they’re also well-built. Let’s take a closer look at each material used to construct them!
Zinc Earpiece Housings
Both of the earpieces are constructed with an all metal alloy. What kind of metal? It’s a zinc-based alloy (which is also what the ‘Zn’ in their name was inspired by). They have zinc all the way around with a matte black metal cradling each polished silver housing.
There are diamond cut-outs on each earpiece, keeping in line with the company’s reputation for world class attention to detail. The zinc housings were designed this way to improve your listening acoustics, which we’ll cover in more detail below.
DiamondBack Headphone Cable
The DiamondBack headphone cable attached to both earpieces is completely non-detachable. The unique silver pattern all the way around the cable is a Kevlar wrapping that not only makes them more durable, but also adds to the stylish aesthetic appeal.
The cable is also tangle-free which makes it much more convenient to store them in your pocket or backpack (unless you prefer using the carrying pouch). The Kevlar-reinforced cable was clearly designed to withstand most everyday wear and tear… and then some.
What Does “20x Stronger Than The Industry Standard” Mean?
It’s also advertised as being 20 times as durable as the industry-standard. We’re not exactly sure how they got those results, but when you’re holding these in your hands – it seems like an honest claim. About 2/3 of the way up (from the bottom of the cable) there is a y-split with the classic ‘V’ logo etched into the casing.
Y-Split & In-Line Remote
If you plan on using these for working out, it’s important to keep in mind that the zinc y-split does add slightly more movement to the cable. Unless you use a shirt clip to keep it from moving around too much, it can bounce and swing from side to side when you’re jogging or lifting.
At the base of the cable, you’ll notice the 3.5 mm connector. It’s set on a 45° angle and is noticeably larger than past models from the company. Aside from adding more long-term durability, it may be slightly larger than you’re used to. In most cases, it won’t cause any major issues, but we think it’s worth mentioning (especially if you’re a little bit OCD about features like that).
Differences Between The Single-Button & 3-Button Remotes
As you were scanning the technical specs above, you may have noticed that these ‘buds are available two versions:
- Single-button remote
- 3-button remote
This might seem pretty obvious, but the main difference between the two is the button count. Both versions are fully-compatible with both Android and Apple devices. The 3-button in-line remote has a built-in microphone and allows you to make volume adjustments as well as pause/play your music.
The single-button version has less functionality and only allows you to pause or play tracks. Here are a few features to consider if you’re trying to decide which one is better for your listening purposes.
- 3-button remote is slightly heavier which might not be as ideal for active use
- Single-button remote is more lightweight, but with less functionality
Both versions fit and sound exactly the same, but for the active lifestyle, you might care less about volume control and instead prefer a lighter wearing weight. Speaking of an active lifestyle, let’s take a look at the included carrying pouch!
Carrying Pouch – Genuine Leather?
The black leather carrying pouch is extremely compact and easily fits in most pockets. (We’re not exactly sure if it’s genuine or faux leather, but it definitely smells like genuine leather.) On the inside of the pouch, there is a mesh divider that you can use to separate any extra ear tips from the cable on your ‘phones. (Once again, the attention to detail is remarkable.)
On the inside of the flap, there are a few magnets sewn underneath the fabric. The enclosure has a similar design to the carrying case included with the 1More Triple Driver in-ears. The main difference being that this case isn’t reinforced or hard shell. It’s a straightforward carrying pouch that’s designed to keep your earbuds safe from most dirt, minor spills, and other debris.
Since these have an ultra-portable build and durable design, it seems like they would be perfect for working out, right? Read the section below to see how comfortable and securely they fit for both active and casual use!
Comfort For Active & Casual Use
You will receive 4 pairs of black and 4 pairs of clear silicone tips. Out of the 8 included tips, you can choose from XS, S, M, and L. If you decide that you don’t like them for any reason, you can replace them with your favorite memory foam tips. That being said, replacing the ear tips isn’t usually necessary since there are plenty of sizes to choose from.
Overall, the silicone tips plus the lightweight earpiece design make for a very comfortable listening experience. Although you may have to adjust the earpieces to form a tighter seal from time to time – you shouldn’t have any major issues with excessive or abnormal inner ear fatigue.
ActiveFlex Ear Hooks – Secure or Stifling?
You will also receive 1 pair of rubber ActiveFlex ear hooks. They attach to the headphone cable and zinc housings, holding each earpiece more securely in place. They’re designed to be used for especially rigorous activities such as running or biking. Since they are made of rubber (instead of plastic) they are much more comfortable than many other sports earphones.
This might sound a bit cliche, but you might actually forget you’re wearing them (once you get used to the way they sit around your ears). They definitely aren’t your typical sport ‘phones, considering many other ear hook designs only attach to the earpiece.
These hooks provide a secure fit that’s far above-average since they also cradle the upper portion of the cable. Now that you know what to expect in terms of how comfy these are, you might want to know if they’re waterproof or sweat-resistant.
Are They Waterproof or Sweat-Resistant?
It’s important to keep in mind that these do not have an official IPX rating. This means that if you decide to take these for a run – it’d be wise to make sure no moisture or sweat finds its way into the earpiece openings.
In terms of the cable and/or in-line remote, you shouldn’t have any issues (as long as you’re not planning on taking them for a swim). We recommend that you use these for light workouts, especially if you tend to sweat pretty excessively. We also recommend that you avoid wearing them in the rain.
In most cases, you can easily bring these with you for hiking or working out at the gym. After all, why would they give you 2 high-performing ear hooks if they weren’t meant to be put to use? As long as you don’t pour a glass of water on them, they should be fine! Now, let’s take a closer look at whether or not they produce ‘audiophile-grade’ playback!
Sonic Performance – Audiophile-Grade Playback?
There is still some debate about what ‘audiophile-grade’ playback actually sounds like. Some people describe it as extremely flat, accurate, and well-balanced. Others lean towards describing hi-resolution audio as being extremely detailed, spacious, and crisp. (We think it’s a balance somewhere in between both definitions.)
If you prefer the most flat response possible, these probably won’t be the best fit. Why not? Well, they have a sound profile that’s anything but flat or analytical. Instead, they pack an extremely powerful punch that’s pretty impressive for such a small pair of in-ear headphones.
So much so, that their sound profile rivals the popular M-100 (which is one of their best-selling over-ear models). If they’re not flat or analytical, what makes them sound so ‘exciting’? Read more below to find out!
Low End Presence – More Bass Than Beats?
In the low end, there is a surprising amount of depth and extension. After listening to a wide range of genres, you’ll notice that their bass response is much more punchy than the low end produced by the Beats X Wireless (which aren’t as bass-heavy as you might think).
Although Beats have been forever labeled as producing a notoriously ‘bass-heavy’ response – they might have some competition in that department. On most tracks, the low end sits just above the mid range without overpowering it. It never reaches a point of distortion and rarely bleeds into the upper levels.
Mid Range – Laid Back & Warm
The mid range sounds fairly neutral and slightly warm. Vocals sound very detailed and clean while generally maintaining a laid-back tonal quality. If you’ve ever used another pair of headphones from V Moda, you can expect a similar level of mid range representation.
Highs – Smooth & Extended
In the upper range, there is noticeable extension that’s quite lively but not too sharp. For the most part, the treble is fairly smooth and rolled off. On poorly-mastered tracks, highs can become slightly overpowering, but it’s no fault of the ‘buds themselves. (Of course, we recommend you listen to high-quality recordings like these to experience them at their best.)
Detail Separation & Overall Response
Above all else, their overall sound profile is extremely versatile. That being said, they do tend to perform at their best while listening to hip-hop, electronic, pop, and EDM music. They have a surprisingly wide soundstage (especially for earbuds of this style) with clean detail and crisp separation.
On top of that, they are very low impedance and easy to drive. Therefore, you don’t need an external amp or DAC to fully experience their detailed playback. Everything we just covered in the section above is exactly why these ‘phones deserve to be labeled as ‘audiophile in-ears’.
Their detailed and forward playback makes for a very exciting and engaging listening experience – no matter what genre you prefer. Before you skip to the end and look at the review table, you’ll probably want to take a quick look at the brief guide below explaining the Immortal Life Program!
What Is The Immortal Life Program?
The 50% Immortal Life Program is a company-specific upgrade program. Here’s how it works in a nutshell:
- You purchase a pair of V Moda headphones
- After using them for a while, you decide you want an upgrade
- You choose an eligible upgrade to replace your current pair
- You send in your current pair
- You receive a 50% OFF coupon for the upgrade
- They send you your discounted upgrade
Keep in mind that you won’t be able to upgrade to any pair you want. It basically allows you to choose a different model in the same category at a 50% discount. For example, if you have a pair of in-ears (like these), you can trade them in for a different in-ear model. If you have a pair of on/over-ears, you can trade them in for a different on/over-ear model.
This type of trade-in program isn’t offered by very many (if any) other headphone companies. All in all, it’s definitely a nice bonus feature that allows you to try more than one model with no strings attached. Now that you understand how the program works, keep reading to see our final recommendation!
Who Are These Ideal For?
These earbuds would be ideal for you if you enjoy extremely engaging playback as well as a build design that makes them perfect for both active and casual use. Although they aren’t waterproof or officially sweat-resistant – they would be a great companion for jogging, hiking, biking, or working out at the gym.
That being said, you can also get just as much enjoyment using them for casual listening at home. They really don’t have too many drawbacks, unless you’re someone who only enjoys an extremely neutral response.
As long as you don’t mind the zinc y-split possibly getting in the way during active use – these are definitely worth considering. Take a quick look at the review table below to see the main pros/cons as well as how we calculated their final rating out of 10.
Now that you’ve read our entire V Moda Zn Review, what do you think? Are they seriously worth considering, or should you keep looking? Would they help you push through your workouts, or should you leave them at home?
If you’d like to see more information before you decide, click the link below!
Let us know what you think by leaving a question or comment in the section below! We always do our best to respond as quickly as we can! Thanks for stopping by to take a look at our review, we look forward to hearing from you!
Sonic Elevation: Ride The Waves.
V Moda Zn In-Ear Headphones
Lightweight & Portable Build Design8.5/10
For Active & Casual Use8.5/10
- Extremely Engaging Sound Profile
- Punchy & Extended Bass Response
- Durable All-Metal Earpiece Housings
- Easy To Drive (Does Not Require A Powerful DAC/Amp)
- Generous Immortal Life Program
- Probably Not Ideal For Audiophile Purists
- No Official Waterproof or Sweat-Resistant Rating