MacDirectory Magazine

Spring-Summer 2010

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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CLOSER LOOK V-MODA EARPHONES >WHERE STYLE MEETS SOUND WORDS BY MATT MARQUEZ V-MODA has carved a name for itself as an earphone maker that pays just as much attention to its products’ style as their sound and its newest creation certainly lives up to that reputation. The Remix Remote is the latest offering from V-MODA’s labs, and with its sleek black-and-silver design the Remix ups the ante on a product line already recognized as among the most fashionable in the business. Released in March, the Remix sports V-MODA’s signature BLISS (Bass Level Isolating Soft Silicone) technology to pump up the bass and keep outside sounds outside. The same metallic craftsmanship of earlier V-MODA earphones infuses the Remix, as well as a three-button remote to manage phone calls and music playback options plus as an omni-directional microphone that all together gives users even more control of their audio experience. When Val Kolton founded V-MODA in 2006, his goal was to create earphones that fused his modern fashion sense with the passion for music that pushed him to become a DJ. The tipping point for Kolton’s dream came after he returned home from a trip to the Mediterranean island Ibiza where he says his eyes were opened to the cutting edge of club music and high-end fashion. After returning to Los Angeles, Kolton says he spied an otherwise fashionably dressed woman step out of a Rolls Royce wearing stock headphones. Those headphones were her couture outfit’s “Achilles’ heel,” Kolton says, and they showed him the perfect opportunity to make his mark. “As a DJ, music producer, and CEO of V- MODA, I live and breathe music,” Kolton says. Earphones, then, were the perfect outlet for Kolton to focus his initial efforts. Despite Kolton’s ambitions, V-MODA’s beginnings were humble – a single retailer carried the company’s first products – but the company has since grown into a $25 million-a-year enterprise with earphones sold at Apple retail stores around the world. With product lines for active lifestyles (spin, $29.99), audiophiles (vibe duo, $79.99) and the fashion forward (vibe ii, $119.99), V-MODA has created earphones it hopes everyone can rock. While V-MODA’s products have drawn praise for their design and sound quality, their durability has sometimes been a question mark. Some customers have complained of breaking pieces and the need for repeated exchanges. V-MODA says that those issues have all been addressed in the two-year design process that led to the Remix. Its cables hold six separate copper strands around a core cable made of Kevlar – the same material used in bullet-proof vests – to improve durability to the point where the company says that the Remix has survived more than 60,000 bends in lab testing. And V-MODA isn’t just about earphones. The brand now encompasses men and women’s T-shirts that reflect the company’s club culture origins. Vintage-style fedoras are also available to order on the company’s Web site and a lineup of fall apparel is also in the works. And for those wanting to make a truly unique musical statement, V-MODA offers six exclusive guitars made in collaboration with guitar builder James Trussart. The designs range from distressed-black grunge to a metallic red and silver creation that is certain to draw every eye – which is exactly what V-MODA promises. Fashion-conscious audiophiles have to wait, however, before getting their hands on the company’s next product line – a set of over-ear and on-ear headphones developed through four years of collaboration with the world’s top DJs, artists and producers including Dutch music mogul Tiësto. Dubbed the Crossfade, these headphones were crafted to push V-MODA’s artistic vision into a lightweight metal design that travels equally well on a crowded street or a cruise on the Mediterranean. Every product from V-MODA is made to look like a piece of art – what Kolton calls “audio art.” It’s a description that makes perfect sense for a company that produces earphones that may be even more stylish than the iPods they’re connected to. 104 MacDirectory

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