Our ears get to hear a lot of great- (and horrible-) sounding headphones, but the style of these musical monitors rarely changes -- black and white synthetics are the norm, with an occasional chrome accent.
V-Moda aims to change the look of our ear wear with two lines of fashion-forward earphones, the Bass Freq and the Remix M-class, both competitively priced at around £30 a pair. The Bass Freqs, a brightly coloured bass-enhancing model, are the subject of this review.
The Bass Freq headphones' main style point is the brightly coloured earbuds and cable. You can choose from eight colours: black, blue, camo, green, orange, pink, red and white. The camo version features an olive cable and orange earbuds with olive accents, but the rest of the styles are uniform in colour, aside for a touch of chrome accenting. The result is a fashion-forward design that can blend with your favourite outfit.
Though we didn't expect the stylishness to make much of a difference, in practice it did -- the colourful cord is much more jewellery-like and looked significantly more stylish than the thick white cord of the Shure E4cs. Also, though the 1.2m cable is insufficient for most at-home use (with your computer or stereo, for example), we found it to be the perfect length for on-the-go use.
As is standard for sub-£50 headphones, the Bass Freq earphones come with few extras, but we were surprised and pleased to find V-Moda's modawrap in the box. It's a simple-but-handy tool for stowing your cord, and you'll want to use it -- the Bass Freqs' ultrathin wire tangles easily. There are also three sizes of silicon ear fittings to help ensure a comfortable fit and give the necessary seal to provide the deep bass that's implied by the product's name.
As for that implication, the Bass Freqs truly live up to their name. These headphones really thump on the low end -- just make sure you get a good seal in your ear.
We were pleasantly surprised by the overall sound quality of the earbuds, especially considering their low price point. The bass was heavy, but it didn't overshadow the mids and lows in most cases (a handful of rock songs had a slightly muffled quality to them). In general, music sounded rich, warm and detailed.
Hip-hop, jazz and electronica tracks really shined -- even certain rock songs were great. During the Clash's London Calling it sounded as if we were in the studio, and Depeche Mode's Strangelove sounded fantastically deep and dark.
Like their sibling, the Remix M-class, the Bass Freqs are also a surprisingly loud set of headphones -- they amplify the music from the sound source by a significant amount compared to other small earphones (so use caution when switching to these earbuds). This factor, combined with the many colour options, make this a perfect set of earphones for the Creative Zen Micro Photo series of MP3 players.
Edited by James Kim
Additional editing by Kate Macefield