Bluetooth speakers are a dime a dozen, but V-MODA is doing what it does best: stand out. The company is a mix of fashion and audiophile, attempting to bring amazing sound and stunning design together. This Remix speaker features a plethora of custom metal or 3D-printed parts that can be attached to it to change its looks. It also functions as a portable headphone amp, which should excite you audiophiles.
Battery: 3,400mAh, 10 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth, 3.5mm aux
Dimensions: 8.1 x 2.5 x 2.5 (in) / 205 x 65 x 68 (mm)
Weight: 1.9 lb/850g (Aluminum); 1.6 lb/710g (Leather)
Charging port: USB Type-C
Where to buy: V-MODA
The top of the Remix speaker features a V-MODA logo milled out of aluminum below the buttons. There’s a power button with LED, volume up and down buttons, a multifunction button, and a pair button. The addition of a pair button is always a nice touch.
The multifunction button can pause as well as skip tracks forward and back by clicking one, two, or three times, respectively. There’s enough of a delay that this is easy to use and works every time, unlike some other implementations of multiple click features.
The front is an uninterrupted grill with no logos of any kind. There are two rubber rings around the edges which serve as rubber legs as well as retainers for 3D-printed parts.
The rear has all the ports and a V-MODA emblem. There are two 3.5mm ports, one for aux in and one for V-AMP out for the amplifier function. There’s also a USB Type-C port, which I’m very glad to see hitting accessories. I’m happy that V-MODA is embracing it.
One annoying thing about the speaker is the startup and shutdown sounds. They’re not that long, but they’re really loud and grating. Thankfully there is no loud voice stating that the speaker is on.
V-MODA normally doesn’t skimp on build quality, and the Remix is no exception. The aluminum version has a (you guessed it) metal body which gives it a much heavier weight than you’d expect. The grilles and side plastics feel incredibly solid and premium, and the buttons are easy to press and satisfying to click. Nice buttons aren’t very common on Bluetooth speakers.
My only complaint are the “REMIXRings,” which are the two rubber rings around the ends. The fit is close to perfect, but it’s not quite there. They move around on the front if you push them. A nitpick, but worth mentioning.
You also get some cables in the box. The short 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable to use with the V-AMP feature is braided and has the 45-degree angle plugs V-MODA uses on many products. The USB Type-C cable is a gorgeous flat cable measuring two meters, and the ends are beautifully molded. Both cables are exquisite, and the USB cable should especially impress.
Despite having a big focus on fashion and fancy features, V-MODA does not skimp on audio quality. The Remix speaker sounds fantastic for its size and features some traits rare to Bluetooth speakers in general.
The overall sound quality is fantastic, and it gets loud. The lows, mids, and highs are all well done and blend together into a well balanced sound signature, though it’s not perfectly flat.
The highs are a particular pleasure. They’re strong and clear, but they are the furthest thing from shrill. The top end is consistently smooth and pleasant to listen to. This is where most speakers falter, producing shrill and grating noise.
The lows are warm and powerful. The Remix recreates the lows in a really audible, pleasant way without producing all that much shake. You can hear the details, which is something commonly left out of an audio products low end in favor of power. However, the bass impact isn’t all that strong. I don’t consider this a downside, but don’t expect it to shake the table. Instead, expect a strong, warm low end. Some more impact would be appreciated, though.
At full volume, it gets very loud. Unfortunately, there is some distortion in the low end at full volume with some songs. Strangely, songs like “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2″ start causing distortion rather than bassy electronic music. Back the volume off a few clicks and it’s perfectly clear yet still really loud. The mids and highs stay crystal clear no matter how loud it is.
The battery life is rated at 10 hours. For a Bluetooth speaker of the Remix’s size, that’s not a bad figure. Some might complain that 10 hours is a bit low for the price, but the price is but one factor, with size and internal design being more important. Ten hours isn’t great, but it’s pretty good.
In testing, the speaker lasted about 10 hours of mixed usage, mostly turned up loud. If it’s set quieter, it can last longer.
This speaker features a microphone for making calls. People reported hearing me like normal.
Then there is the V-AMP function. For those of you who don’t know, cell phones and laptops don’t push much power through the 3.5mm jack. This is fine for earbuds and cheap headphones, but higher end headphones (like the V-MODA Crossfade M-100 in the photo) benefit greatly from having a stronger, cleaner signal feeding them.
The V-AMP function can deliver 83mW per channel and has an amp inpedance of 12.8Ω. Just plug the included cable into your phone and the aux in port on the speaker and your headphones into the V-AMP port, hit the power button, and hit the multifunction button. The orange LED means the amp is on.
Compared to my dedicated $100 Dragonfly Black USB DAC, the Remix can reach higher volumes. There’s a bit of distortion at full volume (due to the limitations of the source signal) but a click or two down and it’s perfectly clear (and still louder than the Dragonfly).
If you travel with high impedance headphones, this is a great accessory for properly driving them on the go. Though it’s a bit of a niche feature for audiophiles, it’s a great addition to a portable speaker.
Another big selling point is the customization. You can buy custom parts for the speaker made out of 3D printed plastic, fiber, stainless steel, and precious metals like 14k gold, sterling silver, and even platinum. The c-shell, grill, and sides are all replaceable with custom designed and personalized parts. If you want to make the speaker truly unique and personal (and can afford platinum parts), this is a great way to do so.
A $300 price tag for a Bluetooth speaker is a bit on the high side, but you’re truly getting a high-end product with a bunch of unique features. The customization is probably reserved for those with a big wallet, as a full set of customized parts can run into the hundreds of thousands if you opt for the precious metals. The base parts start at $40.
If you’re an audiophile who carries a set of nice headphones with you, this speaker can replace your external amp on the go and do a good job of it. Plus the speaker itself sounds great and can handle some abuse. It’s easily worth the $300 price tag, if you can justify spending that much on a Bluetooth speaker.