If you shop based on feature charts and price points and pick up V-Moda’s Remix Remote as a result, you’ll stick ‘em in your ears and think “hey, not too shabby!” They delivered bright performances with acoustic tracks and classical music played at mid volume, and middling performances with more demanding recordings at low to medium volume.
As we quickly discovered, however, they just can’t handle any genre featuring bass and drums at high volume. Take Deadmau5 & Kaskade’s dance anthem “I Remember.” This clean and not-so-demanding synth-pop song was the only non-acoustic track the Remix Remote could handle well at any sort of higher volume—and that was only on the front side of the cut. Once the song opened up into its first big breakdown/rebuild, the track disintegrated into a wall of pounding distortion.
You buy noise-canceling phones like these to block outside noise. Duh. So we were quite surprised by the unwelcome noises the Remix Remote’s “Kevlar-reinforced” cord produced every time it dragged over our clothing: You know that sound you hear in your head when you’re munching potato chips. Yeah, it sounds just like that. V-Moda provides a clip so you can anchor the cord to your shirt, which we interpret as a tacit admission of fail.
The three-button remote—which is compatible with the iPhone 3GS and later iPods and MacBooks—enables you to control the volume and pause tracks, but we found ourselves constantly pausing a track when we really wanted to adjust the volume. We eventually quit trying and used the iPhone’s controls instead.