We don’t need to tell you why everyone carries around a pair of headphones these days. Music is more of a need these days then a luxury or at least people treat it as such. Anyway, to really enjoy your music, you need a great pair of headphones. You might be missing out on some of the little details in your music with a cheap pair of earbuds.
The Ultimate In-earphones
- 8mm driver boosts tonal accuracy
- Pretty durable
- Tangle-free Diamondback cable
- Patented Active Flex sport ear hooks
- A bit expensive
Type: In-ear | Drivers: 8mm | Frequency response: 2 - 25000Hz | Connectivity: 3.5mm analog
VERDICT:The V-MODA ZN are possibly the best in-ear headphones on the market, but the price is a bit much for what it is
But most over-ear/on-ear headphones aren’t exactly the smallest and portable in the world. For people on the move all the time, it’s not easy to always carry around a pair of large headphones. Plus, you also need a carrying case because you can’t exactly throw them in a bad. So in-ear headphones or earbuds are a good alternative. Sadly, they sacrifice on sound quality a lot.
The V-MODA ZN is one of few exceptions to this. They are a pair of in-ear headphones that boast amazing audio quality. V-MODA even labels them as “audiophile headphones”. Let’s find out how close to the truth that really is.
V-MODA is popular for its on-ear and over-ear headphones. The Crossfade series from the company has been pretty popular for its durability and sound quality. The ZN are in-ear headphones that keep up with the durability the company is known. And with an eye-catching design to match.
The small ear-pieces are well built and they are actually a bit unique. This is because they are made up of a zinc alloy housing for the 8mm drivers located inside. The sound travels through these durable ear-pieces to the soft-ear tips, which sit snugly in the ear. We also have in-line controls via the built-in remote.
The cable is also durable and well built. For the most part, the cable is made of your standard materials. But it is reinforced by a Kevlar material. The Kevlar wraps around the cable in a diamond-like pattern, giving it an interesting silver accent. It complements the overall metallic look of the headphones pretty well.
Like most pairs of in-ear headphones or earbuds, the V-MODA ZN has a lightweight design. This doesn’t make them flimsy in any way. Actually, the design combined together with the lightweight design really gives this product a premium look and feel.
The ear-buds use your standard silicone material, although there are other options in the box for a better fit. Long listening sessions rarely cause fatigue. And because the song is so well balanced (more on that later), we didn’t notice any temporary pain in the ear canal at all.
Overall, we have no issues with comfort. If you want to use them while exercising or other vigorous activities, a pair of sports ear hooks are added in the box. These provide better stability for runners or people who want to use them in fitness activities.
The V-MODA ZN headphones aren’t exactly the average cheap that you get in the box of your new phone. Since we’re paying a bit more than usual here, it’s good to see you get your money’s worth. Especially with the added goodies in the box.
Even the unboxing itself feels pretty good. The ZN come in a neat tidy little package. Pull the box out of its sleeve and you’ll be treated with the headphones themselves, along with two different sized ear-tips located at the bottom of the box. Flip the box around, and you’ll find a neat little leather pouch tucked in there.
The leather pouch includes additional accessories, such as the ear hooks we mentioned above. They are made of a rubber material and feel really good. We have even more ear-tips to go through. These have a few different colors and sizes so you can pick one suitable for you. Apart from that, we have a simple little shirt clip, to reduce resistance while wearing the ZN.
The pouch itself is stitched out of leather and feels really premium. It has a magnetic shut flap that snaps open and closes with ease. It’s pretty easy to throw in the headphones in this pouch and carry them around.
You’ve probably heard it a thousand times before, headphones will always have better sound quality than earbuds or in-ear monitors. That is just due to nature or earbuds. They sit tight in your ear canal so sound travels directly into it. With over-ear headphones, sound bounces off the outer ear, then enter the actual ear canal. This is what gives them a wider soundstage.
While the ZN is still nowhere near the quality of high-end audiophile headphones, they are still very impressive. These are definitely pushing the design of in-ear headphones to its limit. This level of sound quality is exceptional for a pair of in-ear headphones.
V-MODA is known for having amazing, well-balanced bass on all of their headphones. The ZN is no exception. The low-end is loud, rumbling and quite punchy. For hip-hop and EDM genres, it is definitely very enjoyable. Moving over to vocal-based tracks gives us a better idea of the sound signature. The low-end doesn’t take away from the highs or the mids. They are well balanced and sound very good. We would have liked to see a bit more detail at the end, but it’s not a dealbreaker.
Overall, the sound signature is well balanced and really enjoyable for most music listening sessions. The low-end is also appreciated for gaming. While this is not really “audiophile” level of quality, it comes close.
While the V-MODA ZN in-ear headphones are a great pair of in-ear headphones, they are a bit pricey for some people. Sure with other earbuds, you won’t be getting the best sound quality or even the durable design. But you will get some extra convenience features.
The V-MODA ZN costs $180, which looks like a lot to people who usually use the average pair of earbuds. Of course, you can get a pair of over-ear headphones for not much more. For under $200, you can get a pair of great wireless noise canceling over-ear headphones. Most of them will probably even have better sound, and the noise cancellation is another bonus. The Sennheiser HD 4.40 BT come to mind.
Or you could get an entirely different pair of earbuds for less than a $100. Granted they might not have the best build quality. But you can get a wireless pair for a bit of convenience. There are a lot of wireless noise-canceling earbuds available under $100 as well.
The V-MODA ZN in-ear headphones are well designed, built like a tank and sound truly exceptional. But honestly, $180 is almost a bit too much for a pair of in-ear headphones. However, if you absolutely must have superb sound quality, and don’t want to carry around a large pair of over-ear headphones, these are the best choice. With that build quality, they should last you a long while as well. By the way, you can find them at a lower price than the retail one a lot of the times.
Price at the time of review: $180