The V-MODA ZN In-Ear Headphones offer luxurious materials, deliver top acoustics engineering, embody military-level durability, and are remarkably comfortable. In short, these $180 in-ear monitors are among the best I have tried. They look amazing and sound even better. They are the only in-ear headphones you need. Bottom line…I love them and they have become my favorite in-ear headphones!
V-MODA describes the ZN in-ear headphones as “ACTIVE HEADPHONES FOR THE MODERN AUDIOPHILE.” There’s good reason for this description. Not only do they sound amazing but they are built to withstand pretty much anything the rigors of daily use can throw at them. Add in the fact that they ship with ear hooks so you can use them when being active AND have an in-line controller that really works for taking calls and controlling your music, and you have one pair of in-ear headphones that will serve pretty much any need or use you have whether commuting, working out, or simply chilling to your favorite tunes.
As V-MODA explains:
“The first In-Ear headphones released by V-MODA in four years have been developed to be the mobile and active weapon of choice for the modern audiophile. Zn delivers unrivaled sound quality staying true to V-MODA’s tradition of luxurious materials and Italian design. The limited edition Zn (zinc element symbol) has been tuned to exceed V-MODA’s relentless standards that have won over 24 editors’ choice awards on its previous two wired headphones.”
The ZNs are carefully tuned by the experts at V-MODA. They have a “live, neutral and organic sound” that reflects the style and approach the company takes across its product line. There’s plenty of bass but not too much. The highs are crisp and clean and the mids are solid. The result is a pair of headphones that lets the music shine through. And in the box you get a complete package. More on that shortly.
The ZNs are constructed with the kind of care you would expect from V-MODA… And from a pair of $180 headphones. They have an 8mm Driver that is, “extremely accurate with impossibly low distortion.” The drivers are “hand-tuned” to complement the human hearing limit variance (+/- 2dB).
The ZN name reflects the use of Zinc metal in the housing. Not only does it look cool and give the headphones a refined and elegant look but, the Zinc metal alloy housing, “delivers unique, balanced sound and stress-free acoustics and is forged by a patented liquid metal casting process.”
There’s even more that goes into the headphones as they have a limited, custom-made filter that is installed between the driver and the housing. It controls the airflow mechanics and are “the gatekeepers of golden acoustics”. These filters are made in Italy and, apparently, are in limited supply.Thats actually why there is a delay in getting the ZNs once an order is placed. Yes, these headphones are in demand and the supply is limited.
Hi-res Audio – Top audiophile-grade acoustics precisely engineered to make Hi-Resolution music sound not only the way the artists imagined, but how the instrument crafters and sound engineers produced it.
As Val Kolton, V-MODA CEO notes, “ZN is our greatest audiophile-grade in-ear headphones and was benchmarked to outclass models ranging from $300 to over $1000”.
There’s much more to the ZN than just great sound, though.
The ear hooks are optional but included in the box. These keep the headphones in place when you are active and are surprisingly comfortable. It took me a while to get just the right length of cable between the end of the hook and the earbud but once I figured out the sight setup they worked amazingly well for me and allow the headphones to double as running headphones!
The headphones have a DiamondBack TangleFree Cable. The cable looks great but is also up to 20x stronger than the industry average. Add in the fact that, try as you might, you won’t be able to tangle up the cable into a messy nest of wires and you will never want to use headphones with a thin tangly cable again.
Add in the tough, 24k gold plated plug, the all liquid Zinc metal construction and the V-MODA-stylin’ y-connector that reinforces the point at which the cable splits into two and you have one tough pair of headphones. In fact, the V-MODA ZN are tested Beyond Military-Level Quality MIL-STD-105 Test Standards. There’s a reason the company offers an amazing series of guarantees with the headphones!
“Each Zn purchased from a Verified Reseller is backed by a 2-Year V-MODA Premier Warranty. In the unlikely event you run over your headphones with a tank, with the V-MODA Immortal Life Program, you get 50% off a replacement for a lifetime. V-MODA is so confident the Zn is a superior headphone, it even offers an unrivaled 60-Day test drive guarantee.”
A lot of high-end in-ear monitors don’t have an inline microphone or controls. V-MODA wanted these headphones to be the one pair you will ever need so they saw fit to include a high sensitivity microphone with a 3-Button SpeakEasy Remote Mic for Apple iOS devices. You can also get them with a 1-Button SpeakEasy Remote Mic for Android and Universal devices. It works well and even lets you access voice controls on the go. I’m really glad they included the microphone and controller since it really adds nicely to the overall package.
The ZNs ship with V-MODAs BLISS (Bass Level Isolating Soft Silicone) 3.0 Fittings. There are four different sizes of BLISS 3.0 fittings included with the headphones. Getting the right fit means you will enjoy enhanced noise-isolation, increased comfort, and enhanced stability. Once these headphones go in they stay put! The right seal also lets the headphones provide the best bass experience possible.
- Speaker Driver – 8mm dynamic-type
- Frequency Response – 2 – 25,000 Hz
- Sensitivity – 105dB @ 1kHz 1mW
- Microphone Sensitivity – -42dB @ 1kHz
- Impedance – 16 ?
- Cables – DiamondBack Kevlar-reinforced, 33″ plug to y-connector, 13″ even-length earphone cables
- Plug – 45 degree, 24k gold plated, 3.5mm (1/8″) stereo
- Weight – 20.8g
If you have not figured it out from my gushing throughout this review, I am a huge fan of these headphones. At $180 they are a pricey option for in-ear headphones but for the money you get a complete package. They are comfortable, stay in place, have an in-line microphone and controller, and sound amazing. I love the review sample I was sent and have no doubt anyone buying them will fall in serious like with them too. And, if you don’t love them they have an amazing trial period so there’s no risk. Oh, and there’s no risk because you will love them.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Sound amazing; Comfortable; In-Line controller and microphone; Ship with ear hooks for stability.
What Needs Improvement: There is currently a wait to get them.