In a market that is full of options, you’ve got to offer something special if you’re going to come out with a new wireless portable speaker, especially if you want to attract the interest of people who are used to thinking of other brands. The V-MODA REMIX Bluetooth Speaker enters that market knowing full well what needs to be done.
We are huge fans of V-MODA’s headphones here. As the legend goes, CEO and founder, Val Kolton was on Rodeo Drive one day in 2002. He saw a woman “step out of her Rolls-Royce, dressed to kill in total haute couture. There was just one thing that ruined her perfect image: a set of cheap white plastic headphones.” After having spent time in Ibiza with “the world’s greatest DJs and clubs,” Kolton wanted to “somehow capture this contemporary culture, combining the love of great sound with a globe-trotting lifestyle driven by a need for music, fashion, and art.” After noticing the woman on Rodeo Drive, Kolton realized that there was a way to make his mark — “he would make stylish headphones with great sound, worthy of the most demanding audiophile, using metal instead of plastic to create the missing link, with a true fashion/lifestyle brand centered around music.” If you’ve ever tried a pair of V-MODA headphones, you’ll know that Kolton was successful.
Which brings us to their latest audio creation: the REMIX portable Bluetooth speaker. It’s not your average black plastic box.
There are two “basic” V-MODA REMIX color versions available: black vegan leather and the silver aluminum that I was sent. At $300 with no customization, this is already a beautiful speaker that will look at home just about anywhere. I’ll talk about the customization options available later in this review.
Included in the box are the REMIX Speaker; a flat, a 79″ long tangle-free USB-A to USB-C charging cable (the REMIX uses USB-C to charge); a 55″ long braided daisy chain audio cable with 45° 24k gold-plated plugs, two extra REMIXRings (one pair comes pre-installed on the speaker); warranty information; and information on their 50% Immortal Life Program Replacement.
The V-MODA REMIX measures 8″ long by 2.5″ tall by 2.3″ deep, and it weighs 1 pound 13.8 ounces. This speaker is elegant, and the aluminum casing is beautiful, easily making it one of the best looking speakers I’ve ever reviewed or seen. Even so, if the aluminum looks a little too flashy, you can always opt for the black vegan leather.
There are no buttons or ports on the replaceable black plastic sides.
On the top, there is an LED indicator light that will flash orange while charging and glow white when it is fully charged.
When it is paired with a device streaming Bluetooth, the LED will glow solid white. Next is the power button and a volume down button. The button in the middle with the stylized “V” is the multifunction button that you press once to answer a call (it will pause the music playing), or you can press and hold for two seconds to either refuse a call or hang up. If you press it once during a call, it will put the call on hold. Next is the volume up button and then the labeled Pair button. There is a microphone on the right of the Pair button.
The back side of the V-MODA REMIX looks just as good as the front.
On the left, you have the VAMP port, which is where you plug your headphones in if you want to use high-end wired headphones (that require an amp) to stream your music. Next is the USB-C charging port, and then the 3.5mm aux-in jack. You can daisy chain a pair of REMIX speakers by plugging the included daisy chain cable into the VAMP port on one speaker and the aux-in on a second; you can also daisy chain them via Bluetooth. The REMIX can be paired with up to two devices at a time, and it will play audio alternately from both sources.
The bottom of the speaker is plain.
I had mentioned that the REMIX can be customized.
The front grill, sides, and the aluminum C-shell can all be changed out with custom 3D printed parts. Depending on how crazy you want to get, the price for the finished REMIX can quickly shoot into four figures (or more). You can play with the customization options here, but I’ll include some examples …
Obviously, adding the customization does nothing more than change the exterior of the REMIX; you’ll get the same sound from it whether you have the high-dollar customized version or the base model with no customization.
The REMIXRings that wrap each end serve as sturdy non-slip and vibration-absorbing feet for the plain speaker; they also hide the screws that hold the speaker’s pieces together. If you later decide to customize by adding different end caps (by printing your own or buying from V-MODA), you have the means to swap them out on your own.
Before we get into its sound, let’s talk about another thing that sets the REMIX apart from other portable speakers, namely, that it has a built-in headphone amplifier or VAMP.
If you own a pair of high-end headphones that require an amplifier to properly work, then you know that a standalone amplifier can cost $200 or more, but it is a necessary purchase to really hear all that those headphones are capable of. The V-MODA Remix has that option built right in, so if you near where you usually like to sit, you can plug your headphones in and enjoy the produced sound as it was meant to be heard.
To use the VAMP, you click the multifunction button, which puts the speaker into VAMP mode, but it makes it the same volume as when it is in a daisy chain. However, you can control the volume and go as loud as you’d like, because the amplifier wattage will kick in.
The VAMP provides “83mW x 2 Pure Power”, which is much more than smartphones or computers (that still have a 3.5mm jack) are meant to put out. If you consider that this convergent speaker includes a $200+ amplifier, it makes its $300 base price much more palatable
So, that’s how the V-MODA REMIX looks and what it can do, but obviously, that’s not all that’s important in a portable speaker.
V-MODA REMIX Features:
• Glass Fiber Dual-Driver – Accurate sound, with sweet, clearly defined midrange, vivacious highs and impossibly low distortion at every volume
• Passive Bass Reflector – Hear and feel the precise vibrant bass of your music, without bloated boom or muddy mids
• Immersive 3D Soundstage – Full-bodied for a ‘live performance’ experience
• Instrument Engineer Verified – Hear the sound of drum kits, samples, and acoustic instruments the way the instrument engineers and original artists intended
• Easy Pairing – Press PAIR to easily connect your Bluetooth device
Simultaneous Device Connection – Multitasking users can “multipoint” connect REMIX with two devices at a time, such as smartphone and laptop or smartphone and smartwatch
• USB-C Charging – Future-proof and safer charging via included USB-A to USB-C Cable
• Long Life Battery – Up to 10+ hours of music
• Quick Access Control – Top-panel buttons to control volume and playback of your music
• Built-In Mic for Calls and Voice Assistant – Use the built-in microphone for calls, Skype or summoning voice assistants like Apple Siri or OK Google – but with far superior music quality
• Compatible with Alexa when using the Amazon Dot
V-MODA REMIX Specifications:
• Dimensions (L x W x H) – 8.1×2.5×2.5 (in) / 205x63x63 (mm)
• Weight – 1.9 lb/850g (Silver); 1.6 lb/710g (Black)
• Frequency Response – 20-20,000 Hz
• Wireless Range – 33ft (10m) [I do wish that it reached further]
• Battery Capacity – 3400mAh (up to 10+ hours music playback)
• Speaker Sensitivity – 79 dB ± 3dB at 1kHz
• Microphone Sensitivity (Omni-directional) – -42 ± 3dB at 1kHz
• Speaker Wattage – 10W x 2
• Driver Impedance – 4 ?
• Headphone Amplifier Wattage – 83mW x 2
• Headphone Amplifier Impedance – 12.8 ?
When you first turn the REMIX on, you’ll hear a tonal welcome that lets you know that it is ready to play. Pressing the Bluetooth pairing button produces another tone, and there is a tone to let you know once pairing has been done. It couldn’t be more intuitive or simple.
Whether you are putting the V-MODA on your desk, a side table, or a bookshelf, you’re about to get blown away by what comes out of this diminutive speaker …
First of all, the bass is incredible, but not in an overwhelming way. It’s more of a deep, driving, pure sound that seems like it should be coming from a larger speaker with a big subwoofer. Even on the highest volume, the bass is steady and true; it doesn’t bottom out, and it will easily fill a room.
My usual standard for checking midrange sound, Radiohead’s “Burn the Witch”, sounds incredible — no muddiness in the midrange whatsoever — Thom Yorke’s voice is not overshadowed in any way by the orchestra behind him. His velvety voice feels like it’s been laid on top of the background music, and it projects perfectly.
Beck’s complicated “Wow” hits no sour notes, and its bass resonates without faltering. Manchester Orchestra’s “I’ve Got Friends” has a heavy rock sound that can easily overwhelm a lesser speaker, but the REMIX lets it pound full force. Jungle’s “Lucky I Got What I Want” has a lush sound with driving background drums and falsettos that the REMIX compliments. Because the sound produced by the REMIX is enough to fill a medium-sized room, you could easily fuel an impromptu dance party with the frantic “Double It” by Galactic.
The sound produced by the V-MODA REMIX is, in a word, impressive; I can only imagine how amazing two or more of these would sound once daisy chained.
One last thing I want to touch on is V-MODA’s 50% Immortal Life replacement program; it’s really fair for those of us who are hard on our equipment. The way it works is that when you receive your V-MODA product, you’ll register it. Then, if your product is ever “overused, broken, or falls outside the warranty period, [they’ll] offer a 50% coupon towards the purchase of a comparable headphone model. You’ll have to send them your overused or broken headphones with your contact details, and then they’ll e-mail you a 50% discount code. That’s pretty awesome, and it gives me a lot of confidence that V-MODA not only makes quality products (which honestly, I already knew) but that they also stand behind them in a way few companies will.
If you’re looking for a customizable portable Bluetooth speaker that sounds wonderful and looks great, then the V-MODA REMIX is waiting for you. Starting at $300 with a built-in amplifier for your high-end headphones, the REMIX is a great buy.
The V-MODA Remix Wireless Metal Speaker retails for $300 (and up, depending upon customization), and it is available directly from the manufacturer.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Beautiful design in its most basic form, but if you have the money and desire, you can customize it into something special; Type-C charger; Included aux-in cable; Two or more speakers can be daisy chained; Built-in headphone VAMP amplifier; Excellent sound that is bigger than I’d expect from such a small speaker; 10 hours battery life; 50% Immortal Life replacement program
What Needs Improvement: I do wish that the range was further than 33′