Page 3 - Subjective Audio Analysis
Reviewing audio devices require extensively trained ears and lots of experience. Even for audiophiles, it may prove challenging at times to obtain an accurate evaluation of a product without a thoroughly familiar product to use as a simultaneous reference. While I am not going to even try to claim that I am the only trustworthy or best reviewer for sound, it is fact that most computer review sites have editors who are insufficiently trained in reviewing audio equipment. Give them practically anything and all you will read about goes along the line of "good bass, nice midrange, awesome treble, really clear sound, 10/10". While there are many knowledgeable audio reviewers at various respected online media outlets, they are by far the minority.
As I have mentioned in my past audio reviews, there are really no true objective measurements for speaker sound quality. As the reviewer, however, I will put it through a series of subjective tests to try to come up with the most objective rating possible (Yes, it is quite a paradox haha). For portable tests, including wirelessly via Bluetooth, I used an Apple iPhone 6 and Google Nexus 9. These are some of the best consumer sound equipment out there in the market today, and will reduce its potential to be a limiting factor in our auditioning.
After over 30 hours of break-in time -- well above typically required period -- we put the V-MODA Remix to the tests. All tracks were uncompressed CDs, FLAC, or LAME encoded MP3s at 192kbps or higher.
In the most un-audiophile way possible, let me first start off with the power of this speaker. I am not the kind of guy who goes like, "These speakers are loud! They must be good!" but I am very impressed by its ability to fill a 400-seat church auditorium with decent sound quality. And I mean using just one of these -- you can daisy chain a few of them together for even more power. Granted, the auditorium is acoustically optimized and had no people inside, but my point is the Remix is way louder than you they look. If you are looking to play some music with your friends in your room or at a campfire, rest be assured everyone can hear the music. My only complaint is at maximum volume, the volume was a bit inconsistent, possibly due to a lack of power from the internal amplifier or hardware self-protection kicking in.
With that in mind, let us first over the big three: Bass, midrange, and treble. Like its loudness, its bass was much deeper and stronger than you would expect for something of this size. Furthermore, it was noticeably more articulate than the Audioengine B2, a Bluetooth speaker several times the size of the V-MODA Remix. But its bass was not only deeper, stronger, and more articulate than you would think. Its smooth, round, solid, and defined delivery was simply mind-blowing. I know all these claims are hard to believe. I still find it hard to believe even when I witness the Remix in person. Somehow, the engineers at V-MODA worked magic.
Moving onto the midrange, I would have to say it was clear but suppressed. It lacked the warm and saturation of the Audioengine B2, which was one of the B2's strongest points. Generally speaking, the Remix's midrange performance was acceptable for its size, but there were no big surprises here. It was designed to fit its punchy V-shaped sound profile; being boosted on both ends and the frequencies in between recessed. Still, it was pleasant to listen to, as it still sounded realistic.
The V-MODA Remix's treble, like its bass, was another highlight of this Bluetooth speaker. It carried a very distinct and sharp sound that crisply sparkled in the process. Not only was it sharp and immediate, it was also tight and wet -- again, something you would not expect from something of this size. The Remix's clean, energetic treble combined with unexpected clarity and brightness was very impressive.
Another highlight of the V-MODA Remix was its soundstage. Even if we disregard the fact the sound was center-imaged, simply because it physically is, you can actually hear its attempt to spread out. Now consider its dimensions of 205mm in width, 65mm in depth, and 68mm in height. Close your eyes and listen to the Remix, and you would never imagine that to be the case. The fact the Remix has a defined soundstage is impressive. Obviously, they are no Audioengine HD6, but the fact is I have never heard any Bluetooth speaker of this size that has a soundstage at all. Move up an entire level, and even the Audioengine B2 did not do well in this area.
Closing off with the auxiliary results, the amount of precision and detail the V-MODA Remix was able to reproduce was very good, given its physical size limitations. The layering came in at a detailed resolution, yet each frequency layer was reasonably distinct and generally well-separated. It was clean and well-defined. At the same time, the transition between each layer was smooth and cohesive on the Remix.
The company estimates the battery to last around 10 hours on a single charge. Based on normal volumes, I found this to be a pretty fair estimate. The rated wireless range is about ten meters line of sight, and from my tests, it seems to be a good estimate as well. Since it does not feature a high gain external antenna, it is not as good as the Audioengine B2, but this is a very reasonable trade-off for its form factor in my opinion.
The V-MODA Remix is a physics-defying speaker that performs way beyond what its size suggests. If you like its energetic and punchy V-shaped sound distribution, this Bluetooth speaker will blow your socks off in sound quality.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Subjective Audio Analysis