Review of the V-Moda Vamp

V-Moda VAmpAn Audio Enhancer With Too Many Hassles
If you are a music fanatic, and absolutely need to have an authentic and powerful experience when listening to your iPhone, this product was made for you. The V-Moda Vamp is a $650 iPhone accessory that can dramatically improve your listening experience. However the Vamp has more than its share of drawbacks.

The device is basically an iPhone case with a digital-to-analog converter and a 150mW x2 headphone amp. Despite its aesthetic appeal, the accessory doubles the size of your iPhone and makes it almost too bulky to fit in your pocket. The Vamp’s inherent awkwardness of use cancels out any points it may have scored for style. The design is otherwise satisfactory, with its brushed metal back and a pleasing volume knob.

On the user experience front, the Vamp is simple, intuitive and convenient. It even has a power switch on the top of the case that allows you to select between two equalization modes, Pure Audio and VQ Audio. The only issue is removing your iPhone from the case, which is difficult, arduous and you get the feeling you may damage the 30-pin connector over time.
But ultimately the question is, is it worth buying? On the plus side the Vamp does deliver V-Moda VAmpon its promise and how. Giving music tracks a smoothness, accuracy and feeling of depth that is far beyond an iPhone’s capabilities. The improvement in sound quality is very apparent across music genres.

On the other hand at $650 the Japanese gadget is way too expensive for an accessory that is anything but essential. Plus it may not be compatible with future iPhone versions because if Apple changes the connector, the Vamp could be stuck using outdated models only. Another major hassle is that the Vamp will not play music during charging and it needs to be charged often. While the Vamp’s battery is supposed to play for 6-8 hours, it actually lasts for 2-3 hours.

In conclusion the Vamp is not really worth it, unless of course you are crazy about audio quality. The Vamp is both a fantastic gadget and completely ridiculous at the same time. When you are listening to uncompressed FLAC files, the Vamp can completely change your auditory experience with the right headphones. But the expense and more importantly the possibility of an incompatible iPhone being released in the next six months make the Vamp an impractical buy.

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