When it comes to reviews, I have always found the battle method to provide more interesting results. Using one product and then another to pinpoint which is better and why has always been entertaining. We received four sets of ear buds for our holiday reviews and guides this year, so it was a no brainer how we would handle the reviews. We tried to be as fair as possible and we did the battles by the price of the ear buds. In the case of the Shure SE115s and the V-Moda Vibe II ear buds, both sets were around or just over $100. The other pairs (see our iBlink vs. iFrogz review) were around $13, so it would have been unfair to pair these reviews up any other way.
First impressions are given to the V-Modas. If you want something stylish, and dare I say, sexy, these are the ear buds for you. The Vibe II’s do not come with your standard look and plastic cable. Instead, they offer a cloth, rope-like cable and jewel encrusted ear buds that are quite fashionable. Both sets offer a selection of ear bud sizes that you can snap on and off to make sure that each person using them has the correct fit. This was a necessity for me, as I have smaller ears and tend to feel that most ear buds are uncomfortable or a wrong fit. I didn’t have this problem in either case as I was able to adjust to the right size for me.
To be fair, while the Shure SE115′s are a bit more plain in the looks department (you can get them in a variety of colors), they do come with a nifty carrying case, which makes taking care of them much easier than the standard twirling around the mp3 player method of carry. While both the Shure and the V-Moda’s are attractive, the V-Moda’s are definitely more fashionable. However, they are also a bit heavier and the rope cable does like to tangle quite a bit. I did not find this to bother me in the least, but some people might find this to be a problem. If you want something lightweight the V-Moda’s might not be for you, especially if you’re interested in something for everyday use. However, if they don’t bother you they will certainly make an impression.
When the sound comes into play both the Shure and the V-Moda ear buds pack a mean bass line. In the case of the V-Moda’s if you’re not a fan of bass you might find it to be too strong. The Shure ear buds excel in the bass area and would be perfect for hip hop fans because I found I preferred listening to Eminem with them as opposed to standard pop music. Unfortunately, this is where they are the best, so if you’re looking to use them for other genres you might want to look for something else. In other areas, the sound quality is not as strong.
Based on the professional quality label they offer, I was expecting some near-flawless sound, but did not receive that with the Shure SE115 ear buds. Granted, they provided a fair listening experience, but for $100 I was let down because I didn’t feel the sound was as mindblowing as the V-Moda’s. If I had to put a price range on it I would say $50 give or take a little would be a better price for these ear buds.
The V-Moda sound has very few flaws. Overall the sound is loud and strong. The bass provides a pumping, musically active experience and if you like bass you will love these headphones. If you’re looking for some earbuds based on sound quality alone where price is no object, it’s not a decision you should weigh. You need to pick up the V-Moda Vibe II’s today. The only major issues I can see with these are the weight, the cord that likes to tangle too easily, and the thumping bass (if you consider that an issue). These weren’t big issues for me though, so I found no reason not to fall in love with these fantastic ear buds.
Winner: V-moda Vibe II