How good (bad) is the isolation of Vibe Duo ?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by Jenheta, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. Jenheta macrumors regular

    Mar 18, 2008
    I commute everyday by bus and noise isolation is crucial.
    I have seen some opinions elsewhere about a few earbuds
    but nothing conclusive. My budget is around
    US$ 80-100.00, which eliminates a lot of fancy options.

    Thanks for your take on this.

  2. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Isolation's fine. They sound ***** though. I don't recommend them at all. They sound worse than my $35 Sony MDR-EX71s, which just don't fit in the iPhone's stupid recessed jack, so you'd need a little adapter.
  3. r6girl Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Sep 6, 2003
    it's not bad, but not as good as the isolation with my etymotic er-6i's. i commute by train and i can hear my music and videos far better with the v-moda's than i can with the standard OEM earbuds. (and i did a review of them here).

    i think they sound fine - perhaps not worth the full retail price, but definitely better than the OEM buds and any low-end sony's i've used before. not as clear and crisp as my etymotic's, though. if you can find them at a good price, i think they would work fine given your budget. if you can go all out, i'd recommend etyomtic's for excellent isolation...
  4. Jenheta thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 18, 2008
    Thank you all.

    Today I stopped by an Apple Store to check the Vmoda Duo.
    I could not convince myself that those earbuds are worth 100 bucks,
    even after reading positive reviews elsewhere.

    I am inclined to go for the upscale range (~ US$ 150) if quality
    is there (by "quality" I mean good acoustic isolation and some bass. I am
    not a serious audiophile by any means).

  5. stylesjl macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2008
    The Vmodas do sound good. They are just heavy on the bass, which if you do alittle research before you buy, you would have known about this beforehand.

    Your basically in the same situation I was in. The apple headset fit me horribly and the sound was crappy. I also am not an audiophile, but I however didn't want to keep spending money on these $30 headsets that just don't sound right. Also, I wasn't looking into spending $300-500 for a headset.

    I did some shopping around and at first I was in the $100 range, but nothing to spectacular there. After some research I came across the Etymotic HF2's built specifcally for the iPhone. They include the call control just like the apple headset. The HF2's will run you around $170, but their sound quality is phenominal! The kit comes with numerous inserts to fit your ear, filters, and a cleaning tool. The sound of these are so clear and accoustically correct, some reviewers have even said they rival some of the $300+ headsets.

    Basically Ety took their ($300) ER4 model relaxed some of the accoustic balance alittle and added an iphone call control box and there you have the hf2.

    Also theres a demo on Etymotics microphone technologies:

    Check that out, its amazing.

    Whats funny is ultimately I was just looking for clear, very nice sounding headpohnes without breaking the bank. But now I have friends asking me where I talk to them from because I always sound super clear and no background noise. I get asked all the time if im in some sound isolated room, lol. Even better clarity then using the phone itself so, guess I knocked out 2 birds with 1 stone. :D
  6. Jenheta thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 18, 2008
    Hey, Stylesjl, thank you a lot for the reply.

    You see, the major problem I have is noise. If I were in a quiet environment
    maybe I would use Apple's earphones (heck, even ilounge also says the
    same :) ).

    I see you point about going for Etymotics and I would consider
    it if the price were closer to 130 bucks. Maybe I will end up going for it
    soon, depending on my job situation :rolleyes:

  7. dalvin200 macrumors 68040

    Mar 24, 2006
    Nottingham, UK
    the isolation is waaaaay better than apple's stock earbuds but nowhere near as good as the Shure E3C's I have..

    its probably on par with the seinheisser cx300's i also have and which are quite popular
  8. stylesjl macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2008
    If background noise is your problem, these will def do a great job for you. Etymotics triple flange inserts have like a 92% noise isolation rating, among the best. The $170 is pricey, I agree, maybe wait alittle while. I heard that soon double driver sets are comming into the $170+ range, might drop down all the single driver options quite a bit.

    I didn't really waat to pay $170 myself but just got tired of using my apple buds. And when I really thought about it, waiting for the set to hit $130-150 its only saving you like $40 bucks. Thats like the price of a nice shirt/pair of pants know what I mean. Just depends on if you wait to save the extra money or not. But spending $130 or $170 pretty much feels the same, lol.

    Either way, goodluck on what you decide to do. :) Btw that HF2 set won ilounges best of show '08.

    And FYI you can't compare the CX300's to the HF2's, thats laughable. The CX300 does offer good balance but it doesnt really compete with any models from Ety, not even the 6/6i. I would however take the CX300 over Skullcandy/VModa and such.

    The only sets really that would offer a significant sound difference would be the Shure SE310s-530, but then your talking $300-$500+, those monitors are really in a class of their own. For $170 you cant really beat the hf2's currently.
  9. Jenheta thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 18, 2008

    I understand your point and it is valid. Looking at the
    current products there are only three options on my table :
    1) Stay sad with Apple's earbuds (price = 0),
    2) get Hf2 (170 bucks + tax) or
    3) get a combination of nice earbuds plus an adaptor.
    I spoke with someone who uses option 3 from
    Shure and it is quite reasonable with only one
    downsize : two cables on his pocket measuring almost 3 feet.

    This is going to be an interesting weekend.

    Thank you again for the helpful suggestions.

  10. OC513 macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2007
    comply foam tips

    if isolation is your major concern try the comply foam tips on the VModas.....they make a huge difference over the ones included. I did a mini review....just search the forum for 'comply foam tips'
  11. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    Go option 3

    whoever you spoke with is factually incorrect or isn't showing you the most recent Shure models.

    I have owned the following:

    (The ones in bold I currently own)

    Look at this thread people for some reason think that there will be this chord, it's really the same size as the iPhone chord with the Shure MPA. This is the best option and any of the SE Models will have this chord. Because the SCL models are literally the old E-series with a new name, their chord is going to be longer like what you are talking. All of the new Shure headphones (SE Series) have: the earbuds with a v connector and an extension chord, so that it will be as long as standard iPod headphones, the SCL series uses the standard one chord, L-connector connection.

    The new connection will look like this:
  12. stylesjl macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2008

    Thats what the connection will look like without a mic. Jenheta will also have to purchase a mic addon and connect that aswell. Overall your looking at alot of clutter, you'll have to hire an AV crew just to take care of all your wires. :D So much for the minimalistic apple look huh, lol.

    Jenheta, it may be the cheap alternative but you'll end up frusterated overtime dealing with all that hassle. If $170 is to much, maybe try the UB7s, basically etymotic ear montiors built into the apple cables/mic. They retail for $150, you can also send in your iphone headset and they will take off another $30. Putting you at $120.

    Link to them here:

    iLounge Review:

    So that would put you around $120, or go with option 3 and "save some money." Until you get aggrivated with dealing with all these cables, connecters, and the addon mics are these fairly big clip on-shirt units that look horrid. And the addon mics aren't designed to sit right by your mouth like the apple one does, they normally sit alot lower clipped to your shirt, so you won't sound to great with this setup. Just something tot hink about, opting for the cheaper alternative isn't always the bright idea.

    Do post what you end up getting and some pics of it, I'm half intrested to see what the older Shure set, hooked onto an iphone adapter, then hooked onto a mic adapter would look like. ;)

    But thats me, I like my things to be streamlined, if you don't mind the extra clutter and then it might work-out for you. Just wanted to point that out so you don't end up buying the setup then having to buy something again. Afterall when we try to save money the first time around it sometiems coems back to burn you.
  13. jackiecanev2 macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2007
    I just got a pair of FreQ's, custom in ear monitors and super budget price. After reading a ton of reviews over at, I decided to go for the high end ones. I am utterly in love.

    Since youre not an audiophile by any heads, and just want some good sound, the low or mid-level FreQ's would be good; the low have a single balanced armature (balanced armature = fantastic sound), and the mid-grade ones have dual balanced armature (= separate armatures for lows and highs). The sound isolation is amazing, because you make a mold of your ear from the kit and send it to them. They have a fit guarantee, and a full year warranty, and even offer accidental damage coverage for $10.

    For the price, I'd suggest the mid-level freq's. Sure, they're not as polished as, say, UE10's. But for the money, they're... I just can't say enough about them.

    If you have any questions, the guy is available via email and phone (they're a relatively small company), and they're incredibly helpful and accomadating to requests, etc.
  14. OC513 macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2007

    the guy from Freq is a member here....JTFreq is his sn.......he said they are working on a set with mic and button for the iPhone......those things look sick for the money.....triple drivers at that price is insane then throw in the custom earmolds and u have a great deal but as of now there is no mic or button. If JTFreq sees this please update us on when mic/button version will be ready.
  15. jackiecanev2 macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2007
    Apparently, a guy asked them to use his cables, and sent him the white iphone cord from his boxed 'phones (the standard cord that freq uses is iphone compatible, but no in-line mic) and they used them:

  16. OC513 macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2007

    those look awesome.....I want a set like that!!! Gonna have to hit their customer service and inquire!
  17. Jenheta thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 18, 2008

    stylesjl and all others,

    Sorry for not posting back during this time.
    I was out of town visiting New Orleans. Just as a non related comment, in 8 days my prepaid iPhone saved the day at least three times. That was a nice road test for this gadget.

    Anyway, back to my post, I sincerely appreciate all suggestions. I have not purchased anything yet but will check all new comments later this week.

    The way I see it now is : V-Moda does not look to be worth 100+ bucks. If the isolation is just ok as others have written there is not point in going after it. I would rather put more cash and get some model from Etymotics.
    Time (hopefully short) will tell.

    Thanks again,

  18. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    You are so wrong

    Do your homework and please people don't comment unless you own the buds or have actually used the specific ones. So many people have sent the wrong message about the Shure IEM's and the Shure MPA. I'm not a Shure employee but they really are making the best solution that you can go to the local Apple store without a pocket knife for. They are one of the very few brands that has a great customer service reputation (if you don't buy off fleEbay) and a great product.

    There are too many threads in this forum with people saying the wrong information about earphones, it's almost to the if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all motto.

    Also, remember the proper way to wear Shure IEM's are around your ear, that takes another 1 1/2 inches off the overall chord length. I'm 5'8 and my pants aren't buckled at the knees, with this set up the microphone sits nicely about 7 inches above my belly button and the iPhone has 2 inches of chord in my pocket, which is nice, it allows my head to move around, my iPhone to move around in my pocket, a slight protection against wire's getting suddenly pulled on and what not. It is not significantly longer then the iPhone headset. (And it's much more streamlined with it being all black with my black Incase Slider)

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