Sometimes a device comes along and you just say to yourself “WHOA!” The V-Moda VAMP is just one of those devices that is so much more than a portable headphone and DAC amplifier for your iPhone. In fact, it turns your iPhone into a portable music studio.
The VAMP is not meant for those who just like their music, but absolutely love it. That is because VAMP takes audio files to the next level. This all-in-one audio solution ushers in a whole new technology never before seen in the shape of a case, let alone a case designed for the iPhone. The VAMP features a 150mW x 2 amplifier, a dedicated pure Digital-Analog-Convertor, VQ audio enhancements, optical audio output and a backup battery, all embodied inside a brushed metal and rubber case. While adding significant heft to your iPhone 4/4S, the VAMP is so worth it.
The VAMP can be charged on its own via mini-usb cable, as there is no AC adapter or batteries involved with the VAMP’s design. Additionally, the iPhone can be charged by the VAMP as well if you toggle to the right setting. Once charged up – simply place your iPhone 4/4S inside the case and the turn this baby on. The one downside of the VAMP however, is that its exterior controls are very delicate. The toggle switch that puts the VAMP in different states with your iPhone should be moved with a slight touch. The same can be said with the bottom of the device, where the Gain settings are, this switch requires a tiny screwdriver or tweezers to move the gain into different positions. If your movement is a tad too harsh, you might risk breaking the switch and leaving the Gain in a permanent setting.
While the VAMP might be a product that is aimed at the more professional audio listener, someone who just dabbles in audio will appreciate this device as well. Pair the VAMP with a decent pair of headphones that can handle extreme details and you will unleash sonics into your ears that you never heard before, especially from your iPhone. Music sounds 10x louder on the iPhone and the richness of that music just bathes all over you. It’s hard not to love your audio library all over again once the VAMP gets a hold of it.
Playing with the Gain takes your audio files to a whole other level too, if your headphones can handle it. Which is important to note – if you plan on pairing the VAMP with your white earbuds – forget it. This is not a device that is suitable for them. But if you want to pair it with V-MODA’s headphones or any other above par set of cans, you can really test the limits of those headphones and see if they can handle listening to audio files in their purest form.
The V-Moda VAMP is an impressive device that changes the way we hear and appreciate music on the iPhone. You can easily make amateur and professional audiophiles salivate with a device like this. It is also much more convenient to travel with the VAMP over a device like the Fostex HP-P1 Headphone Amplifier & DAC. The downside of the VAMP however is its delicate controls and the fact that it probably won’t be compatible with the next gen iPhone 5 which should be debuting soon. That is because rumor has it, there will be a new form factor and a smaller connector pin. So $650 is a nice chunk of change for a device that some might consider outdated in just a few months… Our only hope is that eventually V-MODA comes out with some sort of adapter that makes the VAMP compatible with the iPhone 5 too.
Putting that gripe aside, the VAMP is a worthwhile investment if you love music, because the VAMP will only make you love it more. The V-Moda VAMP retails for $650 and is available now.
The Good: Takes your music to a whole new level of awesomeness. The design of the VAMP is top notch and makes your iPhone look like its wearing a bulletproof vest. Nothing like this has ever been done before. Professional and beginner audiophiles will appreciate this device.
The Bad: Delicate toggle and switches. Case may not be compatible with the next iPhone release, which means this a pricey investment for early adopters. Takes quite a bit of time to charge.