(Pocket-lint) - Think of V-Moda and there's a good chance you're picturing the company's tank-like over-ears. The Crossfade series has been a fantastic advertisement for what the company can do - both sonically and with hardware build.
Traditionally, the V-Moda earphones are made for people who love sound with plenty of presence, volume and bass. You don't typically picture such devices as sports centric.
In 2018, however, the manufacturer released the BassFit: a pair of earphones designed to take on the Powerbeats of the world. We've been testing these in-ears regularly over the past few months to see if they can meet the standards set by its non-sporty family members.
- Weight: 17g
- Inline remote
- Removable over-ear hooks and in-ear fins
- Includes 8 pairs of tips (in XS, S, M and L sizes)
There's no denying the sports focus from looking at the BassFit. This is clearly the sporty pair in the V-Moda lineup. Especially the white model we've been testing.
There's lots of white and grey plastic, but more importantly the earphones ship with a variety of different over-ear hooks and in-ear fins - the idea being that you can chop and change them until you have a secure fit that works for you.
We love this versatility, but it does mean the earphones overall lack that distinguished, seamless look achieved by the newly announced Powerbeats Pro. In some ways, however, function over form isn't necessarily a bad thing.
In typical V-Moda fashion, there are lots of sharp angles and flat lines. The earbud casing that houses all the internal components is a slanted rectangular shape, while the in-line remote has that classic V-Moda hexagonal shaping, matched by the power button.
In use, for the most part, the fit of the BassFit has been good throughout all of our testing. With an ear hook and ear fin attached to both sides, the earphones stay securely in place, ensuring the seal, comfort, and the bass-filled sound are all as they should be.
The only time we experience an issue was on really windy days, especially down near the coast with the wind coming in on one side. We found, on such runs, the affected earbud would sometimes lose its super secure fit, impacting the seal of the ear tip, and therefore the sound.
As for comfort, that's certainly good enough to get through decent length sessions. Throughout the autumn of 2018 we've taken these earphones on hour-long running sessions and been pleased with the comfort - although there's a slight tenderness in the ear after removing them.
What's great about this pair of earbuds is that they're so light that you almost forget you're wearing them, especially with the ear fin and hook holding them in place so well. All you feel is the music, and that's just what you need when trying to beat your best distance records.
Long distance performance
- 11+ hours playtime
- 10m Bluetooth range
- 15min fast charge = 2.5 hours playback
- aptX, AAC and SBC support
For the most part, the BassFit stayed connected reliably to our Garmin watch, without any real issues or audio cutouts.
However, while we'd love to be able to say that wireless connectivity and reliability was absolutely perfect, during our testing it wasn't entirely. Despite being weather- and sweat-resistant, we often found that if the earphones were exposed to rain on a particularly windy day, the connectivity would suffer. It's worth noting, it had to be pretty rough weather for this to be an issue.
What we found on those very windy/rainy runs was that pulling up our rain jacket hood to cover the earbuds was enough to ensure the connectivity stayed solid. In short - if you're going out in the rain and strong winds: take a hat, or cover your ears with a hood.
One are that's really impressed us is battery life. V-Moda promises up to 11 hours use, which we more-or-less achieved. Between charges, we managed a good 10 hours of running in.
Perhaps more importantly is that the earphones give plenty of warning when starting to run low. In one period we'd forgotten to charge so the earphones started giving us the subtle bleep warning us of lowering battery levels about 10 minutes into the run - amazingly, though, the battery kept going for another 45 minutes before shutting down.
Even better: there's a quick charge feature that can give you two-and-a-half hours of playtime from just 15 minutes plugged in. So, even if you have forgotten to fully charge the BassFit, you can quickly top them up while you're getting ready to head out to the gym.
Soundtrack to your workouts
- 10mm dynamic driver
- 20Hz - 20kHz frequency responce
Depending on your own preferences, you'll either love or hate the V-Moda sound profile. But then again, the clue is in the name. BassFit by name, BassFit by nature. For exercise, that's no bad thing either.
Put these earbuds in, crank up your running playlist, and you'll get plenty of rhythmic, thumping bass. Detail in the highs and mids is decent enough too, especially considering the $130 price point.
While there's plenty of bass, it's not particularly well controlled. It can sometimes be a tiny bit "boomy", while some of the really low-end frequencies get missed or go slightly mushy. Still, when your heart is pumping at 160 beats per minute, you're sweating and trying to catch your breath, that's hardly the thing you're thinking about.
Sadly there's no app for adapting the sound profile. Whereas manufacturers like B&O, Sony and Sennheiser offer customisable sound profiles, V-Moda does not. It's a little disappointing, but not out of the ordinary. You get the same treatment from Bose, Beats and Master & Dynamic too.
BassFit means loud, durable in-ears with plenty of bass and enough durability to last your sweatiest workouts. For the price point, these in-ears are great - but not perfect.
We'd love to see the shape refined a little more to make them just that tad more comfortable after use. An equaliser-adjusting app would be welcome too, as would better resistance against extreme weather conditions.
Still, like the Powerbeats we had before these in-ears, the BassFit quickly became our go-to pair for popping in before a run. Combined with the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus' built-in Spotify playlists, V-Mods makes for a great running partner.
Beats Powerbeats 3 Wireless
Until the Pro was announced recently, the Powerbeats 3 was one of the best and most popular workout headphones available. Battery life is great, the fit is secure and the sound has that classic bassy Beats punch.
OnePlus Bullets Wireless
If you're on a budget, and can't stretch past that £100 barrier, the OnePlus Bullets Wireless are fantastic value for money. They sound good, are comfortable to wear and offer rain and sweat resistance.
Libratone surprised us in 2018 with the Pocket-lint Award winning Track+ earphones. They're not the cheapest, but they're genuinely fantastic all-round in-ears that are perfect for workout sessions.