From the man sitting next to you on the metro to Dr. Dre and Lady Gaga, earphones have become the most common piece of wearable tech. As such, a demand has developed for earphones to fit better with people’s personal style. Naturally the Milan-designed, California-based V-Moda do just that with their range of audio accessories and with the help of a little 3D printing.
A great thing about the V-Moda Forza Metallo buds is the customization of them. Every pair comes with a range of silicone fittings to give ears the best possible comfort. Sport ear hooks and fins give optional extra support for running and gym listening, and there are four different sizes of circular buds to choose from to match ear sizes.
But then, best of all, there are the 3D printed caps that add that unique flair to an audio experience.
3D printed design
The lion ones are our favorite, and caused a small scuffle in the office when they arrived. (Editors note: I know where you could 3D print some more….)
We also got to try the trademark V-Moda style caps, and a steampunk design which is equally as detailed as the lion’s head in the small gears worked into the surface. The caps are fitted with a small silicone ring that fits onto the end of the earbuds so each one fits just as snugly as if it was part of the core design.
Users can personalize their listening experience when ordered earphones directly from the V-Moda website, and the range of 3D printed caps is set to expand over time to include new shapes and metallic materials. Note: the cable color can also be selected from white, black and orange (another personal favorite).
How do they sound?
The company’s founder Val Kolton designed the buds specially to go well with his hometown of Chicago’s techno scene, so they deliver decent bass and dabble well in the treble of popular music tracks. It would however be unfair to judge their suitability for all music tastes, as they simply aren’t designed for that. Forza Metallo are designed to look good and to provide a versatile fit.
Another standout quality of the earphones is the in-wire control. We appreciated that Forza Metallo had been optimized for both Android and iOS, with buttons far more responsive than, for example, the Apple earbuds. It was especially useful at this time of year as most of our tests were performed on the go when wearing woolly gloves.
The thing we’d most like to see from V-Moda is of course further commitment to 3D printed personalized good. Being able to custom print your own earphones is certainly on the cards for the future, and the Forza Metallo hold up well against the earbud competition out there.
Featured image shows the Forza Metallo packaging and a bag containing the 3D printed caps. Photo by Michael Petch.