V-MODA Enters Bluetooth Speaker Market with Customizable 3D-Printed Options and Built-in Headphone Amplifier

March 21 2017, 03:10
It's a story of "world’s firsts" for V-MODA, evolving from an headphone lifestyle company, directly towards portable Bluetooth speakers and a world of 3D-printed customization of audio products. The company recently acquired by Roland of Japan, announced the launch of Remix, the company’s first portable Bluetooth speaker, featuring all sorts of outrageous 3D-printed customization options, multiple connectivity options and even a built-in headphone amplifier.

The culmination of three years of R&D involving "dozens of engineers and over 50 prototypes", the V-MODA Remix is introduced as the next chapter for the lifestyle company founded by visionary professional musician Val Kolton. As the company states "V-MODA’s verve is to amplify an authentic music lifestyle via timeless products forged by unparalleled quality, fashion-forward design and an unequivocal passion for music and materials." V-MODA's products blend "analog renaissance age inspiration, Italian design and precise Japanese engineering," and that's precisely a good way to introduce the design of its new Remix speaker.

“After developing our critically acclaimed headphones, we felt it was time to evolve, to “remix” the V-MODA sound into a new form. We already had our innovative headphones with their world-renowned sound, materials and personalization: why can’t a speaker achieve the same goals and excel at the same vision?” says Val Kolton, V-MODA CEO. “Now, after three long years of development, V-MODA’s Remix is ready – travel-friendly and compact, yet with full-bodied sound that’s as detailed at low volumes as it is at full power. It is a historic landmark product, because it is the first consumer product available where all surfaces are customizable via futuristic additive-manufacturing technology.”

The V-MODA Remix portable speaker is available in two finishes – minimal CNC aluminum and luxurious "vegan" leather – which Val Kolton says it exemplifies the work of V-MODA’s Milano-based design studio: "classically styled, beautifully proportioned and completely customizable on all six sides to reflect the personality of its owner."

Measuring just over 8” (20cm) wide, Remix is designed to go anywhere, powered by a two newly designed glass-fiber diaphragm and long coil drivers, and featuring a rear-mounted bass reflex port which the company claims makes it "an accurate, clearly defined sound that’s powerful enough for monitoring duties during mobile recording and production." Another important aspect in the design of the Remix was to add functionality beyond the typical features for traveling found in most Bluetooth speakers. V-MODA designed the Remix to be also "ideal for the home or the office, completely transforming the sound of a laptop computer, or bringing superior audio reproduction into the bedroom or outdoors."

VAMP Headphone Amplifier Built-In 
And because V-MODA is a company of "world’s firsts", the Remix includes a headphone amplifier in wired analog mode which the company says "is comparable to standalone headphone amplifiers worth $200 or more." The Remix is essentially a portable speaker, featuring a 3400mAh battery with a capacity for up to 10+ hours music playback, following full charge via USB-C (another world’s first feature for a portable speaker - V-MODA claims). But when connected to the charger, "owners of high-end, higher-impedance headphones can drive them as they were made to be driven - with 83mW x 2 energy - thanks to Remix’s built-in V-MODA VAMP technology and experience. Headphone amplifiers have far greater wattage than conventional smartphones and computers, which are generally built to drive earbuds rather than high-end headphones. Audiophiles have long understood the benefits of including a headphone amplifier in their audio setup and now consumers can too," as V-MODA explains.

In addition to "high-fidelity sound that can go anywhere," Remix features fast and simple Bluetooth pairing, allowing up to two connected devices simultaneously, and a built-in microphone tuned for online meetings or Skype calls, as well as communicating with voice assistants like Apple’s Siri or Google's Assistant. An unlimited number of Remix speakers can be daisy-chained via cable for a bigger sound and the Remix also connects with Amazon’s Alexa via the Echo Dot – either wirelessly via Bluetooth or wired with the included cable. This allows placing the Echo Dot for the optimum microphone reception and then situate the speaker in a different location to give the best sound. Remix is also compatible with Google Chromecast Audio to connect to the cloud or casting apps.

How to Uglify Your Speaker
As "the world’s first 3D-printed custom speaker," all six sides of Remix can be personalized using V-MODA’s "renowned jewelry-grade 3D-printing expertise," (which V-MODA says is patent-pending). This allows owners of Remix speakers to add new sides, change the front grill or even replace the main “C-shell” housing for "the ultimate in bespoke appearance."

Customization can be implemented using a range of materials, from lightweight matte fiber in 9 vibrant colors (from $40 to $250 depending on the parts), 5 distinctive versions of steel ($140 - $2,000), raw brass and bronze (sides only, $3,500), or sterling silver (sides only, $4,500). For those looking for the ultimate "uglification" and with too much many, there are also options for 14k gold-plated and rhodium (sides only, $5,000), 14-karat gold (sides only, $130,000) and even platinum (sides only, $370,000)!

Explaining why this is "the future of product customization", V-MODA’s founder and CEO says: “V-MODA has made it possible to “endorse yourself” rather than the manufacturer brand, and this option is becoming massively popular with our tribe of technologists, musicians, gamers and audiophiles. This is the first product that is a ‘module’ with electronics and moving parts, and all surfaces can be chosen in 3D printed and standard materials. There is a reason why Remix is the world’s first completely customized module and speaker: at this size and quality, 3D printing is incredibly hard to perfect. However, years of 3D printing for our over and in-ear headphones taught us how to build what is truly a historical product – a powerful portable speaker and amplifier where all six sides can be personalized. One day, this level of module+3D customization will be everywhere you look; electric self-driving vehicles, entire homes, living rooms, kitchens, computers and even Westworld-like humanoid robots. This is just the very beginning and I am amped to celebrate the ground-breaking start of this revolution of manufacturing.”

The V-MODA Remix is now available in Black or Silver for $300.00 (USD), €300.00 (EUR) at the company's website and authorized resellers worldwide. Included with the Remix speaker is an "elegant" USB-A to USB-C charging cable (2m), daisy chain audio cable with 45° 24k gold plated plugs (1.4m), 4x RemixRings (1 pair installed on the speaker). 3D printing customization is available exclusively at V-MODA.com/Remix
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