Italians are known for luxury designs in fashion and cars, and now it seems we can add headphones to the list. V-MODA are a US company but the Forza Metallo in-ear headphones were created in their Milan design studio. The wireless earphones will set you back $170, while the wired model is slightly more affordable at $130. After trying out the wireless design I’ve started to believe that sometimes a little luxury is worth the expense. It has recently awarded ‘Best earphones for audiophiles‘ for its awesome sound. And now.. it’s time.. for the V-Moda Metallo wireless review!
10 hours of battery life from neckband design
The V-MODA Forza Metallo is a neckband headphone that offers 10 hours of battery life, which is about average in today’s market. The Metallo includes an integrated mic and remote below the left earpiece. V-MODA have really gone all out with the accessories, which include four eartip sizes and three sizes of “sports fins” to keep the earphones in place. You also get a charging cable and a soft case. The case is the only thing that lets the package down. I own earphones that are 1/4th of the price that included a hardcase.
True audiophile results from V-MODA Forza Metallo
V-MODA are marketing the Forza Metallo as an audiophile headphone and they aren’t kidding. The 5.8mm neodymium driver provides an exceptionally broad 20Hz – 40,000 Hz frequency response. It’s the most neutral and balanced set of earphones in my collection. A lot of wireless earphones boost the bass and highs to make things sound ‘big’ but V-MODA have gone in the opposite direction. If you want to hear your music as it was originally intended, then the Forza Metallo are the earphones for you. In terms of audio results V-MODA are definitely presenting one of the best neckband headphones available at present.
Forza Metallo performs on metal to hip hop
I spun Nihilist by UK metal band Architects to test out the Forza Metallo’s performance. The mix sounded very crisp, and the numerous rhythm guitar layers cut through clearly. The bridge has some subtle overdubbed clean guitar parts that I never noticed before listening on the Metallo, despite hearing the song many times on other set-ups. The detailed response of the Metallo can even take some getting used to, as it’s so different to the current trends in consumer headphones. Audiophiles will be all over it though.
For a different sound, I ran Kendrick Lamar’s Alright through the Metallo. The mix sounds gorgeous through the earphones. The bass is thick and full without being overwhelming, and every detail in the drums and backing vocals comes through clearly. Again I noticed little details in the drums and backing instrumentation that I never picked up on before. It’s a testament to the design that it can handle a variety of different musical styles so well.
The comfort factor
So audio results are all well and good, but how does the neckband design perform in terms of comfort? I’ve been wearing them for about three hours straight now and they haven’t been irritating my ears like many headphones would by this point. Despite the integrated battery pack the neckband is light and doesn’t strain the neck or back.
You have to be careful with how you position the neckband or else it will slide around, but once you get it in the right spot it’s pretty good. The cables leading to the ears are a bit long, and the movement of the extra cable length is occasionally distracting. I think I probably have a regular sized head (haha), so the average user may experience this issue as well.
The V-MODA Forza Metallo has slim cables which don’t look that tough, but the design is high quality. Some users of the wired model reported breakage at the 3.5mm jack, but the wireless model doesn’t have that problem obviously. During my time with the Metallo I haven’t seen anything to indicate poor build quality, and looking at other users’ experiences indicates the same.
Does the Forza Metallo stack up as a sports headphone?
The sweat and water resistant neckband headphones design lends itself to sports applications quite well. The Forza Metallo is great for walking and running, as the neckband will keep it in place. The eartips are sound isolating though so you’ll want to be careful if you’re out in traffic. The Metallo will also work for a regular weights or gym session. If you do anything really hectic that involves lunging or rapid movements you will start to run into issues with the band slipping off though.
Are they the best neckband headphones on the market?
V-MODA are vets in the headphone game and the Forza Metallo does make a good case for being the best neckband headphones going at the moment. They aren’t cheap but you’re getting your money’s worth. They present an excellent, hi-fi audio experience, are well-built and score fairly well in the comfort department. I have a tendency to over-listen to albums and get sick of them, but I found myself spinning those albums yet again on the Metallo because everything sounds so crisp and detailed through them. Not many headphones will make you do something like that so I think that’s fair closing word on the matter.