Like the (now-defunct) Monster-Beats partnership, V-Moda has been a key player in convincing the casual music afficionado that walking around with goofy-looking cans on your ears was actually a fashion win rather than a faux pas. Naturally, this would have been practically impossible had V-Moda not actually spent what seems like considerable effort crafting a dynamic, sharp look for their headphones.
V-Moda’s newest set, the XS, could probably be considered the successor to their portable, supra-aural M-80s — but with folding cups that V-Moda says dramatically increase portability, and in an effort to improve comfort and aesthetics, design refinements to the headband that attempt to completely eliminate the gap between the band and the user’s head.
Sennheiser must have thought what I thought: That their amazing-sounding Momentum headphones perhaps appeared a tad too Teutonically severe (in the case of the red-and-black version) or stuffy (in the case of the brown version) to appeal to everyone (read: women).
So the Germanic, family-run company gave the Momentum a big fashion makeover, dressing them up in three soft pastels — pink, blue, green — with a fourth in a chic ivory-earthy combo.
These Scosche Realm RH656 ($130) headphones compete in the same league as with headphones like the Beats (formerly Monster) Solo HD, the Incase Reflex and the Fanny Wang 1000 Series. These ‘phones have a lot in common: they have smallish earcups that sit on the ear, instead of over; they all have track and volume controls (remember though that the volume control won’t work on Android devices); and they’ve all had a dash of fashion added.
But there are some key differences too. And as you’re about to find out, the RH656 does pretty well against its competition.
Discovering great headphones from a company that specializes in making bags was surprisng at first, when we reviewed Incase’s Sonic headphones late last year. A month later we were less stunned when we grunted in approval at their Capsule in-ear ‘phones during our budget(ish) canalphone shootout.
This time around we played with a new denim-clad version of the on-the-ear IncaseReflex headphones ($80) — which sit between the $150 over-the-ear Sonic and the canalphone Capsules — and came away with the impression that the Reflex may very well be the best bang-for-buck of the bunch.