Most portable Bluetooth speakers these days add a few extra features to make them a little more than “just” another speaker. Adding a USB port to allow the battery to top up a smartphone, integrating a flashlight—that kind of thing. The Remix from V-Moda also offers some extras to stand apart from the crowd, but these aren’t the usual features. First, the Remix includes a built-in headphone amplifier. The second is the ability to swap out components for 3D-printed versions to customize the look.
That’s on top of a very solidly built speaker, with an excellent audio pedigree. V-Moda sent me one to try out and here’s what I thought of it.
V-Moda Remix Key Specs
• 9W x 2 speaker amplifier driving dual 1.5-inch glass-fiber drivers and a 2.5-inch passive radiator
• Integrated microphone
• VAMP 83.2mW x 2 headphone amplifier
• 3400mAh battery rated at up to 10 hours playback
• 4 remix rings included, 55″ 24K gold plated daisy chain audio cable included
• USB-C to USB-A charge cable included
• 8.1 x 2.5 x 2.5-inches, weighs 1.6 lb
• MSRP $299.99
V-Moda’s Remix is an attractive piece of audio gear. Its aluminum shell is solid, all angles, and clearly means business. The front is a black mesh speaker grill, there are two black end caps, more mesh around back (along with inputs), and membrane touch controls on top. A single LED on the top panel indicates power and battery status. The speaker is reassuringly heavy and it’s not going anywhere thanks to rubber “Remix rings” that wrap around the ends of the case and give it a solid grip.
V-Moda includes a second pair of rings which can be easily removed and replaced to switch up the look (my review unit had black and red). In addition, removing four Torx screws lets you pull the case apart completely and replace components including the grill, end caps, and shell case with 3D printed replacements in a variety of styles, colors, and materials, which are sold separately by V-Moda.
As you would expect with a $300 wireless speaker, audio performance was very good. The Remix has solid bass and plenty of energy. It gets more than loud enough to fill a small room, without distorting. In fact, if you take the Remix apart, the material V-Moda uses to prevent vibration can be seen. At eight inches wide and with two drivers and a bass radiator to play with, the audio lacks depth, though. V-Moda says you can daisy chain multiple Remix speakers together using the included cable for more expansive sound.
Battery life is about 10 hours (less if you crank it up, more if you’re light on the volume button). A multifunction button lets you invoke Siri or Google Assistant (it worked fine with Siri on my iPhone) and take voice calls.
The V-Moda Remix includes an integrated VAMP headphone amplifier. Plugging your music source and headphones into the Remix lets that amp take over for superior results (no Bluetooth, you’ll need physical connections for both source and headphones). I tried it out with a set of Sennheiser Momentum headphones, an iPhone 7 Plus, and an iPod Shuffle. The results in both cases were a considerable improvement over the stock setup, with the headphones delivering a lot more detail and far more bass response.
I wasn’t sure if it would work properly with the iPhone since it lacks an audio port, throwing a Lightning to 3.5mm audio adapter into the mix, but it did.
Is the ReMix worth the Price?
As a $299 Bluetooth speaker, the V-Moda Remix has some strong competition. Among models that I’ve tested in that price range, the Libratone ZIPP had more depth, warmth, and volume plus multi-room Wi-Fi capability. The RIVA Turbo X beats it for sound quality, trounces its battery life at 26 hours—and is currently down to $159 at Amazon. The Fugoo Style XL at $199 is another solid choice that packs eight drivers, a 38-watt amp, and floats in water.
In other words, if I had $300 to spend on a wireless speaker, the V-Moda Remix probably wouldn’t be my first choice.
But… That built-in headphone amplifier changes the equation. If you’re not happy with the performance of your wired headphones when connected directly to a smartphone or other audio player, a good headphone amplifier can set you back $100 or more. With the V-Moda Remix, you get a high-quality headphone amp built-in. That changes the value equation because now you have a pretty high-quality speaker and a premium headphone amplifier. It also means one less gadget to keep track of. The customizability is also a bonus if you’re interested in switching up the look of your speaker.
Disclosure: V-Moda provided a Remix speaker for evaluation but had no input into this review.