I’m not one that typically goes for status brands. I wouldn’t consider buying Beats. Monster cables aren’t for me. And Vertu? Forget about it. I’m not really a style over substance kind of guy. Which is why I was surprised at how much I liked the Forza Metallo Wireless headphones from V-Moda. They’re a $170  set of in-ear Bluetooth headphones that sound great but have a few issues.

Forza Metallo

DESIGN

The Forza Metallo Wireless headphones are the type that wrap around your the base of your neck with wired earbuds that snake up to your ears. V-Moda has included multiple earbud tips of varying sizes so you’re sure to find one that fits you comfortably. As usual, the default tips fit me just fine. They also included sport-hooks for your ears to hold the earbuds in place during exercise. It’s nice that the hooks are optional. I don’t really like wearing headphones with sport-hooks but, if you do, they’re there.

Probably the worst thing about the Forza Metallo Wireless headphones are the slightly too long wires that connect the earbuds to the base unit. I don’t know who can wear these naturally – certainly not me. I was constantly distracted by the extra lengths of cable.

One of the key selling points of the Forza Metallo Wireless is their ability to be customized. The headphones are available in gunmetal black and white silver. That’s great, but where you can really make them your own is with the optional earbud caps. They’re available for as little as $20 for plastic designs with names like “Steampunk” and “Lion”. Caps are also available in precious metals – bronze, gold, platinum, etc. These precious metals caps can run up to $4,500! That’s just ridiculous. I don’t see any justification for spending thousands of dollars for a couple of tiny earphone caps. It just doesn’t make sense.

Forza Metallo Wireless

SOUND AND PERFORMANCE

This is where the Forza Metallo Wireless shines. These things sound amazing. They put out such pure, excellent sound. I’ve literally never used any earbuds that can touch them. Every sound from your source device comes across crystal clear. Listening to music on the Forza Metallo Wireless headphones is like drinking an ice cold Cherry 7UP – sparkly, refreshing, and sweet. I know I sound a little over-the-top but that’s only because these headphones sound so good. Because of the clarity, every instrument and note is distinguishable. Once you’ve got them seated firmly in your ear the bass is just right. The headphones use Qualcomm’s aptX compression codec. They are a pleasure to listen to.

Forza Metallo Wireless

The battery lasts about 10 hours on medium volume. It’s easily good enough to make it through the average work day. And V-MODA claims 15 minutes of charge time adds 2 hours of playback. There are integrated buttons for play/pause, volume, and for launching your favorite phone assistant. The headphones work well enough for phone calls thanks to the addition of a secondary microphone for noise canceling. There’s also a vibrator built into the neckband that can alert you when you’ve got an incoming call.

Finally, the headphones are designed for active use. They’re sweat and “weather” resistant. I couldn’t find any reference to an IP rating or any more details on what “weather resistance” really means but I didn’t have any trouble with them during my trial and I live in Florida where it’s already reached a sweat-inducing 98 degrees.

CONCLUSION

There’s no doubt that the Forza Metallo Wireless headphones are pricey. $170 is a lot to pay for earbuds. Especially for ones with annoyingly long cables. You do get nice options for fitting them on your ears and a carrying bag. And they sound amazing. I don’t know that I’m a big enough audiophile to pay the premium but if you are someone that has to have the best audio experience possible you will not be disappointed. I guess my final verdict is a waffly recommend, granted you have the budget.

If you don’t want to drop $170 on earbuds, maybe check out the JBL E25BT headphones. They’re $60, sound good, and maybe represent a better overall value.