REVIEW: V-MODA FORZA METALLO WIRELESS – STYLE
After the review of Crossfade II Wireless, now it’s time to talk about the other wireless offering from the brand, the V-Moda Forza Metallo Wireless. This is the wireless version of the original Forza Metallo, and offers great ergonomics coupled with a nice sound.
Neckband earphones have been around the market for some time. This is one of them to look at, if you’re after this type of a wireless offering with a sport and style-friendly approach.
V-MODA FORZA METALLO WIRELESS – Build Quality, Ergonomics, Usage and Isolation
As you probably know, V-Moda is one of those brands that boasts quality and style. Predictably, Forza is not an exception. The V-Moda Forza Metallo Wireless is a nicely built unit, with a nano-coating finish to resist the weather and sweat. That means you can use it while doing many sports or run as much as you want. Like other products from V-Moda, these look quite durable.
In terms of design, these are really stylish earphones. Same consistent design language and still you can have custom caps, like the plates from Crossfade headphones. This eye-catching design is not only for looks. V-Moda made the neckband as a one small housing, so that you can easily use it or hide under your shirt’s collar. This is one nice design route from the brand. Once again, they show their difference here.
“No more ‘space ring around the collar’, lost earbuds, dongles, charge cases, bad battery or sacrificial sound and reception”
Just like it was with the Crossfade II Wireless, I didn’t face a single problem using the Forza. The system works the same principle. There are 2 controls on left & right. On the left you have a power button to turn on/off and it also works for pairing devices. On the right side, you have 3 buttons; middle one to play/pause the music and accepting/rejecting phone calls. The other two are there for changing the volume. You can also skip songs by pressing the middle button twice, and you can go back to the previous song by pressing it three times. You follow the beeps and vibrations to understand whether it’s connected to your device or not.
Also, when receiving calls there’s a vibration, which is very nice. Voice quality is great according to people on the other line, so no problems whatsoever. Battery life is around 9 hours and it’s charged via any USB cable. Bluetooth range and connection quality is wonderful. I tested it in my house and I almost went to the furthest opposite place in the house to lose the connection. Crossfade II Wireless was also great in this regard.
The V-Moda Forza Metallo Wireless is quite comfortable and it’s very quick to find a good fit. The module is quite thin and light, so after some time your forget it’s on your neck. My only complaint is the cable length. I think the earphone cables are a little longer than necessary. I would love to have them shorter. Noise isolation is passive, so no active NC here just like the Crossfade. Even so, passive isolation was quite enough for me especially with the right tips. Don’t expect an amazing isolation from noise, but it’s still good.
So overall I really liked the wireless performance and ergonomics. Altough I haven’t tested similar wireless offerings, I don’t think you can get any better than this, except the long cables which is not a big problem at all.
When I come across anything with a wireless tech, my expectations immediately drop. It was the same with Crossfade II Wireless but it somehow impressed me with the sound. So this time I was quite cautious.
And yet, the V-Moda Forza Metallo Wireless impressed me even more than Crossfade II Wireless. Because Bluetooth headphones are out for a long time now and I know some of them have good sound performance. So Bluetooth headphones are one thing, but in-ears are another. It was very surprising to hear the sound from Forza because it has a great sound to offer.
When I look at the whole sound character, what I can say is; it’s a crisp sounding earphone, having a great bass power and treble articulation. Mids are not one of it’s strong points but because of the fact that mids never sound harsh or in your face with a wrong tonality, it deserves an appreciation. It’s a little bright and a bassy earphone but the great thing is it’s doesn’t exaggerate anything over the edge.
Just like V-Moda’s headphones, lows have some good rumble and punch. Bass can go quite deep, so the subbas part is very good. Midbass is not that apparent, going a little back in the spectrum. So if you want some midbass presence this might not be the choice for you. For getting that rumble by the way, you need to achieve a tight seal with the right tip choices for you, otherwise you won’t get that bass kick.
So I’ll repeat what I wrote in the Crossfade II review: If you listen to popular music or EDM, you’ll be very pleased because of this great subbass response. On the other hand the midbass is toned down and that can create and unnecessarily delusive sound. Even so, I found the bass of the Forza great and the speed and recovery after hitting are also the strong points of this earphone. You’ll definitely get prominent and tight low freq’s with Forza Metallo Wireless. It’s not a bad thing but if you’re after a reference sound than it qualifies in a different world.
Forza somewhat has laid back mids. That results mids having a little difficulty at showing off. So basically Forza has a V-Shaped sound, which is great for popular stuff but not that good for folks like us. I mean the people who listen their DSD albums with many instruments and vocals in the recording. The mids are not in the deepest position but still they lack some realism and detail. Fortunately they sound very very clear with good tonality and resolution. The resolution part was one of the surprises for me in this earphone and it impressed me, no doubt. A little fuller and richer mids would be great, but that’s what it is.
The biggest surprise I had with Forza was trebles. Highs have great articulation all the time and that crisp sound struck me the first time I listened to it. They’re accentuated in the spectrum but not with a harsh way, and they have a very nice extension as well. I’m buffled by this qualitative treble response from a wireless earphone. So I should congratulate V-Moda for coming up this kind of a sound succession. I think every person who’ll try the V-Moda Forza Metallo Wireless will be pleasantly surprised by this great treble finesse and resolution.
Like in every review, I’ll say a few things on technical aspects and close it up.
If I start from resolution, I’d say it’s very nice and satisfying for this price and it’s no doubt a success for a wireless product. Also it sounds somewhat natural and I expected it to perform otherwise. I expected a digital character, and to some extent it still is, but not too much to make you uncomfortable. I listened many TOTL IEMs and mid-fi stuff, and believe me when you have a listen you won’t find it odd or strange. In fact, if I close your eyes and put you in a blind test, you couldn’t be %100 sure to say it’s a wireless earphone.
Separation is great but that is thanks to the midbass absence most of the time. Still it doesn’t feel very deficient under the favour of that great bass response. There’s no bleeding bass into the mids and that’s always an important challenge to overcome. Background is dark and it sounds very clean and transparent. Don’t expect a full black background like top tier IEMs of course but it still manages to sound quite separated.
Sound stage is another impressive strong suit of Forza. It sounds vast and positioning -especially with cymbals- is very good. By means of this, stereo imaging is quite nice and you have a lot of fun listening to this earphone. Because picking up the elements of music is always a special experience, and the phones that can extract this from the recording are very cool.
Like I said, I’m not very experienced in terms of wireless in-ears and it’s the first time that I tested a neckband earphone. Nevertheless, I don’t think there are so many neckband earphones like this one that offers this kind of practicalness together with a very nice sound quality.
The tiny earpieces and relatively small neckband adds a real style and comfort. It’s a convenient and a thoughtful design from V-Moda. Wireless performance is substantial, battery life is good and it’s very easy to use it. So there’s no big issue with Forza Metallo Wireless that I can put forward. Only small dent is the cable length to me.
I certainly recommend the V-Moda Forza Metallo Wireless if you’re after this kind of a wireless offering.