From affordable in-ears to bass-rich over-ears, we’ve had good review experiences with just about every style of headphone that V-Moda has sent our way over the past few years, which made us all the more interested to dig into our Forza Metallo Wireless review. We dug V-Moda’s Crossfade Wireless and Crossfade Wireless II well enough to recommend them to listeners worldwide. But after our time with the halo-style Forza Metallo, we have new favorite — one well worthy of our editor’s choice badge.
Packing great sound, sweat-resistance, and luxurious comfort, these Bluetooth headphones are exactly what the company bills them as: A perfect companion for everything from workdays to workouts.
Out of the box
In true V-Moda fashion – and we mean that in more ways than one — the Metallo Wireless come in a hexagonal black and Lamborghini-orange box, along with a charging cable, a thin fabric carrying case, four sizes of soft rubber tips, and three sizes of sport fins. The company also includes a small instruction manual with everything you need to know for setup and operation.
Features and design
Even in the clean-lined world of halo-style wireless in-ears, V-Moda’s Forza Metallo Wireless are the visual equivalent of a sleek Italian two seater.
Simply designed with a jagged hexagonal battery pack that sits just right on the back of your neck, the headphones are less cumbersome than the average competitor, many of which have big bands that stretch all the way around to the sides of your neck, where controls are typically located. Rather than extending a thick band all the way around your head, V-Moda keeps things low-profile by providing two small remote sections on thickly coated titanium wire that extend from the battery pack. It’s a small design cue that helps the band seem to disappear during extended periods of wear, and one which we’d love to see on more halo-style in-ears in the future.
Controls are pretty standard for the genre: The control section on the left side features a single button for power, an LED to indicate pairing, and two sets of microphones to maintain vocal clarity during calls; the controller on the right has volume controls, and a multifunction button in the middle for play/pause and song skipping.
The earphones themselves are connected to long cables that extend out of the ends of each side of the controls, culminating in simple and understated bullet-style earpieces made out of aircraft-grade aluminum. As with many previous V-Moda devices we have tested, users can purchase various 3d-printed covers to attach to the outside of the earphones in various metals and plastics (yes, you can buy gold covers), but as with previous devices, we still don’t see the point. On this kind of headset, we almost always prefer the lowest-profile option.
The many fit options make the Forza Metallo among the most comfortable in-ears we’ve tested.
Our only design beef with the Forza Metallo Wireless is that the cables themselves are a bit too long for our taste. They do guarantee excellent range of motion even for those with giraffe necks, but the extra cable tends to loop up near the bottom of our vision, and occasionally gets caught on things during movement.
That said, we’re willing to trade the slightly longer cables for the sheer comfort of these headphones. The three sizes of sport fins mean the earbuds stick in place during workouts and walks around town regardless of your ear size, and the four sizes of earpieces mean you always get a proper seal for great passive noise isolation and bass response. The many fit options combine with the company’s extremely soft rubber compound to make the Forza Metallo among the most comfortable in-ears we’ve tested.
In addition to outstanding comfort, there are a few cool tricks hiding below (and one directly on) the surface of the Metallo Wireless headphones that are useful in daily listening. First and foremost is a sweat resistant nano-coating, which allows the headphones to function well and look pretty even during the highest-BPM workouts. The second is that, like a few other sets we’ve come across, the neckband vibrates to let you know when you’re getting a phone call, and also buzzes when the headphones are turned on or off. V-Moda also includes FastCharge technology, allowing the headphones to suck up 2 hours of juice in 15 minutes in a pinch.
Speaking of power, the Forza Metallo Wireless are charged via a covered micro-USB port on the bottom of the battery pack, offering a solid (if not stellar) 10 hours of battery life. Listening range from a source device is the industry standard 10 meters.
Setup is quick and painless. Simply turn the headphones on with a quick touch of the power button — you’ll know they’re on because they will vibrate and play a pairing tone. The LED on the left side will flash white to indicate pairing mode has been initiated. From there, just find them on your device’s Bluetooth menu, and pair. Another tone will play, and you’re off to the races — perhaps literally if you bought these as workout headphones, or, like the author, are perhaps training for the world’s longest relay race with a dozen other crazy Digital Trends employees.
We’ve spent time with a lot of in-ear headphones over the years, and are happy to report that the Forza Metallo Wireless are some of the best sounding we have ever heard in their price range.
Every frequency that emanates from the headphones’ 5.8 mm micro drivers is clean and vibrant, and the Metallo Wireless even give low-end frequencies a dynamic, punchy, personality — a rare find among in-ear headphones in general.
With that bit of added push in the low end, the Forza Metallo Wireless aren’t flat and color-free, but the added warmth in the sound signature makes them fun to listen to, and actually enhances the sound of some of our favorite tunes. During strenuous workouts we very much enjoyed the punch of the kick drums on songs like Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. and Dr. John’s Right Place, Wrong Time, with the touch of extra bass pushing us through the miles.
But even with great bass response, the upper-register detail that comes through in subtle mixes like those heard on Kevin Morby’s excellent new album City Music is impressive, with stereo guitars and poppy snare drum hits joining the lively low end to create a wonderfully well-rounded musical landscape.
V-Moda Forza Metallo Wireless Earbuds Compared To
In fact, the sonic profile of the Forza Metallo Wireless headphones felt much closer to a wired pair of on ears (or even over-ear) headphone than we expected. Where many in-ears showcase a tight central soundstage, these headphones are nearly as wide and dynamic as their bigger brothers, with gorgeous stereo imaging on intimate recordings like Gillian Welch’s Revelator that made it feel as though she was sitting right in front of us in a big, open room.
The great passive noise isolation is a blessing, and it creates a great low-noise environment for the drivers to paint your favorite tunes. Even at high volumes and when pairing, we didn’t notice any of the annoying Bluetooth connection noise you sometimes here in lesser wireless headphones.
V-Moda’s Forza Metallo Wireless are well designed, easy to use, and among the best sounding wireless in-ear headphones we have ever had the pleasure of spending time with.
Is there a better alternative?
There are plenty of high-quality halo-style wireless in-ears on the market that those considering the Forza Metallo Wireless may want to take a look at. Other options include the similarly priced (but not sweat resistant) Sennheiser HD1, the slightly more affordable BeatsX Wireless, or the more expensive Bose QuietControl 30.
How long will it last?
The Forza Metallo Wireless appear to be very well built and feature a rugged sweat-proof coating. Barring extreme abuse, we expect them to survive several years of heavy use.
Should you buy it?
Yes. The Forza Metallo Wireless are a versatile pair of headphones that are equally well suited to working out, or sitting at work, serving as an excellent option for those who want great sound and sleek style, without being shackled to their phone.