Last Year, V-Moda made a specially designed headphone amp/DAC case for the iPhone. It was awesome but way too expensive for what it did. V-Moda's new Vamp Verza is an infinitely more flexible product you can use with iPhones, Android phones, and even your computer — but it might fall flat for exactly the same reason its predecessor did.
Here's how it works: the Vamp Verza is a combination headphone amplifier and digital-to-analogue signal converter that will work with a huge percentage of the phones on the market. The idea is to make the music on your phone sound better. How? First, by doing a better job converting the ones and zeros in your music files into analogue signal, and, secondly, by giving your headphones a little more power to work with. I had the chance to listen to the Verza a few times throughout its development, and I can safely say that it makes your music sound better. A little power makes a huge difference. No question.
Rather than attach the DAC into a single case in the manner of last year's Vamp, V-Moda will be making specially designed cases for popular phones. These cases then snap onto the Vamp. Currently, there are cases for the iPhone 4/S and the Galaxy S III. V-Moda says cases are on the way for the iPhone 5, and for whatever Galaxy S product Samsung plans to announce tomorrow.
So, in a way, V-Moda has addressed the original Vamp's fatal flaw: that it was way too expensive for a product that would only be good for one generation of phones. Indeed, the logic behind last year's product made sense — there are lots of iPhones and probably enough audiophile owners to make the product popular. It performed the function it was supposed to.
In the end, however, the problem remains the same: The Vamp Verza costs $US600, and each specially designed case for phones costs $US100. To us, that seems like a lot of money to spend on what amounts to a mobile phone accessory. That said, it does make your music sound great, and it only needs to capture a tiny fraction of the market to be a success. The products are available for pre-order now at V-Moda.