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Moshi Vortex Pro Fit and Use

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Vortex-Pro_case_tipMoshi includes a triangular carrying case with the Vortex Pro earphones. The case is rubber and has fitted slots for the earbuds and a track for cable. This is one of the times that a manufacturer hasn't tried to make a case that doubles for a cable management system. I prefer this as it makes me feel less bad for leaving the thing at home. The rubber of the case seemed like it would protect the earbuds well and the design, like all of the design of the Vortex Pro earbuds, is very unique and interesting. I thought that the earbuds fit in the case too loosely but I designed a highly technical and scientific experiment to test out how well the Moshi case works.

I threw it across the room.

Yes, I know that no one in their right mind would throw $150 headphones across a room, no matter how good the case was. But I'm a reviewer so I have to do the things that you wouldn't and shouldn't do. In each of my experiments (tosses), the earbuds stayed firmly (and safely) in the case. The wire often unwound from the outside but the earbuds never fell out. For this reason, I suggest that Moshi install a way to secure the tip of the cable to keep everything together. The heft of the tip was just too much to keep in the wire-track.

Vortex-Pro_incase

If there was one flaw in the overall design of the Moshi Vortex Pro, it was the orientation of engraving on the back of the earbuds. Like most people, I use the text as a gauge of how to wear the headphones. I assumed that Moshi would want their name to be legible to those seeing someone wearing their headphones. So I, at first, installed them with the cables hanging directly down from my ears.

This is not how they were meant to be worn.

The cable is intended (notice I didn't say "designed") to be wrapped over the ear. This placed the engraved name upside-down to the observer. It also does little to secure the earbud as the cable doesn't have any sort of earhook like the Sonomax PSC-250 eers. The problem, at least in my mind, is that the weight of the Vortex Pro earbuds, while conveying quality, also tends to pull the Vortex Pros out of your ears. Why they didn't add an earhook to help support the bud is really beyond understanding. To me, this felt like a last minute solution to the weight problem. With an earhook, the earbuds would have stayed more firmly, Without them, wrapping the cable around your ear seems a stop-gap solution at best.

Vortex-Pro_buds

While I had the best fit with the memory-foam tip, they broke almost immediately so I had to use the silicone ones. I found them to be comfortably, but they didn't stay in very well. I was constantly, even with minimal movement, having to push them back in. These are not earbuds you'll be able to exercise in (at least, I couldn't). Even when doing minimal activity (like typing), I'd find the earbuds slowly falling out. I tried all three of the silicone tips but none of them made a difference. It could just be that I have the wrong shaped ear canals for the Moshi design.

In fact, most of the design cues that I liked so much, worked against the Moshi Vortex Pro earbuds in actual use. The weight made them unstable in the ear, the braided cable looked and felt cool but tended to kink, and the soft rubber controls were nearly impossible to identify by touch. I almost missed a number of calls because I was hitting the volume controls rather than the center button. The weight not only pulled them from my ear but made wearing only one (as I would often do when driving so that I could both receive calls and hear the traffic) impossible. If I had a breast pocket, I could place the other earbud in there. Otherwise, the weight of the free earbud would pull at the other and Moshi didn't include any sort of clip to secure the cable to your shirt.

What I decided is that the Moshi Vortex Pro earbuds are more like an over/on-ear headphone that go in your ear. You wouldn't go running with your over-ear headphones. You wouldn't wear only one for any length of time. You wouldn't be surprised if they dislodged with quick motion. These are all the things that the Vortex Pro do. Is this a negative? Sure, if you expect all earbuds to be used in the gym. But if you use your headphones while on the bus, during long plane rides, or just at your desk, it really doesn't matter. So, in this case, it is better to realize where they will work best rather than expecting them to perform in a certain way just because of the design.

 

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