Last we heard from V-moda, the company was appealing to audiophile sensibilities with its $300 Crossfade M-100 portable headphones. Continuing in that respect, today it's officially unveiling the Vamp Verza as a followup to last summer's $650 iPhone 4/4S-purposed Vamp
spy tool headphone amp, DAC & case combo. The aluminum-clad Verza is a device-agnostic solution that uses a sliding dock system with special $100 Metallo cases to give any supported devices a similar all-in-one feel to the original.
At launch, a GS III case is available, with an iPhone 5 model a few weeks out -- the company is aiming to get GS IV and Note II cases out next. The unit's 150mW x 2 amplifier will bypass your iDevice's audio output via a USB port on its bottom, while an adjacent microUSB port can take advantage of the external sound card profile found in Android Jelly Bean. V-moda notes the microUSB port acts like a traditional USB audio device, so it'll work with mostly any device. As you might guess, both ports have their own specific DACs routing audio at different power levels to its op-amp.
V-Moda Vamp Versa and Metallo cases (press images)See all photos
A 2,200mAh battery keeps the unit juiced for about seven hours of playback, and it can be used as a USB charger as well. On its side is a row of four orange LEDs to keep you informed about its battery and charger status at the push of a button. iOS users get extra flexibility too, being able to make use of pass-through USB syncing and a bass boost option. Level control is handled by a traditional volume dial (naturally) on its top, which also serves as its power switch, while two LED-backlit toggles let you choose between the two DACs and three operating modes on iOS (sync, charge / playback and playback).
Its 3.5mm headphone jack supports optical audio, and a 3D expander button gives it extra flexibility to work with speakers and automotive audio systems. Lastly, a depressed hi/low gain toggle switches the unit's output for high or low-impediance headphones, meaning it'll be right at home with the smallest cans, to power-hungry reference types like the Sennheiser HD700. If you're interested, it'll be available soon in a variety of colors, to boot. All that's just grazing the surface, so join us below for a complete (and lengthy) video background and overview with V-moda's own Val Kolton.
V-MODA Invents VAMP Verza and Metallo, the World's First Hi-Fi Amplifier, DAC, Battery and docking Metal Case for Samsung Galaxy S III, S IV[MS1] , iPhone 5
Mobile Hi-Fi system featuring groundbreaking VERZADOCK brings audiophile fidelity to Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and more
Milano – March 13, 1013 – V-MODA, designer of the award winning crowd-sourced Crossfade M-100, announces its latest invention, VAMP Verza and Metallo case, the world's first mobile Hi-Fi system for the modern audio connoisseur that transforms your smartphone into a mobile hi-fi system. Designed in Italy and made in Japan, it builds off of the original VAMP's features for the iPhone 4/4S featuring an integrated 150mW x 2 headphone amplifier, 2 DAC (Digital-to-Analog convertors ) and a 2200mAh battery pack. Verza also introduces the patent-pending VERZADOCK that seamlessly integrates Vamp Verza with current and future popular smartphone and tablets.
VAMP Verza can be used as a desktop or portable amplifier as a hi-fi USB Audio device, or mobile audiophiles can dock it with the machined METALLO case built specifically for the Samsung Galaxy S III. Future cases for the Samsung Galaxy S IV, Note II and iPhone 5 will be available later. Metallo slides and locks onto Verza's high-performance audio engine with the VERZADOCK rail mechanism designed for optimal precision and tactility. The case can be used independently with the included back cover for times when portability is more important than function.
"Consumers today get a lot of very good features included in their smartphones, but for those who want uncompromising performance in photography use a detachable lens camera, for the purest audio there is now Vamp Verza. Vamp shrinks the analog-age spirit into a sleek, spy-like multifunction gadget that is portable enough to use anytime, anywhere," states Val Kolton, Chief Visionary Officer at V-MODA. "When you combine VAMP Verza, Metallo, M-100, and the new Samsung Galaxy S III/S IV, Note or iPhone 5, you achieve the ultimate technology trifecta that truly stands out from the crowd and your friends." –Val Kolton
Audiophile Sound & Anti-interference Technology
Vamp Verza's audiophile-grade dedicated DACs extracts pure digital output from your computer, newer Android* or iOS device via USB/micro-USB and converts it into analog form for the purest mobile audio listening experience. Vamp's 150mW x 2 amplifier is many times more powerful than smartphone amplifiers and provides up to 7 hours of playback. Low noise anti-interference is provided by Burr Brown, AKM DAC and a 6-layer PCB, which can only found in hi-end digital players, provide anti-interference technology. These features isolate the components so your audio sounds more like the original recording with less resonance, radio interference and background noise. VAMP's rotary volume knob allows you to finely adjust the volume and its hi/lo gain switch adjusts the output level.
USB Battery Charger and Optical Output
The 2200 mAh lithium-ion battery can be used as a backup power source for virtually any USB powered device, and can double a normal smartphone's battery life. Another unique feature is an Optical audio output that allows you to connect Vamp Verza to your A/V receiver, DJ mixer or car stereo via Toslink or SPDIF optical audio, transforming your device into a Hi-Fi grade audio source.
The new designer Metallo cases defends your smartphone and are forged from a single aluminum metal block and each unit takes nearly an hour to machine the unique V-ANGLE design and finishes. The lightweight Metallo can be used independently of the VampVerza as one of the back plates is designed for ultra-portable use. The second back plate, VERZADOCK, bolts onto the Vamp Verza's 4-bolt main so that you can slide and lock the phone onto Vamp Verza. The precision is unique and even the sound when switching the plates or docking was tuned to be like unsheathing a sword. When docked to Vamp Verza, it locks safely into place with the slidelock mechanism. To use your camera, simply pull the case out and up.
Metallo is available for pre-order for the Samsung Galaxy S III and will ship within two weeks. Metallo for iPhone 5 will be available in limited quantities for crow-sourced beta testing within two weeks. Metallo will also be made for the Samsung Galaxy S IV, Note II and select devices in thenear future.
VAMP Verza Features
· Designed in Italy, Made in Japan
· VERZADOCK Compatible
· Hi-Fi 150mW x 2 (USB Mode), 130mW x 2 (iOS Mode) amplifier
· 2200 mA/h battery with up to 7 hours of playback
· Charges iPhone,iPod and USB devices
· 2 Dedicated DACs (USB/iOS)
· 6-Layer PCB forlow noise, anti-interference
· Rotary dial volume control
· Variable Gain Switch
· Optical Audio Output
· 3 Distinct Sound Enhancement Modes
o Pure Audio
o Bass Enhancer (iOS Mode Only)
o 3D (Optimized for Home and Car stereos)
· Lightweight 190g
Metallo Case Features
· Designer protection for your phone
· V-ANGLE Lightweight Machined Metal
· InterchangeableVERZADOCK Plate (patent-pending)
· Sliding Lock mechanism (patent-pending)
· Compatible withVamp Verza AMP/DAC/Battery Pack
Vamp Verza is priced at $600 and will be globally available in Matte Black, Shadow (Red and Brushed Black Metal) and White with Orange accents at V-MODA.com, Amazon worldwide as well as Collette in Paris and AC Gears in NYC. Metallo case is priced at $100 and is available for pre-order at V-MODA.com, Amazon.com and also be available at Collette and AC Gears. For a list of current and Asia retailers, please visit V-MODA.com/VERIFIED. For high resolution images visit http://VISION.V-MODA.com.