Although wireless earphones are becoming the norm for runners, bikers, and gym-goers, there is still something to be said about wired workout earphones. While wireless ones keep you from having to deal with a cord while you’re working out, wired earphones provide better sound and never require charging so you won’t get to the gym and find yourself without music.

Unfortunately, many wired earphones are fairly bulky and heavy when compared to their wireless counterparts, which can get tiresome during long workouts. Thankfully, it appears V-MODA is coming to the rescue with a pair of extremely light, wired earphones that don’t compromise on sound quality – the Forza.

Design

When I first opened the box, I was amazed at just how small the Forza actually is. The earbuds themselves are smaller than most in-ear headphones I have used, and the entire look of the Forza is streamlined. The cable has a rubber coating to increase durability and help protect it from damage. Along the cable leading to the right earbud, you will find the in-line controls and mic. V-MODA touts that these controls are made for Android devices, which I was excited about since I had used so many earphones with in-line controls that didn’t work with my phone.

Unfortunately, the controls on the Forza do not work with every Android device, and my Alcatel IDOL 4S is one of them. The center play/pause button worked flawlessly along with the volume up button, but for some reason, the volume down button did not work at all. All the controls worked with my Nexus 6 so your experience will vary depending on the phone you have.

Taking a look at the earbuds themselves, I was impressed at their small size. The body of the earbuds is fully plastic to keep weight down, and I was glad to see that they still felt durable even with the plastic body. The Forza is water and sweat resistance and has military-level durability (according to V-MODA), so these earphones should last through even the most vigorous workout sessions.

The lightweight and compact design of the Forza helps most when it comes to the fit, and I found that the Forza fit securely in my ears without the need for fins or earhooks. For those of you who want even more of a tight fit, V-MODA includes three sizes of fins along with a set of earhooks that attach to the Forza and keep it frozen in place. The fins attach securely to the earbuds, and the fit is so seamless I would be surprised if anyone could tell the fins were not part of the Forza itself.

Sound

I have always been a fan of V-MODA and the sound that their products deliver, but I must admit that I was skeptical of the Forza when I first saw it. The tiny size reminded me of the inexpensive earbuds you purchase at a convenience store on a trip when you forgot to pack yours. To my delight, my first impressions were entirely wrong. The Forza comes with a 5.8mm driver that is designed to be lightweight but still provide excellent sound. I can confirm that the Forza delivers on both those fronts.

The sound from the Forza is well balanced with strong bass, clean mids, and clear highs. I was impressed with the amount of bass these little earphones could produce. The small size of the earbuds helps you get a better fit that in turn increases both noise isolation and sound quality.

Unfortunately, the Forza does have some cable noise from it rubbing against your clothes while you run or workout but using the included earhooks helps to minimize it. Even with the slight cable noise, I would still put the Forza at the top of the pack in terms of sound at this price range ($100).

Customization

For those of you who like to add a personal touch to your stuff, you have some customization options for the Forza through the V-MODA website that most other earphones do not have. Starting with the less exciting stuff, you can choose from three color options: Black, Orange, and White. However, you can go much further than this.

The Forza comes with the option to add custom 3D-printed caps that attach to the end of the earbuds. You have three designs to choose from: a steampunk design, the V-MODA logo, or a lion head. If you want to leave it there, you can have any of these printed in black acrylic for $20 bringing your full price to $120.

But I say if you are going to go this route, you must go all the way. And by “all the way,” I mean getting these caps made with a precious metal. Oh, yes. I’m serious. If you want to go the easy way, you can simply get them made of out bronze for a total price of $250. Or, you can work up the price ladder through gold plated, sterling silver, and 14K rose gold caps all the way to the top – full platinum caps costing a whopping $7500 dollars. Is this absolutely ridiculous? Yes. Is it also kinda awesome? Yes.

Conclusion

If you could not tell from the review, I think the Forza is an awesome set of earphones and the best workout headphones you can get at this price. The design is sleek and compact, the sound is full and clear, and the customization options are incredible. While these may be hard to recommend if you are thinking about going the platinum route, for those just wanting the earphones themselves, you would be hard pressed finding a better pair of wired workout headphones for $100. You can customize a pair for yourself at the V-MODA website or grab one from Amazon!