For around $25, you can find an endless number of earbuds online. But Vava, a manufacturer of variety of consumer-electronics products, is aiming to win over the gaming audience with its entrance into this sector. The company’s Moov 14 Gaming Earbuds are available now for $26, and it’s positioning them with a focus on 3D surround sound.
Vava talks about its “frequency division” technology for better enabling virtual 7.1. Does it work? Sometimes. But the real highlight here is the heavy bass.
What you’ll like
It’s got bass
When I first plugged the Moov 14 into my PC, I didn’t notice the surround sound. I couldn’t notice anything beyond the overwhelming bass. The earbuds excel when it comes to the rumbling lower frequencies. Explosions, engines, and footsteps on floors have a thunderous quality to them.
I found that the bass rumbled regardless what device I used to test these earbuds. I plugged them into my phone, and the audio playlist I use for trying out headphones sounded deeper than I’ve ever heard it without going through an amplifier or a USB-powered headset. With the Moov 14’s combination of portable earbud configuration and thumping bass, you have the capability to add extra energy to your games anywhere you go.
I loved using the earbuds with my Switch, because Nintendo’s hybrid portable doesn’t put out a lot of power through its headphone jack. But this doesn’t matter with the Moov 14. It can take a weak signal and give it life with the way it handles bass.
I also love the fit of the Moov 14. The earbuds’ bases have a bulbous globe design, and you can change between three different kinds of coverings. I went with the largest buds, and they didn’t cause any itching or other annoyances.
The round driver casings, which you place into the flaps of your ears, use an aluminum alloy that has a nice, cool feel against the skin. I also found that these metal driver housings tend to hold in place better than plastic earbuds. That means they don’t fall out while you’re up and moving around.
What you won’t like
Bass overwhelms everything
The Moov 14 isn’t too bassy. The issue is that the earbuds do a poorer job with everything else. Mid-tones and highs sound weak, and that means the bass washes it out whether you’re listening to the earbuds through the digital-to-analog converter in your phone or through a dedicated headphone amp. Ideally, I’d like to keep this bass and have highs and mids to match.
When I listened to Steely Dan’s “Hey Ninenteen,” the bassline and percussion pop to life, but the singing and the rest of the band sound thin. A similar phenomenon happens with the surround sound. Virtual stereo surround is a standard feature these days, and while some people hate it, it can work. And it works here, but it was difficult to pinpoint directional audio if too much bass was happening simultaneously.
The Vava Moov 14 is an easy recommendation if bass is what you care about the most. For $26, these earbuds will make most games feel like the latter parts of a dubstep track, and that’s the benefit of using earbuds. Because the audio drivers are closer to your ears, they can power strong-sounding bass even from weak sources.
It’s also a fine communications and media device with a built-in microphone and controls on its cable. The big negative here is that the bass is sometimes too strong, but that is only a problem in specific circumstances like a game that has a lot of dialogue happening during action sequences.
Otherwise, the Moov 14 performs great.
Vava provided GamesBeat with a sample for the purpose of this review. It is available now for $26.