This week, the folks from a new headphone company called Modular began their Indiegogo campaign for the Mod-1, their new Bluetooth headphone. I was impressed by all the features included in the Mod-1, so when they asked MajorHiFi to conduct a review, I couldn’t resist. I just received these babies, so let’s see how they perform with this Modular Mod-1 Wireless Bluetooth headphones review.
Full of Features – Modular Mod-1 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Review
In the Box
-Mod-1 wireless headphones
-USB charging cable
-3.5mm audio cable
The headband consists of a strip of light metal over top a layer of plastic. There is a cushion on the underside of the headband which helps it sit more comfortably on the head. Purely from the look of the shape of the headband, I thought these might be too big. “Perhaps they’re made for folks with bigger heads”, I thought. But after sliding them on, I found they fit my head just fine. The headband, which is collapsible for maximum portability, bends to then hug the ears to aid in the sound isolation of the headphones. These headphones don’t have the best isolation I’ve experienced, but considering their $149 price point, I thought they did a pretty good job! The headband isn’t particularly flexible but moves a bit. Durability-wise, the headphones’ lightweight body feel like they might be a bit fragile, like the plastic might crack over time. And while I can’t give this a true test at the moment, I do find it comforting that the layer of metal is there, which may help make them last a bit longer than they would otherwise.
At first the earcups looked a bit bulky, but I quickly realized this bulkiness was dur to the way they sit in their yokes. They swivel a full 180 degrees in the yolks which I think some folks might enjoy. They are made of light plastic, which again, makes a little concerned about durability. At first I thought the right earcup was touch sensitive, but rather it is a large flat button capable of taking calls, playing, pausing, changing volume, and skipping songs. Additionally, above the left earcup, there is a slot for a micro SD card. More on this later.
The earpads of the Modular Mod-1 are modular, thus the name. They are easy to snap on and off, although I’m not sure if they’ll be selling other types of ear pads down the road. They are filled with soft foam covered by pleather. I wish they were a hair thicker because I found my ear hitting the earcup which made them uncomfortable. However, I am confident this wouldn’t be an issue for folks with bigger ears.
The Bluetooth feature of the Modular Mod-1 wireless headphones worked perfectly. They connected to my phone via Bluetooth 4.2 quickly and easily, just as I’d expect them to perform. They worked for a range of about 30 feet with line of site. Additionally, their battery lasts for 8 hours typically according to Modular. Lastly, the Modular Mod-1 Bluetooth headphones can also connect via NFC.
Micro SD Card Playback
One of the coolest features of these headphones is their ability to playback music on a micro SD card. I tried this with a card I have full of high resolution music but unfortunately, the headphones only playback MP3s in this capacity. So, if you have a large volume of MP3s, you’ll enjoy this function. But, if you were hoping to play back high-res files like me, you might be disappointed.
The FM radio function on the Modular Mod-1 doesn’t have many uses, but it is good to know you can still access music even if your phone dies.
The low frequencies of the Modular Mod-1 headphones are boomy, emphasized, and a bit lose. This works well for some genres and not so well for others. In some mixes, it comes across as cloudy rather than powerful. However, hip-hop songs, pop tunes, and EDM jams benefit from a boost at 40 Hz and 60 Hz. Indie music, rock, folk, and orchestra don’t quite work here.
The mids feel a bit dull and scooped, although the low mids are still emphasized at 260 Hz. This type of sound signature is genre-selective, and again, doesn’t work for everything. Most of the time electric guitars sounded dull because frequency cuts at both 500 Hz and 900 Hz but some guitars in certain mixes actually sounded pretty powerful because of the low-mid boost at 260 Hz. There was a little unevenness in the high mids which made vocals, guitars, and cymbal overtones sound a little bit unnatural at times. There were cuts at 1.5kHz, 3.5 kHz, and 4.5 kHz while there were boosts at 3 kHz and 5 kHz.
Because of the midrange cut, the high frequencies seem to have more emphasis without being sibilant. I wish they were a little bit more extension to help the vocals stand out in hip-hop and pop tracks.
Modular’s first headphones, the Mod-1 Bluetooth headphones, have a big, boomy low end. Therefore, they sound better with certain genres over others. If you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive pair of wireless headphones and you like a big bass response, you might be impressed by the Mod-1. If that’s the case, check out their Indiegogo campaign here: