The options for those looking to improve the oft-maligned audio quality of their iOS device have pretty much been limited to getting a better set of headphones or improving the quality of the audio files themselves. V-MODA has already come to the party with its Crossfade LP headphones and now provides another option for audiophiles with VAMP, a case for iPhone 4/4S with an integrated amp, DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) and battery pack.
The VAMP bypasses the iPhone’s internal DAC, extracting the iPhone’s digital audio signal and converting it to an analog signal via its own dedicated DAC. The unit also bypasses the iPhone’s internal amplifier with its own 150 mW x 2 amp that is five times more powerful than the iPhone's and is designed for professional grade headphones. VAMP offers two selectable audio modes: PURE, which outputs the audio in its original form, and VQ mode, which adds a slight spatial 3D soundstage and tightens the bass and increases the treble.
The output level can be adjusted via the unit’s hi/lo gain switch with a rotary volume knob providing fine volume control. Audio can also be outputted digitally to devices via the S/PDIF/Toslink optical audio output, with V-MODA claiming a signal to noise ratio of over 95 dB and distortion of less than 0.04 percent at 10 mW for the device.
The VAMP is constructed of aircraft-grade brushed metal with a shock absorbing silicone shield to protect the iPhone and cutaway around the iPhone’s camera. The 2200 mAh lithium-ion battery provides up to eight hours of playback and can be used as a backup power source to double to iPhone’s battery life with the flick of a switch.
The VAMP will add 135 g (4.76 oz) of bulk to your phone and retails for US$650.