Headphones come in all shapes, sizes, and qualities, from cheap bargain bin junk to multi-hundred dollar masterpieces of sound engineering. For some, the difference between any two sets of headphones is imperceptible, or perhaps it just doesn’t matter to them. To others, every little feature and engineering nuance can be the make or break thing that sells them one set over another.
For my own gaming, I usually prefer over the ear headphones, but have also been known to use a pair of Skull Candy earbuds if I need something in a pinch, and I’ll usually opt for the smaller and more portable earbuds for almost any application outside of gaming as well. When VAVA offered me the chance to check out the MOOV 14 earbuds, I jumped at the opportunity to check out another set of in-ear headphones to see if they could stack up against my traditional gaming setup and work in my everyday life.
The first thing that struck me when opening the MOOV 14s (aside from the compact but firm carrying case they come with) is that the build quality is exceptional. I’m used to lower priced earbuds having a cheap feel, using rubber coatings and plastics, but the MOOV 14s are metal. The connector, microphone, and earbuds themselves are made from an aluminum alloy which already makes them feel more high-end than any old plastic in-ear headphones I may have lying around. They look really good in person too, never betraying the fact that they are only $26.
No, Your Other Left
Plugging them in for the first time, I was struck with a dilemma. After extensive searching, I couldn’t find any markings indicating which earbud is right and which is left. I assumed it was the same as other headphones I have (mic on the left side) but actually ended up being wrong, which now makes these the most frustratingly confusing set of headphones I own. I have to retrain my brain to remember that the MOOV 14s have the mic on the right side, not the left. Without even subtle markings, it’s a 50-50 shot on someone getting it right the first time (unless you’ve read this fantastic review which of course instructs you on which is which).
The headphones come with additional earbud tips for various sized ears, but I found that the default ones fit me very comfortably, doing a great job at blocking out most every sound as they sealed up my ear canals. Changing these out will help most people to find a decent fit, and they can conveniently be stored within the carrying case that comes with the MOOV 14s.
If you are looking for a flat response in your headphones, these are not it. I found the MOOV 14s to be heavier on the bass end, sometimes too much so if the original mix already had an exceptionally booming bass frequency. Highs are clear and crisp, but occasionally can be muddied out by bass frequencies overpowering them. It’s not necessarily a bad EQ curve, but be aware that audio will be colored when it comes through the MOOV 14s. I preferred them for spoken word or gameplay audio, though music still sounds great through them.
I also discovered that they are tuned very loud. Compared to any other set of headphones I have, when changing out headphones and keeping the source at the same volume level, the MOOV 14s were deafening and I would have to pull back on my levels. It was quite the surprise the first time I plugged it into my DualShock 4. I have the headphone output volume of the DualShock 4 set almost to max for my other headphones, but after my ears were blown out by whatever game I was playing, I had to lower it to about half for the Moov 14s. Again, not a bad thing, but something to keep in mind. I did find that the volume is so high on these, that rather than be inhibited by self regulation or a limiter, the headphones do start to crackle mildly at extremely high volumes. These are the kinds of volumes humans shouldn’t be listening at, so it won’t really matter, but I feel like the volume curve could have been lower in the first place to limit listeners from ever pushing them to that limit.
Eerily impressive is the 3D sound, which works great for both VR and flat screen games that have an impeccable sound mix. Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles was my test subject as the audio design is fundamentally three dimensional (interview with the sound designer for Yonder coming soon!) The headphones seemed to accurately recreate the audio in forward and backward space, as opposed to just a mix of left and right. It adds a layer of depth to my games that I just don’t get with those old plastic Skull Candy buds.
The versatility of the VAVA Moov 14s is where I found the most enjoyment. As easy as they are to use for gaming on the PS4, they can just as easily be would up and tossed in their case to pull out on a long flight, listening to music on my phone, or using them as a hands free headset. They are sturdy, yet inexpensive, so I am not worried about tossing them into a backpack, taking them on trips or out and about, unlike other more expensive headphones. They don’t functionally differ from other similar earbuds, but the look, feel, and sound quality have come together to make these my go-to headphones when I reach for a pair.
VAVA MOOV 14 Headphones were provided by the product manufacturer for review. For more information, please read our Review Policy.