I might just have my new favourite toy. I’m lucky enough to have been lent a pair of VOX amPhones to play with and I’ve been indulging in some of my wildest axe-wielding fantasies over the past couple of days.
If you’re a guitarist or bass player and live with people who don’t share your passion for crunchy riffs, power cords and general shredding you’ll appreciate the amPhones, which are very literally plug and play. Just pop the lead into your guitar and rock out. It’s as simple as three chords and the truth.
For the uninitiated, VOX are an iconic brand of amplifiers that were the backbone of stars of the swinging sixties such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones (whatever happened to those guys?). With so many rappers and bands getting into the headphone game it’s good to see other companies getting into the mix.
The Vox amPhones come in four varieties, each recreating the iconic sound, design and characteristics of the brand’s best-known amps – the classic AC30, Lead, Bass and Twin. I’ve been playing with the Twin.
The headphones have built-in micro versions of these classic amps, including unique Valve Reactor technology, and have been specially manufactured by Audio-Technica. This is all powered by two AAA batteries which are provided.
All the controls are little dials on the earpiece so you can adjust volume, tone, gain and even toggle effects. Sadly it’s impossible to see what you’re adjusting and in the heat of a solo it’s easy to get confused as all the dial feel the same. I’m sure you’ll learn (and it’s also pretty obvious what’s changing from the sound) but it would be nice if you can tell from touch alone – maybe by using slightly different sized dials. But it’s a small grumble.
The standard sound from the headphones is already pretty good and one of the dials provides reverb, chorus and delay effects. These sound great, although it would be nice to be able to tweak them a little more. Then again … these are a pair of headphones and it’s a testament to how good they sound that you want to modify the sound even more. There’s an aux input in case you want to play along to one of your favourite jams. And we you turn the amp off you can just use the amPhones as regular headphones – which sounds great and are pretty comfortable.
I you love guitar and lack space these are a great buy. Out now for £119. For more details on purchasing head to Vox