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Circuit Breaker

V-Moda's new earbuds can be bought with 3D-printed lion heads made from solid gold

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Platinum is also an option

V-Moda announced a new “Forza” line of headphones this week. The three Forza headphones are all in-ear models designed for fitness and sport use, which represents a bit of a departure from the over-ear style that the company is typically known for.

There’s the base model, the $100 Forza, which is a fairly standard pair of sports headphones with a sweat-proof plastic casing. Next, for a bit more money, there’s the $130 Forza Metallo, which are essentially the same headphones as the cheaper Forza but upgrade the casing from plastic to metal and the cable to a reinforced cord. Internally, both sets use 5.8mm drivers, support high-resolution audio, and connect via a standard 3.5mm jack. Lastly, there’s the top-tier model, the $170 Forza Metallo Wireless neckbuds, which takes the same metal earbuds as the standard Metallo and adds a titanium neckband for a claimed 10-plus hours of battery life over a Bluetooth connection.

But that’s not the important part. All of the Forza models are built to be customized by a variety of interchangeable decorative 3D-printed caps. V-Moda currently offers three different cap options for purchase — although more designs are shown on the site and may be offered at some point as well.

For now, there’s the gear-covered “Steampunk,” a “V-Design” option that features the V-Moda logo, and the obviously correct choice, “Lion,” which as the name may suggest is a miniature 3D-printed lion’s head. To take it one step further, V-Moda offers a choice of materials that you can select to 3D print your chosen caps out of, from the relatively cheap $20 acrylic to 10 different precious metals, including brass, 14K gold (both plated and solid), and, for those with a cool $7,500 to spare, pure platinum.

It’s hard to know if the Forza models are good headphones without listening to them. V-Moda has a good reputation in the audio world, and early word from my colleague Chris Welch is that the entry-level Forza earbuds sound good, for the price. But I do know this: these are the only headphones in the world that can come in the form of extravagantly expensive solid gold lion heads. And if that’s not worth something, I don’t know what is.