V-MODA and Roland have come together and decided to work as a team. The two companies have worked together in the past, and this is now being solidified into an official working partnership. The terms of the deal are being kept confidential.
Of course, 808 is an important number for Roland, the legendary TR-808 drum machine is a huge part of the company’s rich heritage and so the 8th of August was the perfect day to announce this new partnership with V-MODA.
Milan-based V-MODA design DJ-orientated headphones and have in the past released a range of headphones specifically for the Roland AIRA range of products. Now the partnership is official, but apparently is “not ‘strictly’ a business deal”. What does that mean?
The two company CEOs – Mr Jun-ichi Miki and Val Kolton are shown together in all the promo material and there is a sickly, over-the-top, ‘we love each other’s work’ video to accompany the announcement. I can’t say I have ever used V-MODA headphones, but then I’m not a hipster, fashionista DJ, so I’m probably not their target market.
Lots of marketing hyperbole and spiel surrounds the proceedings and my personal favourite line was this corker:
“It’s a strategic synergy that will bridge the high-quality sound, materials and design of our products with the legendary genre-changing sound expertise and commitment to excellence from Roland”.
I admit to being very much the cynic, but it all appears very similar to a collaboration between certain Californian ‘fruit named’ computer company and a certain Hip Hop artist a few years back. It’s been done before and is basically one large old dinosaur company leveraging the ‘hipness’ of a younger upstart. With Roland being in the business for 40 plus years and V-MODA a mere 12 years, you can see what is happening here.
Are these headphones any good then?
Well, apparently 40% of the world’s top 100 DJs use them, who knew? Again I’m just being cynical here but: 1. Are DJs’ ears able to discern if headphones are any good? 2. Aren’t they just into anything loud and bass heavy? 3. Did they actually pay for them? Or were they sponsored?
However, if this kind of marketing excites you, go check out the official video below and this link to the official #808 Day promo site.
I think I prefer this video though.