Review – V-Moda Crossfade Wireless Headphones

v-moda wireless review

Today we’re reviewing the V-Moda Crossfade Wireless headphones.

Now I’ve personally never really heard of V-Moda, but their M-100 wired headphones are a pretty popular and highly rated set of cans. In doing my research on them, I came across the founder of V-Moda who had been a member on the head-fi.org forums since 2006. Reading through his thread that introduced the crossfade wireless, it seemed like he really spent some time developing these and took a lot of feedback in from that audio community, so I was excited to get a pair in for a review.

So with a 4.6 star rating on amazon and at a cost of $300 bucks, are these finally the ultimate pair of Bluetooth headphones? Lets find out!

DESIGN

I have been shopping for a great pair of Bluetooth headphones for over a year and have not been satisfied with any of them, I had seen the v-modas before, but never considered them because I was always turned off by the hexagon shaped earcups and just thought they were a little too flashy for my liking, but over time their design has really grown on me.

To me, they do have what I’d call pretty rugged and military style look to them, especially the gun metal color I have here, and they are available in a bunch of other colors as well. The headband is very durable although lacks a bit of padding on the underside and it has some decent leather on the ear cups, though not the softest I’ve ever felt, still, they were comfortable. I also found the ear cups to be a little small for my slightly larger than average ears, and everyone says the available XL cushions you can get for these improve the fit and comfort dramatically.

v-moda ear cushions
XL cushion on left

The wired versions of these actually have a clic fold mechanism built in that allows them to fold up and be really compact, but for whatever reason v-moda didn’t include that on their wireless version which is kind of a bummer. However, compared to a lot of other wireless headphones I’ve tested they are actually pretty small and weigh only 292 grams (.65 lbs).

The ear cups don’t swivel either which you’ll notice if you like wearing your headphones on your temples or off one of your ears, because they just don’t quite lay flat on your head when worn like that. They also wouldn’t work well for working out in my opinion because they tended to slide off the top of my head a bit while lying on my back.

The headphone wires are actually braided too which is a nice touch and overall the headphones feel really well built and rugged (except the buttons do feel a little cheap) and I actually think the headphones would start to look better with age as they get banged up a bit and start to show some wear and tear over time.

The ear cups are adjustable and you get a good sense of the durability from the way the metal brackets feel when you click them into position. V-moda says these are military grade tested and meet MIL-STD-810G testing guidelines……..which you can read all about on Wikipedia if you’re interested. But marketing jargon or not, they do back up their product with a 1 year warranty and a 50% immortal life replacement program which means they’ll give you a 50% credit towards another pair if anything goes wrong with these for life.

One final thing to mention about their design is that they have these removable shields on the outside that you can swap out with different colors, designs or materials, and you can download a 3d printable template to design your own custom versions which is kinda cool. The gun metal ones I have come with these reflective steel shields which are a little blingy for me, but aren’t horrible. But I do think some matte black or grey ones would look alot better.

v-moda crossfade wireless review

A really nice feature of the v-moda wireless is the fact that when you use them with the included audio cable (which also includes an inline remote), it doesn’t require any battery power. So if you run out of battery (which is rated at 12 hours) you can still use the cable to listen to your music or podcast for as long as you like.

They headphones also have a built in mic so you can use them for phone calls too but there is no built in active noise cancellation, although you do get a little bit of outside noise isolation just from the earcups themselves.

I mentioned before, the buttons don’t have the best feel to them, especially the on/off switch, but just like with most other bluetooth headphones you can play, pause, skip forward and back tracks and adjust your volume. I found using the controls while wearing the headphones to be pretty easy to use, but no where near as great something like the backbeat pros.

SOUND QUALITY

So that brings us to the audio quality. While they did sound good overall, to me, these headphones just had too much bass in them. I prefer a more neutral sound in my audio, or at least, to have everything sound balanced. With the v-modas, there was just too much low end, and thats coming from someone that loves bass and hip-hop music. it was to the point of sounding boomy at times, and kind of drowned out the rest of the music, which otherwise sounded great.

Bluetooth headphones already have their limitations on how good they can sound, since you have additional compression coming into play. And while some apt-x enabled headphones can sound really good, the v-modas don’t have that codec built in, and I felt overall they were really just ok. And that’s not ok with me, especially considering their 300$ price tag. While they definitely didn’t sound bad, i expected a lot more for 300 bucks and a lot more based on the ratings these were getting.

crossfade wireless

One wierd issue I should mention is that at the lowest volume setting the volume played too high, which the tradeoff being that these headphones can get really loud, but in a quiet setting, the lowest volume setting was just too loud and it was definitely bothersome because you wanted to be able to turn the volume down but the next click lower would turn them off . But when I used the audio cable I didn’t have this problem, still I thought it was weird how loud the lowest volume setting actually was.

IN SUMMARY

I had high hopes for these headphones to be my go to pair of heapdhones, a pair that I’d be able to use on a daily basis, but unfortunately that just wasn’t to be. So I’ll continue using my old nokias which sound as good as any Bluetooth headphones I’ve ever tested, even though I hate the way they look and fit. In the meantime, I’ll continue to search and keep my eyes out for that ultimate pair of bluetooth headphones, and will certainly let you know when i’ve found them.

PROS:

  • best looking wireless headphones around
  • controls easy to use on the fly

CONS:

  • too bass heavy
  • no swivel/folding earcups

Check the latest pricing on Amazon.

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