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V-MODA Crossfade M-80

Posted

Pros: balanced sound, very portable (small+light), comfortable even with glasses, looks great

Cons: wind noise is noticeable, somewhat weak highs

So here's my first mini-review. Kinda late, but I like these so much that I had to write a review for them xD

 

Intro

One of the reasons I bought the V-MODA M80 is because I wanted a portable headphone that has good SQ and yet has the ability to turn heads. I also wanted my portables to have very good build quality and decent isolation because I will be using them during travel. Another factor for my ideal portable cans was…well, portability!  I wouldn’t want a huge heavy set of headphones on my head during travel, especially during the summer. Now, I have been trying to stay away from on-ears because the last one I tried (TMA-1) hurt my ears. After reading other reviews of the relatively weak clamp force and good comfort of the M80s, I decided to give on-ears another shot, since over-ears would tend to get sweaty and hot during the summer, and IEMs tend to hurt my ear canals after long use.

 

Build/Design

The M80s look very stunning, and I’ve already had people I don’t know ask me what company they are. I like the mostly black and some red look on the M80s, and the shiny cups give it a nice touch. Build quality is top notch, as they are “light but heavy”, which basically means that they are light enough to not bother me when putting them on but I can trust that these can withstand some beating because it has a “good weight”. V-MODA also gives you an exoskeleton case for your M80s if you don’t feel comfortable just throwing them in your bag.

Another great add-on to these cans is the ability to customize them with your own art. You can send in a black and white picture at 300dpi and they will engrave the picture onto the custom shields. The picture I sent in was around 2000x2000 pixels at 300dpi, so I’m pretty sure as long as it meets the qualifications, you should be all set.

Note on custom shields: If you email V-MODA and ask them to engrave a different image on each shield, they WILL do it for you at no extra cost. My shields have a different image on them, and they both look perfect.

 

Isolation

Isolation was one of the factors that made me hesitant about the M80s. I read that since it is a semi-open design, isolation was not on par with other portables in the same price range, such as the HD25, DT1350, and the T50p. After getting my M80s and using them outside for a couple of days, I would say that I had no need to worry. I’m not going to say that they completely shut out outside noise (because they don’t), but they do isolate enough so you can focus on your music. When my music is off, I can easily have a conversation with someone, but when my music is on, most outside noise is unnoticeable.  I actually think that they let in the right amount of outside noise for you to be aware of your surroundings. After all, I don’t want to be run over a car or something because I couldn’t hear them beeping.

One thing I have noticed though is that these do not isolate against wind very well. A light breeze won’t be too bothering, but I think anything above that will be noticeable. Not too much of a problem, but just thought I would mention it.

 

Comfort

Ah, another factor that had me worried. Ever since I tried the TMA-1, I have stayed away from on-ears because they pushed my glasses (which I wear all the time) into my head and were quite painful. I assumed all on-ears would do this, but I took a chance and made the right decision. The clamp force on these a relatively weak (compared to my M50s) and the pads are nice and soft. At first they did hurt a little on the outer edge of my ear, but once I found the right setting for myself (10 adjustments each side), I would say these are very comfortable and I can probably have them on for 2~3 hours without any problem. The headband has microfiber padding which is more than enough to let these very light headphones rest on your head without pain. As I mentioned earlier, the clamp force on these are weak, so I wouldn’t recommend them for people who would run/do exercise with them. It may just be that my head is small, but I have noticed that these move around if I shake my head a bit.

 

Accessories

I got my M80s during the limited time offer, and it came with a pro-audio cable (kevlar cable without buttons), V-MODA faders (concert earplugs), and ¼” adapter. In addition to this, my M80s came with the normal accessories it comes with, which is a very durable exoskeleton case, a 1 button microphone kevlar cable, and a 3 button microphone kevlar cable. I am EXTREMELY pleased with all the accessories they give, and believe that all of these accessories at this value is unbeatable. I am especially pleased with the exoskeleton case because I can store the extra cables and adapter in there while protecting my M80s from any possible damage.

Someone did mention this in another review, but I will also mention it because I feel it is important. The kevlar cables are great as they reduce microphonics and increase durability, but sometimes they get twisted and create a little knot. If you do not undue this knot, the cable will be slightly stuck in that direction, and it may be a nuisance.

 

Sound

So, still being a somewhat noob at describing sound, I’ll try my best to portray what I hear through these headphones.

I use my M80s as my portable set, so I run them through my Cowon J3 with no amp/DAC. I can’t say what they would sound like through an amp, but I can say that these run fine without one. My J3 is more than enough to power these, and they sound great even with only minor tweaking of the EQ.

I don’t own the original Crossfade LPs, but I have heard them at a store and remember that they were bass heavy. I was expecting the same with the M80s (not as heavy as the LP though), but noticed that that wasn’t the case at all. The bass is certainly there, but I wouldn’t say that they are overpowering. I really like how the M80s present the lower frequencies, as they tame them very well and are more of a “quick punch” compared to my ATH-M50s.  The mids are definitely the focal point of the M80s, as I noticed vocals and guitar to be forward compared to the M50s. They are very smooth and rich, and are spot on to what I was looking for. The higher frequencies is where the M80s sort of lose their shine because I feel that there is less control in that region, and there’s not much “sparkle”. However, this was expected through reading the other M80s reviews, so I wasn’t really disappointed/surprised.

I have different EQ setting on my J3 for each IEM/headphone I own, but the M80s have the least tweaking out of all of them. There’s really not much to change except the treble region and some of the lower mids.  

 

Conclusion

So, did I make the right decision to go with the M80s? I’d say I’m VERY pleased with my purchase! The M80s are definitely going to be my main portable set, as I love how they sound AND how they look. They are comfortable to have on for several hours, and offer decent isolation. These are almost spot on to what I was looking for in my ideal headphone, and I can trust them to last me a very long time. Even if I somehow break them, V-MODA’s 2 year warranty would cover me, and after that, their Immortal Life Program would make my next purchase 50% off. V-MODA’s customer service was great, and I can trust them to answer any future question I have. I can safely say that I’m going to be set for quite a while on my portable rig^^

 

Here are some pictures just so you can get an idea of how small these really are. Sorry for the mediocre quality pics >_<

 

What came outside of the M80 box. The little pouch is part of the custom shield set, and the shields come with extra screws and a special wrench.

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M80s and the exoskeleton case.

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M80s and ATH-M50s

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Rough dimensions of the earcup

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Posted

Pros: full sound with plenty of bass, clear forward midrange, large sound stage.

Cons: treble can be to polite and lacks detail, midrange can be harsh on some tracks

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I would like to thank VModa for including me in their VModa Crossfade M80 voyage.

 

OK when I opened my package from Vmoda I was surprised at how small the retail packaging was. Then as I opened it up I was pleasantly surprised at the high quality custom moulded case inside. It was solid and very posh. When I opened up the case my breath was actually taken away for a second or to by how beautiful the headphones were. I had decided to go with red custom shield and man do they ever look good. I unfortunately gave to complex a picture to VModa when sending in everything and consequently only have my initials on the headphone but they still look soooooo nice.

 

I then turned my attention to the cables that came in the case and box and with the package. They were all high quality cloth covered cables that look very strong and durable. But I do have to say they are quite bulky when using with my iPhone in my pocket and I have to be careful I don’t kink the iPhone cable. But over all I have to give VModa props for making well-built cables.

 

Over all I have to actually give VModa props for everything they have done from an appearance level. These headphones simply exude class and craftsmanship.

 

I then put them on and had my first moment of trepidation. Well actually I had been having that trepidation all along because I wear glasses and every on-ear headphone I have tried has been a pain to my ears physically. Unfortunately that trepidation was initially warranted as they did cause my ears to hurt. But as I wore them I did notice they started to feel softer and after a while the pain disappeared completely in one ear and was only very minor in the other. But I did and up bending out the headband as they show in the VModa video which has helped them become even more comfortable without becoming too loose. OVERALL I would say they are the most comfortable on ear headphone I have tried.

 

Also up front I will say that I tried these while on the train and found they were OK, but just OK in regards to blocking out enough sound without cranking up the volume. So if you’re using an IEM for your commutes and wanting to switch to headphone, these may not be quite isolating enough, but it will depend on the volume level you’re used to listening at. On the other hand aside from strong winds (they don’t handle wind to well) I did find these very nice for walking on the street as they did allow enough sound in to allow me to be aware of traffic and my surroundings better.

 

OK so enough with all the fluff and stuff, HOW DO THEY SOUND!

 

My initial impression was actually pretty positive as I took them out with me for a walk with my dog. I even had a moment where I busted a move in the middle of the street listening to Cold Hearted Man by AC/DC. I worked my way through a choral and violin piece, both which sounded nicely detailed and full.

 

But when I got home and hooked this up to my small desktop amp and my home computer with Little Dot DAC and started to try some other songs I did notice the bass was quite a bit more than I was used to from my GR07 IEM’s and even my Denon D7000 to a degree. Plus they had the dreaded cavern effect (echo-ee sounding)!  This effect was not as bad some small headphones I have heard like the Denon A100 but it was a bit disconcerting. Some may like this effect but I find it’s a poor alternative to a real sound stage.

 

I then threw on my trusted burn-in files and left the headphones to cook over night.

The next day I took the headphone with me to work and tried using these on the train with mixed but ultimately unsatisfying results. I turned up the volume to a bit more than I like and then they drowned out enough of the train sound that I was able to enjoy some music. But this ultimately left my ears feeling a bit fatigued at the end of the train ride.

Once at the office I used them when possible as I worked throughout the day. The first thing I noticed was most of the cavern effect I had heard the night before was mostly gone much to my relief. But as I used them I felt I still had to turn the volume up a bit more than I like to hit the sweet spot dynamically speaking where the music sounded right. I do think some of that may have been from my train ride though and my initial ear fatigue which then was extended by my turning up the volume at work. Later that night I was starting to hear some of the dynamic sound I like at lower volumes.

 

I then left them to burn-in again for the 2nd night.

 

The next day I took them with me to work but used my GR07 on the train as I decided I preferred the better isolation and lower volume levels. This allowed me to then just use them at work without any ear fatigue. Between the lack of ear fatigue and the continued maturation of the headphone I noticed a marked improvement in the dynamics of the headphone as everything just sounded and felt more vibrant. The bass had also lost all of the cavern effect and while being much heavier than I am used to was starting to sound very nice.

 

I have since then let these burn in for another 40-50hrs plus head time and feel they have started to stabilize. I imagine there will still be small changes but they are now very close to what VModa designed them to sound like.

 

So where do they fit in sound wise?

 

My hope for these was that they would be a portable alternative to my VSonic GR07 IEM and my full-size Denon D7000 Headphones. Both the GR07 and the D7000 have many similar characteristics such as full deep bass without a midbass hump, clean mids that are not affected by the bass, and nice detailed treble extension (the treble on both is often considered sibilant by other head-fi members but is exactly how I like my treble). Finally the GR07 (and the D7000 to a slightly lesser degree) have an amazing transparency allowing me to hear emotional component or grit of my music.

 

The M80 unfortunately has the dreaded (for me) mid-bass hump.  The hump is not as heavy as some products I have owned such as my Sennheiser IE8 but it’s more than I personally like and it also encroached on the midrange a bit making them warmer than I prefer. The midrange, aside from being warmer than I like on the other hand is fully present and enjoyable for vocals and is very nice for vocals. I would say the midrange is more forward than the GR07 and a lot more forward than the recessed mids of theD7000. The treble is unfortunately as much of a challenge for me as the bass. Without using a lot of technical jargon, I find cymbals have more emphasis on the crash than on the shimmer and decay. This has the tendency to make these a bit harsher than I like for some of the music I listen to as it over emphasizes that part of the music and any music that is in the same sonic range. Finally in order to get some of the transparency and emotional content I like I find I have to turn up the M80 louder than I would like.

 

But as I said that was my hope. So now that my agenda is OUTED. How do these sound on their own without my motives in the way?

 

Here is a list of music I used while testing. I have decided to only listen to these songs with the M80 and give my thoughts on just them alone. I may occasionally give a comment about another headphone that I feel does something better or show how I like the M80 better but intend to keep such comments to a minimum.

 

Celtic Music

 

Loreena McKennit – Stolen Child – female Celtic music : This song has strong female vocals from Loreena that are beautifully rendered by the M80. They are slightly warmer than some of the headphones I own but this added warmth does make music like this sound even richer. I also like how the bass line of the song is portrayed as it is a huge part of the atmosphere of the song. The various bells and chimes used in the song also sound very clear well rendered.

 

Loreena McKennit - Lullaby – Thunderstorm at the beginning tests sound stage plus Shakespearean speech in middle is nice as a vocal test : The thunderstorm sounded very good with the M80 capturing the sense of expanse a thunderstorm has in real life with good crashes and rumbling. The speech also has an authoritative quality to it due to the added warmth. This song also has an echo quality to the speech which on many headphones can sound hissy versus an echo, the M80 manages to carry the echo off well.

 

Elemental – Carrighfergus – A male sung Celtic song : The warmth of the midrange again adds a nice weight to the male singing.

 

Overall I really like how Celtic music sounds on the M80. The M80 seems to be built for this type of music.

 

Jazz

 

Patricia Barber – Miss Otis Regrets – female jazz singing, jazz guitar, and cymbals, I look for strong emotional conveyance in this song : The singing is much like what I heard with the Celtic music but I do notice slightly less emotional response in the singing than I get from my GR07. The bass of the song is also a bit too strong for my liking as I again prefer the GR07 or the D7000. Cymbals are a bit to subdued for my liking as well losing to much of their shimmer.

 

I think Jazz will be a hit and miss for this headphone depending on whether the bass and the treble suit a person’s preference. In my case I want slightly less bass and more treble. I do not have a lot of experience with Jazz though so do think others with a Jazz back ground will be a better judge of the genre and the M80.

 

Hardrock

 

AC/DC – Cold Hearted Man – Hard Rock with some grit : Guitars sound very good with lots of growl, the male vocals also sound warm and authoritative but loose some of the grit I like in this song. The cymbals are not as crisp as I like but also never come across as too harsh or over power the guitars. The bass sounds deep but not quite as crisp as I like.

 

AC/DC – Let There be Rock – Hard rock with grit and a quite busy sound : The speed of the song is managed by the M80 but only just barely and for those who love busy sounding music I suspect you would find the song to be a bit too muddy for you especially at the end.

 

Heart – Magic Man – Classic Rock with a heavy beat : The bass is close to perfect for this song and the guitars again sound very nice. The cymbals of this song also sound clear and right for this song as any more shimmer would come across as too much. I also like placement of the instruments on the sound stage of this song.

 

Over all I think the M80 does this genre pretty well. Only falling down on very fast paced songs and needing a bit tighter bass for some music.

 

Classical Rock

Eagles – Hotel California : The bass guitar sounds full without being over bearing. Background cymbals are a bit lacking in clarity. Singing comes across nicely. This song is a hard one for most headphones to sound right, the Sennheiser IE8 for example sound hollow for this song in my opinion. The M80 while not nailing it does a good job with this song.

 

Kansas – Closet Chronicles : The vocals come through clearly as does the cymbals and the electronic sound this band was famous for. This is another song hard to get right, often coming across as fake sounding (think cheap Casio keyboard quality). The M80 actually does this band’s music justice.

 

Supertramp – Rudy : Railroad tracks sound very good and atmospheric. The piano sounds very good in the song as does the vocals. I like the bassier sections as well. The overall atmosphere of the song is well portrayed and is on the same scale as my D7000.

 

The M80 actually does a VERY good job with classical 70’s rock. I think it’s one of this headphones strongest genre’s.

 

Classical Music

 

Arvo Pärt - Summa: Summa for Strings –Classical Strings : The texture and vibrancy of the cellos in this song are very present and wonderfully rendered by the M80. I also love how it does the violins. The overall atmosphere of the song is also well done pulling you into the song.

 

Arvo Pärt - The Woman with the Alabaster Box – Classical Choral : Choral vocals are very clean and atmospheric with a string ethereal quality.

 

The Red Violin - III. Oxford - Pope's Gypsy Cadenza : The violins sound clean but to polite losing the raw energy the song has in the movie. While pleasant to listen to, it just misses the emotion of the music.

 

The Cleveland Orchestra & Pierre Boulez - Petrouchka - Scene 1: First Tableau – Classical Orchestra : While I cannot speak from a technical perspective in regards to instrument placing in regards to orchestra’s I did like how the instruments came across as being place throughout the sound stage. I also liked the instrument separation and over sound.

 

I think the M80 does well with this genre except when there is a raw energy required for the song, then it’s politeness takes away from it.

 

Some final comments:

 

In general I think the M80 is an excellent entry in the portable headphone market. They are well built and definitely offer a full warm sounding headphone that will meet a lot of people’s musical tastes. They are not perfect though, but then again I haven’t found a portable headphone that is as of yet.

 

If you like a warm sound with strong bass, a forward midrange, and treble that is a bit on the polite side, and a nice big sound stage then I would say the M80 may be just right for you. I also think this headphone will lend itself well to being EQ’d since you would be reducing most areas versus feelinga  need to increase the sound.

 

If on the other hand you prefer subdued bass and a much stronger emphasis place on the treble and detail then I would look closer at the Beyer Dynamic DT1350.

 

If you don’t mind a headphone that is larger (actually over ear) that has a more classic V shaped sound, then the Denon HP700 may be more to your liking.

 

Personally I prefer the M80 myself as it fit's most of my music genre's well enough for me and the ones it doesn't are not the ones I listen to the most and I do have other alternative headphones as well.

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Posted

Pros: smooth sound,good all arounder, comfortable, gorgeous customized headphone shields

Cons: some of the cords are stiff and tangle prone, poor isolation, needs a touch of sparkle in the treble region

                                                                     Disclaimer
Those of us sitting at the back of the bus who love our music reserve the right to practice a healthy dose of skepticism involving audio gear as we ride along the long winding road that is life.  Until said gear has passed our personal expectations thus meriting the mantra of GOOD GEAR any and all reviewers/reviews will be taken with a grain of salt. As natural born cynics we also expect those around us to practice a healthy level of free thought and approach our reviews with a healthy dose of skepticism. In the event there's violent disagreement concerning gear reviewed then please grab said gear throw it out the bus window grab your own much loved gear and by all means please join us fellow cynics at the back of the bus. Please be sure said gear being thrown out the window isn't mine.
                                                           Part I Overall Feel And Finish
                                                                             Intro

Overall I generally like the M-80 in my book it does a lot of things right. It's no giant killer by any stretch of the imagination and like any other product it has it's strong points and weak points. I've never done a review before or rather stated more correctly I've never done one for a audio company so if this comes across as a little amateurish please excuse my noobiness. In an effort to avoid writing a book I'm  going to try and keep this review to the point and will only touch on the stand out strengths and weaknesses of this headphone. I'll leave the more minor points to be discussed on the thread. I've taken the liberty of using my current collection of headphones as benchmarks and will be alluding to them in certain parts of the review in order to further hammer home my points.

                                                            Form Factor And Durability
The overall fit finish and feel on these headphones is very good and it's lines are crisp clean and it seems to be well assembled. The headphone seems to utilize quite nice high quality materials and I really like the Kevlar cords that come supplied with the headphone. When I first received these headphones the most surprising aspect was how light and small they were and my first impression was these would never stand up to any kind of punishment. After various intentional headband twists, cord pulls, and real world testing by having them knocking around in my crowded backpack for a few days my view has drastically changed. Whether they can take the same punishment and outlast my HD25-i-ii only time can tell but first initial impressions are positive. Shortly after writing this review I posed the question to Mr Val Kolton of V-Moda on whether his company would be providing replacement parts for it's M-80 in the event of a part breaking. Mr. Kolton promptly responded as follows:

    

     Quote:valkolton

To answer your question, yes M-80 is a very modular headphone and we'll offer replacement pads, parts in the future. The pad and most parts are user replaceable, even the driver in fact.

A very welcome response and a huge plus for M-80 owners. My hat goes off to V-Moda for going the extra mile with it's product and it's customer support.


                                                      Packaging Fit Finish And Extras
The product's packaging and presentation is excellent and is easily on par with Monster's offerings. The consumer gets a very durable carry case to help protect his/her investment as well as 3 (2 with audio controls) Kevlar covered cables in different colors. All cables have a 45 degree jack and in my book the 45 degree jack is a smart move on V-moda's part. The dark cable with no controls has a rather nice feel to it but the two cable's with audio controls for whatever reason feel rather stiff and are overly tangle prone. Only time will tell how well they fare. Along with the cords you get a large metal clip that will clip the headphone case to your purse backpack carry on etc. The inside of the carry case has two Velcro mounted carry areas with straps that function as storage for the extra cables supplied and if not wanted they can be pulled out for home storage. The inside is also covered in a nice red velvety material that will keep your cans safe from scratches.  In short the case is compact sturdy fits over the gear like a second skin has style and functions very well as a mobile solution for safely carrying your whole V-Moda gear around at all times. It's safe to say V-Moda took notice of Monster's extravagant packaging and has upped the anty with their own take on style. Kudos to V-Moda for going that extra mile and giving that extra little attention to detail.
The M-80 fit for me is very good and I give it high marks. Fit for me is a concern considering I wear glasses and the M-80 very pleasantly surprised me with it's comfort. I'm finding clamping force is just right and ear pain is non existent after 3 hours. The most comfortable fit I've ever had would go to the P5 with the M-80 breathing down it's neck in second place followed by the DT1350 in third and the HD25 in fourth. Last spot goes to the poorly ergonomically challenged iGrado.

                                                            Customized Plate Options
The fact the consumer can customize their plates and make their headphones stand out and different from anyone Else's is a killer extra for me. In a sea of bright red Beats, overly loud SkullCandy artwork blue Sennheiser Adidas, and the standard no frills plain Jane all black headphones it's a very welcome sight. I'm hoping as time goes on V-Moda will take this idea and run with it and offer even more customization options. Right now the only color options for the M-80 is the all black or black with red accents. A few more color options down the road such as blue green etc would probably be welcomed by many consumers. A personal suggestion towards V-Moda why not really let your hair down and offer different background color options for the custom plates to match with different form factor accents? I'm sure there would be enough consumers who would jump on the option.

                                                            Mobility - I'm Always On The Go
Making a mobile headphone that works well means addressing many different problems compared to a headphone designed for use on a home rig. In my line of work I'm always on the go day in day out and log by far more hours on a mobile headphone then my home headphones. For someone like me a good mobile headphone isn't a luxury it's a necessity. I could write page upon page discussing the finer points on what makes a good mobile can, we all could, but for the sake of trying not to wander off topic I'm going to touch on the two that are by far the most important for a mobile can, noise leakage and isolation.


First the good news, noise leakage or lack there of is very good on the M-80. I've had these cans blaring away at around 60 to 70% volume setting on my iPod Touch on a bus with someone sitting right beside me reading without disturbing them. I've also been in a library and have yet to hear any complaints involving noise disturbing people around me. If I crank the volume to it's absolute max I will notice some noise leakage but let's be realistic cranking headphones to maximum volume is not only dumb and asking for hearing damage it's just not done by the average consumer.

 

Isolation is a slightly different story for the M-80. My now gone Bowers & Wilkins P5 headphone in my opinion is the best isolating mobile headphone I've ever owned. Behind it I would rank the DT1350 a distant second with the  HD25-i-ii in third and the M-80 running behind in fourth place. I'm finding the HD25 -i-ii isolates out the low drone like noises (engine drone while riding on a bus) better then the M-80 and the DT 1350 easily further isolates out that drone twice as much. The P5 say what you will about it it's isolation is spooky quiet. Coming up in the dismal deal breaking you should be ashamed of yourself last place is the iGrado. V-Moda needs to take a second look and work on this problem. Poor isolation in a mobile headphone can be a real deal breaker for some consumers.
                                                                               Part II
                                    Sound - In The House That Head-Fi Built Sound Reign's Supreme


                                                                              Overview

I find the sound of this little headphone very interesting and it took me a few days to really wrap my head around it's sound signature. If I was to try and describe the M-80 in one word it would be smooth as in smooth as silk. If you're looking for edgy treble with pristine almost ethereal like highs you won't find it in the M-80. It's not analytical and comes nowhere near being classed as a detail monster nor hot in the treble but it will provide good detail across the frequency ranges. If you're looking for deep thick lows that slams visceral like bass into your cranium you also won't find it in the M-80. It does have good bass slam but it's nowhere near what would be classed a bass cannon. What the M-80 will do is give you a slightly bass centric sound signature with clear highs good detail across all frequencies and when the music demands it it'll muscle it's full bodied bass to bring forward good percussion. Put simply it's clear has good detail and the highs mids and lows don't try to overpower one another but instead play nicely together. It's a headphone that has been very shrewdly engineered and will appeal to the bass head who wants to hear a mid range and has grown tired of overpowering muddy lows. The M-80 will also appeal to the treble head whose gotten tired of the analytical and wants a slightly warmer fuller bass with nice authoritative slam but still wants a decent amount of detail in his music.
                                                                            Benchmark's

                                  Sennheiser HD25-i-ii Adidas, Beyerdynamic DT1350, iGrado/Grado SR60i


                                                                                   Bass
Easily the strongest suit in the M-80's audio signature. V-Moda claims to have invested countless man hours into this headphones bass over the last 5 years and I believe them. The DT1350 easily has the deeper extension but it's bass is quite thin compared to the M-80 and it's bass slam is quite poor. The HD25-i-ii on the other hand although it doesn't extend as much as either the M-80 or the DT1350 it delivers very nice authoritative slam with it's mid bass hump. The M-80 compared to the Sennheiser is no slouch and can also slam pretty good and it does it in all the right places and does it smoothly with better control avoiding bass bleed into the mid frequencies. Which of these 3 cans do better bass in my opinion comes down to how the listener prefers to take his audio poison. If you don't care about slam and prefer detailed deep reaching down into the dungeons lows the Beyer delivers in spades. You want a more visceral like boomy slam the Senn will be your poison of choice. Personally I give the the M-80 the nod in this area. It extends not to badly will deliver good slam when it has to and above all controls itself better then the Senn.

                                                                                     Mids
Mids are generally good on the M-80. Although I give it good marks across the board it doesn't do anything special that makes it stand out to my ears. Vocals I would say are very good on the M-80 slightly edging out the  more mid recessed lusher sounding HD25-i-ii but it takes a back seat to the DT1350 with its glorious vocal reproduction. Guitars also gets a good  grade and the M-80 returns the favor to the DT1350 whose guitar tonality can at times sound slightly off especially in hard rock and metal. When it's compared to the iGrado with it's much more aggressive nature and forward mids it's still left playing second fiddle though. I have to admit though I am openly biased and think nobody can do guitars like a Grado. I will also say although the Senn gets third place it was a tough call for me and I place it very marginally behind the M-80 for guitar reproduction.  Overall mids gets a ranking of very good and I feel it does it's job fairly well and gives the M-80 a nice cohesive sound that works well for it.

                                                                                     Highs
If I was to pick a sore spot for the M-80 it would be it's high's. It's not bad per say  and I think it meshes in well with the general smooth sound signature V-Moda is going for. When I compare it to the HD 25-i-ii DT1350 and iGrado I had to rate it low compared to these other cans. I'm finding the treble region on the M-80 works generally well for most type's of music but when paired with more aggressive metal sub genres such as death metal thrash metalcore or melodic death metal the treble regions short comings manifest's itself. The problem I'm hearing is the M-80 high's are for a lack of a better description overly polite. A polite treble range doesn't work very well in metal when the music demands edginess and shimmering cymbals and at times the treble region seems almost recessed (it isn't) when compared to the pounding drums and driving guitars in the music. That being said there is good news as far as the highs are concerned. Sibilance control is quite good on the M-80 and badly recorded music with overly sibilant vocals gets smoothed over and sounds quite nice on it. As far as the moshing metal head is concerned it's not a total loss and certain metal sub genre's such as doom symphonic metal old school heavy metal some power metal nu metal and progressive metal seems to pair acceptably well with the M-80 highs. Soft rock jazz hip hop hard house and trance seems to work especially well with these sort of high's and although polite the upper treble range still seems to release enough energy to belt out that nice loud crash and smash when the music demands it. Overall I'd have to rate the M-80 highs a mixed bag of pluses and minuses.

 

 

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Posted

Pros: Large Soundstage, Build Quality, Very Well Rounded, Plenty of Bass, Great Mids, Smooth Highs

Cons: While the Highs are very smooth, they lack detail, sparkle and any engaging qualities

I was lucky enough to be a part of the V-Moda M80 discussion group, I would like to thank V-Moda for allowing me to review this set of magnificent headphones and wish them great success in the future...

 

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So nice to see an American brand produce a portable Titan worthy of going toe to toe with all of the best on ear portables out there.  The M80 is truly worth every penny you'll end up paying for it.  I don't think anyone will feel disappointed after listening to this set.  

 

Build Quality and Accessories 

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The M80 comes packed with some really nice goodies that only sweeten the deal beyond its excellent sonic qualities.  Inside the gorgeous box you are greeting with some paper work and a splendid zipper hard case.  Inside, the M80 lay patiently, tucked snugly and neatly surrounded by a stunning red velvetish material.  I was stunned V-Moda cared enough to offer THREE different cables, two shorter cables, roughly 4ft long with volume/mic controls in a darker Kevlar reinforced material ( not some typical rubber casing we often see ) and another longer cable absent the controls that is just a little longer than the others.  The cable quality is excellent, however the only con in the Kevlar material choice that I foresee is knotting.  All three cables are prone to getting stuck in small looped knots, it takes a bit of force to get it undone and the cable is noticeably harmed and twisted in that area from that point onward, forever maimed.  Despite that, all the cables sound the same and have low microphonics, the M80 cables are really nice and leave all of its competitors in the dust.  Thankfully, you have the option of using your own 3.5mm cable, pretty much anything should fit into it except the giant, super thick plugs out there.  Detachable cables FOR THE WIN!

 

It also comes with a belt clip and in my case ( as well as all the Reviewers selected for this discussion group ) A sexy personalized set of outer shields.  For a little extra, V-Moda allows you to customize your own name plates that replace the stock plates of the M80.  Kind of awesome, if you ask me.  There is no question now that this M80 is mine! All mine! Thankfully if there are problems or if I wish to customize more plates or perhaps re-install the stock blank plates I can do so easily with the included tools provided by V-Moda.  

 

Sexy...I know, right? 

 

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As for the overall build quality, I would give it a solid 8.5/10.  The headband is extremely flexible but very strong at the same time.  The user should easily be able to bend and shape the band to needed specifications if need be, one can force clamping issues away ( or the lack there of ) very quickly with a gentle bending at the top and center of the band itself.  You'll never have to worry about potential snapping.  

 

 

 

The earcups are solid, not quiet as solid feeling as the Beyerdynamic DT 1350 IMO.  I would rate the DT 1350 at only slightly better at a 9/10, I still have yet to see a truly rugged and supremely built portable set of headphones in this price tier that I am willing to say earns a 10/10 in build qualities. Despite that, I am deprived of any feelings that invoke poor build quality in any way.  The set has just enough weight to it to make me feel comfortable saying it is a solid piece of work.  Build Quality is still in the excellent range all around.  

 

I am not too happy about the lack of padding on the earpads.  The set is by no means uncomfortable, quite the opposite, actually.  I think on ear sets should always have more padding than they do, having to rest on the sensitive parts of my ear for potentially hours every day?  Well, I prefer more padding and the M80s earpads lack enough foam to rate them highly. I think they could have stuck more padding in there to make it a bit more comfy and less likely to squish all the way down to the flat area over the driver, becoming totally level with it.  If you have a giant mutant head, odds are good you will experience this.

 

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Sonic Qualities

 

Well, where to begin?  Lets start with the lows.  Bass is strong, deep and satisfying.  Pretty much everything I want in a portable set.  I find it neither super special nor lacking in the slightest. It gets the job done, the M80 is very fun to listen to Dubstep or anything bass heavy.  It has a ton more bass than the DT 1350 which left me sad every time I used it, always wanting more bass.   Not at all the case with the M80, its very satisfying, well colored, large and on the boarder of thick sounding but never overly boomy.  It can be boomy on some tracks with super high bass, it can also distort at these levels but then again everything  in this price range would distort with really high levels of bass. I would really have preferred a cleaner bass experience, for my tastes it is on the thick side but I wouldnt go as far as saying its muddy.  It makes for an immensely fun experience. 

 

The mids are excellent.  Vocals are immensely engaging, smooth and textured.  I am absolutely stunned an on ear set of headphones like this can sound great with vocals from jazz artists or even big band.  From Michael Buble' to Seth MacFarlanes new old school Sinatra-ish Album, right down to classic Rock vocals this set performs on an immensely satisfying level.  Forward and broad, excellent placement.  Impressive to say the least.  

 

Highs are smooth and clean, the problem here is that they are not engaging at all.  I am left with a bit of a lacking sense during classical tracks and especially so in Fusion/Metal Guitar.  Highs are not sparkled and do not extend high, but guess what...thats how V-Moda designed it to be.  They wanted it to be smooth and not make your ears bleed.  Highs are still satisfying enough to use the set on a daily basis, I just wish they were a bit more engaging...wish they had a more bite to it...ya know?

 

 

The set is immensely well rounded, I cannot find any one genre that sounds bad on it.  The Soundstage is for the lack of a better word....AMAZING ( for an on ear set ).  It outshines the DT 1350 which itself has perhaps the largest sound stage in the on ear world that I am aware of.  Height, Width and overall Depth are all very nice and odds are good the first time you listen to them your thoughts will be "WHAT!? I did not expect this set to sound this large"  Truly impressive soundstage for an on ear set of headphones.  Excellent in every way, not overly spacious but also not congested.  It still sounds like a closed set of headphones, it does lack an airy sense to it.  Despite that, the stage is well beyond satisfying.  Hard to believe an on ear set can sound good with classical?  Well, it does.  It sounds every bit as good for classical and big band stuff as it does fusion and rock.  

 

Isolation is a quality all the reviewers in this group had mixed feelings with.  I found it to isolate nicely, others found it to not isolate well.  V-Moda DID IN FACT DESIGN IT TO BE AN ISOLATING HEADPHONE...at least somewhat.  Depending on the shape and size of your ears, it may or may not isolate well for you.  If you are looking for good isolation, I would look elsewhere and avoid the possibility of being let down by the shield shaped pads and earcups vs something circular and known to isolate well like the HD 25 ii or the DT 1350.

 

Amping...or lack there of?

 

I find no need for amping at all with the M80 beyond just my Cowan J3 or Desktop PC.  It is very efficient and sound excellent right out of a decent source.  Just my opinion, you might want to check in with other reviews for their experiences with amplification and how it affected the sound of the M80.  My pico slim does absolutely nothing for it beyond changing the coloration to something more metallic, made it worse in a lot of ways including sound stage qualities and overall kick factor.  The set is not too punchy but has a fair amount of that snap to it without being at all harsh, just enough to consider it very engaging and fun. I am not at all sure the Tube sound will mesh well with the M80.  

 

Overall, I am rating this set a solid 4/5.  It is immensely well rounded, well built and fun to listen to.  This is by no means a neutral set of headphones, this baby is geared to rock out with a nice forward presentation that is not overly warm but also no where near neutral.  The M80 has more pros than cons, personally I want yet more clarity and a cleaner bass experience, maybe even some sparkled highs, but for what its worth the M80 is a winner.  I think the future of V-Moda looks very bright.  

 

I'm sold and I think most others will be, too.  Great Job V-Moda, Val is a genius...nuff said

 

-Mike

 

 

 

 

Posted

Pros: For the most part, a very well-rounded, full-bodied, smooth sound signature, very durable build quality, and extremely comfortable

Cons: Poor Isolation

 

 

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When it comes to describing the sound of the V-Moda Crossfade M-80 on-ear headphones, two words come to mind:

 

Smooth and Full-Bodied

 

I think that it also bears mentioning that this review is coming from someone who does not have much prior experience with OE headphones. Most of my most recent experience has been more involved with IEs of differing brands and sorts, and styles. But I am one of the ten contestants who was fortunate enough to have been selected for the this Voyager group. And so, having spent a few weeks now with this set, I have formulated a few impressions I would like to share here with others of you who might be interested in these.

 

Please take note, before I proceed that, in no way do I consider myself an expert in any conceivable manner or means when it comes to rating or reviewing audio gear. All I can do is share my impressions with you. Ultimately, you will have to make the final (informed decision), yourself, as to whether to purchase a set for yourself, or not. Please also keep in mind that there have been nine others of us in this group. And although we have all had the opportunity to discuss these headphones together at great length (in a private forum setting here at Head-Fi), we may not all necessarily agree with each other about every single aspect regarding these M-80s. So, just a few things for you to keep in mind as you read.

 

For my own personal testing and overall impressions, I have been primarily using two different MP3 players, neither one of which has been amped or ‘Rockboxed’ (but I do adjust the EQ settings quite a bit).  These two sources of mine have been a Sony Walkman NWZ-E354, and a Sansa Clip+. And my music files have all been in WAV format (lossless). The music I have been listening to throughout my time of testing has varied quite a bit. It has actually run the whole entire gamut, from Christian Alternative Rock (bands such as Thousand Foot Krutch, Switchfoot, Skillet, etc), as well as some Classic Rock from the ‘60s. ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s (Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Eric Clapton, The Moody Blues, CCR, The Rolling Stones, The Cars, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Who, Heart, Journey, Boston, etc).

 

I would like to break my review down into 3 primary groups:  Build Quality, Comfort, and then finally, Sound Quality. First let me say though, for the record that, although it is my desire to be as concise as I possibly can here, however it is entirely possible that I might miss something, or leave out an important detail or two. Allow me to apologize for this right here and now, in advance if it turns out to be the case that I miss anything important. And of course, don’t forget. . .there are nine others of us as well. So, by all means please read their reviews also, because what I might miss, someone else might do a wonderful job discussing with impeccable detail (and of course, vice versa).

 

I’ll begin with a word about build quality. I really have to admit, I am very impressed. The designer(s) of these phones have obviously put some creative thought into the build quality and design. They seem very sturdy to me, constructed of very durable materials. I would venture to guess that these phones should be able to handle whatever abuse that the average user might administer, without caving in so easily to the day to day pressures of wear and tear that so many other (less durable) OEs out there might tend give in to. From the steelflex headband (protected by a stain-resistant suede-padded covering), to the v-angle steel acier, to the brushed metal shields which are placed over the outer walls of the earcups, these phones are not only Military-Grade durable, but also rather stylish and classy-looking as well. You can even have your own brushed metal plates customized with your own personalized logo or design, or even monogrammed with your initials --- all with laser-engraved precision, on either black, red, graphite or blue-colored brushed metal plates. Not too shabby, indeed, if I do say so (and I do)!!

 

Next, a word on the overall comfort of these phones. Let me first say that I am an eyeglass wearer. And this being the case, I have tried a few OEs in the very recent past, one in particular, the Pioneer HDK-2000, only to have to get rid of them not long after receiving them (as a gift from a friend). They pushed too tightly against the frames of my eyeglasses and my ears, and therefore became very uncomfortable after just a very short period of time. However, I must say that with these M-80s, I have had none of that. These are super-comfy --- even after wearing them for long periods of time. The suede-padding which covers the headband, along with the ergonomic (soft) memory foam on the earcups both combine to make for an extremely comfortable listening experience, even for the long haul. I believe I could wear these for hours, and not get tired of having them on. This is definitely a real plus, especially when you consider that these are designed to be used on the “Go”. And while I don’t think that these would be awkward to wear in public places (actually, quite the contrary since after all, they ARE a fashion statement, are they not?????), however I can’t really say that they offer the best isolation from the outside world.

 

And so this brings to the final segment, essentially, and in my opinion the most important one also, sound quality. In the final estimation, I really do like the sound of these phones. These are a rather fun set of headphones. They are a very durable set which can be used with many different types and genres of music, and are really great for day to day use. Although I might say a few things about these headphones which might sound like a complaint, please don’t misinterpret this to mean that I don’t like these headphones. I actually do like them. A lot. And I plan on using them on a regular basis. I am enjoying the sound of them more and more each day. But like anything else in life, they are not perfect. There could be some fine tuning or tweaking down the road which could (and would) make them even a better set of phones. But this does not mean that I don’t like them. I honestly do. Having said that, lets move on, shall we. . .

 

During the time of my testing, my initial impressions after I first received these was that they seemed to be very well suited for a harder type of music genre, such as Alternative Rock (which, if you don’t know is typified by a bit of a harsher sound, maybe more of a Metal sound, perhaps). But then, after quite a bit of use (and a good solid break-in time), I started realizing that they are actually very well suited to quite a few different types of music (including Alternative Rock, but many others also). The following is a brief breakdown of how each of the main frequencies seem to respond with these M-80s.

 

BASS 

 

First, the bass. The bass is very solid, and hard-hitting. It packs a very good punch, and has decent ‘attack’. But, then for some strange reason, I don’t feel like the bass extends very well beyond this initial punch. What I am hearing is what sounds like a very quick roll-off --- at times too quick. The initial punch is certainly there, but then the decay or roll-off seems to come a little too quickly. But this does vary quite a bit from genre to genre. Not every music type reacts this way. But for the most part, this is what I experienced with these. Which, at times could be rather frustrating. Now, I for one am not really a ‘basshead’ in the true sense of the word. But when there IS bass in a track, I don’t just want to hear it; I want to feel it, too. And you certainly DO feel it, as a matter of fact with MOST music types you can feel it (if you have your EQ turned up high enough). But after that initial attack, it seems to roll off too soon for my tastes. As a result, I would not necessarily classify these as a ‘bass-lover’s headphone’. But on the other hand, it could certainly be said that the bass does hit hard, and is NOT muddy at all.

 

 

MID-RANGE

 

If I had to say that there was one overall strength (for lack of a better word) of this sound signature, it would have to be the mid-range. Right out of the box I noticed this with these. The mid-range is spiked. It was spiked quite a lot right out of the box (too much for my tastes), but did become a bit tamed after a good bit of use. However, I do still hear what sounds like an emphasized amount of it. And for me personally, this doesn’t tend to be my favorite part of a song. So for my customized EQ settings on both of my DAPs, I have had to reduce the mids quite a bit (and boost both the bass and treble --- or the lows and the high-end frequencies). Now this is not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, if you like vocals, then they will come shining through with these M-80s. But the mid-range can be rather overpowering for some (like myself). Which is why I prefer to reduce this part of the frequency range on my player(s).

 

 

TREBLE

 

I think I can say without any hesitation that the treble is the most difficult and complex part of the sound signature to come to terms with, regarding these M-80 headphones. And I don’t believe that I am alone in this view, either. I know that there are others in our Voyager group who feel the same way. The treble is a bit perplexing. It is an enigma, of sorts. What made the treble so difficult to come to terms with is, because for the longest time whenever I would hear it, although I knew something was wrong or missing. But for the life of me, I just couldn’t put my finger on what exactly that missing piece of the puzzle really was. It wasn’t actually until another member of our group (Armaegis) was able to properly articulate this point, that I was able to realize and understand what was really going on here with the treble. As Armaegis so tactfully put it:

 

 

 “. . .I think my expression of treble is might also be what others would consider upper mids. I feel like it has some sort of echo or resonance that blurs it. Cymbals and finger snaps just don't sound crisp enough, like they're coming through a veil. I can hear the initial ring, but it doesn't catch your attention. It's especially fuzzy when there's a lot of other music layers. . .”

 

And, he also goes on to say (regarding the LOW end this time). . .

 

“. . .Conversely, the low low end (<50Hz) to me feels like the initial impulse is too strong and it loses shape after that. Well, I can't say for certain that it's the impulse... low notes feel very strong and have plenty of "punch", but the actual tone itself doesn't quite feel right, with it getting looser the deeper we go. . .”

 

 

I want to thank Armaegis for this. I really like the way he put this. He was able to put into words what (perhaps) many of us in the group felt, but just could not communicate properly. You see, the treble (or high-end) to me seems to be lacking a certain luster or shimmer to it (or perhaps the right word here would be SPARKLE). As Armaegis said, it doesn’t sound crisp enough, and I agree with him. It may be that V-Moda was trying too hard to compensate for sibilance, and perhaps they overcompensated a little too much. I can’t really say for sure. But you do get the point though. So, if you're looking for something that has a crisp, clear high-end sparkle and luster remeniscent of the RE0, then you'll want to keep looking. Consequently, I personally feel that this is one of the biggest downfalls and disappointments of the M-80 (but even still, all is not lost. They are still a very nice-sounding set of phones. They could just be a tad bit better, in my opinion).

 

In closing, all in all I think its fair to say (as I’ve already said before) that I really like these headphones a lot. They are a fun set of phones. I am very thankful to have been selected as one of the Voyagers in this group, and I’m thankful to have been given this set of headphones. So, I would easily recommend these M-80s. To me, the sound signature is very full-bodied and smooth. It works well with a lot of different types of music. Additionally, the stage is nice too, open, airy, and 3-dimensional. There is a great deal of width and depth, and as a result I never feel claustrophobic listening to these (I never had the sense like I was inside of a sardine can, as I have had with other OEs --- and even with a few IEs which I have tried in the past).

 

And so while I can most definitely recommend these phones, I am also going to be very hopeful that any improvements in terms of future-generation editions down the road will be even better, and will hopefully remedy the things which are lacking in this first generation edition.

 

V-Moda, you have a lot to be proud of here. Not a bad first effort at all. Keep up the great work, and thank you once again for this opportunity! 

Posted

Pros: Looks Fantasic, Awesome build quality, Sounds great, Packaging and accessories

Cons: Slightly recessed mid range

V-moda Crossfade M-80 review.

 

 

Note: I really am not much of an audiophile. My headphones before this were MDR XB500’s and the only reasons I chose these over the Senn HD-25-1-ii was the looks, and that I liked the M-80’s sound a bit better. I also have about 50 hours on this, and I think they have reached their expected performance. If anything changes, I’ll post it here.

 

Also, really sorry for the lack of pictures. I'm having an upload problem, and my webcam is bad, too.

 

Packaging:

 

This is the first part that really pulls you in. These are packaged very nicely. There are plenty of pictures on this, though, so I wont go into detail. The snake skin-like handle is held in by two metal studs, and looks great. After popping open the box, you’re greeted by a piece of cardboard that says “V-moda” with some foam on the bottom.

 

Taking this out reveals three things, the case where the headphones reside, and some literature for V-moda and user guide/warranty information. After taking out the strikingly awesome case and unzipping it, you’ll notice the headphones, two cables, a 1/8 -1/4 adapter, and a carabiner. The two pieces holding the accessories are Velcro attached, and can be removed.

 

The headphones: Like the package, these are very, very great looking. The stock black metal plates are very sleek, though I do plan on purchasing custom plates soon. The on-ear pads are hexagonal in shape and are quite uncomfortable for the first few hours. After using them and stretching the headband a bit, they are much more comfortable now. The housings and their contents are held in place by two metal “arms”, which are attached to the headband. The bottom of the headband is made out of a mesh-type material and is hard at first, but softens up after a while. The top has red stitching and V-moda in red lettering is visible.

 

The wires also come out of the housings, into the space between the headband and housings, and into the headband on each side. The cable is very tough, however, and I don’t have a problem with it.

 

Durability: These look and feel incredibly tough. The metal arms and plates inspire confidence, and the detachable cables and ear pads only increase the lifespan of the M-80’s.

 

As I said earlier, the cables are detachable and are Kevlar-reinforced. This means that unless you’re really trying to ruin the cable, you’re going to be fine. One cable has a mic and remote, and the other just has a mic. Any 3.5mm-3.5mm cord will do, and it is plugged in underneath the left driver housing.

 

Who cares about whatever I said above this if they sound terrible, right? Well I can certainly say V-moda got something right in the entire lifestyle headphone company. Seriously, this is the first fashion headphone I’ve tried where the sound matches the price.

 

The sound: Everything is played on an iPod touch with songs ripped in 320 Kbits/sec in MP3 format. I guess I am the lowest common denominator here :P (Though, I guess this is how V-moda thought how the headphones would be used, as I remember Val Kolton of V-moda saying that the M-80’s were made for devices like the iPod, and that an amp  just “amplifies” their sound).

 

Overall, I noticed that the bass was tight and hit hard. It didn’t feel too loose, and I didn’t have any problems with it interfering with the mids and highs. The mids, however, felt a bit recessed, though it’s not much of an issue, I just wish they were more present. The highs were really nice, and when the cymbals, (especially the high-hats) wanted to show, they did.

 

Songs used for testing:

Fast Lane-Bad Meets Evil: Slightly reccesed mids and tight, hard hitting bass are noticeable hear, though I feel as though Em’s voice sounded a bit “boring”, something I hadn’t noticed on different headphones. Royce sounded fine, though.

 

Deliver Us – In Flames: Friden’s growled vocals sound spectacular on this track, and I think the M-80’s handle growled/screamed vocals much better than clean vocals. Odd. Guitars also blended in very nicely, and I liked how they complemented Friden’s growled voice. Bass was also controlled, but hit hard.

 

Into the Nothing – Breaking Benjamin: Szeliga’s drum work excels here, and Ben’s voice didn’t sound as far back as in the other songs I listened to. Too bad it’ll be a while before any new material comes out.

 

Everlong – Foo Fighters – Another song that shows how great drums sound on these, and Grohl’s voice sounded nice, if not as pronounced as I would like. Maybe using an EQ to fix this may help.

 

Papercut – Linkin Park: This song actually made me feel a bit confused. Excellent guitars and drum work, but it took a awhile for me to appreciate Chester’s voice work with these headphones. His voice sounded like Eminem in Fast Lane, a bit boring. I think burn-in helped with this, though.

 

Conclusion: Are they worth 200$? In my opinion, yes. They sound like 200$, feel and look sturdy, and look fantastic. V-moda finally made a lifestyle headphone that sounds like its price should indicate.

 

And that's my non-audiophile review of the M-80's.

Posted

Pros: Looks, durability, customibility, even eq

Cons: Not nearly enough bass for edm which is my favorite genre

Very nice looking small, durable, very detailed I listened them for hours the first day I had them so they're fairly comfortable as well. But I listened to my noontecs and they had deeper base, they just sounded better all around they were more comfortable. I would get noontec zoros for half to a quarter the price. Only problem is they wont be nearly as durable as the m80s.

Posted

Pros: Current Price, Build, Style, bass, mids, case, portability, accessories

Cons: Doesn't fold, treble is a bit unimpressive

The M80 is a famed headphone for being exceptionally good despite its very small stature. 

 

Well, it's true. 

 

The M80 follows V-Moda's classic styling, but smaller. 

 

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V-Moda has a reputation for building extremely durable on-ear and over-ear headphones that utilize a variety of high quality and rugged materials. The M80 features a stainless steel frame that's sure to last. Some outer parts are made of a gloss-finished plastic that also feels solidly built. 

The headband also has a metal frame, and is covered with a soft fabric, on which the V-Moda logo is printed. 
The cable is a V-Moda tradition. Bulletproof Kevlar reinforced, 45° jack, and great strain reliefs. 
Everything about this headphone is built to last. 


Even the case it comes with is very sturdy. With V-Moda's hard clamshell finish, the headphones are sure to be protected extremely well while inside.

 

Sound - The M80 has a few sonic characteristics that truly make it amazing. It's bass heavy but retains a high amount of clarity and detail. Plus it's good at soundstaging. Basically, the M80 is an overall high-quality, refined sonic experience that I wasn't ready to expect in something in its size. 

 

As stated, this is a bass heavy headphone. It's punchy, heavy, and just plain powerful. No bleed whatsoever, though. This contributes to the overall clarity of the sound. With rock music, the bass is warm and full. Hip hop, rap, and electronic, it's very impactful. This is because of the m80's small size. There is, however, a slight boomy property to the headphone because of its much accentuated upper bass. 

 

The M80's warm and excellent mids are a significant reason as to its popularity. Every song sounds full and enjoyable due to this. Rock and electronic are most benefited by this, in my opinion. 

 

The M80's treble isn't something that's a standout feature. Both literally and figuratively. Treble is laid back and smooth. I had originally thought that this wouldn't be too enjoyable for me, as I like bright-ish treble, but I was (more than thankfully) wrong. The treble is extremely detailed, complimentary, and just plain nice to listen to. This goes for all genres. 

 

Soundstage - Despite the small cups of the headphone and its on-ear wear style, the M80 is, surprisingly, not congested. I've heard better from small headphones like this when it comes to spacious sound, however. Example would be the Phiaton Fusion MS400. That's not to say that the M80 does a bad job in this realm, though, because it doesn't. 

 

Overall - The M80 is a great choice for the portable anything. Audiophile, consumer, teen, adult, you name it. Now at a pretty low price due to the release of the XS, it can be had on a budget. And with its extremely capable and durable build, even reckless people (like myself) can use them without worry of breakage. You can't go wrong with this. 

Posted

Pros: Well controlled bass, lush mids and design/build quality

Cons: Source dependent, bright highs in some cases

Introduction

The V-Moda M-80 is seen as one of V-Moda's all time great headphones; the great style, portability, comfort and sound made it a big hit for the audiophile who wanted great sound on the move. In this review I will look at build quality, comfort, sound and then finally conclude.

 

Build Quality

The build of these headphones is fantastic, V-Moda have not gone cheap at all with any part of this headphone. Using a metal flexible headband, with metal braces holding the ears cups to the headband, then metal shields on the sides of the ear cups which can be customised for a small fee of $25. The only part that is plastic is the ear cup housing but even there the plastic is not cheap plastic. Overall the build quality here is fantastic, couple that with the included carry case then these headphones will last many years.

 

Comfort

Now this is the part where I am going to be slightly negative because even though I like the comfort of these headphones, once you pass the 1 hour listening period mark these headphones can start to apply a lot of pressure and can cause quite a bit of discomfort. Apart from this the comfort of these headphones is average.

 

Sound Quality

Finally to the main event and here I am not going to be splitting this into song descriptions as I really want to touch on a serious point, which is these are SOURCE DEPENDENT. Meaning that if you play a bad source with these they will sound bad but if you feed it with a good source they sound great.

 

So firstly let's start with the iPod Classic 6th gen and 5.5th gen. Now both of these iPod's have a 5 ohm output impedance, this means the iPod will start to alter the frequency response of these headphones which can be noticed. On both iPod's the bass tends to be quite shy and the mids recessed with the highs being flat. But on the iPod Classic 6th gen we find the sound to be noisy, which a very opaque background with quite a bit of background noise, the bass is muddy which leaks into the mids and the highs are very flat. Now on the iPod 5.5th gen the mids start to come forward and the highs become a bit more bright. The bass though is still a bit shy here, if not more but the soundstage is a lot better on the 5.5th gen than the 6th gen due to the Wolfson DAC found in the iPod 5.5th gen.

 

Now we move onto the Asus Xonar Essence STX, here we have an output impedance of 10 ohms which means we get a massively changed frequency response. To the point where the bass seems really recessed but the mids and highs are a lot better through this sound card plus the soundstage is even more open but it's that bass.

 

Finally the iBasso DX50, which has an output impedance of <0.5 ohms which is pretty much perfect and you can hear the results. The bass is amazing which great sub bass with no leaks into the mid, the mid is really forward bringing out vocals and the highs are bright but even here the highs can be a bit too bright. So even though this is a pretty much perfect pairing there is still a slight issues with the bright highs

 

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Conclusion

Overall I would recommend these to anybody looking for a pair of portable headphones that sound and look great. But I would persuade people to pair with a decent source otherwise the sound is going to distorted and overall it will not sound as it should.

V-MODA Crossfade M-80
By:
Description:

Authentically tuned by a legion of legendary musicians, Grammy-Award winning producers and DJs, Crossfade M-80 packs unique materials, professional acoustics, natural noise isolation, ultimate ergonomics and military-level ruggedness into a design 53% smaller than its now legendary, over-ear sibling. Refusing to conform to the sound-age of over-processed digital compression and disposable products, M-80 is a salute to the true masters of music, machines and materials. Half the size of the rock solid leading Crossfade LP, M-80 fuses Pure Noise Isolating Sound, Military-Level Durability and Timeless Materials.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandV-MODA
EAN0877653005122
FeatureExoskeleton hard case
Height9 inches
Length7 inches
Weight1.5 pounds
Width3 inches
LabelV-MODA
List Price$229.99
ManufacturerV-MODA
ModelM-80-SHADOW
MPNM-80-SHADOW
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
PublisherV-MODA
StudioV-MODA
TitleV-MODA M-80-SHADOW Crossfade M-80 Remote Over the Ear Headphones - Shadow
UPC877653005122
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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