Pros: good highs, fluid mids, excellent female vocals, decent air between instruments, slightly expanded sound stage compared to original M80
Cons: noise idolation is only decent, would have liked just a tad more detail in the mids, wish cables had been improved
Copied and pasted directly from the description section of my YouTube video
Over two years ago Val Kolton, the CEO of V-Moda, sent me his then recently released M80 Crossfade on ear mobile headphone. He sent it to me, and others, free of charge in exchange for a review noting the pluses and minuses of his new product. It was my very first official review for a company and the online community of head-fi. Unknown to me, two plus years later my rants and ravings over gear have yet to stop. In my mind it was Val Kolton and his M80 who started me down this path of pseudo armchair audio gear reviewer.
The XS isn't a new product but a tweaked product that builds off the already solid performance of the original M80. The form factor has been improved by the addition of the M-100's foldable hinges thus making the headphone even tinier then before. Because of its even tinier size its carrying case has also shrunk making the XS probably one of the most least space demanding headphone for mobile use currently available on the market.
With improved form factor we also now have improved sonics. While the original M80 may have been overly polite and soft in the highs the new XS brings in better extension and sparkly highs all the while retaining its smooth fluid character and avoiding the metallic tinniness lesser headphones are known for. Because of better highs the headphone now sounds better balanced and the sound stage seems to have expanded a tiny bit more in comparison to the original M80.
Major kudos and much respect goes out to Mr Val Kolton for taking our group feedback from over two years ago and quietly going to work behind the scenes and building an even better mouse trap. Considering Mr Val Kolton's family is of Italian ancestry all that's left to say is.....
BUON LAVORO IL MIO UOMO!!!