Note; I am not an audiophile. I do know what good sound is, though, I just don't try to pick out every note in the song I listen too, and I like a bit of style in my headphones.
My best headphones before this are the XB-500’s. However, I love music, and as a teenager, I was really hoping I’ve found the pair of headphones that I’ve been looking for: a pair that sounds good, is durable, and looks really good. Here are my thoughts.
V-Moda M-80 Initial impressions-
My M-80's were purchased at the local Radioshack for 200$.
Packaging- What you would expect from a lifestyle headphone companies’ flagship- awesome. Take a look at SemperMalum’s thread for pictures and for impressions as well. The box feels very nice, and the snakeskin-like carrying handle is very nice. After cutting a small bit of red material from the top of the box and popping the metal button, you open it up to a small piece of cardboard and foam, which hides the carrying case the headphones are included in, and some literature for V-Moda and warranty information.
Opening the case shows the headphones and it’s accessories, which are all nicely placed.
Overall, very impressive.
The Headphones: This is the first headphone I’ve owned that I find safe to call “sexy”. The cups themselves are small and are hexagonal in shape, along with the metal plates attached to them. Like the Crossfade LP, these plates are removable and V-moda offers a service where you can customize and buy plates from their website.
The headband is a bit hard at first, but after a couple hours, it, along with the pads, soften up. Others have had comfort issues with these, but I found no problems in comfort, and this is my first on-ear for about a year and a half.
Overall, the headphones, greatly due to the metal construction, look rock solid and ready to handle some abuse.
Cable: The cord on these are detachable, which is great. Both cords are 36" long, with one having a remote and one having just a mic. Also, both cords are 3.5mm to 3.5 (mini to mini) jacks, so cables such as the ones the beats use are compatible. The side that plugs into the headphones is a straight plug, and the other end is a 45 degree angle plug. Both are Kevlar reinforced and just add to the build quality of the headphones.
Accessories: The package includes a very nice, hard, zippered exoskeleton carrying case. When you open it for the first time, along with the headphones, there are the two nicely stored cables, a 1/8-1/4 adapter, and a carabiner. All of this is attached to two Velcro-attached pads, and looks very nice.
The Sound: I’m going to be honest about this, when I first listened to these, I preferred the sound to my un-EQ’d Sony XB500’s. I remembered, however, that another user thought these weren’t all that special until after a couple days of letting these burn-in and having the pads soften up. After listening to these often, I can tell that is correct. The sound is now becoming much more full, and I hope to see an even better change in quality after a couple of days.
Bass hits nice and hard, but is controlled. It’s certainly there, but it’s not overpowering. I also love how cymbals sound with the M-80’s especially the high-hats. They just seem just right, if a bit too obvious. At the moment, I can say that the vocals are just alright. I really hope this improves over time, and it seems to be doing so.
The M-80’s use a new feature called the Beatport, which is basically a vent in the back of the headphones that creates a 3D image without a ton of sound leakage. So far this is working quite well, as isolation is pretty good and sound leakage is low. This is helped a bit by the pads, which are tight-clamping for some and fine for others, I’ve seen. They are fine with me, and I have a medium sized head.
I’ll have a full review up hopefully by the beginning of next week, but at the moment, these are shaping up to be very good lifestyle ‘phones, and excellent ‘phones in general.