Disclaimer: I wasn't chosen for the sponsor reviews, but I was hearing nothing but great things from other people, like Dsnuts. So, I decided to buy a pair and do one anyways just because I was impressed by Val's dedication and actually being involved with the Head-Fi community. So, here's the initial impressions from a complete nub. I was going to post this in the already established M-80 thread, but I felt the pictures made the post way too long, so decided to do a new thread.
So, I ordered my set on the 18th, late at night. They were shipped according to UPS on the 19th by 12:00. I received them at 4:58 PM PST on the 20th. Your experience may vary, as I live in CA where they were shipped from, so it went through quickly for me. But, regardless, there was a tracking number on V-Moda's shop website (They don't tell you this; just check their website yourself, and you'll notice it updates on there. I received a response that the Custom Shields will take about 1-2 weeks, so I'll post a full review once I get those, and I've gotten used to these.)
The HEADFI code bonus came with an additional audio cable but I didn't receive the "Prototype" (The prototype was supposed to be the "Ear Armor: V-Moda Faders" which are tuned ear plugs, from what I gathered, for use at concerts) as originally noted. I'm not sure if I missed any updates on it, but instead of receiving the "Ear Armor: V-MODA Faders", I received V-Moda's Modaphones "Bass Freq". Doing some research on their website: https://shop.v-moda.com/p-173-bass-freq.aspx - This is what I received. Not sure whether it's really a bonus or not, but I guess if Val is checking the thread still, he'll see this.
The overall packaging is very nice; from the ribbon you have to cut to the very heavy-duty carrying case, everything feels very solid, and like you actually got what you paid for. Very durable.
They appear much smaller than a lot of the photos really show. Each ear could probably fit easily into the palm of your hand. The metal shield is also much smaller than appearance, so hopefully any custom logos you submit will translate well on there. I'll have to reserve saying more about them when my custom shields come in. I was told that it would take probably 1-2 weeks, so I'll submit a full review once I receive them and actually have a chance to do a final impressions after running music through them. Wearing them felt very tight, but it's been addressed that you can stretch them out, and they'll fit better. The pads will eventually conform to your ears after extended usage.
Probably the most important part, I'm -very- impressed with the sound. I'm not probably the most knowledgeable audiophile out there, but I've started to get into it, and I've auditioned numerous Grados, Sennheisers, Beats, Bose, and a few Ultrasones. I've gotten better with this new addiction of mine. So, with that said, I can honestly say that the sound quality is simply astonishing. The clarity is simply amazing; I thought I'd heard every single part of my music with my other sets of headphones, but I'm still coming across small details that I haven't picked up on. The mids are smooth and clear, yet allow both the bass and the highs to thrive. The highs very vibrant without being overbearing. The bass was punchy at first, but even after just a few songs, they gained a lot of impact which makes them an overall amazing package. They wouldn't necessarily be for a basshead, but there is definitely more than enough to satisfy my cravings until I go out and purchase an Ultrasone Pro 900 to satisfy that spectrum. Surprisingly, the isolation is also VERY solid. I can't really comment on sound leakage, as I've just been sitting by my computer and rocking back and forth in how much these headphones have surprised me.
The Who - Baba O'Riley (Amazing. Everything sounded smooth without being overwhelming.)
ACDC - Back in Black (Originally, I thought the bass was punchy without impact. I changed my mind after I played this. I think it just needed a few songs to really start showing it's potential.)
Outkast - Hey Ya! (This was the first song I played to try to test the bass, and originally it was punchy without any impact. Once everything loosened up, the bass gained a TON of impact, that make it amazing.)
The Eagles - Desperado (I have a soft spot for this song. Even this song seemed to burst forward with the sound stage of the M-80's. It's like I was listening to something completely different.)
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Have you ever seen the Rain? (Amazing.)
The Beatles - Hey Jude (OHELLODERE, my ears just went to heaven.)
Foreigner - I want to know what Love is (My music really just randomly chose this. Still, I was impressed. It handled the moody song very well.)
Boston - More than a Feeling (Bassline was perfectly handled. Song sounded absolutely perfect.)
R. Kelly - I Believe I Can Fly (Say what you want about R. Kelly and this song from Space Jam. It's still one of the best karaoke songs, ever, and it sounded amazing on the M-80's. I'm running out of adjectives.)
Numerous other songs. ACDC - Highway to Hell, Guns & Roses - Sweet Child o' Mine, Lynyrd Skynyrd - Freebird, REM - Losing my Religion, Led Zeppelin - Kashmir, David Bowie - Changes, The Rolling Stones - Sympathy for the Devil, Killswitch Engage - This Fire, Cheap Trick - Surrender, Radiohead - Creep, etc. etc. etc. Everything has sounded amazing on them.
Now for pictures:
Ohaidere Bass Freq. Wasn't expecting you.
Extra cables and some stickers. Nice.
Very nice packaging.
The very sleak, heavy-duty carrying case.
Headband that stretches easily.
Adjusts to fit on your head. Probably.
The smaller shields. They really look much smaller than they do in most pictures.
The total package. Seriously.
All the music used during the intial impression phase was plugged directly through my computer and through my Samsung Vibrant running Spotify. Most tracks listed are either FLAC or 320kbps provided by my collection or Spotify.
Seriously, I'm happy with my purchase. I'm bumping Justice - Genesis and it sounds amazing. The M-80's seem to be able to handle almost any genre with ease.
Edited by SemperMalum - 9/21/11 at 3:59am