I stood outside for the better part of 4 hours in the path of Sandy with the M-100s listening to Gershwin and Debussy at medium volumes on my Infuse 4G + cMoyBB rig and after playing with the volume levels and adjusting for wind noise, I conclude that the M-100s are not my go to portables in the midst of catastrophic hurricane winds.
First off, the wind noise drowns out the bass, the most prominent aspect of the V-MODA sound, and the whistling created by the 35 mph gusts interferes immensely with the high notes of violins and flutes. The mids are still able to shine through, although only at volume levels way beyond those which I would consider safe and enjoyable. Few have expressed their dissatisfaction with the clamping force and relative comfort of both the headband and earcups, and I similarly have no such complaints regarding comfort, except for in a storm. The clamping force, while adequate for most everyday use, is nowhere near competent enough to keep the M-100s on my head in category 1 winds without the added pressure of a hand pressed against the headband or with both hands grasping the earcups, which proves impractical and looks ridiculous.
I am appreciative that these headphones can survive 70+, 6-foot drops onto concrete for after my testing today, I am only left with approximately 20 or so drops before imminent failure and structural durability may be compromised. The kevlar-reinforced, cloth covered cables, while greatly pliable and are aesthetically pleasing, have proven microphonic if not properly secured, and are an absolute nightmare when wet. Not only is the weight of the wet cable double that of its dry weight, but its added mass pulls the headphones ever so slightly towards the side the cable is plugged into further adding to wind-based discomfort. And it gets stiff the same way a wet hacky sack renders itself unkickable.
I feel I must comment on the SpeakEasy cable and boom mic regarding their usage in this weather. The SpeakEasy cable, even when waterlogged, performed flawlessly in the high winds and torrential downpour I found myself stranded in. My mother, who assumed (because I told her) that I was at home, understood me clearly and did not notice when I was struck on the side of my head by a tree branch in mid-flight. It was hard to make out her words due to the wind and headphones constantly flying off my head, and my going in and out of consciousness, but she never once thought I was any place else other than the cozy futon which I spend my days sitting and nights sleeping on. The boom mic, on the other hand, proved completely useless outdoors and oftentimes would bend in the completely opposite direction relative to my face due to the flexibility of its wire and susceptibility to wind influence.
My final comments will regard the inclusion of an extra set of shields with my preproduction unit. Because of the many impacts and scrapings the headphones suffered at the mercy of Ms. Sandy, my default silver shields now display large gashes and chipping intermixed with bits of leaves and street debris. I appreciate the ability to swap out different shields and now understand how apt calling the metal plates 'shields' really is. Although earcup damage is still visible on the plastic parts and severely cracked at the hinges, the parts that were covered by the shields remain relatively unscathed and I am happy to report that new shields have been installed and I have another pair on the way. Overall, I'm extremely impressed with the M-100s, so far, and am only let down by their mediocre hurricane performance. If not for the build quality and rigorous testing by V-MODA's standards, these would not have lasted the entire 4 hours of my testing.
For now, my go to hurricane cans are still, hands down, the fantastic sounding, super durable and wind-isolating SYNC by 50 Cent wireless headphones.
With all the scratches and cracks I have on my M-100s, I'm not sure if I want to keep them or not. I still have 43 days of my test drive left, so we'll see if V-MODA remains as my go to portable. I love your products, Val, but in the future maybe you should consider a bit more regarding bad weather conditions. You've got the sound part down, but there's much room for improvement. Have you tried the SMS SYNC by 50 Cent during a typhoon? Maybe the upcoming Revolver can double as a windmill to power its wireless and noise-cancelling features. Just some food for thought.