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V-MODA M-100 & VTF-100 Appreciation Thread: Images, Impressions, Reviews.

post #1 of 924
Thread Starter 

After a long wait - V-MODA's next flagship headphone has become available; dubbed the V-MODA M-100. Pre-Release Limited Edition is dubbed the V-MODA VTF-100.

 

 

 

 

First Impressions & Images:

 

Full Professional Reviews:

 

Full Head-Fi Reviews:

 

Specifications & Other Links:

 

*PS: Please comment/message me with links to new reviews, images, and impressions as they become available.


Edited by BRSxIgnition - 11/15/12 at 4:59pm
post #2 of 924

V-MODA M-100 Unboxing

I received my headphones October 10, 2012. I will be posting my unboxing and first impressions with the headphones first, My full review will have to after burn-in and listening to for a while.

(Warning: lots of pictures, click each picture for full size)

Packaging

(Forgive the bad pictures, I had to use my cell phone instead of my digital camera)

 

 

This was everything in the shipment.

Opened up the M-100 package.

V-MODA Faders.

My custom shields.

Out of the plastic.

The Boom Mic unraveled.

The Boom Mic close up.

Other side.

The controller has a clip, mute switch, and volume control

Volume control side

Mute Switch side

Personal note from Val+product information inside the package.

Personal note from Val Kolton = truly priceless!!!

Headphone case top view.

Close up of zipper.

Opened up to reveal headphones, shareplay cable, 6.3mm to 3.5mm adapter, and standard 1 button mic cable.

Close up of headphones inside case.

Shareplay cable.

Up close.

Standard 1 button mic cable ends.

Mic

One button controller

Same cable unraveled.

 

Headphones

 

Now we get to see the M-100 close up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contents

The M-100's come with:

  1. M-100's (duh.)
  2. Exoskeleton Carrying Case with carabiner
  3. Speakeasy cable with 1-button mic in-line.
  4. Shareplay audio cable with extra adapter for someone to plug their headphones into whatever you're playing
  5. 1/4" Pro audio adapter
  6. V-corks for plugging into the ports when nothing's plugged in.

 

For pre-ordering we got some extras:

  1. Custom Shields
  2. V-MODA Faders
  3. Boom Mic
  4. Personal note from Val Kolton himself(CEO of V-MODA)

 

There's not much to say in terms of description, pictures are worth a thousand words. 

 

I can comment on the build quality, however. It is excellent. Nothing feels flimsy or like it's going to fall off, it's very solid. The hinges also feel very solid, like they're not going to fail under some punishment. In fact the entire headphone doesn't feel like it will give out due to punishment. Now that is speculation on my part, only time will tell if I am correct.

 

They are very comfortable to wear. I have been wearing these for about half a day now and it's not tiring or painful at all. After about an hour you forget they're even on your head. Now my ears are not that big, so I can't comment on the issue of them being too small. All I can say is for me, the depth of the cup is enough and the pads are big enough that it's not pressed up on my ears.

 

I must say, being these are the first pair of V-MODA headphones I owned, they definitely look bigger in pictures than they actually are. Not that that's a bad thing, I don't want to go around in public with gigantic cans on my head. Some people might like to do that, but not me. 

 

Initial SQ impressions are great! I haven't put this through any burn-in yet, but they are already blowing me away. Bass is not over-powering, it's very tight and controlled. The only other headphone I can compare this too at this point in time is the Logitech G35 Gaming Headset. The Logitech's bass was very low, thumping, and muddled. The M-100 is a totally different beast compared to them, and rightly so because they cost more than double the G35s. They are not a "Basshead" type of headphone in the very basic interpretation of the term. Using the Beats headphones as the benchmark "Basshead" can, you can say these don't hit as hard. I don't consider this a bad thing, I think it's very tiring to listen to low quality muddied thumping bass. The M-100s are a joy to listen to. The bass in these headphones is present, but not overpowering, forward yet tight, rumbling but controlled. I unfortunately don't have the M-80s to compare these to, but I will have a friend that I can listen to his.

 

I will have a more in-depth review of the SQ after I do some burn-in, listen to them some more, and get a hold of a pair of M-80s to compare these to. I do not regret this purchase at all, it's turning out to be everything I had hoped.


Edited by blotto5 - 12/31/12 at 2:00am
post #3 of 924
Thread Starter 
-

Edited by BRSxIgnition - 8/17/12 at 9:58pm
post #4 of 924

V-MODA M-100 Review

 

Ok, so I've finally decided I've listened to these long enough to write a full review on these. Warning: these are my opinions, my personal opinions, and nothing more than opinions, so please try not to get offended if I said something that disagrees with your opinions, because, and again I say this, these are my opinions. If you want pictures check my unboxing.

 

Appearance

 

Alright let's start with the first thing you notice about these headphones. They are beautiful, hands down the most beautiful things I own, and that's not just headphones (because that would be a very short list). Everywhere I go with these things I get comments with how different and nice they look. Shoutout to competing companies: You don't have to look like beats headphones to look good (even though I think the beats look like crap, they are selling like crazy and everyone I talk to who has a pair think those things look better than Scarlett Johansson). I've always admired V-MODA's design language, and they certainly don't stray far from the winning formula, aside from the hinges, they don't look any different than the LPs or the M-80s (only bigger). Hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

 

Build Quality

 

I've had these things for close to three months now, and I wear them very frequently mostly everywhere I go. I also do not baby my equipment, so I do have a certain level of durability expectations with everything I own. Since this is a short amount of time I can't say they'll last you for 10 years, I can however say I have dropped them no fewer than 10 times (I lost count after the first couple) from varying heights, the highest being a shelf about 6 feet high to carpet, others around 3-5 five feet onto asphalt, concrete, wood flooring, and carpet. Other than some battle scars and knicks, there is no perceivable damage to these things, they look, and feel, indestructible. Now I know that's impossible, but there's really no reason for me to worry with V-MODA's awesome 2 year warranty, and if anything happens after that, V-MODA's immortal life program which gives you 50% off a new pair if destroyed outside the warranty.

 

Comfort

 

Now this one is important, more important that the way it looks, how it sounds, or how well it can take a beating. I don't care if it's the best dam sounding headphone in the world, more beautiful than an A-list celebrity, and can take more of a beating than a M1 Abrams, if it hurts to wear it for more than a half-hour than it's not worth it's weight in gold to me. I can definitely say that they don't suffer from that problem. After wearing it initially and having some issues with the pressure it put on my head, I just reverse bent it to almost flat, and put it back on, and the issue was gone. It also conforms to your head over time, so after a while of wearing it, I forgot it was on, and then there were no more issues with comfort from then on.

 

Sound Quality

 

Alright, here it is, my opinions on SQ. I don't have much in terms of previous headphone experience to work with, so I'm comparing these to: V-MODA bass freq earbuds, V-MODA M-80s, Logitech G35 Gaming Headset, and a Razer Blackshark. I also want to point out, I listened to these both before and after a 24-hour burn-in, and I cannot perceive a difference in quality. So with that stuff out of the way, let's get on with this.

 

Isolation

 

They are not active noise-cancelling, so definitely expect some noise to get through, however the seal is good enough that it's only audible at low volume, or quiet parts of what you're listening to. Also important is how much they leak, which can be quite annoying in a quiet environment where you're trying to not disturb anyone around you. I tested this by listening to my headphones at a comfortable volume level in both a quiet environment (my living room) and in a not-so-quiet environment (a bus), with techno, rock, and metal as music of choice. In the living room my friend said he couldn't make out the words or genre I was listening to, just some of the heavier parts of the music. On the bus he couldn't hear anything due to the outside noise being louder than the headphones. This is a plus since it means you won't have to worry about leaking, unless you happen to be in a library or something, then you may have to turn it down a bit. Isolation is also excellent since even on a loud subway I couldn't hear anything but the music except during the quiet parts or song changes, this is a plus since you can pause you're music and be able to have a conversation with them on, or, you know, listen in to one without anyone suspecting.

 

High's

 

This was not an area where I expected the headphones to shine, given V-MODA's reputation and my experience with their earbuds, but I was pleasantly surprised. It may not necessarily have the best clarity or detail, but it's not an area I really expect to spend much time focusing on, so it exceeded my expectations. Not having the clarity and detail of some other headphones aside, these definitely sound different, like it has a certain flair, it feels like it has a sparkle the other headphones don't. It shines where the other headphones that go for full clarity and resolution and miss a certain element that brings out a liveliness in the music. Very abstract, I know, can you tell I'm not a hardcore audiophile?

 

Mid's

 

This is an area where a lot of cheap headphones ignore, going from bassy lows, straight to flat highs. I'm impressed with how dynamic and smooth the mid range sounds. Instruments are clear and not recessed and vocals are very clear and forward. Overall very smooth and clear transitions make not one area of the sound overwhelming, a welcome change from cheaper headphones, or celebrity rip-off headphones.

 

Bass

 

This is the M-100's strength. Bass is incredibly clear and doesn't suffer any muddling. It's very warm and extends deeper than other headphones I've listened to. Very detailed and tight, yet delivers plenty of rumble when your music calls for it. There's virtually no bleeding into the mids or highs, very well controlled. I'm still not over being amazed at how awesome this bass is. All that being said, don't expect a bass cannon, pick up an LP2 if bass is the only thing you care about. 

 

Other

 

The sound stage is HUGE, I never expected such an expansive soundstage from a semi-closed headphone, but I guess that's what makes the M-100 unique, best of both worlds, closed and open. When amped, this thing really shines, it sounds great on its own, but when hooked to an amp, every aspect is boosted and becomes even better. After listening to many genres and variations I must say this headphone sounds great with all genres of music, but I have to admit being in love with the way this thing handles rock and metal, that seems to be its bread and butter.

 

Conclusion

 

The M-100's are a must buy for a travelling audiophile, and consumers who simply care more about sound quality than what some celebrity is being paid to say about it. These things are made to be worn while travelling, and with the custom shields, you can really make them your own and make a statement anywhere you go. These things are just as comfortable as they are pretty, and they are simply beautiful. I would expect these things to survive anything you can throw at it in everyday life and come out the other side ready for more. V-MODA set out to do what they do best, and improve upon every aspect of it to make a headphone that is very unique, in both looks and sound quality. These things have a sound signature all their own, and when compared to the competition the M-100s provide something that many other companies can't, a soul. That's what I'm calling the expansive soundstage, warm mids, tight and punchy bass, sparkling highs, and sonic flair that this headphone possesses. So in the end, if you pick up a pair of M-100s, you won't be disappointed.


Edited by blotto5 - 1/6/13 at 8:52am
post #5 of 924

From The Audio Journal Of A DigitalFreak

 

The M-100 Countdown

 

August 16 2012

 

Order placed for M-100 VTF-100 limited edition


October 10 2012

 

I'm pretty excited right now, my shipping email finally came in. Looks like I'm part of the third wave of shipping. Thus far people seem to be very excited about their new headphones. Three days ago the first packages began to arrive at the homes of the first few lucky head-fiers (the first wave) who got in on the pre order. The first reviews have begun to trickle in and sonically people seem to be impressed. The one review I'm really looking forward to reading will be AnakChan's. The dude has had the inside track on these cans going back months when they were still being developed and the sound still hadn't been locked in. The only negative I've heard so far was one person commenting his custom plate art wasn't that clear and another person posting pictures of various user plates wondering if anyone else had hazy artwork on their plates. My M-80 custom plate was actually one of them used as an example. Considering my M-80 plates are actually pretty clear and clean I'm left thinking I really need to get a better camera so my pics don't look so third rate. Looks like the long wait is almost over and the final countdown has finally begun. Nothing much more for me to do now except remain patient until my new set of cans finally hits River City. I'm so looking forward to these new cans. I got my new Studio V 3rd Anniversary Edition player loaded up with high res FLAC and I even bought some new CD's for the occasion. I'll probably get the new stuff ripped this weekend and I'll throw it on the Studio V SDCard at a later date. I've already made up my mind what the first four test albums will be once I have the M-100 around my head. First up will be the Daft Punk Tron Legacy soundtrack followed by The Crystal Method's Vegas CD followed by 1 Giant Leap's self titled CD and finally to round things off I'm going to keep it fun and throw in Darude's Before The Storm album. What I listen to from there is anyone's guess and will probably depend on how well the M-100 does with the first four test albums. Only 5 to 10 more business days remain and I can finally get down to business and see if this can was really worth all the hype and the months of waiting in anticipation. It's been a long wait and a lot of sifting through thousands of posts on the now 500 plus pages of the M-100 thread to find relevant hints and info on this can. Fingers crossed it was all worth it.


Later boppers


 

October 13 2012

 

It's been three days since my last update of this online audio journal and more packages have rolled into fellow head-fiers hands. Originally I had thought that as more packages were received some of the more vocal colorful like characters on the thread would quickly announce with high zeal and pomp they had received their new holy grail headphone and would make a hasty retreat never to be seen again on thread. Instead the characters seem to have chosen to hang around and throw their two cents trying to answer questions of any and all curious passersby all the while proudly throwing up unboxing videos and pictures carefully orchestrated to show off the glam and pride of their carefully picked custom shields. Add in a slew of first impressions concerning build quality, sonics, videos concerning how to properly swap out your shields, and what gear pairs well with the M-100 and any reader quickly realizes the V-MODA M-100 locomotive is still barreling as fast as it ever was. I can't help but think as I continue to read through the slew of posts that Mr Val Kolton is probably sitting back in whatever recliner/airport/plane seat/cab/hotel room quietly reading through the M-100 thread with a huge mad hatter like smile on his face. The man threw caution to the wind by opening up the vault doors behind the development of the M-100 and in doing so watched his little online project bare fruit beyond his wildest dreams. I also can't help but wonder how many eyes from his competition has quietly been sitting back taking notes while watching Val Kolton masterfully orchestrate an online circus of pomp, passion, hype, and glee. With the slew of never ending activity I'm tempted to message either Jude or Amos and request that the M-100 impression thread be renamed to the V-MODA fan lounge.

 

If all the activity wasn't already enough the thread took a huge spike in posts when Val Kolton, always the master performer and orchestrator, announced there was an added little secret gem included in the M-100 he termed a hidden Easter egg and wondered who would be the first to find this little Easter egg. A quick slew of posts of is it this or is it that and someone figuring it out and posting the hint "if you cut the tape it will slide out" and the mystery was solved. Val ,who can't help but be Val, couldn't let well enough be enough and had to add one last touch to his newborn child. Apparently the M-100 doesn't come boxed in retail packaging like it's little brother the M-80 does. It instead comes boxed in it's own fancy display box and the display box itself is instead packaged in a sleeve which slides over the display box to mimic run of the mill retail packaging. Why do I for see a handful of head-fiers suddenly screaming awwww @#%$ and running to their garbage bins outside and furiously weeding through garbage looking for their V-MODA M-100 display case they mistakenly threw out? Matter of fact I'm waiting on somebody to eventually post just that, lmao.

 

Since I earlier bought up the term opening the vault doors AnakChan a day or two ago finally updated his post reserved for audio impressions and finally posted his final impressions. A rather interesting read describing the M-100 as having a highly prominent bass region that although accentuated was still controlled and detailed and didn't leak into the lower mids. Add in the findings of a slightly forward treble that sparkled and extends and my curiosity became quite peaked. Val Kolton himself has always balked at the idea of spiking the highs due to his crusade against spiked highs contributing to hearing loss so the term forward treble really threw me for a loop. A few posts down the thread later AnakChan would clarify his statement by indicating that the treble, according to Val Kolton, were accentuated but by only 1 or 1.5 db or so. One statement that worried me a little was the mids were described as sounding slightly U shaped. I don't mind a U shape per say, I am a HD25-I-II owner after all, but over the coarse of the last few months I've found myself gravitating more and more towards the mids and liking a more linear like presentation. Other users as well as AnakChan would later chime in that even though the mids sounded recessed they actually weren't. They only sounded like they were because the bass was so prominent. I dunno, I'm keeping my fingers crossed the mids on the M-100 won't be a deal breaker for me especially now that I've learned the highs seem to have some nice sparkle to them. That was the only real flaw I felt the M-80 exhibited. As patient as I've been after reading AnakChan's review I'm now finding myself more and more impatient as the days drag on. Once I finally get my M-100 I'm going to give them a very close listen and hope they really are all that.

 

Later boppers


October 16 2012

 

An the V-MODA locomotive continues to barrel on. First highlight of the day, as of today the new pre order page for the official M-100 December release went live on the V-MODA site. I've already noticed some noobs on the thread posting hoping to get more information on the M-100. I wouldn't be surprised if the thread begins to speed up again because of the pre order page and I'm now wondering if the thread will ever slow down. Once the M-100 is finally available to the world God only knows how fast the discussion thread will become. If this keeps up the M-100 impressions thread might even begin to rival the Woo Amp Owners Unite thread or the UE Tri-Fi 10 thread which have been alive for a good 2 years and counting.  I can't help but amusingly think V-MODA has suddenly created it's own tribe like base of users or to use more correct imagery it's own Roman legion.

 

Second highlight for the day, scrypt posted his first fresh out of the box impressions. I'm rather glad scrypt decided to join the V-MODA party. The guy has been on the thread since it's early days and he has an incredibly eloquent writing style as well as a solid background in the music industry to boot. The only other person on Head-Fi I know who can write as eloquently as him would be the diary thread tribe queen MuppetFace. Originally he didn't seem to keen on posting any impressions due to feeling anything he posted would be redundant. Luckily after a little prodding from my end inviting him to join the party he seems to have really warmed up to the idea and for a short while even became the life of the party with his observations and further clarification of certain points in his early impressions post. It's rather nice to see and for me reading friendly banter and enjoying open discussion about gear is the added beauty of this sort of hobby. It's also nice to see early impressions that are well written and thought out and offer a nice added bonus of depth explaining why said person arrived at his/her conclusions.

 

Final highlight of the day, according to tracking my M-100 officially cleared customs as of last night which means it's either in a Vancouver Canada Post sort facility or on a truck enroute to my city. Right now I'm guessing I'll have them in my hands by the end of the week or sometime early next week. Lucky thing I'm on holidays and will have oodles of time to calmly sit down and give them a good hard listen. I'm thinking when I start taking my impression notes down on the M-100 I'll break them down and order my findings under different gear used. Some people have asked for impressions concerning different gear so I'm going to take a little extra time and break my final observations down to three sections describing how my can pairs with my iPod/Leckerton UHA-4 rig, my iPod/ALO RX MK II rig and my Studio V player. I'm hoping people will find it informative and entertaining. Speaking of which I still owe HiSound a review concerning their third anniversary edition Studio V. At this rate I'm going to be reviewed out by the end of the month.

 

Later boppers


October 17 2012

 

On The Eve Of The M-100 (Maybe)

 

I had no intention of doing another journal entry so soon but outside forces have changed that. Yesterday when I checked my tracking my M-100 had cleared customs in Vancouver the night before. Today when I checked I was greeted with the shock that my package had entered my cities sort facility. I'm guessing it must have been thrown on a plane because that's crazy fast for going from one city to another two provinces over. Also according to tracking it had entered the sort facility as of 5:43 this morning. Feeling rather happy I celebrated with a little extra shot of coffee grounds in my usual morning coffee. What can I say I'm such a rebel. Later that morning I rechecked my tracking to see tracking showing it had been processed by the local sort facility. Feeling quite giddy I grabbed my jacket some bills I had to pay and did a bee line to my PO box thinking my M-100 was probably waiting for me to pick up. I get there in record time and throw open my PO box only to find some stupid flyer and no pickup notice card.

 

Crap, they must still either be in the sort facility waiting to be thrown on the truck or are still sitting in the truck doing it's delivery rounds God only knows where. Feeling a little dejected I did my errands and made a bee line back home thinking they would probably be delivered tomorrow morning. I went about my normal business not giving it to much thought until just now. All of 5 minutes ago I did another quick check on my tracking only to see that my package had been delivered and was now awaiting pickup as of 12:16 PM this afternoon which is about 20 minutes before I checked my PO box which makes absolutely no freaking sense because there was nothing there. My guess on whats going on, either the Canada Post tracking system is full of it, the person who was supposed to card my box was taking their time and carded it shortly after I left, or they forgot to card my box, AGAIN.

 

I think a little trip down memory lane is warranted to fill in the AGAIN part on what exactly I'm talking about. Roughly just over a month ago I ordered a Studio V MP3 player from HiSound Audio. One of the reasons behind this purchase was to have a better sounding all in one solution that didn't involve being chained down to a bulky rig but would still sound passably good with headphones such as the M-100. Long story short the package arrived from China and tracking showed my package as being delivered and my PO box carded. It took me three whole days going back and forth to my PO box and a half dozen calls to the Canada Post support line before I got my player. Why? Because first of all the help line couldn't find an elephant under a pillow if their life depended on it, second of all the postal clerk at the front desk couldn't be bothered to check in the back to see if my package was there, and third of all because the dummy who was responsible for carding my box either didn't get around to it or forgot about it completely. End result, my player sat on some shelf an added three days all because nobody cared to stick a stupid card into my PO box and because the guy at the front desk was to busy reading the paper to take a dozen steps into the back storage area and see a package with my PO box and name clearly marked waiting to be picked up. Sorry for the rant but sometimes I can't help it. Hopefully the Studio V incident was just a one time thing and my card just didn't happen to enter my PO box before I got there. Who knows maybe the system showed it scanned and carded but the person responsible for carding the slew of PO boxes just didn't get around to carding it until later that afternoon. I'll have to wait and see I guess but the last few deliveries I've had involving Canada Post hasn't left me impressed to say the least.

 

In happier news, looks like the M-100 thread has a new slew of characters. My previous assumption of it speeding up because of the pre order page going live was correct. It also seems that over the last couple of days some of the original vanguard has succeeded their place to a new crop of V-MODA legionnaires. Reading through the thread now it's almost as if I've taken a step back in time and can't help smiling at all the excitement and anticipation that me and others were once a part of. I dare say if I was to leave the thread tonight and return a year from now it would probably be going almost as strong with the same old slew of questions and observations and friendly bantering. Probably the most surprising part about reading through the thread is I've yet to run across anyone commenting about being disappointed in the M-100 sound. I've noticed the odd passing comment about blurry shields or someone finding the fit slightly uncomfortable and deciding to send them back or sell them because of fit issues but nothing about being disappointed in the sound. Matter of fact the couple of people who decided to send them back or sell them have even gone as far as to comment they wish they could keep their M-100 because they sounded that nice. Comments like that is what really makes me impatient to finally hear the M-100. Well that and the fact Canada Post can't seem to make a delivery without messing it up. The heck with this ranting. It's time I threw on my K2 sp IEM fired up my ALO amp and just chill out. I'm probably ranting about nothing my package will probably be in my hands by tomorrow afternoon when I go to pick it up. After all, if you can't show some faith you'll end up having nothing to have faith in.


Later boppers


October 18 2012

 

The Eagle Has Landed

 

Well looks like all my ranting against Canada Post was a waste of time. After a long wait I officially received my M-100 today. I've spent most of the day listening to it off and on and thus far early impressions seem to be mostly in the positive. Ergonomically this can seems to be a very well designed headphone and I'm guessing a lot of man hours was probably logged on trying to get the shape and size just right for mobile use. When I first set my sights on the M-100 I expected a smaller form factor but I was still shocked how incredibly tiny the carry case and folded up headphones themselves were. It's almost as if V-MODA grabbed a M-80 headband ripped the cups off threw on a pair of larger housed 50 mm drivers then modded the metal gimble parts with a hinge that folds upwards and viola new super compact mid sized headphone. Seriously, when they're folded up they're even smaller then the M-80 making them easily far more mobile then the M-80. In the comfort department I'm glad to report they're very comfortable. I was a little worried these would be uncomfortable due to a couple of people complaining the shallow cups hurt their ears but thus far after 2 straight hours my ears are still feeling good albeit a little on the warm side. Probably the only bone I have to pick with it ergonomically thus far is these cans are not the most comfortable to wear around your neck. The cups don't fold flat and I'm finding my chin, because of the larger cups, hit the cups when I turn my head. When I'm looking forward it's not to bad but thus far I doubt I will be wearing these for long periods of time around my neck.

 

One of the first things I did when I got them home, besides listen to them of coarse, was install my custom shields. Now that was one huge pain in the ass and after installing them I now know why V-MODA included some extra screws in their shield kit. Put very bluntly, the provided alan key stinks when it comes to unscrewing and screwing in the custom shields. Take my advice if you have a scredriver use that instead of the provided alan key. Not only did the alan key slightly wear away the screw heads it left my hand red and sore from straining trying to get the alan key to firmly fit into the screws heads. After a good 10 minutes of swearing, gripping, and regripping trying to get a proper strong enough hold on the way to small alan key to get some torque behind my turning hand I gave up and threw the alan key in the garbage and got myself a proper screw driver. Ten minutes later both stock matte shields were off and my black custom croc skin shields with tribal art cross design were installed and looking very bad ass if I do say so myself. I would have liked the tribal art cross a little bigger but overall I can't complain the design looks clean crisp and rather nice.

 

Alright, time to get to first impressions concerning audio. These findings are only very early out of the box impressions so take them with a very small grain of salt. I'm going to need a few more days with the M-100 before I can arrive at final impressions.

 

Treble

 

  • Easily extends farther then it's M-80 sibling.
  • While the M-80 highs are flat and smoothed over the M-100 has sparkle and some authority behind it. I would have liked a little more edge but that's just me being a nit picker. Overall from the little I've heard I'm quite pleased with them and thus far I'm glad V-MODA decided to put a little more sparkle and above all more extension and air into the M-100 treble

 

Mids

 

  • While the M-80 went for a smooth fluid presentation in it's mids the M-100 took that smoothness leaned the sound out just a tad and brought in a lot more detail
  • As commented by others the mids have a very slight U shape to them and although I do agree I would not call the M-100 a traditional recessed mid U like say the Sennheiser HD-25. The U is very very slight so I'm glad to report thus far I'm quite relieved that the mids seem to be working for me
  • Slightly forward vocals but not as forward as I'm used to with say my DT1350 or Grado SR60i
  • Guitars are full and crunch well. Probably on par with my more lush sounding HD-25
  • Sound clear but still not as clear as my DT1350
  • Although vocals sound great it's still doesn't match the glorious vocal reproduction of my DT1350. Easily beats out the HD-25 and SR60i though

 

Bass

 

  • Extends deep, not as deep as my Bayerdynamic DT1350 but it's not far behind
  • Warm, full bodied, and elevated above all other frequencies
  • Although warm it's still quite detailed
  • Well behaved and bleed into the mids is very minimal or non existent
  • This headphone can really rumble when the music demands it

 

Other Attributes Of Note

 

  • Prat is very good but not great. My DT1350 and Grado SR 60i are quicker
  • Soundstage is wide and dwarfs the SR60i HD-25 and M-80
  • Mid transitioning of highs and lows is smooth and overall presentation seems coherent (very little sibilance or bass bleed)
  • When unamped it's passable but when amped this can shines noticeably. When unamped soundstage sounds compressed mids especially guitars seem blurred and bass loses extension. This can loves it when you throw some extra juice at it and accordingly it should be accommodated
  • Some rock actually sounds pretty good with the M-100

 

Again I must emphasize these are very early first impressions and some of whats been noted above could and probably will change in a few weeks when I post my final impressions. Until then the only thing left for me to do is get back to listening to more music and allowing my ears and brain to further climatize to the M-100 sound signature as well as mixing and matching different gear.

 

Back in a few days fellow boppers


October 23 2012

 

It's been five days and my little investment is starting to pay off for me. As my brain climatizes further and further to the M-100 sound signature it's finer nuances are starting to become more and more apparent. For the most part it's been a good thing in another area though not so much. The more I listen the more I realize that the sub bass that gives the M-100 it's oh so distinct rumble although it sounds quite wonderful with bass heavy genres can really become distracting with other types of music. Luckily, thanks to Miceblue from the M-100 thread, there was a quick fix involving modding the ear pads by stuffing paper towels all around the inside ear pad and the sub bass was reigned in. End result, the bass now sounded a bit cleaner which made the mids appear to take a half step forward. The unfortunate part, to my ears at least, the treble somehow got a decibel shaved off which took the M-100 to far into M-80 territory for my liking. After about a day of listening to different music and experimenting with different stuffing thicknesses to no avail it dawned on me that maybe the problem was the stuffing could be muffling the drivers. Following my hunch I yanked all stuffing from the sides of the inside cup leaving only the top and bottom halves of the inside cups stuffed. My reasoning for removing the side stuffing was because they were partially covering the edge of the headphones drivers. The top and bottom half though I could stuff to my hearts content due to the fact the cups were oblong enough that the stuffing wouldn't get in the way of the driver. Bingo, that treble got back that little tinge of sparkle and bought the top end back more in line to where I like it. The bass, although not as reigned in with the full pad mod was still pretty clean and above all the mids were still sounding slightly more linear then without the mod. Wanting to play it safe I posted my partial mod onto the M-100 thread in an attempt to be sure what I was hearing wasn't just placebo. It's happened to better people on here so I thought it would be best to play it safe. A few hours later two other M-100 owners, Miceblue and Leon Dota, reported back the same conclusions I had arrived at. Rather interesting exercise in how a little stuffing can tweak the sound of a headphone ever so slightly.

 

Comfort with the M-100 seems to remain not to bad although with the stuffing the pads are now harder and instead of going 4 hours without any discomfort I'm now finding the edge of my ears are now feeling a little tender around hour two. By hour three I'm yanking the M-100's off and giving my ears a  short breather. Something else I should mention, if I'm lying down I'm finding the weight of the cups will press down on my ears more and within an hour or so my left ear especially will begin to feel rather soar. To try and combat the discomfort during long term use I've tried loosening the headband a bit in an attempt to get the cups better positioned. Thus far the results have been a mixed bag but I have been able to find a comfortable enough positioning to get me through hour 3 with minimal comfort issues. I'm hoping a little more experimenting with positioning might finally yield some results. Either that or hopefully my ears toughen up a little more and long use discomfort becomes a dead issue. Right now as I write this I'm into hour three and discomfort seems to be almost non existent. Upon hour 2 or so I lengthened the headband a bit and slightly repositioned my ears inside the cup a bit and that seems to have done the trick thus far. Let's hope the good results in the comfort department don't change. Interestingly enough other users on the M-100 thread over the last few days seem to have come out of the woodwork complaining about comfort issues. In response to some of the complaints Val has now announced that V-MODA will be releasing larger pads for the M-100 and then went on to ask for volunteers to test the pads. If they work who knows maybe I'll invest in a spare set.

 

There's not really much more to add to this entry i guess. I was considering of describing the sound a little more but I'm thinking it's better I just save it all for my final observations. Thus far I'd say some of my initial observations were correct while some weren't. After the pad mod I'm now wondering if my initial statement of the M-100's bass extension not being more then the DT1350 was correct. I'll be looking into that observation over the next few days.

 

Stay tuned boppers


reserved for more observations


Edited by DigitalFreak - 10/23/12 at 11:32pm
post #6 of 924

M-100 VS HD598 COMPARISON REVIEW

 

I don’t know much about terms and whatnot and what constitutes what so I’ll tell you what happens when I try to compare the two headphones and see what you make of it.

 

Test: stock M-100 vs hd598 with +4 bass boost on a e17. Take it as you will.

 

There is a +3 or so volume difference between the two (w/ m-100 being louder). Not quite sure though since it varies with song to song because some things stand out more than others on different songs for each headphone. Also, everybody knows that hd598 will beat m-100 in soundstage.

 

On the song +ID – MuryokuP, I noticed that I had to readjust the volume difference between the two to a lower difference on my Fiio e17 to balance out the loudness of the guitars. I also had to change the output of the bass increase to +2 to make it sound closer in sound signature as regards to mids and bass.

 

On BAD APPLE!! – nomico, the bass is punchier and more controlled on the m-100 than even +4 or +6 bass on the hd598. I thought this might have been the e17’s fault so I turned up the volume and lowered the treble to -10 on the e17 with no bass increase just to see if I can get the same punch out of it. Nope, the bass is much more controlled and extended on the m-100.

 

On the song unfragment – HSP, Miku’s vocals sound more… sibilant on the hd598? It really isn’t a sibilance as a more brightness to it. It shouldn’t make sense since m-100 definitely has the better treble performance there - the beginning few seconds of Story – FELT can attest to that. But take it as you will.

 

Speaking of “Story”, the treble is definitely more forward on the m-100. Lots more sparkle too. Vocals are a little less forward but by a tiny bit only. Now this song really makes the m-100 shine. A lot of details of the song stand out. There is more resolution and the sound can be described as more controlled.

 

All in all though, M-100 all the way.

 

(references not posted due to youtube being bad quality and will not be an accurate representation of tested material)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by darkfireblade25 - 10/12/12 at 6:31pm
post #7 of 924
Thread Starter 

Reserved as well for preview/review/impressions.

post #8 of 924

M-100 Review

 

Wow. It’s been awhile, a long time of wait, development, etc. Quite the journey, but three weeks back, I finally got my hands on these. V-Moda’s latest entry to their Crossfade series, the Crossfade M-100. As anyone here can attest, Val Kolton’s latest piece de resistance has been nurtured for quite some time under his perfectionist eye, and man, these cans are simply delectable. Shall we continue?

 

Design

 

V-Moda is one of the pioneers of the fashionable headphone, and these have the design of stealthy, sleek elegance. For those of you feeling that your headphone collection is feeling a bit too black, you also have the option of selecting the fabulous white-silver edition. For me though, the matte black edition was just calling to me. Sleek, stylish with an industrial, almost cyberpunk quality, these headphones are simply excellent. In spite of its stylistic choices to stand out such as its V-wings, the sheer elegance of an all black design goes well with anything I throw with it.

 

Size wise, I was always under the impression based on photos that these would be sizeable headphones. Just as with the M-80’s, however, the M-100’s are much smaller than expected. When receiving the box, I was almost flabberghasted at how small the box was. In its case, the M-100’s are no larger than a softball! Or a grapefruit. Whatever obloid-shaped object happens to be within your grasps that fits in your hand.

 

Build Quality

 

As expected by V-Moda’s build quality, the cans I have in my hand are top notch pieces of work. The curiosity buzzing around the M-100’s is the hinge and whether it’ll stand the test of time or not. Mr. Kolton has taken care to be sure that the hinge not only stands the test of time but has the feel that it will stand any amount of folding you throw at it. Describing it as a “German Car Feel” by its maker, every fold is accompanied by a *click* sound that is satisfying to fold and unfold.

 

The rest? Fine cloth on the headband, plastic a bit, particularly for the cups (which is fine unless you want to be weighed down by the sheer weight of metal on your shoulders). Overall, the build is metal, and demonstrating to friends the durability brings some star struck faces. The screws for the shields are initially the worst screws ever to deal with (I think the shield change took me somewhere around an hour to finish. But seeing as I’ve got four sets to fiddle around with, I perservered, and now it takes me a little less than 15 minutes to do a shield change.

 

And for the curious amongst some build problems in the first batch, I’ve had no problems. These things have stood up to Sandy, an early November nor’easter, and being handled by my brother, a professional with the midus touch, if midus broke everything in sight.

 

Packaging/Extras

 

Your standard package comes with: case, (for matte black) a black shareplay cable (5ish feet, have yet to measure it formally), an orange one-button cable (4 feet or so), stickers! And a 1/4” -1/8” adapter. As with the M-80’s, the one button cable is *just* the right length for me. It somewhat irks me why V-Moda has the audio only cable and the shareplay cable (both the same length) be longer when the one button cable is fabulous. But the orange of the one button cable works excellently and exquisitely with the matte black design.

 

Along with those are preorder extras. Faders (excellent for keeping out noise when I need earplugs such as crashing at my friends’ place with a rather rambunctious heater) and the Boom Pro mic cable, which I have yet to test out due to lack of a VOIP adapter.

 

Comfort

 

Short and simple for me, these headphones are excellent. I could (and have been) wearing these things for hours on end with no sight of fatigue. I understand that for some fellow members of head-fi that there are comfort issues based on the shallowness of the cups and the tendency of the plush to compress after a period of time, but I’ve been all set in that department. For the most part for other people, it has been the same (we must all have small ears! Read below) Twisting/flattening the headphones decreases clamping force if that’s a problem for you.

 

Sound Quality

 

Alright, let’s get down to the real reason why we’re here. How do they sound? That is the main reason why we’re shooting $310 for a new, unreleased headphone, no?

 

Bass

 

*Bam* *Purr* *Growl*

 

Bass is the star of the show on these cans. But think not of these cans as basshead level cans. The bass here is controlled, detailed, and makes these cans lively as can be. They really purr and growl, and it is simply a visceral experience to listen to bass through these cans. Catbread by Deadmau5  really grooves well as the first top of my head example.

 

Mids

As a fan of forward mids, it is a bit of a change for me to have the mids a tad laid back in comparison to the heavily forward Beyerdynamic DT1350’s. But the mid presentation is well within what I would consider acceptable for me. No bass bleed, and they stand well, if at least a bit behind the rest of the spectrum.

 

Treble

Extension is superior to the M80’s, and that’s excellent. They stand a bit more forward than the mids, but of course in comparison to the Alessandro MS-1’s, they seem to be missing just a wee bit at the top, but I’d say that’s acceptable, especially considering that the grado sound (a treble emphasis that can at points be too sibilant) is not what V-Moda is aiming at.

 

Soundstage

For a “semi-closed” phone? Pretty darn good. I believe miceblue has posted the inner workings of the vents, showing some foam below where the shields are and some sort of second layer of foam beneath that one, which makes it questionable how much the v-port vents actually play a role in the sound, but it is a pretty wide sound for closed-back. Not concert hall, mind you, but perhaps something of a club sort of sound as anak-chan alludes to when he describes the soundstage.

 

Instrumentation

The spectrum layout alludes to this, but there are certain things that don’t stand out as well as I’d like. Cymbals don’t crash as nicely, and string-emphasized pieces, while not presented in a bad way, are not presented in the most accurate way in my opinion. Listening to a variety of pieces over these three weeks, My breakdown as to genre matching with these headphones would go like this:

 

Electronic>R&B>Pop>Hip-Hop>Rock>Bossa Nova>Jazz>Classical

 

By no means is classical bottom-of-the-barrel stuff, simply that the M-100’s would not be my preferred headphone for the selection. Rock is a bit of a mixed bag. Some songs are *okay* while others (Roundabout by Yes comes to mind) are superb, so I’d say that’s where things start turning the tide. It’s a wellrounded phone, but it’s a bit genre specific in the sense that some songs are adequate while others absolutely shine.

 

Multi Review

 

When writing a review, I’d like to keep in mind the perspective of the maker. What is the objective of their designs? Mr. Kolton has kept this design philosophy in mind: “Greatest sound for the greatest number of people.” Has he achieved that goal? Let’s find out.

 

Friend #1: 20 years old female, wore bose because she liked the comfort, less concerned about sound quality.

“Ooh! These are so comfy!”

*ten minutes later*

“Yeah you’re not getting these back for awhile”

“I like these way more than your other ones! (DT1350’s”

 

Friend #2: 20 year old male, actually head-fi member kagelou!

“Yep, these are pretty good.”

“They’re smaller than I thought they’d be”

Overall his impression was that they beat out the M-80’s, and the comfort easily wins compared to the M-100’s due to A) the pads being less stiff and B) the difference in circumaural vs supraaural headphoens

 

Friend #3: 18 Year old male, M-50 owner for a few months, new audiophile!

“Wow. Darn it! I’m going to go home and be like, I wish I had robble’s headphones! It won’t be the same!”

“Some stuff sounds great! But I’m not sure if I’d prefer these over the M50’s by much for some genres”

“I love how Val has been able to marry great sound with great aesthetic design! I wish the TMA-1’s had the sound quality of these”

 

Positive feedback, no? Yes, these three are aged 18-20 and are college students, so this is a bit more of a youth sound, but these are just people that stuck out in my mind in particular.

 

In closing

 

Headphones? Fashion statement? Personal statement? These are all qualities of the Crossfade M-100. But all those man hours and late nights tweaking have led to something really extraordinary. A community semi-open sourced headphone taking the positives of the M80’s and the critiques of audiophiles, the tuning is truly excellent. A wonderful sound for a huge range of people.

 

 

700

 

Rock on.

 


Edited by robble - 11/8/12 at 12:03am
post #9 of 924

So has anyone listened to them? how much better are they from the m-80?

post #10 of 924

r f r t e 

post #11 of 924

Reserved too I guess?  Probably be awhile until I actually get them though, customer service told me it'd be in september.

post #12 of 924

:/ only crock skin black available


Edited by tattare - 8/18/12 at 3:01am
post #13 of 924

I couldn't resist but to pre-order the VTF-100. I love the M-80 so much and listen to it every day at work, it's just that they're too small and clamp too hard that I find them uncomfortable after a short time so the larger shape of the M-100 is a huge draw for me. If they've improved anything else then I will be a happy bunny, if not then I will still have a limited edition headphone. I must say that I am really curious about the shape and style of the new VTF/M-100, but I trust Val to do a good job on it.

 

I don't know if anyone else got this but I had an email last night saying that my order was updated to "Awaiting Shipment". I'm starting to get excited now :).

post #14 of 924
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadpatch View Post

I couldn't resist but to pre-order the VTF-100. I love the M-80 so much and listen to it every day at work, it's just that they're too small and clamp too hard that I find them uncomfortable after a short time so the larger shape of the M-100 is a huge draw for me. If they've improved anything else then I will be a happy bunny, if not then I will still have a limited edition headphone. I must say that I am really curious about the shape and style of the new VTF/M-100, but I trust Val to do a good job on it.

 

I don't know if anyone else got this but I had an email last night saying that my order was updated to "Awaiting Shipment". I'm starting to get excited now :).

Yup, most of the pre-orders have gotten that notification - mine changed to that days ago.

post #15 of 924
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBomb77766 View Post

Yup, most of the pre-orders have gotten that notification - mine changed to that days ago.

Ah OK, still getting excited :). Hey which colour scheme did you go for?

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