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V-moda M80 modding

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I looked around and found a few people had mentioned modding these cans in other threads, but didn't find a thread specific to modding the M80's so I thought I'd start one myself. I really enjoy the V-Moda M80 headphones. For their price they're comfortable and sound pretty good.  I've thought about modding these cans for a while now, but like I said haven't found a whole lot of information....so I decided to wing it. I should mention I have a moon audio blue dragon V3 on the way for these cans as well smile_phones.gif.


When I purchased mine one of the ear pads was a little 'crooked'. I lived with it for a few months and then finally decided I had to fix it. The pads just pull off and the leather pad was easy to align with the plastic bezel underneath. Then curiosity struck...and I removed the 4 screws holding the driver in. Its a pretty basic housing. It looks like V-moda has some sort of damping material on the back of the driver. There's also a piece of felt (not viewable in the picture) that covers the vent. The driver seemed to be pretty well sealed to the housing when I removed it.



My main complaints with the M80 are the echo sound it has and also a lack of 'growl' on bass guitars. I'm not really sure how to describe the bass growl I feel they lack, but if you play bass I'm sure you know. Since I've never modded headphones I figured I'd just try a few things and hear what I get.



I just so happened to have a few square feet of dynamat xtreme sitting around so I made two pea size balls with its backing. Since I was doing each side separately (only taking one apart at a time) I wanted to make them at the same time. Using the existing factory damping I pressed mine on top of it and used it as a template. I think this helped a lot in putting it on each driver in the same place and thickness.




Then I added some speaker stuffing (not really sure what this is called) into the back of the driver housing. Again I made to similar size balls beforehand so that I'd add the same amount to each driver.


After this I replaced the 4 flat head screws re-attaching the driver to the housing. I then added a bit more dynamat to the outside of the housing between the plastic and aluminum panels. I thought this might help in removing some of the echo and reverberation from the housing. Re-attached the panels and gave a listen.



Not sure if this really helped much. Tapping on the back of the housing it now has a more thuddy sound though. So they sound much more refined then before. I'd call them more balanced. I lost a little of the low-end bass (I guess what would be described as sub-bass), but overall the bass sound quality has improved. I got a little more of the bass guitar growl that I was looking for, but would still like more if I could figure out how to get it. Cymbals have a bit more shimmer to them after modding, but again they're not as pronounced and in your face. Response time has improved it seems and I lost a lot of the echo sound these things had before. I'm not sure if putting the speaker stuffing in the cans was such a good idea. I don't want to interrupt the function of the vent..I assume its there for a reason. After I get the moon audio cable I think I'll attempt to re-cable the internals with some better wire since it looks like a pretty easy task.


Any advice, input, etc for how I might have messed up or what else I might do to these cans will be appreciated.

post #2 of 7

Thanks for posting, seems like fun and I am glad you feel there has been a sound quality increase after the hard work. For my chicken method I decided to try learning how to use the really good parametric EQ that my player (Neutron) has. For me, I found that with some material the tilted upward upper bass frequencies and the lower bass frequencies might cause a tad of boom and some detail smearing. I like bass, but I would rather have leaner bass with less boom than fuller bass with the boom. I have been mostly succesful with my early attempts at the parametric EQ to the point where I can say with a great degree of certainty that keeping in mind the subjectivity of my experience the sound has improved significantly.


I found a really good article about EQ use that while designed for musical engineers mixing in a studio provided some really, really good general advice. I will post the link in this thread. A good example of how much this article helped me was my work with some of the tracks from Dio's 1984, The Last In Line album. The album sounds fairly distant without much presence and life. Now I didn't want bright or that brick-walled to the nuts sound, but some added detail and forwardness that was lacking. The base recording was actually pretty good so that helped. After the work I did learning what does what with the parametric EQ I was able to add a great deal of life with very little attenuation required at all. In general I do not believe in EQing, however, a parametric EQ is far less risky and colouring than a normal graphic equalization so I am willing to try it. I have been able to clean some of the mud out of my music and in general make the bass and mid ranges more articulate and focused, and to my ears, more accurate. I understand all of these things are subjective, not to mention limited by the actual limitations of the M-80, but I am sure the improvements are real and would likely meet with agreement from many listeners.


I tend to value neutrality, but I am not warmth or colour phobic either, I think I dislike cold and analytical more than slightly warm sounding so I try to find a balance within these parameters where possible. Anyway, here is the link to the article which is an excellent read. I also encourage anybody who has a smartphone as their player (mine is a Blackberry Z10) to download Neutron. It is an absolute audiophile app where you can even set dither and other advanced settings including crossfading if you so desire. The app developer is very responsive and the support forum seems to be active so for the $4.99 I spent on the player, I'm good.





Edited by Sonic Defender - 5/10/13 at 3:41pm
post #3 of 7

Yes, thanks for posting. I may have to try your mod out. 

post #4 of 7

Yah, just love what a parametric EQ can do for the sound. I'm sure many who might happen upon this thread already know how to use a parametric EQ and this will all be ho hum yawn stuff, but for those who haven't done so before I really encourage you to read the above article and try out Neutron. Everybody I have shown Neutron to are very impressed and can't believe how good the tunes sound from my phone setup. You just have to love advances in electronics!

post #5 of 7
There isn't much about modding these headphone out there.
Coming from a pair of AKG K81 DJ's, I really didn't like something about the new raved about M-80's I had just purchased. After playing with all sorts of EQ settings on my RockBox'ed Sansa Clip and Denon audio app on my iPhone, I founds myself disapointed I could not get these new headphones to sound good to me. There was just something muddy, blurred and congested about the sound I didn't like.

After two weeks, I finally played around trying to mod them after seeing this thread.
I found that blocking the top of the three V ports under the shield with some electrical tape got rid of that blurriness completely. The sound got much more detailed and transparent.

I now find myself getting lost in the music loving every second of it.
Edited by viperbart - 9/20/13 at 6:56pm
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Glad to hear that viper. I think these are the perfect candidate for modification. Relatively cheap, easy to disassemble, and available at common retailers.
post #7 of 7
That wasn't my intention to buy these to mod them.
I was actually happy with the AKG's. All I really missed was an easily replaceable cord. After resoldering a new cord on them 4 times already I just got tired of modding and wanted to get something similar, all modded out of the box with a replaceable cord.
I didn't pan out perfectly but it was worth it.
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