Separate names with a comma.
On-Ear item created by milosolo, Sep 18, 2011
Pros - Sound brilliant, look great in hand.
Cons - The fit, Antenna effect
Great headphones, however going back as look too stupid on me to wear in public.
The headphones have an angular side band which leaves a huge gap on each side my medium-narrow face (with short-medium hair). Tried on my wifes face and look fantastic on her as sit into her hair, look sexy which is not fair :mad: At home sound comes first and would not care what they looked like, but these are for public and so a fail for me.
Their is some clamping which you remain aware of, but can live with and would expect to weaken over time.
Sound fun, lively and engaging from an ipod, even more so with my Amp. For the size have a good soundtage too. Good punchy bass, not deep subbass but for a portable is lovely. Will get your foot tapping and face nodding.
When running off ipod at 80% volume In a quiet living room, wife has advised that can hear a bit of leakage but not an issue- so would be fine to use at work etcwhere a bit of ambient noise would mean not heard at all.
But gone back as would not get used, I have a closed headphone for home (dt770) which would always be prefered as more isolation, naturally wider soundstage and longer cable.
If v-moda come up with a different design then would buy as like the sound signature, Will probably try out the m-100 at some point.
Pros - Amazing sound, great bass, awesome mids, durable, portable, beautiful, great case and accessories
Cons - Initially uncomfortable, channels wind, slightly protrudes from the sides of the head, laid back treble
V-MODA is a Hollywood based headphones company, which was founded back in 2004 by Val Kolton, a DJ & a music producer, with some help from the designer Joseph Bucknall. The company put them self as a target to make good sounding headphones that are well designed too, a thing which was quite rare back at that time. About a year ago, the company has released the M80s, their first on-ear headphones, and also the first headphones from their "Modiophile" line, a line which is designated for the modern-audiophile. Since then, the M80s have been raved everywhere, and they were called by some "the best portable headphones". I wanted to review these headphones for a long time, and now I finally have the chance to do so.
Here are the technical specifications of the V-MODA M80s:
Type: Supra-aural (on-ear)
Speaker Drivers: 40mm patented Dual-Diaphragm High-Fidelity Driver
Impedance: 28.5 Ohms
Frequency Response: 5 – 30,000 Hz
Sound Pressure Level: 105 dB
Plug: 45 degree, 24k gold-plated 3.5 mm (1/8") stereo plug
the packaging's front the packaging's back Packaging: The M80s are packaged in a cardboard box that has a picture of the M80s on its front, a few explanations and specifications, while its back has a picture of a lady wearing the M80s and a couple of quotes from some reviews of it.
the "Hexoskeleton" case
the inside of the Hexoskeleton Accessories: The M80s come with a very nice amount of accessories, all of a very impressive quality. First is their great "Exoskeleton" hard-case, which is molded exactly to the M80s' shape, they fit in it perfectly. It gives the headphones and their accessories a great protection, while looking very good and stylish too. There's a karabiner included too, so you could attach the case to your backpack or bag. Next, two detachable cables are included too, one of them red colored, which has a single button and a microphone, while the other one is black and has 3 buttons and a microphone. The red cable is supposed to work with both Android and iOS devices, while the black cable works only when connected to apple's devices. A cable-clip is included too; it is recommended to use it by V-MODA, but I didn't find it needed, as honestly, the included cables aren't too noisy. I found the included accessories to be almost perfect; they'll most probably satisfy almost every customer. The rating is 9.5/10.
the included cables the headband is very flexible
Building Quality & Design: The M80s have a stunning design, they look amazing. They come in two color schemes, "Shadow" (black with red touches and features black brushed-aluminum plates, my set is a shadow one) & "White Pearl" (which is mainly white colored with some gray touches and features chrome plates), both are quite flashy and look great. The plates (aka shields) can be replaced with custom-designed shields, which can be purchased separately through V-MODA's website. I love the fact that the company lets you to customize your headphones easily. The M80's size surprised me when I first took them out of box; seeing their pictures on the internet, I thought that they were around the size of my AKG K518s or AiAiAi TMA-1s, but when comparing them, I realized that the M80s are a lot smaller than these two headphones. Moving on, I wasn't only impressed by their design, but by their building quality too. The M80s are probably one of the best built and toughest headphones, rivaling against the mentioned-before TMA-1s; honestly, these are built like a tank. They can stand every kind of abusing that they'll experience; from falling or strongly bending the headband to even sitting on them, it seems that nothing can overwhelm these. The hexagonal-shaped ear-cups are built from an integration of solid and sturdy plastic on their frame & tough metal, which the plates are made-of.
the plates are screwed to their place with 6 solid screws Each one of the semi-open plates is screwed to its place by 6 solid looking screws, while the ear-cups themselves are strongly-fixed to a metal-axis's with four screws per cup. The very flexible headband is a metal-made one, coated with microfiber-suede on its outer-side, while its inner side is coated with a softer material. It can easily bend to about every direction without showing any sign of breakage.
both included cables end with a solid 45 degrees plug The two included fabric coated Kevlar-reinforced cables are very strong, quite flexible and do not really tangle. It's also important to say that I didn't find them stiff at all, as opposed to most of the fabric-coated cables. Both cables end with a nice and solid 45 degrees angled jack, gold plated of-course. The rating is 10/10.
the headband's back
Comfort & Fit: The M80s offer a quite good comfort. Their clamping force is pretty low, a lot lower than the K518s' one, the headband is well padded with a layer of soft fabric and the small memory-foam pads sit nicely on the ears. The headband can be adjusted to be more or less clamping by bending the headband in or out, so even if you find the fit loose or uncomfortable at first, you can easily adjust it to your own preference. On the other hand, fitting the cups to your ears in order to get a good seal might be a bit tricky at first because of the small pads, but after getting used to it, you'll be able to easily achieve a good seal. The weight of the headphones, about 200 grams is nicely divided, so it isn't too felt. A thing you should note is that the headphones might be a bit uncomfortable straight out of the box, but after about 10 hours of use, the pads and the headbands "brake in", and the headphones become very comfortable. The rating is 9/10.
Isolation: The M80's isolation is mediocre for a set of portable on-ear headphones, and it cannot compete with the AiAiAi TMA-1 and the AKG K518 in this section, due to 2 main factors, which differ it from both of these headphones: The ear-cups are semi-open, each one of them has three small V-shaped vents and in addition to it, their clamping force is fairly lower than the one found in the two headphones that were mentioned above. Overall, the M80s don't isolate well enough in order to use them while riding the train & the bus, but they would be ok for walking in the street, for example. The rating is 7/10.
Sound Quality: Prior to the review, the M80s were given about 80 hours of burn-in, no noticeable changes were detected.
The 40mm sized dual-diaphragm which are utilized by the M80s produce a warm, smooth, fun and a quite spike-less sound-signature, which is both consumer-friendly and audiophile pleasing. None of the frequencies over-shadows each other, they're all quite in-line.Achieving a good fit is very important in order to get these headphones to produce their best sound, as a bad fit would usually cause a bad seal that makes the lows sound weak and the whole sound muddy and un-detailed.
The Bass: It is quite impactful, powerful, has a great rumble and is there in a nice quantity. The M80s' bass extends very low, a bit lower than the TMA-1s. It has a good clarity and resolution in most of its parts, apart from its lowest registers, which lack a bit resolution, clarity and cleanness. It's very punchy and tight; it never feels bloated or inflated at all but it does lack a bit of texture. Its speed is decent, a bit more of it would've not hurt. The mid-bass is a bit more emphasized than the sub-bass, but both sound great. There's no bass bleed to the mids at all, it's very well controlled.
The Midrange: The quite forward mids of these headphones are just great, they do almost not lack in anything at all. The vocals are warm, smooth, airy, quite thick, very clean and clear. The midrange is pretty detailed, though, the instruments are better detailed than the vocals. Talking about the instruments, they sound great; the timbre is very good and they're quite dynamic and energetic. Vocals on poorly recorded tracks sound quite bad; the M80s' midrange isn't a "forgiving" one.
The Treble: The highs are a bit more relaxed and laid-back than the other frequencies (treble-heads would probably not like the M80s), and they roll-off a bit too early, while their extension is good enough. As the midrange, also the treble is very smooth, but a bit less detailed.
Sound-Stage & Imaging: The M80s have a quite large & airy sound-stage for such a small on-ear set of headphones. Imaging and positioning are pretty good. Instruments separation is decent; it's better than the TMA-1 in that section, but it cannot compete with the SoundMagic HP100.
The rating for the "Sound Quality" section is 8.5/10. It is given in ratio to the headphones' price-tag at the time of writing this review.
The M80s are a huge "W" for V-MODA. Not only they look good and they're comfortable, but they're very well built and good-sounding too. The M80s are headphones that are easy to like, and both the average-consumer and the audiophile that spends thousands of dollars on audio-gear would probably find it enjoyable. The isolation is their only real-weakness, and it's not too bad either. Some might claim that the relaxed and laid-back treble is another weak point of these, but I find it good enough and not lacking. The M80s are a great better sounding (and in my opinion, better looking too) alternative to the notorious "Beats by Dre" headphones in the "designed-headphones market" and I hope to see more people doing the right move and choosing the M80s instead of them. The overall rating is 9/10.
the M80s accompanied by the included hexoskeleton case Where to Buy? The M80's MSRP is $230, but it can be found for around $150 when buying through various dealers such as Amazon, for example. It can also be purchased through V-MODA's official web-store and their verified resellers, which a list of can be found here.
This review was reposted from my website "It's A Headphones Thing". Check it out for some more IEM and Headphones reviews, here. http://iahpt.wordpress.com/
Pros - Sound quality, build quality,aesthetics, service / warranty, packaging, accessories, features, value, it's actually portable!
Cons - Deal-breakingly bad comfort, incompatible cables, wind & cable noise
After become reacquainted with portable audio with the PX100, I decided that I wanted to invest more in my portable headphones in order to bridge the gap between my pleasurable, but humble, portable rig and my much more capable full sized desktop rig. The V-moda M80 looked like a pretty prime candidate, generating quite a bit of hype on Head-fi, and having a glowing recommendation from the well respected Tyl Hertsens of Innerfidelity. I happened to be browsing on Amazon, and they were priced down to $148, so I decided to pounce.
2 weeks later, my headphones arrived and here is what I found;
Normally, I wouldn't mention or even think about the packaging of a headphone. Packaging really doesn't mean much to me, it should really only appeal to impulse buyers who judge a headphone by how nice it looks on the shelf, rather than by doing any actual research. But, I have to give credit where credit is due. These are the most well packaged headphones, and possibly the most well packaged thing I've bought before. Not only does the cardboard box look excellent, complete with glamour shots of the headphone and all sorts of product info, but it's an outstandingly sturdy box. Something would have to go disastrously wrong in shipping for your M80s to sustain any sort of damage. On the top of the box there's a small ribbon seal that you cut to get access to the goodies inside, and there's also a little faux snake skin button seal, too. It's all very nice. Once inside you'll find all your usual papers, and the hard travel case.
The M80 is very well accessorised. The carry case not only looks awesome, but it's very sturdy; perfect for it's intended use. Upon opening the case, you'll be greeted by the headphones themselves, and the two cables. A single button cable for Android and other smartphones, and a 3 button cable for Apple devices. As an android user, it's great to see a headphone manufacturer smart enough not to completely alienate me by only catering to the Apple users. The Android audience is massive, and it's simple stupidity to ignore us. Both cables are great quality, complete with sleeving and a sleek 45 degree jack.
Moving on to the headphones themselves, these things are some of the coolest looking headphones out there. I think these headphones strike a good balance between subtlety and flashiness. Countless headphones on the market today try to be good looking by being as gaudy and tasteless as possible. Some others (usually these belong more to the audiophile crowd) go for a mature, minimal look such as the Sennheiser Momentum and Bowers & Wilkins P5. The M80s are very much like a sports car. They're flashy to an extent, but refined. I think it's flashiness mitigated with the sensibilities of taste. The sort of looks that will get you compliments but won't make you feel like a 14 year old. They're all black with subtle red accenting. I especially like the brushed aluminium shields. I love brushed alu in general, and this is no exception. The hexagonal shape of the cups is quite unique, very eye catching.
But, don't think for a second that these headphones sacrifice build quality for their looks. These things are built pretty darn well. The basic frame of the headphone has a nice solid rigidity to it, it feels very strong. My sister accidentally half-way sat on them briefly, and I think her rear end came off worse. They're strong. The plastic you'll find on the headphone is quality stuff, very solid. the materials used on the padding are also good quality. The pleather on the earpads is possibly the nicest pleather I've encountered. It's lightyears ahead of that utter garbage I got with the Ultrasone HFI-580. The microfibre on the top of the headband, and the fabric weave on the bottom are both quality materials. The entire headphone is simply spot on, build wise.
It just gets better. On top of great looks and build quality, these headphones are also very well featured! Obviously, you've got a removable cable feature which is very welcome for replacing broken cables, but allows you to easily get aftermarket cables since the input on the headphone is 3.5mm. The headband has the impressive feature of being ultra flexible. You can bend it all sorts of ways and it just springs into shape again. This is great for durability, but also useful for adjusting the headphone to the shape of your head.The other major (and very popular) feature is the replaceable, customisable shields. There's a good variety of colours to choose from, and you can get an image engraved onto it for an extra fee. "Endorse yourself" as it were. A cool idea.
But it doesn't stop there, unlike most headphones with such fashion and accessory bragging rights, these also sound good. I'd describe the sound as slightly dark, surprisingly spacious and quite rich. The bass is very satisfying to me, I really love it. It has good authority, though I've not once found it overbearing. It can be potent when it needs to be, though. It remains quite clean and controlled, though I think there's a hint of looseness in the lowest reaches, but it's minor to be sure. This bass is definitely able to perform with the likes of electronic, pop and hip hop, and perform well! And, most impressively, for a headphones with such bass capabilities, the mids are just as good. They sound thick (in a good way) and well separated from the bass, with good definition and placement. Where the M80s might not be that impressive to some is the treble. As I said, it's a slightly dark sounding headphone, so the treble takes a little bit of a backseat, however it's quite smooth and not fatiguing at all. The quality is respectable, but isn't as good as the mids or bass. The sparkle and crisp definition isn't there to the extent that some will be wanting, and the way some genres demand. Genres I find these satisfying for are Electronic, Pop, Ambient, Progressive Rock, Hip Hop, Jazz, Folk and some Soundtracks. I thought they didn't sound particularly impressive with Classical, and for Metal that's fast or aggressive at all, they just sounds too congested and a bit muddled. But all things taken into account, I think they sound wonderful!
Unfortunately this headphone isn't perfect (what is?). The first problem with this headphone I came across very shortly after using them for the first time. I'm using a Samsung Galaxy S, and the M80s cables are not compatible my device. When plugged in normally, the sound is quietened and distorted, but when you hold down the inline button, the sound returns to the correct volume and clarity. This wasn't a cable problem either, because the cables worked flawlessly with a Blackberry and iPod Touch. It's also not a problem with my device since other inline control headphones work fine. I'm not the only person with a SGS to have this problem with the M80, this is just a compatibility issue it seems. Quite disappointing since it says on the box that it's compatible with Android devices.
Luckily, V-Moda's wise design and their excellent service help remedy this. A simple reversing of the cable allows for the sound to come through loud and clear, since it bypasses the controls and microphone. Whilst this works, I still have to sacrifice the convenience of being able to press a button to stop my music, I have to pull my phone out to pause. That, and I also lose the benefits of the 45 degree angle jack. I expressed my woes to V-Moda and asked them to send me an audio only cable, and to my surprise, they agreed! Their communication was great (they tried to help me solve my cable issue) and they were nice enough to send me a free cable. I've slammed Grado's service before and I'll do it again. Grado, pull your finger out and take note from V-Moda. This is how you treat customers! Not to mention the 2 year warranty (which they still honour if you buy from Amazon, which is a lot cheaper than buying it from them) and the immortal life program. Just brilliant!
I also have noise and isolation issues with these headphones. The cables make a noticeable amount of noise when they brush against clothing. It's very much there at low volumes, and even at higher volumes it's still a bit irritating because you can always JUST hear it. Aftermarket cables could remedy this I imagine, but I think it's a case of V-Moda going for looks over functionality. As for isolation, in and of itself it's actually fine for me. It's not super effective, it won't completely isolate you from everything, but I don't really like total isolation. It makes me feel uncomfortable that I have no situational awareness. They'll block enough noise for your music to be satisfying, but still let you hear important noises around you. My isolation issue comes from the wind noise. If you're out with these in windy weather there will be a noticeable wooshing noise. This is a nitpick or a dealbreaker depending on how much you're actually going to be walking around out with them. My portable needs are more for chilling on the couch with my phone, or sitting in a car or train or bus on a long trip, so for me it's not a bid deal. But, be warned all the same.
The flaws I've listen so far are undoubtedly things I would prefer that weren't there, but they're really nitpicks that I can accept in the face of all the pros of this headphone. Unfortunately, this headphone has one enormous flaw that, even despite all the things that this headphone does right, I simply can't justify. That thing is the comfort. In a word, the comfort for me is "dreadful". It's actually the least comfortable headphone I've owned. I've sold off more comfortable headphones than this for being too uncomfortable. The first problem lies in the head band. I feel that 3 issues cause discomfort for me with it. Firstly, it's a quite narrow headband. For a headphone that weighs 200g, it doesn't have much area to distribute the weight. Secondly, it's not generously padded. I was actually quite surprised with how hard the headband padding felt, I was expecting it to be super soft, but it's not. The padding is very minimal. Thirdly, the texture and shape of the padded area isn't optimal. The fabric texture isn't a smooth, consisted texture like leather for example. It's varied. In the area where the fabric and microfibre join, you can feel a very slight bump where the stitching is. All of this adds up to an extremely uncomfortable headband which leaves me with a very intense pressure hotspot on my head, regardless of where I place it or how I bend the headband to conform with my head.
When it comes to the earpads, things get even worse. These are supra aural headphones, so regardless of what you do, some level of pressure has to be put on the ears. On ear doesn't automatically = uncomfortable. However, I find that my ears become quite sore with pressure hotspots within 25 minutes. I've stretched the headband out to lessen the clamp force, and I've been wearing the headphones for the 24 hours (of total use, not one day of use) that V-Moda recommends. So, I've got simultaneous pressure hotspots on both my head and my ears, which is bad enough. However, this headphone commits my personal cardinal sin of headphone comfort. It makes my ears hot and sweaty. This is something I really just can't stand, and it's one of the reasons that I go exclusively for open headphones when I want a fullsize can. I just hate that feeling. Obviously it's not so black and white. It's OK for your ears to get slightly warm, but I'm talking about proper sweat inducing heat. It's just an awful feeling, utterly uncomfortable. Now, all these comfort woes wouldn't be that bad if they were sort of thing that set in near the end of a couple hours. But the fact that it's there in full force before I'm even halfway through an album is just pathetic. It negates all the positive points of the headphone if I can't even manage to wear them long enough to appreciate it.
I have to say, I'm truly jealous of people who find this headphone comfortable, I really am. I love so much about this headphone, but it's utterly intolerable to wear on my head. I'm actually shocked at how bad it is for me. The general consensus amongst head-fi user reviews is 4 stars for comfort! It really leaves me bitterly disappointed that I can't use a headphone that I like so, so much because of one flaw. I'm not going to rush into getting rid of them, though. Maybe, just maybe, the comfort will improve, maybe it's still breaking in. I want them to be comfortable, so so much, but I'm prepared for disappointment. I love the looks. I love the build quality. I love the sound. I love the accessories. I love the features. I love V-Moda as a company. And at $148 on Amazon it's killer value, too! Why couldn't I have found it comfortable?!
I've since sold the headphones due to the comfort, for the reasons stated above. I tried for a long time to make them feel comfortable, but they just weren't.
Pros - Almost all
Cons - Factory cables
Great headphones! Of course everybody can have own comfort/audio/sound preferences (and expectations) - but with its quality, sound, design and included hard case - one of the best deals on market. But the most important thing: can be "upgradable". Maybe factory cable is "military" but it sounds like (old military) telephone. I'm using Oyaide HPC headphones cable and Acoustic Revive QR-8 Quartz Resonators inside. Effect? Deep and fast bass but with much better control, more "air", sweeter treble, more realistic mid-range. Sound kicked on the another level - still with almost perfectly build headphones.
Pros - Built like tanks, nice design, very comfortable (especially for on-ears)
Cons - See below-
I got these headphones about 5 months ago now, and they've had at least 40 hours of use, probably more, so they're certainly burned in.
They cost 160$ new at the time of purchase, so nothing too bad, but I didn't get them on a good sale, that was for sure.
I was just amazed with these when I opened the box. All of the hype about how well made they are? It's certainly true. I feel as if I could throw these off a building and they'd be fine. So far I've dropped them onto concrete countless times, and off tables. They have but 2 scratches on them from all that.
Ample, the 2 different cables is a nice touch, as is the carrying case. Now I can't imagine anyone wearing the case on a belt loop like they say you can, that's a bit silly, but it works just fine on a backpack or bag of some sort. The cables are rather microphonic, but not too much of a problem if you're just walking or sitting.
Very unimpressed here. It hardly blocks any outside noise, and using these on a bus or in a noisy place just isn't that enjoyable. You have to turn the volume up way too much to block out any outside noise.
Honestly, I don't understand all the hype about how these cans sound. Maybe it's just because it's not the sound I'm used to, coming from AKGs, but they do not sound all that great to me.
There's a large mid-bass hump that bleeds a bit into the lower mids and muddies things up, the bass doesn't extend very low, and the treble is very rolled off. To the point of being just downright dull on some songs to me.
I'd describe these as dark and muddy. The soundstage is average, nothing to write home about, but it's not terrible at least.
I'm not impressed. I've tried them straight off an iPod, Galaxy Player, amped with a Fiio E6 and with a Fiio E10 off my computer, and they really don't improve that much. Sound-wise, these do not sound like 160$ cans to me. Build quality wise though, these are excellent, come with some decent accessories, and are comfortable to wear.
Pros - Surprising SQ for a on-ear, customizable shield design, fantastic build quality, competitively priced, nice carrying case with extra wires
Cons - Poor isolation, uncomfortable to wear, treble extension not spectacular.
In addition to being a newbie audiophile, I don't really have much experience with listening to supra-aural or on ear headphones, therefore you should take my review with a fistful of salt. My purpose for buying the M-80 was to replace my TF10s as my part of my portable setup for use during traveling to and fro from work, via bus and train, which is what I have based my opinion of the M-80 on, as a portable/travel headphone. I have had the M-80s for about a 4 months now, and have been using it almost everyday while commuting, without an amp straight out of my Cowon J3.
What I like...
Design and Build:
The biggest draw for me to these headphones were not the rave impressions about it's sound but rather it's striking looks. The headphone design is incredibly stylish to me and is one of the few headphones that I love wearing out in public. The white ones I got look stunning and goes well with most of my outfits.
There's little to say about the build quality that hasn't been already highlighted. The headphones feel very durable and haven't shown any signs of wear after the months of abuse I've put it through. The shields still look great and my custom logo design is still unscratched (even after running my fingernail across the thinner parts of my logo to try to scratch it off). Replaceable shields and detachable wires are a big pluses.
Definitely much better then I expected when I first tried them. The standout for me was probably the soundstage, which was unexpected for a supra-aural. Rather spacious with good separation, almost felt like a mini-open back headphone (which perhaps it is due to it's vents).
I normally don't like headphones with strong bass emphasis, but the M-80 pulls it off rather well, without being muddy and detracting from the lower mids. In fact, the strong bass on the M-80 is advantageous for traveling, which is usually drowned out by the background noise. The impact really helps keep the music enjoyable in noisier environments. The treble isn't too bad albeit a bit too rolled off for my tastes. Detail and speed are fairly good but nothing too impressive.
All this might sound very average but it's really not. It's surprising that V-moda managed to fit this much level of sound quality into portable headphones, so much so it seems comparable to some full sized headphones. Overall a pleasant listening experience.
What I dislike...
The biggest reason I have actively advised some of my friends who have showed interest not to buy the M-80. The isolation on the M-80 makes me question it's usability as a portable headphone. Lower frequency noises are basically untouched by headphone's passive noise cancellation and makes listening to music on the bus/train, by the roadside or in crowded places extremely frustrating. Admittedly, I do not like listening at high volumes, therefore my biggest complaint about these headphones are, because of their poor isolation, I have a tendency to turn up the volume in order to retrieve details/mid-range frequencies when listening to music, due to them being drowned out and masked by background noise.
An inherent problem of all on ears imo, is that they can't be used for long periods without my ears aching, the M-80 is no exception. After months of use, I have gotten used to the headphone and it has formed an appropriate clamping force on my head. I do however wish they had visible notches on the sides of the headphone to show how long each side is so I can adjust each side equally without the use of any measuring tool and allow me to quickly readjust the headband to my preferable size if they have been changed. The headband on the M-80 is also noticeable when they are on your head and they don't "disappear" like many comfortable headphones do. I also remember the headphones to be quite uncomfortable when I first got them, but they are much better after a period of usage.
I personally find that the M-80 has very little practical usage. The poor isolation seems to defeat the purpose of making them portable headphones. On the move and in noisier environments, I find IEMs to provide a much better listening experience despite having poorer performance at this price range; and as for home or office usage, full sized headphones give much better performance and scalability. Furthermore with full-sized portable noise-cancelling headphones like the UE6000 and UE9000 (neither of which I have heard), it's even harder to give the M-80s a recommendation. Maybe if you only have a short commute to work and you worked at a place with a quiet environment which required you to be mobile (like a librarian maybe?), these headphones might be suitable. The poor isolation also allows for higher situational awareness, making crossing roads safer (although it's still highly advisable to remove them before crossing), but is made at the cost of not being able to fully enjoy your music in noisier environments.
Overall, these headphones seem more like a fashion accessory then a portable headphone solution. They look and sound great but aren't really suited for travel, at least not in my case. In no way a bad headphone, just situation specific.
Pros - Lightweight, Round sound, Nice Case
Cons - Ears hurt after long sessions
After much research, I decided to purchase new headphones. I had been looking for good headphones for about 6 months, until I finally decided to purchase the V-Moda Crossfade M-80s. At first I was more inclined to in-ear headphones, particularly Klipsch S4s or Bose IE2. Then, I started law school and saw several classmates wearing Beats Solo and Beats Studios, apart from all the kids on the street. I started researching on which headphones I should get since I mostly listen to Rock and Jazz music. I was amazed about all the info I found. I started freaking out when I saw headphones on the 500$ area and I started to determine a budget. On or around $150.00 was the sweet spot. I was going to wait until Black Friday to see if I could get the Beats Solo, but after reading several reviews I started realizing what everyone was saying. Beats Solos are for bass enthusiasts, which is not bad, but I particularly wanted a rounder more sophisticated sound that didn't overwhelm the guitars on my rock tracks. I also wanted something that would make the mids sound good on my jazz tracks. I wanted something to help me study, not give me a headache.
I'm kind of new to the whole audiophile experience, so don't be quick to judge. I first came across V-Modas while window shopping at the mall. They were displayed at the Microsoft Store right next to the Beats. The price, of course, was the MSRP. So I went home and researched more to see what they were about. I logged into review sites like CNET, Engadget, etc. It wasn't until I reached Head-Fi.org that I was convinced.
The reviews there were very helpful, describing the aspects that I was particularly interested in. I also liked the comments posted by the CEO of V-Moda, Van Kolton. Finally, I decided to read the reviews here. I must say, I was debating between buying the Crossfade LPs, LP2 or the M-80. Black Friday weekend came around and the LPs dropped to an unbelievable 80$. However, I wasn't sure if I wanted so much bass in my headphones. After much debating and looking at my wallet and my needs, I decided to get the M-80s.
When I got them in the mail, first thing I did was open them and plug 'em to my phone (Samsung Galaxy S2). I have a couple of songs in there, especially a couple of albums on FLAC. I am amazed. My 30$ Skullcandy headphones are worth nothing to me right now. I am hearing things I've never heard before with these headphones. The sound is more sophisticated. A rounder bass that doesn't overpowers the rest of the instruments. But sound isn't everything. These things are very well made. They look much stronger than my dad's Bose QC3, and I paid half of that here in Amazon. The headphones are also a visual wonder. They loko very stylish. The case is very sturdy too. You can toss it around and put stuff on top of it (books), without having to worry that the heaphones could get squished. One thing that particularly called my attention was the warranty that V-Moda is offering on these babies.
I also recommend that you buy them directly from Amazon or V-Moda and not a reseller/ebay. Apparently there are a lot of fakes out there and V-Moda won't honor the warranty. You should check out V-Moda's website for more details about this. If you have any questions, drop me a reply so I can elaborate on the matter. I must confess I still haven't burnt them in. Hopefully I'll get more out of them in a couple of days.
Edit: Can anyone point me in the direction of a decent portable AMP? Something in the $50-$100 area?
Pros - Almost Everything
Cons - Comfort
V-MODA has never disappointed me now that I finally had the chance to try these.
Value: You can't go wrong with them being $156 on amazon I'd be willing to pay more for these.
Audio Quality: Very detailed sound. Clear mids along with a deep bass is what got my attention, these headphones are everything V-Moda described them to be they also offer a fun sound signature.
Design: Great looking.
Comfort: Kind of uncomfortable for me it might just be because I have a big head.
Noise Isolation: Block out a good amount of noise with passive isolation.
Durability: Built like a tank.
Pros - superb build quality, very portable, well balanced sound
Cons - not very comfortable for people with big heads, style could be less tacky-flashy, wind noise!
Got these babies as a present for my birthday half a year ago.
I was looking to get audiophile-quality closed-back versatile headphones for everyday use.
Please note: I tend to desribe deficiencies to further extent than the pros. Factor this in when reading the review below.
My use cases:
Listening to wide variety of music - mostly FLAC and 256-320kbps MP3. Sources: Laptop Realtek HD soundcard, workstation Asus Essence STI soundcard, Nokia n900 mobile, Samsung S3 mobile.
Amateur film production - on-set use for recording, mixing and monitoring. Use as reference editing monitors for final-cut sound mixing and editing. My other "studio" speakers are 3-way self-built monitors made of top-line Morel components circa 2006.
DJing - small private parties, usually with amateur/semi-pro grade rented gear.
Design is what made me overlook these several times... Sorry, vampires are not my cup of tea.
I was considering the usual suspects in this category - Senheisers HD25, Audio Technica ATH-ESW9, Bayerdynamics....
Eventually what got me considering these are the great Head-Fi reviews of the sound quality and the evident durability. I hate it when I buy products for everyday use that require such delicate handling that i constantly have to worry about them (i.e. Galaxy S3). Also, I always look for value, so 200$ price tag was a pleasant surprise for me! In this case bang-for-buck is probably the best in category.
What you get -
First impression, at least kit-wise, are great! You don't just get headphones, you get a "Head Phone System" complete with magnificent carying case, extra cable, shakle for hanging the case of your backpack and even cable clip to reduce noise from cable brushing on your clothes while you walk!
Not many manufacturers invest so much attention to detail as V-moda when it comes to kit and that is too bad!
To tell you the truth, I was very disappointed with the sound the first time I listened. I frantically tried to find a music genre that would sound right and I failed. The sound was very intense, unnatural and synthetic. Bass and mid-bass were great out of the box but everything else felt "compressed" and tiring.... Well, break-in it is then. 48 hrs of white-noise at medium-high volume.... still same ****ty sound. Highs got a bit clearer and less tedious, but overall balance was still pretty annoying to my ear. I was frustrated but didn't give up and boy am I happy about that!
About 5 months later I have what I consider the best sounding closed-back headphones of my life (so far). With this build quality I will probably inherit them to my future son in a decade or so Tonal balance is great. Mids stick out a bit resulting in amazingly clear vocals, highs "muffled out" a bit allowing for much less tiring sound, bass stayed awesome, maybe a tad less hollowish-punchy than what it was. Tonal separation and sound stage improved considerably. I must admit that the fact that after 5 months I found the sound better balanced is probably due to both: me getting used to the peculiarities of M-80 and them having a long period to burn in.
The sound stage is clearly defined, "sticking out" about 10-15 cm out from each cup. I find it very spatious for closed headphones. Closing my eyes while listening to well mastered music it's very easy to locate every instrument and the source of vocals. Sometimes I find myself pleasantly surprised when some rarely played instrument located at the far edges of the stage is played and I discover that the stage is much wider than first thought.
Probably the weakest point of these headphones.
I confess, I have a pretty big head and above average sized ears. Plus I wear glasses. At first, listening to M-80s anything above 45min would result in pain without fail. The "grip" on the head is very tight. That's great if you need to sprint for a departing bus or for getting punched in the face, but not very comfortable otherwise. So I used moderate force to bend the arc and left the headphones to strech out several nights on a maneken head I happen to have. This helped, but still, listening to these in hot climate and for extended periods of time is hard for me. 2-3hrs is not a problem at all. Longer than that - I feel the need to take a break. Glasses definitely don't help with this. Maybe it will be less of an issue for people with moderately sized heads
Another point that might be important if you wear these outside, is the wind noise. M-80s have small "ports" on the cups. These ports capture wind when it's windy or even when you are walking fast. The noise is very audible and somewhat annoying, but nothing I can't live with.
All in all - your ONLY reasons not to buy these are: the newly released M-100s and if you have couple more hundred bucks to shell out for something better
EDIT: added disclaimer, added clarification regarding burn-in, added a paragraph describing the sound stage, added comfortability section and reference to wind noise issues