V-MODA XS

Average User Rating:
4.79167/5,
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  1. yamurbina
    5.0/5,
    "Cristal clear sound. You can hear every detail."
    Pros - Small, easy to carry, not bulky, very light, metal frame, flexible headband, sound with lots of detail, and very versatile sound. Beautiful design.
    Cons - Reduced space in case, basically no accesories, headband leather may wear off, 1 button cable.
    UPDATE:
    After almost a year with them. I wouldn't change them for any other headphone.
     
    First and most importantly the sound:
     
    When I first used this headphones, they had a annoying lack of bass. I had to push them to hear just a little bass. 
    They had loud mids making snares and claps a nightmare to listen to. But after a over time bass became louder and clear and mids more pleasant to hear. Highs Have always been cristal clear.
    Although they are small, they have good sound distribution. Every instrument and element of a song sounds in a very clear position in the stereo image. 
    Vocals are pleasant to listen with this headphones. An example may be Adele, it feels like if you were the one singing because of how upfront the vocals are with this headphones.
    And last but not least even if you don't have good ears, you will definitely hear details you've never hear before, instruments will sound clearer that you'll get surprised.
    They do really well with any musical genre. If you want more bass, you can use an EQ and they will give it to you with no problems at all.
     
    The design for me it is one of the most unique and best balanced design-quality.
    Lots of friends have told me they look really cool. Even people wearing Beats keep staring at them with good eyes when I'm walking outside.
    The fact that this headphones are very unlikely to get broken its a relief. 
     
    The cons of this headphones:
     
    Two months after I bought them the headband leather began to wear off but perhaps is because where I live is really hot, so it might had dried out and cracked.
    I have to say their customer service told me they will replace it with almost no questions. Really good customer service.
     
    There is almost no space for anything else but the headphones in the case, if you want save something else should be small.
    They have no accesories but a small carabineer. LP series are cheaper and even include and extra pair of shields.
    Since this are not the cheapest headphones and are designed for urban use I think a 3 button cable would be so much better.
     
     
    Overall really good headphones, Amazing detailed sound, good design and quality material and a good customer service in case something happens to your headphones.
    Hawaiibadboy and altrunox like this.
  2. BartyCrouchJr
    5.0/5,
    "An Epiphany of Sound"
    Pros - great sound and looks, very sturdy, foldable and compact, nice case
    Cons - gets a little hot in summer, could hurt after some time when wearing glasses
    I am somewhat a tech geek. However, I am fairly new to headphones or speakers in general. These were my first pair of "real" headphones and I spent ages in the process of deciding which pair to buy. There are lots of fancy words to describe the sound of headphones, yet I always found it hard to imagine it. I don't know what sound signature I like, because I never really cared until recently. This review is aimed at people like me - people who are getting started with headphones and never really had a good pair of cans.
     
    First, they look really nice (got them in black) and feel very durable. Fortunately, they ARE very durable.I tend to throw my cans into my bag or on the bed without looking what else is there. This way they naturally get squashed a bit or rub against my keys. I lost two pairs of cheaper headphones this way. Not the XS, they might have a few scratches, but they still work flawlessly. If you are not as lazy as I am, they also come with a carrying case. It's really nice, sturdy as the cans themselves. I use them mainly on the go and I think that's where they really shine. They have a pretty good isolation against outside noise, but I can still hear cars on the street or announcements in the train if I need to. They are also very light. I almost could forget that I am wearing them if it weren't for my glasses. They apply some pressure on the head, but not so much that it hurts. If I put my glasses off I can wear them for hours. However, with glasses on they can hurt after an hour or two. Usually this is the time it takes for me to arrive where I want to go, so I can take them off. But every once in a while I have to put them off because they just hurt. This is a minor flaw, as most otherheadphones I tried hurt after 30 minutes or even earlier. So maybe that's just me.
     
    They are all nice and sturdy, but what really matters if you pay so much for headphones is the sound. I tried some competitors: the Solo 2, the Momentum On-Ear and the Focal Spirit One. They were all ok, but the XS pleased me the most. As I stated in the beginning, I find it hard to describe sound. They just sound right. If you need a more detailed description of the sound just read the other reviews. When I bought them I was mainly listening to Metal and all of it's sub-genres. Since I got them I also started appreciating Jazz and Classical a lot more. Ok, they are not really meant for that. They go best with any kind of modern music. But they convinced me with these more traditional genres as well. Because for the very first time I could stand the sound of acoustic instruments. Never before I had cans that were so clear and so balanced. Of course there are headphones with even more clarity and balance, but the XS were like an epiphany for me. Suddenly, I could feel the music. I could feel the strings of a bass guitar vibrating. It still gives me chills. 
     
    They managed to broaden my musical horizon. If a headphone can do that, it has to be good. And the XS just did.
  3. jh20001
    4.5/5,
    "A bright/crisp pair of phones"
    I am a bit of a fan of the V-Modas. They don’t sound that bad at all as long as you don’t need a lot of bass in your ears. I first came across them in my RSS app on my phone. Poc Network Tech Blog has a review and I killed some time by looking up a few others. The results were pretty good as they seemed to like them and everyone bragged about how tough they are built. I stepped (don’t judge) on my Sonys and busted them so that was something that stood out (haha). They are really bright on the ears making vocal and dialogue very up front. Not the best for action flicks since they aren't like having a pair of Kickers on your head, but they sound good. I am happy with mine.
  4. josephpino07
    5.0/5,
    "Very balanced, great focus, very portale and built like a tank"
    Pros - balance, definition, punch, portability, build quality
    Cons - none I can think of
    Excellent headphones. I have the Momentum over ear and these are more balanced and have more extended highs.
  5. zach8278
    4.5/5,
    "Super portable, great sounding"
    Pros - Portability factor is high, kevlar cables, sound quality, included carrying case
    Cons - Small soundstage, somewhat uncomfortable for long listening sessions
    Whenever i saw these at best buy, i became very excited. Why? Because i just was. I have seen reviews where people have them on their head, and they were not bulky, obnoxious, whatever. They were super slim, and i really liked that about these. I got these from best buy online with a gift card, and the second i placed the order, i was overcome with excitement. Now, to me, the unboxing experience is nothing to brag about, although v-moda has done a good job with packaging so far. The headphones only come with one cable as opposed to two, like with the M80s, which these are supposed to be the successor to. Now, let's jump into the sound quality:
     
    In terms of bass, i really enjoyed that aspect of these. It works well with all types of music, and it never becomes a problem in the sense that they never muddies up the lower mids, and it never becomes overwhelming. The bass has a punchy effect to it more than a rumble effect, so it works well with more types of music as opposed to just working for hip hop, rap and dubstep.
     
    The midrange, to me, sounds like it is in the background, somewhat. It is nothing drastic, the mids are still well balanced. You hear vocals pretty clearly, and the bass never becomes intrusive. It seems like their is a scoop in the mids, in the sense that female vocals are heard more than male vocals. They are more up front in the music, which is why i said they are prominent than male vocals.
     
    Treble response is really great, to me. These headphones pretty much have the right amount of treble. Cymbal crashes are easily heard, and they never are covered up by the bass because, like i said, the bass has more of a punchy effect as opposed to a rumble effect. 
     
    My overall opinion of these headphones is really positive. I do enjoy listening to these. Even more than my M100s. So, thanks for checking out this review. Sorry for not saying a ton of things about these. Anyway, bye. 
  6. pro1137
    5.0/5,
    "Near-Perfection in an uber-Portable Package"
    Pros - Build, folding, overall tonal balance, immense detail and precision, style
    Cons - Small soundstage
    The XS is the direct successor to V-Moda's famed Crossfade M80. This successor stays true to the root of the word, and is a massive success of both a headphone and a product. 
     

     
     
    The build quality of the XS is beyond almost every other portable headphone that I've used, except for other V-Moda models, which it is on par with, naturally. XS is built using a lot of high quality stainless steel and some rock-solid plastics. The folding mechanism is extremely rugged as well, and should promise a very long lifespan. 

    This durability doesn't just end with the headphone however. Like other V-Moda headphones, the cables that are supplied are reinforced with Kevlar, a bulletproof fabric. This combined with the 45° jack and impressive strain reliefs should dictate a long lifespan for the cable also. 

    The headband is also metal, and covered with a variety of fabrics. The top is finished with a high quality pleather material, unlike M80's cloth-finished headband. 
    XS also comes with a case. This case effectively utilizes the folding mechanism, and thus decreases the overall volume space taken up by the case by quite a lot. It's also a highly durable case, common to V-Moda standards. 
     
    Sound - Yes, it does have a similar sound signature to the M80- warm, full-bodied, and impactful- however the XS is much more refined, for certain. 
     
    The low end is very well done here. There is a great impact that the headphones have when reproducing heavy kick drums. Low bass notes are also incredibly defined, with very little distortion or bleed. The control of the XS is something it does much better than the M80. That's not to say that the M80 is bad, however; in no way is it bad. 
    Also, the bass that the XS produces is not overbearing to the user. 
     
    The midrange of the XS is astounding. It reproduces mids so perfectly with elegance like no headphone I've heard at this price before. And being portable makes it that much more amazing. Mid-centric? No. Any jazz tune I've played with these sounds extremely lifelike. Even electronic music sounds stunning. 
     
    One of the major downfalls to me of the XS's predecessor, the M80, was the treble. It just didn't seem exciting. It was just "there." Thankfully, the XS has massively improved on this. The treble produced by these headphones is wildly enjoyable and immersive with any track. The detail is absolutely stunning to the point that it can put headphones twice its price to shame.
    How V-Moda was able to get a sound this amazing into something so compact is truly beyond my knowledge. 
     
    Sadly, the compact size does have one downfall, and that's the soundstage. With most on-ear headphones, the sound isn't very spacious. Separation is excellent, but there just isn't much "space." 
     
    Overall - Basically, XS is the cream of the crop for anything super portable with a non-neutral sound signature. It truly doesn't get much better than this. With versatility that encompasses practically every genre on the planet and durability that rivals military standards, one really can't go wrong by purchasing these. 
    Alex--o likes this.
  7. DigitalFreak
    4.0/5,
    "Review: The V-MODA XS"
    Pros - good highs, fluid mids, excellent female vocals, decent air between instruments, slightly expanded sound stage compared to original M80
    Cons - noise idolation is only decent, would have liked just a tad more detail in the mids, wish cables had been improved
    Copied and pasted directly from the description section of my YouTube video
     
    Over two years ago Val Kolton, the CEO of V-Moda, sent me his then recently released M80 Crossfade on ear mobile headphone. He sent it to me, and others, free of charge in exchange for a review noting the pluses and minuses of his new product. It was my very first official review for a company and the online community of head-fi. Unknown to me, two plus years later my rants and ravings over gear have yet to stop. In my mind it was Val Kolton and his M80 who started me down this path of pseudo armchair audio gear reviewer.
     
    The XS isn't a new product but a tweaked product that builds off the already solid performance of the original M80. The form factor has been improved by the addition of  the M-100's foldable hinges thus making the headphone even tinier then before. Because of its even tinier size its carrying case has also shrunk making the XS probably one of the most least space demanding headphone for mobile use currently available on the market.
     
    With improved form factor we also now have improved sonics. While the original M80 may have been overly polite and soft in the highs the new XS brings in better extension and sparkly highs all the while retaining its smooth fluid character and avoiding the metallic tinniness lesser headphones are known for. Because of better highs the headphone now sounds better balanced and the sound stage seems to have expanded a tiny bit more in comparison to the original M80.
     
    Major kudos and much respect goes out to Mr Val Kolton for taking our group feedback from over two years ago and quietly going to work behind the scenes and building an even better mouse trap. Considering Mr Val Kolton's family is of Italian ancestry all that's left to say is.....
    BUON LAVORO IL MIO UOMO!!!
     
    [​IMG] 
  8. Pitts
    5.0/5,
    "Beyond what I expected from an on the ear headphone"
    Pros - Phenomenal sound, compact, and lightweight.
    Cons - N/A
    First off, I just got off a 14 hour shift and I'm a little too tired to be very descriptive and detailed, but I'll do my best :). I have a pair of M-80's and I never was able to fall in love with them. That being said, the XS is the "new and improved" version of the M-80. There are a few key changes with the XS. The clamping force is significantly less and much more comfortable (while still staying firmly on your head). The sound is slightly different but quite amazing. One of the things I didn't like about the M-80 was that headphones produced a higher treble that I prefer. From the moment I first put the XS on, I loved them. The sound was crisp and firm while being very balanced (keep in mind, this was just sound quality from an iPod with no amp or eq settings). Once I used my iPod paired with the Vamp Verza, I was overwhelmed with such amazing sound (in a good way). Both times I listened through the XS, it was within the first couple hours of being used, so they weren't even close to being burned in. Now that they have been burned in, the sound isn't as crisp, but it blends in much better (I can still tell the individual instruments clearly when listening to classical though). They are small and exceptionally compact. When I first saw the case, I thought the headphones would be much smaller than the M-80's or any on-ear headphone in general. But sure enough, I unfolded them and loved them before testing them out. One of the great things I also like, is that they are extremely light. They weigh about 60% of what my Nokia Lumia weighs. I am a massive car enthusiast, so naturally I had to test these beauties while watching Ryan Tuerck Drifts the Wild. It's crazy just how much you can tell when listening through these. Turbo spooling, tires spinning, grabbing the ebrake, and even the leaves moving as he drifts past them. The quality is just outstanding (I really don't think I can emphasize this enough, haha). I can't go into all the technical details like some people, but what I can say is that I love these headphones. It's hard to find compact, extremely lightweight, comfortable, and quality all in the same package. To add a note, if you have the M-100's and love them, you'll definitely love the XS's.
  9. Tom22
    4.5/5,
    "Great portable package (easily fit in a coat pocket) with lush beautiful midrange, easily one of the best on ear headphones on the market today"
    Pros - small form factor(folds up!), very very comfortable absolutely gorgeous mids, fairly linear overall bass, good treble extension,balanced overall sound
    Cons - isolation(better for walking around,busing>airplanes or subway), slight more midbass (punch) than my preferred, wish soundstage was bigger
    below is a  video review review of of the v-moda xs! check out my channel(like and subscribe) recently uploaded a review and comparison with the v-moda m100s as well!
    keep reading for the full length written review:
    [​IMG]
    the following is a condensed version of my review that i posted on youtube here is the link if you would like a more indepth review here is the link [...]

    Be sure to check out the other videos on my channels- i had made a comparison between the V-Moda XS and the well renowed V-Moda M100s here as well
    The links will be in the comment section below

    The V-moda XS is a replacement for the V-Moda M80s, the #1 on ear headphone on a biggest headphone enthusiasist community head-fi.

    Features and Accessories
    The headphone folds up it easily fits in your coat pocket and fit snuggly in the carrying case. There are two input jacks (cables are detachable= easily replaceable). So you can plug the cables in on either side. Daisy chain them- share your audio with others by plugging their headphones into the empty input. The earcups are on ear and are on the smaller side, so when you have it around your neck, its not going to hit your chin when your turning your head in different directions. Comes with 1 , one button smartphone compatible cable, kevlar reinforced.

    Build quality and design
    The V- Moda XS are built like a tank like all V-Moda headphones are built to a military grade standard. The headband band is made of a very flexible "steelflex headband", easily able to take basically any abuse you put it through. The overall construction is made up of metal and high quality plastic. The XS come with "Clique fold" hinges similar to the V-Moda M100s allows the headphones to collapse to a size that can easily fit in your coat pocket, and unlike most hinges, it looks a feels substantial and doesn't look like a point of weakness. The shields are customizable, to different colours and you put custom designs on it to make as individualized and unique as you want it.

    Weight
    At a weight of 190g it basically disappears on your head and around you neck

    Comfort & Isolation
    The single most comfortable on ear headphone i've ever tried. Typically on ears are not the most comfortable because their pressing against your ears, but V-moda found a perfect balance between comfort and secure. i use them straight off my ipod/iphone at about 45% and they work well walking around downtown, on bus. Decent when in cafeteria, just okay for subway use. So if your a heavy commuter and need completely silence the XS won't help you there. (i don't recommend turning up the volume to block out noise, thats asking for permanent hearing damage)

    Sound Quality
    Its a great balance between fun, exciting, yet smooth relaxing all while staying fairly balenced through the sound spectrum.

    Bass-
    Bass is emphasized but no where near the standard in most consumer headphones. Its fairly linear from the Sub-bass (subwoofer, rumbling, bass you can feel) to the mid bass (the punchy bass, you hear in most music). With a slight more punch > rumble.

    Mids-
    The Midrange is at the forefront, (its forward) vocals are pure and lush, and absolutely natural yet very clear. Male and female vocals shine and command attention. So your Adeles, Mariah Carey, Adam Levine, Celine Dion all the way to Gangnam Style will sound amazing

    Treble
    Treble is articulate with decent extension yet laid back but never harsh or fatiguing. I do wish there was a bit more sparkle and a bit more lively but that might make it harsh so its okay.

    Soundstage
    Sounds like its being played in a small room. Which is good for an on ear but nothing like a full size open headphone so be sure to keep that in mind

     
    Alex--o likes this.
  10. twister6
    5.0/5,
    "My favorite V-Moda to date!!! Love it!!!"
    Pros - Cliqfold compact design, sound quality improvement (over M-80), comfortable fit
    Cons - noise isolation
    I'm not hiding the fact I'm a big fan of V-Moda headphones. Some headphones have the look, others the sound signature, some come with unique accessories, others have build quality, some cost arm'n'leg to justify their superiority, others are on a budget at the expense of cutting corners. With V-Moda, where the founder Val Kolton has a vision similar to proportions of "Steve Jobs", nothing gets overlooked. I know it's a very bold statement to compare someone who designs and manufacturers headphones to a creator of Apple products, but that's exactly how I felt after reviewing their M-80 and M-100 headphones and even Faders earplugs. It really felt like they put a lot of thought into every little detail of the design. That's why I was very excited when rumors started to circulate about their new XS. From outside XS looked like it's going to be a love child of M-80 on-ear headphones and foldable ergonomics of M-100 over-ear design. When I received and had a chance to test V-Moda XS, I found there is a lot more to it! Let's see what I found.
     
    Being familiar with M-80/M-100, I was less surprised with Hollywood style packaging and cutting the red ribbon to get access to open the box, but the ever shrinking size of the box was hard to miss. The packaging box is definitely something you would want to save and keep on display, it's that impressive! Everything from a leather handle and closing flap that matches the color of headphones to a printed details about the product makes a fantastic presentation of what awaits you inside of the box. Keeping up with a tradition of form fitted exoskeleton hard cases, XS was not an exception, but the size of the case was ridiculously small. Just like when you go from LP/LP2 to foldable M-100 with a more compact case, from M-80 to XS (which obviously stands for eXtra Small) the case shrunk up significantly, even smaller in profile in comparison to M-100 case. Opening the case reveals how compact folded XS looks with a new cliqfold mechanism of earcups folded inward under the headband. While folded, it literally fits inside of a palm of my hand, and feels featherlight at only 190g. If in the past I only used over-/on-ear headphones at home, this new XS model makes for a very good excuse to carry the case with headphones outside as well. The same for wearing them outside, including around your neck, without feeling ridiculous.
     
    The cliqfold design is probably the first most noticeable difference between M-80 and XS. Majority of other design details were carried over from M-80. You still have a hex shaped ear cups, made out of hard plastic material with a removable/replaceable metal plates that can be engraved to personalize the look - you no longer have to be a slave of pre-stamped manufacturer logo. The earpads look very similar to the original M-80; these are soft and very comfortable, though due to on-ear design the noise isolation is not as effective as with over-ear M-100. Further examination of earcups revealed they both have 3.5mm socket to connect headphone cable to either side and to use the other side in daisy-chain config to share your music with another pair of headphones. As part of the accessory package, XS comes with a pair of cork-plugs for an unused earcup port and a spare, but unlike M-100 design these XS cork-plugs don't twist and lock. Since I'm on a subject of accessories, it also worth mentioning that XS comes with their typical Kevlar reinforced "speakeasy" mic cable and 45deg gold plated 35mm plug, which according to V-Moda went through 1+ million cable bends. In comparison to M-80, XS cable/plug actually makes a click lock when plugged into the earcup, versus M-80 where I never felt that before. The cable design is common across other V-Moda models, and it features a separate mic closer to your mouth and single button in-line remote further down the cable for easier handling. The in-line remote is universal without Android/Apple specific volume controls where the single multifunction button works well for Play/Pause/Call, double/triple click for song skip next/prev, and long press to start Google NOW. Making phone calls was crystal clear and very convenient with a partitioned mic and in-line remote.
     
    Other design aspects which remained the same was a metal y-fork connection to earcup with an exception of cliqfold mechanism in comparison to M-80. Headband adjustment extension had a very precise click action, so anybody even with a severe OCD will be happy to keep it adjusted symmetrically. The headband has a similar to M-80 leather exterior and soft padded interior covered by a mesh material. It uses the same very high quality steelflex band and provides a nice clamping force to hold headphones securely on your head, though I felt the clamping force wasn't as strong as with M-80. Even so it looked similar, there was still a change from the original headband design which was noted by V-Moda as "Mind the Gap". With a lot of headphones headband is usually comes in contact and rests on top of your head with the rest of it making a semi-circle to bring earcups around to your ears. With XS to improve the comfort of wear, the headband shape was re-designed to rest around your head with a significant reduction of "gap" on the side of your head. This also resulted in a more comfortable fitment. One of the concerns I had with M-80 and other on-ear headphones I tested in the past was how long it takes to adjust the fitment once you put headphones on for the best sound performance. Here, I found the sweet spot to be always there from the first time I put XS on my head with a minimal adjustment.
     
    After examining all the design changes, next step was to analyze the sound and any changes introduced in XS. Though the driver remained the same, I was very pleased to find that V-Moda fine tuned the sound to improve their M-80 performance. I felt, at the low end, the mid-bass punch was a bit faster and tighter, while sub-bass remained the same if not slightly reduced. Actually, I think the effect of sub-bass is due to a slightly weaker clamping force, but when you push the earcups closer to your ears you can feel more rumble. Don't get me wrong, the bass is great and well balanced with the rest of the spectrum but not exactly for bassheads. Mid range remained well balanced and upfront, with excellent details and smooth vocals. As a matter of fact, in comparison to M-80 the vocals tone sounded more natural to my ears. After a closer listening, it became more evident when I realized about the improvement in treble/high frequency region. The treble in XS got extended higher and added more details in the frequency region covering clarity and sparkle of the sound. That small improvement made a significant difference to my ears, especially when it comes to vocals. Though being brighter, the treble is still very pleasant to my ears for extended listening period and without any hint of sibilance. Although I still consider the overall sound signature to be on a warm balanced side, it's noticeably brighter and detailed in comparison to M-80. The soundstage remained average with a similar to M-80 instrument/vocal placement being more intimate and up close. Also, the air-ports in the earcup covers provided a similar level of airness mixed with a sound.
     
    Overall, I can say XS was definitely worth waiting for. The improvements from M-80, both in the design and the sound quality, were significant enough to consider XS as a new version rather than a refresh. Though sound quality improvement could be subjective based on your preference, just like so many people prefer warmer v-shaped fun sound of M-100, there is no question about cliqfold implementation being a very welcome change. Also, the release of XS headphones will benefit those who were saving to get their hands on M-80 since now you can get a new one at a reduced price or pick up a second hand one at a great discount from those who are trading up to XS. In my opinion it will be very hard to find any on-ear headphones in $200 (currently on Amazon) price range that will surpass XS in sound and build quality. I also believe XS can give a number of more expensive over-ear headphones a run for their money.
     
    Here are the pictures for your enjoyment, included a few with M-100 comparison.
     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    mikemercer and SpiderNhan like this.