V-MODA Crossfade M-80

  1. Louis8ball
    V-Moda Crossfade M-80: A great phone for many different genres
    Written by Louis8ball
    Published Oct 15, 2011
    Pros - For the most part, a very well-rounded, full-bodied, smooth sound signature, very durable build quality, and extremely comfortable
    Cons - Poor Isolation
    When it comes to describing the sound of the V-Moda Crossfade M-80 on-ear headphones, two words come to mind:
    Smooth and Full-Bodied
    I think that it also bears mentioning that this review is coming from someone who does not have much prior experience with OE headphones. Most of my most recent experience has been more involved with IEs of differing brands and sorts, and styles. But I am one of the ten contestants who was fortunate enough to have been selected for the this Voyager group. And so, having spent a few weeks now with this set, I have formulated a few impressions I would like to share here with others of you who might be interested in these.
    Please take note, before I proceed that, in no way do I consider myself an expert in any conceivable manner or means when it comes to rating or reviewing audio gear. All I can do is share my impressions with you. Ultimately, you will have to make the final (informed decision), yourself, as to whether to purchase a set for yourself, or not. Please also keep in mind that there have been nine others of us in this group. And although we have all had the opportunity to discuss these headphones together at great length (in a private forum setting here at Head-Fi), we may not all necessarily agree with each other about every single aspect regarding these M-80s. So, just a few things for you to keep in mind as you read.
    For my own personal testing and overall impressions, I have been primarily using two different MP3 players, neither one of which has been amped or ‘Rockboxed’ (but I do adjust the EQ settings quite a bit).  These two sources of mine have been a Sony Walkman NWZ-E354, and a Sansa Clip+. And my music files have all been in WAV format (lossless). The music I have been listening to throughout my time of testing has varied quite a bit. It has actually run the whole entire gamut, from Christian Alternative Rock (bands such as Thousand Foot Krutch, Switchfoot, Skillet, etc), as well as some Classic Rock from the ‘60s. ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s (Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Eric Clapton, The Moody Blues, CCR, The Rolling Stones, The Cars, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Who, Heart, Journey, Boston, etc).
    I would like to break my review down into 3 primary groups:  Build Quality, Comfort, and then finally, Sound Quality. First let me say though, for the record that, although it is my desire to be as concise as I possibly can here, however it is entirely possible that I might miss something, or leave out an important detail or two. Allow me to apologize for this right here and now, in advance if it turns out to be the case that I miss anything important. And of course, don’t forget. . .there are nine others of us as well. So, by all means please read their reviews also, because what I might miss, someone else might do a wonderful job discussing with impeccable detail (and of course, vice versa).
    I’ll begin with a word about build quality. I really have to admit, I am very impressed. The designer(s) of these phones have obviously put some creative thought into the build quality and design. They seem very sturdy to me, constructed of very durable materials. I would venture to guess that these phones should be able to handle whatever abuse that the average user might administer, without caving in so easily to the day to day pressures of wear and tear that so many other (less durable) OEs out there might tend give in to. From the steelflex headband (protected by a stain-resistant suede-padded covering), to the v-angle steel acier, to the brushed metal shields which are placed over the outer walls of the earcups, these phones are not only Military-Grade durable, but also rather stylish and classy-looking as well. You can even have your own brushed metal plates customized with your own personalized logo or design, or even monogrammed with your initials --- all with laser-engraved precision, on either black, red, graphite or blue-colored brushed metal plates. Not too shabby, indeed, if I do say so (and I do)!!
    Next, a word on the overall comfort of these phones. Let me first say that I am an eyeglass wearer. And this being the case, I have tried a few OEs in the very recent past, one in particular, the Pioneer HDK-2000, only to have to get rid of them not long after receiving them (as a gift from a friend). They pushed too tightly against the frames of my eyeglasses and my ears, and therefore became very uncomfortable after just a very short period of time. However, I must say that with these M-80s, I have had none of that. These are super-comfy --- even after wearing them for long periods of time. The suede-padding which covers the headband, along with the ergonomic (soft) memory foam on the earcups both combine to make for an extremely comfortable listening experience, even for the long haul. I believe I could wear these for hours, and not get tired of having them on. This is definitely a real plus, especially when you consider that these are designed to be used on the “Go”. And while I don’t think that these would be awkward to wear in public places (actually, quite the contrary since after all, they ARE a fashion statement, are they not?????), however I can’t really say that they offer the best isolation from the outside world.
    And so this brings to the final segment, essentially, and in my opinion the most important one also, sound quality. In the final estimation, I really do like the sound of these phones. These are a rather fun set of headphones. They are a very durable set which can be used with many different types and genres of music, and are really great for day to day use. Although I might say a few things about these headphones which might sound like a complaint, please don’t misinterpret this to mean that I don’t like these headphones. I actually do like them. A lot. And I plan on using them on a regular basis. I am enjoying the sound of them more and more each day. But like anything else in life, they are not perfect. There could be some fine tuning or tweaking down the road which could (and would) make them even a better set of phones. But this does not mean that I don’t like them. I honestly do. Having said that, lets move on, shall we. . .
    During the time of my testing, my initial impressions after I first received these was that they seemed to be very well suited for a harder type of music genre, such as Alternative Rock (which, if you don’t know is typified by a bit of a harsher sound, maybe more of a Metal sound, perhaps). But then, after quite a bit of use (and a good solid break-in time), I started realizing that they are actually very well suited to quite a few different types of music (including Alternative Rock, but many others also). The following is a brief breakdown of how each of the main frequencies seem to respond with these M-80s.
    First, the bass. The bass is very solid, and hard-hitting. It packs a very good punch, and has decent ‘attack’. But, then for some strange reason, I don’t feel like the bass extends very well beyond this initial punch. What I am hearing is what sounds like a very quick roll-off --- at times too quick. The initial punch is certainly there, but then the decay or roll-off seems to come a little too quickly. But this does vary quite a bit from genre to genre. Not every music type reacts this way. But for the most part, this is what I experienced with these. Which, at times could be rather frustrating. Now, I for one am not really a ‘basshead’ in the true sense of the word. But when there IS bass in a track, I don’t just want to hear it; I want to feel it, too. And you certainly DO feel it, as a matter of fact with MOST music types you can feel it (if you have your EQ turned up high enough). But after that initial attack, it seems to roll off too soon for my tastes. As a result, I would not necessarily classify these as a ‘bass-lover’s headphone’. But on the other hand, it could certainly be said that the bass does hit hard, and is NOT muddy at all.
    If I had to say that there was one overall strength (for lack of a better word) of this sound signature, it would have to be the mid-range. Right out of the box I noticed this with these. The mid-range is spiked. It was spiked quite a lot right out of the box (too much for my tastes), but did become a bit tamed after a good bit of use. However, I do still hear what sounds like an emphasized amount of it. And for me personally, this doesn’t tend to be my favorite part of a song. So for my customized EQ settings on both of my DAPs, I have had to reduce the mids quite a bit (and boost both the bass and treble --- or the lows and the high-end frequencies). Now this is not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, if you like vocals, then they will come shining through with these M-80s. But the mid-range can be rather overpowering for some (like myself). Which is why I prefer to reduce this part of the frequency range on my player(s).
    I think I can say without any hesitation that the treble is the most difficult and complex part of the sound signature to come to terms with, regarding these M-80 headphones. And I don’t believe that I am alone in this view, either. I know that there are others in our Voyager group who feel the same way. The treble is a bit perplexing. It is an enigma, of sorts. What made the treble so difficult to come to terms with is, because for the longest time whenever I would hear it, although I knew something was wrong or missing. But for the life of me, I just couldn’t put my finger on what exactly that missing piece of the puzzle really was. It wasn’t actually until another member of our group (Armaegis) was able to properly articulate this point, that I was able to realize and understand what was really going on here with the treble. As Armaegis so tactfully put it:
     “. . .I think my expression of treble is might also be what others would consider upper mids. I feel like it has some sort of echo or resonance that blurs it. Cymbals and finger snaps just don't sound crisp enough, like they're coming through a veil. I can hear the initial ring, but it doesn't catch your attention. It's especially fuzzy when there's a lot of other music layers. . .”
    And, he also goes on to say (regarding the LOW end this time). . .
    “. . .Conversely, the low low end (<50Hz) to me feels like the initial impulse is too strong and it loses shape after that. Well, I can't say for certain that it's the impulse... low notes feel very strong and have plenty of "punch", but the actual tone itself doesn't quite feel right, with it getting looser the deeper we go. . .”
    I want to thank Armaegis for this. I really like the way he put this. He was able to put into words what (perhaps) many of us in the group felt, but just could not communicate properly. You see, the treble (or high-end) to me seems to be lacking a certain luster or shimmer to it (or perhaps the right word here would be SPARKLE). As Armaegis said, it doesn’t sound crisp enough, and I agree with him. It may be that V-Moda was trying too hard to compensate for sibilance, and perhaps they overcompensated a little too much. I can’t really say for sure. But you do get the point though. So, if you're looking for something that has a crisp, clear high-end sparkle and luster remeniscent of the RE0, then you'll want to keep looking. Consequently, I personally feel that this is one of the biggest downfalls and disappointments of the M-80 (but even still, all is not lost. They are still a very nice-sounding set of phones. They could just be a tad bit better, in my opinion).
    In closing, all in all I think its fair to say (as I’ve already said before) that I really like these headphones a lot. They are a fun set of phones. I am very thankful to have been selected as one of the Voyagers in this group, and I’m thankful to have been given this set of headphones. So, I would easily recommend these M-80s. To me, the sound signature is very full-bodied and smooth. It works well with a lot of different types of music. Additionally, the stage is nice too, open, airy, and 3-dimensional. There is a great deal of width and depth, and as a result I never feel claustrophobic listening to these (I never had the sense like I was inside of a sardine can, as I have had with other OEs --- and even with a few IEs which I have tried in the past).
    And so while I can most definitely recommend these phones, I am also going to be very hopeful that any improvements in terms of future-generation editions down the road will be even better, and will hopefully remedy the things which are lacking in this first generation edition.
    V-Moda, you have a lot to be proud of here. Not a bad first effort at all. Keep up the great work, and thank you once again for this opportunity! 
      JamesMcProgger likes this.
    1. DigitalFreak
      Hey i like the review very straight to the point nice job
      DigitalFreak, Oct 15, 2011
    2. Louis8ball
      Thanks, man. I appreciate that!!
      Louis8ball, Oct 17, 2011
  2. JamesMcProgger
    V-Moda M80: A new contender
    Written by JamesMcProgger
    Published Oct 13, 2011
    Pros - Many: Clear, articulated and fun sound, does not require amplification, superb build quality, great accessories, good looking.
    Cons - Isolation could be better.
    This review is part of the V-moda M80 voyage program, started in the thread: 'V-moda crossfade m80 audio-voyage reviewers wanted' and I was lucky enough to be selected to receive one M80 and be part of a group of discussion, and finally post my review here. We were asked to make an honest and free of prejudice review (as expected) so here is mine. Consequently this is my opinion but hopefully I managed to be objectively enough.

    V-Moda M80 on ear portable headphone

    4352da6a_01case.jpg   b208ef22_m80itself.jpg
    First things first: If you just want the straight-to-the-point review and no blabbering, read only the blue bits.

    Build quality:
    Two things come to my mind, tough and flexible. Headband flexes like few, I’ve manage to set it flat or twist it to the other side and cross the cups far from what seems normal.
    The hinges that holds the cup is metal. And its hold with four screws per cup, the cup shell is plastic with a metal back plate.
    The headband is some sort of fiber with a soft felt in the part where it touches the head. It looks very durable, but only time will tell.
    The cables look well built, I have 3 cables in my package, one audio only (grey, 2 meters) , one with volume +/- and play/pause keys (black, 1.5 meters), and the other with mic (red, 1.5 meters), the audio only one soft and docile, the others two tend to become stiffy specially when twisted. The plig housing in all cables are minimalist, stylish, rubbery and flexible.
    Physically, the attention to details by V-moda is remarkable. and I can throw this around with confidence, it can take the abuse, even more if you store it in the case, but I've been just trowing it inside my backpack, no case, no cover.
    The good: flexibility in the headband, solid build, replaceable back plates. Detachable cord and you can use almost any cable extension (slightly jack only the massive plugs wont fit). It can take a lot of abuse.
    The nitpicks:  the cable from the cups to the headband could be held to the hinge to avoid it to pop up (the sony V6 prevent this with a clamp in the hinge holding the cable). 2 of the 3 the cables gets stiff and even more when twisted.
    The bad: none.

    Definitely stylish, not your standard rugged plain black headphone, but it doesn’t go as far as being pretentious either.
    Body is mainly black (glossy or matte) with red bits here and there.
    9fafb2e6_casem80.jpg af635ab1_m80fashionshot.jpg

    3 cables, an excellent hard carrying case known as exoskeleton, a clip to hel carry the bag, 3 cables and ¼ to 1/8 inches adapter. All this in a fancy hard cardboard box.
    The good: exoskeleton case is awesome. More cables than you’d need.
    The nitpicks:  none.
    The bad: none. V-moda does not fool around in accessories.
    65e68e09_cable.jpg   7bdaea8b_plugs.jpg
    Cables and plugs.

    The headband is well padded and the clamping force is low, additionally the earpads are soft. All this sums up to have a very comfortable headphone. I can wear this for long listening sessions without a single problem.
    After a while I forget the headphones are on, which is hard to achieve with an on ear headphone.
    The good: top notch comfort.
    The nitpicks: none.
    The bad: none.

    Not the best, fair less than the Sennheiser HD25. I believe it might be due to the shape of the cups, oval shaped (hexagon) and the fact that they have vents in the back. It manage to block the high frequencies but creates some sort of tunnel like sound with the lower frequencies. I wouldn’t use it in a noisy environment, tried it at a football stadium and got distracted by the exterior’s noise every now and then.
    It confuses me how V-moda advertises this in their website as “Noise isolating” and at the same time advertize the V-port technology. 
    Where sound/air goes out, sound/air comes in.
    Edit: From V-Moda we got the fact that this are semi-closed headphones, and it was made to gain some soundstage and bass, and it really works in that matter, covering the vents will end up in a different sound. at the end it was a good choice, at expenses of some isolation, you lose some you win some, right?
    The good: block some noise.
    The bad: Isolation could be better, not on par with HD25 and DT1350.

    Is you are expecting the M80 to sound the typical bass heavy fashion headphone, you’re in for a surprise, the midrange was the first thing that caught my attention.
    I used this headphone right out of my Zune120, ipod classic and clip+, also used iBasso D3  ¿and Mini3 as amps but felt that the M80s doesn need the amplifier, it does well from the headphone out alone.
    Not prominent, not loose and neither boomy, it isn’t as tight and detailed as other headphones like the DT1350 either, but enough as to know that the M80’s does not lack bass.
    Extension is good enough as to perceive subbass when the track demands it.
    They have punch, don’t hit as hard as the HD25, but definitely more punch and kick then the DT1350.
    This is my favorite of the three. Very articulated, clear, fairly detailed and liquid. They make the HD25 mids sound recessed.
    I’ve also being using the M80s to watch movies and listening poscasts, something I wouldn’t do with a headphone without articulated mids. These are responsible to make the M80 sound slightly bright, even at the lack of sparkling highs, maybe because the bump in the mid-high section of the FR graph.
    From the three ranges this is the one in the third place. See it this way, if you were to categorize the clearness, detail and how loud each range is, the highs would be in the background. I can safely say the highs feels tamed and lacks sparkle, without sounding dark.
    This could be seen as an advantage considering that piercing and sibilance are out of the equation.
    Sound signature:
    I’d say it’s a fun signature but not V shaped (oddly enough since V-moda seems to like to put a V in everything they made [​IMG] ) bass is not the priority, but you certain have decent amount of bass. Bassheads, you’ve been warned. The liquid, open and clear mids makes this headphone what it is, a pleasant non fatiguing portable headphone.
    The M80 offer more soundstage than one would expect from an ‘on ear portable’ as a Grado fanboy I have very little acknowledge about soundstage ha!. I often gets amazed at soundstage and how my beloved Grados lacks it. The M80 space doesn’t feel so cramped as the Sennheiser HD25, for my listening sessions, I’d compare the soundstage with the Beyerdynamic DT1350, at least.
    Separation and Details:
    I find it to be very good, channel separation is very noticeable, which gives out a larger soundstage feeling, instrumental separation with heavy, faster and technical music (progressive metal) was good enough as not to feel cramped and neither lacking details.
    Sound summary:
    With the mids in the front row, the bass in the second and the highs behind them, the M80 offers a very different option from the two better known competitors, Sennheiser HD25 and Beyerdynamic DT1350.
    I really enjoy the M80s, I like the fun yet different sound it makes, most fun headphones tend to be bassy and sparkly or recessed mids, the M80 defies that and the results are quite exciting. It was a pleasant surprise and I plan to use them a lot from now on, at expenses of the beyer DT1350, which was already getting little use next to the senn HD25.
    A very welcome new option for those of us who believes that portable-fi should be about fun and comfort, after all I don’t want a clinical signature to analyze the music in a 30 minute trip or a 15 minute relax in between classes, I want to have fun and enjoy the music. The M80 does that for me, and plenty more, I’ve used this at the office for 2.5 hours straight without feeling tired at the sound or my ears hurt.
    The good: Clear, liquid and articulated mids. Over average level of details, good soundstage, not overpowering bass. does not require amplification.
    The nitpicks: None.
    The bad: lack of sparkle, lack of extension in the upper levels.

    I got this for free and perhaps that and the fact that I like it makes me put a higher value rate.
    But thinking as a potential customer, the actual MSPR from V-moda is $230, do I think its worth it?  no, but rarely a headphone worth its list price, none that I remember, and that is why street prices exist. I believe I could handle $180 for the M80 and be happy, but what do I know about prices, I am only a customer. [​IMG]
    Here’s the thing, it is a whole package, clas A buld quality, very good sound, and the accessories, including the excellent exoskeleton case, it all sums up for a great portable.  
    Technical specs:
    1. Type: Supraaural (on-ear)
    2. Speaker Drivers:  40mm.
    3. Impedance: 28.5 Ohms
    4. Frequency Response: 5 - 30,000 Hz
    5. Sound Pressure Level: 105 dB
    6. Weight: 180g (headphone only)

    Size comparison:
    e7b7bac0_m80dt1350cups.jpg   22ed574e_M80Dt1350.jpg
    Cup size comparison with the beyerdynamic DT1350
    More and larger photos in this album
    Hope this was useful to someone.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. MickeyVee
      Thanks for the great review. I really enjoy myM-80's and find your review quite accurate and similar to my observations. The great thing about them is the SQ right out of a player.. no amp required. I appreciate your comparisons to the HD25.. my preference is the HD25 but I have modded mine with a silver cable plus the HD25 do sound better with an amp. Overall love the M-80's.. they're keepers.
      MickeyVee, Oct 26, 2011
    3. dbdynsty25
      Definitely agree that these could be the ultimate portable when it comes to be entire package. Great accessories (absolutely love the case and cables) and a great sound signature that reminds me a lot of my gr07 in ears. Perfect compliment to each other as far as I'm concerned. I'm a big fan of the m80s no doubt.
      dbdynsty25, Oct 30, 2011
    4. antberg
      no one tried the over ear lp2?i`ll buy the lp2 version,but seems i`ll be the only one to buy this version.
      i`d like to know if there are similar as Jude sad.more opinions are better than one even it came from the founder of this legendary site.
      antberg, Nov 20, 2011
  3. DigitalFreak
    V-Moda M-80 Crossfade Voyage Review
    Written by DigitalFreak
    Published Oct 12, 2011
    Pros - smooth sound,good all arounder, comfortable, gorgeous customized headphone shields
    Cons - some of the cords are stiff and tangle prone, poor isolation, needs a touch of sparkle in the treble region
    Those of us sitting at the back of the bus who love our music reserve the right to practice a healthy dose of skepticism involving audio gear as we ride along the long winding road that is life.  Until said gear has passed our personal expectations thus meriting the mantra of GOOD GEAR any and all reviewers/reviews will be taken with a grain of salt. As natural born cynics we also expect those around us to practice a healthy level of free thought and approach our reviews with a healthy dose of skepticism. In the event there's violent disagreement concerning gear reviewed then please grab said gear throw it out the bus window grab your own much loved gear and by all means please join us fellow cynics at the back of the bus. Please be sure said gear being thrown out the window isn't mine.
                                                               Part I Overall Feel And Finish

    Overall I generally like the M-80 in my book it does a lot of things right. It's no giant killer by any stretch of the imagination and like any other product it has it's strong points and weak points. I've never done a review before or rather stated more correctly I've never done one for a audio company so if this comes across as a little amateurish please excuse my noobiness. In an effort to avoid writing a book I'm  going to try and keep this review to the point and will only touch on the stand out strengths and weaknesses of this headphone. I'll leave the more minor points to be discussed on the thread. I've taken the liberty of using my current collection of headphones as benchmarks and will be alluding to them in certain parts of the review in order to further hammer home my points.

                                                                Form Factor And Durability
    The overall fit finish and feel on these headphones is very good and it's lines are crisp clean and it seems to be well assembled. The headphone seems to utilize quite nice high quality materials and I really like the Kevlar cords that come supplied with the headphone. When I first received these headphones the most surprising aspect was how light and small they were and my first impression was these would never stand up to any kind of punishment. After various intentional headband twists, cord pulls, and real world testing by having them knocking around in my crowded backpack for a few days my view has drastically changed. Whether they can take the same punishment and outlast my HD25-i-ii only time can tell but first initial impressions are positive. Shortly after writing this review I posed the question to Mr Val Kolton of V-Moda on whether his company would be providing replacement parts for it's M-80 in the event of a part breaking. Mr. Kolton promptly responded as follows:
    A very welcome response and a huge plus for M-80 owners. My hat goes off to V-Moda for going the extra mile with it's product and it's customer support.

                                                          Packaging Fit Finish And Extras
    The product's packaging and presentation is excellent and is easily on par with Monster's offerings. The consumer gets a very durable carry case to help protect his/her investment as well as 3 (2 with audio controls) Kevlar covered cables in different colors. All cables have a 45 degree jack and in my book the 45 degree jack is a smart move on V-moda's part. The dark cable with no controls has a rather nice feel to it but the two cable's with audio controls for whatever reason feel rather stiff and are overly tangle prone. Only time will tell how well they fare. Along with the cords you get a large metal clip that will clip the headphone case to your purse backpack carry on etc. The inside of the carry case has two Velcro mounted carry areas with straps that function as storage for the extra cables supplied and if not wanted they can be pulled out for home storage. The inside is also covered in a nice red velvety material that will keep your cans safe from scratches.  In short the case is compact sturdy fits over the gear like a second skin has style and functions very well as a mobile solution for safely carrying your whole V-Moda gear around at all times. It's safe to say V-Moda took notice of Monster's extravagant packaging and has upped the anty with their own take on style. Kudos to V-Moda for going that extra mile and giving that extra little attention to detail.
    The M-80 fit for me is very good and I give it high marks. Fit for me is a concern considering I wear glasses and the M-80 very pleasantly surprised me with it's comfort. I'm finding clamping force is just right and ear pain is non existent after 3 hours. The most comfortable fit I've ever had would go to the P5 with the M-80 breathing down it's neck in second place followed by the DT1350 in third and the HD25 in fourth. Last spot goes to the poorly ergonomically challenged iGrado.

                                                                Customized Plate Options
    The fact the consumer can customize their plates and make their headphones stand out and different from anyone Else's is a killer extra for me. In a sea of bright red Beats, overly loud SkullCandy artwork blue Sennheiser Adidas, and the standard no frills plain Jane all black headphones it's a very welcome sight. I'm hoping as time goes on V-Moda will take this idea and run with it and offer even more customization options. Right now the only color options for the M-80 is the all black or black with red accents. A few more color options down the road such as blue green etc would probably be welcomed by many consumers. A personal suggestion towards V-Moda why not really let your hair down and offer different background color options for the custom plates to match with different form factor accents? I'm sure there would be enough consumers who would jump on the option.

                                                                Mobility - I'm Always On The Go
    Making a mobile headphone that works well means addressing many different problems compared to a headphone designed for use on a home rig. In my line of work I'm always on the go day in day out and log by far more hours on a mobile headphone then my home headphones. For someone like me a good mobile headphone isn't a luxury it's a necessity. I could write page upon page discussing the finer points on what makes a good mobile can, we all could, but for the sake of trying not to wander off topic I'm going to touch on the two that are by far the most important for a mobile can, noise leakage and isolation.

    First the good news, noise leakage or lack there of is very good on the M-80. I've had these cans blaring away at around 60 to 70% volume setting on my iPod Touch on a bus with someone sitting right beside me reading without disturbing them. I've also been in a library and have yet to hear any complaints involving noise disturbing people around me. If I crank the volume to it's absolute max I will notice some noise leakage but let's be realistic cranking headphones to maximum volume is not only dumb and asking for hearing damage it's just not done by the average consumer.
    Isolation is a slightly different story for the M-80. My now gone Bowers & Wilkins P5 headphone in my opinion is the best isolating mobile headphone I've ever owned. Behind it I would rank the DT1350 a distant second with the  HD25-i-ii in third and the M-80 running behind in fourth place. I'm finding the HD25 -i-ii isolates out the low drone like noises (engine drone while riding on a bus) better then the M-80 and the DT 1350 easily further isolates out that drone twice as much. The P5 say what you will about it it's isolation is spooky quiet. Coming up in the dismal deal breaking you should be ashamed of yourself last place is the iGrado. V-Moda needs to take a second look and work on this problem. Poor isolation in a mobile headphone can be a real deal breaker for some consumers.
                                                                                   Part II
                                        Sound - In The House That Head-Fi Built Sound Reign's Supreme


    I find the sound of this little headphone very interesting and it took me a few days to really wrap my head around it's sound signature. If I was to try and describe the M-80 in one word it would be smooth as in smooth as silk. If you're looking for edgy treble with pristine almost ethereal like highs you won't find it in the M-80. It's not analytical and comes nowhere near being classed as a detail monster nor hot in the treble but it will provide good detail across the frequency ranges. If you're looking for deep thick lows that slams visceral like bass into your cranium you also won't find it in the M-80. It does have good bass slam but it's nowhere near what would be classed a bass cannon. What the M-80 will do is give you a slightly bass centric sound signature with clear highs good detail across all frequencies and when the music demands it it'll muscle it's full bodied bass to bring forward good percussion. Put simply it's clear has good detail and the highs mids and lows don't try to overpower one another but instead play nicely together. It's a headphone that has been very shrewdly engineered and will appeal to the bass head who wants to hear a mid range and has grown tired of overpowering muddy lows. The M-80 will also appeal to the treble head whose gotten tired of the analytical and wants a slightly warmer fuller bass with nice authoritative slam but still wants a decent amount of detail in his music.
                                      Sennheiser HD25-i-ii Adidas, Beyerdynamic DT1350, iGrado/Grado SR60i

    Easily the strongest suit in the M-80's audio signature. V-Moda claims to have invested countless man hours into this headphones bass over the last 5 years and I believe them. The DT1350 easily has the deeper extension but it's bass is quite thin compared to the M-80 and it's bass slam is quite poor. The HD25-i-ii on the other hand although it doesn't extend as much as either the M-80 or the DT1350 it delivers very nice authoritative slam with it's mid bass hump. The M-80 compared to the Sennheiser is no slouch and can also slam pretty good and it does it in all the right places and does it smoothly with better control avoiding bass bleed into the mid frequencies. Which of these 3 cans do better bass in my opinion comes down to how the listener prefers to take his audio poison. If you don't care about slam and prefer detailed deep reaching down into the dungeons lows the Beyer delivers in spades. You want a more visceral like boomy slam the Senn will be your poison of choice. Personally I give the the M-80 the nod in this area. It extends not to badly will deliver good slam when it has to and above all controls itself better then the Senn.

    Mids are generally good on the M-80. Although I give it good marks across the board it doesn't do anything special that makes it stand out to my ears. Vocals I would say are very good on the M-80 slightly edging out the  more mid recessed lusher sounding HD25-i-ii but it takes a back seat to the DT1350 with its glorious vocal reproduction. Guitars also gets a good  grade and the M-80 returns the favor to the DT1350 whose guitar tonality can at times sound slightly off especially in hard rock and metal. When it's compared to the iGrado with it's much more aggressive nature and forward mids it's still left playing second fiddle though. I have to admit though I am openly biased and think nobody can do guitars like a Grado. I will also say although the Senn gets third place it was a tough call for me and I place it very marginally behind the M-80 for guitar reproduction.  Overall mids gets a ranking of very good and I feel it does it's job fairly well and gives the M-80 a nice cohesive sound that works well for it.

    If I was to pick a sore spot for the M-80 it would be it's high's. It's not bad per say  and I think it meshes in well with the general smooth sound signature V-Moda is going for. When I compare it to the HD 25-i-ii DT1350 and iGrado I had to rate it low compared to these other cans. I'm finding the treble region on the M-80 works generally well for most type's of music but when paired with more aggressive metal sub genres such as death metal thrash metalcore or melodic death metal the treble regions short comings manifest's itself. The problem I'm hearing is the M-80 high's are for a lack of a better description overly polite. A polite treble range doesn't work very well in metal when the music demands edginess and shimmering cymbals and at times the treble region seems almost recessed (it isn't) when compared to the pounding drums and driving guitars in the music. That being said there is good news as far as the highs are concerned. Sibilance control is quite good on the M-80 and badly recorded music with overly sibilant vocals gets smoothed over and sounds quite nice on it. As far as the moshing metal head is concerned it's not a total loss and certain metal sub genre's such as doom symphonic metal old school heavy metal some power metal nu metal and progressive metal seems to pair acceptably well with the M-80 highs. Soft rock jazz hip hop hard house and trance seems to work especially well with these sort of high's and although polite the upper treble range still seems to release enough energy to belt out that nice loud crash and smash when the music demands it. Overall I'd have to rate the M-80 highs a mixed bag of pluses and minuses.


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      JamesMcProgger and phillyd like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. DigitalFreak
      Thank you I'm glad you enjoyed it I may be adding more to it later and maybe trying to rewrite a part or two to get my points across in a better fashion.
      DigitalFreak, Oct 13, 2011
    3. JamesMcProgger
      great word up, are you sure this is your first review?. good to see we agree in the sound part, first complete review I read. didnt wanted to get biased before writing mine.
      JamesMcProgger, Oct 13, 2011
    4. DigitalFreak
      I did one on the P5 when I first joined Head-Fi. If you read it you'll see I was a very new member back then.
      DigitalFreak, Oct 13, 2011
  4. Extra
    A great sounding portable
    Written by Extra
    Published Sep 25, 2011
    Pros - Looks Fantasic, Awesome build quality, Sounds great, Packaging and accessories
    Cons - Slightly recessed mid range
    V-moda Crossfade M-80 review.​
    Note: I really am not much of an audiophile. My headphones before this were MDR XB500’s and the only reasons I chose these over the Senn HD-25-1-ii was the looks, and that I liked the M-80’s sound a bit better. I also have about 50 hours on this, and I think they have reached their expected performance. If anything changes, I’ll post it here.
    Also, really sorry for the lack of pictures. I'm having an upload problem, and my webcam is bad, too.
    This is the first part that really pulls you in. These are packaged very nicely. There are plenty of pictures on this, though, so I wont go into detail. The snake skin-like handle is held in by two metal studs, and looks great. After popping open the box, you’re greeted by a piece of cardboard that says “V-moda” with some foam on the bottom.
    Taking this out reveals three things, the case where the headphones reside, and some literature for V-moda and user guide/warranty information. After taking out the strikingly awesome case and unzipping it, you’ll notice the headphones, two cables, a 1/8 -1/4 adapter, and a carabiner. The two pieces holding the accessories are Velcro attached, and can be removed.
    The headphones: Like the package, these are very, very great looking. The stock black metal plates are very sleek, though I do plan on purchasing custom plates soon. The on-ear pads are hexagonal in shape and are quite uncomfortable for the first few hours. After using them and stretching the headband a bit, they are much more comfortable now. The housings and their contents are held in place by two metal “arms”, which are attached to the headband. The bottom of the headband is made out of a mesh-type material and is hard at first, but softens up after a while. The top has red stitching and V-moda in red lettering is visible.
    The wires also come out of the housings, into the space between the headband and housings, and into the headband on each side. The cable is very tough, however, and I don’t have a problem with it.
    Durability: These look and feel incredibly tough. The metal arms and plates inspire confidence, and the detachable cables and ear pads only increase the lifespan of the M-80’s.
    As I said earlier, the cables are detachable and are Kevlar-reinforced. This means that unless you’re really trying to ruin the cable, you’re going to be fine. One cable has a mic and remote, and the other just has a mic. Any 3.5mm-3.5mm cord will do, and it is plugged in underneath the left driver housing.
    Who cares about whatever I said above this if they sound terrible, right? Well I can certainly say V-moda got something right in the entire lifestyle headphone company. Seriously, this is the first fashion headphone I’ve tried where the sound matches the price.
    The sound: Everything is played on an iPod touch with songs ripped in 320 Kbits/sec in MP3 format. I guess I am the lowest common denominator here :p (Though, I guess this is how V-moda thought how the headphones would be used, as I remember Val Kolton of V-moda saying that the M-80’s were made for devices like the iPod, and that an amp  just “amplifies” their sound).
    Overall, I noticed that the bass was tight and hit hard. It didn’t feel too loose, and I didn’t have any problems with it interfering with the mids and highs. The mids, however, felt a bit recessed, though it’s not much of an issue, I just wish they were more present. The highs were really nice, and when the cymbals, (especially the high-hats) wanted to show, they did.
    Songs used for testing:
    Fast Lane-Bad Meets Evil: Slightly reccesed mids and tight, hard hitting bass are noticeable hear, though I feel as though Em’s voice sounded a bit “boring”, something I hadn’t noticed on different headphones. Royce sounded fine, though.
    Deliver Us – In Flames: Friden’s growled vocals sound spectacular on this track, and I think the M-80’s handle growled/screamed vocals much better than clean vocals. Odd. Guitars also blended in very nicely, and I liked how they complemented Friden’s growled voice. Bass was also controlled, but hit hard.
    Into the Nothing – Breaking Benjamin: Szeliga’s drum work excels here, and Ben’s voice didn’t sound as far back as in the other songs I listened to. Too bad it’ll be a while before any new material comes out.
    Everlong – Foo Fighters – Another song that shows how great drums sound on these, and Grohl’s voice sounded nice, if not as pronounced as I would like. Maybe using an EQ to fix this may help.
    Papercut – Linkin Park: This song actually made me feel a bit confused. Excellent guitars and drum work, but it took a awhile for me to appreciate Chester’s voice work with these headphones. His voice sounded like Eminem in Fast Lane, a bit boring. I think burn-in helped with this, though.
    Conclusion: Are they worth 200$? In my opinion, yes. They sound like 200$, feel and look sturdy, and look fantastic. V-moda finally made a lifestyle headphone that sounds like its price should indicate.
    And that's my non-audiophile review of the M-80's.

      jude likes this.
  5. milosolo
    Great Portable Headphone!
    Written by milosolo
    Published Sep 18, 2011
    Pros - Balanced frequency response. Deep bass, airy soundstage, easy to drive, high quality materials, built like a tank.
    Cons - Headband needs adjusting for optimum comfort.
     consider these headphones in the same class and price range as the HD 25 ii. The packaging, hard case, high quality 1/4" adaptor, 2x Kevlar covered Cables, and headphones are all top-notch and appear very durable befitting their mil-spec rating. I have ~50 hours on them and they are still sounding better with use. I'm guessing that they will pretty much peak within the next 25-50 hours. I'm really liking these so far as an office/portable set to have in my work backpack. 

    Not unexpectedly they have a forward sound signature that is smooth, lush, and full bodied while still maintaining its composure across increasing volume settings. They are very balanced across the frequency range with a slight emphasis on the mid-range and great bass extension. I would recommend the m-80 for those looking for solid bass. The bass is really, really good. The m-80 has a moderately-wide sound stage with good air between instruments. Resolution has improved a lot during burn-in. 

    The m-80 is very easy to drive. I was surprised at how much volume was coming un-amped through my iphone. I have an Audinst HUD-MX1 portable amp/DAC for my home office and the m-80 are easily driven with the volume set between 9-12. Of course they sound great through my Schiit Lyr. The m-80 doesn't seem to be very picky about what is driving them. 

    This is my first on-ear headphone and I'm adjusting to the fit. They need a little more time on my head for final fitting adjustments to find the optimum fit. I am hoping that with additional wear time the ear cups will mold to my ear. I can easily wear them for 2+ hours at this point. I have a small-medium sized head so YMMV. 

    In the very beginning they didn't sound very special (no big surprise) so I just left them running unattended on Media Monkey for 25, now 50+ hours. Now that they are nearing more optimum SQ I will spend more time enjoying them. They are definitely keepers for me.
    1. milosolo
      Here is what V-Moda has to say about their Kevlar-reinforced cables and mil-spec rating:
      Military-Level Durability
      Military MIL-STD-810G and V-MODA's even tougher VMQA guidelines validate V-MODA's heavy duty testing. The Crossfade series is deployed in real-life military scenarios, as V-MODA is co-founded by active and former military personnel.

      MIL-STD-810G and V-MODA Quality Tests
      Cable/Plug Bend: Kevlar reinforced detachable cables and 45-degree plug strain relief can each bend over 1 million times, over 100x industry standardsConcrete Drop: Survives 70+ drops on concrete from 6 feet, approximately three times the industry standard (major functions operational)Headband bend: Bend 10+ times flat, not break and retain its memory and shape (view)Sound Variance: Virtually inaudible sound variances across the spectrum of less than 2dB from unit to unit versus 10-30dB+ of inferior productsMIL-STD-810G environmental: high and low temperatures, humidity, salt spray and UV exposure
      milosolo, Sep 18, 2011
    2. SemperMalum
      The Kevlar is totally necessary. -Totally-.
      SemperMalum, Sep 21, 2011