Pros: Well built, good balanced sound but not exceptional, heavily discounted
Cons: Lacks proper high frequency response and detail, smallish earpads, a bit too small
After reading the favorable innerfidelity.com review, I bought these directly from V-MODA via their Private-Sale link. I requested an audio only cable instead of the microphone cable, but my request was ignored. The construction, materials and workmanship of these headphones is exceptional, and impressive compared to the mostly plastic headphones found in this price range. The cable is replaceable. The design is very attractive, but the V-80 and earpads are a bit too small. The earpads are hexagonal, and I prefer a round shape for on ear headphones, which are more comfortable. Even with the earpads fully extended, they only just fit my head, the clamping force is too high and they become uncomfortable after a short time. The sound quality is quite good with good defined bass, but in my admittedly short experience with them, the high frequencies lack clarity. V-MODA has a very generous 60 day return policy for headphones purchased from their website, so these are going back.
Pros: Outstanding build quality and accessories. Fairly balanced frequency response and good sound quality which improves with basic amping.
Cons: The lack of the usual treble peak makes the sound a bit dull for some.
After spending some time speaking to Val, the owner of V-MODA, in Tokyo, he send me a pair of these to evaluate and give feedback on. I reckon if Apple made headphones, they'd turn out something like these. The attention to detail in the design is fantastic.
After Tyll Hertsens wrote his review on InnerFidelity, I'm at a loss as to what I can usefully add to what has already been said by him, as well as everyone else.
The overall sound-signature isn't as bright as many other headphones, lacking the usual treble peak found between 6-10 kHz, so they sound, to me, a little "thick" and muffled. However, Val made an interesting point, that DJs who use models with that treble peak often end up losing their hearing in those ranges as DJs listen LOUD. So while the sound signature doesn't entirely agree with me, it does make sense for younger people who buy them who are likely to turn up the sound quite a bit more than I do now.
I did EQ in a treble peak in iTunes (on my Mac) or EQu on my iPhone to get an idea of their ability as headphones. Giving the 4, 8 and 16k sliders a bit of a boost helped especially with classical music which works better with brighter headphones.
While they sound good out of my iPhone they benefit from the use of an amp. I took them along with me with my Fostex HP-P1, which improved the sound noticeable, primarily in that some harshness that is present out of an iPod was no longer there. I'd say though that the Foxtex is overkill for them ($7-800 vs. <$200 for the M-80s). It'd be interesting to nail down where the price sweet-spot is with amping as I think my iPhone is fine as a source, just needs a bit better amping performance. My MacBook Pro, on the other hand, seemed about spot-on.
Back when I registered on Head-Fi, the pads on my MB Quarts had gone flat, so I was looking for a new pair of headphones. They had cost me almost exactly the amount you can buy the M-80s for. Listening with the M-80s out of my MacBook Pro now, I wish they had existed when I first joined, as for the music I liked then (pop, rock and the like) they are spot-on with sweet vocal performance for a relatively inexpensive pair of headphones.