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V-Moda Crossfade M-80 Initial Impressions/Review (Not chosen for the Sponsor Review, but bought a pair anyways)

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  1. SemperMalum
    Disclaimer: I wasn't chosen for the sponsor reviews, but I was hearing nothing but great things from other people, like Dsnuts. So, I decided to buy a pair and do one anyways just because I was impressed by Val's dedication and actually being involved with the Head-Fi community. So, here's the initial impressions from a complete nub. I was going to post this in the already established M-80 thread, but I felt the pictures made the post way too long, so decided to do a new thread.
    So, I ordered my set on the 18th, late at night. They were shipped according to UPS on the 19th by 12:00. I received them at 4:58 PM PST on the 20th. Your experience may vary, as I live in CA where they were shipped from, so it went through quickly for me. But, regardless, there was a tracking number on V-Moda's shop website (They don't tell you this; just check their website yourself, and you'll notice it updates on there. I received a response that the Custom Shields will take about 1-2 weeks, so I'll post a full review once I get those, and I've gotten used to these.)
    Packaging Impressions:
    The HEADFI code bonus came with an additional audio cable but I didn't receive the "Prototype" (The prototype was supposed to be the "Ear Armor: V-Moda Faders" which are tuned ear plugs, from what I gathered, for use at concerts) as originally noted. I'm not sure if I missed any updates on it, but instead of receiving the "Ear Armor: V-MODA Faders", I received V-Moda's Modaphones "Bass Freq". Doing some research on their website: https://shop.v-moda.com/p-173-bass-freq.aspx - This is what I received. Not sure whether it's really a bonus or not, but I guess if Val is checking the thread still, he'll see this.
    The overall packaging is very nice; from the ribbon you have to cut to the very heavy-duty carrying case, everything feels very solid, and like you actually got what you paid for. Very durable.
    Headphone Impressions:
    They appear much smaller than a lot of the photos really show. Each ear could probably fit easily into the palm of your hand. The metal shield is also much smaller than appearance, so hopefully any custom logos you submit will translate well on there. I'll have to reserve saying more about them when my custom shields come in. I was told that it would take probably 1-2 weeks, so I'll submit a full review once I receive them and actually have a chance to do a final impressions after running music through them. Wearing them felt very tight, but it's been addressed that you can stretch them out, and they'll fit better. The pads will eventually conform to your ears after extended usage.
    Sound Impressions:
    Probably the most important part, I'm -very- impressed with the sound. I'm not probably the most knowledgeable audiophile out there, but I've started to get into it, and I've auditioned numerous Grados, Sennheisers, Beats, Bose, and a few Ultrasones. I've gotten better with this new addiction of mine. So, with that said, I can honestly say that the sound quality is simply astonishing. The clarity is simply amazing; I thought I'd heard every single part of my music with my other sets of headphones, but I'm still coming across small details that I haven't picked up on. The mids are smooth and clear, yet allow both the bass and the highs to thrive. The highs very vibrant without being overbearing. The bass was punchy at first, but even after just a few songs, they gained a lot of impact which makes them an overall amazing package. They wouldn't necessarily be for a basshead, but there is definitely more than enough to satisfy my cravings until I go out and purchase an Ultrasone Pro 900 to satisfy that spectrum. Surprisingly, the isolation is also VERY solid. I can't really comment on sound leakage, as I've just been sitting by my computer and rocking back and forth in how much these headphones have surprised me.
    Specific Songs:
    The Who - Baba O'Riley (Amazing. Everything sounded smooth without being overwhelming.)
    ACDC - Back in Black (Originally, I thought the bass was punchy without impact. I changed my mind after I played this. I think it just needed a few songs to really start showing it's potential.)
    Outkast - Hey Ya! (This was the first song I played to try to test the bass, and originally it was punchy without any impact. Once everything loosened up, the bass gained a TON of impact, that make it amazing.)
    The Eagles - Desperado (I have a soft spot for this song. Even this song seemed to burst forward with the sound stage of the M-80's. It's like I was listening to something completely different.)
    Creedence Clearwater Revival - Have you ever seen the Rain? (Amazing.)
    The Beatles - Hey Jude (OHELLODERE, my ears just went to heaven.)
    Foreigner - I want to know what Love is (My music really just randomly chose this. Still, I was impressed. It handled the moody song very well.)
    Boston - More than a Feeling (Bassline was perfectly handled. Song sounded absolutely perfect.)
    R. Kelly - I Believe I Can Fly (Say what you want about R. Kelly and this song from Space Jam. It's still one of the best karaoke songs, ever, and it sounded amazing on the M-80's. I'm running out of adjectives.)
    Numerous other songs. ACDC - Highway to Hell, Guns & Roses - Sweet Child o' Mine, Lynyrd Skynyrd - Freebird, REM - Losing my Religion, Led Zeppelin - Kashmir, David Bowie - Changes, The Rolling Stones - Sympathy for the Devil, Killswitch Engage - This Fire, Cheap Trick - Surrender, Radiohead - Creep, etc. etc. etc. Everything has sounded amazing on them.
    Now for pictures:
    Ohaidere Bass Freq. Wasn't expecting you.
    Extra cables and some stickers. Nice.
    Very nice packaging.
    The very sleak, heavy-duty carrying case.
    Open package.
    Headband that stretches easily.
    Adjusts to fit on your head. Probably.
    The smaller shields. They really look much smaller than they do in most pictures.
    The total package. Seriously.
    All the music used during the intial impression phase was plugged directly through my computer and through my Samsung Vibrant running Spotify. Most tracks listed are either FLAC or 320kbps provided by my collection or Spotify.
    Seriously, I'm happy with my purchase. I'm bumping Justice - Genesis and it sounds amazing. The M-80's seem to be able to handle almost any genre with ease.
  2. IMAWolf
    Nice review! Thanks for taking one for the team. From your last picture the headband looks gigantic!
  3. SemperMalum
    They are absolutely huge. And it was initially a very tight clamp, but I stretched it out and it helped a lot. They feel very solid on my head. The headband is definitely way huge, but they're on-ear and would be a very fashionable portable set.
  4. Turbine Guy
    Hi, awesome first impressions. What's the "prototype"? And they sent you bassfreq IEM's instead of the faders? Hmmm..... Seems like they are currently out of stock for some of the freebies? I am still on the fence on whether i should get the V-80's or the M-80's. The M-80's are $30 more expensive than the V-80's, but the V-80's design makes me look like a trueblood-ian, which i am not. The dilema.....
  5. SemperMalum
    The "prototype" was the Faders. The Faders are supposed to be like tuned ear plugs that you use at a concert. Unfortunately, instead of the Faders, I got the IEMs instead. I haven't opened them yet, as I'm waiting to see if this was a mistake or if I should just live with them.
    If you haven't seen the sponsor thread, if you use the promotion code HEADFI, you can get the M-80's for $200 flat, as well as custom shields for the M-80 ($50 dollar value, along with $30 dollars off. So, the discount is like getting $80 off $280) Check their website and the sponsor thread. After purchasing the headphones, you're supposed to send the information to customs@v-moda.com and they're supposed to take 1-2 weeks. I believe the promotion is still available, until I'm told otherwise.
  6. dbdynsty25
    Not to mention if you buy them at Radio Shack or on Amazon (if in stock) they are $199 anyway.
    Nice review...matches up with my impressions from a few weeks ago when I purchased mine.  Awesome headphone.  Not sure what you guys mean by a massive headband...seems pretty thin and light to me.  Fits great...maybe I just have a big head (7 1/4 fitted).
  7. Dsnuts Contributor
    Great impressions. These are gonna be popular around here very soon if they aren't already.. We will see how the "chosen ones" see the headphone.
  8. SemperMalum
    Just comparing the entire headphones, the headband is the biggest part. The earphones are much smaller than most pictures show, not that it's a bad thing.
    And yeah, when those reviews start coming in, these should definitely start getting on people's radars.
  9. Extra
    Hmm, it seems a lot of people are having initial comfort issues with these. I haven't stretched them at all, yet they are are very comfortable for me at an hour long (longest I've had them on).
    Oh, and where does everyone let this sit on your ears? Odd question, I know, but I haven't used an on-ear in a long time, and I've been hearing different quality sound with it on different positions on my ear (Having the back of the ear cushion hardly touching the ear, having the back cushion actually sitting on the ear).
  10. MickeyVee
    Nice initial review.. pretty much spot on. Thanks!
    I ordered mine on the 7th, shipped on the 8th and received them today, the 21st.  Darn Canadian customs.. also had to pay taxes and a handling fee.. oh, well.
    I'm pretty much a Sennheiser guy running HD650's and HD25-1 II's.  These will be the competition for the HD25's.
    Out of the box, the M-80's need some break in, bass is muddy and mids are recessed.  This clears up even after 2 hours of break in. They're starting to sound tighter and brighter.  I'll let them run continuously for about 50 hours before I get critical.  
    I'll be testing them against my HD25's and my very first impression is that the HD25's are sounding thin compared to the M-80's. Scary but the signatures are similar with the M-80s being fuller and richer. The test setup will be a laptop with iTunes (Apple Lossless or iTunes 256AAC) into a FiiO E7 which has 2 sets of outputs. I can then directly compare.
  11. MickeyVee
    Redux.. with the iPhone4 & iPod Classic (rev 4.5, 30GB U2 Edition)
    OK.. maybe the standards are lower for portable use but the M-80's are awesome with my iPhone4 and iPod classic.  Just what I want for portable use, full bodied, good bottom end, read mids that can be appreciated.  Amazing on the go headphones. Again, similar sound signature to the HD25's but with greater/fuller body, weight and a little better impact.
    For the iPhone4, use the black, 3 button cable.. as much as I like the looks of the red cable (probably made for Android & Blackberry's) the controls are a little schizophrenic with the iPhone4.
    More to come as they break in. Just need to get past the fit thing (a little tight and yes, I have bent the headband.. it took about a month for the HS25's to become really comfy).  They're fully extended and I'm finding them a little fatiguing.  But that's after only about 3 hours of 'playing around'.
  12. SemperMalum
    I just used them to play Dead Island, and Deus Ex; they work great for playing games, too. I'm getting more and more impressed with them as time goes on. Once I get the custom shields, I'll do my full review on them.
  13. dbdynsty25
    Glad you guys are giving them a shot, especially those of you who purchased them (like me).  Just an outstanding headphone for the price and they can definitely compete with the big boys.
  14. roma101
    Can't wait to get my hands on these already. Nice impressions sempermalum!

    Someone mentioned that these can compete with full-size headphones - would you all agree? If that's true it's about time a company made a headphone that could. I don't know much about how drivers are built and all the technical details, but I just don't buy the fact that it is that difficult to give headphones with smaller drivers a decent amount of soundstage when iems are so small yet there are several that easily have wider soundstage than something like the hd25. And perhaps wider than the dt1350 since from what I read there's not much of an improvement on soundstage over the hd25. Can anyone also comment on the isolation vs. The hd25? Has anyone used them on a commute yet?
  15. kyuuketsuki
    I'd love to demo these. They sound amazing. If they are as good as people are hyping them up to be they'll easily be worth the $200 price tag. 
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