So if you’ve been following my reviews lately, you’ll know full well that I’ve been pushing out plenty of headphone reviews, which has given me a new perspective on sound. From Parrot’s Ziks to Monster’s DNA Pro 2.0s, I’ve been testing some of the best mid-priced headphones ($300-$500) on the market. For the most part, I’m very happy with over-the-ear headphones. I like my ears inside of the cups, so on-ear headphones have never been a consideration. When V-Moda asked me to test its V-Moda XS on-ear headphones, I felt it was a good time to give on-ear some consideration. Read on ahead for the full V-Moda XS on-ear headphones review.
- Type – On-Ear Supra-aural
- Frequency Response – 5 – 30,000Hz
- Sensitivity – 105 dB @ 1kHz 1mW
- Microphone Sensitivity – -42dB @ 1kHz
- Impedance – 28.5Ω
- Weight – 195g (headphone only)
- Plug – 45 degree, 24k gold-plated 3.5mm (1/8″) stereo
What’s In The Box
- XS Headphones
- Exoskeleton carry case
- Carabiner clip
- Durable SpeakEasy™ Microphone control cable
- V-CORK (2)
- V-MODA sticker
- Six-Star Service
First, the presentation of the V-Moda XSs is simply awesome. For a pair of on-ears the unboxing experience is top notch. The graphics on the outside of the box hint at what you expect inside, and in this case it’s no false advertising. Once you pull out the XSs and their Exoskeleton carrying case you’re pretty much holding quality in your hands. While the headphones don’t weigh a lot, they feel substantial in the hand for their light weight and size. Quality materials, like military grade steel and kevlar headphone cable, are instantly recognized and felt.
The cups fold up to fit into the Exoskeleton case and the hinges on these babies are just amazing. They are easy to operate but also ooze quality steel and butter-like movement. The cup pads are super soft and comfortable and feel nice against the ears as do the headband padding. The headband is also made of the same military grade steel but with a nice soft material surrounding it. V-Moda branding is subtle and out of the way, which is a sign the company is confident enough in its product that people will provide the buzz for them. These are V-Moda headphones, they don’t need loud branding because the customer’s word of mouth satisfaction is all they need.
Overall the design is very sleek, stealthy and fashionable. You can also swap out the fronts of the headphone covers, V-Moda calls them swatches, for different materials to change the look of the headphones. The XSs are some of the best designed headphones I’ve seen.
We covered some of this in design but it’s worth saying that the hardware here is made of superior materials. I was a bit skeptical before I received these headphones, that their build quality could justify the $200 price tag, but after just a few minutes of handling them, that skepticism was laid to rest. Overall, the hardware here is amazing. It features wonderful build quality, high-end materials and attention to detail is amazing. V-Moda also offers a deep level of customization from steel to gold so you can make these babies into your very own work of art.
Seriously surprised. This is my first experience with V-Moda so I am just finding out it has won awards for its sound quality. I love my over-ears for a few reasons, the main one being (depending on the quality) the cups keep the sound in and it doesn’t leak out giving me a better experience. With on-ears, though, I never used them. I assumed there would be some loss due to the cups resting on the ears and not over. Boy, was I wrong in this case. The quality of sound is amazing, I use Tidal HD to listen to music and listening to music with the XSs was a pure joy.
I had plans on giving these headphones to my daughter for her to use when I was finished testing these, but since testing them, these babies are staying with me for use when I want something small to take along with me. The sound is balanced without any fear of the drivers cracking or not being able to take what’s being thrown at them. For a pair of on-ears these babies sound almost as good as the Parrot Zik 2.0’s if not right up there with them. Overall the XSs are worth every bit of their base $200 price tag in the sound department.
On-ears were a category I stayed away from for fear their sound just wouldn’t hold water to the over-ears I cherish. V-Moda has changed my mind about on-ears, the XSs are simply an amazing pair of headphones. With deep customization, insanely high end materials used for construction and over ear sound quality the V-Moda XS headphones are worth every penny of that $200 base price. Be careful as you customize your headphones, the even higher quality materials like real Rose Gold will start adding up. The base $200 headphones are going to give you the same amazing sound the customization is awesome but it will run up the bill.