The headphone market is a literal sea of choices and the sound, quality, and cost run the gamut from $10 to over $10,000. Each price point is a category unto its own and it’s hard to separate the pricing tiers in a fair way as some headphones in a lower tier may sound as good as a pair in a tier above. So we try to review headphones by their individual use and performance with as little comparison as possible. V-MODA impressed the hell out of me the last time I reviewed them and I had high expectations this time around. Keep reading on for the full V-MODA Crossfade wireless review, a slick $300 pair of cups.
- Type – Over-Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
- Frequency Response – 5 – 30,000Hz
- Wired Latency – 0ms
- Bluetooth – Low-Power CSR BlueCore featuring Hi-Fi ACC+, ACC, MP3, SBC codecs and OTA Flash ROM upgradeable features
- Battery – Up to 12 hours music playblack (depending on volume/music)
- Sensitivity – 107 dB @ 1kHz 1mW
- Microphone Sensitivity – -42dB @ 1kHz
- Impedance – 30 Ω
- Weight – 292g (with standard aluminum shields)
V-MODA tends to favor that supercar design look in their products and you’ll find no complaints from me on that approach. The Crossfades are a chiseled piece of artwork that sit on your head. Materials are super premium using aluminum, soft padding, and plastics. The V-MODA design is just as much art as it is fashion which brings me to the customization aspect of the V-MODA Crossfade.
The company offers an array of customization options for the Crossfade’s ear shields and the prices and materials vary drastically. Your Crossfades come with standard aluminum shields but you can upgrade all the way up to gold and they 3D engrave the shields with your choice of design. You can choose to 3D print aluminum or fiber shields or upgrade all the way to platinum. The costs will vary on the material you choose anywhere from $450 to $27,000 for the platinum. At that point you’ll be paying more for the fashion aspect of these than the sound.
V-MODA also includes a hard carrying case they call the exoskeleton case and it is absolutely awesome. Most headphone makers include a soft pouch with their headphones, even higher end companies. But V-Moda went a step above to include a nice molded, slim carrying case that actually protects the headphones very well. Very well done!
V-MODA sent along the 3D printed fiber shields in white with our review sample and they’re really slick. So you can get extra shields at a decent cost or as an option without paying extra. It’s when you start going crazy in the precious metals category that you’ll start seeing the prices go up. Overall the design is awesome even with just the standard aluminum shields and upgrading to anything more is personal preference.
Ease Of Use
V-MODA has made these Bluetooth headphones a breeze to use. All of the controls are on the right ear cup and are easy to access. Pairing your device to the headphones is as simple as pushing the power button back for a few seconds to put the Crossfades into pairing mode. The volume up and down and pause buttons are easily accessed on the right ear cup as well. The microUSB charging port is on the left ear cup and the AUX port is at the bottom of the right ear cup. Overall the headphones are super simple to use but there is a detailed instruction manual if needed.
V-MODA sound is nothing short of awesome. I’m a huge fan of balanced sound; too much overpowering bass turns me off and unbalanced mids and highs make certain music sound horrible. V-MODA’s sound remains consistent across their product and the Crossfade’s sound is nearly perfectly balanced. There is an ever so slight leaning towards the low end with these but it’s subtle and not overpowering. I can handle the low end being a bit more aggressive so long as it’s not the star of the show.
Overall V-MODA is one of the best in the business at maintaining a balanced sound for all types of music to sound equally great. Master & Dynamic earned props from us for also being balanced. Other headphones use apps and equalizers to help you balance the sound to your preference and those are great but there’s something about just using a pair of headphones out of the box that are balanced well. Overall the Crossfades grab a 5 out 5 in the sound department.
I don’t use headphones to make phone calls very often but in the interest of testing these I used them a few times. Call quality was acceptable and the mic did better than my iPhone mic usually does. Reception was good and I had no issues at all. People could hear me clearly and I could hear them, passing grade in this category.
V-MODA advertises 12 hours of battery life dependent on volume and I was able to squeeze in around 10.5 hours of battery life. I tend to have my volume up a ways so I probably could have gotten better numbers but who wants to listen to jams at low volume?
Clocking in at $300 the Crossfades are priced reasonably considering the sound you’re getting from these wireless headphones. The Parrot Zik 2.0’s are a pair of my favorite wireless headphones and they cost more but the Crossfades perform on par with them. While the Zik’s have the addition of noise cancelling, I found the Crossfades did exceptionally well at blocking out distracting noise even without noise cancelling.
A combination of slick design, fashion and great sound. The V-MODA Crossfades are well worth the price tag on them and actually sound just as good as some headphones that are a price tier above. Sure these headphones are $300 but you’re getting some great stuff to go with it. The exoskeleton case is absolutely worth more in this package and I’m shocked the price tag isn’t higher because of it. If the Crossfade’s are a bit too pricey for you, I’d suggest looking at some of the company’s other offerings because V-MODA does sound really good.