Over the past several months, I had the privilege to test drive V-Moda’s flagship headphones, the Crossfade M-100s. With editors’ choice awards from many major publications, plus rave reviews all over the internet, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Here’s what I found.
The designers at V-Moda were very generous when it came to deciding what to include in the box with the M-100s. Even the packaging itself is very creatively designed, with a red ribbon that you have to cut to get into the box, and a leather carrying handle on top.
But the surprises don’t stop when the box is opened. Inside, I found a very nice hard shell storage case. This case zips up to snugly protect the headphones and cables. I tested the durability of this case by placing it in the bottom of a gig bag, and after several trips, the headphones were more than adequately protected. This is a nice upgrade over many other headphones in this price range, which only include a soft bag that doesn’t do much in terms of protection.
Also included in the box is a SpeakEasy cable, which has an in-line microphone and button. The button allows control of several smartphone and tablets, including Apple, Android, Windows, Kindle and Blackberry models. While this cable has little use for DJs, it is nice to be able to use a personal electronic device with these headphones outside of DJing.
A SharePlay cable is also included. This cable basically acts as a splitter, allowing the user to share music with others, or DJ tandem without adapters. A DJ-essential, high-quality, gold-plated mini-to-1/4″ adaptor is also included in the package.
The provided M-100s also came with the CoilPro cable. This optional accessory upgrades the standard cloth cable included with the headphones to a high-quality Kevlar-reinforced coiled cable with a 1/4″ adapter, designed for DJs and musicians. Featuring TwistLock Technology, the cable locks into the headphones to ensure that it never untethers. The coiled cable stretches from 47 inches to 12 feet in length. In testing at several gigs, it quickly became clear that this cable is an essential for DJs.
V-Moda also sent along an optional BoomPro mic. This boom mic attaches to the headphones and integrates a decent quality microphone into the headphones. It’s designed for gamers, but in a pinch it could serve as a good emergency back-up microphone.
The V-Moda Crossfade M-100s that I tested came in an attractive matte-black finish. Other available colors include Shadow and White Silver. The faceplates on the earpieces are unique, as they can be ordered in a variety of different colors, ranging from croc skin red to brush metal. One unique customization feature is that the side plates can also be custom ordered with text or a design on the sides. The company or personal brand logo can be uploaded right on the V-Moda website, and at no additional charge, added to an order.
V-Moda boasts that their M-100s feature a 50mm dual-diaphragm sound driver. With separate inner and outer rings, bass is prevented from bleeding into mids and highs. The headphones also feature analog noise isolation, blocking out sound without using batteries. In my testing, these headphones sounded truly wonderful in almost any situation. From airplanes to behind the DJ booth, these headphones never failed to perform beautifully.
The headphones fit nicely on the head, and are a comfortable fit at that. Of course, for the working DJ, these headphones will be on and off so many times that comfort is probably an afterthought. It is still worth noting, however, that V-Moda has filled the earpieces with BLISS Memory Foam. These cushions are designed to naturally adapt to your ears. The adaptation not only makes the headphones comfortable, but also cancels out outside noise very successfully. The headphones also fold nicely into themselves to fit into the included case. This saves space in our gig bags.
One complaint I had was that the earpieces do not flip back completely. Looking at the design of the headphones, they appear to flip back, but the cable limits the rotation to about halfway. It would be nice to add this capability in the future, because many DJs enjoy flipping one earpiece back, and placing it to their ear instead of putting the headphones over their head.
The M-100s were clearly designed with durability in mind. In fact, V-Moda claims that they can survive over 70 drops on concrete from a six-foot height. The Kevlar-reinforced cable has been designed to bend over 1 million times without shorting. And the headband can bend flat 10 times without deformation. I didn’t personally verify all these claims, but I can say that in the 5+ months I’ve had these headphones, they are well-built and don’t have that cheap feeling that so many other brands have these days. With a steel frame and the included protective case, I see no reason why these headphones would not serve the user faithfully for many years to come.
With an MSRP of $310, the V-Moda Crossfade M-100s are a serious contender among other headphones in the same price range. The headphones come with a two-tear warranty, plus an “Immortal Life” 50% guarantee. This means that if in 10 years from now you manage to accidently damage your headphones, V-Moda will give you 50% off a new set.
With high overall build quality, ability to customize the side plates, outstanding warranty, high sound quality, and superior noise cancelling ability, I believe the V-Moda Crossfade M-100s should be strongly considered as a DJ’s go-to pair of cans.
Filed Under: Issue #154
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