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V-MODA is a company that understands style. The way they blend form and function makes their products look sleek and sexy, and the Crossfade M-80 is no exception. From the moment you cut the red ribbon to get into the box (yes, a red ribbon), you get the sense that these are headphones the celebrities wear. If you’d rather have a pair of headphones with noise-canceling technology, you should read our review of the Pioneer SE-NC21M noise-cancelling headphones. Alternatively, you may read our best over-ear headphones review.
I normally don’t wear headphones while I’m doing things other than writing. Typically if I’m out walking or at the gym, I stick to earbuds. They’re small and stay in the ears (for the most part), and have suited my needs fairly well. When I got a hold of a pair of Crossfade M-80s though, things started to change almost instantly.
Related: Our review team highly recommends the V-Moda Crossfade M-80 On-Ear Headphone review
There’s just something about them that screams “high fashion”, that you don’t normally see in a pair of headphones. For instance, the V-MODA Crossfade M-80s come with two different audio cords – one black and one red, so that you can color coordinate with what you’re wearing. It is overkill? Maybe, but it’s a feature that I haven’t seen another headset use before.
On those cords are your standard three-button “remotes”, that let you change the volume levels and pause or play music without having to pull your mp3 player or phone out of your pocket. Unfortunately, on the rear of these remotes is where the directional mic lies. I say it’s unfortunate, because it picks up pretty much any movement that you make, but it had a hard time picking up your voice unless you yell. It’s really just not as useful as it comes, and with a high-end piece of hardware like this, I would expect something a little better. However, if you’re not planning on using them to take calls, then you’ll be fine.
Related: Looking for a more powerful headphone? Check out the V-Moda Crossfade M 100 Metal Over-Ear Headphones review
Similar to the Able Planet PS400 stereo headphones, the Crossfade M-80 headphones themselves are ultra-sleek and stylish – whereas other headphone manufacturers like to make their ear cups bigger (I’m looking at you Luda), V-MODA realizes that smaller can be sexier – and these things are small.
For a pair of on-ear headphones, the Crossfade M-80s barely cover your ear, which is good because it lets the sides of your ear breathe. Does that mean you can hear your mic through the headphones? We are not fully certain. However, the material that the cups are made out of doesn’t let air flow easily at all, so any extra chance to get air to your ears is welcomed after any amount of time over an hour.
While the V-MODA Crossfade M-80s may be small in scale, the sound output easily measures up to much larger headphones. I normally listen to music on my iPhone, and iDevices are notorious for how badly they treat bass. With these headphones on though, I never noticed anything lacking. I watched an episode of Game of Thrones with them on (my Galaxy tab), and the sound was easily as clear as my home setup (although not in 7.1). Videos and plain music alike produced the same results: loud and clear bass lines and lows that never were too overpowering, crisp highs that were pleasing to the ears, and rich mids that complimented everything.
Another nice feature that comes with the Crossfade M-80 headphones, is the inclusion of a hard shell carrying case. Since I generally leave my headphones in my Cocoon now, it’s nice that they come with this case that stores everything neatly. It’s also extremely durable, which you’ll feel the first time you pick it up.
It’s no secret that V-MODA products are durable though – they come with one of the best warranties in the headphone world to prove the point. They come standard with a two-year warranty, but then add on top of that what they call an “Immortal Life Replacement Program”. What that means, is they’ll cover up to 50% of the cost for you to replace them in case it was an “operator error” that causes a malfunction. That really says a lot to me about the way they feel their product will hold up.
While the price point is a bit high for my liking (especially for them not even being 5.1 surround), the materials used in construction could be a valid excuse/reason for that. In the end, even with a piss poor mic, I highly recommend these to anyone looking for a new pair of on-ear headphones. I give the Crossfade M-80 by V-MODA a final rating of four and a half stars out of five.
You can pick up a pair of V-MODA Crossfade M-80s from the V-MODA store for $229.99