16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: V-MODA Crossfade M-100 Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Metal headphones - White Silver (Electronics)
This is my current timeline of Earphones/Headphones:
Shure SE310 Isolating Earphones (Lasted 10 Months before falling apart)
Ultimate Ears MetroFi 220 Earphones (Lasted 12 Months before falling apart)
Denon AH-C260 (Lasted 12 Months before falling apart)
V-MODA Crossfade M-100 (Current)
I used to buy Sound Isolating Earphones exclusively. I just did not see the point in buying headphones. They looked so bulky and cumbersome to carry around I did not believe they would be worth the effort. Sound Isolating Earphones are portable and convenient to carry around I just got used to the convenience of having them plus they are the best when it comes to sound isolating. However I was getting fed up of having to clean them all the time it does not matter how clean your ears are the silicone/foam pieces are going to get dirty eventually. I also found the build quality to be average at best. It was only a matter of time before they started to fall apart either the sound would go from one side or the whole thing would just get flimsy. On average they would last a year and then I would have to replace them. For the price I was paying for them I expected better.
The V-MODA Crossfade M-100's are the first pair of over the ear headphones I have ever bought for myself. I made the decision to buy headphones while watching the London 2012 Olympics and seeing all the athletes with their headphones on, some of them giving free publicity to a certain brand which everyone is familiar with! They are both a fashion statement and of course they sound good too. I took a gamble buying these headphones because I did not have a chance to try them out in store because right now they are not available in the UK. I bought them direct from V-MODA because amazon did not have the white colour in stock back then. I have owned these headphones for 9 days as I received them on the 18 January 2013. This has given me the chance to burn them in so now I can get the best out of them. It took a while for them to come because the demand is so high for them right now which is more than justified considering how popular they are. They were definitely worth the wait in my opinion.
Prior to purchasing these headphones I was debating between buying the Sennheiser Momentum, Logitech Ultimate Ears 6000/9000 and the Sony MDR1R NC. The decision was not easy to make because all of them are great headphones. Personally I just preferred the look of the M-100's especially the white one. It just had that cool cyborg look about it and the way the hinge works when it snaps into such a small form factor just sold it for me as well as the raving reviews here on amazon, head-fi and youtube.
Unboxing and First Impressions
The box is nice and minimalistic there is a red ribbon to cut before you can take out the contents. My first impression when seeing the M-100's was WOW! They have a real premium expensive look about them on first glance. I love the white colour! In my opinion design wise they can easily compete with the Dr Dre Beats range. These headphones can also have customizable shields which you can buy. So if you wanted to you could have any design you want and match it with your outfit although they already look fantastic! It comes with a 1 button mic cable, shareplay cable, 1/4 adaptor, V-Corks and a carry case. I have an android phone and the 1 button mic cable works with it which is great because usually only IOS devices are supported with audio products. The exoskeleton carry case is very cool it's amazing how these headphones can fit into such a small form factor. The small carry case even has room to hold all of the accessories! The V-Corks are for mixing two sources at the same time or combined headphones with other people. The can also be used to seal and protect the unused input which apparently improves the audio although I have not tried it.
The build quality is very good they say that it's built like a tank and tested Beyond Military-Level Quality MIL-STD-810G Test Standards. It feels very sturdy compared to a few headphones I have tried in the past which feel like they are going to break if you are not careful. V-MODA offers a 2 Year + Immortal Life 50% warranty which is apparently double the industry average.
I would say my ears are about averaged sized. The M-100's are pretty comfortable I would say. I can listen to them for hours without any fatigue or discomfort. The ear cups use memory foam so they adjust to your ear which is good for long listening periods. However the ear cups are not as big as other headphones so comfort will vary from person to person. The weight feels fine to me it's not too heavy on my head. I have to admit that I have felt some clamping force but that is usually after extended use. Some people have said that their ears get sweaty but I am yet to experience that. The headband can be bent outwards to get a better fit and more comfort but I am yet to try it. I would prefer not to risk damaging my new headphones even though I'm sure they could take it!
Personally I think that over ear headphones are better for your hearing anyway especially in extended usage scenarios. In ear earphones tend to hurt my eardrums after long listening periods even when the volume is normal and they tend to fall out every now and then. Over ears do not go inside of the ear so while the sound isolating might not be perfect it is less likely to cause fatigue.
I like to listen to music as much as everybody else but I would not call myself a true audiophile like so many professionals out there. My preference of music is Rap and Hip-Hip although I do listen to everything and did try out a variety of music during my burn in period. The M-100's biggest selling point is its bass and it most definitely does not disappoint there! I am a real bass head which is why I love these headphones so much but unlike the Dr Dre Beats range the bass is not completely overpowering there is a lot of clarity as well. All of my music sounds so much better I am listening to everything and hearing so much difference it's almost like having brand new ears and being able to experience life from a better perspective. The bass is there when it needs to be and when it's not required you get to hear the song and vocals with very good clarity.
The M-100's are so good that they can significantly improve the way you hear your music it's almost like having an orchestra in your head. They are so good that they will expose poor bitrate music for what it is so it's best to have high quality CD ripped music.
This was a very important feature for me it was one of the main decisions for me when buying headphones I did not want them to leak a lot of sound. The sound isolation is analogue which means there are no batteries or artificial processing to block out external noise which apparently changes the quality of the music. Instead V-MODA has designed them so that they limit sound leakage.
On extremely high volumes they definitely leak sound but then you should not be listening to music that loud unless you want to become deaf! For listening to music at normal volumes the sound leakage prevention seems to be fairly good. I have not tested this thoroughly although I have had some people say they can't hear what I'm listening to when they have been a few feet away from me. You need to be right up close to the headphones before you can hear any sound leakage it seems.
These headphones do NOT block out all sounds which means you will be able to hear what is going on in the outside world. That might be a problem for some people who would prefer to only hear the music and nothing else but for me this is not an issue. I like to be aware of what's going on outside so I don't come off as completely clueless it also makes them perfect for commuting because you don't have to worry about not hearing something important. With the headphones on and no music playing you can hear everything although it is quieter obviously. When you play music with the headphones on most of the outside noise gets blocked out. Depending on the volume you will hear pretty much all of your music with no distraction or background noise whatsoever even on normal listening levels. Sound isolation is not a problem at all.
The V-MODA M100's are one of the best purchases I have ever made they are a significant upgrade from my average Sound Isolating Earphones and were well worth the premium I spent on them. Build quality alone should ensure that they last a very long time. My only real issue is the clamping force which happens sometimes but not all the time. I think it depends on the way you adjust the headphones on your head and the length of time you wear them because I don't always experience it and when it does happen it is not bad enough for me to want to take them off my head straight away.
It's happened once when I felt like my ears were burning luckily that was a rare occurrence I have not had anything like that happen lately. I don't see this issue as a deal breaker in my opinion. The only other issue I have is that the white exoskeleton carry might get dirty easy which is to be expected, mine seems to have a few faded marks but again this is not a deal breaker the most important thing is the headphones and I am more than pleased with them.
I also like the fact that the headphone cables are made of Kevlar. This makes them very durable and strong they do not tangle easily. Also the cables are fully detachable from the headphones so if there is a problem with the cable you only need to buy a new one and not replace the whole headphones. It also means that if you accidently pull on the cable the headphones won't get damaged only the cable will come out.
These headphones have my seal of approval if you are looking for something that is fairly affordable, has amazing sound, great design and above average build then check out the V-MODA M-100!