In the upper echelons of the headphone hierarchy, finding a place as an up-and-coming brand is delicate endeavor. However, V-MODA found success with their M-80 model, and seems likely to do an encore with the Crossfade M-100. Today, we’ll be doing a V-MODA Crossfade M-100 review to see if they’re nearly as good as their reputation suggests. Could these solidify V-MODA’s place in the premium headphones scene? Let’s take a closer look.
Before starting our V-MODA Crossfade M-100 review, there are a few things that we need to explain. To select the best wired headphones, we believe that the most important details are:
Above anything else, wired headphones need to deliver rich and soulful tones to justify their existence. They aren’t as practical as wireless headphones, which means they need to perform significantly better. The driver’s size plays a big role, but other details like tuning and isolation are important as well. In most cases, you won’t know how good a headphone set is until you’ve tried it yourself.
Additionally, their their range also needs to be considered to ensure a good performance in the higher and lower ranges. If these elements are well-balanced, the result should be a pleasant and consistent performance.
From the start, you’ll have to decide between over-ear, or circumaureal, and on-ear (supraureal) headphones. This is a matter of preferences, given that both approaches have their merits and shortcomings. For instance, over-ears are usually more comfortable to wear for long periods, but they often make your ears sweat. On-ear headphones, on the other hand, are typically lighter and breathe well, but don’t seal tightly enough.
Nevertheless, there are both on-ears and over-ears that are quite proficient at dealing with those common issues. However, these are commonly found among the upper-range models, which implies a more significant investment.
Asides from ensuring a smooth sound and fit, there are other matter to consider when buying a headset. The cord’s length and plug should be adequate for the setting in which you’ll use the headphones, for one. Likewise, features like single or dual microphones, noise-canceling, or similar additions are valuable as well.
Furthermore, including proprietary software that allows users to tinker with the sound is somewhat common among the high-end alternatives. The inclusion of protective carrying cases, however, is almost mandatory if you’re spending over $150. The case’s quality, unfortunately, often leaves a lot to be desired, particularly in the cheaper alternatives.
Given their great reputation among audiophiles, we were very eager to get our hands of the M-80’s larger cousin. However, to write an honest V-Moda Crossfade M-100 review, we couldn’t let our expectations get in the way. We decided, then, that a methodical approach was in order. Clear-headed, we sat down to meticulously test the M-100’s, and our experience went as follows:
V-MODA is among the most popular brands between music industry professionals, like DJs, producers and the like. Their M-80’s were widely acclaimed, with a solid acoustic performance all-around, and the M-100’s needed to take things even further. Surprisingly, they managed quite well, with an unprecedented audio delivery that feels at home in any recording studio.
The Crossfade M-100 headphones capture an outstanding amount of detail thanks to their 50 mm double diaphragm drives. Their prowess in lower ranges is praiseworthy, with deep yet tight lows taking the main stage confidently at times. Similarly, the middle and higher ranges are very good at rounding their performance as a whole.
Their sound never feels too thin, and the tone is clear and lively in pretty much any scenario. However, the M-100’s perform slightly better with bass-driven genres, although just barely so. In that regard, they’re fairly well-balanced, which makes them appropriate for tasks requiring high fidelity.
Just looking at the size of the box they came in, we figured they’d be slightly big. However, once we put them on, the size and weight felt right, not even mildly burdensome. At 280g, they aren’t lightest headphones available, but that’s mostly because they’re very tough.
The cans, fixed within a metal frame, have a stylish hexagonal shape with soft edges that’s bold, but not aggressive. In the cans, you also have the metal shields firmly held in place by a very noticeable set of bolts. Nonetheless, this small detail compliments their appearance nicely, particularly in the M-100’s white model. In general terms, they feel and look like a premium set of headphones should.
Additionally, the V-MODA M-100 folds nicely into a neat bundle that you can fit in the included exoskeleton carry case. The amount of space they take when packed is surprisingly small, which we found very useful when moving around the city.
It takes a lot of meticulous product development to compete against top brands like Beats and Bose. In accordance, these V-MODA headphone are the physical embodiment of attention to detail. From the padding to last bit of cord, everything seems conveniently arranged to ensure a smooth experience.
For instance, the input cables are detachable 3.5 mm plugs that you can connect on either one of the cans. One of the included cables, the SpeakEasy, has a mic, while the SharePlay cable has a standard audio output. Both are Kevlar-reinforced, and among the best one’s we’ve had in our hands. And, if you’re worried about leaving the other can’s input exposed, you can seal it plugging the included V-CORKs.
Another example of this is the option to buy a bundle with XL padding for the comfort-oriented kind. Although these aren’t uncomfortable, allowing you to take that to its highest level speaks well about V-MODA’s commitment.
The V-Moda headphones are well-known for their bold style and quality, and the M-100 aren’t an exception. Their sturdy construction, with big over-ear cans and surrounding protective shields, is sure to catch some attention. As you would expect, they feel slightly heavy, although comfortable, and certainly expensive. Overall, they seem to be made to last above anything else, which is something we don’t see too often in headphones.
Nonetheless, the V-Moda Crossfade M-100 set themselves apart from the other premium alternatives by any means necessary. Their focus on resilience is noteworthy, easily outlasting the toughest competitors in the market. All high-stress areas of the device have been reinforced, mostly using lightweight metallic compounds, and you can tell the difference. In the same way, the cans have great shields that are interchangeable with other models, sold separately. Thanks to this, the M-100 are perhaps the most durable headphones we’ve tested recently.
V-MODA has facilities in many of the world’s greatest cities. Most of their products are conceived in their Hollywood headquarters, and then designed in their Milan facilities. Additionally, they have offices situated in Hong Kong and London as well. Custom products are assembled in California, although most units come from their Japanese factory.
What DJs use V-MODA headphones?
Many huge names in the music industry wear V-MODA’s headphones either as endorsement or personal preference. Perhaps the biggest of them all is Martin Garrix, sporting custom V-MODA’s Crossfade M-100 on-stage frequently. However, others such as Dimitri Vega and Like Mike have been seen wearing the same model in their performances. The Chainsmokers, as well, are particularly fond of the M-100’s.
Are V-MODA headphones good?
V-MODA headphones are among the best alternatives for music listeners of any kind. Although they’re leaning towards the expensive side of the spectrum, their performance is on par with the best. They’ve slowly found their place between the biggest brands in the game, which is no small feat. To date, they’re still trusted by many music industry professionals due to their great longevity and superb sound.
Despite their slight focus on durability, V-MODA made sure that the M-100 were a well-rounded package. They are tough, but that wasn’t the first thing we noticed while writing our V-MODA Crossfade M-100 review. If anything, they’re a stylish choice with great sound and a comfortable fit above anything else. Overall, the M-100 delivers on all of its promises, and at that point the price tag becomes easier to ignore.
Obviously, a great deal of consideration went into every aspect of their strong yet easy on the eyes design. Although their pricing might be mildly restrictive, these won’t let you down shall you decide to give them a try. We were very pleased with the M-100’s performance, and you will likely find them praiseworthy as well
For more great reviews and product insights, make sure you visit us at Red Diamond Audio or connect with us on social media!