Odds and Ends 

V-Modas Crossfade II are the all-around headphones I didnt know Id like, but with a catch

V-Moda has been making audio hardwaresince 2004, but the CrossfadeII is only their second over-ear Bluetooth pair. It maintains the staple traits of V-Moda audio gear: nicebuild quality, hexagonal ear cup design and a balanced, but deep and powerful sound profile.

But its alsoweird: The black versionseen here doesnt support aptX only the rose-gold version does. A quick refresher for you: aptX is a codec that significantly improves wireless sound quality, to the point where some picky audiophiles might choose hardware with it over that without it.

In short, V-Moda might have a deal breaker, something more than a catch, whichrestsentirely on which color you choose.

Price as reviewed: $330 at V-Moda

That is nuts.

Listening in

Its not very often that I can say Im 90 percent satisfied with a headphones sound profile. Some of my benchmark songs included Kanye Wests Everything I Am, Calvin Harris with Heatstroke, Frank Sinatras Young at Heart and, last but not least, the dimension-altering orchestral From Past to Present by Jeremy Soule, fromthe oldSkyrim soundtrack.

Throughout all of those songs, with an attentivepair ofears, you can pick apart the melody or beat from the vocals. Its more a feeling than understanding the layers of sound and just letting it play through it feels incredible.

Bass is deep and rich but easily discernible from raspy to high-pitched vocals. The mids are present throughout an entire track, but never take front stage, which is personally how I prefer to listen to music. Its worth noting that even though the CrossfadeII is a pricey bit of hardware, it doesnt include noise-cancellation, which does have a slight impact on sound quality.

Regarding design: High build quality isnt indicativeof something beautiful. Neither is the V-Modas $330 price. That is to say, the CrossfadeII isnt as elegant a piece ofhardware as Bang & Olufsen, harmon/kardon, Master & Dynamic or Beyerdynamic have put out in recent years you get the idea.

Although you can remove the plates on the ear cups and buy replacements in a variety of colors and patterns, meaning that these headphones are customizable. In an odd way, this makes up for the lack of aesthetically pleasing design.

However, I give V-Moda full credit for the CrossfadeIIs portability; folding them up and throwing them into the carrying case shrinks their footprint considerably. Similarly, I have to applaud V-Modas decision to stick with physical and dedicated play/pause and volume up/down keys. Touch-sensitive controls on headphones are still hit-and-miss, so it makes sense they went with what actually works.

Now, if youre like me, you never recharge your headphones until they die on you. In the CrossfadeIIs case, this is often around the 13-hour mark, which is close to V-Modas suggested 14+ hours, but is also shorter than the 20-hour mark Ive been seeing in similarly specced over-ear headphones.

Bottom line

In the end, you get everything you need: a banging pair of headphones, a carry case with carabiner, charging cable and a hi-res 3.5 mm audio cable . After all, no matter how incredible or expensive a pair of headphones can be, good listening habits or sound production talentsare not included.

While the V-Modas audio prowess is strong, consistent and fittingfor music production, listening and gaming, a small part of me feels that getting the non-aptX version (for the same cost) is making a mistake; muchlikerestricting aptX to the rose-gold version.

Thats why Id investin an all-around solid pair of headphones, sort of like these. I just hope you like rose gold.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/01/v-modas-crossfade-ii-are-the-all-around-headphones-i-didnt-know-id-like-with-a-catch/

Related posts