Review: V-MODA Crossfade Wireless Headphones

Review: V-MODA Crossfade WirelessHeadphones

The V-MODA Crossfade Wireless ($300) is an impressive pair of Bluetooth headphones with exceptionally hi-definition audio and the convenience of wireless listening enjoyment. They are considered by headphone aficionados to be the best wireless headphones for DJs, gamers, audiophiles and anyone who wears their headphones for long stretches and demands optimum audio quality.

When I really want to test a pair of headphones, especially ones with such a solidly established reputation as being perfect headphones for the core gamer, I'll use them to play Vainglory, a highly competitive mobile game that I've logged many thousands of hours playing. It's one of the few iOS games that demands such a high level of concentration and in-game communication and having a high-quality pair of headphones with crisp acoustics and excellent microphone pick-up makes all the difference in the world when it comes to immersing oneself in such an intensive gaming experience. So the fact that the Crossfade Wireless have become my go-to pair of headphones speaks volumes for their performance and integrity.

The Comfort Factor

Right out of the box, the Crossfade Wireless are a remarkably comfortable pair of headphones. They should conform to most head sizes and ear shapes with a snug and luxurious fit. I, however, have large ears and I tend to be rather particular about what constitutes comfort. For me, I needed to use V-MODA's XL ear cushions to really perfect the comfort experience with these cans. Once I'd installed those, which was an easy, snap-on procedure, they fit fantastically. There's nothing like having your earlobes compressed against a headphone's speaker driver for hours on end to make for an uncomfortable gaming experience and potentially lead to a splitting headache; and with the XL cushions that problem was solved, allowing me and my big ears to enjoy extended listening sessions with zero discomfort.

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Theses headphones are sleek and lightweight with ample padding where called for, and whether you opt for the standard size ear cushions or the larger XLs, the patented BLISS memory foam padding delivers outstanding comfort and wearability, while also providing superb passive noise isolation.
 

Precision Audio

The Crossfade Wireless headphones sport massive 50 mm Dual-Diaphragm drivers and a 5 - 30,000 Hz frequency response for spectacular audio amplification and expansive detail. Their sound reproduction is impressive, if listening to live music, you'll feel as if you were actually there in the audience. You'll get about 12 hours of wireless playback from a full charge, and if your battery is low, a 30-minute quick charge will get you up to 3 extra hours of playback. V-MODA states that this is its best sounding pair of Crossfade series headphone yet, and I'd have to agree, and this before even taking into consideration its near perfect quality Bluetooth audio. With recent advances in Bluetooth technology the difference in audio performance between wired analog mode and wireless Bluetooth digital signal is almost indistinguishable. The Crossfade's Bluetooth reception supports Apple's CD quality AAC audio codec, as well as the common standard MP3 format audio. 

Durability and Design

The Crossfade Wireless boast a number of attributes that make them some of the toughest and most dependable headphone's you'll find. Among other things, they are immune to the rigors of saltwater spray, they have a virtually indestructible steel headband that has been tested to gracefully handle being stretched flat up to 10 times and the rugged cable that comes with the Crossfade Wireless have been tested to withstand being bent double, over a million times, without sustaining damage. These are one of the few on-ear or over-ear headphones to surpass the rigorous Military Standard rating (MIL-STD-810G) for heavy-duty ruggedness and durability. Basically, in a nutshell, you can beat the heck out of these cans and they'll continue to provide you with exemplary performance.

In terms of design, the Crossfade Wireless have a sleek and attractively modern look, incorporating strong steel and plush padding. The controls for Bluetooth use are discretely but accessibly located towards the top of the right earcup. The ability to customize the fit of these headphones with the XL ear cushions ($20) and personalize them even further with the addition of complimentary 3D-printed earcup shields, makes these a premium pair of headphones that any audiophile, pro-gamer or professional DJ should be proud to wear. In fact if you want to go all out, you can even get your precision sculpted shields in stainless steel, gold-plated, or luxury precious metals ($100 - $40,000), with designs that you crate from V-MODA's selections or with your own uploaded monogram or logo.

 

Pros:

  • Arguably one of the toughest, most rugged pairs of over-ear headphones in the market. If you're looking for a pair of headphones that will last for a good many years, these are the ones.

  • High level of customization potential, including meticulously sculpted earcup shields and optional, larger ear cushion sizes for those with larger ears.

  • The entry-level, 3D-printed shields for the Crossfade Wireless are, for a limited time, available at no extra charge. When ordering the Crossfade Wireless, the V-MODA website will carefully guide you through the process of designing the shields and they are very helpful in terms of giving feedback as to what will or won't work for your custom carved design.

  • V-MODA offers an outstanding satisfaction guarantee; with a 60-day "test-drive" period, a 1-year premier warranty and the V-MODA Immortal Life Program where you get 50 percent off of any replacement pair, at any time.

  • The box includes a virtually unbreakable headphone audio cable with in-line mic, as well as a stylishly contoured, hard-shell carrying case for protection.

 

Cons:

  • A twist-lock headphone attachment point, where the headphone cable attaches to the earcup would be useful. It could benefit from a way to keep the headphone cable attached to the earcup, even when jostled or yanked. This isn't relevant when the headphones are in Bluetooth mode, but for gamers using V-MODA's BoomPro ($30) microphone cable, the last thing on Earth you'd ever want to have happen is for the cable and mic  (which is relatively heavy as far as headphone cables go) to become inadvertently detached in the middle of the action, especially if you're in a pro or semi-pro tournament!

  • A gimbaled joint where the earcup attaches to the headband is, in my opinion, the Crossfade's missing link for maximum comfort. The trade-off would undoubtedly be their high level of ruggedness and durability. I get that, but if V-MODA could figure out a way to do this without sacrificing rugged integrity, the added flexibility and custom conformity of a gimbaled earcup joint would do much to make these some of the most comfortable headphones on the market.

Final Verdict:

I highly recommend the V-MODA Crossfade Wireless. In particular, if you are a professional musician, DJ, or gamer, or a dedicated audiophile, they are the best wireless headphones for your needs and a sensible and worthy investment. Additionally, V-MODA's complimentary (or premium) 3D-printed earcup shields are great if you have a logo or design you want to show off. I feel confident in saying that anyone who is inspired by this article to pick up a pair of the Crossfade Wireless, will be ecstatic with their purchase.

 A Virtually Indestructible Premium Audiophile Headphone

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Dig Om's picture

As Senior Gear Editor at iPhone Life, Dig reports on the latest and greatest accessories built for the iOS ecosystem. From rugged gear and Bluetooth speakers, to headphones, unique iDevice cases, and iOS remote controlled vehicles, Dig's articles cover a wide range of great gear for the iPhone and iPad. A core gamer for over three decades, Dig also writes iPhone Life's Game Centered column, which focuses on the best iOS games and game related news. Additionally, Dig's company, iDoc Tech Support, offers web design and administration services as well as iPhone and iPad repairs. When not at his work desk, Dig loves spending time with family and enjoying the wonders of nature. You can follow him on Twitter @idoctech