Headphones can be crucial to an enjoyable audio experience. But some can cost over $400, and have special features that really only apply to a select group of people. The V-MODA M80 Vocal headphones strike a nice balance between price, and performance, and are a logical choice for almost any music lover.
The M80 Vocal headphones are clearly marketed as a high-end product. Everything from the product photos, to the V-MODA website, and the actual box, portray them as a high-end product. And for the most part, they are. They’re designed to bring out the vocals in songs, but balance all the audio to sound clear and high-quality. The M80 Vocals are currently running for about $90 on Amazon, and have been the best headphones I’ve ever been able to use.
V-MODA is all about design. Everything from the case (and box) to the headphones themselves is well thought out, and designed really well. The box has a top “door” of sorts, which buttons shut, and then the headphones are in a case inside. There’s some documentation, but nothing really noteworthy. Still, the awesome unboxing experience was a bonus, and is comparable to the Beats unboxing experience. That said, I would take these anyday over the Beats.
Moving on, the carrying case that is included is constructed out of decent-quality hard plastic, and lined with a red fabric on the inside. Subtle patterns on the case, and the bumped out space for the headphones, make it look and feel really nice, and the inside is perfectly made to fit the headphones, and leave me without the fear of them getting damaged. Depending on the color you choose, the case matches the headphones. Inside is also elastic bands weaved together, to hold the headphone wire. I thought this was simply the coolest thing ever, since it’s much nicer than most mesh pockets on other cases. The thing that surprised me the most was the included carabiner, and the fabric ring on the case to put it on. The zippered case is really nice, especially since it was included.
Now the headphones. From a design perspective, they’re really nice. The material is flexible, and fits almost any head shape. The earpieces extend, again to make it fit everyone perfectly. The metal used to hold the earpieces on feels nice, and the padding on the head and ear pieces is really soft, but stiff enough to keep the shape and not press against your head. The accents on my black and red unit were red, and made the unit look awesome. The metal backings are also replaceable, and can be engraved, which is pretty cool if they’re a gift, for a company, or you just want custom designs on your headphones.
Using the V-MODA M80 Vocal Headphones
The M80 headphones are on-ear. Personally, I thought I preferred over-ear, but these have been great. They’re relatively compact, and very comfortable. Since I use them primarily for video editing, I appreciate the noise-isolating design. It blocks out sound, but is not actively cancelling it. I also appreciate the lightweight design, and the comfortable padding, making it possible to edit video for eight hours without needing to remove them. To move around, the case was perfect.
The next thing for usage is the cord. It detaches from the headphones (so it’s replaceable, in theory), and is a topic of discussion in itself. The 3.5mm jacks are gold-plated, to maximize quality. To the average user, it doesn’t make a difference, but for the audiophile music enthusiasts, it’s nice to have. There’s also one button in the cord, and a mic. The microphone is exceptional, and placed well to hear you. The button is a single button, not three like the apple headphones (though a version with three buttons is available for quite a bit more) and controls play/pause, as well as activating S Voice on Samsung phones, and most likely Siri, though I have not been able to test that. The cord is also encased in a rope-like material, not plastic. In fact, the material is Kevlar. Those of you who don’t know what Kevlar is, it’s a fabric that is often bulletproof, and can be used to make boats. Pretty tough stuff, especially for a headphone wire. This gives it a longer lifespan, and a nicer feel as well. Finally, the cable end is at 45 degrees, unlike most headphones that the connector is straight. This angle makes it a little harder for me to connect to my desktop, in my opinion, but isn’t a bad feature. V-MODA does provide some reasons for it, which make sense, but I just don’t see the point in my applications.
Sound Quality is spectacular. Seriously, V-MODA did a fantastic job making these headphones. The drivers (speakers) are closer to the ear than most others, which is the whole V-MODA concept on most of their headphones. Speaking of the drivers, they simply blew me away. They’re so compact, but they push out crystal-clear audio. I tried it out with my Zoom H4n recording High Fidelity Audio, and it was astonishing. The range on the V-MODA is 5Hz to 30KHz. The average human can hear 20Hz to 20Khz, and most headphones are within that range. The V-MODA go a step further, and offer that extended range – which also means no distortion in the normal range.
The quality is great, even at loud volumes, regardless of the source. For any audio enthusiast, they’re sure to enjoy it. It’s also extremely impressive for the low price-point.
The build quality is great as well. The headband is steel, but made to be flexible. This ended up being true, as I can bend it in any way and it immediately pops back into the original shape when released. The memory foam padding on the ears is durable, and hasn’t shown any signs of wear and tear in the 8 months I’ve been using these. And if they do get damaged, they are replaceable. The actual headphone material is plastic, but it looks like metal, and overall adds to the look and feel.
One part that I wasn’t too thrilled about was the fabric over the drivers. Possibly it’s just this model, but it seemed a little loose. Not to the point where it would fall off, I just thought it was a little flimsy. But since you never contact, or look at these parts, it was fine. In summary, the build quality is great, and certainly exceeded my expectations for the low price point (for what these are, granted $90 is a lot out of context).
Some minor complaints
So far I’ve had mostly good things to say. But nothing is perfect, and this applies to the V-MODA too. Figuring out which side is left, and which is right, takes a second. I the sides are labelled right above the earpieces, and the cable is always on the left. Still, I really would like the labels to be on the fabric over the drivers (like printed on the fabric) in large text, so it’s hard to miss.
That and the fabric over the drivers are my only complaints.
Okay, if I haven’t made it clear enough, I love the V-MODA Crossfade M80 Vocal headphones, even though the name is a mile long. Seriously, for $90, the sound quality, and product design and build quality, cannot be beat. V-MODA is also really well known for their other headphones, so be sure to check out their other models if you’re looking for a certain type. I’d give them a 5 out of 5 easily, though there is still room for improvements. That aside, these are the Best Value for Headphones that I know of.
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