Los Angeles, CA (FOX11) - There are quite a few wireless headphones coming to market from various manufacturers. With Bluetooth codecs like AptX, which allow for some pretty solid sound reproduction, it just makes sense. For those who may not be audiophiles but do have a preference for high bit rate audio files, is this wireless rush worth the extra cost? Taking a listen to V-Moda's new Crossfade Wireless headphones, and looking at the flexibility they offer, the answer to that question should be abundantly apparent pretty quickly.
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Cracking open the box of the V-Moda Crossfade Wireless shows you just how much attention to detail, and their customers, they've put into their products. At this price point, I'm often disappointed when I open up some new headphones and see only a soft bag to keep them in when not in use. Not so with V-Moda! The Crossfade Wireless comes with a rigid hard case sculpted to fit the headphones, but with enough space for necessary accoutrement. In this case, that means you can also fit the charging cable, auxiliary headphone cables, and a handy panel that has velcro on one side and organizer straps on the other. The case itself has three loops along the edges so that you can use the included carabiner to attach to a backpack or whatever other bag you're carrying.
So, open up that hardcase and what will you find? If you're at all familiar with the line, you'll notice their signature metal headband which is shaped so the headphones stay close to your head, creating a low profile. The headband has some padding on the underside for comfort though the way the headphones fit, I didn't feel the headband much against my head at all. Next, you'll notice the metal arms the earcups are connected to. Those ratcheting arms extend with a satisfying click at various lengths and feel like they'll last longer than you will. Attached to the arms, you'll find generously sized ear cups which are fitted with a soft touch, leatherette covering to keep you comfortable for hours of wear. The outside of the cans are unique in this market segment in that you can buy replacement covers for them so you can customize the look of the headphones to your liking. If you're so inclined you can pick up a pair of custom, 3D printed shields for the headphones or choose from several stock designs they have available in their online store.
All of the controls are on the right ear cup and easily accessible. Turn power on and off, as well as enter pairing mode, by sliding the switch toward the bottom of the earcup. The multifunction button which handles play/pause/track skip is centered toward the top of the earcup, while the volume up/down buttons are on either side of the multifunction button. These buttons also work for the calling functions as well. The controls work well and are intuitive, operating in the fashion you'd expect.
When it comes to sound, V-Moda delivers pretty solid acoustics. Not flat by any means, but not overtly bass-heavy, the Crossfade Wireless delivers clear sound across the spectrum with a thump that can be overpowering with certain tracks. Now, here's the thing: the bass doesn't bleed into the mids or drown out the highs, it just thumps hard. The bass frequencies and the mids for that matter, can produce a bit of ear fatigue after long periods of listening to bass heavy tracks like those produced by dubstep, EDM or hip hop artists. I think that is due in part to the 50mm drivers (a patent pending design) and the closed back design of the earcups. Again, I want to make it clear that the sonics on these headphones are quite nice with nothing in the spectrum bleeding into the other but these drivers move a lot of air with the right track! Other than that, you should be delighted with whatever music you're listening to, either wireless or wired. The spatial image reproduced on Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes was spot on and fairly airy. If you're looking for a more flat response from headphones, these aren't the ones for you. The highs and mids were well separated, especially noticeable in the harmonies of Ladysmith Black Mombazo but compared to other models I've listened to, you definitely get a more colored reproduction. Fortunately that color isn't tinted heavily toward the bottom of the spectrum and doesn't feel like the treble is too bright or crisp, which can also lead to some ear fatigue after extended periods listening to vocals. The one thing I've been mulling over in my head is whether or not, the sound is really colored or if it is just the drivers? I'm going to have to say that in this case, I think it's a bit of both. That being the case, I prefer a little color when listening to a pair of cans which are specifically targeted at mobile users like Bluetooth headphones tend to be. Sure there are apps which allow you to EQ the tracks for your desired sound, but I think most users want to just pair, play and get on with their listening.
Many of V-Moda's competitors are including wires with their wireless headphones so that you can keep the party going even when your battery is too pooped to power your pop music. The cables that come with the Crossfades also include a microphone since most listeners will probably be connected to a smartphone when listening. The sound quality during calls was very good and callers on the other end said my voice came through loud and clear.
These headphones have a premium feel all the way around, so you'll likely feel like you're getting what you're paying for especially when you throw in the customization and cord accessory options that V-Moda offers through their web store. A lack of buyer's remorse is a good thing, right? Just know going in that if you're a flat response kind of listener, these headphones are well tuned; though they provide a balanced image rather than one that is more heavily tuned at one end of the spectrum or the other. Pair all of that with a great hard case and construction which feels like it should withstand years of abuse and these headphones should be on your short list of premium Bluetooth cans.