Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: V-MODA XS On-Ear Folding Design Noise-Isolating Metal Headphone (Matte Black Metal)
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Color: Matte Black Metal|Product Packaging: Standard Packaging|Change
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VModa has been on my headphone radar for years as a maker of stylish durable headphones that were a tad too "mainstream" for my musical taste, i.e. had overpowering bass as a part of their tuning that evidently delighted the "Beats Generation" of new premium headphone shoppers. The earlier M80 model impressed me to some degree, as the tuning moved away from thumpity thump, but the M80 IMO had a few too many secondary issues (to be discussed later as compared to the XS) to really strike me as worth owning. The M100 struck me as a step backward, going back to great gobs of bass permeating the sound, so the VModa "blip" on my radar faded a bit. Now along comes the XS, a revised M80. A new direction or more of the same?

Succinctly, the latter case: a new and excellent direction. Most of my complaints about the M80 have been addressed, portability has gotten even better, and the tuning is now more along the lines of something a "reasonable audiophile" would enjoy, i.e. an accurate but fun sound that works well with mobile devices, and does not require a $500 Goldenplatz Moneywaster Mk VI amp to sound good. The new XS runs neck in neck with my other favorite mobile set of headphones, the KEF M500, and in some ways surpasses them. I'll compare those two headphones in some detail in this review, and will also discuss changes from the M80.

My old complaints with the Vmoda M80:

1) Cord has to be unplugged for storage.
2) Too small for my L hat size head; ratcheted to 10 of 10 clicks, still barely fit.
3) Comfort kind of a problem, tight clamping force makes pained ears in an hour or so of listening.
4) Tuning: mids were pushed artificially, making vocals too prominent, especially when acoustical or low volume amplified instruments were playing (think The National).
5) Poor isolation, letting too much noise out and (especially) in, making the M80 a poor commuter phone.

The new XS compared to the old M80:

1) Still has to be done, but more and more phones have taken this design route recently as cases have gotten smaller.
2) Redesign has made frame smaller, yet new shaping is more friendly to we big skulled types. My head and ears now fit comfortably on ratchet 9 out of 11. (Why 11 ratchets? Dunno; Spinal Tap fans on the Vmoda design team maybe?)
3) Very comfy, light grip on ears, virtually no wear points on skull at all. Hours of wearing possible if you don't have glasses, some discomfort if you have glasses after more than 2 hours (I am in that situation) but this is actually much better than other on ear designs for me, even the Senn HD 25. the old on ear comfort champ in my experience.
4) Tuning done perfectly. Mids sound natural and real now, even with same track to track comparison for music that had the old "pushed vocals" issue that I noticed.
5) Isolation also much better, no leakage from inside to external, external noise much less of an issue. Though not quite as capable of isolation as the KEFs or ATH M50s, the XS does a better job than most on ear phones do.

Vmoda XS vs KEF M500:

Build & Aesthetics: KEF uses more "bespoke" materials, aluminum and somewhat softer and glossier pleather. VM has more of an "industrial" feel, though still comfy and high quality. Think Jaguar vs Porsche. Both phones have reliable single hinge clicking system to fold up arms. KEF driver cups can swivel to fold flat, though the screws used in this folding process look like they might loosen up a bit with use. XS does not fold flat. Both headphones are attractive and sturdy. The XS can fold up to be really tiny (some sunglasses are bigger!) while KEF can get very compact, but the case with folded headphones inside is still at least 50% bigger than the XS. The arms of the XS ratchet out with a precise series of clicks, while the KEFs use a non-clicking style of ratcheting, so precisionists like me can't tell you how many clicks it takes to fit their head. (I would guess my head takes up roughly 90% of the available space on the KEFs, so roughly the same proportions between the two for me. Hatsize XL folks probably will want to try either model before they buy to ensure fit and comfort.)

Comfort: KEF clamps a bit tighter on the ears. Both feel very light on the head, though the XS is lighter in weight. Vmoda's "mind the gap" campaign non-withstanding, the KEFs have only slightly more proportional space between the frames and your head, so neither set will make you look like Robot Monster. Top of head comfort is excellent for both, on ear comfort somewhat better for the KEF despite the tighter clamping, as the on ear pressure is spread over more of the ear due to the bigger pads used. The XS' smaller pad focuses pressure over a more restricted area, which is of a bit more concern for eyeglass wearers. Bottom line for my four-eyed self: KEF = can wear for 3 hours or more w. no discomfort, XS = can wear for two hours, and then need a 5 minute break due to fairly minor earlobe pain.

Sound: Both models offer excellent levels of clarity and detail, and both have no glaring tuning deficiencies. However, one of these models is trying to hedge the corporate bets a bit by beefing up the bass a bit to try and grab at least a few of the less plebian Beats fans to cross-shop. Surprisingly, the manufacturer aiming for the basshead market here is KEF, presumably because all their headphone eggs are in one basket for now, while VModa has numerous different options for those having more bassic instincts.

That said, KEF does not embarrass itself with too much bass emphasis like some "bespoke audio" headphone makers have (Klipsch, B&W). The lower frequency emphasis in the M500s is still reasonably done and does not eat into the clarity of other frequencies too much. I have a standard test for bass balance, where I listen to a few tracks from Stevie Ray Vaughan's blues-rock album "Real Deal Volume I". Take "Pride and Joy" as an example; the vocals and guitar should not be drowned out by the bass guitar and percussion. Even many reputedly excellent headphones (e.g. Grado SR60) fail that test and make SRV's guitar work take second stage to the bassline and drums which surely was not the intent in the recording. Another work I use for this is movement 1 of Mahler's 2nd Symphony with Mehta & the VPO, where percussion can dominate the crescendos very easily, and another good test case is most anything by death metal faves Opeth or Hollenthon, where a too heavy emphasis on the kick drums and bass guitars can make the music sound bloated and chaotic.

KEF, despite its warmth of tone, does a good job in these test cases. KEF seems somewhat more at home with the rock and metal pieces, and the slight bass bloat seemed more prominent in the Mahler movement. I felt the Mahler piece was delivered with maybe 70% of intended recording accuracy, and the blues and metal pieces probably around 90%+.

The XS passes these tests with even greater aplomb. The lower frequencies are well balanced and do not wash out the mids or treble in the least. Yet despite the usually alleged "portable audiophile" branding (e.g. the anemic and sterile AKG 550, or the bass deprived Martin Logan headphone venture) the XS can deliver lots of bass when called for. Massive Attack, Chemical Bros, and Portishead were also tested, and the XS could match the KEF blow by blow in bass extension. So bass fans who like accurate "as recorded" bass can still delight in their favorite sound, as long as they don't want to hear it where it doesn't belong, and don't want to hear bass wash out significant amounts of the other frequencies. I would say the XS exceeds the 95% accuracy to recording mark for the blues and metal pieces, and maybe 80% of the recorded accuracy for the classical piece. Again, the issue is not the quality of KEF's driver, which seems quite capable, but rather the tuning of that driver, which seems designed to give a boost to bass that results in some noticeable though not significant degradation of accuracy in the recording balance.

All in all, the XS delivers what would probably be considered the more "audiophile sound", yet also with sufficient bass capability so as not to disappoint, and also with only moderate volume settings (60%) on a Galaxy 4. The KEF wins in terms of soundstage, sounding larger and more carefully differentiated, and also in quality of treble, with somewhat better articulated and less fatiguing treble than the XS. Both phones though offer better lively accurate though listenable treble in a portable can, more so than any other contender (making the B&W P5 and Sennheiser Momentum specifically look like yesterday's news...). And both sets have no problem with their mids, offering a crisp up-front presentation. In general, both of these models offer the same up-front in the band sort of presentation that used to be called the "Grado sound". The ATH M50s in comparison offers perhaps a broader soundstage, though at the expense of a more distant less engaging presentation.

Isolation: Here is where the KEF recovers a bit of lost ground. The tighter clamping, broader soundstage, bass emphasis, and bigger pads make the KEF a much better commuter. Using the NYC subways as a test, the KEF is only slightly less good at isolation than the Beyer 1350 (the current champ for such things in my judgment, though the 1350's sound, at least with portables, and its pitiful lack of portability features, sadly takes it out of the running for the title king of the commuting phones). The XS is pretty good in the subways, at least when on the train cars themselves, but tends to get drowned out if you're on the local platform and an express zooms by at 30 mph on the center track. The bass boost of the KEF makes it a better contender in such instances, and the drone of airplane engines would also (probably) help more of the KEF's sound to be audible in such instances. The XS is a much better commuter than the M80 was, and sounds just fine walking around town or at home studying while someone has the TV on, but in "extreme" commuting (subway or airplane) the KEF is a better choice.

Features: KEF includes two cables, one with IOS 3 button and mic (which becomes Android single button as the vol controls don't work), along with a signal splitter and a 1/8th inch stereo headphone jack converter, and a nice rigid carrying case. Vmoda gives you only one cable (single button with mike, an odd de-contenting from the M80 which gave you two cables) along with a nice rigid carrying case. Given the price point difference, this is not a big surprise, except for the missing second cable from VModa. Plus you can connect other headphones to the opposite driver input plug port in the XS if you really want to share your signal.

Value: Vmoda nails this one. Better sound (in most ways) smaller size, comparable attractiveness, comfort, and build quality, with a better warranty, for two thirds of the price of KEF.

So to conclude:

KEF M500 = better for eyeglass wearers, commuters, recovering bassheads who still want a little bit of inappropriate thump from time to time, treble enthusiasts.

VModa XS = better for audiophiles / fans of hearing music the way it was recorded, those wanting the smallest possible good sounding headphones, those who mistreat headphones, and those without the full amount of the KEFs purchase price.

At the end of the day, if you can only afford one of these, you have a tough choice to make. But if you can only buy one, the VModa's considerably cheaper price and relative overall strengths versus KEF means you could make an untroubled decision to go for the XS without regrets.

Conclusion: The XS strikes me as VModa's first "post basshead" design, a sign of their confidence as a company and their ability to hit whatever tuning and production marks they aim for. The XS design is something Sennheiser for instance has been striving to make for years and has generally failed at, either utterly (PX200) or mostly (the Momentum). It's thrilling for a long time headphone fan to see a new company produce such an excellent product while also making it (relatively) affordable, stylish, and eminently portable. Good job VModa!
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on December 29, 2014
As an early adopter of the M-80, then the M-100, i honestly didn't think i would ever need another model, but now the XS is my most-used headphone. Here is why:

I won't go into great explanations of the sound of the XS, as others have already covered that extensively, but i will make comparisons to the other two models, which I have also written reviews on, and am quite familiar with the sound signature of both.

Perfectly Portable.
The XS is indeed Extra Small. It utilizes the ingenious click-fold feature which the M-100 debuted, but as the XS is a much smaller on-ear (supra-aural) versus over-ear (circumaural) headphone, it is quite a bit smaller. I know of no other hp that can fold this small and compact. The case, which is another clone of the M-100 exoskeleton case, holds the folded XS well, protects it, and packs in a very small space. These are cans you can truly take with you everywhere.

(Perfect) Xceptional Sound.
Sure, that's highly debatable. And relative to your experience, and types of music you enjoy. But to my ears the balance of sound in the XS is certainly one of the best-sounding small headphones I have ever heard. When I first wrote a review of the M-80, some did not agree with me but i thought the sound was not as flat as others suggested, even though i liked the M-80 overall. I complained of a too-forward midrange. First of all, i love MR, but it felt slightly artificial to me, with a spike in the range between 1500-3000hz. In some recordings it sounded very good, in others it could be a bit harsh or grating in the higher-mid register. The treble, though very non-fatiguing, lacked sparkle and seemed a bit dull to me. The bass to me was good. My review of the M-100 was much better, although i thought the bass was much over-emphasized as a whole. As i stated, with EQ it can be toned down to sound very good. The bass in the M-100 is still very much more present and impactful in comparison to the xs, but it is not as balanced. (If you're a bass-head, you'd be happiest with the M-100).
The bass in the XS is fast, deep, and of a better balance with MR and treble frequencies. It is never bloating, muddy, or slow and thumpy. I think it is better than the M-80 too (deeper with slightly more impact and less decay). The MR is clean, slightly warm, and has no harshness in the upper mids. Vocals are upfront, but not overly pronounced, with very good resolution and intelligibility.
Treble is extended with good air and sparkle, without any harshness or sibilance. It helps the clean midrange to further the overall resolution of the recording. While not the absolute most resolving of headphones i have, the XS just has a very good BALANCE of sound that is very good for casual and fun music enjoyment, without being too fatiguing or critical as well. As such, even lower resolution recordings (MP3's on portable devices) sound resolving and listenable. This is what makes the XS so desirable in my opinion...they are tuned for portable use in particular. They are also, like the M-80 and even the larger M-100, sensitive enough to play very well without an amp. I have had great success with the PowerAmp app on my smartphones (currently the Note3, which has a Yamaha op-amp), which allows for great EQing and plenty of pre-amping sound. I have custom EQ settings for each of my headphones and IEMs. I no longer carry around a seperate headphone amp for portable use as I did before to get good enjoyable sound on the go.

Better Fit.
I complained of the fit on the M-80. As i stated in my review of the M-80, i feel that on-ear headphones are more related to IEMs than full-sized over-ear cans, in that fit is more critical and more highly specific to each person. The XS is much better, at least to me. The elongated band truly fits around the shape of the head more snugly, and closer. There is no longer a huge halo above your head with gaps between your ears. And as the band contacts more area of your head, the weight is distributed more evenly, making the phones feel much lighter and more comfortable. I did still need to slightly bend my band to get a perfect fit. The strong metal band is still conformable for personal fit--Please search online for the proper way to bend your headband for your perfect fit if you are unaware of this intended feature.

Same great Build and features.
The XS continues the excellent build quality of all V-Moda headphones. They are impeccably well made, surely among the best. You feel assured they could literally last your lifetime, and V-Moda gives you the warranty to secure that. The M-100 model set the bar for the evolution of features in the line: the foldable hinges, the dual inputs, the separated mic and button placement on the great cord. The XS is basically a baby brother of the great M-100 in almost all regards. So which is better? I love them both, but the newest model, the XS, is clearly an exceptional PORTABLE headphone: extra small and compact, with great balanced sound, that goes with me everywhere.
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When I first saw the box the V-MODA XS headphones were packaged in, it didn't look big enough to hold a set of adult-sized headphones. But lo and behold, when I took out the headphones and unfolded them, they fit very well. The ear cups don't completely cover my ears - they're the on-ear style instead of over-the-ear. So appearance-wise, they're different from many headphones that I've used. But audio quality and comfort are the two qualities that I look for most.

I went through one of my playlists that includes a variety of music types, and the audio quality was superb. Vocals had excellent clarity, and the range of sound was very good with rich trebles and solid bass. Even at the maximum volume, there was virtually no noticeable distortion. Some of the highlights:
* The faint heartbeats in the background of Annie Lennox's "Love Song For a Vampire" came through very noticeably. I've had some headphones where the heartbeats were barely audible. With the V-MODAs, I could feel them.
* Drummer Ron Wilson's amazing continuous drum riffs in the Surfaris' "Wipeout."
* Kenny Loggins's "Danger Zone" never sounded better. Seriously, I was ready to catapult off the deck in an F-14.
* Anything by the Ventures for some of the finest guitar sounds ever played, and they came through loud and clear on the V-MODAs.

The headphones are comfortable to wear, even for more than an hour at a time. They're lightweight - 6.75 ounces on my scale - and the whole kit - headphones, audio cable, and case - weighs only 10.75 ounces. The metal headband is lightly padded, and the headband arms extend as much as 1¼" to fit your head. I prefer the kind of ear cups that fit completely around my ears, but the ear cups on the V-MODAs are large enough to cover the ear canal. If the headband is too tight or too loose, the user manual says to simply bend the headband in or out a little to adjust. Don't worry - it's steel, it won't break.

With the size of the ear cups, I was skeptical that the headphones would keep out ambient noise very well, but at fairly low volume, I could hear only a few outside sounds. I suppose it doesn't matter so much if the ear cups cover the whole ear or just the ear canal, it's enough to block most outside noises. The V-MODAs may not be the best noise-isolating headphones that I've used, but they're good enough for most purposes.

The kevlar-protected 54" audio cable has an inline control with a button for track control: one click to pause or resume, two quick clicks to advance to the next track, three quick clicks to return to the previous track. (I wasn't able to click three times fast enough to do the last one.) The audio cable also has an inline microphone for using the headphones for hands-free phone calls when you're connected to a 3G/4G device. The track control button is then used to answer calls, hang-up, or switch to call waiting. The audio you were listening to is suspended while you're on the phone.

About the manufacturer's claim that "Metal construction and military level testing ensures unrivaled durability." I'm assuming that means the headphones meet the requirements of MIL-STD-810G hardened guidelines, the current US military standard that emphasizes tailoring an equipment's environmental design and test limits to the conditions that it will experience throughout its service life. Since no organization or agency certifies compliance of consumer products with this standard, commercial vendors can create the test methods or approaches to fit their product. What all this mumbo-jumbo means is that terms like "military grade" should be taken with a grain of salt unless the specific test results are published. Having said all that, the V-MODA XS headphones appear to me to be very well designed and constructed for robustness and durability.

Okay, who wouldn't want a set of the V-MODA XS headphones? For one, someone who doesn't want to spend close to two hundred bucks. Let's be real, there are some pretty decent headphones on the market for $50 or less - not this good but not too shabby either. Also, the V-MODA's fit me comfortably, but if I was moving around a lot, I felt like they would shake loose. And for jogging, forget it - get some good earphones, not headphones. But to get audio as good as anything I've heard through a set of headphones, it's going to be hard to beat the V-MODAs. Really, they're that good.

The V-MODA XS headphones were provided to me for evaluation. I did not promise to post a review, but I stated that if I did review the product, it would be an honest, unbiased review.
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on October 21, 2014
Very compact and portable. Sound quality will blow your mind away, never thought such a small thing could produce such an articulate and clear sound. If you're a bass head these won't do it (Crossfade LP's bass is so brutal your ears are going to be vibrating.) They are pretty comfortable. I've been wearing them for two hours and I can barely feel any soreness around my ears. (Way more comfortable than the M-80s.) Build quality is great which is typical of this brand. Don't worry about dropping them on a concrete floor or bending (they might get scratched up a bit but they will still work and sound great) To keep short and sweet, the comfort is a 8/10, sound quality (all genre) is 8/10, the portability, design and build quality is a 10/10. Absolutely love it.
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on March 3, 2016
I got these and I love them. It's a really good thing that there were no issues with them, because their 6 star service isn't. I ordered the shields, and after a couple of weeks I saw my order status had updated to preparing to ship. Awesome, I said to myself. Well, a couple of weeks go by and nothing has happened with it, so I contact support through chat. The only way other than email. No phone number that I could find. I texted with a lady named Vanessa that was less than helpful, much less 6 star. She flat out stated in an email that showed the issue resolved that they were still being made and that they should ship in another week or two. I said I got that but why, I asked again, was my order marked as preparing for shipment if it wasn't. She replied with another email marked as issue solved that was just the way they did it. Not too cool, I think.

AnywayAnyway, they finally ship and they reach me in Kuwait (I'm deployed) and I'm super jazzed. I open the box and there are my Matt bronze steel shields dully hlintongglinting up at me. They are beautiful. They are magnificent, they are so much cooler looking than I thought possible. They are also for a different size headset. I'm crushed and kinda pissed point this point, so I get back on chat immediately and this time I get a guy named David. Dude gets right to the point and wants pictures because he obviously doesn't believe me. The order says I ordered for the xs, the invoice in the box says they're for the xs, but these shields I got cover the entire headphone plus and are obviously for the m100 or something. He gives me a weak sorry bout that kind of remark and says they will send me new onesones. Cool I says. When will they be here? In about the same time it took to get these he said. what? dude for real? It's your mistake and you copped to that fact and you're still going to put this order at the end of the line? He says sorry, he says theirs nothing he can do. I say whatever man, can I have the new order number so I can track progress? Nope same order number as the messed up order that shows delivered. That is NOTHING like anything would describe as good customer service. I was just sucking it up and being mad. Starting to try to get over it when I get this email from vmoda, encouraging me to reviewreview them, because they and their 6 star concserge service want to keep me a customer for life. Yeeeaaahhh.
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I love listening with headphones, don't consider myself to be a headphone snob at all and am always open to trying new sets of cans. I normally set my expectations according to both reputation and price but in THIS particular case I could not have possibly been ready for the onslaught of quality audio to follow! Yep, while my cans of choice are the considerably more expensive HiFiMan HE-500's, the V Moda XS totally blew me away within just a few minutes of listening.

Most everything about this headphone is just plain RIGHT! The tonal balance from low to high end is voiced both convincingly and extremely satisfyingly. I have not found myself wishing for more bass, or more highs and have not had a bit of trouble with the mid range. This is very uncommon in the headphone world, to find a comparably low priced set of cans that gives this sort of sonic presentation. It truly is remarkable.

Listening right out of the box without any burn-in the overall sonic impression of these headphones is startling. I was NOT expecting this much and found it very difficult to take them off. I listened to the new David Crosby album in 96/24 FLAC and the results were pure ear candy. Tried a bit of Huey Lewis , also in 96/24 just to check their bass levels and again I was taken aback by what I heard.

I went thru more than 10 titles, some in 16 bit, others mp3 mixed in with my growing collection of Hi Rez titles. In every single case the reproduction was true to the source material and basically kept impressing me over the next few hours. (using an Oppo BDP-95 as the source component running thru a Teac A-501-B headphone amp) These cans are easily driven so they will work well with any set-up. They will only sound better as the quality of your other gear increases.

You know you are probably in for a treat when you see and hold the packaging in your hands. Yes, it is that impressive. It only gets better from there, after the unboxing you will reveal a pair of cans that absolutely exceed in quality of sound both their price and their size. The included case is great and the option for YOU to decide where to place the cable is a very welcome thought.

The cable terminates with a 3.5 jack so using it will non portable gear will require a 1/4 inch adapter and an extension as well.

I admit to preferring over the ear models and these sit right ON the ears themselves. If you can get past that, these headphones should be all that most people want or need. Easily stored and carried, built like a small tank and all done with great styling.

I honestly can't imagine anyone NOT liking these. They are easily the best headphones I have heard in this price range and charging another 75 bucks would not be out of line for the quality you get here.

Worth every bit of their purchase price and as such, they are totally recommended by ME, Marty G !
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on November 20, 2014
I love my customized XS on-ear headphones! Not only are they sleek and stylish, but they’re compact and durable enough to keep up with somebody who is constantly on the go. I also highly recommend the customized shields, which work as a great visual for your brand/company and/or to give your personal headphones extra flair. The ear pads are made of memory foam and fit very comfortably on your ear. Great sound & great fit! I'm very happy with these headphones and definitely recommend them!
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on December 30, 2014
I really wanted to love these headphones, but I just didn't feel they lived up to the price tag. I'll admit: The build quality is VERY good. They feel incredibly solid and they look amazing. The removable cable with dual connection points is a great feature, and the cable itself is outstanding. The case is also great. However, I felt that the build quality caused these headphones to be a little too heavy for their size. I might have gotten used to this -- however, the complete lack of swivel points on the earcups is an even bigger downside. I don't know about you, but my ears face out with a slight forward angle, but the earcups on these headphones face directly inward with no angle or offset. This prevented the earcups from resting completely flat against my ears, and it just didn't feel right. This was the deal-breaker for me. It's possible that I could have bent the earcup hangers slightly to compensate for this, but I didn't think it was worth the risk.

I felt the sound quality was very well-balanced with a nice amount of bass punch. However, when I compared these to my ATH M50s, I just felt that the M50s were better in both sound and comfort. I didn't have unrealistic expectations on the sound, since these are on-ear -- and obviously personal preference comes into play -- but I did have expectations on comfort, and these fell short. I'm glad I got to try these out, because they are super cool looking and very well made, but in the end I sent them back.

If V-MODA ever decides to add swivels or make the earcup angle adjustable, I'll be happy to buy a pair again.
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on November 18, 2014
I got these as a travel HP for trips between the islands here in Hawaii. I use them mostly while waiting at the airport. Once in awhile I will also carry my ATH-M50X (with Beyerdynamic velour ear pads) for use on the plane since it is better at noise isolation and to me has a fuller sound. I use a Fiio X3 playing 320-MP3, FLAC, and some WAV files while traveling.
PROS:
The V-Moda XS is one of the most efficient HP that I have so using the X3 or my Galaxy S5 as the source doesn't drain the battery and I can get decent volume while on the go without having to carry a portable HP amp like a Fiio E-12.
The XS is very compact, will fit in an average woman’s hand bag.
The second HP connector of the XS is a great feature if traveling with a friend. Only concern is that the second HP needs to be as efficient as the XS of the volume will be very different on each HP.
Great carry case, stylish.
CONS:
The clamping force is a little on the higher side and if you try to stretch the headband they become too loose and start to slide of your head with little movement.
The ear pads are not the most comfortable and become hot quickly here in Hawaii.
Pricy, the Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear is currently half the price and to my ears sounds better.

Sound: The sound from the XS is really good considering the size, almost as good as the Momentum On-Ear that I also have but the ear pads on the Momentum are softer and much more comfortable. I also have a Sennheiser HD-239 that I originally got for traveling but the XS and Momentum are clearly in a different league. Please note that I only use the XS and Momentum when I travel, for home use I have HIFIMAN HE-560, HE-400i, HE-400 (Grill mod, focus pads), Sennheiser HD-598, HD-455, Philips Fidelio X1, ATH-M50X, MDR-7506, STAX SR-40, Beyerdynamic 990-250, Modi/Magni, Asgard2/Lyr 2/Bifrost, Asus Xonar, Topping VX1, and HIFIMAN EF-2A.
I’ve tried the XS with some of my home system amps/DACs and they don’t seem to perform any better, if anything the bass sounds muddy and the treble is overly bright, almost like there is too much current going to the HP. The Momentum on the other hand sounds a little better with the better amps/DACs, bass better controlled, treble crisp and clear.
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on January 29, 2015
I work for a tech company and these are great headphones for use in the office. I use mine everyday, and would highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for high quality headphones to use while working. Another great thing is that they are compact, and easy to take with me on business trips!
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