Top positive review
70 people found this helpful
For discriminate ROCKERS !!
on December 19, 2015
V-MODA Crossfade LP2 headphones purposefully designed and not to be confused with other heavily fashion-marketed, color-coordinated plastic garbage!
I am not a highly respected audio engineer, conversely I am merely a simple man that has spent 25+ years in an exhaustively expensive quest for great sound. For starters let me share some of my favorite bands that I used to evaluate these cans. I frequently listen to hard-rock bands such as Judas Priest, Godsmack, and Dream Theater to the more subdued Mark Knopfler, Adele and David Gilmore to electronica/techo of Depeche Mode, Madonna and Christina Aguilera. If you like this type of music, like it loud with bass, then...read on and buy these headphones.
Merriam-Webster defines Discriminate as: to notice and understand that one thing is different from another thing: to recognize a difference between things.
It bothers me when people do not discriminate especially when it comes to something as important as music. Unfortunately, in the past I too have failed to discriminate when selecting/purchasing audio gear. I have fallen victim to ostentatious product reviews and have allowed myself to be persuaded into believing that some products are perfect for all music. The old adage, you get what you pay for, is mostly true but the notion that a high price tag equals good sound quality can vary greatly with headphones and speakers, simply because musical taste varies greatly and headphone manufacturers cannot design a product for all tastes. I have owned at least a dozen pair of headphones over the years to include all the big label brands such as Sennheiser, Grado, AKG, Bose, Koss and Beyerdynamic. They were all great headphones, but they just did not perform to my tastes.
“V-MODA Crossfade LP2’s recreates the front row rock concert experience with deafening power and low end frequency response”
The standard goal of any speaker or headphone is to produce a flat frequency response, V-MODA’s produce a standard loudness contour which is something I try to replicate via tone controls or equalizer settings on my home audio equipment. These are not headphones for studio recording/mixing, instead the frequency response favors a very human-centric appeal. That said these cans will provide a new level of enjoyment and appreciation for your music collection. I typically do not play music at excessive levels but as a test I really pushed these headphones with my Denon home audio pre-amp and then amplified through a FiiO A-3 headphone amp (great addition-more on that later). These headphones cannot be overwhelmed when played through a clean source. I have worn these headphones while physically mowing the lawn and been magically transported to the front row of a Volbeat concert. V-MODA Crossfade LP2’s recreates the front row rock concert experience with deafening power and low end frequency response.
“The isolation is so complete and sound quality so amazing you will lose yourself in an another dimension”
Isolation is the key to great sounding audio and something the engineers at V-MODA have accomplished. V-MODA’s have a closed ear design which eliminates most external noise and distractions, in fact the isolation is so complete and sound quality so amazing you will lose yourself in an another dimension and become enveloped in the music. My family doesn’t share the same love for rock music as I do and rarely allows me to play my speakers to the level I enjoy which was why I have been on a quest to find headphones that can produce high volume levels, excellent sound quality and not wake the neighbors with my late night music sessions. The V-MODA’s come about as close to inner ear bud sound quality as it gets but with the ability to produce an incredible amount of distortion-less low end that can be felt.
I will also provide a brief warning that should be heeded when listening to these headphones; I have enjoyed these headphones early in the morning while reading email and have been quite startled when my wife taps me on the shoulder. Additionally, I would encourage new users to break-in your headphones. Headphones and speakers all benefit from “burn-in” where music is played continuously for >20 hours. With headphones this is easy to achieve, simply plug them into a source and continuously play music at a moderate level. You will find the bass extension and sound quality smoother and more responsive.
One complaint I have had with other high-end headphones is the deceptive appearance of quality manufacturing concealed in flimsy plastic construction or cheap construction concealed by the addition of external fashion accoutrements. I have the simplistic expectation that headphones costing >$100 should be well engineered, comfortable, durable and faithfully reproduce music. I understand the need to make headphones light and comfortable but it should not be purely with the goal of weigh savings thereby sacrificing durability. V-MODA has produced an incredibly well designed headphone with an aluminum padded headband, solid swivels and leather coverings.
Even with the noticeable mass of these headphones they do not feel heavy. The aluminum headband keeps the headphones in place with a gentle snug fit. Typically closed ear headphones can be hot and exhausting especially after extended wear. At no time did I find these headphones uncomfortable even after 3+ hours of listening. That said I did opt for the XL ear pads which provides more room for your ears to fit inside the headphone without being compressed which may have something to do with the comfort I have experienced. Then again there are definitely gym headphones.
“You probably won’t see V-MODA headphones around the neck of your favorite basketball player…”
Another thing that has taken hold of the headphone market is this crazy notion that in order to be an amazing athlete you must have a pair of fashionable headphones around your neck, CRAZY! You probably won’t see V-MODA headphones around the neck of your favorite basketball player because you are not paying for the marketing, you are paying for quality. That being said V-MOTA’s are still highly customizable with interchangeable outer shells in a variety of colors.
I put the included gun metal plates on to see how they looked and chose to keep the subdued flat black covers on. I prefer the purposeful industrial look of this product as if V-MODA owes its design cues to the stealth aircraft industry. Furthermore, the V-MOTA’s are not overly large or distracting looking. Unlike some of headphones on the market that are insanely large with enormous pillows over each ear, if I saw someone wearing these at the airport I would not give them a second look.
The V-MODA Crossfade LP2’s includes an impressive hard shell case, two removable Kevlar wrapped cords; one 6’ cord, a 4’ cord with a microphone/mute controls and a 1/8”-1/4” adapter. You also get 2 extra gun metal outer shell covers.
I am not a fan of the included cords and opted for a shorter 3.5mm Auxiliary Audio Flat Cable with a 90 Degree Right Angle Compatible which works great for walking around with an iPod in your pocket. Additionally, I purchased a FiiO A-3 headphone amp and FiiO L9 L-Shaped Line Out Dock (LOD) Cable For iPod which makes a huge difference in the sound quality. The Crossfade LP2’s will play just fine through iPhones and iPods just not very loud. The amplifier increases the sound pressure and low end without having to push the solo iPod to the maximum limit which adds distortion and reduces battery life. The combination is a bit bulky but manageable. Clearly users of these headphones are not looking for super small portability and space savings, focusing more on sound quality I would hope?!
There are a lot of headphones to choose from on the market and while there are some excellent highly marketed brands out there I would caution would-be buyers from buying purely on name, price or personal recommendation from anyone that likes different music than you. The V-MODA Crossfade LP2’s are not what I would consider an overly expensive investment for the tremendous return in sound quality. It would be difficult to find headphones anywhere that offer the level of customizability or durability found in the V-MODA Crossfade LP2. These are headphones that are built for portable high-end audio and truly transform with the addition of a headphone amplifier. Last, if you are looking for a pair of cans to rediscover your hard rock, dance or electronica/techno collection, look no further. In my opinion the V-MODA Crossfade LP2 are the best headphones for the money on the market today. Strap them on and disappear into a color saturated realm of blissful musical reproduction.