Earlier this year, award winning headphone manufacturer V-MODA announced its latest flagship product; the Crossfade II Wireless. As was the case for its predecessor, it is a wireless headphone designed for both leisure and professional use. However, with additions like foldability and re-engineered Dual Diaphragm Japanese drivers, is it a game changer? VR Zone finds out as we get our hands on the Rose Gold Crossfade II Wireless, courtesy of V-MODA Singapore.
Out of the box
The Crossfade II comes in a nicely sealed and solid box: no worries about shipping disasters there. In it you will find your warranty card, instruction booklet and the carrying case. The exoskeleton carry case really impressed me. The feel and the toughness of the case really represented the quality of V-MODA’s headphones. In addition to the Crossfade II, you will also find a gold plated ¼ inch Pro Adapter, reinforced 1-Button Speakeasy Microphone Cable (which acts as a 3.5mm analog cable) and the V-Micro USB Cable.
Both cables fit nicely into the hard carry case, which makes bringing the whole set around a lot easier. For instance, if the headphones run out of battery, plugging in the cable would make it analog and hence useable again. While the case might be a little bulky to some, it is still one of the more compact ones in the market. Other headphones on the market might not even come with a carry case.
The first thought that came to mind as I unveiled the headphone out was holy sh-. The design and build quality is indeed one-of-a-kind. With metal on high-stress points, the headphone felt extremely solid and durable. Being a DJ myself where headphone breakage is nothing but a occupational hazard, I am certain this headphone will outlast the best of its competitors.
V-MODA did not compromise on comfort either. The ear cups are nicely padded with soft foam that feels very natural over the ears. Unlike most headphones where ears would hurt after extended periods of usage, the Crossfade II only feels a little hot after. Wireless headphones have always been a hassle for me, but the Crossfade II might have caused me to change my mind. It took less then 30 seconds to pair it with my iPhone 6S. The hassle of wires dangling while you commute or work is now eradicated.
The V-Moda Crossfade II has a balanced sound, with an EQ that slightly accentuates the mids. The bass and sub-bass of the Crossfade II is very punchy and not muddy at the slightest bit. There were crystal clear highs and forward high-mids as well. However, the Crossfade II loses at the mids, as do most consumer headphones. The dip in the mids might be upsetting to picky audiophiles with their Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov or Gershwin: flat EQs are better appreciated. Despite this, the punchy bass and clear highs really do some music genres justice, mainly Electronic Dance Music (EDM), rock and pop tunes. With that being said, other genres such as indie and acoustic do not do too badly at all, either.
Big cans for everyone?
We went on to test the Crossfade II with various activities. There was no doubt that it is crafted nicely for home usage. The wireless options and sound makes leisure listening a blessing. Whether you are using it during commute, in the office, or checking out new tunes on your laptop, the Crossfade II will not let you down. With casual use, VMODA’s Crossfade II Wireless lasted up to the advertised 14 hours on Bluetooth while only requiring about 2 hours of charging time.
After plugging in the cable and turning the Crossfade II into a wired headphone, I started gaming with it. There is no doubt that the Crossfade II is a solid accessory for gaming. With its large frequency range (5 – 40, 000 Hz), the sounds presented during gaming is phenomenal. While playing multiplayer games like Overwatch, it was no doubt that the Crossfade II enhanced the experience. During cinematic driven games (Assassin Creed in this case), the Crossfade II’s bass and clarity really shines. My only gripe is that it does not come with an extended mic for communication platforms such as Skype. But granted that VMODA did not meant for Crossfade II to be a dedicated gaming headphone, I would say it still gets the job done.
With over 40 Editor’s choice awards, V-MODA prides themselves as one of the top choices for DJs. The V-MODA Crossfade M-100 was one of the headphones that almost every top performing DJs such as Martin Garrix, Hardwell, David Guetta has. Thanks to its build quality and sound, it made it to DJMag’s Tech Awards in 2016. As a DJ myself, there was no hesitation when it came to testing the Crossfade II on my decks.
I have, in the past, used V-MODA’s M-100 while DJ-ing, and the Crossfade II does not fall short of its wired brother. Its punchy bass makes monitoring and beat-matching a breeze. With its tough build and exterior, I am sure that it would last the endless abuse at the hands of the DJ. However, the 3.5mm wire that comes with the headphones are not coiled, which presents itself to accidental plug-outs. However, getting a coiled 3.5mm wire shouldn’t be too difficult but presents itself as additional cost if the Crossfade II was used as a dedicated DJ headphone.
Final Thoughts and Verdict
Following other models of headphones, the Crossfade II has customisable side plates. These can be laser engraved or 3D engraved on their website. Thus, in addition to being a great pair of cans, the Crossfade II does not lose it aesthetic appeal. That, of course is an added bonus: the Rose Gold colour on the Crossfade II is absolutely gorgeous.
My biggest gripe about the V-MODA Crossfade II is its price tag. With the base models starting from SGD559, I would not say that the Crossfade II is the friendliest headphone to your wallet. There is no doubt that you get what you pay for with the Crossfade II. However, to the average consumer, a pair of headphones costing this much is a huge step to take. There are other headphones such as Audio Technica’s M50X that would do nicely for the average listener, at a fraction of the price.
The Crossfade II impressed me with its excellent form and function, build quality, comfort, and sheer luxury. It’s not everyday you can wear gold over your head without being a king (or a bride-to-be at one of those icky hen parties). V-MODA’s characteristic industrial design with uncovered screws and exposed headphone yoke are confident hints of their headphones’ durability.
Would I say that the Crossfade II is for everyone? Maybe. The Crossfade II does justice to the many uses that an average listener would use a headphone for. It definitely delivers quality but at a price. For DJs, there are cheaper alternatives, and for audiophiles, Crossfade II’s EQ isn’t perfect. VMODA’s Crossfade II is definitely a premium item, much like purchasing a BMW over a Nissan. Hence, if my pockets were deep enough, I’d definitely pull the trigger on this one (not-so-subtle hint to the Editor).
The V-MODA Crossfade II is available in three colors optimized for personalization: Matte Black(SGD559.00), Matte White (SGD559.00) and Rose Gold featuring Qualcomm aptX (SGD589.00) at V-MODA.com/Crossfade-2-Wireless and authorized resellers.