The first thing you’ll notice about V-Moda’s new Crossfade 2 Wireless headphone, which starts at $330 (£300) is that it’s a little more comfortable than its predecessor. That’s because it ships with new, thicker ear pads. Those new cushions aren’t aren’t quite as thick as the optional XL ear pads you could purchase for V-Moda’s earlier full-size headphones, but they do offer more cushion.
Why the change? Popular demand. V-Moda customers kept requesting the company include the larger ear pads with its headphones, so it did. The new earpads are more like a medium or large size rather than an extra large size.
The other big changes are on the inside: There’s a new 50mm driver, more frequency response in wired mode and an increase in battery life to 14 hours. That bigger battery does add weight, however, and the Crossfade 2 Wireless tips the scales at a beefy 309 grams with the included standard aluminum shields (its predecessor weighed 292 grams).
Like other V-Moda headphones, this new model is really well built, feels very sturdy, and has a highly bendable “Steelflex” headband that conforms to your head nicely. But it’s heavy. OK, I said that already. But it is.
The headphones fold up to fit into the same slickly designed carrying case that came with the original Crossfade Wireless. The case has one small design modification: a small air vent. Why? Turns out a lot of DJs like V-Moda headphones, and they tend to sweat on their headphones, then throw them in the case after a gig. Things can get a little stinky (the same goes for people who work out in them). Thus, the vent.
This is one of the best-sounding Bluetooth headphones you’ll find in this price range. (The step-up Rose Gold model, which costs $350, adds supports for the aptX codec, which is supposed offer improved sound quality when using Bluetooth devices that support it.) While it doesn’t blow away the competition as a wireless headphone, V-Moda has managed to increase the detail and clarity and improve the quality of the bass from the earlier model.
V-Moda headphones have always featured plenty of bass — some might say too much — and the Crossfade 2 Wireless isn’t going to shortchange its fans on that front. But I’m happy to report that the bass seems a little more sculpted with this headphone, which is a good thing.
Last year, V-Moda was bought by musical-instrument maker Roland, and it’s taken advantage of that new relationship, tapping the expertise of Roland engineers.The headphone is powered by those aforementioned new dual-diaphragm 50mm drivers, with an extended frequency range from 5Hz to 40kHz. Those drivers use a high-resolution CCAW coil that’s “made in Japan,” and the Crossfade 2 Wireless has been certified by the Japan Audio Society (JAS) to meet the Hi-Res Audio standard in wired mode.
I’m not quite yet ready to put a rating on this headphone, but after using it for a few days, it seems like a nice step forward for the Crossfade Wireless line, and it worked virtually flawlessly. The wireless connection was rock solid, I had no problem pairing and repairing the headphone, and call quality was decent when using the headphone as a headset.
The question remains whether this is a better than choice than premium wireless headphones from Sennheiser, Bose, Sony and BO Play, which I think may be lighter and more comfortable to wear over long periods for some people.
Crossfade 2 Wireless product specifications
- Drivers: 50mm Dual-diaphragm (patent pending) Frequency Response Wired: 5 – 40,000 Hz
- Headphone sensitivity: 100 dB @ 1kHz 1mW
- Speaker sensitivity: 107 dB @ 1kHz 1mW
- Microphone sensitivity: -42 dB @ 1kHz
- Impedance: 32 ohm
- Weight: 309g (with standard aluminum shields)
- Battery capacity: 430mAh (up to 14-plus hours music playback)
- Cable: 1-button reinforced SpeakEasy microphone 3.5mm cable
- Available in three colors: matte black ($330, £300), matte white ($330, £300) and rose gold featuring Qualcomm aptX ($350, £330)
- Compatible with V-Moda accessories, including 3D printed shields; laser-engraved aluminum shields; BoomPro Mic for gamers, calls and broadcasters; XL cushions; CoilPro cable; 1/3-button SpeakEasy cables; VAMP DAC/AMP; and the newly released Remix headphone amplifier and Bluetooth speaker
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