It’s been almost two years since V-Moda introduced the extremely popular Crossfade M-100. Boiled in a cauldron of seemingly opposing flavors, the M-100’s unique mix of characteristics is what makes them stand out. The design mashes sleek Italian styling with an extremely rugged build, while the sound blends bombastic bass with stark clarity, creating a winning combination that’s equal parts beauty, brawn, bass, and brilliance.
V-Moda’s engineers must be huge Paul McCartney fans. The musical legend with a penchant for exceptionally melodic bass lines is one of many artists given added solo time via the Crossfade’s boosted bottom end. Bass makes its presence known early and often in tunes like the Beatles’ Savory Truffle — which is wrought with enough oomph to change the overall character of the tune via Sir Paul’s bellowing bass track and resounding hits from Ringo’s kick drum packed tightly into the left side.
That said, there’s plenty of smooth warmth and clean detail to be enjoyed, and the power below tends to ebb and flow with the music. Other tracks on the White Album, for instance, such as the classic Martha My Dear, let the golden color of the lower midrange shine through while exposing some of that keen touch in the treble that was part of what had us smitten with the M-100. The result is a vividly parsed spread of instrumental textures, cutting through with gritty snare snaps, dry strings, and gorgeous brass. The tuba and trumpet, in particular, spill forth in lively colors here, with bubbly foundational lines in the tuba, and silvery brilliance in the trumpet solo.
Bass asserts itself fairly aggressively in plenty of other musical moments — The Decemberists’ Calamity Song, for instance, spits out a driving rhythm in the kick drum that sounds powerful enough to summon a rainstorm, but it isn’t enough to cloud vocals. or take away the copper-coin click of the cymbals. And even when turning to beat-heavy tracks like Before Your Very Eyes by Atoms for Peace or Wu-Tang’s classic Bring Da Ruckus, listeners won’t lose sight (or sound, rather) of the intricate elements of the music.
We prefer the more tempered approach of the M-100, but the Crossfade Wireless do offer a rich and thumpy punch that doesn’t leave the rest of the music by the side of the road. Moreover, V-Moda sells these capable hybrid cans for just $300, nundercutting some contemporaries by as much as $50-100.Conclusion
V-Moda’s new Crossfade Wireless move too far into the basement for our taste, but those looking for a wireless solution with powerful bass that won’t sacrifice detail will find it here. Add in sleek styling, rugged durability, and solid wireless performance, and V-Moda has drawn up a pair of wireless thumpers that put Beats on notice.HighsPowerful sound that keeps the detailsGreat wireless performanceEasy switch from wireless to wiredSignature stylish-yet-rugged buildLowsRamped up bass may be a bit much for someNot as travel-friendly as we’d likeThe bigger they come, the harder they fall: Our 40 favorite iPhone 6 Plus casesThe best headphones under $100 offer superior sound for less than you’d guessV-Moda’s new Zn in-ears use zinc-alloy for tank-like durability, Italian style
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