V-Moda strives to deliver on all that Beats hasn’t.
Now owned by Apple, Beats built an audio empire on a fashionable brand image fueled by savvy marketing that handed out the expensive headphones to celebrities. Critics often cite Beats’ attractive construction, purported bass, and unfortunately murky sound.
V-Moda offers well-built, attractive, and great sounding headphones that can be customized.
After eyeing their lineup the past couple of years, I finally got a set of the V-Moda XS on-ear headphones. I got the matte black, but they can be had in a white and silver color scheme. The removable aluminum sides can be fitted with custom engraved shields should you choose.
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V-Moda’s military-grade build quality is renown among experts. Even so, they are lightweight at less than 7 ounces. Think armored truck toughness in a feathery two-seat roadster package. They fold small enough to slip into a jacket pocket, and come with a very nice protective case that has a cable strap and a carabiner clip. It looks as tough as a tortoise. The set has been an enjoyable traveling companion.
Their sound exceeds what their size might suggest. The 40mm drivers in the V-Moda XS headphones pump out slightly bass-biased, but rich warm sound. The memory foam ear pads are comfortable and provide reasonable sound isolation. The band contacts more area over the top of the head for more even weight distribution.
Each side has a cable port so you can choose either left or right, or even let a friend plug in to listen simultaneously. A 54-inch Kevlar reinforced cord with single-button remote and microphone with an 45-degree jack is included, but V-Moda does sell a cable with an Apple compatible three button remote.
V-Moda will let you try their headphones and return them for a full refund for up to 60 days. They carry a two-year warranty, and if you damage them V-Moda offers a replacement pair for half price.
V-Moda sells the XS headphones for $212 which is a bargain compared to what you traditionally get with a Beats purchase.
If you prefer the comfort and extra performance of over-the-ear headphones over more petite on-ear headphones, you should check out V-Moda’s Crossfade M-100 that have earned DJ Mag’s Tech award for Best DJ Headphone two years in a row.