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V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless review:

V-Moda takes its Bluetooth headphone to the next level

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The Good The sturdily built, well-designed V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless delivers better battery life and improved sound over its predecessor, with more sculpted bass and better detail. The new larger earpads provide a more comfortable fit. And the headphone folds up to fit a well-designed protective case that now includes air vents.

The Bad It's a tad heavy in weight -- and price.

The Bottom Line New drivers, new cushions, more frequency response in wired mode and better battery life make V-Moda's next-gen Bluetooth headphone a winner.

CNET Editors' Rating

8.5 Overall
  • Design 9.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Sound 9.0
  • Value 8.0

The first thing you'll notice about V-Moda's new $330 Crossfade 2 Wireless headphone is that it's a little more comfortable than its predecessor. (It retails for £300 in the UK; it's not officially available in Australia, but the US price converts to about AU$435.) The extra comfort comes from its new, thicker earpads. They aren't quite as deep as the optional XL earpads you could purchase for V-Moda's earlier full-size headphones, but they do offer more cushioning.

Why the change? Popular demand. V-Moda customers kept requesting the company include the larger earpads 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 adds 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).

The sturdily designed Crossfade 2 Wireleess has thicker earpads.

Sarah Tew/CNET

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 smartly designed carrying case that came with the original Crossfade Wireless ($179.00 at Amazon.com). 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 support 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.

The headphone (in rose gold) folded up.

Sarah Tew/CNET

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 is more sculpted with this headphone, which is a good thing. Also, the headphone is nicely balanced and sounds relatively open for a closed-back headphone.

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