V-Moda Crossfade M-100 review:

A beautifully built headphone that sounds even better

Accessories include a 6.3mm, gold-plated adapter jack and a sturdy "exoskeleton" clamshell carry case. The cardboard box that the M-100s come in also has added value; its external paper wrapping with pictures and info about the product can be discarded, and the M-100's crème-white outer cardboard box can be reused as a carrying case.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The M-100 includes a two-year warranty, and V-Moda will sell you a new pair of M-100s for half the current retail price should the headphones break after the warranty expires.

The M-100 fits the bill for a "crossover" headphone that appeals to audiophiles as well as V-Moda's core customers, who prize potent bass and dynamic impact. The headphones have a larger-than-average 50mm driver in each ear cup, so the M-100 's bass response is fuller and richer sounding than the M-80's, with improved punch and clarity to boot. The headphones also have superior dynamic impact that excels at all volume levels.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Comparing the M-100 with Sennheiser's newly released Momentum full-size headphone ($350), the M-100 again has the advantage with its warmer bass and midrange, but I should note that the Momentum's stereo imaging, midrange clarity, and treble detail outpaced the M-100's. The M-100's richer sonic flair will definitely click with some buyers, but the Momentum should have stronger appeal to audiophiles craving maximum resolution of fine detail.

Next up, I compared the M-100 with Beyerdynamic's new Custom One Pro headphones. They have a four-step adjustable bass tuning feature, and with the bass turned to the second-from-maximum setting, the M-100 couldn't keep up with the Beyerdynamic's bass punch and dynamic kicks. All of my listening tests up to this point were conducted with the headphones plugged into my iPod Classic.

Sarah Tew/CNET

I also watched a few movies on my desktop, with my FiiO E10 USB/DAC headphone amplifier and the M-100.

The M-100 performed even better with Eminem's "Live From New York City" concert's heavyweight sound than what I was getting from my iPod Classic -- the bass kicked harder and the stereo image felt broader with more 3D depth.

It's clear that the Crossfade M-100 is V-Moda's best headphone. It's beautifully built and sounds great with all types of music. Its exceptional build quality and durability, compared with most audiophile-oriented designs and various Beats by Dr. Dre models bode well for the M-100's long-term use.

Sure, it's a highly competitive market, but no other headphone can touch the M-100's combination of features, build quality, and sound for the money; that's why it deserves an Editors' Choice award.

This week on CNET News


Discuss: V-Moda Crossfade M-100 (Shadow)

Conversation powered by Livefyre