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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.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

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

Review Sections

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. 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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