We’re coming into the tail end of our Audio Autumn review series, and we’ve saved some of the best for last. Today, we’re looking at the most premium headset we’ve ever had in: the V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless headphones and pairing them with the excellent BoomPro mic. V-Moda’s headphones are not only fashionable but aim for audiophile level sound. All of that performance comes at a premium. With an MSRP of $330, are they worth the cost of entry? Read on for our full thoughts.
- MSRP: $330.00 (Current Amazon Price: $299.99)
- Type: Over-Ear Circumaural Bluetooth
- Drivers: 50mm Dual-Diaphragm (patent pending)
- Frequency Response Wired: 5 - 40,000Hz
- Headphone Sensitivity: 100 dB @ 1kHz 1mW
- Microphone Sensitivity: -42dB @ 1kHz
- Impedance: 32 Ohm
- Weight: 309g (with standard aluminum shields)
- Battery Capacity: 430mAh (up to 14+ hours music playback)
- Cable: 1-Button Reinforced SpeakEasy™ Microphone 3.5mm cable
- Microphone Type: Omni-directional
- Microphone Sensitivity: -58±3dB
Before beginning this run of headphone reviews, I would never have considered a pair like the Crossfade 2s for gaming. From the get-go, they seem like they belong to a different class of headphone, and that’s because they are. They are easily and clearly the best built that we’ve looked at, but right down to the smallest detail, V-Moda’s wireless headset over-delivers. Over the last month, I’ve used them for content creation and consumption across multiple devices. I’ve tested them in games, music, TV, and movies across multiple computers and my go-to smartphone. In every case, I’ve walked away impressed; moreso because I haven’t needed to be tied to a wire nearly so often thanks to its bluetooth functionality.
The sound profile on the Crossfade 2s is mostly flat, though V-Moda does add some oomph to the low end. Not much, and certainly not enough to demolish the reference sound audiophiles will be looking for. What it does is add a little bit of fun to the sound signature for when you want your music to have a little bit more punch. The 50mm dual-diaphragm drivers are loud and clear, allowing highs to sparkle and mids to come through clean. For being closed-back headphones, the soundstage is also wider than I was expected, which is great for games where a sense of scope can make or break your immersion.
That clarity has a lot to do with how V-Moda has tuned these headphones, but it’s also because of the extended range they’re able to articulate. Human hearing is generally considered 20Hz - 20kHz. What we have here is a headset responding to a range of 5Hz - 40kHz. What that means is that the entire frequency spectrum you could ever expect to hear will slide through these drivers with ease, even at high volumes. I couldn’t make the Crossfade 2s distort, even with the battery mostly run out connected over bluetooth.
Wireless connectivity is one of the biggest selling points of this headset. Though the audiophile community tends to bemoan bluetooth audio for its compression, V-Moda describes the sound as “virtually identical,” and I would agree. I’m not an audiophile yet (though, I’m getting there) but to my ear, whether I’m wired or connected over bluetooth, the sound is virtually identical. When you’re streaming lossless music, there may be some degradation, but if it’s there I struggled to hear it and am still not sure if I wasn’t just convincing myself that I should be hearing it. Regardless, these things sound great in either mode, and if I couldn’t hear it, the average user definitely won’t.
The battery life on the Crossfades is very good, coming in at around 12 hours of playtime on mid-to-high volumes. When plugged in, they automatically switch to analog mode and turn off the battery, so you don’t have to worry about extra waste. The right earcup is where you’ll find your controls: the on/off switch doubles as a pairing switch, and along the upper edge are your volume and enter/play/pause buttons. The middle button is recessed ever so slightly, making it easy to know which button you’re pressing when you obviously can’t see for yourself.
That premium quality extends to every aspect of its build, too. The Crossfade 2s are made almost completely of metal. It does feel a little heavier as a result but not uncomfortably so. The braided cable is rated to bend over one million times, so you should never have to worry about broken wires when you decide to plug in. Then there are the cushions. The team at V-Moda trial tested many different kinds of memory foams until they settled on what’s included. They made a good choice. The pads have enough give to create an excellent seal around the ear, so noise isolation and noise bleed are no problem unless the volume is really cranked. They do build up some heat but are breathable enough to prevent sweating even over long listening sessions.
The Crossfade 2s also look much better than traditional over-ear headphones. Part of this is because the cans are just less bulky (which may cause them to sit on some users’ ears instead of over), but the mix of an overall low profile, excellent accenting between the steel and leather, and fashionable blend of curves and angles, make this a headset that actually looks good. You can swap out side plates, too.
Lastly, we come to what I would consider a mandatory purchase for anyone considering using these as a gaming headset. That would be the BoomPro Mic, which retails separately for an additional $30. This microphone takes the place of the included cable and includes a splitter for dual 3.5mm connections. Though I recommend it here for the Crossfade 2, it’s compatible with any set of headphones that uses a detachable 3.5mm cable.
It sounds fantastic. For $30, this is without question one of the best I’ve ever heard (they keep getting better this month!). I would love to compare it with an Antlion ModMic, but I unfortunately don’t have one to test against. What I’ll say, though, is that it’s the rare headset mic that captures the natural bass in your voice while also keeping clarity in the high end. The BoomPro sounds natural and resonant, even while cutting out almost all white noise. Have a listen.
The downside? Even if you have a bluetooth connection on your PC, the BoomPro needs to be plugged in. It’s still worth it to keep this quality, especially since you’re likely sitting in one place while you’re gaming anyhow, but it’s something to be aware of.
Gamers are wising up when it comes to the quality of their headsets. Quality matters, even if you have to pay a premium to get it. Here, V-Moda delivers a headset that can go anywhere and do anything. It’s built to withstand the harshest treatment and still sound great no matter what you’re using it for. The Crossfade 2s are expensive and fall firmly into the “investment” category. If you want a single pair of headphones that can do everything for you, the V-Moda Crossfade 2s are an excellent contender.
- Excellent build quality
- Wonderful sound
- Mic is one of the best around
- Audiophile-grade expensive
- May sit on, instead of over, some users ears
The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.