When it comes to high-end audio, few companies have as much sheer style as V-Moda. We’ve been covering them for years here at MMORPG, so when we heard that they had released a brand new version of their Crossfade II Wireless, we had to take a look. Whether you’re a gamer, audiophile, or a little bit of both, this headset has something for everybody. This is our review of the V-Moda Crossfade II Wireless Codex Edition.
V-Moda CrossFade Wireless II Codex Edition
- Current Pricing: $350 (V-Moda Web Store)
- Type: Over-Ear Circumaural Bluetooth
- Drivers: 50mm Dual-Diaphragm
- Frequency Responce: 5-40,000Hz
- Headphone Sensitivity: 100dB @ 1kHz 1mW
- Microphone Sensitivity: -42dB @ 1kHz
- Impedance: 32 Ohm
- Battery Capacity: 430 mAh (up to 14+ hours music playback)
- Battery Charging: Fast charge supported, 30 minutes for 4 hour playback, 150 minutes for full charge
- Codec Supported: Qualcomm aptX, AAC, SBC
- Cable: 1-Button ARAMID Fiber-Reinforced
- Key Features: Integrated Micro VAMP, Hi Res Certified, Consistent Driver Quality, 50mm Dual-Diaphragm Drivers (inner and outer rings for bass, mid, and treble isolation), memory foam cushions, multi-pairing, customizable shields, military-level durability, vegan leather
- Weight: 309g (with standard aluminum shields)
V-Moda Boom Pro Microphone
- Current Pricing: $30 (V-Moda Web Store)
- Microphone Type: Omni-directional
- Microphone Sensitivity: -58±3dB
- Weight: 30g
- Length: 79" (200cm)
Before we begin, let’s cast our eyes back to October 2017 when we reviewed the original Crossfade II Wireless. Back then, we were in the midst of our first “Audio Autumn” and came to the originals after a long run of gaming headsets. I said back then that “they seemed like a different class of headphone” and that they “over-delivered.” Since then, I’ve reviewed at least a dozen more headphones, everything from gaming headsets to audiophile-aimed cans costing hundreds of dollars more. I was genuinely curious: would I still feel the same, this many headphone reviews on? As palettes expand, so do tastes and reviews are subjective beasts.
I’m pleased to say that my appreciation for the Crossfade IIs has only grown over time. V-Moda has shown an uncommon level of consideration their design making them one of the most unique pairs of headphones you can buy at this price. Not only do they sound great, but they’re comfortable, built like a military standard, and look stylish enough that you won’t feel silly wearing a pair of over-ears. Not to mention, if you buy into the Boom Pro microphone for an additional $30 - and you definitely should - you’ll also have one of the best gaming and content creation headsets on the market.
Let’s start with the build quality. V-Moda boasts that their headsets undergo testing under the mil-STD-810G guidelines for military field testing. This includes testing for extreme temperatures, rain, sun, vibration, freezing, shock, and more. The earcups are brushed aluminum with a steel headband and dual-joint steel yokes. You could drop these headphones from a house and I’d bet they’d live to play another day. But that’s only durability.
The other half of the equation is comfort. Despite being ready to go to war, these headphones are remarkably lightweight coming in at only 309g. They’re not the lightest, mind you, but it’s a fair trade off for their exceptional resilience to damage. They also fall under the threshold of head pain for me, so if you’re anything like me, you should be able to wear them for 5+ hours at a stretch without getting sore. The padding and ear cushions are memory foam and trimmed in Vegan leather. I found the headband to be just grippy enough to allow the cushions to create a nice noise-isolating seal, though if you have larger ears you may find them a touch small.
Controlling the Codex Editions is as easy as can be. The control system is the same as the original with your volume and multi-function buttons on the right earphone. Multi-tapping or holding the multi-function button controls your tracks and activates your voice assistant. Pairing can be done by holding the power switch in the On position which makes the Crossfades discoverable to your smart device. The Codex Edition also supports multi-device pairing. At one time, you can have it paired to your PC and Smartphone so you’re ready to take that call you’ve been waiting for.
What it really comes down to, and the key reason for this Codex Edition, is the sound. The new version now packs with it support for Qualcomm aptX, AAC, and SBC high quality wireless audio. If you’d prefer, you can also connect with a wire using the included cable in the carrying case. If you’re a real audiophile, you might be able to perceive a difference but for most of us the CD quality bitrate delivered with aptX is going to sound great all by itself.
Out of the box, it’s tuned to drive the bass; a mix that’s perfect for things like EDM and hip hop, and considering the club scene is really where V-Moda derives its inspiration, that’s really no surprise. The bass is tight and controlled, however, and thanks to a built in amp, there’s enough juice to stay tight and controlled even when thunderously loud. Make no mistake, these headphones are wireless but they don’t suffer from the lack of headroom a lot of bluetooth sets do.
I tend to prefer more highs in my music and games, so I hopped into the EQ on my phone and re-tuned them to bring out the shimmer and detail I enjoy in music and games. In an instant, that bass heaviness was gone and I could pick out the texture of each tap of the cymbal in Coheed and Cambria’s Dark Side of Me or the thrumming oscillation of the synth in Steffany Gretzinger's Blackout.
The headset is Hi Res certified, which means the drivers power the experience can reach the highest, inaudible highs of 40,000 Hz and the lowest, inaudible lows of 5 Hz. Since the human ear is only capable of hearing from 20 - 20,000 Hz, you might wonder why this matters. The rationale, here, is that distortion is most likely to occur at the outer edges of a driver’s limits. By so expanding them, everything you can hear should be pristine, controlled, and distortion-free.
Where the Crossfades really shine is in their versatility. By attaching the optional Boom Pro microphone, they transform from everyday audiophile headphones into a phenomenal gaming headset. The extra bass punch is great in games like Battlefield V or even the cinematic soundscapes of World of Warcraft. I love the fullness that the headphones can deliver while still leaving fine details, like the rattle of chains mid-cacophony, still audible.
If you’re a streamer or content creator, you’re in for a treat if you opt into the $30 Boom Pro microphone. It delivers an excellent, natural voice capture that’s better than any built in gaming headset we’ve ever heard. It retains the natural bass in your voice without dropping out on the mids and highs. If you’re a streamer, YouTuber, or podcaster, this is an accessory you need to pick up along with the headset. Have a listen:
The V-Moda Crossfade Wireless II Codex Edition is a solid upgrade to the original. By making aptX, AAC, and SBC support standard, they Codex Edition is able to deliver higher quality audio while sacrificing nothing in comfort and construction. Thanks to swappable side plates (available separately), there’s also a healthy amount of customization, including custom engraving, that can be done to these already stylish headphones. At $350 ($380 with the Boom Pro Microphone), they’re not cheap and certainly aren’t for everybody. If you’re looking for an all-in-one headset that will deliver amazing audio at home or on-the-go for music, movies, games and even content creation, this is the way to go.
- Amazing build quality
- Exceptionally comfortable and stylish
- Great battery life and fast charging
- Great audio-quality - easily tuned to taste
- Lots of customization options
- Boom Pro Mic is outstanding
- Audiophile grade expensive (but also more versatile)
The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of review.