Bassheads rejoice, here's another headphone for your contemplation: the V-Moda Crossfade Wireless - which appear somewhere between gaming headset, DJ cans and out-and-about over-ears - are snug fitting, comfortable and boast a solid build.
And, as the name suggests, they offer wireless connectivity if you want to ditch the plug-in 3.5mm cable (which, as it happens, is made of tangle-free material-wrapped cable, which looks great). At £249, however, you're paying a premium for the wireless privilege and there's no noise-cancelling feature here. Are they worth the cash?
V-Moda Crossfade Wireless review: Design
When we received our review sample Crossfade Wireless we were surprised to find the Pocket-lint name emblazoned across their earcups. Talk about bespoke. If you can blot that paint job out of your mind for the purpose of this review, however, then you'll be left with plainer earcups. Available in black, red or ultra-shiny chrome finishes, the choice is yours.
The finish is rather industrial: six visible screws adhering a soft-edge hexagon to the outer side of each earcup, matched with a solid metal adjustable headband. We rather like the wing-like "v" cutaways in the metalwork, which are synonymous with the V-Moda brand. They're well made cans to say the least.
This industrial aesthetic is paired with a much softer side, ensuring a comfortable finish from snug earcups made from clad memory foam. We found our ears to touch the inner mesh of these earcups, but without discomfort (this more than likely affects the way they'll sound, though).
Owed to the metal design, the Crossfade Wireless don't have hinges and, therefore, can't fold for storage. They do come with a rigid, fitted carry case, though, which continues the industrial design aesthetic. There's space enough for the included tangle-free USB charging and 3.5mm cables in there too.
V-Moda Crossfade Wireless review: Sound quality
Once the Crossfade Wireless are snugly nestled on your bonce the first thing they shout is “bass”. These cans are tuned to enhance the low-end, which gives a booming, almost resonant sound to them.
It can sound a little too thick at low volumes, as definition of the mid- and high-end frequencies can become lost. Crank up the volume, however, and the delivery is clear, albeit not the cleanest ever given the way that bass dominates.
It's not total bass domination, though, with vocals still able to pour into your lug holes without being lost. And as the earcups and fairly small the Crossfade Wireless don't move around unnecessarily, ensuring that the sound is delivered in a linear fashion.
Our preference (for rock music, anyway) saw us dip the 20-70Hz bass band by a couple of dB, curve up around the 850Hz voice band by a couple of dB, then amplify the high-end 8,000-20,000Hz by a good 3dB to enhance the separation between top-end and that booming bass. Four our genre of choice we felt this made for a more natural listen, without sending the bass to the cleaners.
Although there's no noise-cancellation here, the Bluetooth wireless works well, with a built-in battery offering a full 12-hours of audio per charge (plus 30-min quick charge for around 3-hours of listening). And the quality between wired and wireless doesn't suffer when the battery depletes: the drivers don't need the on-board battery to operate, so there's no loss in quality like you might find with, say, some of Sony's powered headphones.
Their industrial design may be divisive, but the V-Moda Crossfade Wireless are a lot more comfy to wear than they perhaps look. The snug fit and memory foam earcups stand out as a point of difference compared to most loose-fitting over-ears these days, while that metal finish ensures quality and ruggedness.
What V-Moda has really gone for in the Crossfade Wireless is booming bass. And if that's your thing then they really don't disappoint in terms of the low-end. We actually find them a touch over bassy, but it's not to the total detriment of the sound.