With so many choices available, picking the right pair of wireless headphones can often times be a daunting task resulting in many sleepless nights and hours of wasted time. Luckily for you, we've been working hard ourselves in the pursuit of the perfect wireless pair, and we think we may have found one of the best wireless headphones of all time. Meet the V-Moda Crossfade Wireless. These voguish headphones produce refined audio thanks to a pair of ginormous, M-100 Class 50mm dynamic dual-diaphragm drivers, offer a unique method of customizable styling, and a 12-hour battery life. Our full in-depth review is waiting after the break!
We all know that when it comes to expensive headphones from the likes of Beats, you're getting an impressive show of packaging galore. And if go as far as to say that V-Moda has by far and away the best packaging and quality accessory kit to go along with its premium headphones. That hasn't changed since we last reviewed V-Moda's headphones from years ago. V-Moda's iconic packaging and design language has remained consistent and for good reason. Just look at how distinct the packaging details are, from the bespoke faux leather handle to the elaborate button tab closure. You can't help but appreciate the effort put into creating something that truly stands out as a fashion statement.
Like every other pair V-Moda makes, the Crossfade Wireless are equipped with this detachable organizer plate with V-shaped bungie straps where you can securely store the included detachable cable, lengthy flat micro-USB to USB charging cable, carabiner clip, as well as the 1/4" audio adapter. The cable V-Moda has included with the Crossfade Wireless is this really nice braided cable that features an in-line one-button remote and microphone compatible with all smartphones, despite the headphones already having a built-in microphone concealed into one of the ear cups. This means that you could still make calls and use your headphones to listen to music if you run out of power.
Speaking of power, the Crossfade Wireless have a conservative battery life of up to 12 hours depending on how loud you play your music. 30 minutes of charging will get you around three hours of wireless use while fully charging the Crossfade Wireless will take less than two hours, which really isn't bad considering you could also continue using these in a wired configuration.
Of course there's no overlooking this insane water-resistant case. The Crossfade Wireless come with V-Moda's iconic exoskeleton hard shell protective case form-fitted to the headphones, which will not only offer incredible protection during travel against water and bumps, but also take up less space doing so. Having reviewed countless headphones, V-Moda's exoskeleton case continues to be the best hard shell case in the industry bar none. And if you feel like taking chances, you can also use the included carabiner clip to attach the case to the outside of your backpack.
That being said, it’s twice as big as the hard shell case that comes with V-Moda’s M-100 headphones (left), which although are the same exact size as the Crossfade Wireless, sound the same and feature an identical build quality, the M-100 can fold into themselves for greater portability.
The Crossfade Wireless are one of the more fashionable over-ear wireless headphones out there. But not only that, they're also one of the most durable, lightweight pairs around. While you won't find genuine leather or any luxurious finishing on V-Moda's headphones, the Crossfade Wireless are still some amazingly made headphones with plenty of rigid lightweight metals used in the construction along with an impressively flexible headband that can withstand some serious wear and tear, or so V-Moda claims by boasting the fact that these headphones have underwent military-level standards for superior durability. You can beat the headband on these won't snap in half like many Beats headphones have through the years. But what I'm really trying to say is that these headphones are not as impressively made as some of the more expensive wireless offerings such as the Master & Dynamic MW60, B&O BeoPlay H7, or the Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless. On the upside, you're definitely paying more for the audio performance than you are for fancier materials.
Although the ear cups are made out of plastic, they're nicely accented by these metal faceplate V-Moda likes to call shields. These are actually customizable and can be swapped with optional shields with different types of materials, textures, finishes and colors. V-Moda even let's you create your own custom shield design that is 3D printed on metal or matte fiber materials starting at $25. Now how awesome and unique is that? When you buy the Crossfade Wireless directly from V-Moda's website you're given the option to customize the colorway for the stock shields along with two additional shields (aluminum or matte 3D printed fiber) that can be customized with different kinds of laser engravings, colors and designs - at no additional cost.
There are three buttons at the top edge of the right ear cup where you can adjust volume, play/pause/skip tracks, as well as answer and end calls. Alas, the on-board button placement is one of the worst button control implementation I have ever used on wireless headphones. Not only are they difficult to tell one from the other by feel alone, they're also difficult to press because of the awkward placement. Right below these poorly placed buttons is the Crossfade Wireless' power switch, which also doubles as the Bluetooth pairing switch.
The wireless Bluetooth connection of the Crossfade Wireless has been a really solid one without any weird audio streaming interruptions or hissing noises. And the distance that you can use these headphones away from your phone or computer is quite amazing at around 30ft. What also really impressed me was the fact the V-Moda didn't add any custom DSP to the Crossfade Wireless even though they are technically powered, meaning the audio isn't being stylized with some type of an EQ coloring profile to artificially enhance the sound like most powered headphones such as the Beats Studio Wireless. The audio you hear when listening to your music wirelessly is exactly the same when hearing to it without power in wired mode.
Taking a quick look at the bottom of the headphones we can see that on one side there's a 3.5mm audio input for connecting a cable to an audio source, and on the other side is the micro-USB input for charging the headphones.
For over-ear headphones and like V-Moda's Crossfade M-100, the Crossfade Wireless are sadly not as comfortable as they should be for extending periods of time despite the fact that they do not have any excessive clamping. The ear cups can only articulate up and down and not sideway like most headphones, and the interior is pretty shallow. Add it all up together and you've got a less than ideal ergonomic head wear. While I really like the long ear cup shape and nicely padded cushions, the Crossfade Wireless simply aren't comfortable to wear around the ears for longer than an hour, and even that's pushing it.
And it turns out that V-Moda actually offers larger and deeper replaceable XL Memory Cushions for all of their over-ear headphone models, which the company claims are twice as thick as the standard cushions pre-fitted onto the headphones and should provide extended comfort for prolong usage. These are sold as an optional accessory for $20, and I’d highly recommend using these if you’d like to maximize your listening experience with the Crossfade Wireless. It’s only a shame that these weren’t already included with the headphones out of the box.
Granted the XL pads don't looks as nice, but they're a lot more effective than the slimmer stock pads and make all the difference when it comes down to extending listening durations. Having used the Crossfade Wireless for over two hours nonstop, I can safely say that with the XL cushions installed, they’re easily one of the more comfortable headphones that I have worn to date. It’s only a shame that such a modification has to be made at a cost.
The Crossfade Wireless have a non-fatiguing, very vibrantly rich clean audio that just sounds hugely alive and is really pleasing to listen to. You’ll never feel like you’re missing anything as there’s plenty of tight, thumpy bass with deeply stimulating lows, amazingly clear highs and a surprisingly forward-sounding, detailed midrange. The Crossfade Wireless strike a perfect balance between punchy bass, clarity, treble and warmth. These are quite honestly one of the best sounding headphones that I have ever used, and ones that can easily give more expensive wireless headphones a run for their money. And the price is relatively reasonable as well, which only makes the Crossfade Wireless that more compelling. But what really astounded me the most was when I found out that the Crossfade Wireless sounded as good if not arguably better than the Audio-Technica M50x with their richer, engaging, soundbooth-like isolated sound signature.
Sound isolation is as good as it comes before the added luxury of having active noise-cancelling technology in your headphones. The Crossfade Wireless have also successfully passed our sound leakage testing at normal to high listening volumes so you can rest assured you won’t be disturbing anyone near you with your music.
The Bowers & Wilkins P5 Wireless are some great sounding wireless headphones and that isn't open for debate, however, the Crossfade Wireless sound just as good if not better thanks to their more open-sounding sound signature that comes through even clearer than the P5's very warm sound. Also, highs don't sound as harsh as they do on the P5 Wireless so vocals tend to have a heavier, studio-like reproduction isolation that sounds closer rather than out in the distance, which I think is more pleasing to the ears and is oddly personal. And it all makes sense when you take into consideration the fact that the Crossfade Wireless are equipped with huge 50mm dual-diaphragm drivers compared to the 40mm drivers of the P5 Wireless.
Looking for the absolute best wireless headphones under $500? Then pick up V-Moda's Crossfade Wireless. These headphones have it all – amazing customizable styling and durable build quality, great comfortable over-the-ear fit, all-day battery life, and the greatest audio performance your $300 can buy. The only caveats you should take into consideration are the questionable on-board playback controls and the additional $20 you'll be spending on V-Moda's XL Memory Cushions should you find yourself wanting to wear these headphones for longer periods of time.
If you're trying to choose between the $380 Beats Studio Wireless and the $300 V-Moda Crossfade Wireless, we'd tell you to go with the latter. They're cheaper (although you can find the Studio Wireless for a lot less on Amazon), sound more convincing and are more durable. That being said, the Studio Wireless have the Crossfade Wireless beat due to their active noise-cancellation, longer battery life and superior comfort. So if you're willing to spend an extra $20 on V-Moda's XL memory foam cushions and don't plan on using your headphones in noisy environments where engine noise will be a nuisance, you'll definitely want a pair of Crossfade Wireless headphones.