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Review: V-Moda XS Headphone


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A Big Step Forward in Style ... and Sound?
Brent Butterworth

From reading enthusiast sites like Head-Fi, and comments on the headphone reviews at The Wirecutter, it's apparent to me that most audiophiles prefer headphones that don't have a lot of bass. I can think of a couple of notable exceptions, though: the Velodyne vPulse and pretty much everything made by V-Moda.

I've always been impressed by the midrange and treble clarity V-Moda's over-ear and on-ear headphones -- and I imagine that's why so many enthusiasts like them -- but the bass has always been a bit too much for me. That's why my favorite V-Moda has been the little M-80. But the M-80's been discontinued, and replaced by the $212 V-Moda XS.

The two look identical, but there's one big difference: The XS's earpieces fold in (as you can see on the next page), so it fits into a much more compact case.

There's are also two little differences. The XS has input jacks on both earpieces, so you can connect the cord to either one, or daisy-chain the XS with another set of headphones. Its headband also fits closer to your head, so it looks less dorky. Thus V-Moda's "Mind the Gap" ad campaign. Although if dorkiness were a big concern for me, there's no way I'd go around L.A. wearing the NAD Viso HP-50.

Obviously the XS is a big improvement over the M-80 when it comes to portability and style. I wonder how it sounds, though?

To see the lab measurements of the XS, click here.

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