Hi, my name is Wes and I’m addicted to wireless headsets.. I hate to admit it, because I have just about any wired headset I could want in the warehouse, but on my main PC I prefer to use a wireless headset. Over the years I can’t even count the different ways that I have gotten tangled up in a headphone wire or damaged the wire with my chair so years ago I started using wireless headsets. I started with the Corsair Vengeance 1500’s then I went to the Logitech G930’s, and for the past three years I’ve had the SteelSeries H Wireless. I’ve run into multiple issues with reception issues, especially at LAN parties, battery issues, and at one point the Corsairs even just came apart in my hands. The H Wireless held up better and gave me fewer issues because of its swappable battery setup but the audio performance and comfort were never really as good as anything wired. But it's 2016, going on 2017 and I’m feeling saucy. I decided to check out the V-Moda Crossfade Wireless. I’ve got the wired version that I take with me to LAN events and love them, so I thought they might finally be the solution to the audio and comfort issues while being wireless so I’ve been giving them a try.

Product Name: V-Moda Crossfade Wireless

Review Sample Provided by: V-Moda

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

Amazon Link: HERE

 

Specifications
Type Over-Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
Frequency Response 5 - 30,000Hz
Sensitivity 107 dB @ 1kHz 1mW
Impedance 30 Ω
Microphone Sensitivity -42dB @ 1kHz
Drivers Dual Diaphragm 50mm
Weight 292g (with standard aluminum shields)
Connection options

Wired

Bluetooth

Bluetooth Low-Power CSR BlueCore featuring Hi-Fi ACC+, ACC, MP3, SBC codecs and OTA Flash ROM upgradeable features
Battery Up to 12 hours music playblack (depending on volume/music)
Warranty

Six-Star Service

1-Year Premier Warranty

50% Immortal Life Program Replacement

What's Included

Crossfade Wireless

Exoskeleton carry case

Carabiner clip

Reinforced 1-Button SpeakEasy™ Microphone & Mic cable

Elegant V-Micro USB Cable

V-MODA sticker

 


Packaging

Before diving into the packaging, I should point out that V-Moda actually sent a few things ith the Crossfade Wireless. They also slipped in their boom microphone cable and their XL Memory Cushions to go with the headset. So this section is a little big as I run through all three. Starting with the headphones, the box for the Crossfade Wireless was a lot smaller than I expected. On top of that, they did a few really unique things. The front of the box is black with a side profile picture of the headset on it. They kept things simple here with the V-Moda branding down at the bottom, the Crossfade Wireless branding up top, and down at the bottom, they mention this is a Bluetooth headset and 3d printed shields. The top of the box has a leather strap for the carrying handle, I’ve never seen that before. The back of the box has the same black background but this time they used a different angle photo of the headphones. From there, lines are drawn from all of the key features with descriptions and in a few cases additional photos to help show things. Like the side panels can be replaced, so they have a small photo showing different styles you can switch to.

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To keep the box closed there is another leather strap with a metal snap button on it. Then to prove that the packaging is sealed they actually use red ribbon that you have to cut when opening. V-Moda went all out on the box.

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Inside there are foam panels on the top and bottom to keep the headset in place. The headset comes wrapped in plastic and inside of the heavy duty carrying case. They include a card reminding you to activate your warranty and 50% immortal life program. They also include a small user manual and a V-Moda sticker as well.

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The XL Memory Cushions that they included with the Crossfade Wireless are in a black box just like the headphones. They did drop some of the fancy features like the leather straps and ribbon seal but the box still gets the job done. It has a photo of the cushions on the front along with the branding. Then on the back they mention the pads are twice as deep and 30% larger in diameter. They also have a 1-year warranty.

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The wired boom microphone through me off at first when I saw it with the wireless headset, but then I remembered that the Crossfade Wireless does still have wired connections. The BoomPro microphone converts Crossfade headphones into a gaming headset. The front of the box has a picture of the microphone and the in-line controls. On the back, they have a picture to show the setup in action, a feature list, and a list of what comes in the box.

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Photos and Features

Before getting into the Crossfade Wireless itself, I wanted to first start off by taking a look at the awesome carrying case that it comes in. Carrying cases aren’t completely new to V-Moda as my wired Crossfades also have a case, but this one is a little different and frankly being wireless the case is more likely to be needed. From the outside of the case, we can see that it is designed ti fit perfectly around the headset. We can see the headband and the earcups in the shape. The case is hard but feels like a fake leather material. On one end the V-Moda logo is embroidered then the zipper is covered with a rubber seal to help prevent water from getting in. There is also a loop to attach the included carabiner to hook the carrying case to a bag when traveling.  

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When we open it up, on the right is the headset and on the left in the middle is a small accessory pod that fits inside the shape of the headband. The accessory pod is covered in Velcro on one side to keep it in place inside the case and on the other side it has elastic straps all over it to hold whatever accessories you want to keep in your carrying case.

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The Crossfade Wireless comes with the carabiner I mentioned earlier, a 3.5mm stereo jack to 1/4 “ jack, a USB charging cable, and a 3.5mm wired plug. The 3.5mm cable is used when you don’t want to run wirelessly, turning the Crossfade Wireless into a standard headset. It has a sleeved cable with an inline control for phones. On the ends, the connections have thin but really well-built connections with one having a 45-degree angle and the other being straight. The USB charging cable is normal USB to micro USB like a lot of phones, so charging the Crossfade Wireless should be easy. The cable though has a flat rubber tangle free design. The connectors have the V-Moda logo molded into them and they are extra long compared to standard USB connections.

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The headset comes with paper covering the outside of each earcup along with plastic on each of the aluminum panels. But the paper on the control panel side is really useful as a quick guide to the controls. They show you how to do the volume, turning the headset on and off, how the middle button starts and stops music and calls, and how to use the power button to clear past Bluetooth devices and to pair.

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Okay, so we are finally actually checking out the V-Moda Crossfade Wireless and my first impressions were just how great they look. They are almost exactly the same as the wired Crossfade 100’s meaning they have a mostly metal design with the aluminum ear cup panels and the metal frame that holds the earcups. The Wireless is different in the earcup frames, though, they have dropped the folding frame for a solid design. V-Moda never skimps out on the details, even the wires coming from the earcups to run into the headband are sleeved in a nice black sleeving. Because it is hard to judge in a photo, I should also point out that the Crossfade Wireless is larger than any on-ear headphones but smaller than headphones that go around the ear. It is a very unique size. Officially V-Mode considers them over the ear, though.

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The earcups on the Crossfade Wireless have aluminum panels that can be removed and replaced with a wide variety of options provided by V-Moda. They have a series of different colors of the anodized aluminum like the stock panel and on my wired Crossfades, I have an orange set. You can have them laser etch one with anything you want and they also sell different 3d printed panels as well. The gunmetal of the stock panels look great though. Also here on the outside of the earcups for the Wireless model they have added a few buttons. On the right cup, up near the top you have two volume control buttons and the middle handles play/pause or speakerphone functions. The right earcup is also where the power switch is, but it is down at the bottom. There is also a small hole for the built-in microphone and then at the bottom is the 3.5mm jack to switch back to wired with the included cable.

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The left cup on the other hand just has the one connection. The Micro USB plug to recharge the batteries.

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The stock earpads are fake leather and have a hexagon shape to them. Inside the earcups, the Crossfade Wireless has Dual Diaphragm 50mm drivers in each cup. They have a frequency response of 5 - 30,000Hz and a sensitivity of 107 dB @ 1kHz 1mW. For comparison, the SteelSeries Arctis 5’s that I really enjoyed have a frequency range of 20-22000 Hz. The Crossfade Wireless are far from the same price, but it’s clear that they are in a class of their own when compared to a good gaming headset. The sensitivity numbers are similar as well, with the Crossfade Wireless being well above.

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For the headband, V-Moda ran the steel straps from the earcup brackets all the way around to give the headband strength and to help keep its shape. From there they widened it out to about an inch and a half and wrapped it in what they call vegan leather (aka really nice fake leather). The headband has the V-Moda logo on the top as the main branding on the headphones. Then the underside has a small amount of padding and a mesh fabric to help with airflow.

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The Boom microphone accessory included with our sample is a lot like the standard cord that the Crossfade Wireless comes with. It has the same high-quality sleeving, but they dropped the inline phone controls for a PC like volume control. It has a clip on it, a microphone mute on one side and a volume spinner on the other. The cable has a 3.5mm jack on both ends for phone and console use and for PC use they include a 3.5mm to dual 3.5mm adapter. For the microphone, the Boompro mic has a Y just under the headphone connection. This has a very flexible portion that is metal in construction. Then at the end is a diamond shaped microphone. The mic is Omni-Directional with a sensitivity of -58±3dB. This is actually not as good as the built in mic for the Crossfade Wireless, but I suspect its range is better but V-Moda doesn’t have that included in their specifications.

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The XL Memory Cushions that V-Moda included with our sample are noticeably different than the stock cushions with flat edges, extra thickness, larger openings, and the holes inside the padding. Getting the stock cushions off the headset is a bit of a trick, you have to slide four fingers into the earcup up under the pad and pull firmly. There are tiny clips all around the headset that hold the pads in. Once you remove the stock pads, the XL’s are easy to install, you just have to slide under a few clips then work your way around the cup to latch them all.

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Audio Quality and Comfort

So after going through all of the features of the Crossfade Wireless, I charged it up and loaded up a list of songs, but before I could get to testing I had to get it synced to my PC. The Crossfade Wireless uses Bluetooth so there weren’t any dongles to hook up or anything. I just had to get on my PC and open up my Bluetooth settings and then turn the headset on and then over one more position for two seconds to set the headphones into pairing mode. After about 15 seconds my PC picked it up and I just had to confirm the pair and I was all set. Windows set the new device as my main audio device and I was good to go. I kicked on my playlist and got to work with the music in the background. Now remember I have a set of Crossfades already so I wasn’t really blown away by the audio quality, but that is only because I knew just how good they would be from the start. When flipping between different genres, I never ran into a song that didn’t sound good. It's not a big revelation that a good quality pair of proper headphones perform well, but let's not forget that this is still a wireless headset and doing high quality over wireless is still impressive. I flip back and forth between Bluetooth and wired in my testing and there is a noticeable difference, but mostly due to the Bluetooth having a little less punch not due to audio quality. I did the same testing while watching TV shows, movies, and even gaming and the results were the same over and over. In game the Crossfade Wireless had great clarity to hear footsteps while still having the bass and immersion when something explodes.

I was a little concerned about battery life when I started testing the headphones. Remember I’ve stuck with the SteelSeries H Wireless simply because I never had to plug them in, I just swapped out the batteries when the other died. So having to stop and remember to plug the Crossfade Wireless in was a big concern and I did forget multiple times. It’s a plug I have in every place in the house and in the car but I still would forget to plug it in. That said I never actually killed the battery in one sitting. V-Moda says the headphones have a 12-hour battery life depending on the volume and I went past 7 and 8 hours with the volume up well past what I should have had them without killing the battery, so I think their estimation is about right.

With my issues with plugging the headset in to charge, it is a very good thing that the headset is actually really flexible. You can run wireless or switch to wired at any point. In fact, V-Moda included their BoomPro microphone for gaming and I did enjoy using it. I really wish they had the same microphone that could be run wireless to really turn the headphones into a proper headset. Between the cords and the Bluetooth I could run the headphones with any device in the house including our gaming consoles. I might have to give it a try with the PS VR here soon.

Another concern with the wireless for me was lag and overall range. The overall range was less than my H Wireless but still enough to get around the office, into part of the living room, and to be able to answer the door when getting deliveries. With it running on Bluetooth the range was limited more by the wire rack all around my PC than anything really, not to mention all of the wireless feedback in the house that also limits our wireless internet performance.

Of course, none of this matters if the headphones are uncomfortable after a few minutes of use. So I spent time testing them with both the stock earpads and the XL pads. I also had my wife try them on a few times as well. With the size of the Crossfades coming in smaller than the over the ear headphones that I prefer I was initially concerned (when I got my first pair) that they would be really uncomfortable on my big head. Headbands always push into my head and hurt and small earcups always push on my ears and hurt as well but the Crossfades aren’t bad at all. The stock earcups aren’t too bad, but the XL pads really change the way the headphones feel for me. They go from being slightly on my ears but not hurting to fitting around them, plus the extra padding is nice. The headband with its maybe ¼ inch of padding was also a big concern. If I had the Crossfades on my tightly with the headband pushing against me the padding wouldn’t be enough, but the steel band has the room for me to keep them loose and it isn’t too bad. In the end, I love the fit around the ears and can live with the headband, putting the overall comfort to be above average, but not perfect. A nice suspension headband and an even larger earcup would make these the perfect headphones for me.

 


Overall and Final Verdict

Well considering how much I love my wired Crossfades, I had high hopes going into this review. That said I still wasn’t sure just how much wireless would change the performance. Not to mention things like battery life and range. But Once again I was extremely impressed with V-Moda. The Crossfade Wireless’ had top notch audio performance when running wirelessly as well as when wired. Wired performance was still better, but within the limitations of Bluetooth I think they did a great job. The flexibility to be able to run wirelessly or via the standard 3.5mm connection really helped as well. You can use the headphones with any of your mobile devices, game consoles, or on your PC. Adding the BoomPro microphone really helps with the PC as well, I just wish there was a similar option when running wirelessly. Then, of course, you have V-Moda’s build quality and attention to detail. Things like the leather straps holding the packaging together and the ribbon seal, when combined with the metal construction of the headphones, put it in a completely different class. Being able to get custom earcup plates is awesome as well, I need a set with the LanOC logo on them!

As far as issues go, I think that picking up the XL cushions isn’t really optional, they make a drastic improvement in comfort and fit. The headband could use a similar upgrade, it has about a ¼ inch of padding. I kept it loose and it was fine, but if you have the headband tight it's not going to be comfortable over long periods of time.

Another issue to consider is the price of a pair of Crossfade Wireless. At just under $270 currently, they are firmly in the enthusiast price range. But the extra $70 over the wired Crossfade gets you good wireless performance and a little extra flexibility while still having the rock solid construction, great sound, and customizable styling.

fv5tophonorseditorschoice

Live Pricing: HERE

Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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