Headphones are one area of technology that people seem to neglect. There are just so many options on the market now, and all offer different levels of build and sound quality. It is easy to request all possible features, but the reality is that unless you are willing to pay for it, you will be disappointed. This is where the V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless headphones come into play.
Costing around $330 USD, the Crossfade 2 are some of the most versatile headphones I have ever used. They offer relatively good sound whether you want them wired or wireless (through Bluetooth), and due to their size work well on the go or at home. They are also some of the most solidly build headphones I have ever used and should be more than capable of withstanding the punishment of everyday use.
Now before we go any further, let me be clear. While I consider these the Lamborghini of Bluetooth headphones, they don’t do any one thing perfectly. While they sound fantastic and check all the boxes the majority of users would request, they are not the best headphones you can buy, just the most versatile.
The Crossfade 2 Wireless are built with the DJ in mind, and that is clear from all aspects of the construction. They are comfortable for long periods and even work well in single ear operation. At work, in a busy office, I often will have them playing music in one ear with the other uncovered in case of emergency questions from the writing staff.
Overall comfort level was fantastic on the Crossfade 2 Wireless. The ear pads work well to not only isolate sound but also manage to allow enough breathability to prevent them from getting annoying, even with extended wear. Sound isolation is good, but not great. You won’t be blocking out construction work outside your door, but it will block out enough random room noises to keep you from getting distracted.
When I look for a pair of headphones, I like a balanced soundscape. Don’t get me wrong, when cranking an electronic song or playing a game, I like the bass to kick in, but that is not all I listen too. I also enjoy some good jazz, some classical, even a podcast here and there, and I want to ensure any headphones I own can meet all these needs. Thankfully the Crossfade 2 Wireless do.
The Crossfade 2 Wireless have a beautifully balanced sound profile. While playing a game like Resident Evil on the PS4, everything sounded as it should. They managed to capture the atmosphere of the game, far better than any game headsets I have tried to date. Now, this balance does come at a trade-off, while the bass still kicks when needed, it lacks some of the richness that can be found in more audiophile focused options.
While I love using the Crossfade 2 Wireless in wired mode, the wireless experience left a bit to be desired. Overall they worked well with my Google Pixel 2XL, and the sound was serviceable even on a laptop via Bluetooth, but it is by no means as clear or full a sound compared to what you can get via a wired setup. Now, this is not to say it is bad, quite the opposite actually. It managed to surpass what most of my sub $100 headphones could muster, but it is obvious these headphones were built with wired first and foremost in mind. The richness of the sound is lost via Bluetooth, leaving you with a good but ultimately flat experience.
One thing I will give V-Moda is they managed to avoid dropout almost entirely. Throughout testing, even when used with the phone across the room, the sound never cut out. The one time I did lose signal, it was the fault of the Pixel Phone I was testing it with, and no fault of the Crossfade 2.
Pair that stable signal with a near 14-hour battery life, and you have yourself a winning combination. In rundown tests, I managed 13.5 hours on a single charge. It sadly utilizes the standard Micro-USB standard rather than the newer USB-C type connection, but this is a minor quibble, especially with how little it will need to be plugged in.
It is hard to imagine a headset that can be used by both DJs and gamers, but somehow the Crossfade 2 manage it. With the ability to customize the headphones to your needs and even attach a better mic, the Crossfade 2 quickly managed to fit all aspects of my audio life. The special boom mic attachment works wonderfully and makes for a great alternative to many game-centric headphones on the market.
The downside is all these accessories will cost you. The boom costs an extra $30 on top of the already steep $330 USD price tag. Should you want to invest in the custom shields to further change the look of the Crossfade 2 Wireless, you are looking at an additional $25 USD. While none of that is necessary, should you wish to make the most out of your Crossfade 2 Wireless purchase, it can get rather expensive.
As a gamer and audio lover, I was impressed with what V-Moda brings to the table. The Crossfade 2 Wireless tricked more boxes for me than any other headset, especially considering it fits my audio life so well. If you like your headphones to make your ears bleed from bass, these will not be your best, but, should you need a set of headphones that work for gaming and lifestyle audio, few headphones can compete with the Crossfade 2 Wireless, even with the hefty $330USD price tag.
Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out more of Brendan Frye’s work such as his interview with EA Motive about Star Wars: Battlefront II, and his in-depth look at the Equifax Hack!
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