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V-Moda XS On-Ear Headphones Preview

V-Moda XS On-Ear Headphones

V-Moda XS On-Ear Headphones


  • Product Name: XS
  • Manufacturer: V-Moda
  • Review Date: April 24, 2014 08:00
  • MSRP: $212
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Type - On-Ear Supra-aural
  • Drivers - 40mm Dual-Diaphragm High Fidelity (patent pending)
  • Frequency Response - 5 - 30,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity - 105dB @ 1kHz 1mW
  • Microphone Sensitivity - -42dB @ 1kHz
  • Impedance - 28.5Ω
  • Weight - 195g (headphone only)
  • Plug - 45 degree, 24k gold-plated 3.5mm (1/8") stereo

We've reviewed a number of V-Moda headphones in the past (the M-80 and M-100), so it was natural that we'd be interested in the new offerings from the manufacturer that is as interested in style as performance. These headphones seem to be the successor to the very popular M-80 headphones; we checked the V-Moda website and found the M-80 headphones are no longer listed.


The XS headphones from V-Moda are on-ear models that reflect the styling of the other V-Moda offerings. In an interview on the AV Rant podcast, Val Kolton said that he had two "rules" for design - no plastic and no circles. The XS headphones have the angular styling of the other V-Moda headphones along with the metal, customizable plates on the backs of the earcups. The on-ear shield kits can be engraved with your logo or image for $25.

V-Moda had a few things in mind when they went to work on the XS headphones. First they were concerned with comfort. The band has been redesigned to fit the contours of your head. This gives you more pressure relief points. Most headphones touch your head at the ear and at the very top of your head. The XS headphone's band allows more points of contact to spread that pressure out over more area. Memory foam ear cushions help on the comfort front as well.


The band is constructed out of "SteelFlex" and is said to be virtually indestructible. V-Moda specifies that the band can be completely flattened ten or more times without damage. The headphones are rated for over 70 drops (from 1.5 meters) onto concrete. The cable is Kevlar-reinforced and is rated for over one million bends (100x the industry standard) and has a 45-degree strain relief at the end that inserts into your device.

Like most V-Moda headphones of late, the XS can fold up into itself at a hinge at the end of the band to fit into a small, hard case. The case has a convenient carabiner for connecting to your bag, backpack or luggage. The XS comes with the SpeakEasy Mic Cable with inline, one-button control and mic. The bottoms of the earcups have removable "corks" and the cable can be inserted into either one. This also makes the XS headphones compatible with other cables including V-Moda's own BoomPro Mic kit for improved voice calls, or their 3-Button cable for use with Apple products (both sold separately).


Style, design, and convenience features aside, it should be all about how the headphones sound. V-Moda has a reputation for great sounding headphones and we have to expect these will be the same. The XS headphones feature 40mm dual-diaphragm drivers. The headphones are rated from 5Hz to 30kHz with a 105dB (1kHz 1mW) sensitivity. They're also specified to have a 28.5 ohm nominal impedance and weigh 195 grams (6.9 ounces). What we like to see, more than anything, is a focus on quality control. V-Moda promises that no two XS headphones will measure outside of 1dB from each other. Low tolerances for variations means not only will all the XS headphones provide the same performance, but also that V-Moda tweaked the performance of their XS headphones until they got it perfect. It is up to you to decide if you like the sound profile they chose, but you won't have to wonder if you just got a bum pair.


If you like V-Moda headphones but you wanted something more compact and formfitting, the XS headphones should excite you. With all the design features such as customizable back plates on the earcups and a dedication to eliminating plastic and circles, the XS headphones fit right in with the other offerings in the V-Moda line. At just over $200, the V-Moda XS headphones aren't cheap, but they are certainly more affordable than other V-Moda offerings.

For more information, please visit www.v-moda.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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