V Moda makes some seriously great headphones, ones that are tailored to almost any place they could possibly land. The exceptional build quality and construction still take the back seat to the sound that a pair of cans from them offers.
The XS headphones are extra small, hence the name, making them ideal for daily listening on the go. They fold down tiny enough that you carry them around just about anywhere. However, the price tag is a bit hard to justify given their on-ear design. Read on to see our full thoughts on the V Moda XS’.
|Sensitivity||105 dB @ 1kHz 1mW|
|Microphone Sensitivity||-42dB @ 1kHz|
|Connections||45 degree, 24k gold-plated 3.5mm|
|Frequency Response||5 – 30kHz|
Design and Build Quality
If you already own a pair of V Moda headphones, then you know that the design and build of them are second to none. V Moda, by far, has the best-built pair of headphones out today, with a style that’s all their own.
The headphones are virtually indestructible. They’re completely framed in steel, tested with military-level MIL-STD-810G standards. Basically what that means is that they’ll never break, ever.
The headband is especially impressive. It can be bent at least 10 times completely flat without breaking or losing its shape. While V Moda uses steel, it is flexible, meaning the headphones aren’t too rigid while you’re using them.
The cable is even impressive. V Moda includes a 45-degree plug that’s gold plated, ensuring the best connectivity. They advertise that the braided cable can be bent at least 1 million times before breaking a connection. Even if it happens to, replacements are available and, thankfully, cheap.
However, we can’t overlook the main thing that makes the look of the V Modas so unique. Of course, I’m talking about the hexagonally shaped ear cups. These provide both form and function, with a style that is unique, but practical features as well. Normal on-ear headphones have a gap, losing sound and looks. That’s not the case with the XS’ that creates an airtight fit that looks great.
The XS status of the headphones means they are significantly smaller than the other headphones in V Moda’s range. They’re meant to be carried around, and holding them down is as small as the palm of a normal-sized hand. The fact V Moda managed to make them this small, all while still giving great sound, is astonishing.
Again, if you’ve used a V Moda product, you know they’re packed with features. They are on the cutting edge of technology, implementing practical and unique ideas into every one of their products. These headphones are no exception to that rule.
First are the interchangeable ear cup covers. V Moda allows you to purchase any covers you want, making the headphones all your own. They’re called shields and each of them is crafted at the V Moda Milano studio, the same workspace Da Vinci used for 20 years.
The range of shields is wide as well. V Moda offers things like precious metals, raw and gold plated metals, and stainless steel options. While the option to upload your own design is still in beta, it’s possible with this product.
The only issue is the size. Since these headphones are smaller, the shields aren’t interchangeable with other V Moda products. You can’t, for example, use your Crossfade shields on the XS’. Since they’re pretty expensive, this is a big disappointment, but not one that can really be avoided.
However, the size grants some unique features on its own. The first is the CliqHold Hinge, which provides a satisfying click as you fold the headphones down. Once collapse, V Moda includes a case to put them inside that’s no bigger than the palm of your hand.
V Moda also included a carabiner with its branding on it for attaching the headphones to you. Simply clip it inside or outside of your bag, and you’re ready to take your cans on the go.
The last important feature is the optional cables for the headphones. You’ll get dual inputs, as well as a mic cable and standard cable with your purchase. However, you can purchase a boom mic cable, an extended cable with built-in sharing, as well as a three-button mic cable for Apple that comes in a variety of colors.
Again, the sound of all of V Moda’s headphones is incredible and, despite the different design, the XS headphones carry that tradition. The sound provides a different look at what you’d expect from the company but certainly is up to par.
First is the bass which is exceptional for on-ear headphones. Because of the seal they create, the bass is full of impact. The 40mm driver is responsible for this, which gives you an immersive low-end that is clean.
However, it’s not overly present. At first, you may be disappointed, especially if you’ve been listening on headphones with loads of low-end. The bass here is much tighter and refined which, for my tastes is a good thing. However, it should be considered.
Midrange is very natural, and surprisingly considering the price. There are no unnatural dips I could detect, making this range a big win that easily could have been screwed up. The sound is open and clear without harsh frequencies digging into your ears.
Highs aren’t piercing, but still very responsive. The soundstage at the top is wide open, being present enough to heel the hype, but not so much that it hurts your ears. This is really due to the low-end not completely overpowering and really letting V Moda’s hard work with the frequency response shine through.
Overall, I’m really impressed with the sound from these headphones. It’s great for a wide genre of music, or just for playing games. Because they can be taken anywhere, it means you have exceptional quality wherever you go.
Alternatives to Consider
Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2
Perhaps the biggest competitor in the on-ear department is the Bowers & Wilkins P5s. However, they aren’t a ripoff of the XS’, if fact, they’re the exact opposite. The P5s look is much more sophisticated, not full of metal and hype the V Moda’s offering.
The sound is still great, though. Bowers & Wilkin have managed to create a pair of on-ear headphones that still give a generous amount of passive noise canceling and plenty of boom in the low-end.
They’re still small and portable, with one huge advantage. These headphones are totally wireless, and B&W has managed to do so while retaining exceptional quality.
Avantree Wireless Bluetooth 4.1 Over-the-Ear Headphones
While not really related to the XS’, these headphones are still a great option for those looking for exceptional sound on a budget. They sport an over-ear design, total wireless functionality, and 4.1 virtual surround sound, ideal for watching movies and gaming.
The look is a little mismatched, though. The headphones look like a cross between an old and new design and not in a good way. Still, solid performance, an optional cord, and great comfort set these headphones up as a fantastic value for the money.
V-MODA Crossfade LP2
If you like everything about XS’ beside the on-ear design, these headphones are for you. They offer the same great features that should be expected from V Moda, but with an over-ear design and a $30 lower price tag.
Because of the over-ear design, bass is much more responsive. Not to say that the XS’ are bad, but you can really feel the bass here. If that’s your cup of tea and you like the total isolation, then these are the headphones for you.
Unfortunately, they don’t fold down like their smaller cousins. If you need portability, then these aren’t for you. Still, you’re getting the exceptional build quality which is a huge plus.
V Moda is one of the best headphone producers out there today and the XS’ is an example of why that is. They’re tiny, but still, pack a huge punch across the expertly crafted frequency spectrum. The headphones sound amazing with a huge range of options to really sell them.
Combine that with a build quality that’s second to none and the price is more than justified considering what you’re getting. The build is amazing, as well as the options to really make the headphones your own. The V Moda XS headphones are great, but that’s a little surprise considering the company they come from.
Further read: Top 9 Best Headphones for 2020