V-MODA Wireless Around-Ear Bluetooth Stereo Headphone review

Discussion in 'Headphone Reviews' started by dalethorn, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

    Jul 3, 2011
    Charleston South Carolina
    Youtube review:

    Photo: http://dalethorn.com/Photos/iPhone6sp/Headphone_Vmoda_Wireless_01.jpg

    Sources: iPhone6s+ with Oppo HA-2/Beyer A200p DAC/amps, various computers using the Audioquest Dragonfly-2/HRT Microstreamer/FiiO E17k/FiiO E07k DAC/amps.

    Going right to the sound, the Wireless has a strong bass, an unremarkable (smooth, clean, uncolored) midrange, and a treble with plenty of energy and detail. Many headphones have an emphasized mid-upper bass that creates a sense of warmth and fullness on the majority of music tracks, but the Wireless goes deep - really deep, as witnessed by tracks like Markus Schulz's Mainstage. Some headphones won't even play that without breaking up, but the Wireless delivers. I have a number of sample tracks listed below with my impressions of how the Wireless plays that music - suffice it to say that it does the magic. People who are familiar with the V-MODA M100 will recognize much of that sound in the Wireless, and yet the Wireless is a little different from my M100, mainly in having a little more 'presence' in the upper mids to lower treble.

    My overall impressions of the sound are: One, imagine a perfect balmy evening outdoors in Los Angeles. Such perfect balmy evenings are unusual, even in that area of Southern California. The warmth of the V-MODA Wireless is like that - perfect, with a solid foundation of bass at the bottom. I once described the M100 sound as like being wrapped up in a friendship - 3 in bed for example (I hope nobody is offended by that image). The Wireless is also like that. My second significant impression is regarding the treble - many pricy headphones, particularly some DJ models, roll off the treble since they expect that their headphone will be used in a very noisy environment with the volume turned up high, and a full treble would be too much at that volume. The Wireless has a full treble - not bright like a Sennheiser HD600 or AKG K701, but enough for hi-fi reproduction, so if you play it extremely loud, take that into consideration (and check the music track samples below).

    To check out the wireless (Bluetooth) capability, I paired it with my iPhone 6S-plus, and placed the phone at one end of my apartment. I walked into several other rooms including laundry and bath rooms, closets, A/C enclosures etc., up to 35 feet from the phone, and the signal was always clean and perfect. I've used only a couple other wireless headphones, and neither were 100 percent in that regard. I also have a high-quality wireless receiver, and that tends to have a small "glitch" every half hour or so. The only problem I've had so far with this setup is when my phone was right next to a custom-made LED lamp - I haven't found that where I am with the headphone makes a difference, unless any difference (interference etc.) is caused by the phone itself. I don't hear a significant difference between the sound in passive and wireless modes, but if the very small difference is critical to anyone, there's no way for me to guess which way that would go.

    Isolation is average for a closed headphone I think, so if I'm walking in a park close to a busy freeway, I need to stay about 100 yards distant from the traffic to have a good low-noise listening experience. There are a few headphones that aren't noise-canceling that still have higher isolation, but I've found those to be less than comfortable. Leakage is low enough that the Wireless can be used in a public library or quiet office if the playback volume isn't extreme. Headphone soundstage is mostly dependent on the music of course, but soundstage also varies according to the average level of the treble, or treble balance. My sense of the Wireless is that the treble is right where it needs to be to have the best soundstage for this type of closed headphone.

    My sample of the Wireless is black with the standard plain shields in a gunmetal color or finish. I have V-MODA 3D shields with the 'spikes' motif on my M100, so I'll probably wind up with something different on the Wireless. For wired use, there are 2 cables (I got 2) included - one for Android apparently, and one for Apple devices. The left earcup has a jack for the included charging cord, USB-A to MicroUSB, and the right earcup has the minijack for the headphone cable. The other end of the cable is a 45-degree angled miniplug (3.5 mm). The headband has some spongy padding, and the around-ear (circumaural) earpads are very soft and squishy and covered in a high-quality pleather. V-MODA makes available larger (XL) earpads for people with large ears - my average-size ears are very comfy in the standard earpads. I rate the Wireless near the top of my list of comfortable headphones, and I've had no need to bend the headband for a better fit.

    The Wireless has controls on top of the right earcup for start/stop and volume up/down, and the wireless/pairing on/off switch on the bottom. A zippered hard-shell carrycase is included for portability when you don't want to wear it around your neck. I don't use the case unless I'm traveling, because it's much more convenient to carry it around my neck when not listening. The headband's range of adjustment is about 1/2 inch larger and 1/2 inch smaller on each side compared to where I use it on my average-size head. In previous reviews I've included music examples with comments about how the headphones sound with each track. My suggestion is instead of reading each one as an absolute unto itself, you could compare my notes here to other reviews containing those tracks and see how the Wireless compares with each individual track. NOTE: I have no expertise in EDM music, so I don't speak EDM here - I'm just giving my impressions of the Wireless' ability to reproduce the musical sounds in these amazing tracks.

    Note that the Wireless was evaluated above and below without tone controls or equalization.

    Above & Beyond - We're All We Need (feat. Zoe Johnston): A very nice tight but impactful bass with crystal clear vocals - the Wireless plays this with great ambiance.

    Anamanaguchi - Planet: A complex mix of percussion sounds and hummed vocals. The bells and other high-frequency percussion are highly detailed, and while the bass line has impact, there's little detail. The Wireless does this justice.

    Armin van Buuren - J'ai Envie de Toi (Orig Mix feat Gaia): Decent bass impacts, breathy vocals, lots of fun noise - the Wireless plays this perfectly.

    Avicii - Feeling Good: Classic female vocal in movie-theme style - the Wireless renders the singing in a very natural way.

    Carl Kennedy-Tommy Trash ft Rosie Henshaw - Blackwater (Original Master): Nice strong bass impacts, female vocal, rendered delectably by the Wireless.

    Crystal Castles - Wrath of God: Atmospheric tune with vocal sound effects and strong bass line, plus some unique treble percussion sounds. The Wireless brings these unique sounds to life.

    Digitalism - Pogo: A driving beat with a detailed bass synth and great vocals ("There's something in the air...") - the Wireless makes this very enjoyable.

    Dino Lenny-Lino Di Meglio - We Will Make It: Atmospheric tune with mixed vocals - the female vocal is a special treat with the Wireless.

    DJ Shadow - Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt: High-pitched tones and strong deep piano chords with a hummed female vocal - ultra-cool with the Wireless.

    Fairmont - Poble Sec: Awesome bass impacts with nifty pingy guitar/synth effects. I discovered this tune at the time I purchased my 3rd M100 - the Wireless covers this perfectly.

    Giuseppe Ottaviani - Lost for Words (On Air Mix feat Amba Shepherd): Strong bass impacts behind a female voice - a large-scale sweeping sonic image reminiscent of epic adventures in an exotic land. The Wireless is running on high octane here.

    Hecq - Enceladus (With Skyence): Prodigious bass and clean at that. This tune's melody is more abstract than most of the others here, but the Wireless makes it a pleasurable listen.

    Katy B - Crying For No Reason (Tom Shorterz Remix): Oh, I love Katy B. The vocal mix here is awesome, the bass is solid - this is Wireless at its best.

    Ladytron - Destroy Everything You Touch: I first heard this in The September Issue film and soundtrack, as the backdrop for the opening catwalk (watch Andre smile at 1:51 - all you need to know) - the Wireless plays this amazing tune perfectly.

    Lee and Malinda - Truth Will Set You Free (V-Moda Mix): Lee Kalt is the master, this is the masterpiece. The drum (or tom-tom) hits here have a very realistic skin-tone, the female vocal is seamlessly integrated into the driving beat, and the synth effects also blend well - the Wireless just owns this.

    Markus Schulz - Mainstage: The granddaddy of bass is in this track, and the Wireless plays it smooth and clean.

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