It’s been five years since V-Moda debuted its Crossfade M-100, a premium set of headphones that it designed using feedback from industry insiders like professional DJs, audiophiles, producers, and journalists. So it’s fitting that its long-awaited follow-up, the Crossfade M-100 Master, was also designed with a little help from knowledgeable experts. This time, however, that influence is courtesy of its parent, Roland, a legendary audio brand best-known for its iconic keyboards. Roland bought V-Moda in 2016.
V-Moda claims the new Crossfade M-100 Master improved on its predecessor in virtually every category, from sound quality to durability and comfort. Perhaps just as importantly, it has done so at a lower price: The original Crossfade M-100 hit shelves at a spendy $300, while the Crossfade M-100 Master comes in at still-pricey, but more affordable $250.
For that price, much of what made the Crossfade M-100 popular has remained, including the customizable metal shields that adorn the outside of the earcups, the highly foldable design, and a wide variety of swappable audio cables. In fact, you’ll have to look very closely indeed to notice any physical differences between the two models. V-Moda claims that most of what has changed will only be apparent to your other senses, specifically hearing and touch.
The Crossfade M-100 Master are Hi-Res audio certified, something which was achieved by equipping the 50mm dual-diaphragm drivers with Japanese CCAW coils. The resulting frequency response is a claimed 5-40,000Hz, which is certainly wider than most headphones, though it’s doubtful that any humans will be able to appreciate these new extremes.
Meanwhile, comfort and audio quality both get a boost from the larger memory-foam earpads, which V-Moda says provide such effective sound isolation, that additional noise-canceling technology is both unnecessary and undesirable as it “can pollute pure analog sound.” The headphones come with an included hard-shell carry case, two detachable audio cords (including a microphone and single-button equipped SpeakEasy cable), and an adapter. V-Moda’s two-year warranty is longer than the industry norm.
If these claims prove accurate, and V-Moda has indeed managed to make the Crossfade M-100 Master more capable from an audio performance point of view, more comfortable to wear, and less expensive than the original Crossfade M-100, we’d say it’s got a winner on its hands.