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V-Moda brings headphone customization into the modern era with new 3-D printed shields

Italian headphone maker V-Moda is looking to 3D printing to make its cans even more customizable. Today, the company announced current and future V-Moda headphone owners can now opt for a huge array of personalized 3D printed shields made of a wide array of materials that include stainless steel, plated, raw, and precious metals.

As a company that focuses on style as much as performance, V-Moda is no stranger to tinkering with design, having offered laser-engraved shields in the past. But this will be the first time the company has offered additive manufacturing for consumers to customize their models, something V-Moda is claiming to be unique in the genre. Since their cost will range widely, V-Moda is lowering the base price of the Crossfade M-100 to $250, the XS to $180 and the Crossfade LP2 at $150.

Those who do purchase a new pair of those three models or an add-on pair of metal shields from V-Moda’s website will be able to upload their own design for the shields at no extra charge. That service is starting out in beta for an undetermined period of time.

The level of choice for buyers is substantial, with headphone/shield pairings ranging from as low as $200 to as high as $40,000. Designed and sculpted at V-Moda’s studio in Milan, the shields go into production in New York.

As much as this is a play for consumers to get creative, V-Moda also looks to be targeting DJs with money to burn in carving out a brand identity for themselves.

The 3D printed fiber options are available in nine colors, and price at $40 for on-ear, $50 for over-ear shield kits (add an extra $20 for uploading your own design). However, Fiber 3D shields are included at no extra cost with the purchase of the new XS and Crossfade M-100s at the recently lowered price of $200 and $270, respectively.

The stainless steel shields are made of what V-Moda calls a “distinctive Damascus steel” effect, and are available in matte black, stainless steel, polished gold, polished bronze, and matte bronze. Ala carte shield pricing is at $100 for on-ear, and $150 for over-ear shield kits. When bundled with a new pair of XS cans, the price will $270, and $400 when packaged with a set of Crossfade M-100. Naturally, a premium will be charged if you choose to upload your own design.

The raw, rhodium and gold-plated metals are available in raw brass and raw bronze that glaze over time. Rhodium comes in 14k gold-plated and 14k rose gold-plated models. Pricing ranges from $180-$330 for on-ear, $350-$550 for over-ear shield kits. Bundled with the XS, prices run $370-$520, or $600-$800 if bundled with the Crossfade M-100. As before, it will cost more to upload your own design.

V-Moda calls the precious metal shields “commissioned works of art and the ultimate symbol of bespoke luxury.” Sterling silver is $430 for on-ear, $650 for over-ear shield kits. Outfitted on the XS will run $620, and $900 with the Crossfade M-100. Going with solid gold raises the stakes a fair bit at $4,000-5,500 on a pair of XS headphones. It goes up to $9,000-12,800 for the Crossfade M-100. The most expensive falls to the platinum shield kits that will cost $12,000-16,000 on the XS, all the way up to $27,000-40,000 on the Crossfade M-100.

V-Moda includes a lifetime warranty on all precious metal offerings. Uploading your own design in 2D or 3D for sculpting and embossing by V-Moda’s Italian designers will be in beta for an unspecified period. The company outlined some criteria to ensure compliance for the design process. The logo is to be embossed at a height of 1mm, while the design should have lines with a minimal thickness of around 0.8-1mm at the sharpest point.

What do you think, V-Moda fans? Are a pair of 3-D printed shields in the future for your set of cans?

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Ted Kritsonis
A tech journalism vet, Ted covers has written for a number of publications in Canada and the U.S. Ted loves hockey, history…
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