V-Moda hopes to make “on-ear the new in-ear” with its stylishly practical XS headphones

Check out our full review of the V-Moda XS headphones.

V-MODA‘s Crossfade M-100 offer some of the best overall value in a pair of over-ear headphones we’ve come across. Matching style, durability, and a sound performance that packs reams of velvety bass without ruining the whole picture, the M-100 hits the mark on all fronts. Now, almost precisely a year later, V-MODA is dropping a new pair —the XS — that brings its refreshing practicality and immaculate aesthetics along for the ride. The Milan-based company sets out to blend “analog inspiration, Italian design and global engineering” when developing its creations, and it shows.

A revamp to the company’s popular M-80 headphones, the XS is designed to relieve, rather than aggravate, existing pressure points on the head, while still “closing the gap” and making the set less bulky. The pair is equipped with 40mm dual-diaphragm drivers, a succinct on-ear profile with passive noise isolation, and a compact CliqFold Hinge design that packs into a sleek hardshell case, just like its big brother, the M-100.

In fact, V-Moda hopes its latest on-ear offering will be so easy to take along, you’ll ditch your in-ear headphones altogether, exchanging a bit of compact convenience for comfort and style.

More than five years of research and development led to what V-MODA calls its “wind-tunnel worthy” design that contours evenly along the head’s surface with the aid of memory foam cushions. The “SteelFlex” headband is, according to the specs on the product page, “virtually indestructible” and tailor-fit. V-MODA also came up with a pretty catchy acronym to summarize its approach to headphone comfort design: “ABC + P” — “‘Anything But Circles and Plastic,’ because heads are not round, ears are not spheres and metal lasts longer.” Makes sense to us.

V-MODA has designed the XS with military-grade durability and strength that outdoes the industry standard “onehundredfold.” The cable is Kevlar-reinforced, and the ‘phones are able to withstand more than 70 five-foot drops onto concrete, as well as surviving extreme temperature highs and lows, humidity, salt spray and UV rays. Throw in a slew of badass customizable options such as laser-engraving, and exchangeable faceplates on the ear pieces, and you’ve got a pair of headphones that should be well worth the asking price of around $210.

We haven’t had a chance to listen to the XS as of yet, but we should get our hands on a pair shortly, so stay tuned for our full deliberation on V-Moda’s latest piece of  high-design audio gear soon enough. If you can’t wait, however, you can pick up a pair for yourself today.

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