June 20, 2016

This article was written by Anindra Siqueira and first appeared in Afternoon Despatch and courier here.

Tried & Tested V-MODA XS

A good pair of headphones for everyday use can be elusive.

The V-MODA XS is a neat little set of headphones — compact enough to fit in a travel pouch when folded, but punchy enough for better-than-average audio. The sibling of the Crossfade, the small on-ear set of headphones comes in a sturdy travel case; it also has a detachable cable and folds in on itself so that you can transform it into its travel-ready form. We ran the XS through the metaphorical gauntlet to see how well it held up. Read on to find out whether it’s a sensible purchase.

What V-MODA promises is pure quality and the right to brag. The XS has every bit of the V-MODA philosophy in its DNA — basically, it looks great. It’s the perfect example of clever design melded with functional style. It has V-MODA’s characteristic hexagonal ear pad housing design and you can get interchangeable covers, adding to its style factor. The black headphones with the contrasting orange cable add to the aesthetics of the set.

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The robust set delivers decent enough sound — not much to report here that you wouldn’t expect from the company. The XS gives you crisp, punchy audio and there’s really no complaint with the quality of sound that it delivers. However, you may have a grouse with the set’s ability to cut out external noises.

At times, high pitched clicks (like those of a keyboard) get through whether you’re listening to bass or treble-heavy audio. Another minor complaint with the set is that it can get uncomfortable if you use it for prolonged periods. The V-Moda XS is a wonderful set of headphones, especially if your listening doesn’t boil over for hours on end.

You wouldn’t expect a set of audio-focused headphones to do much more than give you good sound, but V-MODA has something added in for every user. The set’s connector cable has an in-built microphone, so you can plug it into a mobile device for sharp audio and switch to a call seamlessly. It is also one of the sturdiest models we’ve come across — the build-quality is excellent and it comes with a tough carry case to provide additional protection. What’s phenomenal about the set is that it lets you share your music, thanks to its daisy chain capabilities. You don’t need any additional hardware — another set can plug directly into the XS!

If you’re an enthusiast who loves long, dreamy music sessions, the V-MODA XS isn’t going to sit too well with you. It’s not because of the audio quality (the XS is good in that department); it’s because you won’t be able to wear the XS for long stretches. However, if you’re the kind who likes a short listen every now and then, especially during a commute, the XS makes for a great pair. It’s extremely portable and very durable, so you can take your music wherever you go without worry.

If all the technical jargon is confusing, let this stay with you: the V-MODA XS is a great set to have with you at all times, and its positives far outweigh the negatives. However, quality comes at a price and you’ll have to shell out big bucks for it.

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