V-MODA M80 (2019) On-Ear Stereo Headphone review

dalethorn

Headphone user
Dec 9, 2012
440
1
18
58
Cleveland TN.
dalethorn.com
#1
This is a quickie review of the v-moda M80, a headphone I owned a few of circa 2011-2014 in its several incarnations (V80, M80, XS). The V80 was the True Blood(c) branded edition, the M80 was the same thing in shadow, matte black, and white, and the XS added the CliqFold mechanism as well as the form-fitting "Mind The Gap" headband design. All of these that I had sounded about the same, which isn't surprising since the earcups and drivers were the same. The drivers were (as best I remember) a dual-diaphragm design, which not only provided a strong deep bass, but really good bass detail as well.

Using my "new" M80 (original 2014 packaging unopened), I note that the clamping force is very light - lighter than most on-ear headphones. The headband was easy to bend permanently so that the earcups sit flush on my ears. In cold environments, the pleather earpads don't immediately seal well due to the light clamp, but after a minute when they warm up on the head, they're good to go. This is not a wireless headphone obviously, but given how I use headphones and the options I have available, I consider this M80 just as viable for walkabout use. The single-side cable is detachable, easy to drop into a pocket, the headphone can be worn around the neck all day with no bother, and for better sound I use the v-moda Lightning DAC cable with my Apple i-devices in lieu of the standard cable.

Here's the EQ curve I made in 2014, using just the Q=1 bandwidth defaults of the parametric equalizer. Although I boosted the low bass by 6 db then, I find that a 3 db boost at 33 hz is more than enough with this current M80. I wouldn't suggest this headphone for 32-ft (16.35 hz) organ pipe reproduction, but for any EDM and other bass-centric genres it plays extremely well. The original Innerfidelity review(s) noted the excellent sound, but with the caveat that it had a slightly "constricted" aspect to it. My EQ fixed that, and in my opinion the result is a smooth, detailed hi-fi sound.

http://dalethorn.com/Photos/Audioforge/Vmoda_M80.jpg

When all is said and done, snagging this M80 at half or less of the original price, I got the same v-moda build quality and sound, and the at-home use with various DACs is pure sonic pleasure.

HERE is the new video review:
 

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