This double review features Edd from the UK and Julius in the US. It’s a very long read (5000+) and that’s even after I trimmed out some parts that I think are redundant. They really have a lot of things to say about this headphone and the hype surrounding it, and I really don’t want to cut down their voice too much. Both of them are opinionated writers, and they wrote their pieces individually. There was no “coordination” of some sort. It just happens that they happen to feel the same way about the M-100. I noticed that Tyll has posted his review of the M-100 as well. While the tone is more positive, there is no denying that the bottom line of his review is the same: that the M-100 is a monster basshead headphone.
There are some negative notes against the hype of the VMODA M-100, which mostly happens on Head-Fi. This is not meant to be an offensive review toward Head-Fi. It just so happens that the monstrous hype for the M-100 mostly happens there. I think the problem is that we all expected a superb enthusiasts headphone (again, from the hype), but instead we’re brought a headphone with a funky tonality. Lastly, know that the normal text is Edd’s. Italics are Julius’.
The M-100 has been rumoured and eagerly awaited since the V-Moda M-80 brought a great mix of audio and build quality, form and style back in August of last year! The sound may have been impressive for it’s size (and price) but that tiny frame was an issue for some, myself included. I was not alone in wishing for a circumaural version to improve the comfort of an otherwise great portable headphone… and now we seem to have exactly that.
I signed up for one of the first pre-orders, designated as VTF-100 and here it is. On the headphone itself it’s simply marked as M-100 and I’m told this is the exact model that will go on sale, no further tweaking of design, specification or sound. At the moment there is a second run of pre-orders available to sign up for on the V-Moda site, which should ship before Christmas.
A few months ago, I won an Artists contest that V-Moda held on Facebook. The prize was a free M-100 in all it’s apparent glory. I’ve had time to fiddle with it, time to thoroughly test it and put it through trials by Fire and Ice. I bathed with it ( kidding ), slept next to it ( not kidding ) and even drove about 150 miles to an old friends house just to hear his opinion. I am just going to come out and say it. I dislike this Headphone. It does not at all suit my preferences, but this doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it. Take this review with a grain of salt, my judgement is not Law. I have a lot of gripes about this headphone, but I also have a lot of positive feelings.
I’ve been sitting here for hours in an empty house, alone and feeling a bit feverish at the thought of the mass hysteria that has been revolving around and about the V-Moda M-100. There are some other Audio Forums on the Internet that have threads and topics about this model that are absolutely bursting at the seams with misinformation. I am here to put a stop to some of that. I am going to do my best to keep you well informed so you can make an educated decision if you plan to purchase this Headphone.
I have a $1600 Behemoth sitting in front of me. Its name is the Hifiman EF-6. ( Full Review on this monstrosity coming soon ) It arrived just about the same time as my M-100. Naturally, I was afraid to use efficient headphones with an amplifier that Darth Vader might use if he were an Audiophile. Even with $1600 Amplification, I still dislike the M-100. More on Amplification, later. The M-100 is well made but does not take the title of the best and most well made Mid-Tier Headphone. That honor goes to the Philips Fidelio L1, which implemented a much thicker cut of metal framework for the Headband area and Earcups. Where the M-100 is a thinner slice of metal, still pliable and flexible, the Philips L1 is significantly thicker and less conforming. To each his own. I prefer the fit of the M-100 over the Fidelio L1. But, fit means nothing. My Noggin’ and hair line could care less about sonic qualities. I mention the Philips Fidelio L1 for two reasons: The first is that it is my favorite $100-$300 Headphone. The second is that it is also my pick for the best all around full size Mid-Tier Headphone. It’s my benchmark…and a worthy opponent for the M-100 to be tossed into the Pit with to duke it out, Gladiator Style. “ Are you not entertained!? ”
Next page: Sound Impressions…