V-Moda M200 : No Longer Basshead Heaven

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Vtory, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    [​IMG]

    As much as I couldn't imagine to become a grado fanboy, I didn't regard myself as a potential customer of v-moda headphones. .. at least until this year. I know Tyll loved them (during IF's good old days he wrote multiple posts showing his big love). But when I actually heard them, I thought I was too noob basshead to rock with vmoda.

    A few years have passed since then. Many things changed. Grado became my top go-to headphones, sennheiser could terminate long love-hatred relationship (in a positive way), ... and I am about to ramble about v-moda headphones, Oh, well.

    In fact, there are a couple of sound reasons why I decided to consider their headphones again.

    First of all, Vmoda is now acquired by Roland -- one of the companies I trust almost always -- and the M200 headphones were announced to be voiced by Roland engineers. Well, it could be usual marketing hypes. I was rather unsure if they're really Roland's work.

    But later I found some of v-moda's older fans hated m200. That's quite promising green signal as I always believe criticism from fanboys and parise from skeptics are the most sure things in the world.

    Fortunately there was a 20% off head-fi promotion last month.. I couldn't resist to give them a try. Convinced myself as a self labor day gift. .. and they showed up in the house a few days ago.

    My thoughts so far below.
    • I could immediately understand why some hated m200. Far, far away from the house sound.
    • Comfort is kinda worse than expected. I found Sony WH-1000XM3 more comfortable. Very contestable against grados. Clamping is a little too strong for my taste, but it can get better as time goes. More problematic part to me is earcup too shallow (shallower than 1000Xm3) and small.
    • Very stylish. More so with customizable outer panels (called "shield" by vmoda). They cost $20 if bought with the headphones, and $40 when purchased separately. To me such options seem damn appealing. This time I chose among their presets as I wasn't sure how much I'd love these headphones. But may go for more challenging choices next time.
    • Balanced cable included in the package. That's good. But with 3.5mm termination? Heck, that's weird. I could get 3.5mm to 4 pin XLR though -- yeah Magnius powering them!
    • Impressive sounding (details to come later). Very well controlled bass. Extremely clear midrange. Never aggressive yet tad sparkling highs. Hits quite hard all over the spectrum but not overly. Microdynamics seem a little compromised but well above my 'ok' zone. Usually things advertised as 'for studio use' used to be something I can't live with but these headphones are legit.
    • This may sound ridiculous. But I do hear some 'Verite close'-ishness from these headphones. Soundwise I'd say they're a little less elegant and more casual VCjr.
    • They fit and seal fantastically on heads, but super poorly on EARS. Very well thought ergonomics -- despite sub-par wearing comfort.
    That's pretty much everything I can say comfortably at this point. Will update my impression later as I get accustomed with them.

    Finally dropping a piece of measurement. Take this with extreme caution. Due to the seal problem as stated above, I had to push ear cups quite hard to get convincing bass results that are close to my subjective experience.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Glad you picked these up. I forgot about them. FR looks really good. @ChaChaRealSmooth: maybe we can reach out to V-moda and get a pair for the loaner program.
     
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  3. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    Nice to see a pro company buy out a hype company and improve their products while taking advantage of their marketing. I'm sure that was the idea. No one would buy "Roland" headphones. So they sought out a headphone company with a good solid brand that was well known, bought them and then plan to make Roland headphones with the V-moda brand so people will buy them, or even take notice.

    On the other hand, using the name Roland, while it would take both luck (someone noticing them and buying them on a whim) and time (to get the word out), would give them. blank slate. They. woudn't have to work against the bssshead branding.

    I personally would rather own a Roland headphone than V-moda but that's just me because I hate hype and like pro, functional focussed gear.

    Thanks for posting!
     
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  4. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    While I don't disagree with the current vmoda looks, it seems to confuse people (both new and old customers). I also want a little more professional or functional appearance -- imho neumann did a great job in designing ndh20 although those headphones didn't mark some of my checklist .. and too expensive for what they are to me.

    Anyway we will see how Roland develops in the (middle or mid-high) headphones markets. They always came up with a good product idea and implementation (not necessarily for the business strategy though).
     
  5. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    I've owned or heard the original LP, LP2, M-80, and M-100. The LP's were just whomp buckets. The LP2's were more of the same but maybe less aggressive about it. The M-100's were another step in that direction; basshead for fun without being too awful, and the XL pads were super comfy. The folding/compactness were also really nice. I managed to transplant a couple T50rp drivers into an LP/LP2 shell a few times, but never got a chance to try on an M-100.

    The M-80's were probably my favourite of the lineup, with the flattest relative FR. I really really wish they had some more flex to rotate on the y-axis though, because I could never quite get a proper seal with them.
     
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  6. Bina

    Bina MOT - Shanling

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    I wasn't able to find this info on V-mode site, but are they at least using the 3.5Pro connector / pinout? The one with special red spacer ring?
     
  7. Raimei Templar

    Raimei Templar Almost "Made"

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    I got to try it for a few minutes at eEarphone and yeah it sounds nothing like vmoda m100 . Bass is quite neutral to perhaps even a bit bass light, slightly less than what I like for sure. Upper mids sounded a little laid back, but I was demoing Grado most of the time so that may have thrown off my standards a bit! It reminded me of the Sony mdr-1st though a little more exciting I think.

    Lot of v moda fans seem to hate it, even the head fi threads have naysayers(shocking I know)! Even with just a short time it is easy to see why, it doesn't have that Uber bass boost at all and the highs were much more present. Seemed like something perfect for someone after a relatively neutral sounding closed back.
     
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  8. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Yup, and it's on their web, too. See below.

    upload_2020-9-17_5-31-38.png

    You can see 3.5mm trrs plug. RIght cable used for balanced connection and left one for mic+stereo. It comes with these two cables.

    And like I wrote I am currently using it with 3.5 trrs to xlr male adapter to connect m200 to balanced out of magnius. Pretty mild improvement, but hearable to my ears (or placebo).
     
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  9. dncnexus

    dncnexus Friend

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    I used to rock with VModa back in the day during my high school days. If these are actually not bad I might just pick up a pair for that nostalgia kick! Would be a good commute headphone.

    On a side note the regular pads on VModa have always been small and shallow. To get a better fit you would need to get the XL Pads. Not sure how that will affect sound but will help with that comfort.
     
  10. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    vmoda wants to expand their product line but there was plenty of reasons to buy M-100 and only M-100.
    With M200 I can buy 5 other closed studio headphones for the same price or less.
     
  11. Magnetostatic_Tubephile

    Magnetostatic_Tubephile Friend

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    Not sure if I would interpret the FR as "very good", to be honest. Looking into the graph very carefully reveals things like:
    • -5dB response around 100Hz vs 300Hz (probable lack of bass presence, fullness, and punch)
    • -14dB response around 4kHz vs 1kHz (probable lack of upper mid / low treble presence, harmonics and crunch)
    • -10dB response around 9kHz vs 1kHz (probable lack of air and zing)
    This is not to say the headphone cannot sound great for the price. FR graph is just a FR graph, nothing more. But it certainly does not imply confidence in me.

    (As usual, just IMHO.)
     
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  12. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    @Magnetostatic_Tubephile the FR graphs for the ZMF Verite didn't gave me any confidences until I heard one. It is just one of those things that the experience/exceptions are different when hearing one vs seeing FR graphs.
     
  13. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    1. I can live with this because bass extends low. Some closed dynamics headphones (woody ATs) have had similar a dip or there here. In-room dips in the bass with powered monitors sitting on desk can be worse.
    2. Hard to say on the 4kHz dip. At worst it's a narrow dip, and people don't notice dips so much. Narrow dips can often be a measurement artifact. CSDs on flat plate or foam coupler may yield more interesting information.
    3. This part is bit concerning, but from what we've seen, anything above 7-8kHz on the miniDSP EARS or anything G.R.A.S. is up for grabs. I can deal a darker tilt anyway.
    What it comes down to is that we've seen worse with this measurement from other closed dynamics - a lot worse - like don't even bother sending to me worse. I'm not going all "Audio Science Review" via nitpicking to death the miniDSP EARS FR from @Vtory if you know what I mean. This is a great candidate, as good as one as I've seen from a closed dynamic, especially when the norm is bass + spike.

    P.S. For reference, other closed dynamic headphones from the past:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
  14. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    My takeaway is similar. At the minimum it doesn't look that bad -- and that's quite a point unfortunately for this product category.

    Subjectively I am unsure if I hear what the measurement suggests. Second bp is the most agreeable as I don't think timbre richness a strong suit for m200 -- a little cheap-ish timbre if not annoyingly so.
     
  15. Bina

    Bina MOT - Shanling

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    I saw this image, but from it wasn't clear to me, if they decided to pick connector compatible with new 3.5Pro standard.

    3.5Pro is new balanced standard pushed by Chinese audiophiles and companies are slowly starting to add it to machines(including Shanling). Unique thing of 3.5Pro is that it uses recessed female connector, so on your jack you need special spacer ring, to make sure it can fit.

    2494a327c942f4954b41df66fad0a8e.png

    I though that they might have picked this, to get some compatibility with new devices. But seems they picked up standard that nobody is using anymore??
     
  16. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Oh I didn't know that 'pro' thing at all. Sorry for my ignorance. No, they didn't go for 3.5pro.

    Feels funny that we have this many non-xlr bal plugs .. 2.5trrs, 3.5trrs, 3.5pro, 4.4pentacon.
     
  17. imackler

    imackler Key Lime Pie Infected Aberdeen Wings Spy

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    I think it's the same 3.5mm balanced jack configuration used by iFI on Nano BL and LH labs/Hifiman: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/ifi...page-26-post-386.864211/page-65#post-15713653
     
  18. CEE TEE

    CEE TEE Free Agent

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    @Bina Yes- HIFIMAN, Sony ZX2, LH Labs uses that format but without the special collar for recessed use...or is that for use with a protective case around DAP so you can reach through the cover? Have you seen units where that red collar disappears into the DAP chassis? Makes sense to add that for use with DAPs in Dignis (or other thick cases).
     
  19. DrForBin

    DrForBin Friend

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    hello,
    and here i thought i was the only V-Moda owner on SBAF.
    my users can break just about anything. once upon a time our Tyll suggested some all plastic, all singin', all dancin', cheap Phillips-O'Neill headphones for people who break things. they went on close-out for even cheaper, i bought enough for everybody... and had breakage within 60 days.
    the kids got Crossfade M80 Vocal's in 2015. one pair is still in very good shape, the other is held together with tape and bailing wire but still being abused on a daily basis. MrsForBin got XS's to commute with after that. nice size, easy to carry and sound not all that bad. she since switched to CA Orion's for the bus. (you can probably figure out who uses the XS now.)
    they aren't all that bass heavy to my taste, at least as compared to that brand you wear around your neck.
    i like the way V-Moda's are made and was pretty pumped to see the release of the M200, looks well made, easy to carry and better sound, what's not to like?
    cheers!
     
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  20. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The M80s are really good, not bass heavy. The M100 went bass heavy - in a nice way. I asked V-Moda for an M100 for a Changstar review years ago. My bet is that Jude probably convinced them otherwise. Or maybe they forgot.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
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