V-Moda’s M-100 is the first full-size, audiophile-friendly headphone we’ve seen that you can really take anywhere: Not only is it efficient enough to drive with just about any smartphone or portable player, but it has great isolation and its folding design lets it pack down into a compact clamshell case — with straps for a USB stick (or your AudioQuest DragonFly), extra cables, and 1/8-inch–1⁄4-inch adapters.
Superficially, the M-100 resembles V-Moda’s previous full-size offering, the Crossfade LP, but the departures are obvious at first listen. The M-100 is no bass monster, though it’s got a bigger bottom end and a wider apparent soundstage than its smaller sibling, the very fine-sounding on-ear M-80, while keeping the M-80’s smooth midrange and extended high end. It’s a versatile listen, suitable for the smorgasbord of program material that might make up the diet of the modern audiophile — everything from dubstep and death metal to jazz vocals and string quartets.
A wide range of accessories rounds out the M-100 package, including a pair of cables: one with a one-button universal mike/remote pod, and a second with an extra 1/8-inch “SharePlay” for sharing tunes with a friend. An optional cable aimed at gamers and podcasters includes a high-quality mike on a miniature flexible boom — super cool. You can attach your cable on either side, and a pair of plugs are provided to seal the unused port. Now, that’s attention to detail.
V-Moda headphones may be fashion forward, but make no mistake — they’re designed with sound quality first and foremost in mind. For the headphone enthusiast on your list, the M-100 is a no-brainer. — Michael Berk
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