I’m generally not a fan of “design by committee,” but there’s actually a pretty compelling story behind the crowdsourced design of V-MODA’s new Crossfade M-100 headphones.
The M-100 is, of course, positioned as an upgrade to the company’s popular M-80, which I’m intimately familiar with, given that the V-MODA made me my own custom pair of Wookiee the Chew headphones at CES this year. ‘
When word leaked that V-MODA was cooking up the M-100, virtually everyone had an opinion on what it should be like, and the odd thing is, V-MODA listened:
Rather than abolishing the information, V-MODA embraced it and openly interacted on forums and social networks which ultimately transformed into a platform of crowdsourced product development.
“This collaboration is one of the most unique design processes I’ve ever been a part of” states Val Kolton, Chief Visionary Officer at V-MODA. “Once the word started to spread on M-100, forum discussions exploded with exceptional feedback vital to the development of the product. Our research and development labs consisted not of corporate marketing and finance departments, but rather the most passionate headphone consumers, musicians and DJs across the globe. M-100 is a progeny of audio enthusiasts worldwide – truly built by the people, for the people,” added Kolton.
The results, instead of being some compromised design that tries to please everyone and ends up satisfying no one, actually sounds like a truly versatile and ecumenical headphone that should appeal equally to audiophiles, DJs, and even gamers.
Care has been taken to make sure the pair of 50mm Dual-Diaphragm Drivers in each M-100 is perfectly matched. The compact, folding design has been engineered to survive multiple full-blown drops on concrete. But the cool thing for me is the add-ons: you can hook up an optional Coil Pro cable with locking mechanism for the DJ vibe, or better yet in my case, plug in the optional optional Boom Pro microphone to transform the M-100 into a gaming headset that doesn’t suck. Because, let’s face it, most of them do.
In addition to measuring up to MIL-STD-810G levels of durability, the M-100 includes such niceties as memory foam noise isolation, Kevlar-reinforced cables, SharePlay support for sharing the same source with your sweetie or buddy, an integrated mic for mobile voice support when you’re not tethered to Ventrilo, and of course the customization option I love so very much.