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  • Durable steel frame construction

  • Works well for bass-heavy music

  • Includes a sturdy carrying case


  • Treble could sound muddled

  • Headband is on the tight side

But you don't need to worry anymore–V-Moda is here to help. With a whole line of ultra-tough headphones backed by solid warranties, you don't have to worry about wear and tear; just what songs you want to listen to.

The Crossfade LP-2 ($199.99 MSRP) can take one hell of a beating, while still offering rock-solid audio performance too. Though these headphones aren't new, they hang tough with the best of them at their price point.
On the whole, the V-Moda Crossfade LP-2 exemplifies how to make the most of your equipment. Though it has measurable flaws, not many have a big impact on what you'd actually hear: these imperfections are largely imperceptible.
This response is fairly similar to the ISO226:2003 equal loudness standard, with two main deviations. The first is a reduction in highs (merciful if you hate shrill sounds) and a somewhat weak sub-bass response. The latter is the more important one, but it's unlikely you'll really notice it unless you're watching action movies. Music tends not to lean on the sub-40Hz range all that hard anyway—at least for pop/rock.

Though dynamic, the LP-2's response is fairly restrained.

Obviously, this means that these are not the cans for studio mixing. Not that it's something I need to say for 99% of people reading this, but it's still worthy of pointing out.
If there's one thing the V-Moda Crossfade LP-2s have, it's durability. If there's two things the V-Moda Crossfade LP-2s have, it's durability and style. With an aircraft-grade aluminum chassis and the ability to swap out cables on a whim, the LP-2s aren't going to quit on you. Additionally, you can swap out faceplates on the back to suit your style whenever you'd like.

Barring getting run over by an M1A1 Abrams tank, these cans aren't going to be killed by a small amount of punishment. Even the weakest part of the LP-2s, the cable, is wrapped in kevlar: the stuff they make bulletproof vests out of. Should you manage to destroy it anyway, you can always replace the cable no sweat with any 3.5mm male-to-male cord.

Partway down the cable is a simple remote with volume controls, a general function button, and microphone. With a low electrical requirement and adequate controls, these make for a fantastic pair for your smartphone because they don't leave you wanting for more. If you don't want the extra control, there's a straight cable tucked in the packaging, too.

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A photo of the V-Moda Crossfade LP-2.
Credit: / Chris Thomas

Break your cable? Rip it out and replace it—simple as that.

Being over-ears, the LP-2s have a certain bulk to them, made more pronounced by the liberal use of metal in their construction. Consequently, you might find the band digs into your skull over a period of several hours. They aren't exceptionally comfortable with their rather thin stock ear pads, either, and it makes me wonder why V-Moda didn't just include the XL pads by default—those fix most of the comfort issues, and give a minor isolation bump too by offering a much better seal.

Unable to fold into a smaller profile, you may find yourself using the included carrying case quite a bit to keep everything in one place. Like the headphones, it's a rigid and inflexible, but it's a great way to reduce clutter in your bag.

A photo of the V-Moda Crossfade LP-2.
Credit: / Chris Thomas

A single-button remote is a great feature for smartphones.

If you find yourself strumming a guitar or listening to an older hifi system, you can use the included 1/4th inch adapter. While the use cases that require such a thing are rapidly disappearing, it's nice to have that option anyway.
Like most V-Moda headphones, the LP-2s are fairly bass-heavy with a little bit of falloff in the sub-bass and highest-end notes. That's really standard, and in some ways merciful. You don't really want any range of notes to completely overpower the rest, and if you're like most people, that means a sound that's somewhere in between industry standard and studio.

For example, you won't notice anything wrong with the baseline for the late David Bowie's Heroes. Even the lowest notes will sound roughly where they should be, despite the underemphasis under 40Hz. However, you will notice that the effects behind the music in Run the Jewel's Lie, Cheat, Steal are suspiciously quiet.

Though dynamic, the LP-2's response is fairly restrained.

Distortion is high in the lowest notes, but still well within reason. You probably won't notice it, even if you're looking for it. Beyond that, there's really not much to complain about when it comes to the LP-2's sound. Though they don't do so hot when it comes to conforming to either of the major calibration standards, the cans strike a pleasing balance.

In short, fans of pop, rock, EDM, and hip hop will enjoy the sound of these cans. Maybe it isn't perfectly ideal, but bumping bass to a strong degree will help your listening in the presence of outside noise. Even if you were to listen at home where it's quiet, your music will sound good.

A photo of the V-Moda Crossfade LP-2.
Credit: / Chris Thomas

Though the LP-2's profile is smallish, the speaker cups are ample.

The LP-2 block out a fair bit of outside noise, but generally you can expect low-frequency noise like car engines, street noise, and people talking to cut right through your music at low volumes. While that's probably for the best in terms of safety, you may find that this is annoying while riding public transit.
Distortion is pretty high with the LP-2s, but it's sequestered in the ranges where it's tough to hear anyway. While the peaks can hit fairly high, they're underneath our empirical curve—meaning you shouldn't worry about it. You're not going to hear it, in all likelihood.

Distortion is high, but well within sane limits. You won't hear it.

If you're in love with rock, hip hop, or pop music, you'll want these cans for your day-to-day drivers. Not only do they produce a pleasing sound, but they're going to survive anything you throw at them.

You can't really kill them without much effort. From the cable, to the cups, to the band, everything is made out of super durable components, and if you do manage to break something, chances are good you can replace it on the cheap. Additionally, you can also enhance your experience by upgrading your ear pads.

Though they've been around for some time now, there's plenty of reasons to like these headphones. They're well-priced, durable, sound great, and are as fashionable as you're willing to make them. You can find all sorts of alternate faceplates online, including getting a laser-etched pattern engraved in them. These are very customizable headphones.

Sitting in a crowded segment of the market, alternatives are going to be fraught with tradeoffs. For example, to save a bit of money, you could always go for the timeless Sony MDR-V506, but then you'd lose out on having near-indestructible headphones. You could also spring for the Audio Technica ATH-MSR7s but that might leave your wallet quite light.

The LP-2s don't block out a bunch of low-end noise, but airplane engines, screeching babies, and other high-frequency noise is cut down pretty well. Just don't expect these to remove you completely from the action if you're out on the street.

High-end sound is easily muted, but low end sounds will cut right through your music.

For the entire range of audible sounds, the LP-2s keep a perceptibly-perfect channel balance. No issues here.

Channel balance is also well contained. You shouldn't hear any shifts unless the mixer wants you to.

Meet the tester

Chris Thomas

Chris Thomas

Staff Writer, Imaging


A seasoned writer and professional photographer, Chris reviews cameras, headphones, smartphones, laptops, and lenses. Educated in Political Science and Linguistics, Chris can often be found building a robot army, snowboarding, or getting ink.

See all of Chris Thomas's reviews

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