The V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex Edition headphones improve upon the Crossfade 2 Wireless. The Codex Edition headphones include the same design external design, battery life, and headphone jack as its predecessor with one major improvement: the support of the aptX and AAC Bluetooth codecs.
Does this addition to the V-Moda family render the Crossfade 2 Wireless irrelevant?
Editor’s note: this V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex review was updated on October 11, 2020, to address a price reduction, and answer an FAQ about how V-Moda’s headphones compare to the Shure AONIC 50.
Who should get the V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex?
- DJs and anyone who’s rough with their stuff. The SteelFlex headband can withstand at least 10 instances of being crushed flat. Each headset undergoes MIL-STD-810G testing to ensure durability.
- On-the-go audio enthusiasts. If you’re like our executive editor Chris Thomas, Bluetooth is the auditory thorn in your side, but the Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex Edition includes aptX and AAC codec support, so you can enjoy CD-like quality without worrying about wires.
- Those who enjoy the finer things. When you customize your cans before checkout, one of the plate categories is precious metals. From there you’ll find 14K gold in a variety of colors, platinum, sterling silver, and more.
V-Moda announced its Codex Upgrade Program, which gives Crossfade Wireless and Crossfade 2 Wireless owners a coupon code towards the Codex Edition.
How are V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex built?
The SteelFlex headband stays true to its name. Not only is it tested to withstand at least 10 flat bends, but it can be contorted any which way too.
V-Moda’s modus operandi is to produce tough-as-nails products that have specs to match. This tough headset remains lightweight—that, combined with the CliqFold hinges, make these an excellent option for travelers, DJs, gym goers, and the like.
With all of this talk of metal components and a battery of testing, you may be concerned about comfort. Worry not: the cushioned SteelFlex headband and large memory foam cushions provide ample support. Not only that, but the ear cushions have small cutouts in the vegan leather wrap for improved air circulation.
V-Moda designers and engineers paid attention to the look and feel of the carrying case, which features airflow vents on each side. This isn’t just aesthetic, it lets your headphones air out even when in the case. It also features fastened elastic bands to store the included headphone cables.
How do you operate the controls?
Usually over-ear headphone controls are placed on a lateral edge of one of the ear cups. In the case of the Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex, though, they sit just above the shield in an upside down V-formation. This definition makes it easier to identify the buttons. You can access your preferred smart assistant, perform basic playback and call controls, and adjust the volume.
Customizable and modular by design
Durability and longevity aside, one of the major selling points of V-Moda headphones is customization. Like most headphones, you have control over the general color palette—black, black/rose gold, and white—but you can also choose the shield material and color; the screw material; and what accessories you want to include.
Of course, opting for modest 14K gold-plated shields will cause the price to skyrocket from $350 to $1,000. Choosing platinum shields? Ouch. That’s going to run you $27,000. Luckily, the default aluminum options don’t alter the price, and they come in a variety of colors. Regardless of the material, you can get the shields either laser engraved or 3-D printed with a design of your choosing.
Are any accessories included?
The V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex include a gold plated ¼” adapter; an exoskeleton case with a carabiner clip; an Aramid fiber-reinforced 3.5mm cable with one-button in-line mic and remote; a micro-USB cable; and the headphones. V-Moda stands by its product by providing listeners with a one-year warranty, and 50% immortal life program replacement support. Should you manage to destroy your headphones with normal use, send the pieces back and V-Moda will hook you up.
V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless vs. Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex Edition
The V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless and Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex Edition look very similar, but the Codex Edition is significantly more expensive than the standards wireless model. This is to account for AAC and aptX support, but otherwise, the headsets share many premium features.
How long does the battery last?
A 430mAh battery supplies 14 hours of playback time before needing to be recharged. The headphones use quick charge technology and require just 30 minutes to provide four hours of playback. A full charging cycle takes 2.5 hours.
What Bluetooth codecs do they support?
These predominantly Bluetooth headphones feature a 10-meter connectivity range. And as we’re seeing more and more in mid-to-top tier headphones, Bluetooth multipoint is supported, so you can connect to two devices simultaneously. What’s more, aptX and AAC codec support means there’s virtually zero perceptible wireless latency. Again, you can always unravel the included 3.5mm aux cable for some hi-res audio quality.
How do the V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex sound?
V-Moda tuned the Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex frequency response to sound pleasing for nearly all consumers: the bass response is slightly emphasized to add more oomph to your music, while upper-midrange notes are also amplified, which makes it easier to hear detail from most instruments. This tuning is a simple way to seemingly combat auditory masking, when a loud sound makes it hard to hear a relatively quiet one.
The pads included with the V-Moda Crossfade Wireless 2 isolate fairly well, because of the improved ear pads. V-Moda ditched the thinner stock pads offered with older headsets in in favor of the deep XL ear pads. This affords much better isolation, as they are capable of actually encircling an ear, instead of just sitting on them.
Lows, mids, highs
Rainbows as performed by James Lindsey and Cicily is a comforting hip-hop track that sounds great through these bass-favoring cans. The bass drop at 0:20 sounds great, and can be felt as well as heard. Lesser quality drivers may be perplexed by this kind of bass response, and reproduce distorted low notes, but these headphones handle bass notes very well.
The biggest bass drop does mask Lindsey’s vocals ever so slightly. The best example of this can be heard at 1:10, where Lindsey sings, “Rainbows.” During the bridge at 0:37, Lindsey takes a few inhales. This may seem like an odd thing to highlight, but I’ve heard this song hundreds of times and never noticed his breathing prior to this headset.
Hippo Campus’ song Warm Glow elicits feelings of warmth, as one would expect given the name. At 2:57, steady cymba hits become present while Jake Lupen and Nathan Stocker’s vocals become interwoven. Their voices are easy to hear above the instrumental picking and constant hi-hat hits. It isn’t until 3:50 when the drums and vocal echos re-enter that the hi-hats become difficult to hear.
Are the V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex worth it?
Yes, the V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex are among the best non-noise cancelling headphones you can buy, particularly if you value durability and customer service.
The Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex can be found for less than $300 in certain regions, which is a significant markdown from the original $349 USD price. The headphones have their drawbacks: the is no V-Moda mobile app, which means you aren’t afforded firmware updates, or simple features like a software EQ. This means you’re stuck with the default sound signature. Even still, these may be worthwhile compromises for some.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The Shure AONIC 50 and V-Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex are very different headsets: the former has noise cancelling, while the latter does not. Shure's passive isolation is slightly better when it comes to blocking out midrange frequencies than V-Moda's, but V-Moda's headset more effectively blocks out high frequencies. Microphone quality is better with the Shure AONIC 50 as is sound quality. Neither headset supports software EQ technology, but the Shure AONIC 50 can receive firmware updates through its mobile app. Unless you're uniquely rough with your headphones, save up for the Shure AONIC 50; it's a more versatile headset that's future-proofed with firmware update support.