V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless x Rolling Stones review: Rock out to high fidelity Classic Licks

V Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Rolling Stones Hero
(Image: © Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

iMore Verdict

Bottom line: These stylish headphones deliver rich and balanced sound, and you can use them in passive wired mode or wirelessly through Bluetooth. Battery life is only around 14 hours though, and they charge via micro USB.

Pros

  • +

    Stylish designs with signature Rolling Stones logo

  • +

    Comfortable ear cups

  • +

    Rich and balanced sound

  • +

    Wireless or passive wired mode

  • +

    Includes carrying case, audio cable with remote

Cons

  • -

    Subpar battery life

  • -

    No Active Noise Cancelation

  • -

    Charges via micro USB

  • -

    Expensive

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As someone who spends hours at a desk with a computer in front of them for work each day, I spend a lot of time just listening to music. Because of this, I like to have headphones that can function for both work and play, providing great sound quality for music as well as video conferences. And maybe it's a little superficial, but I give bonus points for a pair of headphones that look good too.

V-MODA is a brand that is known for creating high-fidelity headphones and audio devices and has been around since 2004. One of its most popular headphones are the Crossfade 2s, which gained wireless compatibility a few years back. I remember owning an earlier, wired-only version of the Crossfade headphones many years ago, and they were one of my favorite pairs of cans — I wore them until the ear cups deteriorated.

Recently, V-MODA has collaborated with the Rolling Stones for a limited edition run of its popular Crossfade 2 Wireless headphones. I couldn't pass up a chance to give these a try, and for the most part, they're an excellent set of headphones for any music lover.

V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless x Rolling Stones: Price and availability

V Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Rolling Stones Case Full Open

V Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Rolling Stones Case Full Open (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

The V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless x Rolling Stones edition is available direct from V-MODA and Amazon. There are three different Rolling Stones designs: the band's original Classic Licks logo, the No Filter rendition of the logo, and the Tattoo You variation. All three designs are placed on the exterior of the ear cup, while the rest of the headphones are black. The V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless x Rolling Stones costs $280.

V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless x Rolling Stones: Fans of the Rolling Stones can rock out in high fidelity

V Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Rolling Stones Christine Wear Side Beatles

V Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Rolling Stones Christine Wear Side Beatles (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

There's no denying it — V-MODA knows a thing or two about stylish headphone designs. The adjustable headband on this pair of headphones features a flexible metal-core frame with soft padding, and the ear cups have large memory foam cushions for comfort and noise isolation. Thanks to the flexibility of the headband, the headphones can fit on a wide range of head sizes. While the Rolling Stones edition comes with a version of the Classic Licks logo on the ear cup shields, like the other offerings from V-MODA, you can change out these metal plates to a customized one from V-MODA's website.

The Rolling Stones edition comes with three renditions of the band's Classic Licks logo.

On the bottom of the left ear cup is the micro USB charging port. You'll find the power switch underneath the Rolling Stones ear cup shield on the right ear cup, and the playback control buttons on top. I found the buttons to be pretty easy to get to, and they have decent tactile feedback. The center multipurpose button lets you play and pause audio, as well as answer or end calls. The other two buttons adjust the volume.

V Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Rolling Stones Side View Headband

V Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Rolling Stones Side View Headband (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

The Crossfade 2 Wireless comes with a convenient exoskeleton carrying case with a carabiner, an audio cable with remote and mic, a gold-plated 1/4" pro adapter, and a micro USB charging cable. Even though the headphones feature Bluetooth connectivity, those who want to use them the traditional way by plugging them in can do so with the cable. But if you opt for using them wirelessly, the Crossfade 2 Wireless has about 12-14 hours of playtime on a single charge, dependent on volume level. A 30-minute charge will give you about another four hours of playtime. The battery life is subpar compared to other headphones, but should be enough to get you through a whole day (are you actually listening to 12 hours straight of audio every day?), or at least a working day, at least.

Sound quality is fantastic for the average consumer, whether wired or wireless.

Sound quality with the V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless x Rolling Stones edition is pretty great, regardless of whether you use them wired or wirelessly. Bass is rich and full of depth but never too overbearing. They also deliver on high and low-frequency clarity, so pretty much everything sounds vibrant, clear, and just balanced overall. While I'm sure that audiophiles may not like how these sound, they're more than enough for the average listener that wants something a little higher quality.

One thing that I've always enjoyed about V-MODA's headphones is the fact that they are relatively portable. Even though these are over-ear style, they fold down nicely and fit in the compact exoskeleton carrying case. I like the cases because they are quite rigid on the outside, making them tough and durable. You can easily throw this case around and into your laptop bag and your headphones will be safe and secure. The interior of the case has elastic straps to hold your charging and audio cable as well, which is a nice touch.

V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless x Rolling Stones: For the price, it lacks features from the competition

V Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Rolling Stones Case Cables

V Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Rolling Stones Case Cables (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

My biggest issue with the V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless x Rolling Stones is the fact that they still charge with a micro USB cable. All of my other wireless earbuds and headphones, except for the AirPods Max, charge via USB-C. I thought micro USB was being phased out in favor of USB-C, so imagine my surprise when I saw I needed a micro USB cable for these. It's just a little annoying that I need to carry a micro USB cable just for these headphones, rather than just using the much more ubiquitous USB-C.

They charge via micro USB, lack ANC, and only have 12-14 hours of battery for the price.

Another let down for me was the fact that these headphones don't have Active Noise Cancelation (ANC). While the memory foam ear cups create enough of a seal to block out and isolate environmental noise, it's definitely a passive thing and not quite the same as ANC. Unfortunately, only one model of V-MODA headphones seems to have ANC, and that's the M-200 ANC, which is about $450. At least that one has USB-C, though.

While 12-14 hours is enough to get me through a typical workday, the battery life if used wirelessly falls a little short compared to the competition. If you're looking for wireless headphones that can last days on end without having to plug them in, then you may want to look elsewhere.

Lastly, there's no doubt about it — the V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless x Rolling Stones are not cheap. They're up there in price, and lacking features that you'll find in other headphones for around the same price range. But they do sound good, even if there isn't ANC, and the limited edition Rolling Stones logo makes these cans a must-have for fans.

I also do want to note that while the headphones are comfortable at first, the headband did kind of squeeze my head. So after a few hours, I definitely did feel them and had to take a break. Of course, I think this is different from person to person, so your mileage may vary.

V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless x Rolling Stones: Competition

Airpods Max Side

Airpods Max Side (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

There are a ton of great options out there for best headphones for your iPhone, and one of the closest competitors for this particular model of V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless are the Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones, as they are also considered "stylish" by the mainstream. However, the Beats Solo3 would be a better choice if you have multiple Apple devices, including the best iPhone, because they have Apple's W1 chip for seamless setup and switching between Apple devices. They also have longer battery life at 40 hours, USB-C charging with Fast Charge, and a carrying case. They're even slightly less than the V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless x Rolling Stones at just $200.

If you want some over-ear headphones that sound great but are super affordable and even have ANC, then you should try the Trelab Z2 Wireless Headphones. They're less than $100 and have ANC with Transparency modes, 35 hours of battery life, and crisp sound quality.

And of course, if you want the best headphones for Apple products, there are the AirPods Max. While these headphones have an incredibly high price tag, you get some of the best sounding headphones out there. They also have amazing ANC with Transparency, the best support for Apple Music's various high-quality audio formats like Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio, and seamless switching between Apple devices. The battery life is also quite good, and despite the overall heaviness of the cans, they are quite comfortable to wear, even for extended amounts of time. You can often find decent deals on them at this point too.

V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless x Rolling Stones: Should you buy it?

V Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Rolling Stones Christine Wear Front

V Moda Crossfade 2 Wireless Rolling Stones Christine Wear Front (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

You should buy this if ...

  • You're a fan of The Rolling Stones
  • You like stylish headphones that sound good
  • You don't need ANC

You shouldn't buy this if...

  • You're on a budget
  • You want USB-C charging with long battery life
  • You need ANC

The V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless x Rolling Stones are definitely the headphones to get if you're a big fan of The Rolling Stones. However, the Crossfade 2 Wireless also come in different colors and stylish designs — this collaboration edition just so happens to be the most recent offering from V-MODA. The headphones themselves sound amazing, despite only having passive noise isolation and not ANC. They're mostly comfortable to wear, though I certainly did feel them after several hours. V-MODA also includes its signature exoskeleton carrying case with a carabiner that has elastic straps on the inside for holding the charging and audio cable, making this a great pair of travel headphones.

However, there are some definite flaws. For one, they're expensive and lack the features you'd expect from headphones in this price range. There is no ANC and they charge via a micro USB cable. They also only have about 12-14 hours of battery life on a single charge, depending on your audio volume. But V-MODA is a high-fidelity headphone brand, and while these are wireless, they come with a quality braided audio cable and a gold-plated 1/4" pro adapter to use with your high-end audio equipment.