What is it?
V-Moda are a company that have already made a splash in the world of studio headphones with their bass-forward M-100s which have won them many fans thanks to a pleasing, if enhanced sound.
In 2016, the company ‘merged’ with music gear giants Roland, so it’s no surprise that their latest model, the M-200 headphones, are touted as ‘Professional Studio Headphones’. This should mean no colouration, with accuracy being top priority; when you are mixing your music you need to hear as accurate a rendition of it as possible, so you can make the correct mix decisions for it to translate well to any listener’s playback system.
The M-200s take this one step further, being reportedly ‘so detailed and accurate’ that they are ‘Hi‑Res Audio certified by the Japan Audio Society (JAS)’. Bold claims… and there are more.
Performance and verdict
Other design considerations can also make or break a good studio headphone. Closed back headphones like these offer you a more enclosed listening experience with less intrusion from the outside world so you can focus on your mixing.
They also feature large 50mm drivers which help enhance this disconnect. Comfort and weight are also vital. The lighter a set of headphones, the more ‘invisible’ they will be for longer mixing sessions; the same goes for comfort – you could be listening through these for hours (we do recommend mix breaks, though, of course!). The M-200s tick all boxes here.
At 290g, they are not as heavy as some, nor as light as others, but the comfortable design means they sit well, with enough headband padding not to be too intrusive. We should mention the incredibly-compact fold-up design and solid case too – compact, sturdy and great for mobile mixing. Top marks here.
Other specs start to grab you and point you in that ‘pro’ direction. A frequency response of 5Hz to 40kHz might sound ridiculously wide, well beyond the thresholds of human hearing, but, rest assured, many listening experts are starting to state how frequencies well beyond our hearing can really impact on those within the range. So, basically, the wider the better. The proof of all of this design trickery and stats must be in the listening, though, right?
The closed-back listen certainly gives you that mixing enclosure you might yearn for (although personally we also like the contrast of open back mixing just to AB on a wider, more natural soundstage) and really does focus you on your music. Beyond this isolation, the next thing you will notice is the flat response.
Unlike the M-100s, these are not enhanced anywhere so the response is accurate. This might be disconcerting at first; certainly those used to ‘pleasing’ headphones might baulk at the seemingly harsh response, but this is more truthful than your pampered bass-enhanced consumer headphones, and designed for accuracy, not nicety.
They will, therefore, do the job of revealing your mix inadequacies (not to mention the inadequacies of the MP3 format which can sound overly harsh through them). Honesty is the best policy when it comes to monitoring and these phones are great in that regard. Combined with the comfort, isolation and compact design, they come highly recommended. Bold claims backed up.
MusicRadar verdict: V-Moda and Roland have teamed up to produce some cracking studio headphones that justify all the claims.
Key features: Compact carry case, ‘Single-Sided’ balanced cable, 1-button microphone cable, gold-plated 1/4” pro adapter, 2-year warranty
Extras: Choice of cables, including ‘audio only’, lightning and coiled; personalisation with full-colour and laser engraving, sound meters on ears