V-Moda new S-80 puts a speaker into your headphones

As a brand, V-Moda doesn’t shy away from big swings — especially in the design department — and now with the S-80 two-way headphones, they’re taking a pretty unique swing. Coming soon through the V-Moda site, the S-80 is a brand new wireless Bluetooth headset that: looks like similar to many of the V-Moda line, but behaves very differently.

V-Moda

With V-Moda’s signature hexagonal case, the S-80 passes quite convincingly like any other member of the line…if you squint. On closer inspection, a soft, contoured approach to the edges – in addition to angled control buttons and an asymmetrical metal headband connector on each earcup – makes the S-80 headphones visually unique. V-Moda also sells magnetic plates (with some pretty crazy design options) that are interchangeable so you can customize the look to your liking.

More than design, V-Moda’s approach to this product is perhaps most surprising because it’s a “two-way” headset. That means you can listen to them just like any other set of on-ear Bluetooth headphones, or you can drape them around your neck or throw them on a table with the drivers facing out to act as a portable Bluetooth speaker. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a headphone/speaker combo, but it’s rare for a brand like V-Moda to take this approach that might seem like a gimmick to some.

V-Moda

The key to this combo is the V-Moda software. Available with customizable EQ using a custom mobile app, you can tweak the EQ curve to your liking. Thanks to some internal sensors, when you flip the headphones earbuds out, the app should turn up the volume and activate some DSP to better tune the sound for a Bluetooth speaker experience.

V-Moda

As Bluetooth headphones, they should also be usable. There’s the aforementioned EQ adjustment, which is always nice to see. V-Moda also adds aptX HD codec support to provide a 24-bit Bluetooth experience, which is important as these headphones don’t have a wired option to connect to a digital-to-analog converter (DAC). ). However, you can expect very little noise isolation as the ear cups sit on your ear, not over your ear, and there’s no onboard active noise cancellation. Overall, the S-80 should lend itself to a very specific type of listener, but probably won’t be ideal for those wanting the best possible Bluetooth. headphones experience – especially when you consider the high price.

The S-80 is available to pre-order now for an expensive MSRP of $400 (with the OV3 interchangeable magnet plates costing $25) at the V-Moda store. Orders are expected to ship in July.

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