"Designed in Milan, engineered in Japan and made to create." This is now the company description used by V-MODA, following the transition from a music lifestyle brand founded in 2004, to design-centric music products created in close collaboration with Roland since 2016. The partnership progressed in 2019 to fully incorporate V-MODA into the Roland family aiming to "facilitate a greater vision for the growth of both brands," evolving to a “creators first” approach, where Roland and V-MODA intend to create high-quality audio products made for sound as both the artists and audio engineers intended.
With this new philosophy in mind, the new V-MODA can be seen as the first "professional" effort since the DJ-oriented M-100 Crossfade was "elevated" to a studio tool with the upgraded M-100 Master launched mid 2019, and which was basically described as an effort to create a more balanced and neutral frequency response. And V-MODA does have a global following, so many existing users of the original M-100 Crossfade did acquire the M-100 Master to test the difference for themselves.
Now, V-MODA and Roland decided that it was time to step-up a notch and go for the more demanding crowd of "real professionals," charging $100 USD extra compared to the M-100 Master ($250). According to Roland's website, the M-200 delivers "crystalline audio so clear and neutral that subtle nuances and flaws are easily distinguished." And that is due to the fact that the M-200 uses redesigned 50mm drivers with neodymium magnets and CCAW voice coils, "fine-tuned by Roland engineers", which allow the headphones to reproduce a wide range of frequencies up to 40kHz (which the M-100 Master already claimed to do...).
According to V-MODA, this refined drivers allow the M-200 headphones to offer "the deepest bass to the sharpest highs," generating a sound so detailed and accurate that it achieved the Hi-Res Audio certification by the Japan Audio Society (JAS) - which again, the M-100 Master also did.
The main differences are apparently in the larger, flatter earcup housings compared to the Crossfade series, allowing the closed-back M-200 to better accommodate larger ears for longer periods of time, while delivering superior noise isolation - an essential feature in musician practice and recording studio use. And the flexible headband, which V-MODA describes as "practically indestructible" (owners of many popular studio headphones will pay attention to that), was also enhanced by a broad design for improved weight distribution and hours of comfortable wear.
"Crafted for comfort and durability, the M-200’s adjustable headband is flexible enough for easy single-ear monitoring yet strong enough to withstand years of use in the studio. Combined with the premium, sweat-resistant PU leather exterior and large, detachable magnetic memory foam cushions, the M-200 will feel like it’s barely there," V-MODA describes.
As other V-MODA products, the new M-200 headphones are nicely packed and protected via the CliqFold hinge, compactly folding it to fit into a re-designed Exoskeleton case, which now features smoother lines and more space to include extra cables and accessories. The M-200 also comes ready-equipped with the new, single-sided balanced audio cable. "While the closed headphone design ensures optimal noise isolation, the balanced cable reduces signal-to-noise ratio to produce a cleaner, more spacious sound, making M-200 reliable for important decisions while mixing, recording or composing music," the company explains.
Finally, the new V-MODA M-200 is accompanied by the additional aramid fiber-reinforced SpeakEasy 1-Button Cable with a built-in microphone for calls, and benefits from V-MODA’s usual customization options.