There’s never a “perfect” choice. Be it cars, headphones, mobile phones, tablets, etc., you’re always playing a balancing game of what feature or features you’re ok with letting go in order to get some other feature(s). Such is the case with headphones. In this scenario there are two things to wrestle with if you’re a headphone manufacturer: sound quality and outward appearance/physical design. The more one is elevated in priority, generally, the worse the other thing becomes. Did V-Moda but the beats trend and make a good sounding and good looking headphone with the M80?
There’s no denying that the M80 is a nice set of cans. The utilitarian and dark design makes for a sinister looking headset. Add to that, metal accent pieces on each ear cup aim to push the look and feel of the M80s up to a more premium level.
The fit of the M80s is an on-ear design meaning you won’t have the complete isolation of an over-the-ear design. Depending on what you’re after, this is either good, bad or indifferent.
Like many higher end (and now mid-range), the M80s feature a braided cable. In fact, there are two cables shipped from the factory – a black/gray straight cable and a red/black cable with an in-line remote for compatible iOS devices.
Overall, the M80s are a well made piece of hardware that feel and look genuinely nice. But $200+ ($199-$239) nice? At that price we’re not so sure.
Extended listening (3 hours plus) can turn into a nightmare if you have the wrong pair of headphones. Typically, over-the-ear models offer the most cushion and comfort. But every once in a while an on-ear model provides much of the same. The M80s are for the most part a comfortable on-ear pair of headphones. Multiple 2-4 hour listening sessions only needed an occasional adjustment to resituate the ear pads on the sweet spot on our ears and to give our ears a second or two blast of fresh air. Speaking of which, the on-ear design means sweat and moisture are something to think about, especially since the material of the ear pads isn’t exactly breathable.
In short: we’ve worn far more comfortable and significantly less comfortable pairs of headphones.