What makes up an officially-recognized professional reference headphone? Let’s first define some terms. First up, professional reference headphones must include active noise canceling, an on-board aptX codec for hi-res audio, IP5b/60 waterproofing, a lithium-ion battery, and USB-C connectivity. Onboard, active noise canceling is simply the noise canceling features of a typical headphone drivers. The aptX codec is the codec that allows them to play lossless audio encoded at up to 24-bit/192kHz. And you’ll see numerous USB-C port on the backside of these things.

These aren’t just any headphones from V-Moda. V-Moda’s reference headphones may not have the specs of Beats Studio III and JBL OnBeat, but they’re as close as you’ll get to buying a pair of professional cans at retail price. Most companies are hoarding professional headphones for executives only and placing them in their luxury lounges, but V-Moda is letting us all in on the best headphones on the market.

The Moda Reference’s top-end driver (most of us would probably say drivers instead of amplifiers) is a 40mm dynamic driver housed in a 50mm driver chassis. V-Moda claims that its “aggressive geometry” allows the excellent dynamic range, high bass response, and high distortion that comes with its dynamic drivers. To add to the appeal, the bass response is well-balanced, with room to go deep and out with no distortion. The drivers are also water and sweat resistant, the battery takes about 7 hours to get juice back up to 90 percent, and there’s a neat fan out of the ear cups that activates to cool the headband.

When it comes to the on-board aptX codec, the audiophile-grade headphones can be hooked up to an external music player using the supplied USB-C cable and the included software to convert whatever you’re playing into hi-res. There’s also a dedicated amplifier on the backside of the studio headphones to make sure you’re not using a sub-par DAC.

More importantly, the V-Moda Reference headphones feel like they would have come out of a $150,000 studio — except now you get the same excellent audio and a beautifully-crafted stylish leather, suede, and metal cover. The headphones will retail for $350, which is expensive for any headphones, but a premium headphone with this many bells and whistles will be even more pricey than most.

V-Moda will officially launch the V-Moda Reference headphones in their stores for pre-order starting on Nov. 13 and go on sale the next day. If you’re willing to take the plunge into some seriously sound quality and VR headgear, you can snag these headphones the day they launch.

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