Headphones Heads-Up: Power Cuplets

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Scosche Realm RH656: $129.99; V-Moda Crossfade M-80: $230

To help wade through the seemingly countless options on the market, two Discovery colleagues share their insights on 20 new and relevant headphones. Taking on a pair at a time, Scott Tharler and Alice Truong will each evaluate how these contemporary cans match up in a dueling series called Headphones Heads Up.

Solid, thumping sound doesn’t necessarily have to come from big honkin’ rapper cans. Case in point, today we look at Scosche’s Realm RH656 and V-Moda’s Crossfade M-80. Both on-ear headphones are quite powerful, especially for their size. But they each represent very different price points. So is Scosche a worthy bargain or does the M-80 blow them away?

Head over to Discovery.com for Alice Truong’s review of these cans.

Comparing these two headphones reminds me of Rocky. Playing the part of Apollo Creed, we have the M-80, with plenty of style, strength, good looks and finesse. The Realm is Rocky, tough, raw and brutish, but a surprisingly worthy contender with heart.

I respectfully disagree with Alice about their respective sounds. I found the V-Moda phones to deliver rich, wide, clear audio with nice bass and treble, where the Scosche had a little more oomph on the low end with slightly less on top. I really like the Crossfade M-80. They sport rugged and fashionable materials, offer supple oval earpads, churn out audiophile-worthy music, and provide slick packaging with an exoskeleton case. In a lot of ways, (as with Apollo and Rocky) the M-80 is the stronger of the two. But because we’re talking about overall power, in this case, I have to go with the Scosche Realms. They’re certainly less expensive and less refined, but (with a telegraphed Rocky conclusion) they come out on top in this category. By the way, just to completely muddle this movie analogy, both headphones come in either white or black.

Credit: Alice Truong/Discovery

Scott Tharler writes about gadgets for Discovery News and covers travel tech for Fodor’s. Follow him on Twitter, gdgt and Google Plus. Alice Truong writes about tech and gadgets for Discovery Channel. Follow her on Twitter and Google Plus.

Tune in to hear how the rest of Discovery’s Headphones Heads-Up series plays out

Monster vs. Son: Monster Inspiration vs. Sol Republic Tracks HD

Rasta vs. Blackbelt: House of Marley Exodus vs. Bigr Audio Bruce Lee

Quiet Cups: Audio-Technica ATH-ANC9 vs. Bose QuietComfort 15

Power Cuplets: V-Moda Crossfade M80 vs. Scosche RH656

Urban Thrifty: Wicked Audio Evac vs. Skullcandy Hesh 2

Urban Deluxe: Urbanears Zinken vs. Aiaiai Capital

Battle of the Bass: Fanny Wang 3000 Series vs. Denon Urban Raver

Battle of the Bands: Jaybird Sportsband vs. Outdoor Tech DJ Slims

Wireless Travelers: Sennheiser MM 450-X vs. SuperTooth Melody

Petite Luxury: Beyerdynamic T 50 p vs. B&W P3