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An experiment in Monster - Not disappointed.

A Review On: Monster Turbine In-Ear Headphones

Monster Turbine In-Ear Headphones

Rated # 48 in Universal Fit
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Price paid: $150.00
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Pros: Excellent clear sound, great packaging, solid construction, good accessories

Cons: Fit is awkward, tips provided may not be suitable for a select few, pretty thin wires

I decided to ditch my Shure E105 because they were just all midrange and even though a tight bass the bass had no presence.


Enter the Monster HP In-Ear Speaker. Yeah Monster is big on calling them speaker not headphone.


What struck me immediately was the clarity and punch. These definitely have punch and depending on the type of music you listen to it can be very easy to get enveloped in such richness. Take for example the track Monte Gargano by the Truckfighters, wow. Super kick drum and just full sound and while they are stoner/fuzz rock you could still clearly hear the highs on the high hats.


I have 2 tests for testing the clarity, presence for punch, clean sound, full range and crips highs:

 RUSH - Tom Sawyer

 Opeth - Windowpanes


Tom Sawyer tests the clear punch bass of the kick drum and bass, and the mid-range roundness for the drums and crisp highs.


Windowpanes has similiar attributes but the drum work and specifically cymbals and high hats is a great test for that tight cymbal sound without fatigue or loss.


The biggest surprise was when I put on some Oscar Peterson Trio. Yep these are great jazz IEM.


These Monsters passed. Great punch and the clarity on the highs is great.


The biggest caveat is fit. It is crucial to get a good fit in the canal to experience the best sound. I found the tips a bit awkward to find the right fit but you will find ones to settle on but you'll need to experiment on in-ear fitting. 


The wiring is thin, so I don't expect to use these in physical activity, so these will be office use. I liked the Sennheiser I had, very beefy wiring.


Lastly, I hope they burn in a bit, because the bass can be a bit much for a very long listen.


-- Update 28 May 2011 --

So after using these for a while I found that using the aftermarket tips made a big difference in getting them to fit more easily. I have to say though that these do not respond well to compressed music especially if you like using services like RDIO or MOG. The frequency crunch is too much and leaves these phones sounding flat. After some use as well I find they lack a bit of high frequency clarity but that can be acquainted to different music genres too (i.e. some rock lacks the high end clarity, and will emphasize the mid/bass range a bit to much).


Very nice IEMs but be very careful with the wires. They are famous for breaking at their weakest points which are at the buds and most frequently at the plug. I switched to Comply T-400 tips and all the fit, comfort issues are resolved. They seem to absorb some of the bass which can be punchy at times. To my ear they improve overall enjoyment over the silicon tips and the Turbines become a whole different animal. Monster finally went to thicker reinforced wires on their Pro coppers and Golds and a 90 degree plug. Service from Monster is top drawer should you need it. They take a while to burn in properly and after a few weeks you'll be smiling even more when you use them. Keep them in the pouch and avoid wrapping the cord around your MP3 as much as possible and they will do fine.
Thanks for the post DRSAM, I am ordering some Comply tips to give them a try! I think it's ridiculous for almost twice the price going to the Pro series for thicker wire. Maybe they sound better too but yes these thin wires I have a gripe with, so they are for the office only.

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