Pros: Great sound, great accessories for customizable user experience, better quality audio for the money than competitors, great warranty for portable unit
Cons: While comfortable for IEMs, they're IEMs! Packaging brags and labels users
I was selected to review these headphones in exchange for honest review, that review follows:
I have used a lot of different headphones of varying prices and have been enjoying the Monster Turbine Pro Copper headphones ever since I received them. In short, they are now my IEMs of choice.
Before even listening to the headphones, I was impressed by the packaging and the way I could customize my experience with them. The attention to detail on the packaging (like the little fabric loop and magnetic closure that makes opening the box easy yet keeps it closed when desired) told me that Monster was thinking about the whole offering experience. Upon opening the box, I was impressed by the array of accessories. There are two nice cases included. I'm not quite sure which I prefer on functionality, but one case says "For Audiophiles & Audio Professionals Only," which turned me off of that one a bit. While it's nice to know that Monster believes the products are high-grade, I don't really need to show that off. However, perhaps this is what is brilliant about the flexibility of these headphones: Again and again, Monster offers choices to make the experience the best for each individual. This possible philosophy extends throughout the product use. So many sets of eartips are provided that I really don't even want to count them all, there's a flexible holder for your favorite eartips if you want to carry them with you, there's a pair of over-the-ear hooks in case you wish to use the headphones that way, there's a slider on the cable that can be adjusted if you wish to reduce some slack above where the R&L cables come together, and there's a very nice 1/4" adapter. The eartips are definitely the most important of the accessories, as I certainly didn't find them all to be a good fit, let alone find them comfortable. With other IEMs, I've had much fewer choices, making it tough to get the headphones to work properly. In open disclosure, Monster sent these to me for an honest review, so I didn't have to worry about the cost, but they really are a great value for the quality. Given many will take the headphones out and about, Monster's, "you break it, we replace it" warranty will surely be appreciated.
Now on to what really matters: sound. While Monster recommends doing a burn-in of the headphones, once I found a set of ear tips that fit properly, I instantly was impressed with the headphones. However, it is true that after running though the Stereophile Test CD 3 burn in track and a random sampling of my music for many hours, the music did feel a bit more natural. I was particularly impressed with the tightness of bass and warm mid-tones. When I compare them to my Sennheiser IE7s on Dean Peer's all bass guitar track, Lord's Tundra, I was surprised how much deeper and more precisely the Coppers could play. Also, playing the high bitrate binaural Explorations In Space and Time album available on HD Tracks, I was able to pick out instrumental details I could not with the IE7s. Effectively, it seemed like the imaging on the Coppers allowed for lots of independent instruments to be heard cleanly at once, while other headphones seemed to be dominated by the loudest instruments. More than these technical details, I simply enjoyed getting into the music on the Coppers. Whatever I threw at them sounded great. I was really engaged with the Mumford and Sons album's enveloping vocals and tunes, while darker A Perfect Circle albums took me on a journey with Maynard's visions through masterful editing and lyrics. I also very much enjoyed London Symphony Orchestra's Braveheart Soundtrack, Paramore's Riot, a host of tracks from Ben Folds, Hot Chili Peppers' Stadium Arcadium, Snow Patrol's Eyes Open and many more. Each were so vibrant, and I just wanted to play them again and again. Honestly, they remind me lot of Sennheiser HD 580s in a very tiny package.
I tested the headphones with a number of headphone amplifiers. My typical rig was an Apple Mac Pro using lossless files feeding a Cambridge Audio DacMagic via optical, to a HeadRoom Ultra Micro Amp with Astrodyne power supply. I also used a really cheap Fiio E1 from an iPad and the internal 1/8" outputs from computers and smartphones. I found that the Coopers worked quite well with all of this gear and they seemed to offer a lower noise floor than the IE7s, and the Coppers didn't need a high impedance adapter to avoid communicating noise from a computer's standard headphone jack. That said, the Coppers really showed what they could do when connected to the DAC and a good amp. Since they're easy to power, I found that the DAC was much more important than the amp.
While I have to say that I prefer open over the ear headphones for all around comfort and quality, they often aren't the right fit for the environment. In fact, the noise isolation from the Coppers are impressive and are great when I want to go into my own world in public. The Coppers with the cheap Fiio E1 do a very nice job compared to full size headphones with much more complicated (and expensive) gear. I look forward to more opportunities to compare these headphones with others, but they unquestionably are becoming the bulk of my portable rig. If I didn't have an extensive desktop rig, I'd probably just use these as the headphones I use most of the time at home and office. Great work indeed.