Pros: Full-blown bass;Great sound from portables;Good low-volume sound;Easy to put in / take out;Nice tips and their choice;Plenty of accessories;Stylish
Cons: Cable tangles easily; Doesn’t like warm sources
Excellent tips and their choice: Tips are critical for IEMs sound and comfort and MTPC has the excellent stock tips. From numerous tips I tried, MTPC rubber tips are the most comfortable to wear and convenient to insert. The previous favorites were Sony hybrids, Shure E2c and Jays rubber tips. MTPC foam tips are also top-notch, in terms of sound, comfort and durability. Gel-filled tips look promising, but unfortunately do not fit my ears.
Plenty of accessories: cases, ear tips holder, shirt clip and so on.
Delta-sigma budget DACs
I was given this product as a gift in exchange for writing this review,
From earphones I tried in $400 price range, MTPC is my favorite for use straight from mainstream DAPs, un-amped. MTPC strong and deep bass helps power-deficient portables to sound big, speakers-alike. Warm midrange makes digital sound livelier; highs are forgivable to MP3 artifacts. No need for deep insertion, ease of putting in and taking out make MTPC an excellent IEM for those “not so serious” audiophiles, who want both great sound and convenience.
With warmer source / amp, like multi-bit HM-602, MTPC yields in clarity and instruments separation to lean sounding competitors.
MTPC bass is certainly emphasized but in a very wise manner: deeper is frequency – more is emphasis. This psychoacoustic trick works well with the headphones / earphones, because it partially compensates the loss of hearing sensitivity on lowest frequencies and absence of kinaesthetic perception of bass by human body. At the same time, such emphasis does not affect the midrange a lot (no “bass bleeding into midrange”). I like this, because:
- This fools the brain to “feel” the bass, giving the good body and scale to the sound. I agree with Monster when they call MTPC “In-Ear Speakers”.
- This also helps to listen on lower, safer volumes or to block ambient noise.
- This lets to not wrestle with a perfect seal and deep uncomfortable fit.
Is MTPC an earphone for bass-head? This depends on a tips used; with some of the included tips bass becomes painful to me. With others it is just right until I increase the volume. On higher volumes bass becomes too much for me even with “bass-shy” tips. I appreciate this, because this forces me to listen on safer volumes. Bass extension, attack and overall quality are very good even on high volume.
Midrange is a bit warm and very slightly blurred by rich decay. Thankfully, this works for the good, smoothing out the harshness of digital sound coming from the ordinary DAPs. Speed, details, clarity, instrument separation are just right for the task. I know some earphones which are better in these terms. But they sound harsher with mainstream DAPs, MP3 records and budgetary delta-sigma DACs. Here MTPC keeps a nice balance of speed and smoothness. Unfortunately, warmer sources (say HM-602) break this balance, instruments separation and details are suffered.
Highs are nothing to complain about, their quantity is just right and quality is decent. With my “sibilance test” records MTPC produces nice results – the sibilance was low, while highs were not subdued.
Aside of deep bass emphasis, overall frequency response is pretty even. When listening loud, some may complain that mids are recessed comparing to strong bass. Well, do not listen loud, this is just harmful.
I listen to variety of music and I like MTPC genres versatility. There are just few genres where MTPC yields to some mid-centric competitors. These are vocals and small acoustic bands. Other genres, including (but not limited to) blues, rock, pop, trance and especially ambient are reproduced with excellence.
Sensitivity: MTPC plays great directly from a DAP, though good amp (say Corda Move) may further improve bass control and instruments separation. Lesser amps have no sense.
Is the “For serious audiophile” claim, placed on MTPC box, correct? Yes, for those of us who are not willing to give up convenience for sound quality. Those, who do not want to struggle with half-baked boutique DAPs or bulky DAP/amps combos. Those, who prefer a perfect usability and slim form-factor of mainstream DAPs, like Clip+ or iPod. Those who want putting in / taking out the earphones easily and does not want to bother with perfect seal. Those who do not want to chase for the better ear tips or ordering a custom tips just to get a satisfactory bass. To those people I can recommend MTPC heartily. Let me call them “not so serious audiophile” :)
Would I keep MTPC? No. My main source is HiFiMAN HM-602, which does not pair well with MTPC. But I wish my final IEM (yet to decide) will have MTPC full-blown bass and speaker-alike effortless sound. Reviewing MTPC, I rediscovered the value of properly shaped bass response for the earphones. Thanks, Monster!
I tried / owned following mid-fi and hi-fi IEMs: RE0, RE-Zero, RE252, RE262, ER-6, ER-6i, ER-4P, ER-4S, E4c, E500 (same to SE530), UM2, UE 5 EB, SA6, ATH-CK10. I decided in favor of HiFIMAN RE262, so I compared MTPC to RE262 with some portable sources:
- MP3 > Sansa Clip+: MTPC is the winner. RE262 is underamped – lean bass, dry mids, lack of speed.
- MP3 > iPod 5th Gen, iPhone 3G: the choice depends on music genres. For those who like various genres, like me, MTPC is safer bet due to the stronger bass and forgiving highs. RE262 is sometimes lean, sometimes sibilant.
- MP3 > iPod 5th Gen > LOD > Meier Corda Move: there is no clear winner or preference. MTPC may sound boomy, while RE262 may sound sibilant. Otherwise both sound good, so “choose your destiny”.
- FLAC > HiFiMAN HM-602: RE262 wins hands down.
MTPC is the best for MP3s, cold delta-sigma DACs and low-power sources – say un-amped mainstream MP3 players. The only IEM which can compete with MTPC in this field was Shure E500. I did not compare these directly, but I prefer MTPC basing on my memories. E500 is less comfort and convenient. It also has the feature I did not like – extensive macrodynamics. Listening to orchestra classic, I had to raise the volume for cellos solo, then crescendo came and I had to reduce the volume, otherwise it sounded deafening.
So I stayed with my RE262, but I am less satisfied with it after I tried MTPC. MTPC bass depth and weight are something I am missing now. And I am not sure if custom tips for RE262 will solve this issue. Well, head-fi is a journey, there are many things to try yet – upcoming models, high-end customs and so on. With regards to MTPC, I thank Monster for opportunity to try an outstanding IEM. MTPC took its place in my personal “IEMs hall of fame”, along with RE262 and ER-4P/S, being unbeatable in simple “MP3 > ordinary DAP > IEM” application.