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Phenomenal Sound for the Price

A Review On: NCredible NErgy In-Ear Headphones by Monster®

NCredible NErgy In-Ear Headphones by Monster®

Rated # 393 in Universal Fit
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Review Details:
Audio Quality
Purchased on:
Price paid: $59.95
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Pros: Gorgeous balanced sound with great texture, not gaudy design overall, very comforable, magnetic housings

Cons: Not the best isolation, obnoxious chest ornament, skimpy accessories

Accessories: three pairs of silicone eartips, Ncredible sticker, shirt clip. From Monster, I expect more. No carrying case? Really?

Build Quality/Design: Pretty decent on both points. L-shaped jack is low-profile and decently relieved as well. Housings have no strain relief but are durable otherwise. The plastics used feel very sturdy. Remote is a little flimsy, especially the button. The only gaudy point of the design is the Y-split. It has the Ncredible logo on it and is quite large as well, drawing quite a lot of attention to itself. However, it does split the cable farther apart than most, which is handy for the magnetic housings. They can be joined together to form a sort of necklace when you're not listening to music. I thought this would be a crazy gimmick. I was dead wrong. It is the most convenient way to store IEMs that are not in use. The large split helps them not pull on each other too much when they're behind your head, enhancing comfort. Flat cable reduces tangles quite effectively but is slightly noisy. Microphonics are not unbearable but worth taking note of. No driver flex.

Comfort/Isolation: The housings are not small or incredibly lightweight, but I still find them very comfortable. The shallow seal is not ideal for isolation but is very comfortable for long periods of time. I use the medium tips, and I never feel like these are going to fall out of my ears. The remote does not weigh down the left ear very much either, negating a common problem with mobile IEMs. I don't know how well the housings will work with smaller ears, but my ears take them just fine. Isolation is slightly below average with the straight-barrel housings and shallow seal. This allows for some situational awareness during listening, however, making them good for commuting on city sidewalks. I haven't heard much wind noise out of them yet.

Sound Quality: Before I go into my usual sound check, I want to make one note. There is a mod that I have done to these IEMs in which I placed tape over the vent on the underside of the eartip. This mod makes these headphones sound different, smoothing out the highs and increasing the bass. They still do not sound terribly unbalanced to me modded; however, I have reversed the mod for this review. I also generally place a slanted EQ (bass up, treble down) on them, but that has also been disabled for this review.

Bass - Some will find bass very lacking on the Nergy. They have a neutral-ish bass with good depth and texture. On my deep bass test track, Daft Punk's "Lose Yourself to Dance," the bass was thunderous in texture but not necessarily in quantity. I found a good separation between the bass guitar and kick drum that made the track (and the entire album) very easy to listen to. "No Church in the Wild" felt great too, with a nice crisp top to the opening kick drum that wasn't overbearing. In U2's "Beautiful Day," my test for quantity, the bass guitar and synth kick hits were very appropriately placed and not overbearing in any way. This is definitely a different kind of bass than I'm used to: it's tight, well-textured, and deep while not being incredibly present. I may prefer more quantity, but what's there is excellent.

Mids - The mids on the Nergy feel perfectly placed. Not forward or recessed, the mids exude detail and clarity. This gives them a dry texture that is great for hearing the details in tom hits. However, even with a dryer texture, the mids also feel warm. Vocals sound beautiful, especially Brooke Fraser on her album Albertine and male vocals in general. Acoustic guitars feel nearly perfect, balancing string and body flawlessly. Electric guitars have a grunt or a nice chime, depending on what is called for. Joe Satriani's guitars with Chickenfoot are extremely big and have plenty of girth and edge, while Jonny Buckland and the Edge have a nice, airy feel that suits the respective genres. Very impressed here.

Treble - The Nergy is the first set of headphones I can confidently say has great highs. They felt a little crisp at first, but have burnt in very nicely. The highs are still crisp, but they have never been sibilant to me. S's and t's occasionally sound a bit on the sharp side but they're nothing unbearable. Cymbals have a good, crisp attack and a pleasant decay. Once in a blue moon a crash will sound out of place. Treble is very detailed as well, and hi-hats and tambourines are easily distinguishable (something that lesser headphones can't seem to do). The Nergy is very good at sounding natural in its crispness. They are a bit revealing at times, making me not want to listen to poorly recorded music as often.

Soundstage - Very good staging and separation. The treble extension has a lot to do with this, as they add a perceived air to the sound. Everything feels nicely separated too. Vocals can occasionally feel a little too pushed back but nothing too serious. I can definitely feel a wider-than-my-head stage. Less of an intimate club and more of a concert hall feel, which leads to very little listening fatigue.

Conclusion: The Nergy is one of the cheapest balanced dynamic driver-based headphones on the market. They are among the most adaptable sets I own. The bass, mids, and highs all fit together so well and are staged so beautifully that I want to listen to them for hours. What makes them so appealing is their texture. Dynamics and attack are portrayed beautifully. That is my number one priority in sound, so I am set with these. Someone who wants gobs of bass or a vocal-centric sound may not, but I love these. Audiophiles, these are for you. Pick them up and don't look back.


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