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Monster NCredible N-Ergy Impressions

post #1 of 120
Thread Starter 
Saw these in my local Walmart for $69 and thought, Why not give them a try since Walmart has such an easy return policy.

So got them to the car and as opened the box I was reminded how much I liked Monster's packaging. The box Was extremely well made, as I thought why don't they just put all that money into the product instead. But all in all they do this part as good as anyone. Inside they had a smaller fit kit than their flagship IEM's consisting of only 3 pairs of tips and a clip. Removing the IEM's I decided to just use the default medium tips and they fit perfectly. The IEM inserted easily and unlike the Turbine model these had no problems with insertion depth and were light and comfortable in ear.

Pushed the talk button and music starte to pour out. My initial reaction was man these are bright and sparkly! Next thought was the mids are a bit recessed. Third thought was the bass isn't insane and over the top (relief).

As I continue to listen (as I type this up) these have had moments of great clarity an moments of mudiness (not sure how they will stand up to complex fast music especially rock). They are on the brighter side of neutral and will not be for bass heads I suspect.

These are the first tangle free cable I like as it's not to heavy or rubbery and with the clip they seem to be mostly microphonic free hanging straight down.

Sound stage seems to be average to slightly above average.

Did I mention these were only $69 ...

Not a monster fan but these are not a bad IEM. I certainly will be spending a few days with these before I return them, IF I return them at all.

I will likely burn these in for a couple days and see what happens.

Not sure if anyone is interested in deigning to try a Monster but at $69 and a no questions asked return policy from Walmart I wouldn't mind someone else's opinion on these. They might be a good entry level IEM for some people.

Oh BTW they are magnetized so you can stick them together around your neck when walking around and talking to someone which is kinda neat.
post #2 of 120

Philips did the magnitism thing as well with their CitiScape Underground.  Monster really isn't a bad brand, it's just that the Beats brand has tarnished their name :p  I really can't vouch for much though as I only have tried the Gratitudes, which are great IEMs.  They would be the ones I use often if they weren't so uncomfortable :(

post #3 of 120
Thread Starter 
Walking the dog right now and these are pretty much microphonic free above average so far. I have been wearing these for about an hour and they are very comfortable.

The treble will be to bright for some people and just listening to Queen's Under Pressure I noticed a small amount of sibilance (which is always in this song but only noticeable with treble centric headphones and IEM's). Really like the bass which means these will be bass light to a lot of folks. I am hoping the mids come a bit more forward, if so these will be a keeper for me.
post #4 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by dweaver View Post

Walking the dog right now and these are pretty much microphonic free above average so far. I have been wearing these for about an hour and they are very comfortable.
The treble will be to bright for some people and just listening to Queen's Under Pressure I noticed a small amount of sibilance (which is always in this song but only noticeable with treble centric headphones and IEM's). Really like the bass which means these will be bass light to a lot of folks. I am hoping the mids come a bit more forward, if so these will be a keeper for me.

 

Oh nice, that's cool.  The Gratitude is horrible with microphonics frown.gif  Let me know how burn in goes.  I'm waiting for the Inspiration right now L3000.gif

post #5 of 120

Njoyed the review :)

 

From pictures I pulled up from the web, the phones look really flashy. I can't see anyone walking around with these without a pair of sneakers on...lol. Where the main cable splits into two, there is a huge emblem, sort of like a Superman logo..maybe overdone a tad. I like the flat cable and the L-connector looks really strong. 

 

As for the sound sig being bass-light as dweaver puts it, I really don't see how these can sell very well. The target audience seems to be adolescents, who are less likely to enjoy the sound sig.

post #6 of 120

Monster isn't all that bad with their actual Monster branded headphones, it's only the Beats that aren't great, and Monster is trying to distance themselves from them now.  I hope they continue to make nice headphones like this in the future though!

post #7 of 120
Thread Starter 
I am almost 50 and these aren't flashy for me but on the verge LOL.

Ok people are going to question my sanity but the more I listen to these the more they remind me of the VSonic GR07 in treble and midrange. I am currently listening to Patricia Barber and cymbals sound very similar as does her voice. These are riding the fine line between transparency and midrange sibilance and succeeding. Bass wise these feel like they have less sub-bass and slightly more mid bass which sounds very nice. Since I do not have a pair of GR07 on hand take some of what I am saying with a grain of salt and I won't hazard to guess how close they are from a detail perspective.

I will say this. These were clearly marketed at young people and if young people buy them for looks and fall in love with their sound we will have a new generation of audiophiles on our hands.
Edited by dweaver - 7/7/12 at 8:26pm
post #8 of 120
Thread Starter 
I had a listen to Dire Straits Money for Nothing and in the song there is a line where the singer is talking about a girl walking by and on good headphones you clearly hear him accentuating the word ssstickin and then warbles the word man. On most average headphones these words don't sound accentuated. But on really good headphones and IEM's you clearly hear this in the song and it conveys emotion and story telling. This IEM did an above average job of conveying this. They were not as good as my SRH-1440 headphones but the fact they came close speaks volumes about the quality of their sound at their price point.
Edited by dweaver - 7/7/12 at 8:39pm
post #9 of 120
Thread Starter 

OK, I need someone to bite the bullet here and go buy a pair of these. I want to know if I'm just nuts or if these are as good as I am hearing them.

 

I have given these 1 night of burnin and the mids have fleshed out from yesterday. Right now they are sounding very similar to MTPC but with a treble I actually like more and more forward mids. But again I am going from memory which is highly suspect when it comes to listening. The bass though is probably lighter than any Monster headphone I have heard.

 

I don't get what Monster is doing here. They have essentially made a headphone that punches so far above it's price tag it may make it hard for them to sell some of their higher priced IEM's.

post #10 of 120

Can't you test them against the FX40 and FXD80? Those two seem proven enough or almost enough to judge the Monster's performance/value. I just bought a couple little things last week and if I was going to shell out $69 bucks I'd have to try the NOCS NS400 first:)


Edited by jant71 - 7/8/12 at 12:54pm
post #11 of 120
Thread Starter 
LOL yes I can do some comparisons against what I have on hand. I will start today and do each IEM in order. I will start with the FX40 and work my way up.

I just don't want to over hype these unless some others can corroborate what I am hearing. But I will report what I am hearing and let the chips fall where they may...
post #12 of 120

Somebody may just try em' out! Any Nick Cannon fans out there?

post #13 of 120
Thread Starter 

OK I changed my mind a bit. I will will start with a basic overview of all 3 IEM's from a build perspective and then pick songs from different genre's and do A/B/C comparisons of the song with each IEM. I will switch up the order in which I listen to each song with each IEM. I have started with Jazz using 2 songs for comparison.

 

 

Comfort and design
FX40: The comfort of this IEM is not bad but I do find it to slightly less than the N-ergy and they are trickier to insert. I like the lightness of this IEM. The cable is light but does not feel cheap.
 
N-Ergy: This is the first flat tangle resistant cable I like. It is lighter than the others I have tried and not nearly as rubbery. I like the control talk button for controlling songs and talking on my iphone as well. The IEM itself is very comfortable in ear and microphonics are negligable when I use  the clip to hold the cable in place. This IEM needs to be worn downwards though due to the control talk button not allowing it to be over ear.
 
FXD80: I think I know why I eventually got rid of the MTPC's I used to have. The FXD80 like that IEM is made out of good old solid metal making them a tank but they tug on my ears causing a bit of pressure flex in ear which I find distracting. The cable quality is top notch and when worn over ear the microphonics are not to bad.
 
Tangle free: N-Ergy>FX40>FXD80
Comfort: N-Ergy>FX40>FXD80
Ease of insertion: N-Ergy>FXD80>FX40
Cable quality: N-Ergy=FXD80>FX40
Microphonics: N-Ergy>FXD80=FX40
Isolation: Is about equal across all 3 IEM's.
 
Jazz
Diana Krall's "Walk on By"
 
FX40: The bass is a bit to strong as is are the cymbals. It's almost like the music is deliberately accented. The mids are actually nice but I keep getting distracted by the ways the cymbals are being produced. The piano is also not as prominent. The sound stage also feels slightly artificial. The overall effect is not bad and certainly musical but strongly coloured.
 
N-ergy: The bass is more in the background acting as accompaniment and so are the cymbals. The mids are slightly more delicate and transparent allowing more emotion to shine through Diana's singing the mids are on the bright side. The piano section of the song stands out a bit more and like Diana's singing is more delicate. There is no false sense of sound stage but the sound stage is just as large or larger than the FX40.
 
FXD80: The bass is nice and controlled, but ever so slightly stronger than I like but very close to ideal, cymbals are delicate and nicely in place. Singing is a bit throaty and warm, this makes the IEM more relaxed but loses some of the tranparency, but will never be called to energy. The piano section is slightly darker like the singing. The sound stage is clear and realistic.
 
Overall winner: N-Ergy=FXD80>>FX40, I have personally prefer the N-Ergy but for many they will disagree and give the winner to the FXD80 due to it's stronger bass and slightly stronger treble, others will also appreciate the warmer mids of the FXD80. Bottom line is if you prefer a brighter sound while still being slightly less treble accented you will like the N-Ergy if you like a warmer sound with more accents in the bass and treble go FXD80. The FX40 comes in a distant 2nd/3rd.
 
Patricia Barber "Light my Fire"
FXD80: The bass is nicely situated it has excellent weight to the rest of the song. Patricia's voice is dark and almost smokey. Cymbals are all in place and sound just about perfect for the song. The overall feeling of the song is weight with spikes of treble as cymbals hit throughout the song. The sound stage is natural and large.
 
N-Ergy: The bass is more in the background and slightly to quiet for the song. Patricia's voice is clear and while not sibilant is bright. Cymbals are slightly more present and the song is not as heavy feeling with more energy while never losing it's sense of smoothness. The sound stage is natural and large.
 
FX40: The bass is strong and a bit fat sounding, treble is overly emphasized. Patricia's voice sound very clear and is warm. The sound stage is large and a bit artificial sounding. The song while sounding artificially enhanced does sound nice in a strange sort of way with the exception of a few moments here and there where the bass or the treble becomes to much.
 
Overall winner: FXD80=N-Ergy>FX40, This is another virtual tie between the FXD80 and the N-Ergy and like the Diana Krall tune is because both IEM's offer different glimpes into the song that are equally compelling. The FX40 while still comng up the rear sounded more pleasing with Patricia Barber than Diana Krall.

 

Classic Rock

Eagles - Hotel California

 

N-Ergy: The guitar at the beginning of the song along with cymbals are nice and clean. the bass line sounds natural and right for the songs. Vocals sound very clean and clear and not recessed a problem with this particular song. Sound stage is large and instrument separation is very nice.

 

FX40: Bass sounds nice but slightly over cooked, cymbals are slightly stronger than they should be placing them way to forward. Vocals are clear but behind the bass line and cymbals making the song sound off. The is overall sense of exaggeration to the song with the sound stage sounding artificial. Cymbals often sound harsh and metallic.

 

FXD80: Bass line sound nice and natural, guitars sound subdued, cymbals are clear and present. Vocals sound slightly recessed losing clarity and dynamic. The sound stage is clear and natural sounding. Cymbals have a bit of a tendency to sound over cooked at different parts of the song.

 

Overal winner: N-Ergy>FXD80>>FX40, the N-ergy simply out class both JVC's on this song with clearer vocals and bass and treble that properly paces those vocals.

 

Meatloaf - Two out of Three Ain't Bad

 

FXD80: Bass guitar sounds a bit overwhelming at the beginning of the song, cymbals similarly sounds a bit over cooked. Vocals sound clear and clean and warm. The sound stage sounds large but their is an overall sense of exaggeration from the bass and treble placing the instruments in front of the vocals.

 

FX40: bass is seriously exaggerated, guitars have a slightly twangy aspect to them, cymbals have a hollow feeling to them or sound very metallic. The vocals sound harsh crossing the line into sibilance. The overall effect is like listening to the song through a bad radio. Sibilance runs throughout the song making it sound very static like.

 

N-Ergy: Piano at the beginning of the song sound clear, bass sounds realistic, vocals are perfectly clear and present, guitars sound energetic, cymbals sound clean and not over done and in place with the song. The overall feeling is like Meatloaf is in the front and the music is accompanying his singing from behind. The sound stage sounds natural and large.

 

Overall winner: N-Ergy>FXD80>>FX40. After these two songs and other I have listened over the past two days it is clear the N-Ergy is much better suited for classic rock with a more balanced sound allowing the vocals to be more properly situated in the songs.

 

Hard Rock

AC/DC - Let There be Rock

 

N-Ergy: The over all speed of this song appears to be slightly more than the IEM can handle but not so much I didn't enjoy the song it was just obviously muddled a small amount. The mid and treble energy was readily apparent and worked well for the song. Sound stage... well let's face it this song isn't about sound stage :-).

 

FXD80: The first thing I noticed was a lack of energy from the mids. The next thing I noticed was the detail and ease at which the IEM kept up with the speed with more bass presence. 

 

FX40: Bass sounds big and slightly out of control, treble energy is to string making the cymbals sound very static like. The song is very blurred and becomes painful and almost un-listenable at the end of the song.

 

Overall winner: FXD80>N-Ergy>>>FX40, I give this song to the FXD80 which while lacking a bit of midrange energy was able to properly keep up with the songs speed and also had a bit mire bass presence needed for the song. If you like more energy though then the N-Ergy will work better. The FX40 was not even close.

 

Led Zeppelin - Dazed and Confused

 

FX40: Bass is large and in my face with a fat and uncontrolled abandon, Roberts singing actually sounds not bad until all the crazy insane treble energy kicks in. Sibilance is prevelant throughout different aspects of the song. Sound stage feels cavern like and artificial. When the song isn't going to fast the FX40 sounds not bad in a distorted fun sort of fashion but the cymbals completely ruin the song most of the time.

 

N-Ergy: Bass line sounds controlled and natural, Roberts voice sounds clean and in the right place within the song, no sibilance from his voice but good energy. Cymbals sound good and are in the right position within the song. The speed of the song seems to be managed OK by the IEM. The sound stage is large and sounds very natural. I like the overall placement of everything within the song.

 

FXD80: Bass is big but in control, I find it slightly to heavy but it's not bad overall. Roberts singing is clean but sounds like it is slightly distant to the rest of the music. Cymbals are clear but slightly to forward but controlled. During the faster part of the song the FXD80 keeps up admirably.

 

Overall winner: N-Ergy=FXD80>>FX40, I found the N-Ergy seemed to be the most balanced while the FXD80 the most articulate and the FX40 coming up somewhere in the very distant rear.

 

Mid comparison interlude

 

I thought I would take a small break from comparison for a moment and just discuss what I have noticed up to this point.

 

I think it's clear by this point that I like the N-Ergy quite a bit but that the FXD80 is holding it's own as well, while the FX40 is simply not competing. So I will give some general observations about each.

 

N-Ergy is an apt name for this new Monster as it's signature is all about high energy dynamics. This IEM is all about the midrange and treble, with a strong attack, guitars have quite a bit of bite and singers sound edgy while cymbals have great decay and not too heavy crash. Bass is present but is definitely not in the drivers seat.

 

FXD80 is the fastest IEM in the round up easily keeping up with what has been tossed at it so far. It's midrange is more distant and less energetic. Guitars and singing sounds clean but lacks bite or edginess making the IEM less fatiguing. Bass plays a more up front role and cymbals have more energy on the crash than the N-ergy while having very close to the same level of decay.

 

FX40 is like a younger sibling trying to imitate it's big brother\sister and failing miserably. The bass and treble are splashy and out of control, the sound stage is cavern like at times and almost always artificial sounding. The overall effect is a distorted and stressful view of everything played.

 

End if mid comparison interlude

 

Classical Orchestra

While I love classical music I am not super knowledgable so I won't be able to make a detail technicical analysis of the music for things like are the various instruments in the right place in the sound stage. I will attempt to identify if I am hearing depth as well as width in the sound stage though.

 

Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 - "Choral": II. Molto Vivace

 

N-Ergy: The timpani at the beginning of the song sound reasonably powerful. All instruments sounds clean and clear with good instrument separation. Even at it's most complex the song sounds cohesive without a sense of blurring amongst the competing instruments. I like the natural feel to the sound stage which has good width and reasonable depth to it. They are not as good as the best IEM's I have heard but are above average. Nothing feels out of place or missing in the music.

 

FXD80: The timpani at the beginning of the song sounds powerful without being to much. All instruments sound clear and clean with good separation. The overall music is very detailed but more relaxed than the N-Ergy. The sound stage is wide and deep. Like the N-Ergy nothing feels really out of place or missing.

 

FX40: The timpani at the beginning of the song sounds large and slightly exaggerated. The song is reasonably coherent but there is a cavern like quality to the performance. The sense of distortion never really leaves throughout the song.

 

Overall winner: FXD80=N-Ergy>>FX40, this genre is equally done by the FXD80 and the N-Ergy IEM. The slight differences are the N-ergy has a bit more midrange clarity and energy while the FXD80 is more relaxed in the mids but has slightly more punch in the bass. Bothe have very nice sound stages but the FXD80 may be slightly more 3 dimensional. The FX40 while not really competing sounded better with this genre than anything I have compared so far.


Edited by dweaver - 7/9/12 at 10:53pm
post #14 of 120

Nice findings so far. I haven't jumped on the JVC bandwagon myself(mainly because of my C510E). There is a lot of JVC talk right now but I'm sure there are quite a few affordable phones out there that can run with the FXD80.

 

What did you change your mind about? Thought the N-Ergy might have been the best? Maybe a bit on hew toy syndrome :)

 

Maybe Dave will be curious and pick one of these up now.


Edited by jant71 - 7/8/12 at 4:56pm
post #15 of 120
Thread Starter 

So far I am enjoying the N-Ergy more than the FXD80. I find them more comfortable and I really have become a mid/treble guy, so the brighter signature of the N-Ergy appeals to me more. I will see how I feel over the next couple of days and will continue to burn these in at night as well but I do think these are pretty much on par with the FXD80 just in different ways.

 

I actually figured I would buy these and find they were to bassy and then simply return them to Walmart, but right now I feel they are a better fit for me than most of the IEM's have tried or own. But I want to see if I feel that way after the honeymoon phase since I have a tendency to change my mind LOL. I also have some PFE 122's coming in that may pound them into the ground.

 

I will probably tackle some classic rock next and just keep adding genre's to the one post I started above.

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