Monster Turbine In-Ear Headphones

Average User Rating:
3.85294/5,
  1. Parall3l
    4.0/5,
    "Basshead IEMs"
    Pros - LOTS of accessories, metal housing, Monster Cable brand name.
    Cons - Very hard to find the perfect fit, microphonic cable
    This is my first time using a pair of decent IEMs, I have to say, I am not disappointed. 
     
    Fit : This is the turbine's worst aspect. I have rather small ear canals and used the smallest round tips it came with, it was perfectly fine, but the smallest tri-flange tip refused to go inside my ear canal and I am stuck with only one pair of usable tips. 
     
    Build: The turbine's build quality is not impressive but it is not bad either. I'd say its above average. The cable is thick, but not so thick that some one could accidentally choke you by pulling it. The Y section was ok and does what is its supposed to do, which is pretty much nothing. The housing is made some kind of metal and definitely beats the cheap plastic you normally see on cheap earbuds. 
     
    Sound: The bass on the turbines extends very well, I currently don't have a good amp on my macbook so I can't test exactly how low it extends but it should be lower than 35hz. The turbines are not the most analytical IEMs ever, but you can hear everything in your recording. The bass quantity is enough to satisfy most basshead but for the most hardcore bassheads out there, I'd suggest checking out the Hippo VB, some bassheads think they have too much bass. They can be used for Classical music but they definitely not the best choice for Classical listeners, the signature for the turbines is really meanr for Hip-Hop or EDM. The soundstage on the turbines are ok compared to my Ultrasone PRO550, not as good, but not bad either. 
     
    Conclusion: If you are looking for a basshead IEM, these are definitely worth $100 IMO
  2. NoahZ
    4.0/5,
    "Overall satisfying IEMS (just not for me)"
    Pros - Decent isolation, powerful bass and low end, overall good sound quality (with right fit)
    Cons - Just don't work in my ears, occasionally muffled mids and vocals
    I'll say right off the bat that this is my first pair of remotely high-end headphones, and one of my first major reviews. So try to forgive incorrect terminology or generally novice-sounding terms.
     
    Moving on, I'd also like to note that I received an older edition of the Turbines; mine had the right-angle connector and 2 cases (both of which were suede-esque material).
     
    On to the review....
     
    I first listened to these right out of the box. I was impressed. Moving up from a decent pair of Creative in-ears that came with my Zen X-Fi, I found these had much higher sound quality. The packaging itself was quite nice, a high quality box with nicely organized accessories and such. 
     
    I then started a burn-in, a combination of music and pink noise. As of this writing the Turbines have a bit more than 10 hours of burn-in time. 
     
    With the right fit, the bass and low end/percussion on the Turbines is excellent. Drums are powerful and felt through my head at decent volumes, and bass is pronounced. On most songs, mids and vocals sound absolutely fine; nice, not oh-my-gosh-remarkable but good quality. Occasionally, particularly with a not so great fit, mids and vocals sound a bit muffled or suppressed. Nonetheless, the overall sound quality on the Turbines is good. 
     
    But that quality is dependent on a good fit. I have weird ears; I'll admit that. But getting a nice fit with these is.... trying. I'd say every other day I have to switch from medium tips to small tips. Different medium tips seem to be slightly different sizes. The wrong tip completely ruins these headphones. The smallest triple-flanged don't fit in my ears at all; they're horrible. The largest triple-flanged serve as q-tips for me (gross, I know, but that's how they are in my ears). The smallest and medium single tips are what work for me, but as I said I have to change which I use with some frequency. This may just be me, I know I'm weird, but it just means that my experience with the audio quality changes. And the metal body of these is heavy, which means a not-great-fitting tip makes the headphones fall out of my ears. Is this a constant issue? Not at all. Generally, I have no trouble with the fit. But I have enough trouble that it's a noticeable issue.
     
    The cord quality is decent. Tangling isn't much of a problem, and the cases are high enough quality to help, too. I don't worry that they're going to fall apart, and if they do I feel like I could probably get them replaced.
     
    Are the Turbines perfect? No. Are they probably as good as I was going to get in the $100-$150 range? I think so. Going up to $200 I could've gotten the Pro Coppers which may have been much better, but for what they are the Turbines are quite nice. I chose them over a pair of Audio-Technica's, and I'm overall happy with my choice. 
     
    In closing: I like the Turbines. They sound between good and very good, based on the fit I'm getting. They have decent isolation; I can't hear normal conversations around me when I'm listening. They're not entirely comfortable, they don't have the best audio quality, but they're a solid, punchy pair of IEMs with good bass. 
     
    Given that I want to mainly use these as my super-portable headphones, I'm now off to look for a mid-quality pair of on ear full sized headphones for home. For on the go or for those who want to mainly use IEMs and not spend a fortune, I'd certainly recommend the Turbines.
     
     
    UPDATE:
     
    So I'm returning these. But it's not an issue that will affect everyone. I have slightly weird ears, and I just cannot make these fit right due to the heavy metal bodies. They hang down slightly and cause some pain and I can't get a seal I like. So I would still recommend the Turbines to someone looking for fairly nice IEMs that has absolutely no history of fit problems, as the heavy metal bodies can cause these to fall out and be uncomfortable. Call me stupid if you must; I'm getting a 100% refund.
  3. ThickT
    3.0/5,
    "I was so let down"
    Pros - sound isolation, styling/design, accessories, packaging
    Cons - discomfort, sound,
    ok first off this is my first review on ANYTHING. so bare with me if its dumb. but let me just say im no audiophile and im not rich and cant afford to try alot of different phones. im just a guy who hates getting swindled. so thats why i do tons and tons of independant research before i buy any kind of electronic. with the turbines, i would seriously say i have read at least 75-80 reviews on them AND the pro copper/golds, from alot of different websites, i researched them against different types of phones and i even looked at the more scientific side of things like ohms and output impedance and stuff like that. the monster family of phones get a overall positive feedback amungst the internet community very consistantly. so i decided to get them finally( after about 2yrs of desiring them). like i said above the packaging and the accessories are very very good. the design of the phones are awesome. now ive read enough reviews to know that iem's are a very different expirence for each person, so i just wanna tell you about mine with the turbines. the fit is wayyyyyy to finicky if you look down the sound changes, because the seal changes in you ear. and the pressure that these put in your ear is so immence that i feel it is hindering the ability to hear the music properly. when im pressing these into my ear the pressure created is so much that it can completely mute the earphone until you back it out a little. seriously, i never felt like the fit was correct and i have fiddled with them for ever. i even bought the 20 dollar set of super tips from best buy, same crap wayyy too much pressure in my ears. when ever i finally got them to feel decent, and try to analyse the sound quality i found that the bass is the only thing about these phones that even remotely stands out as being a better than the average phone. the highs are regular as hell and i think the mids are plain as hell too. and the soundstage is so small there is none. it does not feel as if your surrounded by music.its a very tight close up short sound overall and the bass sounds to me like the range is lower than ive heard from any other phone of mine. but range and impact are two very different things. the bass never blew me away at all. these did not sound like in ear speakers to me. at all. and after wearing them even with the smallest tips for 6 hrs or so they hurt. and its not the weight of them its the diameter of the bud. it felt like it was gaping my ear canal. bottom line... i wanted sooooo so baldy to like these, but that pressure in my ears killed it for me. i feel it contributed to not hearing the audio like i was supposed to. its seriously felt like the seal was so tight that the trapped air between the bud and my ear drum was creating some kind of pressure sound filter....i know that doesnt make sence but thats how it felt. 
  4. PKPnytheta47
    3.5/5,
    "Experience with Monster Turbines"
    Pros - Solid Bass, Takes little to drive them (doesn't need a lot of volume to make them kick butt)
    Cons - Highs and Mids are dark / veiled sounding, Fitment - the rubber isolation buds could be better
    Value:
    I would obviously rate this very high since I got these from a good friend who never really used them and sold it to me for (ok, expensive ones at that) peanuts (He has a couple of Shure's that sounded much better). For the money I paid for the sound it produces though (I guess I'm spoiled by my over ear headphones) I would rate it a solid 4 out of 5 in terms of value.
     
    Audio Quality:
    The bass is very good, it's very solid sounding and punchy. The highs are thin and veiled sounding and the mids are darker sounding that I would want them to be.These buds do have a decent sound stage but it isn't very wide. The way I perceive it is that the bass is very slightly forward of the mids while the highs are behind the mids when listening to music. If you're a bass head this is a good set of ear buds for you. I prefer a balanced sounding type of ear buds / cans so I rated this with a 3.5 out of a 5.
     
    Design:
    I think the design is very cool and modern looking but still conservative in a way. It has the gun metal / chrome finish that gives it the 'jet turbine' look which it actually pulls off well. The identifying marks for the left and right side buds are very well done (blue and red markings around each bud). The wires themselves are very sturdy considering I've accidentally pulled away too far from my PC a couple of times and both ends (plug and buds) have held up well. Solid 4 out of 5
     
    Comfort:
    I've been able to use these buds for 4 hours straight but with some adjustments every 30-45 minutes or so to get them to where I want them to be. As mentioned in my cons, the fitment or rubber buds could have been better. It can be tiring listening to bass heavy buds so I did end up lowering down the volume to get a break now and then. I gave it a 3 out of 5
     
    Isolation:
    These buds are actually very good in terms of noise Isolation, so you can crank up the volume without worrying too much about the person beside you. At the same time you won't be able to hear too much noise from the outside once your jamming to your favorite tunes. Very good for traveling to and from work or where ever you may be going! Solid 4 out of 5
  5. jamesta
    4.0/5,
    "Great all-around 'don't overthink it' canalphones."
    Pros - Sound quality & 'all around' sound signature.
    Cons - Quality control issues, seal issues.
    This set really impresses me every time I use them, they have great overall presentation & ability.  Tuned for all-around use, they are very well balanced, with ample & precise bass, decent mids & decent highs.  There isn't anything snazzy about them, but they are great to just grab & not overthink.  Definitely not made for critical listening but great for just enjoying music with good quality sound.
     
    I highly recommend them if you can get them on a lightning deal for $79, but they are a decent deal at any price under $100.  There are many other options out there, but this set really satisfies a niche for me, of high quality & good balance without the frills.
     
    I did have a QC issue in that the left speaker quit working properly & was not putting out very much sound, I've read elsewhere of this problem.  Monster's customer service was great, no questions were asked I just mailed the set to them & they mailed a replacement, probably 2 weeks turnaround.  There are also some fit issues in getting a good seal, it is simple to get a good seal but sometimes has a sort of 'vacuum' effect where you have to play around with the position to get the seal how it is supposed to be.
     
    Overall I'm very happy with these as a backup to my W4.
  6. helluvapixel
    4.0/5,
    "An experiment in Monster - Not disappointed."
    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).
  7. XxMerlinxX
    4.5/5,
    "My Monster Turbines"
    Pros - Good bass, sound stage, durable, 3 year warranty, lots of accessories, easy identification of R and L channel, tangle-free cord, isolation.
    Cons - On the heavy side, does not include foam tips, takes a bit of doing to get a good fit sometimes, straight plug,
    After a burn-in period over night, I have to say that these are the best IEMs I've ever listened to.  Now, to be honest, you may need to take that with a grain of salt considering I'm only coming from a pair of JVC Marshmallows, and these Turbines will be my first foray into high-end IEMs.  Be that as it may, I believe the Turbines are the IEMs to beat at their price point.  They provide an ample amount of bass as well as bright highs, however the mids are just a touch recessed if I'm being honest.  The sound stage is quite good and opened up even a bit more after being amped, and even though I do have these amped now, they really don't need it all that much.  If you can snatch these up at around $100-$125, I absolutely would.
    hanifh2 likes this.