Monster Turbine Pro Copper In-Ear Headphones

Average User Rating:
4.21053/5,
  1. cdnaudiophile
    4.5/5,
    "Monster Turbine Pro Copper "
    Purchased these at the amazing price of $95cdn on a boxing day sale.
     
    Amazed with the sound right out of the box. Has bass emphasis but not overpowering where it ruins the mids or highs. Mostly in the sub 100 hz range. They are very detailed for a dynamic driver. To me these sound better then my AT M50's for mobile use.  The highs are sparkly and clear and mids are great too. They are not neutral but have just enough colour to make the music nice and smooth. Great, enjoyable headphone to listen too. I highly recommend taking a listen if you like dynamics and are wanting great clarity as well in an iem.
  2. Hifianddrumming
    4.5/5,
    "First pair of high-quality IEMS"
    Pros - good sound, great soundstage for an IEM, Good customizable experience, Great warranty.
    Cons - sound could be better for the price, as well as one of the cases.
    I saved up for these headphones for a longtime and finally got them on the 15th of June.
     
     They were my first pair of truly high quality IEMs, and besides my Sennheiser hd280s, my first real delve into Head-fi land.
     
     Sound seemed AMAZING at the time, but as I listen more, and I heard the UE triple-fi 10s, in my opinion they are a little over-priced at 400. Only get them if you can get a for maybe 350, around there. The detail and soundstage on these is blow-your-mind for an IEM
     
     The tip selection is nice, it would be hard not to find a comfortable tip.
     
     Kind of in a rush right now... Will elaborate later :)
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  3. i2ehan
    4.0/5,
    "MTPC"
    --
  4. kostalex
    4.5/5,
    "MTPC – a perfect IEM for “not so serious” audiophile"
    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
    Pros comments
    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.
     
    Best uses
    Portable Electronics
    Travel
    Delta-sigma budget DACs
     
    Disclaimer
    I was given this product as a gift in exchange for writing this review,
     
    Conclusion first
    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.
     
    Warning
    With warmer source / amp, like multi-bit HM-602, MTPC yields in clarity and instruments separation to lean sounding competitors.
     
    DETAILED REVIEW
     
    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!
     

     
    COMPARISONS
     
    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:
    1. MP3 > Sansa Clip+: MTPC is the winner. RE262 is underamped – lean bass, dry mids, lack of speed.
    2. MP3 > iPod 5[sup]th[/sup] 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.
    3. MP3 > iPod 5[sup]th[/sup] 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”.
    4. 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.
     
  5. schalliol
    5.0/5,
    "Monster Turbine Pro Copper Review, Great IEMs With Customizable Experience"
    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.
  6. ClieOS
    4.5/5,
    "Great IEM, but can be better."
    Pros - Sleek design, Sound, Warranty.
    Cons - Eartips size, Driver Flex.
    Disclaimer:  This review is part of the Monster Turbine Challenge Review program where selected Turbine models are provided to applicants free of charge in exchange for honest reviews.
     
    I have been keeping my eyes (and ears) on the IEM market for the last 5~6 years now. If we were to go back to 2008 and before, the upper end of the IEM market was mostly dominated by balanced armature (BA) based canalphone (‘IEM’ for short) while the lower end was all dynamic (moving coil) based. That had been the trend going back almost as far as the birth of IEM as a new type of earphone. But since last few years, there has been an influx of higher and higher end dynamic IEM to the market, challenging the long held belief that BA based IEM must be inherently better than dynamic based IEM. This new trend couldn’t have been more apparent in the last one year or so.
     
    When Monster first came to Head-fi with its newly designed original Turbine back in late 2008, questions rose regarding the seriousness of the company’s intention to enter the IEM market. There had been many attends from many non-headphone related big brands trying to penetrate the IEM market and in most case, they just failed to follow up with steam after one or two models’ release. However, the original Turbine was (and still is) received fairly well in the community and Monster came back strong a year later with the late 2009 announcement of Turbine Pro (which later known as the Gold ‘audiophile’ edition), and followed a few months later with the CES2010 announcement of the additional Copper ‘Professional’ edition – which is what I will be reviewing here.
     
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    SPEC
    Monster never publishes the full spec, but a quick measurement suggests that the Pro Copper likely has impedance around 16~20ohm and a transducer size of about 8mm.
     
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    Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality
    Packaging is classy – well designed and printed outer paper wrap, extra tough hard paper box, plastic tray with velvet inlay to hold the IEM in place and has the spared space underneath for the truck load of accessories - Talking about the accessories, let’s see what is included: A soft pouch with snap-back opening, a semi-hard velvet case with magnetic button, a ‘revolver’ style eartips holder, a 3.5mm to 6.5mm adapter, a pair of ear clips, a shirt clip, two pairs of tri-flanges silicone eartips (small and large),  three pairs of single flanges eartips (S,M, L), six pairs of gel filled Supertips (SS, S, M, 2 x L, XL), five pairs of foam Supertips (SS, 2 x S, M, L), a bacteria resistance cleaning cloth, and a few manuals.
     
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    First, here are the few things I think are fine / better than fine – the soft pouch is well made with hinges on the snap-back mechanism - that is attention to detail.  The semi-hard is decent, though could be a little bigger. The eartips holder is a good idea. The 3.5mm to 6.5mm adapter really looks gorgeous. Shirt clip is functional but could be better. The cleaning cloth is a nice touch. Keeping the IEM (and especially the cable) clean from earwax and skin oil is the first step to prolong the IEM lifespan, even though Monster does offer a generous lifetime warranty and a very generous one-times-only free replacement.
     
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    Some of these manual are a little outdated.
     
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    How about the things I don’t like that much? They are the eartips and ear hooks. To be more specific, I don’t like the size gap between the different sizes of eartips and how the IEM is mounted / clipped onto the ear hooks. For examples, the size difference between the small single flange eartips and the midsized single flange eartips is too large. The midsized eartips should have been just a few milliliters smaller to be in line with the common industries’ standard (I am referring to eartips from Sony, Audio-Technica, UE, etc). The same can be said to the small and midsized foam Supertips – the midsized is just a tad too big to be an actual midsized. As for the gel filled Supertips, the difference in size is more proper but I personally don’t like rigid eartips and therefore don’t find them to be comfortable to use. Out of the very few eartips that I can use, they are either a little too tight, not tight enough or simply don’t sound quite as nice. I end up using a pair of cloned midsized Sony Hybrid eartips (which actually shaped like the stock single flange) on my Copper to get the best balance in fit and sound. It would have been nice if the stock eartips have the right size in the first place because those eartips actually work quite well when they fitted right / comfortable for a brief moment. But like any IEM, getting a good and comfortable fit is the first and most important step of getting a good sound. I really like the fact that Monster includes that many selections of eartips in the package, but I think they could still learn something from Sony when it comes to perfecting the eartips size selection. Isolation wise, all of the included eartips are above average. With the gel filled Supertips, the Copper can even rival some of the best noise isolated IEM in the market.
     
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    Eartips (from top row) Foam Supertips, Gel filled Supertips, single flange and tri-flange eartips. Only showing one of each pair.
     
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    Normal single flange eartip (left) vs. gel filled Supertips (right)
     
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    Normal single flange eartip (upper left), gel filled Supertips (right) and foam Supertips (lower left). The idea on the Supertips is nice, but come out a little short in real life.
     
    Ear hooks are another missed detail. The ear hooks themselves are well made, but the strain relief (when the earpiece is clipped onto the ear hook) is positioned at the wrong angle. The ear hook forces the strain relief of the earpiece to point downward, pushing it (and the cable) against the ear lobe. It would have been much more natural to have the strain relief pointing a few degrees forward.
     
    Onto the IEM itself – The housing is full metal and very well made (and a tad heavy). The design idea of the whole Turbine series obviously comes from Monster’s own Turbine RCA connector, and it actually looks pretty good on the earpiece as well. The cable is the rubbery, slightly springy type with decent thickness. They look like they should take stress well, and I guess that’s the underlined assumption for anyone buying IEM from a company that makes expensive cable. Microphonics is acceptable, neither great nor bad. The Y-splitter and mini plug looks quite good too, but I won’t mind better strain relief on them. The only build quality issue I detected so far is the infamous driver flex issue that seems to bother the whole Turbine line of IEM. Driver flex is when the diaphragm flexes around due to the pressure caused by insertion and makes a scratchy sound (and in worst case, pressure can cause the speaker to be quieter than usual temporary and you will need to adjust the earpiece for it to return to normal). It usually happens to IEM with a fully sealed acoustic chamber like the Turbine. I would suggest Monster just make a very small vent on the base of the nozzle to fix the issue. As long as the vent is small enough, it shouldn’t reduce performance or affect the sound too much. I haven’t heard that driver flex will damage the transducer itself, but it is quite annoying and I can’t imagine it could be anything good for the IEM in long run.
     
    Overall I have a positive impression with the Copper’s build quality. The eartips and ear hooks are more or less minor issues while the driver flex can be a little annoying, but they don’t subtract all the pluses from the IEM. I do however hope Monster can further refine the Copper, especially consider the high MSRP.
     
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    Strain relief pushing against ear lobe.
     
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    A little change (from the original red line) in how the IEM is mounted can improve the fit.
     
    Sound Quality
    The IEM had received no less than 50+ hours of burn-in before the review. No significant change has been detected. Copper is claimed to be studio quality monitor that is ‘designed for serious audiophiles and audio professionals’. Personally, I would take something more neutral for monitoring purpose, but that is not to say you can’t use Copper as a monitor if you already understand its coloration to the sound. I am just more inclined to use it for the serious audiophiles’ bit of the business.
     
    The sound signature of Copper is warm, sweet, full and smooth. Bass is hard hitting, deep, well textured but also well rounded and not overly aggressive. While not a bass monster in nature, it has the quantity that can easily put smile on a basshead and the texture, speed, and proper decay not to sound muddy. Mid is forwarded, but not overly full. It is sweet but not in-your-face, keeping just enough distance not to become mid-centric, yet gives a sense of intimacy in vocal.  The mid and bass complement each other very well and do not overpower one another at anytime, making it the backbone of the Copper’s sound. Treble is well extended, but lacks just a tiny bit of extra sparkle on the top to fully showcase the crispiness of string or brass instruments on its own. As a whole however, the treble still acts well to accentuate the mid and bass presentation without appear to be lacking. Soundstage is only decent, as expected on a full sounding IEM and there is nothing to be faulted for.
     
    I tested a variety of songs and music but here are a few that best showcases the strengths and weaknesses of Copper:
     
    “Derezzed (The Glitch Mob Remix)” from soundtrack [Tron Legacy: Reconfigured]: Electronic music needs good bass and treble. Copper can easily handle the bass demand but not quite as easy on dealing with all the high notes. It is satisfying overall but I won’t think Copper will be my top choice for electronic.
     
    “Bad Reputation” from Avril Lavigne’s album [Goodbye Lullaby]: A fantastic song to test for speed and resolution, since there are a lot of things going on at the same time. Copper renders it beautifully and I couldn’t have asked for more.
     
    “Bottle It Up” from Sara Bareilles’ album [Little Voice]: This is one of the most sibilance-prone songs in my collection. Copper presents all the ‘s’ on Sara Bareilles’ vocal without causing sibilance or sounding muffed, well done.
     
    “Bari Improv” from soundtrack [August Rush]: Performed by Kaki King, this is my standard song for checking guitar rendering, micro detail and soundstage. As mentioned before, Copper isn’t that great with string instruments – Guitar has the kick, but lacks a little of the air and extension. A little more than decent overall.
     
    “La Paloma” from album [Andre Rieu: Romantic Paradise]: Orchestral music and New Age ain’t something I would consider to be strong points for Copper, but it certainly can plays them well enough and I have no complaint over it.
     
    “Heart Skips a Beat” from Lenka’s album [Two]: There are really deep bass here to check for quantity and depth. Is Copper the best at rendering deep bass note? Probably not - it doesn’t mean it is not excellent on its own though.
     
    “Isn’t This a Lovely Day” from Diana Krall’s album [From This Moment On]: This is the kind of music that showcases Copper’s ability best. Warm, full, textured and intimate - Diana Krull sounded sexiest as ever.
     
    So what will be a direct competitor for Copper’s sound quality and signature wise? I would think Ortofon e-Q5 and the discontinued Shure 530 can both pose as good candidates to compete with Copper. But if you asked me, I don’t think any one of them can truly trump over the others. At this level of sound, the actual pros and cons in sound is generally much smaller than the importance of the listener’s preference.
     
    *Gears: Dell XPS420 - FooBar2K - MeierAudio Corda 3MOVE / Sansa Clip+ / Sansa Fuze + LOD + 3MOVE / Cube C30.
     
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    Verdict
    While the MSRP is high, the street price of Copper is fairly reasonable at around $210 and put it in the same ‘zone’ as many of its competitors. There are a lot to be loved on the Copper, but at the same time it is not the perfect IEM. Then again, perfection perhaps is only in the eyes of the beholder. I think Copper has more than proven itself to be one of the best dynamic IEM around and capable to rival some of the best BA based IEM in the market. But in true audiophile spirit, I am hoping to see Monster further refining the Copper and that will make it truly special.
     
    P/S. Do note that you don’t want to get any of the Turbine Pro from an unauthorized third party seller, or else your IEM won’t get covered by the outstanding warranty program.
  7. steffanan
    4.0/5,
    "goods and bads i suppose"
    Pros - look and sound, awesome warranty
    Cons - price and
    the goods~ these things sound great for people who like to just listen to their music and for other personal use. they also look really nice, and come with a lot of options for fitting them well, and with two really nice cases. come with a lifetime warranty where if you break the headphones yourself, they send you another pair.
     
    The bads~ my first pair of them broke, which was really too bad. i know it wasnt my fault, but im not going to believe that all sets that they put out are the same. anyways, i also feel that there is just way too much bass coming out of them. their whole marketing ploy is that they are for "audiophiles and audio professionals only" they dont mean that literally at all, because these things dont have the sound an audiophile looks for at all. i like bass in hip hop as much as the next guy, but when i have eq flat, and im listening to something acoustic, it gets really annoying
     
    The ugly~ these things arent nearly as bad as the dr. dre stuff, but i just still feel like these headphones are not what monster says they are. quotes like "only for audio professionals" and "designed to make you hear the music as it was meant to be heard" are just to excite people about the product.
  8. GSUSTECH
    4.5/5,
    "Moster Copper Pro+Cowon+Fiio"
    Pros - These are the richest sound performance earphones from a long list of eraphones I had
    Cons - None
    I am listing some of the earphones that I have bought. Koss, Sony, SoundMagic-30. Last one I bought was the Monster Turbine Pro Copper. After I gave it a burnin test for about 40 hours, I tried to listin to some of my favoutite music that I have heard from the other headphones. Since I was always a HiFi enthusiast, I was really amased with the sharp detail, extended dynamic range and the most important the separation of the instruments. I am using tha following:
    Cowon S9 32GB + Fiio E5 head amp + the Moster headphones. This combination gives me one of the richest sount experence that I have heard.
    My Hifi system consists of Yamaha NS1000(Berillium Tweeter and mid-range) Yamaha M4 and C4 main amp and pre-amp. The Cowon+E5 + the monster headphones exceed the performance of my hifi system.
  9. dweaver
    4.0/5,
    "Excellent all round IEM with tons of charm"
    Pros - excellent all round IEM good for any genre
    Cons - requires an amp or more volume to get best sound
    First I would like to thank Monster for selecting me to review one of their latest IEM offerings. I received a free pair of Copper’s to review but would also like to point out that I also had bought a pair prior to being selected to review them. I accepted the free pair so I could experiment with the burn-in process and see if it could affect the way IEM ultimately sounded (more on this in the sound section).
     
    To start I would like to say that Monster does one thing EXTREMELY well, they make it easy on the newcomer to Hi-fi. I say this because their products include everything a new IEM user would need to have a successful start with their new IEM. This isn’t to say that long time Head-fi won’t come up with ways to improve on their Copper experience such as different tips but for the new buyer, they can comfortably use what’s in the kit and find satisfaction. I also think the Copper (actually all the Monster IEM’s I have tried) while benefiting from burn-in are also quickly enjoyable so the customer can enjoy the evolution of their IEM as they burn in.
     
    I have also not taken a ton of pictures of this IEM as I feel there are several good threads/reviews that have done that, here are a couple of great examples: Enanthate's Review, Rawrster's Review
     

    Packaging and accessories:

     
    Monster has included the largest and nicest selection of tips I have ever seen in an IEM package. Their new gel-filled and foam tips may appeal to a lot of people especially with the variety of sizes they come with. If the new tips don’t meet your needs they also include triflange and unique single flange tips. For myself I have to admit I prefer their large single flange tip they introduced with the original Monster Turbine as it simply fills my ear and I forget it’s even there. Personally I struggle with the foam hybrids and the gel filled tips as my ears are very sensitive to physical contact but found that both types of tips sound better than the original single flange tip. As for the triple flange, I can not use them at all as they cause my ears severe distress. In the end though, being a long time head-fi member I found I still prefer an old wide opening large single flange tip I picked up somewhere along the line, but if I did not have that tip I would be quite happy with the stock tips in the kit (actually I ended up losing one side and have been happily using the original MTPC supplied tip).
     
    As for the rest of the accessories the holder for the tips is nice as are the two cases. For those inclined to be very organized the tip holder may very well be a godsend. The kit also comes with a nice shirt clip and some little Velcro strips that be used to help wrap up and store the cables when being transported. There really is nothing left out of this kit.
     
    The packaging for Monster is also top notch bordering on decadent but a very nice change from the cheap packaging most small items like this come in. I do wonder how much it adds the cost of the IEM though…
     

    IEM and cable design and construction:

     
    I feel the Monster Turbine series is one of the solidest IEM’s ever designed. They weigh a lot in hand or dangling from my ear (ya I let them dangle when I am listing to someone at work LOL) but in ear they are very comfortable and have decent isolation due to the solid metal design of the IEM body.
     
    The cabling of the Professional series is a huge improvement over the original Monster Turbine but still has issues with microphonics, these can be reduced when worn over ear but are never completely removed when walking. The strain reliefs are well designed and I like the design of the L plug. I also like the design of the chin slider as it actually stays in place.
     

    So now that I have established how well made these are, the real question is how do they sound?

     
    I have alluded to differences in the sound of the two pairs of Copper IEM’s I own, these differences primarily take place in the bass and lower midrange. My original pair that I picked up used from another Head-fi member has 3-5DB less sound at the 20, 50, 100, 250, and 500 hz level than the new Copper’s supplied by Monster for this review. This translates into a heavier bass and added warmth on the 2[sup]nd[/sup] pair of Copper’s with a slightly more forward intimate midrange. I will give a break down between each Copper throughout the rest of the review referring to the original pair at MTPC1 and the 2[sup]nd[/sup] pair as MTPC2. I will also give my thoughts on why these IEM’s are different at the end of review along with instructions on how to get a brand new pair to sound like them each pair.
     
    Bass – The overall quality of bass with both units is very good, they both are able to achieve a deep satisfying bass but only when required by the music as compared to many bass oriented IEM’s where the bass encroaches on the rest of the sound spectrum. Think of it as bass on demand.
    1. MTPC1 is very solid and impact full with most genre’s of music but due to the slight dip in DB’s it works better at louder volumes with genre’s or music that rely on detail in the bass such as cellos.
    2. MTPC2 with the added DB’s in bass, is capable of producing very nice bass even at lower volume levels but potentially at the expense of being a bit too powerful at louder volumes, this issue is made worse if the music your listening to has been mastered to artificially inflate the bass. This also makes the MSPC2 very nice for anyone craving lots of bass.
     
    Midrange – The midrange of the Copper is very nicely situated in the middle; it is not excessively forward nor is it recessed. The quality of the midrange is also very high, providing a lot of detail which helps to bring voices to life and give added growl and grit to instruments like guitars.
    1. MTPC1 has a very neutral midrange that is a bit dry. This works well with most genre’s but can make vocals of some singers seem slightly thin but also adds more grit to a lot of instruments, which depending on genre may be preferable.
    2. MTPC2 has a warmer sounding midrange due to it’s definite elevation in DB at 500hz and ever so slight elevation at the 1000hz range. This warmth gives male vocals a lot more substance, especially for rock music and takes Jazz from being very good with the MTPC1 to excellent with the MTPC2. This added warmth can cause some genre’s to lose a bit of grit as well though so pick your poison carefully.
     
    Treble – The overall treble of the Copper is where this IEM truly shines. I have come to a point in my music listening where instruments like cymbals have to sound right or I just find them to distracting. In this area the Copper is just right, cymbals are nicely extended with excellent decay and sizzle without ever coming across as tinny or unnatural, the treble is also never sibilant but has a ton of detail. Music like Jazz is exquisite with the Copper due to their ability to reproduce the finer nuances and sounds associated with brush strokes on cymbals and other fine details.
    1. This is the one area where bother IEM’s are close enough that I can’t give specific examples of variation.
     
    Here is a selection of songs I have been listening to by genre kicked off with a brief overview of the genre by itself.
     
    1970/80’s Hard Rock / Early Heavy Metal – This genre sound very good from both MTPC’s I have but both require slightly elevated volume levels or an amp to really shine. If your music tends towards a lot of bass or has male singers and a lot of guitar riffs vs. squealing guitar solos the MTPC2 sound awesome as the added bass resolution makes the drums have more kick and the elevated lower midrange give the singers and guitars more presence. If your singers are of the screaming variety and the guitars are more of the solo or higher register then the MTPC1 helps to bring out these areas best.
     
    Direct comparisons between songs and IEM’s done from my computer using Media Monkey with no EQ of any kind. Using my Auzentech Forte 7.1 sound card.
     

    Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven -Flac

    1. MTPC2 – I find this song is better matched with the added midrange presence for the vocals and mid-bass for the bass guitars. The added bass and midrange also make this song very balanced against the highs of the cymbals
    2. MTPC1 – In comparison to the MTPC2 this IEM sounded thin in the vocals and lose the presence of the bass guitar. The highs also come across hotter due to the lack of balance between them and the rest of the sound spectrum. The added treble focus was nice at points but mainly was distracting.
     
    This is a song that I feel needs a large sound stage to really take me in and make me get lost in the song, while I like the sound stage of the MTPC I do find it was a bit lacking in both IEM’s for this song.
     

    Led Zeppelin – D’yer Maker – Flac

    1. MTPC1 – The song is exquisite in all its treble glory with all the finer details in the guitar work on display along with sizzling high hats and snappy drum work. The singing is clean and engaging albeit ever so lightly thin, the whispering at the end of the song sounds a bit distant taking away the effect ever so slightly. But in the end this song is about all that crazy guitar work and detail which is captured brilliantly by the MTPC1.
    2. MTPC2 – the added bass is a bit over powering and counterproductive to this song, taking away from the detailed treble work. The singing is fuller though and the whispering at the end is right in your ear.
     
    This song unlike Stairway to Heaven is about intimacy and crazy detail which is right in the Copper’s wheelhouse.
     

    AC/DC – Let There be Rock – Flac

    1. MTPC2 – The bass is ever so slightly overpowering for the song. Guitars have amazing growl and bite with the lower midrange warmth, the singer sounds wonderfully gritty.
    2. MTPC1 – The overall sound is like listening to the song from a distance or another room. All the detail is there but diminished, losing the feeling of being in the middle of the song.
     
    This song is a solid reflection of all AC/DC music for me with the exception that most songs don’t feel over powered by the bass of the MTPC2, the MTPC2 simply kicks MTPC1 in the pants in every way possible. Having said this both IEM’s are much better than my last high end IEM the Sennheiser IE8 due to their ability to keep up with the song, even at its frenzied climax.
     
    Jazz – I am new to this genre but completely enamored by what I have heard so far. My song selections are therefore limited to only one artist unfortunately. This is one genre that seems like intimacy is the most important aspect of the music along with detail. In this area both Copper’s again excel but like Hard Rock I find I have a strong preference for the warmer more mid focused signature of MTPC2 over MTPC1.
     

    Patricia Barber – Miss Otis Regrets – Flac

    1. MTPC1 – The bass of the drums are balanced, the vocals are light and very feminine, guitars sound very nice, and all cymbal and percussion work sounds nice. But there is a sense of being at the back of the club.
    2. MTPC2 – The bass of the drums is a bit over powering but not so much as to be completely distracting, vocals are slightly throaty and extremely intimate as if the singer is singing directly to me, guitars also sound much closer and have a lot more reverberation, cymbals and percussions sound clean and detailed. I am now sitting at the front of the club directly across of the band.
     

    Patricia Barber – Let it Rain – Flac

    1. MTPC2 – The piano is being tickled and caressed directly in front of me sounding full with nothing lacking, Patricia is again directly in front of me almost whispering the song only to me, the percussion work is playing intimate, if I close my eyes I can almost see the drummer caress the cymbals delicately, a guitar kicks in a little bit further back and to my right. I’m at a club but all that exists is me and the band.
    2. MTPC1 – All the elements of the song are present and clear but again there is a sense of being further back in the club so I know I’m in a club.
     
    Celtic music – About 15 years ago I fell in love with Celtic music by singers like Loreena McKennitt. I like some of the new stuff like Celtic Woman but really like the early works of Loreena. I have chosen 1 song by her and one by her and Cedric Smith. This music is generally reliant on a warm presentation and the larger the soundstage the better. But it also has a lot of wonderful detail that a person can get lost in as well. For this genre both Copper’s sound equally good as the balance of MTPC1 helps create a larger soundstage and the warmth of MTPC2 provides warmth.
     

    Loreena McKennitt – Stolen Child – Flac

    1. MTPC2 – This song takes advantage of the MTPC2 to it’s fullest Loreena’s voice is pure and wonderfully forward full of emotion as she tell’s a tale with music. All the instruments are fully represented in all their glory with the highs shimmering and dancing, the mids and lows resonating. This song is driven by atmosphere which is complete and enveloping.
    2. MTPC1 – All aspects of this song are crystal clear with sparkling detail and the more neutral midrange helps give this song a larger soundstage as Loreena’s voice is not so centre stage.
     

    Loreena McKennitt and Cedric Smith – Carrighfergus - Flac

    1. MTPC2 – This is a song with less atmosphere than Stolen Child but due to a strong male vocal is deep and resonant due to the added bass and lower midrange of the MTPC2. All of the guitars, lutes, and harps are also wonderfully detailed and full of presence.
    2. MTPC1 – Strangely enough this song sounds wonderful on the MTPC1 as much as the MTPC2. The stronger balance seems to give Cedric more emotion and the instruments seem to be more precise as the treble is clearer and unfettered by the midrange.
     
    I also have used these with New Age Music, folk music, and and a wide range of classical music. Without going into the same detail as above suffice it to say I was extremely happy with pretty much every genre of music I listened to with these IEM’s.
     

    So let’s get down to it, shall we, WHY ARE THESE TWO IEM’s SO DIFFERENT?!?

     
    I have spent some time rereading the MTPC threads and have noticed a couple of trends in discussion. These trends are:
    • One group of people mentioning how balanced the MTPC are
    • One group that talks about a midbass hump similar to the IE8
    • One group that actually complain about the lack of bass.
     
    These comments are pretty much equally spread throughout the threads in regards to dates and time. So to my way of thinking this eliminates the possibility of Monster changing the fundamental design of the Copper IEM. This means either Monster is so flaky they can have IEM’s coming off the assembly line that sound completely different within the same batch, or this IEM is extremely susceptible to how it is burned in or used. I discount the idea of Monster being flaky simply because both my Copper’s sound VERY NICE versus being defective in any way.
     
    So to be blunt I think the differences in what people are hearing is how the IEM is burned in. Now this is just THEORY as I can not afford to buy enough units or have the time to prove my theory 100% conclusively, but if your interested in such things continue to read on...
     
    When I received my review pair of MTPC I was actually determined to see if I could affect the signature of the IEM through deliberate burn-in techniques. To this end I developed a special burn-in file I used for over 60hrs on MTPC2. I was surprised and excited by the difference this seemed to make. So much so I started a thread dedicated to this research. In that thread I contemplated that my special burn-in file caused the change and even made the file publically available. But I do actually think that the volumes I burned in my IEM’s may have as much to do with the difference as anything but do recommend to anyone wanting warm sounding Copper’s to use my file anyway just to be safe. I think the volumes are important because I know that some head-fi members believe in stressing their IEM’s during burnin and other just let them play at normal volume levels. I checked with the original owner of my MTPC1 and he confirmed he just let them play music at normal volume levels for a day to settle their bass down and then simply used them as they finished settling down. This is in contrast to the louder volume levels I used to burn-in MTPC2. So this information combined with the fact other head-fi members are getting a similar warmth and midbass hump out of their MTPC’s as I am with my MTPC2 makes me think they are likely to have stress burned in their MTPC.
     
    So if you want balance let your Copper’s burn-in with regular music at normal volume levels or just use them. If on the other hand you want more bass and lower midrange presence visit my burn-in thread, download the file I made available and follow the instructions in the thread. This does not guarantee you will have the same results I had but it certainly won’t hurt anything J.