[Review] Monster Turbine Pro Copper
Jun 16, 2010 at 9:58 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 24

rawrster

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Introduction

 Before starting I will mention that this review will probably be on the lengthy side. I don't even know how it got so long since this is just one product review.

I would like to thank Monster Cable for their generosity in allowing me to test this pair of earphones.

Lastly, even though I did get some heat in my last review I do consider myself an amateur in this hobby (although I didn't put that in the title this time). There are times when I have some difficulty trying to describe what I am hearing so hopefully everything in this review is understandable. Also I realize that some members here have difficulty understanding audio terms. Here is a link to an audiophile dictionary that is quite helpful. http://www.integracoustics.com/MUG/MUG/bbs/stereophile_audio-glossary.html

Disclosure

I believe in full disclosure and being as clear as possible leaving no room for misinterpretation as well as to not be confused with shills. I received the Coppers for free. That means I paid nothing and all fees were paid in full by Monster. In exchange for this free pair of earphones I had to agree to do some things. Those were to offer my impressions of the Coppers in the head-fi main forums, Amazon reviews and on the Monster Cable website. I had to mention the cable management system, all the eartips, and use a minimum of three different genres in my testing.

Also I was given zero incentive to put up a positive review and there was no pressure from the Monster Cable representative here at head-fi. I believe that this allows me to post my honest thoughts without being influenced by any financial attachment.

Background

I believe where I am coming from as well as my preferred sound signature is quite important. All of my previously owned or heard phones are in my profile. My current gear is in my signature and up to date. My sound signature preference is something along the lines of a neutral phone. That means that such phones such as the Head Direct RE0 and the Audio Technica CK10 have been among my favorite phones. Lastly the genres I listen to in no particular order are trance, pop, rock, country, jazz and asian pop.

Gear Used

Sources: Nuforce uDAC, Sansa Clip+ (Rockboxed)
Bitrate: Various mp3 bitrates ranging from 128kbps to 320kbps and FLAC
Phones: Monster Cable Turbine Pro Copper

In order to make this review as complete as possible I did burn these in for over 100 hours before starting my test. This should satisfy those who advocate burn in and to those that do not then it should make no difference. I myself don't know if it exists and don't really care so please don't post anything about that in this thread.

Packaging

The package does indeed look like a $399 product. The best part is that it is not in some hard plastic packaging that is impossible to open. You get a very easy to open box. In the package you get the Coppers (obviously), two carrying cases, a set of many different kind of tips (gel supertips, foam supertips, triple flange and single flange silicone), a ¼ inch adapter, a cleaning cloth, a shirt clip, a rubber circular tip holder and some documentation.
 


Build Quality

My standard for build quality is and will be the Audio Technica CK10 until I purchase a phone with better build. After owning the Coppers my standard remains unchanged.

The build on these are slightly above average. They do pass all the tests however as they have a right angle plug, proper strain reliefs and solid metal housings. There is a circular ring on both housings to aid with differentiating between the left and right if you do not want to look for the “L” or “R” on the housings. The left housing has a blue ring while the right one has a red ring. The cable is a huge fail for me. It is quite rubbery, microphonic and worst of all it retains memory so it moves around a lot when you try to coil it up. The shirt clip is also a fail for me. It is very difficult to get it on the cable and if you do manage to get it on it does not move up or down the cable very easily. It is pretty much stuck at the place you put it on so I removed the shirt clip shortly after putting it on and never looked back. Lastly there is a chin slider for those of you that use it.

The color of the phones do stand out more than your average one. The housings, split and the plug are copper in color. There's your typical “bling” that you get from Monster. I rather have something that is discrete although it is not too bad.

Edit: There was some manufacturer defect on mine where the glue wasn't strong enough in the right housing in the place where the silver and copper colors on the housings meet there's a split and that's where it is slowly coming loose. According to the Monster rep they are aware of that and it has been isolated to a low number of units. Also it is due to the glue in the early batch so unfortunately that was mine as well. I was able to finish the review just as I noticed this funny enough. The only downside is that I have to redo the burn in process when I get them back whenever that is.
 


Comfort, Isolation and Microphonics

By looking at these it seems that the Coppers would be ridiculously heavy and uncomfortable. Fortunately that is not the case. They are surprisingly light although the housings still live on the heavier side compared to housings of other phones. They are quite comfortable however.

I will not be wearing them straight down unless I'm stationary. There is a lot of microphonics wearing it that way. Over the ear is the preferred method of wearing these as that reduces microphonics. The chin slider and shirt clip provided you can get it on the cable also helps in reducing microphonics.

I tested isolation on my daily commute which consists of the NYC subway, bus and walking in Manhattan and it tends to get loud. The Coppers have above average isolation depending on what tips were used.

Cable Management System

I had to ask the Monster Cable rep exactly what the heck he meant when he said cable management system. There are two small strip of velcro (like the velcro cable ties) that you can put on the Coppers when you coil them up to prevent tangling when you put them in a case. It is nice but easily lost and also not something I will bring on the go. Unforunately they are needed as the cable retains a lot of memory so it tangles easily and doesn't listen to what it is being told so it unwraps seconds after you wrap them even when using the over under method.

Eartip Selection

The selection of tips is very impressive and more companies should provide this kind of selection especially at this price range. You get a set of foam supertips, gel supertips, triple flange tips and regular single flange tips. The supertips (both types) are color coded by size. That means a large for both gel and foam supertips are the same color, with medium another color, small another color, etc. I believe that is different than in previous shipments and definitely unique.

As always eartips play a huge role in earphones as it can make a good earphone sound horrible if you have a bad tip, bad seal or a both.

The gel supertips to my ears suck. I tried many different insertion lengths, sizes and just about everything I can think of. I can't think of any other tips that I have had such issue with. They just don't work for me so we move on.

The foam tips are quite nice. There are two parts to these tips. The outside of made of foam while the inside is silicone. I have used these tips with the e-Q7 and CK10 previously and they are not your typical foam (such as Comply) where the treble disappears once you use those tips and you don't have to compress and wait for it to form back so in form they are like an olive tip. They also retain most of the sound while being quite comfortable.

There are single flange silicone tips. These are your typical silicone tips that come with most earphones. I don't like them much but mostly due to the fact that I have better silicone tips in my tips collection in the sony hybrids. The sony hybrids are easily more comfortable and fit just as well.

Lastly there are two sizes of triple flange tips. My ears can handle triple flange tips so they work for me and they provide the best sound for me.
 

left to right: silicone, gel supertip, foam supertip, triple flange

Tip Holder

There is this rubber circular tip holder that also comes with these phones. It can hold 6 pairs of tips or 12 tips total and each pair is numbered in case you can't tell the difference between different tips put in it. I find this tip holder to be very useless and it was put back in the box shortly after seeing how little use it would be for me. I put my tips in the small ziplock bags that you get when you purchase tips. This circular tip holder can't be taken outside of the house or rather outside of your desk. It takes up more room than it should for 6 tips. It can't even be used as a paper weight since it is very light.

 
Jun 16, 2010 at 9:58 PM Post #2 of 24

rawrster

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Sound Signature

Treble: If you know me or have followed my posts here at head-fi it should come to no surprise that I am very sensitive to treble (if that is the right word). An inadequate treble means that they will go in the FS forums or even worse given away. A nicely extended treble will allow me to further judge the capabilites of the phone. Fortunately the treble is no pushover (and it better damn be competent at the retail price of these). The treble here is not quite the treble I am used to. Typically the phones that I have enjoyed the most have been the ones that are up close and person to tell you the details and the little intracicies that make up the melodies, beats and harmonics that we hear. Instead these phones are quite laid back in that nature which is a completely different experience than I am used to. These phones are nicely detailed however but in a different way than I am used to. To go along with that detail you get smoothness that I haven't experienced since the RE0 along with decent extension. I do find the treble ever so lacking however especially when you have experienced phones with such amazing treble such as a CK10. If you have not experienced great treble then this phone will probably open up a lot of things for you and don't get me wrong the treble is good but isn't quite there.
Bass: The bass here is very different than what I am used to in neutrality. The bass lives quite north of neutrality so you get a nice swift kick in the shins here. The bass extension goes fairly low but not the lowest of the lows and you have your typical dynamic low bass rumble. There is an adequate amount of decay but not overly so and you have a good impact that should satifsy the majority of people minus the extreme bassheads. The bass you get here is strictly high quality tight, deep full bodied bass. You don't get any of that boomy, overpowering, muddy bass so if that's what you are looking for then look elsewhere! The best part is that it does exactly what it is told. It doesn't sneak around into the midrange or anywhere else.
Midrange: The midrange is one of the areas that stands out compared to the rest. One of my requirements is that it can't be recessed and too forward. The Coppers easily fit that requirements since they are neither forward nor recessed. They are however very good. You have a liquidy smooth midrange that I don't get with the majority of my previous or current phones. They also give you the sense of realism. It is very natural and are either first or second in terms of midrange that I have experienced but I didn't have my e-Q7 in my possession to compare. So in a nutshell you get an extremely good midrange that just sounds natural.
Soundstage: The soundstage here is rather boring here. You can sense the depth and width of these phones. You don't get cramped in a small closet but you also aren't in the middle of open space here. You don't get the largest stage but definitely more than adequate. There's nothing I haven't seen before so we move on.
Timbre: The timbre here is quite typical that I would expect after trying out many different dynamic driver phones in the past. Timbre is accurate and natural. There's not much else to say about it.
Imaging and Separation: The Coppers are more than adequate in both of these categories however it is better at separation than imaging. I find imaging something that earphones have problems with in general so a phone that has extremely good imaging is a bit difficult to find.
Extra Comments: Something I found quite interesting is that despite this being a very good universal it is forgiving unlike many other phones at this level. The Coppers will do the best they can regardless of what you give them to work with. They do scale up however as is the case with all good universals I have heard. Lastly these are your typical greedy power hungry battery sucking dynamics. Low level listening means you are making some compromises and also they like power.

Song Comparison

I will be comparing a couple of songs using just the Coppers. I've posted a couple of reviews with the majority of the same songs. Although I won't go into detail with the phones in that review it may give you a better reference to see how it compares with some other phones. Here is the link to that review. http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f103/amateur-review-audio-technica-ck10-ck90pro-ck100-monster-turbine-pro-gold-miles-davis-ortofon-e-q7-484031/

Also not all of these are FLAC as you can tell but at the time of writing my first review I couldn't find the FLAC files for some reason so I'm just using the same files.

Aerosmith – Dream On (FLAC)
The guitars are done nicely. The bass gives you a nice impact and decay while remaining highly detailed. There is a good amount of detail here. Cymbals are quite natural and reproduction of the crash cymbal is very nice. Vocals are nicely done with lots of smoothness and you can hear all the little nuances. The electric is very detailed and lets it's authority be shown when it has to.

Markus Schulz – I Am (320kbps mp3)
In order to do well in my book it must pass trance. You have good speed and the ability to adjust to all the different things going on in trance. Bass is deep and you have your low rumble and it doesn't overwhelm but it definitely is there. Vocals are good here and this song feels nice and relaxed here.

Reba McEntire – Eight Crazy Hours (FLAC)
Strings are nice here with your high quality bass that shows the qualities of the Copper. Acoustics are nicely detailed as you can tell from the strums. Vocals are nicely done sounding very natural. There is detail action here but you have to go out looking for it. Piano is good but not quite as good as it can be. Drums are nice here esp the ride and crash cymbal. Those sound natural and that isn't always the easiest thing to go. Separation is good here but nothing special.

Priscilla Ahn – Red Cape (320 kbps mp3)
You start out with some good string reproduction along with some smooth vocals but definitely laid back. Acoustic is nicely detailed as always. Hi hat isn't bad here either and rest of the cymbals have a good reproduction here. Lastly your bass gives you nice impact and bordering on too much impact for me but still enjoyable. Decay is also good as it isn't overdone.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Hey (FLAC)
Bass is nice, deep and good extension here. Decay is also nice here as the bass here is well controlled. Drums and electric are very natural here. Authority of the electric is present you know who's in control here. Vocals are smooth and relaxed here with a nice stage. The hi hat could be done better but not much to complain about for the rest of the cymbals. There's lots of little subtle details everywhere and when the songs gets a bit complex the Coppers keep up that's for sure.

Sarah McLachlan – Building a Mystery (FLAC)
This is one of my favorite songs so I know this quite well. The guitars are done nicely with acoustic being quite detailed and the electric not overpowering anything. Vocals have a nice smoothness to it and you get lots of the small details. Bass is good here. You get definition and lots of control to go along with good decay and impact. Drums and cymbals are nice sounding natural. Separation is surprisingly good here. When the male vocal enters the picture it is nicely done being able to hear both of them along with the electric going off in the background.

Norah Jones – I Wouldn't Need You (FLAC)
The acoustic guitar is done wonderfully as is the bass. You get a nice deep bass to go along with smooth vocals. There's quite a bit of little details going on here and definitely laid back. Cymbal reproduction is good and piano is done quite nicely. The song is done wonderfully here.
 
Jun 16, 2010 at 9:58 PM Post #3 of 24

rawrster

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Conclusion

These phones are quite good and deserve the praise they are getting. If you want neutrality or absolute bass monsters then you better do some more research because these are not it but they are somewhere in between. These phones have warmth, balance, great mids, smoothness and a whole lot of fun. The best part about these phones is that it does not stand to be intimidated. You can throw whatever you want at it and it won't blink twice. Trance, rock, pop, country, whatever the Coppers handle them just fine. With that kind of versatility to go along with a popular signature I have no doubt that these will be liked by many.

I can safely say these are either in the top 4 or 5 of universals I have ever heard and I have heard a decent amount of good universals although not as many as some others here. They are very good but will not replace my preference towards neutrality which means they will never be my 'go to' phone. I feel fortunate that I am able to call the Coppers 3rd on my list of universals as they are very good but not quite my signature.

As with any review please read this with a grain of salt and everything stated here is IMO so YMMV. If you have any comments, suggestions or questions feel free to post here. Also if there are any errors please let me know. Thanks for reading.
 
Jun 16, 2010 at 11:01 PM Post #4 of 24

SolidSnake3

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Nice review, find your conclusion to be spot on. I have not found a type of music that the Copper's don't handle well. Also, for someone like me that prefers a sound signature that isn't quite neutral they are just amazing. However, I definitely see where someone that likes a more strict neutrality would find a few other top tier iems better like maybe the Audio Technica ck10's or Orthofon.
 
Jun 16, 2010 at 11:04 PM Post #5 of 24

rawrster

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Thanks. The CK10 and the e-Q7 just so happen to be in my top 5 list of phones based on SQ and enjoyment.
 
Jun 16, 2010 at 11:06 PM Post #6 of 24

Kunlun

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Great review!
 
You'll be happy to know that the cable on new Monster Turbine Pro Coppers has been changed!
 
When I had my set of mtpc's replaced (for the housing glue issue with some 1st gen. coppers), the new set came back with a different cable--the new one had far less memory and a more "relaxed" rubber. I like it a lot better.
 
 
 
Jun 16, 2010 at 11:12 PM Post #7 of 24

rawrster

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I'm going to get it replaced after finding out if I need to send just the Coppers or include the tips and such in it. I did get these around two weeks ago so it is odd if this is from the first batch they had. Also the cable was different than the ones you had when I met up with you Kunlun to try out your Coppers. It is better but still not as good as the cable on the Golds. I think this defect is different since it seems recent and not as widespread as the first one.
 
Jun 17, 2010 at 12:10 AM Post #8 of 24

Kunlun

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Quote:
I'm going to get it replaced after finding out if I need to send just the Coppers or include the tips and such in it. I did get these around two weeks ago so it is odd if this is from the first batch they had. Also the cable was different than the ones you had when I met up with you Kunlun to try out your Coppers. It is better but still not as good as the cable on the Golds. I think this defect is different since it seems recent and not as widespread as the first one.


Hmm... Well, as for sending it in, I can answer that. I just sent the coppers and they sent back a new box, so I essentially got two of all the accessories!
 
 
Jun 17, 2010 at 12:38 AM Post #9 of 24

rawrster

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^ thanks for letting me know as I didn't want to send in anything other than that anyway. I'll do that Friday so if there are any questions ask before then!
 
Jun 17, 2010 at 12:47 AM Post #10 of 24

SolidSnake3

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Just went back and really looked through the pictures you included, dang the colored tips look pretty nice! Much easier to distinguish the different sizes as opposed to having 10 all white foam hybrids lying in a box and picking up the same one 5 times before you find the one you want
blink.gif

 
Jun 17, 2010 at 12:51 AM Post #11 of 24

rawrster

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It is quite helpful..as long as you know what the colors are. I find it more helpful to separate the tips by type and then keep a separate small ziplock bag with a set of tips of the same nozzle size with the ones that fit. There's no point in carrying around a bag of tips where only 1 or 2 sizes fit.
 
Jun 17, 2010 at 7:59 AM Post #13 of 24

SolidSnake3

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All of them should be including the SuperTips now. The box mine came in even had a sticker on it advertising the SuperTip and mine were from the Dell Deal a while back so I would say it's safe to assume the SuperTips are for everyone
biggrin.gif

 
Jun 17, 2010 at 8:29 AM Post #14 of 24

dweaver

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Nice Review Rawrster;
 
I am still working away on mine as I am A/B testing both sets of Copper that I have, the ones I bought and the ones sent by Monster (it really is like listening two different brand/models of IEM's). Thats is excellent photo work as well. I think I may forego the photo shoot since there are so many quality pictures by you and others for these.
 

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