Tuesday April 16, 2013 4:52 pm
Monster DNA headphones review
Yesterday evening, Monster unveiled the newest color to its Monster DNA headphone line, White Tuxedo, at the MTV Movie Awards. Stars were seen backstage signing the headphones, a pair of which will be donated to Jewelry for a Cause, and Monster is pretty proud of its latest exclusive color. DNA is the end result of a collaboration between Monster and Viacom, so the MTV tie-in makes sense. Even if you don't find the new color to be as striking as the company does, you may be wondering how the Monster DNA headphone line performs in general. After all, there are a multitude of colors available, allowing you to express your personality, now that headphones are also a fashion piece. How do the headphones perform? Join us in our full Monster DNA review to find out.
MONSTER TUXEDO DNA UNBOXING
MONSTER DNA VIDEO REVIEW
When you take a pair of Monster DNA headphones out of the box, you immediately notice the unique, stylized look--especially if you opt for one of the custom designs that truly let your personality shine through. Even if you choose a more subdued color scheme, the triangular headphone shape is unlike other headphones on the market from a looks perspective.
Monster says that the earcups are "pillowy-soft" and giving them a squeeze confirms that they are definitely soft and pleathery. The band itself holds it all together, also a glossy plastic, and seemingly not for those who have a bigger dome. The two included cables are 3.93 feet in length, with the flat cable design that avoids tangling. One of them is a standard audio cable, and the other includes a mic and Monster ControlTalk for managing volume, answering calls, etc. Monster also threw a cleaning cloth and carrying case into the box as well.
As for the looks, we are working with the White Tuxedo DNA color here. They are beautifully simple and not over the top. Flashy while not being obnoxious.
INCLUDED IN THE BOX
- DNA On-Ear folding headphones
- ControlTalk Cable for Apple
- 3.5 mm Mini-to-mini
- Two no-hassle, tangle-free cables
- Stylish carrying pouch
- Monster cleaning cloth
USING THE MONSTER DNA HEADPHONES
One of the first things we are concerned about when wearing headphones is comfort, so that's what we'll address first. After all, the headphones can be absolutely amazing, but if they squeeze you to the point that your ear cartilage starts screaming, then what's the point, right?
With the Monster DNA headphones, you'll be feeling good if you have a small-to-medium sized head. The headphones are lightweight, and don't squeeze with too much pressure, so they remain comfortable in both short- and long-term use case scenarios. If you do have a larger head, though, you may want to stay away. Since the band is plastic, there isn't much in the way of give, and you'll find that it's a tight, uncomfortable squeeze.
It's also nice that Monster made the audio cables completely removable, so you can choose between the regular cable, and the one with the ControlTalk module so you can take phone calls using this headset. Or, if you prefer, you can use your own, different cable. It's a nice touch of customizability.
Gallery: Monster DNA White Tuxedo Headphones
The Music Link feature is also a novel idea. We're not sure how many people will take advantage of it, or how often, but we can certainly see some scenarios where it can come in handy. The Monster DNA headphones feature two audio jacks, one that connects to your audio source, and one that sends the audio out to another source. So, if you and someone else both have a pair of DNA headphones, you can share your music by having the second person plug in to your spare headphone port. These are daisy-chainable, so you can have multiple people listening to the same audio source--just be careful with all the cables.
All in all, if you use a mobile device and listen mostly to streaming music services like Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, and others, or iTunes and Amazon MP3 downloads, these headphones will work nicely for you. The tracking on the Monster DNA headphones is just fine, with no noticeable unevenness in either the left or right channel. There is a bit of general distortion, which you'll find in any pair of headphones at this price point. These aren't Monster Inspiration headphones, and there's a reason that there are different levels of product.
As for frequency response, you won't find that the Monster DNA is as bass-heavy as the Beats by Dr. Dre line. In fact, there seems to be an overall emphasis on flatness, so that songs with higher frequency instruments sound just a bit off. However, this is mostly only a problem if you're using these headphones with lossless music at home. Using it with MP3 tracks on the go isn't an issue. Also, with a flat EQ, you can easily use the equalizer on your device or in your app of choice to tweak it to your own preference, which works out great.
When Monster and Beats Audio went through their breakup, we figured that Monster would go it alone as it moved forward with its headphone line. Instead, it has partnered up on a few new models, including JYP Entertainment for the Diamond Tears, Diesel for the Diesel VEKTR, and Viacom here for the Monster DNA. It only helps to have the marketing muscle of two major corporations behind a single product. You'll likely be seeing DNA all over Viacom entertainment properties like MTV this summer.
If you're a Monster fan, you likely want to know if these are better than the Beats by Dr. Dre Solo headphones, and the answer is yes, by a slight margin--especially if you like using EQ on your music. For the price, you get a fashionable pair of headphones (and the White Tuxedo color is our favorite of the bunch) that give you the ability to swap out audio cables. They are portable and eye-catching which, these days, is high on the list for the average headphone consumer. Additionally, all the custom designs that are available for the Monster DNA line means that you really can let your personality shine through.
You can pick up a pair of Monster DNA headphones now.
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