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21 December 2009

Monster Turbine Earphones


Blogging 101. Always a good idea to kick-start an entry with picture of chiobus. GUARANTEED cannot go wrong one..... even if picture is irrelevant to content. :P

We were at the product launch of Monster Cable's Heartbeats earphones designed by LadyGaga. Click here and here for the coverage of the event held on 03 Dec 2009 at Clarke Quay.

While the event was meant to launch the Lady Gaga Heartbeats earphones in Singapore, it was, to me, more like Monster Cable's signal of intention to enter the Singapore retail market proper.

There were several test stations with the various models on showcase. I got to try out Beats by Dr Dre headphones , Beats by Dr Dre earphones, Lady Gaga Heartbeats earphones as well as the Turbine earphones.

Granted that the Lady Gaga Heartbeats earphones was the most good-looking one, I like the Monster Turbine best for its best sound overall.

The only unnerving thing was that this was a ear canal phones which meant I stuck those babies into my ears..... as with everyone else's. YUCK!

So anyway, a word of thanks to Monster Cable and the organisers for the generous parting gift of a pair of Monster Turbine earphones for each person who attended.

Back home, my current pair is a relatively much much cheaper Seinnheiser MX 80 Sport which I shall put the two of them on a side-by-side comparison.

Yes, I know. This is like pitting Sengkang Punggol FC against the Brazillians.

Fret not, the various factors, including price, will be taken into consideration.

So here goes. The song I picked to do the test was Push It by Salt-n-Pepa. This was the de facto song to use when I do all my sound tests. Something I learned during my days as a roadie.

The Monster Turbine is definitely hands down, pants-around-ankles down the much better product. The bass was clean crisp and the frequency range was far more than the Seinnheiser MX 80 Sport could cover. Even when you pushed it all the way to full volume, the Monster Turbine was able to handle every single ounce of the gain without distortion.

In short, the Monster Turbine was the Ferrari to the Toyota MX 80 Sport, where granted that the Toyota is still pretty decent, the Ferrari was simply sublime.

Now before everyone go forth and buy without regard, let me finish talking.

You may be surprised that Sennheiser MX 80 Sport is still my preferred earphone of choice for the following reasons.
  • The Monster Turbine is retailing at around SGD 300 which is almost 10 times the price I paid for the Seinnheiser MX 80 Sport. The Lady Gaga Heartbeats maybe cheaper to retail at around SGD 240, the more expensive Turbine is still better value-for-money between these two for the performance each delivers against their respective price tag.

    At this price, this is not something I would wear on my distance runs. Not that I would get mugged for them but rather the sweat from my body is sure to do some damage to the Monster Turbine which incidentally have metal casing for the drivers.

    If I am paying $300 for them, I'd be sure to make the last as long as possible.

  • The Sennheiser MX 80 Sport has asymmetrical cable i.e. the right earphone goes around the back from the neck from the left which is a must for me. The good thing about asymmetrical cable is that during those times where you want to take a break from listening or when someone is talking to you and you just want to take it off for a little while, the cable hangs nicely around the back of your neck, thus freeing up your hands. You can't do that with the symmetrical one as in the case of the Monster Turbine.
  • The ear canal phones of the Monster Turbine is both a hit and a miss. I like the fact that it seals off ambient noise to give you a much clearer delivery but it also meant that I walked right pass the blaring alarms at Kinokuniya bookstore just the other day.

    The other problem I have is that I have "sweaty ears", meaning that when my ear canals are sealed from outside ventilation, gooey mucus will start to form and accumulate, resulting in a very yucky pair of ear canal phones and not to mention itchy as hell pair of ears. I don't think it is worth the trouble to be carrying cotton buds just so I can wear the Monster Turbine for extensive period of time.
Verdict on the Monster Turbine? It is a great product that delivers great performance. However the price tag is sure to be putting off quite a few people as it is a tad rich for most blood. Perhaps the perfect Christmas present only for the true audiophiles who feels life's too short to be listening to bad headphones.

- Voxeros

1. Ruok left...
Monday, 21 December 2009 9:49 am
I wonder how wld these compare to my SoundMagic


2. Gary left...
Monday, 21 December 2009 8:32 pm
eh, i tot you are deaf at one side of the ear?


3. JayWalk left...
Monday, 21 December 2009 9:34 pm :: 
ruok: I will bring along on Christmas' Eve when I see ya.

Gary: Not deaf as in hearing impaired to handicap extent lah. If you mumble and murmur when you talk, I will have a hard time figuring out what you are trying to say.


4. Steve Kang left...
Tuesday, 22 December 2009 12:30 pm :: http://exabytes.sg
Hi,
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