Headphones and Earphones

Monster Turbine High Performance Ear Buds


Design and Setup

The Turbine’s are a relatively simple design, made of black chrome metal, they feel very solid and a tad heavy. When I first picked them up I thought they might be too heavy when sitting in my ears, turns out they rest quite nicely once you get a good seal. The cable is light and designed to be “tangle-resistant.” I can honestly say that the cable never got tangled up on me, which may not sound like a big deal, but a tangled headphone cable can be a real pain. I’m pretty sure the longer cable on my Shure e2c’s preferred to be in a tangled state. At 4.5ft in length, the cable is a tad too short for my tastes. The 3.5mm connector has a slim casing, so you won’t have trouble using it with any cell phone or portable device, including the new iPhone 4 bumper case.

As is the case with all in-ear speakers, most commonly referred to as ear buds, they require a good solid fit in your ear canal. This not only seals off outside noise, which is great for traveling on an airplane, but it allows the earbud to generate a solid low end to the sound. Without the right fit, you will get weak, bass shy, and often harsh sound quality, so a proper seal is a must.

The Monster Turbine’s come with an array of “mushroom” and “tree” shaped eartips. The “mushroom” style is very common with earbuds, while the “tree” takes a non-standard, terraced approach. I played around with both styles for about a month and found myself enjoying the tree-style a bit more. However, neither quite did the trick for my finicky ear canals. I decided to order some high quality foam tips from Comply, as foam tips have always worked better for me at fitting snugly and blocking out unwanted noise. With the tight seal, I was really able to enjoy the full, detailed bass of the Turbines. I just found out about Monster’s own foam style tips, called SuperTips, and have requested a set to test out. I plan on updating this review with my thoughts on the SuperTIps after sampling them.

Here is a photo with the Comply foam tips attached.

The Turbines do come with a nice little carrying case as well.

I connected the Monster Turbines to a few different devices. Firstly, I connected them directly into my iPhone. Then directly into my laptop and finally, into my laptop via the Nuforce Icon Mobile (portable USB DAC and headphone amp).