Monster is a name better known for the HiFi cables, but is also the previous manufacturer of the popular Beats by Dre headphones, and has recently branched out into making headphones under their own brand.
The Inspiration headphones our their flagship pair, and have been broadly well received due to their excellent, rich sound and punchy bass, something sadly lacking from a number of competitors. The Inspiration do not have that bass-heavy sound that has defined the Beats line of headphones, and produce a much more refined and accurate, “natural” sound. Many feared that Monster would continue down this bass-heavy route, but rest-assured that the company has aimed for a natural sound, not just something that will make dub step mp3s sound a little better.
The Inspirations come in two versions, passive noise cancelling with just a good seal around the ear and active noise cancelling where the headphones produce electronic white noise to block out external sound. Whilst the active noise-cancelling does block out some external noises, just having a better fit around the ear normally makes the biggest difference to my ears.
The headphones look good, and come with microphone options for both iOS and Android so that you don’t need to take them off to make or receive calls, and fold up into the supplied leather case, making them easier to carry around. They are never going to be as portable as earbuds, and are quite heavy for foldable headphones, but they will fit into most small bags with ease.
The Inspirations come in black, silver, white, and titanium – so they will match most smartphones on the market, and do not look garish like some of their competitors.
In fact, these cans are just the sort that you may like to use when listening to your HiFi, no just your iPod, but they did not come with a 1/4″ headphone jack adapter. This obviously isn’t a huge deal, but as the headphones come well equipped elsewhere, it just would have completed the package.
Overall, the Monster Inspiration headphones show that when not hindered by the Beats brand, Monster can produce great sounding headphones that although quite costly are worth their price.