Monster, one of the biggest names in audio, has just teamed up with Nick Cannon to produce the NCredible line of headphones, featuring the NTune On-Ears. While Monster’s not trying to compete with themselves per se, the Monster NTunes are pretty much in direct competition with Dr. Dre’s Solo Beats. The Monster NTunes feature a comfortable fit, trendy and unique styling, removable headphone cable with ControlTalk, and audio quality you can feel.
Upon first inspection, the NTunes build quality felt a little too plasticky. We mistook a rather flexible headband for a flimsy headband. After rocking the NTunes for a couple days, we realized they’re actually pretty durable and designed to be lightweight and comfortable. They don’t fold, but the headband is flexible enough to pull one ear cup from your neck to your ear, DJ-style. The headband is adjustable and cushioned on the underside. The cups pivot a bit to create a comfortable fit with any size head.
The ear cups are On-Ear so they sit on your ear rather than around your ear. In this respect, they’re similar to the Beats By Dre Solo and Solo HDs. The cups are even a little thicker than Beats’. They almost entirely cover my large ears. They’re very comfortable, but if you have large ears they may hurt after a couple hours of use. The noise isolation is just okay, as is the leakage.
The NCredible NTunes have a cool-looking design with their black, red, and grey color scheme. The outside of the cups have Monster’s headphone logo in the midst of a mechanical medallion with a clear plastic overlay – a very neat touch.
The headphone cable is thick, tangle-resistant, and removable. It’s a straight cable that comes out of the left ear cup and it has a rigid L-shaped plug for your music player. A few inches down from the ear cup is the ControlTalk with universal button and microphone. Depending on the device, the universal button can control music, phone calls, and voice activation. It’s compatible with iPhone and iOS devices, BlackBerry, and Android. This in-line control is nice and small, yet large enough to easily access the button. Phone calls, Siri, and music controls all worked perfectly.
The Solo and Solo HD Beats by Dre are good, but just too bassy. The bass overshadows the music and offsets the balance of the audio. The NTunes have a much truer audio quality with bass that’s present and balanced. It doesn’t overshadow the music and it also won’t rattle your brain. The mids and highs are both clear and full. The mids could maybe benefit from a little extra detail. Even at loud volumes, and with low-bitrate audio, there’s no distortion. The balanced audio makes them a great choice for various genres rather than just rap and electronic.
Overall, Nick Cannon’s NTunes look and sound great. Most would find their balanced audio preferable to the Solo Beats by Dre, unless you’re looking for a bass-heavy pair of cans. The NTunes also cost less and have a much more unique appearance. They will be retailing for $139.95 from Amazon.com. For the retail price, you wouldn’t be disappointed, however if they cost $100 they’d really be a great buy. The Monster NTunes will be available on February 15, 2012.
Good: Unique, Light, Flexible, Comfortable, Balanced Audio, Good Tangle-Free Cable with ControlTalk
Bad: Uncomfortable After a Couple Hours, Don’t Fold, No Case Included, L-Plug Too Rigid, Not Yet Available