The Monster Inspiration Headphones have finally arrived and they are bound to make a fashion statement. That is because these headphones are not just for those who love music, but for those who love fashion as well. It’s interchangeable headbands, impressive sound, and overall design will make audiophiles and fashionistas alike flock to these inspiring headphones.
It’s been almost a year since Monster first showed off their Monster Inspiration Over-Ear Headphones. Debuting in front of a room of fashion designers and models, it was hard to discern at that time whether the Monster Inspiration Headphones would just cater to the fashion crowd versus the audio crowd. The WOW factor at its debut was the interchangeable headbands, and we gasped as we palmed prototypes that cost $20,000 to make at the time. It was going to be interesting to see if this concept would finally come to market and how it would be received.
This is Monster’s first solo stab at Fashion over-ear headphones - VEKTR on the other hand was really a collaboration with Diesel. But while Inspiration may seem like a direct assault on Beats by Dre headphones, it is far from it, as Inspiration could actually be seen as a complimentary pair of headphones to that brand. You see, there is plenty of room for all types of headphone styles and Inspiration falls into a niche all on their own.
Monster Inspiration targets those fabulously fashionable with the interchangeable headbands. This is one of the many sweet spots on the Inspiration headphones. In the package you get not one – but two headbands to begin swapping in and out. If you grow bored of what is included, there are many additional styles for you to choose from, and they start at $24.95 and get as high as $39.95. It’s hard to think about buying accessories for your headphones, but Monster makes their design collection so appealing that you are tempted to accessorize.
Swapping in and out the interchangeable headbands is made easy and held into place by magnets. Just slide the headband out of its cradle on the top of the headphones and insert another. The whole process take a little over a minute and before you know it, you have an entirely new pair of fashionably coordinated headphones.
Overall the Monster Inspiration feature a unisex design that will appeal to both sexes despite its headband customization. The rectangle shaped swivel ear cups are super comfortable but the construction of the headband area is surprisingly top heavy and grows uncomfortable after long periods of use. Putting that gripe aside, the Inspiration is completely collapsible and ready for travel. The metal hinges reassure us that this pair of headphones won’t easily break when folded and shoved into its tough traveling case.
So Inspiration has the design factor down pat, what about the sound? Well just like the style of the headphones inspire, so does the sound. Not skipping a beat with what makes Monster, Monster, the sound quality is extremely impressive as it should be. Crisp highs and mids let you hear ever nuance of each song to the crack in a artist’s voice. Simply Red, Adele, Gotye, and Christopher Cross all sounded absolutely delicious. Instrumentals and lush vocals really shined through and with a clarity that stands on its own. While highs and mids shine, the low end provides a warmth, making it the perfect mix of all the sonics. Is the low end super deep and thumping – no. But it is there and provides the right amount of support to the mids and highs. Some might scoff at the lack of intense bass, but it is there when it is needed too.
Another nice touch is the inclusion of not one cable, but a total of three different cables that will suit anyone’s needs. For the purist, there is the straight up audio cable without any features for your mobile devices. Then there is the ControlTalk Universal for those without an iOS device, and then of course the popular ControlTalk cable for iOS devices. Each functioned flawlessly as these cables typically do and without fail. All callers hear us loud and clear when testing with our iPhone and using the ControlTalk cable.
Monster Inspiration delivers on all fronts – in looks, sound, and fashion sense. This is a pair of headphones that sound amazing while looking good. With that said, the innovative concept of swappable headbands isn’t entirely new; Noel Lee’s own son attempted this with his SOL line of headphones. But the way Monster does it with Inspiration takes things to a new level and is certainly even more customizable. And even if some think the whole concept is a gimmick, the sound quality of the Inspiration should be worth the investment. And we mean investment, as the Monster Inspiration is currently retailing for $299.95 and comes in a choice of Titanium, White, or Silver.
And who knows, we may see some very colorful Inspiration Headphones hitting the streets soon enough. After all, not too long ago who would have ever thought we would dress up our mobile phones with cases and other silly accessories. Several years later, it is a billion dollar industry….
The Good: Unique Concept that features interchangeable headbands, excellent sound quality that serves up rich mids and crisp highs, good build quality, a design that will appeal to everyone.
The Bad: Gets heavy after wearing for a while, low end could be a bit stronger, and headband prices should be a bit lower if Monster wants the concept to catch on.