If you haven’t been following, Monster and Beats by Dre are officially divorced. After teaming up with Viacom to market the new DNA Headphones lineup, Monster’s likely thinking good riddance! The Monster DNA On-Ear headphones are part of a new futuristic headphone lineup and features superior audio quality and a number of skins/designs. Do they hit the high notes? After our DNA Headphones review, we think so!
First, though, you’d better be ready. Whether you like the DNA Headphones or not, Viacom is going to be helping market them. Viacom owns MTV, which means you’ll be seeing an awful lot of DNA Headphones on an awful lot of celebrities in the near future.
The Monster DNA headphones are surely a direct competitor of the Solo Beats by Dre, they’re similarly priced and sized, and we expect they’ll be marketed just as aggressively. They even rock a very similar donut shaped ear cup cushion. The DNA Headphones have a unique futuristic design, mainly due to the triangle earcups but also from their distinguished color scheme. The Monster DNA Headphones don’t have the tri-folding collapseability that’s become popular, but they do collapse. Rather than having each arm of the headset fold on top of one another, they each fold in to the headband, forming a boomerang or crescent shape.
The Solo Beats by Dre are notorious for their creaky and plasticky build quality. The build of our Monster DNA Headphones review model is much more solid-feeling. While they’re still on the plastic side, they have a durable build and good flexibility. Our only concern for the future is whether or not the plastic hinges on the DNA Headphones hold up, but so far so good.
The Monster DNA Headphones come with two flat headphone cables and a durable travel pouch. The anti-tangle headphone cables are great; one has an inline ControlTalk with microphone, and the other is just a regular audio cable. The ControlTalk design is perfect; it’s slim and discreet, and the volume buttons are easy to distinguish from the universal button. There’s a headphone splitter, or buddy jack, built straight into the headset, so you can share your tunes with a friend. Each ear cup has an audio jack on the bottom; you can choose which side you want to run your audio cable from.
We’re quite fond of our clean white on grey Monster DNA Headphones review model, though we’re a bit jealous of all the skinned DNA Headphones models showing up on MonsterCable.com. As if the DNA Headphones weren’t unique enough, for an extra $29.95 you can skin them in over 20 different patterns that will ensure an out-of-this-world presence. They’re also available in Black on Satin Chrome, Cobalt Blue on Light Grey, Cobalt Blue on Dark Grey, and White on Teal.
The Monster DNA Headphones are very comfortable and relatively light, however, as with lots of headphones, it doesn’t last forever. After an hour or two, they’ll start to apply an uncomfortable amount of pressure on your head. The noise isolation is good; it blocks out about 90% of noise on the street and about 80% of noise on the subway. To really make the most of the Monster DNA Headphones and hear them for all they’re worth, you’re best off using them in a quieter environment.
The audio quality on the DNA Headphones is fantastic. They sound amazing for just about any genre, unlike the Beats which are favorably tuned for rap and hip hop. The Monster DNA Headphones don’t have ultra-low bass that rattles your skull, but rather a fair and balanced low end which complements the mid-range audio. The mids are very rich, as is the entire audio experience. Voices stand out quite nicely. The highs are clear and detailed. Our Monster DNA Headphones review model happened to be very efficient at playing audio, too. On an iPhone, 50% volume can be too loud, and we’re normally used to 60-70% volume.
If there was ever a time to become a trendsetter, it’s now. There’s a good chance the Monster DNA Headphones are about to become the next big thing, and not unrightfully so. Their trendy futuristic and skinnable design coupled with a balanced and high-quality audio experience makes the Monster DNA Headphones lineup a great contender for Dr. Dre and his Beats lineup. The DNA Headphones are currently available for $229.95 from MonsterCable.com, or $259.95 with a skin. They’re pricey for headphones, but probably won’t disappoint. The Solo HD Beats cost $199.95, and the Monster DNA Headphones sound at least $30 better.
The Good: Light, good build, neat design, collapseable, built-in audio splitter, two anti-tangle cables, great inline ControlTalk+Mic, color options + skins, efficient
The Bad: Uncomfortable after one to two hours, not available on Amazon, some might consider them too pricey