Who said rappers were the only ones allowed to have their own headphone lineups? Monster’s latest partnership with Adidas brings a beautiful collection of headphones to the market that sport the essence of Adidas Originals. The over-ear headphones we’ve been reviewing pairs the simplistic and fresh appearance of Adidas and rocks Monster’s signature sound.
Much of the design of the Adidas Originals Over-Ear Headphones we’ve come to expect from Monster. The Adidas touch is in the colors, badge, and the iconic three stripes. The three stripes, which can be on just about every Adidas product in some way, shape or form, can be found prominently running around the entire headband. The three stripes with triangle edging is a complete branding giveaway. There’s also brushed metal Adidas emblems on the outsides of both earcups. The Adidas branding is more prominent than Monster’s, but on closer inspection you’ll see both logos on each side.
The Adidas Originals Over-Ear Headphones are indeed large headphones. The super plush donut shaped earcups will surround the largest of ears. Luckily, such large headphones are relatively portable; they feature a tri-folding design that makes them pretty safe for travel. Monster also includes a pretty tough padded soft-case. They’re almost entirely plastic, but relatively dense and tough. The underside of the headband is rubberized and the padding is really soft. They’re quite comfortable and they’re not too top heavy.
Even though these headphones are dressed in all Adidas, they’re not made for sports. Sure, you could wear them to the gym, but they’re not optimized to handle sweat and a lot of movement.
You may forget, but if there’s anything Monster knows, it’s cables. They packaged these headphones with the best cables you could ask for. Both cables are thick, tangle-resistant, and linguine shaped. One cable has an inline ControlTalk with microphone and volume buttons. The ControlTalk button can be used to control music tracks, make and take phone calls, and activate voice activation. Since compatibility will vary, Monster packaged a cable with no control functionality which is guaranteed to work perfectly with virtually any music playing device. One other cable bonus–Monster built ambidextrous inputs for the headphone cable so you can run the cable down the right or left side of the headphones.
How’s the sound quality? Is it as loud as the appearance? Well — it sounds very similar to the limited edition shiny gold Monster headphones (by Meek Mill) that we just reviewed. Big headphones come with big sound. The large drivers create a wide sound stage–it’s a very neat effect if you’ve never experienced it. Music doesn’t sound so directional–it feels more like you’re in a room listening.
Unfortunately, this experience can only be realized in a silent environment. In louder environments, like on the street or in a subway, there’s noise that creeps in and music that leaks out. They’re not the best at noise isolation. As for clarity and quality, they’re better than your average over-ear headphones, but they’re not as premium as we hoped. The bass is great; it’s thumpy, loud, and not too overwhelming. The highs are pretty precise and clear–they make electronic music sound exceptional. The mids are well balanced, but a bit muddy. It’s lacking the clarity that makes vocals shine through the music.
The Adidas Originals by Monster Over-Ear headphones are available in a number of fresh Adidas color schemes. There’s white on blue, black on black, black on white, red on white, red on green and white, red on blue and white, and green on yellow and black. The colors range from conservative to zany; Monster covered all the bases. The crazier colors are technically limited edition. All of the Adidas Original Over-Ear headphones retail for $299.95 and are only available from MonsterProducts.com. You can find some of them on BestBuy.com for $249.99. They’re expensive for the sound quality, but they’re really comfortable and portable, with a really fresh (yet familiar) design.
The Good: Fresh looking with neat colors/designs. Large soundstage, Comfortable, two cables included, and one cable with inline ControlTalk and microphone. Ambidextrous headphone inputs. Collapsible.
The Bad: Not made for sports. Mids are a bit muddy. Not great noise isolation. Pricey.