Monster Miles Davis Trumpet Review

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Monster Miles Davis Trumpet
Reviewed June 2012

Details: Trumpet-shaped follow-up to the original Miles Davis Tribute
MSRP: $349.95 / manufacturer’s page
Current Price: $350 from amazon.com
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: N/A | Sens: N/A | Freq: N/A | Cable: 3.9′ L-plug with mic & 3-button remote
Nozzle Size: 6mm | Preferred tips: Stock single-flanges, Yamaha EPH-100 tips
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (4.5/5) – Single-flange silicone tips (3 sizes), Foam tips (5 sizes), Monster supertips (4 sizes), buttoned carrying case, soft carrying pouch, and shirt clip
Build Quality (4/5) – Styled to look like miniature trumpets, the unique housings are much sturdier than they look. The attention to detail is superb – the 3-button Apple remote modeled after a trumpet’s valves alone is a work of art. The only worry is the lack of flexible strain relief on the soft, tangle-resistant flat cable. Driver flex is nonexistent – a huge improvement over Monster’s other in-ears. Additionally, Monster’s lifetime warranty is still in effect for the Trumpets, although the one-time no-questions-asked replacement provision seems to have disappeared
Isolation (3.5/5) – Good with the right eartips
Microphonics (3.5/5) – Bothersome when worn cord-down; low otherwise
Comfort (4.5/5) – Since the dynamic micro-driver is mounted inside the nozzle, those with narrow ear canals may want to give these a pass but for everyone else the tiny, lightweight shells should be ergonomic and unobtrusive. My own ear canals are deep enough for these to be slept in comfortably and the Miles Davis plaques on the cords don’t cause any issues with over-the-ear wear

Sound (8.9/10) – The Trumpet is Monster’s follow-up to the Miles Davis Tribute (review 1C7) and the company’s first earphone utilizing a dynamic microdriver. Previously seen only in mid-level products, microdrivers have recently made their way into the very impressive Yamaha EPH-100 and JVC FXT90, and the Trumpet follows suit with sound that easily vaults it to the top of Monster’s lineup.

Considering that the Trumpet is a Monster product, it comes as no surprise that its bass is enhanced – both depth and impact outpace the Yamaha EPH-100 slightly and the VSonic GR07 and Sony MDR-EX600 significantly. There is good sub-bass extension but also moderate mid-bass lift, which causes the low end to sound much fuller and slightly more bloated than that of the GR07 or the bassy but BA-based Klipsch Image X10. Admittedly, the Trumpet is not as bassy as the older MD Tribute, with a low end that is less intrusive and more capable of scaling down when necessary, greatly reducing boominess and midrange bleed. The Sennheiser IE7, which has similar bass quantity, also falls short of the Trumpets in control, detail, and texture.

The midrange of the Trumpet boasts good clarity and detail but lacks the emphasis of the low end. The Yamaha EPH-100, while similar in technical performance, offers more forward mids, resulting in better bass-midrange balance, and is slightly clearer of bass bleed as a result. The GR07, too, is flatter, cooler in tone, and more accurate than the Trumpet. That said, the Trumpet is arguably the most nuanced and refined earphone in Monster’s entire lineup and again not nearly as thick and lush-sounding as the older MD Tribute.

The emphasized treble of the Trumpet completes the mildly v-shaped sound signature, causing them to sound brighter than the MD Tribute and Monster’s Turbine models. The emphasis is sufficient to make the Trumpets more tiring in the long run compared to a Turbine Pro but not heavy enough to introduce harshness or sibilance. In fact, the Trumpets tend to be less ‘hot’ on touchy recordings than the GR07 while remaining extremely crisp and clean, with no excessive note sustainment and good extension.

The presentation is wide, providing a large sonic space and good separation. Soundstage depth is good, as are the dynamics, and the Trumpet tends to sound less intimate than the older Tributes. The GR07, admittedly, has a wider, more out-of-the-head presentation with a bit more air. The Sennheiser IE7 also has a larger presentation as well as a better center image but doesn’t have the detail or dynamics of the Trumpet, resulting in a less nuanced and layered sound. On the whole the Trumpet avoids extremes with both its sound signature and presentation, and only sounds better for it.

Value (7/10) – The Monster Miles Davis Trumpet is a beautifully packaged and unique-looking earphone with a small, lightweight form factor and good noise isolation. Its design may be even louder than that of the old Tribute but the sound makes the Trumpet Monster’s most audiophile-friendly in-ear yet – the signature is more balanced and refined than that of the outgoing model and combines enhanced bass with a spacious soundstage and good resolution. Microphonics in the flat cable can be bothersome and there are sets that offer similar sound quality for less but as an overall package – complete with Monster’s lifetime warranty – the Trumpet is still a solid set of earphones.

Pros: Beautiful packaging & presentation; small & comfortable; lively yet detailed sound
Cons: Very flashy design; can be microphonic


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About Author

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

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