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Monster Turbine Pro Copper Review

Monster Turbine Pro Copper
Reviewed Aug 2010

Details: The flagship of Monster’s Turbine line, claimed to be designed for audiophiles and music professionals
MSRP: $429.95 (manufacturer’s page); $449.95 for Copper with Controltalk mic & 3-button remote (manufacturer’s page)
Current Price: $279 from amazon.com;  $250 for Controltalk model
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: N/A | Sens: N/A | Freq: N/A | Cable: 4’ L-plug
Nozzle Size: 5mm | Preferred tips: Sennheiser biflanges, Monster Supertips
Wear Style: Over-the-ear or straight down

Accessories (5/5) – Silicone single-flange (3 sizes), tri-flange (2 sizes), and Comply foam tips, gel-filled (6 sizes) and foam (5 sizes) Monster supertips, buttoned carrying case, soft carrying pouch, over-the-ear cable guides, 1/4” adapter, and shirt clip
Build Quality (4/5) – Almost identical to the Turbine Pro Gold – sturdy metal shells, proper strain reliefs all around, and a thick but flexible cable. One odd observation of mine is that the Turbine Pro Coppers are more susceptible to driver flex than the cheaper Golds are
Isolation (3.5/5) – Very good for a dynamic-driver IEM and compounded by the excellent tip selection
Microphonics (4/5) – Low when worn over-the-ear; slightly bothersome otherwise
Comfort (4/5) – Despite the weighty housings they stay in extremely well both cord-up and cord-down. The variety of included tips makes it easy to find a good seal right out of the box

Sound (8.8/10) – When I first learned that I’d be getting a go at the Monster Turbine Pro Coppers, I did some reading and figured that they would be a more appealing lighter on the bass – heavier on the treble version of my own Turbine Pro Golds. But, as is usually the case with top-tier IEMs, the truth is more complex than that. The Coppers do indeed have a smaller bass hump than the Golds, resulting in a lesser overall quantity of bass compared to the MTPG and similarly-bassy Sennheiser IE8. Die-hard bassheads may want to pick up one of the others instead but for the rest of us the bass power and impact of the MTPC should be plentiful. As with the MTPG, the bass is not aggressive but rather controlled and non-intrusive. It carries good depth and body with natural-sounding attack and decay. Resolution is impressive as well, with individual notes distinguishable all the way down.

The midrange follows the typical Monster Turbine formula – smooth, full-bodied, and neither forward nor recessed. The reduced bass intensity of the Coppers results in a slightly thinner sound compared to the Golds, which in turn leads to slight gains in clarity and transparency. The Coppers are also not quite as warm as the Golds are, though I still wouldn’t call them neutral. On the whole, the midrange is lush and musical. Vocals come across strong and vocal timbre is quite natural. Sibilance is kept to a minimum, though admittedly the more laid-back Golds do a better job of clamping down on sibilance-prone tracks. The treble is reasonably strong and carries some sparkle without becoming overly edgy or fatiguing. It still doesn’t sound as crisp as the treble of certain BA-based earphones or the more analytical dynamics (RE0, RE252) but performs better than the MTPG without adding much potential for listening fatigue.

The presentation of the Coppers is not the largest among all IEMs but it is quite adequate in both depth and width. The imaging and positioning do not possess the pinpoint accuracy certain other earphones are capable of providing but, like that of the MTPG, the sound of the MTPC is extremely blended, which may actually seem more natural to some compared to the Sennheiser IE8 with its football-field-sized soundstage or the Westone UM3X with its holographic separation. The same goes for individual notes, which sound slightly ‘rounded’ with the Monster Turbine earphones, as opposed to the crips and highly-defined notes produced by some of the BA-based in-ears.

Finally, a few usability notes – as with the MTPG, the Coppers like a relatively shallow seal. Trying to achieve ear-penetrating insertion with them has a tendency to collapse the soundstage. Also shared with the Golds is the hunger for additional power. For the most part, the MTPC does play fine straight out of portable players but it scales with added power. The MTPC is also less engaging at lower volumes than analytical earphones tend to be. On the upside, the Coppers won’t quite crucify lower-bitrate files the way the UM3X or Ety ER4 will – as with the other Turbine earphones, the natural smoothness tends to gloss over some of the finer imperfections of the recordings, which in itself may be a strong selling point for some.

Value (8/10) – As with most $200+ earphones, the value of the MTPC is only as high as its alignment with the listener’s preferences. Though far less polarizing than the Audio-Technica IEMs or Westone UM3X, the MTPC will still appeal more to some listeners than others – namely those who find the bassy and highly blended sound of the Coppers to sound natural, or at least refreshing. Personally, though I do feel that the MTPC is a step in the right direction from my own MTPG, I really don’t feel that it’s a significant improvement. It also somehow sounds less special – the MTPG may not be as accurate but it is thick, smooth, and fun. Don’t get me wrong – the Coppers are excellent earphones – clear and refined, with plenty of bass for most listeners and treble quantity to match. With street prices hovering just above those of the MTPG and Monster’s excellent warranty acting as a value-adding proposition, the Coppers are not difficult to recommend, especially for those who aren’t sure that they will enjoy a truly analytical sound and yet don’t want the more mainstream sound provided by the warm and bassy Golds. But I won’t call them the best thing since sliced bread, either.

Pros: Excellent build quality, comfortable, massive fit kit, not as vulgar to behold as MTPG, smooth, balanced, and dynamic sound
Cons: Some microphonics can be coerced from the cable

About ljokerl

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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