Details: First ever IEM from Monster Cable, which they dubbed an “In-Ear Speaker”
MSRP: $169.95 (manufacturer’s page); $189.95 for ControlTalk model with mic & 3-button remote (manufacturer’s page)
Current Price: $100 from Amazon.com for Turbine; $100 for ControlTalk model
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: N/A | Sens: N/A | Freq: N/A | Cable: 3.8’ I-plug
Nozzle Size: 5.5mm | Preferred tips: Stock Single-flanges
Wear Style: Over-the-ear or straight down
Accessories (4/5) – Silicone single-flange tips (3 sizes), silicone tri-flange tips (2 sizes), and buttoned hard leather case
Build Quality (4/5) – Weighty metal housings exude an air of quality and solidity. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the cabling, which is only a little thicker than the Klipsch S4s’. I do really like the discrete L/R color markings that are nevertheless very easy to see
Isolation (3.5/5) – Very good isolation for a dynamic IEM
Microphonics (3.5/5) – Low when worn over-the-ear; bothersome otherwise
Comfort (4/5) – I have no comfort issues with these. They feel heavy but don’t ever break seal and I can forget about them when worn over-the-ear
Sound (7.5/10) – Right out of the box the sound of the Turbines exceeded my expectations (which, I concede, may have been fairly low). The most striking aspect is the bass – it is deep, smooth, and textured – exactly as advertised by Monster, for once. There’s quite a good amount of it – fast, natural, dynamic bass that doesn’t bleed into the lower mids. While not as tight as some other earphones, the quality of the lows produced by the Turbines is top notch and balances well with the quantity. Moving up, we come to the midrange, which is neither recessed nor forward but quite effortless and very dynamic. The treble is equally natural, with moderate extension and surprising accuracy. On the whole, soundstaging is about average, perhaps a little narrower than the Klipsch S4, but the entire signature is very smooth, extremely dynamic, and surprisingly balanced.
Value (7/10) – I went into this test fearing that the Monster Turbine would end up being Skullcandy’s big brother, offering overblown “subwoofer” bass and little else. I am extremely glad that I was wrong. I feel that these would be great phones at the $99 price point – they are very competitive IEMs and my first recommendation for something fun and dynamic. What the Turbines excel at is offering a popular signature while at the same time pleasing the audiophile in me with their speed, depth, and texture.
Pros: Excellent fit and finish, excellent bass, very smooth, fun, and dynamic sound
Cons: Cables don’t inspire confidence, can be too bass heavy for some