Sleek Soul Beats… At first glance, this statement will make no sense. Digging deeper, you’ll find that they are all names of headphones endorsed by 3 rap artists. Sleek by 50 Cent, Soul by Ludacris, and Beats by Dr. Dre by Monster have all made a huge impact on the audio industry when each artist has their own line of headphones.
Many of these, however, boost more looks than sound. Earth, Wind, and Fire, the legendary band, has come out and endorsed the Monster Gratitude. Unlike many of the artist endorsed lines of headphones, however, the Gratitudes actually boost great sound with top notch design. Read on for the full review:
In the Box
- Monster Gratitude
- Carrying Case
- Carrying Pouch
- 12 Sets of Ear Tips
- 5 Gel Tips (XS/S/M/L/XL)
- 5 Silicone Tips (XS/S/M/L/XL)
- 2 Triflange Tips (S/L)
- Cable Clip
The Monster monitors come with a vast amount of ear tips, a couple cases, and a nice clip.
Gold defines prestige, wealth, and luck. The gratitudes surely do show this in their design. The large rose gold finish is not only shiny, but glistens beautifully as well in any light. The design just screams, “I’m shiny, eye-popping, and good looking, you know you want me.” In a sense, its glorious allure does its job quite well by putting any viewers in a quick daze at the marvelous golden design. The entire design, from the headphone jack up to the housings, is crafted beautifully and large enough to be a piece of jewelry; it wouldn’t make a bad looking one either.
A beautiful, rose-gold finish on the Gratitude just screams for attention.
Good looks = bad audio. This statement has been drilled into us with the mass amount of companies that just look at design. Skullcandy are one of the most notorious for creating this assumption. The Monster Gratitude breaks this trend by offering great audio quality that covers most of the audio spectrum. Starting from the deep, powerful, yet well balanced bass, to the energetic, clear midrange, the audio quality is superb. The treble has its energy, clarity, and detail, but can be a tad bit sibilant at times. The entire signature attempts to recreate the live sound, and for the most part, does a good job at it.
Unlike the assumption connecting looks and audio, many people would assume these have good bass. They would be wrong; these have great, even stunning, bass response. With great depth into the sub-bass, the Gratitudes are able to create the beautiful texture. The main focus of the bass, however, is still on the mid-bass creating powerful and impactful hits and smashes. There is a small bass body to create good presence overall. The bass really does nothing wrong here, the depth and power of this bass is simply stunning.
The main focus of the midrange is on the vocals and higher-midrange. This creates one bad property, but also one good. For starters, the partial loss of focus on the lower mids, does lead to a loss of details at times. However, the payoff occurs with the extremely energetic and dynamic vocals and instrumentals in the higher range. The clarity of the midrange is outstanding, and the timbre great as well. Overall, the mids are really just upbeat, and lively.
Continuing with the extremely lively, and energetic mids, the highs follow suite, but overdo it slightly. The highs splash, glitter, and really just shine brightly. Separation and clarity, along with detailing, is beautifully done. Although it can do separation in a nice fashion, the highs really aren’t as delicate as they should be and, in a sense, forcefully throw everything out at you. The result of this is a slightly sibilant, metallic sound to the treble. If this was worked on a little, the treble would be picture perfect.
Luxurious design, lively audio, and luxurious build quality. Monster really goes out and about to make sure every single inch of the Gratitudes is not only stylish, but also has a sense of luxury to it as well. The cases are no different, and yes, I did say cases. The Gratitudes come with a snap-open small pouch plastered with the Earth, Wind, and Fire name. This is also the same with the larger case. The extravagant, leather case features a magnetic snap with 2 compartments, one for the headphones, and another large enough to hold the iPod Touch. The cases not only have a sense of style and lavishness, but also protect the headphones well while doing it.
Not one, but two cases are included with the Gratitudes, one softer pouch and one leather case.
The headphone jack continues the entire gold design as well. The metallic headphone jack is not only strong, but also has a large, flexible strain relief. To add further, the headphone jack is an angled one which helps relieve even more stress from the cable.
The headphone jack on the Gratitude is built to perfection.
The cable, like the cases, tries to keep the lavish stylings with a fancy, flat, and gold-colored cable. Although the cable isn’t the thickest of flat cables, it is thick enough to feel sturdy. I do feel that the cables on these will last and can protect themselves.
The flat cable does look thin, but also does feel strong enough to me.
The housings are built like a tank. Also similar to a tank, they are both composed of metal. The rose-gold finish on the IEMs doesn’t only offer the Gratitudes great looks, they also protect it well. Nothing will be breaking the housings anytime soon. There is a strain relief for the cable, but it really isn’t too flexible and doesn’t help take too much stress off the cable.
Three words really sum up the comfort section well: jagged, metal, inflexible. All three words are horrendous for comfort and really don’t work well. Although you do eventually get used to the design, and there are plenty of tips included, the shape of the Gratitudes just proves problematic. The first week of using the Gratitudes will be somewhat uncomfortable, however, after that; you’ll be adjusted to them. Wearing them over the ear also can be slightly problematic, but it is possible to do.
12 sets of tips may help with comfort, but don’t entire solve the problem.
Just like gold, these IEMs do not come cheap. MSRPing at 230 dollars, the Gratitudes can be found in stores for around 200 right now. For the audio, these IEMs are well worth this price in my mind. Design-wise, they are more eye-popping than any Beats, Souls, or Sleeks. Build-wise, they do just fine. Comfort wise… Well, that’s the problem that will take down the value of these monitors. A remote and mic does help out the value a bit for any iDevice user.
The Gratitudes include a remote and mic, there is no option to not have one.
Although hindered by comfort, the Monster Gratitudes do prove that they can be well worth the price in terms of both design and audio. Unlike many other artist-endorsed headphones, the Monster Gratitudes off outstanding design, but more importantly great audio as well.
I’d like to thank Kate for the product sample.