Headphone Review: Monster Inspiration

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Monster Cable | Over-Ear Headphones | $ 299.95

Monster really impressed me with the Gratitude in-ear headphones when I reviewed them. So I thought I’d give their new higher-end headphone a try; this time, a full sized. I have to say I wasn’t disappointed at all by the looks and, most importantly, the sound. 

Specifications

  • N/A

In the Box

  • Monster Inspiration Headphones
  • Headband Covers (Black Plain / Black Textured)
  • Headphone Cable (3-Button Remote+Mic / 1-Button Remote+Mic / Standard)
  • Carrying Case
  • Cleaning Cloth
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Monster includes 3 cables with their Inspiration headphones for anyone with any device.

Design

Monster has always had unique and flashy designs that enclosed the drivers within and connected them together. Well, I’d have to say that they did step away from flashy with the Inspiration.

This isn’t a bad thing, but the design aspects aren’t forgotten about, but much more subtle. Matted black cups surround the drivers in the passive noise cancelling model (glossy cups for the active NC model) that is connected to a brushed metal side with the Monster name glaring on them with deep contrast. The design is more simplistic, professional, but still extremely attractive.

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It’s not as flashy, but more professional, but still beautiful.

The headband is also something, if anything, this is the area where you can be come as flashy as you wish. Monster offers multiple headbands for sale online to fit just about anyone’s personality. Two are included with the Inspirations.

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There are two headbands included: glossy black textured and a plain matted black.

Design: ★★★★★

Audio

I have to say that I was impressed with the Inspiration. The quality is definitely there with a warmer overall sound that points towards the deep solid texturing with a good impact. Midrange is not vocal-focused, but more instrumentally focused as highs have a bit of sparkle.

Bass

The focus of the bass is one of great depth. The texturing, despite being on the more solid side, is very strong and has great presence. At times, this can be a bit much though. The bass impact is string with good presence overall as well. The punch is at an ample quantity. It’s not fast due to the size and thickness it has, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless.

Bass: ★★★★½

Mids

The midrange is one of warmth focusing mainly on the lower mids and the instrumentals in general. Great clarity is present in the headphones. Detailing is not lost, but the smaller details can seem absent at times. A natural timbre surrounds the instrumentals in a very fine fashion. There is a bit more lushness to these with some lacking sweetness. This causes some vocalists to lose dynamics within their voice (as well as higher mids in general).

Mids: ★★★★½

Highs

The highs extend just enough to create a lasting sparkle that is either hit or miss. When it hits, the highest of highs sound great, when they miss, you are left with a slight sibilance. The detailing is lost out a bit due to the loss of presence of the lower highs as well as the higher ones. Clarity continues to shine overall with good separation.

Highs: ★★★★

Audio: ★★★★½

Build

The Inspirations come coupled with a nice hard-case. Monster has always been one to offer some extras in terms of accessories and cases. This case has a harder exterior that also has a bit of softness to it. It will protect the headphones though.

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The included case will protect your Monsters when you’re not using them.

The housings are enclosed in a matted plastic. This plastic does feel strong enough to protect the drivers within over time. Outside of that is a nice slab of brushed metal that adds an industrial feel to them. Between the slab of metal and the housings is the only problem. The Joins are plastic and don’t feel as firm as I’d like. The housings overall are nicely built.

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The housings look very industrial, but do have some plastic shortcomings.

The headband is actually my favorite part build-wise. Underneath the customizable strip of the headband is a beautiful metal band that protects the Inspiration from warping. The structure as a whole is thicker and has that firmness that I wanted to see in the housing joints.

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The headband is built to perfection.

Moving on to the cables we do find that they seem to have their strengths. The cable is replaceable and 3 are included. They have a good thickness to them and are flat. The flat design actually does fight tangling with a nice amount of springiness. Strain reliefs are very small on the upper half though, a gentle tug may end its life.

The headphone jack is another strong one I’ve seen from Monster. This one is angled at 90 degrees like most of theirs. The strain relief doesn’t look long at first glance, but upon inspection, the body of the headphone jack also serves as the strain relief. That said, the body is rugged, stiff, and strong.

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The headphone jack is a very well-built one, just like the headband.

Build: ★★★★½

Comfort

Included with the Inspiration are two incredibly soft cushions that do help a lot with comfort. Upon putting them on, you’ll notice it feels like there are clouds on your ears. Then you’ll notice the hard driver covers pressing against your ears. This can cause discomfort within the first hour of listening. The padding on the headband is also very soft, but also offers a nice bit of stiffness as well. It’s really comfortable overall, but the earpads need to have a little more thickness and depth to them.

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The earpads feel very soft, the softest I’ve ever felt, but aren’t as thick as they need to be.

Comfort: ★★★★½

Value

The monster inspiration is a very strong contender in its 300 dollar price range. The sound quality is a lot like the Philips Fidelio. In a sense, it is priced very competitively. It’s worth every penny, but not much more. In another, there are headphones that offer the same quality for a lower price. A nice design does seal up the deal nicely while smaller problems in the comfort may bring you back.

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Three cables are included which will ensure that the headphones will work with your DAC.

Value: ★★★★

Final Thoughts

Monster Cable does know a thing or two about audio. Their two recent offerings in the Gratitude and Inspiration show that very well. The audio quality is pretty high. The design is flawless, yet professional. That said, if you’re looking for something that has strong visual aspects, but also doesn’t skimp on sound, the Inspiration may be something to consider.

I’d like to thank Leo for the product sample.

Overall Score

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Monster Inspiration

† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
This accessory, product, or app was received as a sample. Thanks Leo for the product sample.
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