Monster may be new to the headphone market, but it's off to a good start. The company recently introduced the, a full-size over-the-ear headphone, which was codeveloped by the master hip-hop artist and producer. That headphone received its fair share of rave reviews and was followed shortly after by the in-ear model of the same branding. Next came this remarkable in-ear model, the Turbine. Monster isn't shy about making bold claims for its designs, dubbing the Turbines "In-Ear Speakers," implying the Turbines sound more like speakers than your average in-ear 'phone. We don't know about that, but we can say we're impressed by the sound quality offered by this petite pair.
We don't usually comment on the packaging headphones come in, but the Turbine's lavish box is on par with models that sell for many times the Turbine's $149 MSRP. True, it's not going to make the headphones sound any better, but its sumptuous look and feel definitely make you feel like you've bought something special.
When it comes to in-ear headphones, proper fit is everything. If they're not comfortable, if you feel pressure in your ears, or if you're constantly pushing the eartips back in, that won't bode well for a long-term relationship. To address that concern, the Turbines come with five pairs of silicone eartips (three sizes of standard and two sizes of triple flange). We put in a fair amount of time swapping between different eartips before settling on the largest standard (mushroom shaped) ones. Even so, we had to fuss with each insertion for a minute or so before achieving a good seal (everybody's ears are different, and you may get an ideal seal with minimal effort). Remember that without a tight eartip/ear canal seal you won't hear the true sound the Turbine (or any in-ear headphone) is capable of producing.