Reviewed on Feb 26, 2016

Monster Inspiration HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.0
6.0
Mixed Usage
6.5
Critical Listening
6.1
Commute/Travel
6.0
Sports/Fitness
5.7
Office
6.5
Home Theater
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Monster Inspiration are sub-par-sounding headphones. They're sturdy and offer a unique and customizable headband design. Unfortunately, the poor noise isolation and below average audio reproduction leaves much to be desired.

Test Results
Design 6.5
Sound 6.5
Isolation 5.7
Active Features 5.7
Pros
  • Sturdy build.
  • Interchangeable headband.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • Heavy.
  • Poor audio reproduction.
  1. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.0. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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6.5

Design

The Inspirations feel sturdy but a little stiff. They are heavy and put more emphasis on style than comfort. The faux metal finish and sturdy, interchangeable headband look good. However, the ear cups are attached to the frame by a hinge that may be susceptible to breaking.

Style

The Inspirations are available in many colors. The silver version we reviewed looks great. Their rectangular ear cups, highlighted by the faux metal finish, give them a unique and premium feel. The headband is thick, heavily padded and offers multiple unique designs that can be clipped on, so you can change the look to suit your style.

6.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.73 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0.83 lbs

These headphones are a bit heavy, and you are likely to feel their weight on your head. They also feel a little stiff overall and don't have the best fit.

6.8 Controls
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Average
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Noise Canceling Control : No
Talk-Through : No
Additional Buttons : No

Simple, functional design with only one button on the headphones. It provides track skipping and music/call functionality but no volume control which is a little disappointing.

6.5 Stability

These headphones are moderately stable. They stay in place during casual listening sessions. Unfortunately, they feel too bulky and heavy for gym use. The slightly heavy ear cups sway a lot while running and will slip off your ears during high-intensity activities. On the upside, audio cable is detachable and won't yank the headphones of your head if they get hooked on something.

6.3 Portability
L : 4.13 "
W : 6.89 "
H : 2.56 "
Volume : 72.85 Cu. Inches
Stand required : N/A

The Monster Inspiration are moderately portable headphones. They fold into a compact format that will easily fit into a backpack but may be a bit too cumbersome for smaller bags. They're too big to carry around on your person as they won't fit in most pockets, even larger jacket pockets.

7.0 Case
Type : Soft case
L : 4.72 "
W : 7.48 "
H : 2.95 "
Volume : 104.32 Cu. Inches

Comes with a soft case that doesn't add too much bulk to the headphones and protects them from scratches and mild water damage. However, the case is not robust enough to shield the headphones from hard falls or high physical stress.

7.0 Build Quality

The headphones are fairly solid and well-built. However, the headband does not to retain its position and the hinges where the ear cups meet the headband could be weak points susceptible to breaking. Also, not all the parts that look metallic are made out of metal.

Cable
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.25 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRRS

Comes with three cables; 1/8" TRS-TRS with no in-line controls. 1/8" TRRS-TRS with in-line mic and call/music control. And a 1/8" TRRS-TRRS with call/music control and volume up/down.

Front
Angled
Side
Rear
Top
6.5

Sound

The Monster Inspiration are a mediocre sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. They have an average Bass, a good Treble, and also perform relatively consistently across multiple users. However, their Bass is overemphasized and boomy, their Mid Range is significantly recessed, and their Treble is slightly forward sounding. Additionally, they don't have a good Soundstage, and their distortion performance is average.

7.1 Bass
Std. Err.
:
4.26 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
25.2 Hz
Low-Bass
:
-1.31 dB
Bass
:
5.24 dB
High-Bass
:
5.03 dB

5.7 Mid
Std. Err.
:
5.73 dB
Low-Mid
:
-2.68 dB
Mid
:
-8.27 dB
High-Mid
:
-1.92 dB

7.5 Treble
Std. Err.
:
3.88 dB
Low-Treble
:
3.91 dB
Treble
:
-1.8 dB
High-Treble
:
1.07 dB

8.3 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.33 dB

5.4 Soundstage
PRTF Error
:
6.9 dB
Openness
:
5.5
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
4.2
Correlated Crosstalk
:
0.0 dB

5.1 Imaging
Phase Error
:
73.85 °
Driver Mismatch (Amplitude)
:
0.8 dB
Driver Mismatch (Frequency)
:
3.59 dB
Driver Mismatch (Phase)
:
338.11 °

7.1 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
1.573
Weighted THD @ 100
:
10.548

5.7

Isolation

The Inspirations do not provide good noise isolation. The active noise cancelling is virtually nonexistent. Most of the isolation is provided passively by the somewhat-decent seal the ear cups provide. They are also quite leaky in the mid-to-high notes, allowing others to hear the vocals and percussion of your music at high volumes.

5.6 Noise Isolation
Overall Attenuation
:
-11.3 dB
Bass
:
-2.36 dB
Mid
:
-10.83 dB
Treble
:
-22.66 dB
Self-Noise
:
14.36 dB

These headphones don't provide any isolation from 20Hz - 100Hz and only a modest amount of isolation above that. Most of the isolation is provided passively by the ear cups and not the ANC (Active Noise Cancelling).

5.8 Leakage
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
46.03 dB

These headphones leak a considerable amount of sound, starting from around 300Hz and up to 6KHz (from low-mids to mid-treble).

5.7

Active Features

The Inspiration only has noise canceling as an active feature. This makes them less versatile for other use cases than noise canceling headphones, as they lack both wireless or an app, to enhance and customize their sound. On the upside, with the two AAA cells, they can deliver an incredible battery life that lasts more than 70 hours which should easily cover a weekend's worth of use without needing to change batteries.

0 Wireless
Type
:
N/A
Obstructed Range
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
NFC
:
No

10 Latency
Base Latency
:
0 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

8.5 Battery
Battery Type
:
AAA (X2)
Battery Life
:
75.5 hrs
Charge Time
:
N/A
Auto-off
:
No
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
No

The Monster Inspiration use two AAA batteries to deliver an excellent battery life of 75.5 hours. They can also continue playing audio passively once the batteries are dead. This means you won't have to change the batteries for a couple days, which is great for long flights or weekend trips where you don't have access to a store to purchase new AAA cells. Unfortunately, they do not have any battery saving features like an auto-off timer.

0 App Support

No compatible app.

In the box

  • Monster Inspiration Headphones
  • Extra interchangeable headband
  • AAA battery (x2)
  • Audio cables (x3)
  • Carrying case
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Manual

6.0 Mixed Usage

The Monster Inspiration are mediocre everyday headphones. They leak a little too much for office use and have an average at best sound quality that's not ideal for critical listening.

6.5 Critical Listening

Average-at-best for critical listening. They have a skewed, bass-heavy sound and a poor soundstage because of their closed back design.

6.1 Commute/Travel

Below average for commuting. They have a decent control scheme, and they're moderately comfortable, but their noise isolation is too weak for noisy commutes.

6.0 Sports/Fitness

Mediocre for sports use. They're moderately stable a have a decent control scheme. However, they are a little too cumbersome for strenuous exercise.

5.7 Office

Subpar for office use. They leak a lot and don't block much ambient noise. You will be able to hear the rest of the office, and they will be able to hear your audio.

6.5 Home Theater

Average for home theater use. They have a decent enough sound for watching movies, and they also have no latency since they're wired. However, their short audio cable won't be ideal for watching tv from your couch, unless you have an extension cord.

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