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Monster NCredible NTune On-Ear Headphones review

on December 21, 2012 11:00 am

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There are a multitude of headphones and earphones on the market now.  Different headphones are designed to work best with certain types of music, and it seems a lot of the most stylish headphones are designed to sound best with modern music that emphasizes the rhythm and the bottom end.  These NCredible NTune on-ear headphones from Monster are designed for the listener who prefers a stylish look and a bass-y sound.  Let’s give them a closer look.

All images can be clicked for an enlargement.

monster-n-tune-headphones-7Monster developed the NTune headphones with input from Nick Cannon.  They are made from shiny black plastic with red and silver accents.  The outside of the earpieces have a clear plastic dome that covers a silver piece that reminds me of a car’s steel wheels.

I cannot find any technical specifications for these headphones on the Monster site.

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They come with a detachable cable with a straight connector on one end and a 90-degree connector on the other end.  Both plugs are gold-plated.  There are also a couple of booklets, an NCredible sticker, and a black microfiber polishing cloth to keep the shiny headphones smudge-free.

You’ll notice that there is no case with these headphones, not even a fabric pouch.  I really expect some sort of storage pouch with headphones with a MSRP of $150.00.  The headphones also do not fold up for more compact storage.

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If you click the picture (above), you’ll be able to see that the right/left markers are found on the inside of the head band.  You’ll also notice that the padded ear cushions are wrapped in black vinyl.  These cushions fit on the ear (not over), and I found them to be comfortable, even when I had my glasses on.  I never been one to keep headphones on for hours at a time, but they were comfortable to wear for the hour or so I would keep them on.

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The bands extend open, as you can see in this picture.  Both my husband and I were able to adjust the band length to find a comfortable fit.  At the top of the band is some gray, spongy rubber that cushioned the top of my head.

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The left earpiece has a connector to plug the cable in.  The cable was quiet, with no microphonics (excuse me if that isn’t the correct word).monster-n-tune-headphones-6

The interior of the earpiece is lined with a red fabric.

monster-n-tune-headphones-8The cable has an in-line button that is used to pause/play or to answer/disconnect a call.  There’s a tag on the cable that warns that “your device may not fully operate with ControlTalk”.  I found that the ControlTalk button didn’t work to answer or disconnect a call with my iPhone 5.  Monster says the purpose of the ControlTalk button is so you can “playback music without having to dig for your phone, and take calls without missing a beat,” but I had to answer the calls from the iPhone 5 itself.  Once the call was connected, music playback stopped.  Calls sounded great through the headphones, with no echo or distortion that makes the caller sound like they’re in a barrel.  The ControlTalk button also has a mic in it, but it didn’t seen to be engaged with my iPhone 5, either.  When I held the button closer to my mouth, my caller didn’t hear any change in volume.  When I held the bottom of my iPhone 5 closer to my mouth as I talked, my caller said the volume got much louder.  It seemed that having the headphones plugged in put the phone into a “hybrid” mode that used the headphones for sound playback and put the phone’s mics into speakerphone mode.   I had to disconnect the call from the iPhone 5’s screen, too, but music playback started back up when the call disconnected.  There are no volume controls on the ControlTalk button.

I listened to a variety of music using the NCredible NTune headphones.  I found that with older pop and rock songs, the sound coming through the headphones lacked balance.  The bass was too prominent, and it made the middle and higher frequencies sound muted and muddy.  Even with a song like AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”, which is pretty booming, the deep voices singing “na-na-nana-na” at the beginning drowned out the guitar.  I could hear the voices and the guitar just fine with my Sony MDR-NC200D Digital Noise Canceling Headphones.  Songs like Lissie’s cover of “Go Your Own Way” were muddy and murky through the Monster headphones.  Songs Like Powerman 5000’s “When Worlds Collide” were so booming and bright and clear that it was almost impossible to not get up and starting flinging myself around the living room with the rhythm.  The Powerman 5000 song sounded much better through the Monster headphones than through my Sony headphones.  These headphones are designed for the music of my daughter’s youth, not my youth.  When the music has the right balance for the Monster headphones, they sound great.

With the right music, the Monster NCredible NTune headphones are clear and bright with no distortion and have a booming bottom end.  With vocal music, rock, or pop music, you may find the bass overpowers the rest of the song.  If you are a fan of hip-hop, rap, dance/club, Salsa, and the like, you’ll like these headphones a lot.  Plus, they have a cool, modern look without being too flashy.  Monster shows a MSRP of $150, which may be a bit high; their sale price of $100 seems a bit better, but I still think they should have included a storage pouch of some sort.

 

Product Information

Price:MSRP $149.95; on sale for $99.95
Manufacturer:Monster
Retailer:Monster and other retailers
Pros:
  • With dance, Salsa, and rap music, the sound is clear and thumping
  • Comfortable band and ear cushions
  • Adjustable band
  • Bass is emphasized, which works well with certain styles of music
Cons:
  • No storage bag
  • ControlTalk button didn't work with my iPhone 5
  • Bass is emphasized, often at the expense of the other frequencies for some styles of music

Comments

  1. 1
    Raj says:

    I agree with the comfort and sound quality of the headphones. Also, my laptop has a combo headphone/mic port and the headphones worked well with it, although my voice quality was tinny, given the small size and placing of the mic (ControlTalk button). However, all that pales in comparison to the durability….as in not at all. I had to replace a set twice after the upper band broke in two places, near the left/right labels. I didn’t take them outside or for activities, just on the computer….and snap. Very poor build quality/materials/construction.

  2. 2
    Chase.w says:

    I got these headphones to replace my beats solo hd after the headband broke on them. I don’t see any difference in the sound quality but I wish the could fold up like my beats.

  3. 3
    corey deane says:

    While yes they are designed to be bass heavy, the high end notes do not get lost, the mids alittle. They still sound good with all genres, but yes some better than others. You are too harsh considering they are only 95 dollars. Great bargain if your looking for brain rattling bass that will not distort when you crank the volume.

  4. 4
    Chris says:

    Do not buy these. They are poorly made garbage. These were purchased to replace a 12 year old set of Bose headphones. After 2 months of very light use in my house the headband cracked, then snapped leaving them held only by the thin wire. They break where it says “monster” underneath the head band. For the price you could purchase a set of Bose that sound better, aren’t bass heavy, and they’ll last. The headband is so thin where the monster labels, and it’s obviously brittle plastic. I will not buy another set of these cheaply made POS.
    I am a 44 year old male, I take care of my gear- and these were barely used. Monster= expensive garbage.

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