From Japan to Singapore, for the past 3 weeks or so I’ve been on the move through east Asia, with the sounds of podcasts, Skype calls, and Gangnam Style flowing to my ears through Monster Inspiration (with active noise cancellation) headphones. Monster sent me a pair to give a thorough testing and I was genuinely curious (and ultimately surprised) about the high-end version of this accessory most of us wear in airports, airplanes, and subway trains.
Who Are These Headphones For?
Well they’re not for everyone yet traveling gamers, those serious about sound, and laptop/tablet movie watching enthusiasts or video editors will find the Inspiration headphones a valuable member of your gadget gang. They are large, over-the-ear style headphones with leather cushions to keep your head comfortable. The Inspiration also have active noise cancellation built in, which reduces ambient racket by producing inverse sound waves of what you’re listening to. That is a fancy way of saying, noise plus anti-noise equals no noise. You dig?
What Is So Good About The Monster Inspiration?
For starters, the sound quality is amazing. Don’t get me wrong, I love my regular V-MODA In-Ear Vibe headphones, who make Adele sound like she’s singing ‘Someone Like You’ in your living room. (And I do mean yours, I don’t have one.) The Monster Inspiration is like listening to Adele live at the Sydney Opera House. I hope you all like Adele, not one of my favorites, but my other music references were too obscure or inappropriate. So although it’s great to hear amazing voices in venues designed for acoustics, there are some drawbacks like buying tickets and dealing with crowds, bringing me to my next point…
The Drawbacks Of Inspiration
I found the Monster Inspiration headphones to be generally too heavy for my permanent style of travel, the half-kilo (~1 pound) a noticeable change on and in my back[pack]. They also aren’t the type of headphone you can use if you’re active (running all around the world as I do) and these are your only pair. The Inspiration are headphones designed to be plugged in to your laptop, phone, or tablet sacrificing some portability for overall sound quality.
All That’s In The Box
The Monster Inspiration come with a sleek carrying case, cleaning wipe, and three cables: a straight audio, Apple (iPhone, iPad, iPod) volume control, and universal volume control. The latter two cables come with in-line microphones and the headphones themselves have a switch to turn active noise cancellation on and off. Two AAA batteries are also inside the box, needed to power the noise-canceling feature and there’s even an extra headband so you can add some color to the Inspiration.
Should You Buy Them? My Final Verdict
At $299, these aren’t a small investment for headphones but if you’re absolutely looking for quality despite the disadvantages I mentioned above, these Monster Inspiration active noise canceling headphones will make your ears happy. The noise cancellation comfortably cut out background airplane-engine buzz in my usage. Still, if your bag is your home, the Inspiration might prove a bit too heavy if you’re already packing around a ton of tech. For traveling gamers (noob or otherwise), videographers, and music-loving nomads however, the Inspiration might be right up your alley if you’re on the market for some new headphones to seduce your auditory nerves.
Oh, and I should mention that I did not get paid for this post and never do paid reviews. I get sent a lot of products to try out and write about the ones that really grab my interest and I think you should know about. But just reading about gadgets isn’t like using them, so let me send you my pair of Monster Inspiration headphones. The first person who can post or guess the city I was in 12 days ago (October 6th) in the comments below will win. One guess per person, good luck!