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?
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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!
Were you in Seoul?
It wasn’t Seoul, but good guess!
I guess you were in Sydney.
Hi Samira, you were the first to get it right! (Not sure if you used the clue above or not but either way congratulations.)
I need you to email me (with your address) using the same email address you left this comment *before* 12pm US EST Sunday, October 21st. I can then get the headphones to you. If I don’t hear from you, they’ll go to the next person in line.
I’ve just sent you an e-mail.Actually no.I would never have guessed it if I had just read the Adele-hint :). The truth is I tracked your Facebook and Twitter to find the answer 😀 …
I am easily stalk and trackable 🙂 I don’t see your email though (and checked spam filter, etc.) would you mind one more time to [email protected] please?
Thanks and again congratulations!
Alright, i have just sent you the mail one more time…
Thanks! Got it and replied now… 🙂
Were you in Sydney, Australia?
Was it Sydney, Australia?
was it Sydney?
Sydney, AU ???
Were you in Sydney, Australia?
(Hopefully the comment went through this time)
It often takes a few minutes for the comments to show up…I’ll be responding to everyone soon!
Thanks everyone who replied ‘Sydney’ – that’s where I was! The clue was in this sentence:
The Monster Inspiration is like listening to Adele live at the Sydney Opera House.
Though I’ll have to come up with a more challenging question next time, you were all very quick!
Probably abducted by aliens
They keep dropping me off in random places.
I was a few centuries too late.
It was on my path but not the right timing unfortunately.
Very close, but it was Sydney. Good guess though 🙂
i figured you flew and talked about sydney however you never seem to stay long any one place so thought perhaps while you were there you went to melbourne
i guess you are making a lot of money conducting this website that is where the bucks flow pays your travels but while your purpose is to see the world stopping in each country i would think you would not keep crisscrossing the world plus what are you really accomplishing anyhow except to make money. to travel is to learn and to really see the various cities and towns and mountains and lakes each country has to offer .. but call it what you like — hopefully someday you really will become a real traveler
all the best in your pursuits
Sometimes I stay months, sometimes I stay days, I don’t need a lot of money to move in my ways. I go places because I want to and sometimes I go back, if you think my sole goal is to make money, you are way off track.
Travel is an experience to each their own,
to differentiate between your view and mine,
is judgement from an imaginary throne.
There is no fake travel whether you move slow or not
to say otherwise is an opinion you should give more thought.
I was there but not on the 6th. I was in Sydney, though thanks for trying!
Hey, hope you were in singapore around Oct 6th…and hope to see you in mumbai soon too!
Not a bad guess but a few weeks off… and do hope to catch up with you finally in Mumbai this November 🙂
Man I would love to have a pair of these! But at 299 it is a little ( and by little I mean a lot) out of my budget. I am real upset I missed the live chat Monday night.
Sorry you couldn’t make the chat (or win the headphones!) Hopefully you can next time – and I’ll have more giveaways coming up toward the end of the month 😉