Headphones and Earphones
- Written by Steven Hornbrook
- Published on 04 October 2010
Overall, the Turbines are a better set of ear bud’s than the cheaper, lower class e2c’s. Bass extension, detail and strength is significantly better with the Turbines. Also, I found the listening experience to be less fatiguing overall, both in terms of ear comfort and audio signals.
Directly into iPhone
Once again, I would like to note that the slim 3.5mm headphone connector fit just fine through my bumper case on the iPhone. I began my testing by playing Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, a film score by Stephen Warbeck. The strings of the orchestra sounded smooth and full, with quite a lot of openness which is odd to think about considering how closed off your ears are. The pluck of the mandolin sounded natural and tangible. I am used to a bit more mid to upper-end detail with my main set of headphones, the AKG 701’s (costing about twice as much the Monsters), however the Monsters were more than adequate in the detail department. Overall very pleasant to listen to symphonic works on.
The bass line on MGMT’s track, “Kids”, was strong but not over powering. I could almost feel it in the rest of my body and not just my ears. I’m listening to it right now, as I type this. Most excellent.
Directly into Laptop
This was my least preferred way to use the Turbines. I’m not quite sure what my Dell XPS laptop is up to, but the sound was just a bit too bass heavy for my tastes. Listening to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros was not all that enjoyable as the bass lines over shadowed everything else. It was certainly a good test of the Turbine’s low end capability since they had no problem handling the strong bass line from Kanye’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.” The Turbine’s had zero issues playing loud and low, especially when compared to the Shure e2c’s weaker bass output.
Via the Nuforce Icon Mobile
When connecting the Turbines into my Nuforce Icon Mobile (portable USB DAC and headphone amp), I immediately noticed a difference. The low end was tightened up and the music space opened up. John Mayer’s “Gravity”, from Where the Light Is, just came alive on these earbuds. Guitar plucks were detailed without having an over-exaggerated brightness. Mayer’s voice was clear and had just enough meat to it, like you could tell there was a body behind the voice. I cranked up the volume on this track and the performance just sounded better. Bass drum hits had a nice impact, without being over-powering and the bass line cruises on effortlessly. Helps to create smooth bass response when not dealing with room acoustics. Did I mentions these play pretty loudly? I will mention it again, as I just cranked up the volume for the guitar solo. They still play clean and clear without distortion.
Listening to the Monster Turbines via a headphone amp is a painless joy. I have no problems listening all day while at work, experiencing little to no fatigue.