Pros: Excellent mid-bass, accessories, look/design (depends on you), warranty
Cons: Microphonics, mids, highs, retail price, lack of availability, look/design (depends on you)
Packaging & Accessories: 10/10
Build Quality: 4/10
Design & Look: 6/10
Microphonics (higher ratings means lower cable noise): 4/10
Audio Quality: 8.5/10
Value: 5/10 (for RRP) & 8/10 (discounted price)
My final Rating: 8.5/10
Purchase Date: March 2012
Purchase Price: £130
I bought the Monster Miles Davis Tribute (also known as MDT/MMDT) off the Monster USA website, whilst they were on sale – The reason being, these are now discontinued by Monster, and will be replaced in the future by the Trumpets, meaning when the warranty, if ever, is claimed on my MDT’s, I will not receive the tributes, but will receive the trumpets instead. There are several (negative and positive) differences between the two, but cannot personally comment on it, and can only go on what I have read.
To read my initial impressions and my unboxing video – click here
Packaging, accessories, box content, overall first impressions (look wise)
Monster are well known now to include a sleuth of tips and accessories with their products, especially their earphone range – there is no disappoint here with the MDT’s! If anything this is the best yet as it also includes a CD by Miles Davis.
Although, the only thing I find “missing” in comparison to the MTPG’s (Monster Turbine Pro Gold) are the over-the-ear hooks, which relieve a little weight on the ears. That said, the MDT’s have a different design over the MTPG/C’s so it might not fit. I’ll get into comfort in a little while.
So the packaging, accessories, box contents are top notch. In my opinion, the industry leader in accessories and what not, provided in earphones. Many companies don’t include these things, but honestly sometimes it’s what make or breaks the sale.
I also should touch upon the excellent, and the best warranty I have ever seen/heard/had. The lifetime “unheard” of warranty is simply outstanding.
It basically means, you can replace your MDT’s as many times as you want, provided it was a manufacturer fault – by that I mean, if it was you stepping on the earphones, and dropping them in water, they won’t cover you for life.
However Monster do offer a one time, “you break it, we replace it” too – meaning, they will replace your MDT’s even if you break it yourself, only once. After that, it will be down to the MDT’s breaking due to the manufacturers fault – ie. drivers blowing.
Overall first impressions:
My initial impressions were exactly as I had when I opened up the MTPG’s – shiny, good looking, for some, but could be too flashy for others. thus why I have the design/look, listed in both the pros and cons. It really depends on what type of person you are.
Personally, as for the MTPG’s I find them nice to look at, but worryingly flashy in case I was in a bad neighbourhood.
They shine of Gold, in your ears – screams out to thief’s to come and mug you.
That said, their actual design is very nice, I like how the metal-esk finish blends into the gold body of the earphones. I also really admire they have a left and right indicator, with not only a clear symbol, but also a red and blue ring for right and left.
The Build quality, is exactly like the MTPG’s – I feel that they are a little fragile, and there has been numerous reports of the strain relief’s, by the earphones, breaking. I do feel they are a little fragile, and could break over time – so the build quality isn’t perfect, nor something dismal – I do like the low profile 3.5mm L-shaped jack, and the wire is nicely made (especially as its a blue colour!)
Now the overall look, comfort and isolation
Now the look can be taken two ways – either you love it, or hate it.
I personally love it, but feel kind of insecure when wearing these in a shady neighbourhood. The design is nice, and the looks is flashy – so check out the pictures and see for yourself, and ask yourself this: “can I see myself wearing these gold bling-ting earphones” If the answer is yes – then that’s all good, continue reading!
Now the comfort – I have to say these are a tad lighter than the MTPG’s, however not by a huge amount – they are not as comfortable, or should I say light, as the MG7′s, or the Phonak’s – these are quite heavy, and preferably for longer period of listening, I suggest wearing them over-the-ear. Along the subject of over-the-ear – I can’t wear these cable down.
Reason being: These have bad microphonics, worse even than the MG7′s – which is shocking, as Monster is “known” for their cables. Why on earth is their cable on their top of the line earphone causing me microphonics? I was disappointed to say the least.
This links into comfort – as these earphones aren’t really designed to be worn over-the-ear, unlike the MG7′s which have a nice shape to be over-the-ear earphones, the MDT’s are meant to be worn cable down – which annoys me, due to the microphonics described above. Even worn down, if you can survive the microphonics, as the earphones are relatively heavy, they are not comfortable for on the move or for long period of usage.
More so, another thing that annoyed me was the overall cable length from jack to earphone.
The cable is a little shorter than my MG7′s and this wasn’t good for listening to music at work, as the PC is located at my feet. Even in my pocket, with the earphones over the ear, if I looked behind me, almost 180 degrees style, one side of the earphones would pull. All together not impressed, especially seeing as I have a tiny torso for a guy – I can’t imagine a taller, or more “equal” guy wearing these in his jeans pockets and wearing them over-the-ear!
Now unto the sound quality – after a let down of the build/design, here is what the MDT’s do best actually reproduce sound.
I have to state however, these are NOT in any stretch of my imagination made for Jazz. they are bass heavy, with lacking mids and highs – if anything for Jazz, one would want a nice response in the mids, to hear the trumpets for example. What were Monster thinking…is beyond me – yet another marketing campaign I take it.
That said, after some EQ’ing – mainly a big bump in the mids and a little bump in the highs – these things shine.
Lows: The lows should be broken into two parts really, the sub-bass (what you feel rumbling) and the mid-bass (what you hear shaking/bumpin’)
The Mid-bass: Is one of the best mid-bass responses I’ve heard – not quite taking the title of the TFTA’s that said, but very very prominent mid-bass, which bleeds a little, (but not as much as the TFTA’s did) into the mids.
The sub-bass on the other hand is very good too, however doesn’t take the title off the MG7′s, who will remain in my ears as the sub-bass kings. The MDT’s extend, and decay well, especially with the combo of their sub-bass, they are quite excellent in the lows department.
Mids/highs: For my ears, this is where the MDT’s disappoint. I felt the need to EQ the highs & mids especially to make them sound alive. Without the EQ, it made the MDT’s boomy with a lot of mid-bass, and an almost rolled off sound in the highs – with EQ however, these shine brilliantly – giving you a nice texture, without any real spikes, and a blended smoothy to listen to.
Soundstage: My major oncern of the MG7′s were their soundstage, and here the MDT’s have an almost like-to-like soundstage with the MTPG’s – which is nice, not too wide, or narrow – separation is quite good too, and definitely an improvement over the MG7′s – Put it this way I no longer feel locked in a cage.
Sound Quality Ratings
Sound stage: 8/10
Overall I give them a solid: 9/10
So overall, the MDT’s are great earphones – Which have a pounding bass, nice EQ’uable mids and highs, with a great set of accessories & a unheard of lifetime warranty
That said, I wouldn’t exactly pay their RRP for them, but would definitely recommend them at a cheaper rate, as the MG7′s for example, give them one hell of a run for their money.
Finally, I would like to say these are the Kings of R’n’b, hip-hop, dub-step.
With their nice decay, their relatively fast passed sound (not as fast as the MG7′s), and pounding bass – these genres really do complement the MDT’s
That said for electronic music, such as trance, I much preferred the MG7′s which were faster, and more mid/highs orientated.
Personally, I can’t choose between the two, as I enjoy both r’n’b and trance; Yup life is hard sometimes lol!
I hope you enjoyed the review!