There are headphones and then there are headphones. The headphones we will be talking about today fall in to the category of being something you purchase as a luxury item and not a pair of headphones you grab from the gas station because you left your other pair at the gym.
Monster is moving on from the Beats line and is following up with the Diesel VEKTR headphones. It is clear from the purchase price (MSRP of $279.95) that Monster was targeting a premium audience as everything from the box to the case the headphones come in was meticulously designed to fit perfectly together to extort that up-scale agenda.
When reading through the marketing material, Monster likes to toss around words like High-Def, ultra performance; but at the end of the day, those are vague terms that you can’t accurately define in the marketplace, let alone a review.
When you open up the box, extend the panels and unzip the headphones, it becomes clear that the headphones were designed to make a fashion statement. With lines that are reminiscent of the F117 stealth fighter or even a Lamborghini Aventador, the headphones are certainly unique. Depending on your taste, you could see this as tacky or elegant, and admittedly it did take us a few minutes to warm up to the design, but overall, we quite like the look.
The headphones come in a slightly rigid case that will protect your headphones from scratches when tossed in a bag. The cord has a built in microphone and single button remote, which allows you to accept calls and control your music (more on this below).
The sharp angles and dark coloring go well together to create a look that certainly separates itself from others on the market. The cord is triangular in shape which Monster claims will keep it from tangling. While we have not coiled it up and shoved it in our pockets on a daily basis, the shape is certainly different and so far has held true to its “tangle-free” claims.
The build of the headphones falls in line with the price point: they are deceptively light in your hands but do have a fair amount of plastic to them, although that plastic does not feel particularly cheap. The ear pads are soft on your head but it is noticeable that the ear pads do not breathe very well as after extended use your ears do become quite hot.
When you are wearing the headphones, they are comfortable and support a wide range of cranial sizes with the expandable headband; they do not pinch your head like some cheaper headphones will, but the plastic casing does attract fingerprints.
The cord included with the headphones certainly has a unique feel to it. The triangle shape and end connectors are oversized but make it easy to connect and disconnect them from your favorite MP3 player or phone. There is also an inline microphone with a simple one-button operation that allows you to pause/play music, but there are no volume controls - something we would like to see at this price point.
No matter what type of headphones you purchase, the all-important question is how is the sound quality?
The headphones are certainly good with a robust all-around approach to the sound but they do not excel at either the highs or the lows. When you wait for Skrillex to make a drop or expect to hear Tchaikovsky master the symphonies of the violins and hit the upper echelons of the spectrum, the headphones leave a bit of room for improvement. Don’t get me wrong, the sound is clear and fulfilling, but they could certainly be a bit better on the ends of the spectrum.
So what does it come down to? This is a prestige headset designed to be noticed for its prestige and branding, and the audio quality is slightly better than average for the price range. Is it a good buy? At $279.95 MSRP you could certainly do worse and for this new entrant, it’s not a bad price but audiophiles may need to look elsewhere.