When we first heard that audio accessory giant Monster Cable was getting into the headphone market, we were, to be perfectly frank, skeptical. Let’s face it: Just about everyone and their cousin is making some form of headphone, from the insultingly cheap to the shockingly expensive. Thankfully, our first experience with Monster headphones was a very positive one. The Beats by Dre headphones sounded great, and were clearly very well made. So, it was with optimistic anticipation that we received the Miles Davis Tribute headphones by Monster. More than just headphones, this suite of collector’s items that bears the legendary trumpeter’s name comes packed with loads of goodies. But do the headphones sound good enough to satisfy the particular tastes of someone like Miles Davis? In this review, we’ll dig into what comes with the Miles Davis Tribute headphone experience, and see if Monster does Miles proud.
Out of the Box
The Miles Davis Tribute headphone experience extends well beyond the headphones themselves. Indeed, the out-of-box experience is a big part of what you purchase when you invest in this set of buds.
Once slid from its sleeve, the packing case opens like a book to reveal its contents neatly nestled inside. In addition to the headphones, Monster includes a black, hard-sided carrying case with lined with blue velour perfectly molded to fit the earbuds. The outside of the case is adorned with Miles’ signature silhouette image, leaving no doubt that Davis is a big part of what lies inside. Along with the hard carrying case are two soft-sided carrying pouches. One is for the earphones, and the other for the multiple pairs of soft ear tips provided, which allow for a perfect fit to the listener’s ears.
Then comes the media: A special edition, a 50th anniversary set of the Kind of Blue album packed with two audio discs, a DVD, plus a 24-page booklet of liner notes, essays and some rare photos that we’ve not had the pleasure of seeing before. The CDs feature over two hours of audio that includes false starts, alternate takes and dialogue from the recording session. For hardcore Miles Davis fans, and jazz fans in general, we think this will make a very nice addition to any collection.
Features and Design
The quality of construction in these headphones becomes apparent as soon as you pick them up. The earbuds themselves feel much heavier than one might expect, substantiating Monster’s claim that they are made of rigid, anti-resonant materials. We were initially concerned that this weight might affect long-term wearability, but soon learned that was not the case.
Each earbud is plated in 24k gold and accented with red or blue to indicate which bud is for the left and right ears. On one side, you’ll find Monster’s logo, and on the other, the same Miles Davis logo the hard case wears.
The cord is a rather bright, almost cobalt, blue, and outfitted with a security clip and cable management system to help eliminate tangles and reduce strain on the earphones. The cord is terminated with a 1/8-inch mini plug at a right angle to help reduce strain on the cord where it meets an audio device.