Not everyone enjoys wearing earbud-style headphones. Some folks just don’t enjoying putting things in their ears, rather than over them. We can certainly understand that, but there are some distinct advantages that come along with an in-ear headphone. For one, sound isolation is a function of the headphone’s placement, and happens right at the ear opening. Another advantage is that less energy is needed to move the speaker diaphragm, and that means more attention can be poured into designing an accurate speaker, not just a loud one.
Those advantages do tend to come with a couple of liabilities, however. For instance, since everyone’s ear opening is a different size and shape, so you simply can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to designing an earbud. Monster copes with this issue by offering up seven distinctly different ear tips. While the versatility will certainly pay off, it does mean that you will need to take some time to find the right set for you. Not only does the tip choice impact how comfortable the earphones will be, but, based on its fit to your ear, it also has a big effect on how good the earphones sound. With ill-fitting tips, the Miles Davis Tribute headphones did not sound their best, so we encourage you to seek out the best-sounding option and trust that they will also feel right.
As in-ear headphones go, the Miles Davis Tributes sound spectacular. They have an open midrange appeal that you normally find only in high-end, open backed, on-ear headphones. Vocals were free of congestion, electric bass had warmth and punch and wind instruments sounded remarkably true to their live sound.
High frequencies are sparkling, but not at all overly bright or shrill. Transients were crystal clear, and suffered from little to no distortion. Since the Tributes reproduce sound that stays true to the recording, only those tracks with already hot highs sounded hot through the Miles Davis Tributes.
Bass in an in-ear headphone is a tricky proposition. On one hand, you have a limited amount of space for a speaker, so you just can’t achieve head-pounding bass. You can, however, achieve musical, tonally accurate bass, and that is what Monster has done here. We feel that Monster designed these earphones to be as accurate as possible, rather than achieve beefier bass at the expense of accuracy elsewhere in the frequency spectrum. While you may not get the sense that you feel the kick drum, you will most certainly hear it. Over long listening sessions, we didn’t feel ourselves wanting more bass. Once our ears relaxed into the sound, we simply enjoyed the highly revealing, very engaging sound that the Miles Davis Tributes served up.
The Miles Davis Tribute headphones are revealing, accurate and fun. While they won’t blow your head off with bass, they will bring you closer to your favorite recordings, and that counts for a lot.
Though very well designed and constructed, the Miles Davis Tributes on their own may seem a little pricey for some. However, when you consider the unique Miles Davis content only available with this special set of earphones, the price looks more justified, and this extra content makes the package a pretty remarkable gift to the jazz lover. We highly recommend Monster’s Miles David Tributes.
- Very clean sound
- Comfortable, secure fit
- Tangle-free cord
- Attractive carrying case
- Lots of extra goodies for the jazz fan
- Bass response may be light for some
- Included collector’s items jack up price