Editor’s note: The details of the products in this article, including prices, availability, and some specifications, have changed since we initially published on January 4, due to errors in the material we received from Monster. We apologize for any confusion.
Monster, the company that initially rose to prominence through its marketing of premium audio and video cables, then become the design and manufacturing force behind the launch of the hugely popular Beats by Dre line of headphones, is back at CES 2022 with a quartet of new products: Two new true wireless earbuds, plus two new Bluetooth speakers. All four products will be available at Monster’s new website later this year.
Even though these products bear the Monster brand and the DNA label that Monster has used for its headphones in the past, technically speaking, they aren’t made by Monster. Instead, Monster has licensed its brand to Lifeworks Technology Group. Lifeworks also maintains a separate website for its Monster-branded products. Still, Lifeworks assures Digital Trends that these new DNA products were created with the full involvement of the product team at Monster, and that they meet the company’s standards for Monster products.
The DNA Fit are clearly aimed at folks who want a fully secure set of earbuds for working out — and at $179, they’re priced to undercut the similarly designed $249 Powerbeats Pro. They’ve got active noise cancellation (ANC) and offer IPX5 water resistance, which will easily withstand rain, sweat, and even a rinse under running water — two characteristics that the Powerbeats Pro lack.
They come in a fabric-wrapped, Qi-compatible wirelessly charging case, and have a very impressive nine hours of playing time per charge and a total of 24 hours when you include the case’s capacity. The earbuds come with a huge assortment of 12 sizes of silicone eartips, which should help most people get a secure and comfy fit.
The DNA Fit are also some of the first true wireless earbuds we’ve seen to ship with support for Qualcomm’s new aptX Lossless Bluetooth codec — a feature that requires a phone or other source device that also works with the lossless codec.
You’re looking at a set of true wireless earbuds that Monster had initially decided to call the DNA Pro. But upon realizing that this might cause confusion given that it’s the same name as a previous set of wireless headphones it sold in 2013, the name is now being revisited and Monster will presumably land on a new one before these earbuds hit retail.
If the Monster DNA Fit are Monster’s answer to the Powerbeats Pro, then the earbuds-formerly-known-as-DNA-Pro are the company’s response to Apple’s AirPods. They’ve got a distinctive triangle-with-stem design, six hours of battery life (30 in total with the charging case), and an IPX5 rating for water resistance. Monster hasn’t released much more in the way of details, but we do know that they also support wireless charging.
Pricing for these earbuds has yet to be released, but it seems likely that they’ll be somewhere in the $130 to $150 range.
The Monster DNA One is a go-anywhere Bluetooth speaker with a 13-hour battery life and IP67 dust and water resistance, making it an ideal companion for both poolside and the beach.
It can charge wirelessly (Monster will include a Qi charging mat in the box), as well as via its USB-C port, and has 20 watts of total power, which is considerable given its small size. Monster says it also has a feature called Monster Share, which lets you wirelessly pair the DNA One with up to 99 other speakers and up to two source devices, with no mobile app needed.
The Monster DNA Max looks like Monster’s take on the rugged home portable speaker made popular by the Ultimate Ears Blast/Boom speakers. Like the DNA One, it combines a rugged IP67 rating with up to 20 hours of playing time. But the Max is slightly more powerful, with 30 watts of maximum power. It also delivers its audio in a 360-degree pattern.
The Max can recharge wirelessly and Monster includes a Qi-compatible charging mat, an 18-watt USB-C wall charger, and a braided six-foot USB-C cable for when you want to power up quickly. The USB-C port can be used to power up your other devices when the speaker isn’t using that port for its own charging needs. The Max also works with Monster Share so you can sync up a bunch of speakers at once.
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