Over the past few years, Monster has consistently sat at the top of the headphone industry. This week I got the opportunity try the new Monster Octagon headphones, an over-ear sport headphone designed in partnership with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the world’s premier mixed martial arts fighting organization. Together, Monster and UFC have designed a sleek, comfortable pair of headphones that are designed to provide a soundtrack to your workout.
Design: Though these headphones have a simple look, they have some unique design characteristics that I really liked. The earpieces are covered in lush leather with thick stich detailing, giving the headphones a high-quality look. Each earpiece also has the ability to swivel forward to allow you to talk and communicate without having to take off the headphones. The band connecting the two earpieces has thick padding at the top for added comfort and the padding is lined with a gripped material. I found that the gripped material, paired with the band design, really helped to keep the headphones pretty well in place while working out. Lastly, I love the matte finish on these headphones. I felt like they gave the headphones a more high-quality look than the shiny plastic styles you see with a lot of over-ear headphones currently on the market. I tried the black Monster Octagon headphones, but they are also available in red.
Sound: As soon as I started using the Monster Octagon I noticed the depth and balance of the sound. The system clearly separated the vocals, instrumentals, beats and bass, while keeping the volume of the components equal and balanced. This resulted in a high quality, blended sound. I was also really impressed with how well it handed bass. I listened to a variety of hip-hop and dubstep tracks and I did not hear one crackle or rattle, even at high volumes.
I also found that these headphones were superior in regards to sound cancelling, most likely because the earpieces fit completely over the ears. However, even with the sound cancelling, I still found them safe to run in. I was able to hear cars going by but the headphones were able to keep the background sounds from interfering with the music.
Accessories: The headphones come with a ControlTalk Universal cord and a ProStudio Link cord and a soft fabric carrying case. The ControlTalk cord allows you to manage phone calls and also control your music. I was impressed with the quality of the microphone when answering calls, my caller could hear me clearly without having to move the cord closer to my mouth. Similar to the controls other headphones on the market, the Monster Octagon ControlTalk button allowed me to pause, play and change songs on my phone or mp3 player depending on the amount of times I clicked the button. However, the one issue I had with this cord was that it did not have buttons for volume control. If I’m at the gym, it’s annoying to have to hunt around for my iPod to change the volume every few songs. The longer ProStudio Link cord is a great option for listening to music on your computer or through your home speakers. It gives you room to move around without being yanked back to your computer or stereo. Other than the length, I couldn’t tell the difference in sound quality between the ControlTalk Universal and the ProStudio Link cord.
Ease of use: To test for comfort, I wore the headphones for the length of a workday. Because the cushions around the headphones fit completely around my ears, the headphones didn’t press down at all and I was able to wear them pain-free for hours! In regards to sound cancelling, I tried to listen to music on the headphones with the television on. Similar to above, I found that I could hear the television through the music if it was loud enough, but the headphones were able to separate the music from the background noise.
Since Monster paired with UFC to make these headphones, I also tried them while working out. I tried them both running and while at the gym doing weights. It wasn’t until I began working out that I realized the importance of sizing with headphones this big. I probably have a small head, but even at the smallest setting these headphones didn’t quite fit my head. If you are interested in investing in a pair of over-ear headphones, I would recommend that you try them first to ensure that your head is big enough to fill them out! The size of the headphones effected how well they stayed during my workouts. When doing weights, I found that the band of the headphones would start to slip on my head when I bent over during stretching and the size of the earpieces got in my way a bit when I was lifting weights above my head. When I was running, I barely noticed I was wearing them for the first 20 minutes but after that I found that they started to feel a bit heavy and my ears started to get hot. Therefore, I would probably recommend these headphones as a warm-up or cool down tool. Want to go for a quick warm-up run before a tennis match? Want to listen to some music while you stretch? Similar to what a UFC fighter would want out of a pair of headphones, the Monster Octagon headphones offer a high-quality sound experience to help you warm-up and cool down.
All in all, I was really impressed by these headphones. I loved the simple design and matte finish. I found the sound quality to be superior, with consistently clear bass, making it perfect for anyone that likes hip-hop or other genres with heavy bass and beats. They were comfortable for long periods of sitting at the office and though I wouldn’t recommend it for long runs, I found that these headphones were suitable for shorter runs and weight training.
So if you’re looking for a pair of headphones to pump you up before a game or cool you down after, I would recommend investing in a pair of high-quality Monster Octagon headphones.