Monster is known for their quality audio products and they have their bases covered with gadgetry from speakers to headphones and cables. New are several additions to the brand’s SuperStar line: wireless Bluetooth speakers called the S-series.
Monster SuperStar wireless speakers review
There are three different types of speakers in the line: the large size, 4-driver S300, the medium 3-driver S200, and the very compact, portable and wallet-friendly 2-driver S100 . The SuperStar Series is made for the outdoors and it’s water resistant. The S100 and S200 can float, making them perfect for the beach and pool.
- The speakers are each rechargeable via a micro USB cable and have varying battery life. Interestingly I got different battery life numbers from Monster’s website, and off the package. I didn’t have them long enough to verify the claims, but here they are:
- Monster SuperStar S100: Website: 6 hours, Package: 9+ hours
- Monster SuperStar S200: Website& package: 15 hours
- Monster SuperStar S300: Website: 15+ hours, pacakge: 14+ hours
Each speaker in the set is also waterproof, weatherproof, and splash-proof and all have been given the rating of IPX7.
- Other features or Monster S-series:
- Carry strap
- Can be used as power bank
- Can be used flat or standing
Set up Monster SuperStar speakers
Set up for each of the three speakers is largely the same, and it’s dead easy. Just power on the speaker and it will say, “Discovering”. Then go to your phone’s Bluetooth menu and look for the Monster speaker that you are trying to set up. Tap to connect and you’re ready to go. Each of the speakers I set up worked exactly this way, and was flawless each time.
Size considerations: Monster S100, S200, S300
The speakers are each a step up in size; the smallest, the S100 is smaller than an orange. The S200 is about the size of two fists, and the S300 is about as big as a large travel mug. While they’re all light, they are hefty and feel durable and rugged. Monster says these speakers are designed to be durable for outdoor use, and this bears out in terms of feel.
I tested the three speakers out with a variety of music:
- Matthew Good: Rico
- Sir Sly: High
- Simple Minds: Don’t You
- Alice Merton: No Roots
- Big Sugar: Diggin a Hole
- LL Cool J: Hey Lover
- Cold War Kids: So Tied Up
Use & Sound quality: Monster S100, S200, S300
It was hard to know how to connect this tiny speaker initially; particularly since it appears to have no visible buttons. It turns out one of the black rubberized end caps also doubles as a power button. Push and hold it for a few seconds and it will automatically go into pairing mode. From there, go to your devices settings menu, to the Bluetooth settings and you should see the speaker there. I did and it connected instantly. You’ll control volume on your smartphone, since there’s no buttons on this version.
Right away I noticed how powerful this speaker was. At high volume it was actually vibrating the table it was sitting on, so I think the bass is pretty solid, even despite the speaker’s small size.
The Monster SuperStar S100 is no bigger than my fist but it really cranked out the music and easily filled my main floor.
I didn’t notice any major distortion but it did get a little raspy or tinny sounding on the high end when it was near max volume. Audiophiles might pick up on his but I think most folks would be pretty pleased with how it sounds.
Again, very good sound quality with no major distortion. Like the S100, it did get a little raspy or tinny sounding on the high end when it was near max volume. At 50% volume, you can easily sit beside this speaker and not have it seem overwhelmingly loud.
It can be turned up to deafeningly loud and still sounds good.
The bass on this version is definitely good too, but it’s not nearly as strong as the S300.
This speaker is so powerful, I couldn’t use it at more than 50% volume when it was close to me. The bass is powerful and the sound is pretty good. At about 60% volume, it was still too loud, even when I placed it in another room. Impressive. The S300 also stayed connected to my iPhone even across the house with no breakup noticeable.
The bass on the S300 is very powerful and rumbles whatever surface it’s sitting on.
Comparative sound quality
I’d say overall each of these speakers sounds great, and each is definitely a step up from the other, so which one you should choose comes down to your budget and how much you want to focus on quality.
Outdoor sound quality Monster S100, S200, S300
Since these speakers are made for the outdoors, it’s good to test them there. It’s all too easy for wireless speakers to sound great in a closed room but bleed sound away outside.
I can happily report that each of these three speakers performed startlingly well outside. Again, the bigger and more powerful the version you choose, the better it’s going to sound and the louder and more space-filling it’ll be. But I’d say, each of the Monster SuperStar S100/S200/S300 was able to fill my backyard with sound at about 70% volume—loud enough to rock the neighbours, in my opinion.
I did notice that when I dashed indoors, about 40 feet away while doing an outdoor test the S300 did disconnect, not surprisingly.
Pairing speakers to each other
Unfortunately, these speakers can’t be linked to each other to create multiroom or stereo sound. That seems like a bit of an oversight, especially when so many other speakers can connect to each other. Initially I thought they could be paired, reading the specs on Monster’s website, “Quick Convenient Pairing with NFC Compatibility,” as meaning you could link them. Nope. That refers only to pairing the speakers to your smartphone or device.
Overall review of Monster SuperStar S100/S200/S300
These speakers are very easy to set up, making them a great choice for kids or seniors. Their rugged durability will make them a great choice for hikers, campers and RVers, particularly since they’re waterproof.
While the design and just black colour availability is a bit dull, particularly compared to some offerings from Sony or JBL (click those links to read recent reviews) but you’re buying it mainly for how it sounds, not how it looks.
The sound quality of these speakers is surprisingly good. They’re shockingly loud and powerful, meaning they’re great for a party on the go. Another feature I found handy? If you stop playing music for about 10-15 minutes, the speakers will automatically shut off with a robotic, “goodbye!” To conserve battery life. Handy.
Overall, I’d recommend any of the three if you’re looking for a great wireless speaker option, so long as you’re heart’s not set on multiroom audio.
The speakers are available online at BestBuy.ca