Monster Gratitude Headphones Lightning Review: Shining Stars You Can't Take AnywhereS

Beats by Dre are great for listening to hip hop and looking cool around the city. But if you're not into their bottom-heavy sound, you're left out of the party.

What Is It?

These are in-ear headphones tuned to the specifications of Earth, Wind, & Fire, so they're designed for a big brassy band with lots of harmonic layers—or in theory, for any band.

Who's it For?

People who want Beats for listening to things other than beats.

Design

The buds have an angled design that's supposed to lock into your ears nicely, and they come with a multitude of tips in different shapes and sizes. The headphones ditch the usually rounded-back design for a bulkier, boxy shape. They're dressed up in a flashy rose-gold finish.

Using It

The headphones produce beautiful, immersive sound. As promised they do an incredible job with brass, percussion, and vocals, but the bottom-end sounds great, too. They're less comfortable than most other headphones, but it's awfully nice that those thick wires never get tangled.

The Best Part

They sound so good that you'll use them at your desk instead of your over-ear headphones. Because of their unique tuning you'll hear textures and details in your music you've never heard before.

Tragic Flaw

They're unbelievably annoying to use while walking around the city (see test notes below).

This Is Weird...

Earth, Wind, & Fire sounds predictably dope, but Judas Priest...? We weren't expecting these headphones to capture Rob Halford's gruff vocals in all their awesomeness.

Test Notes

• The sound is laser-focused on certain mid-high and high frequencies. You'll never think about a snare drum the same way again. While it does give your music a slight metallic shimmer, the sound is never bright or distorted.

• Despite being designed for "real" instruments, these headphones will serve you well on the low-end so you can listen to beat-based music. They did especially well with nerdy electronic music in which producers meticulously pan and phase every single detail.

• Monster has succeeded in creating a product as eye-catching as Beats. People will give you looks when you're wearing them around the city. If like us you don't find the fashion-forward styling all that appealing, it can be pretty embarrassing.

• Speaking of walking around, the buds and cables are heavier than the norm and they just won't stay put when you're on the move, no matter which of the millions of tips you're using.

Should You Buy It?

You should buy these headphones if you're the type of person who has a couple of hundred dollars to spend on an auxiliary set of earbuds that you only wear around the house. They're too impractical to be your everyday headphones, but darn it, they sound so good that you might find yourself reaching for them as you walk out the door.

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Monster Gratitude Headphones
• Price: $230
Gizrank: 3.5