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Monster iSport earphones review

by RunningPip
Monday 1st May 2017
My relationship with these headphones went along the lines of…
“I don’t like these, they don’t stay in my ears”
“They do, you just need to fit the different size ear adaptors”
*fits larger ear adaptors*
“ah yes!  I love these headphones, they stay in your ears!”
Once I got over that hiccup, I had a chance to test these properly.  I think there is a lot to like about these headphones; they are great for runners because:
  • They stay in your ears
  • The sound quality is very good
  • They let in some ambient noise so you can hear what’s going on around you
  • The battery life, 6 to 7 hours, should last most runs
Monster make a range of headphones –  and not surprisingly, it was the iSport line we were interested in.  I tested a pair of the iSport Intensity, and found them to be ideal for running and exercising in general – as soon as you have the fitting right.  They come with 3 sizes of ‘wings’ that are interchangeable with the earbuds meaning you should find a combination that work for you.


The headphones are Bluetooth, in ear types, although not the classic silicone ear tips that you push right into your ears.  The ear pieces are designed so rather than isolating all the ambient noise with a snug fit ‘plug’ like tip, they have three thin, flexible fins that help the ear buds stay in place, keeping out some noise, but letting some in.  This is great as it means you do get to hear what is going on around you, as well as being able to hear the music.  Ideal for running.
There is an inline remote, microphone and micro USB charge point built into the cable, which is balanced on the other side of the flat, tangle resistant cord by a counter weight, so they are not dragged to one side when in use.  They also have a reflective strip along the cord, which should help make you more visible in low light conditions.
The sound quality is surprisingly good – although not as good as some of the noise isolating models – they provide a good compromise between sound quality and background noise.  The bass is reasonable, but this is fine for me as I don’t expect amazing sound reproduction via a phone when I’m running.  What these provide is decent quality tunes, to keep me focused or distracted, depending on the requirement at that time, with the ability to hear what’s going on around me.  When out and about in very noisy places (i.e. when commuting wearing them on the tube), the sound can get a bit drowned out, but that’s the compromise unfortunately.
I’ve been testing these for a month or so now, mostly running, but also doing HIIT type workouts and generally for work and play, and they are a great all round headphone.  They are snug and secure, and very comfortable to wear.  I’ve had them in for 4 hours on the go, and didn’t really notice I was wearing them.  They stay in my ears very well, even when very sweaty and bouncing about as much as I could.  
Being Bluetooth, they are ideal for the iPhone 7, and the inline remote and microphone is Apple compatible, and easy to use.  I’ve used these for making phone calls and they seem to be fine for this – I’ve not had complaints about the microphone quality. Pairing with an iPhone and MacBook has also been easy, and achieved first time of asking.  
The battery life, at about 6 hours, is good, and they charge from flat to ‘high’ in an hour or so via USB from a laptop. When you turn them on, they tell you the battery level (‘Battery level High!’), which is a nice touch.  Although as the battery level gets ‘low’, they repeatedly tell you they are low, which gets rather annoying, and wastes battery unnecessarily.
Overall, these are a very versatile set of Bluetooth headphones.  If you like a well-fitting, comfortable headphone that stay in, without having to jam silicone eartips into your ears, these could well be ideal.  They provide decent sound quality, and let in some background noise to you can stay safer when running outside.  The battery life is good, they are lightweight (18g), and they seem pretty durable / there is very little you can break on them.
My only complaint is that when it’s very noisy outside, you can lose the sound.  Otherwise, they come recommended.
More information about Monster headphones can be found here. They're priced at £79.99.

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