A beast on your head.
Teeny tiny headphones are great for carrying around, to deliver a blast of tunes whenever you need it. But lets face it, in-ear earbuds just can't cut it in the performance stakes next to a chunky pair of over-ear cans, and that is just what we're reviewing today. Let's take a look at the Monster Elements Bluetooth Headphones.
This is a pair of relatively large headphones with cans that sit completely over your ears. The are wireless, using Bluetooth 4.0 with an aptX profile to keep lag to an absolute minimum, but also feature a traditional headphone jack for you to connect the included 3.5mm aux cable, should you wish. They also come with a Micro USB to Micro USB cable, so you can use your mobile devices data port to connect as well, and also a standard USB cable for charging.
On the right side can you'll find a single button, used for switching on the headphones and also for pairing the Bluetooth. All other controls are handled by a pretty innovative and swish touch control on the pylon between headphone and head band. There is nothing to tell that this particular region is special, it being completely void of markings, but there is in fact a lot going on there.
Swipe your fingertip up and down to control the volume level, while a single tap will play or pause the track. Tap twice to skip to the next song, or tap three times to go back a song. Its quite intuitive, and as the touch panel is easy to find without looking (because the headphones are on your head) it makes it easier to control the music than using standard buttons, or reaching for your phone. The controls can also be used to take calls, and as the headphones feature a built-in mic, you can chat happily away. Nice touch, Monster.
Despite their chunky size, the Monster Elements Bluetooth Headphones do fold up somewhat, and come with a soft carry with an internal pocket for the cables. As over-ear headphones go, the folded size isn't too bad at all, and we can imagine them sitting very happily in your commuting bag, without taking up too much space. The head band is also soft and flexible, while the angle of the cans themselves can be adjusted to find the most comfortable fit. The longest we wore them for was about three hours in one go, and they were never too tight, heavy, or uncomfortable.
In use, they sound pretty awesome, with a leaning toward a full and bassy sound. Over-ear headphones always sound more immersive, and in fact this is the first such pair we've reviewed in a while, so were happy to be reminded of that fact. Everything sounds crystal clear, with vocals and highs coming in clean and crisp, and lows and bass seeming to resonate down your spine. They do a great job of blocking out ambient noise, helped in no small way by the soft cushions on each can, so there isn't much need to up the volume all that much, keeping the sound smooth and under control (although, thanks to the cool touch controls, we loved playing around with the volume as much as possible!).
So they might be larger than you're used to, and a tad pricier, but the versatility of the connection is a sure winner. Having to keep them in carry case means you're already carrying around the aux and USB cable anyway, so even if you don't fancy setting up the Bluetooth (or are connecting to something without it) you have the option straight away.
Deep, rich sounds, comfortable on your noggin', and innovative controls... we like them a lot.