Monster’s N-ERGY Headphones: All Style, No Substance [Review]

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Monster collaborated with rapper/actor Nick Cannon to make the N-ERGY “high performance in-ear headphones.” I put the last part in quotes because the N-ERGY headphones ($70) are neither “high performance” nor “in-ear.”

I’m not an audiophile, but I appreciate and know good sound when I hear it. It took a total of 15 minutes for me to realize that the “NCredible” (yes, that phrase is used to market the product) N-ERGY headphones are awful. They look great, but they’re about as painful to listen to as Nick Cannon’s comedy.

I’ve been happily using Shure SE210 earphones for a couple years, and while they’re a little more than double the price of the N-ERGY buds, it’s difficult to not notice the huge difference in quality. If there was one word I could use to summarize the N-ERGY headphones, it would be clangy. The sound lacks a decent amount of bass in most cases, and the treble always sounds a little too high.

In terms of design, the N-ERGY buds look pretty hip and trendy. The cords feel super thin and pretty cheap, but they’re easy to fold. Despite offering three sets of earbuds for different ear sizes, I could never get them to stay in my ears. Although I wasn’t expecting noise cancelation, the buds did a pretty terrible job of overpowering ambient noise around me. One thing I did appreciate was that the buds can magnetically clip together.

The little ‘ControlTalk’ button works with the iPhone to let you play/pause music, answer a call, etc. There’s no volume rocker, so don’t expect a hands-free listening experience.

Unfortunately, the best part about purchasing the N-ERGY headphones is opening the box.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆