Review: Monster Gratitude In-Ear Headphones inspired by Earth, Wind, & Fire
November 23, 2012 by Bill Palmer
by Bill Palmer
Monster may have moved on from its Beats By Dre days, but the company continues to work with artists on audio product lines. The latest such example is Gratitude, a $199 earbud product inspired by the music of legends Earth, Wind, & Fire. These gold and brown hued earbuds feature flat and wide rubber band-style cables, and while the buds themselves are somewhat on the large design, the design keeps the buds far away enough from the post that they’re plenty comfortable even if you have smaller ear canals. Included are a dozen pairs of tips of different sizes, from rubber to foam to triple flanged. And the carrying case is a flip wallet emblazoned with the EWF logo. As if to signify that this is a special edition product, the extra tips each get their own permanent notch within the packaging rather than simply being bagged up.
So does the audio quality measure up to the high expectations set by the famous faces on the box and the thoughtful packaging? In a word, yes, and surprisingly enough it’s accomplished by not tinkering with the sound. Monster brags that there’s been “nothing added, nothing left out” of the Gratitude, and that turns out to be an apt description. Rather than being tuned for one specific genre or favoring one range over another, as is so often the case these days, Gratitude simply sounds crisp and detailed across the board. By not cheating to excel in one genre, it instead sounds solid across all genres.
And that’s fitting for an Earth, Wind, & Fire branded product, as the group’s high harmony vocals, driving percussion, horn flourishes, and other intricacies have kept their music from even being confinable to any one genre. The catch here is that if you’ve grown accustomed to trendy earbuds which overemphasize bass at the expense of everything else, the balanced sound of Gratitude might throw you for a loop. But that’s your problem. This is what music is supposed to sound like.
Rating: 5 stars out of 5 • Price: $199 • monstercable.com