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Big gifts, Monster sound

These Monster NCredible headphones and earphones are yours if you subscribe to The New Paper by July 27. CLEMENT YAP (cyap@sph.com.sg) takes them for a spin

Monster NCredible N-Tune

I'm not much of a headphone person.

Personally, I've always thought of them as cumbersome and heavy, barely worth the improvement in sound quality over a pair of earphones.

But the NCredible N-Tune On-Ear Headphones by Monster may have finally won me over.

The bass is especially potent - enough to make me forget that I'm at my desk and not next to the speakers at a concert.

The heavy bass makes listening to dubstep, house and trance music an absolute joy, emphasising the notes at the appropriate moment.

However, smoother, calmer music doesn't benefit much from the heavy bass, so jazz fans may wish to invest in simple earphones instead.

Another outstanding feature is the amount of noise isolation.

Putting on the N-Tune is akin to stepping into a quiet, soundproof room. Without music, all I can hear is the ringing in my own ears.

The ear cups are unusually comfortable for headphones and you can listen to music for hours on end without any aching.

The N-Tune also has almost no sound leakage. I was able to play Dutch DJ Hardwell close to my computer's maximum volume without my cubicle neighbour hearing a peep.

GRIPES

For all its outstanding features, Monster dropped the ball a little when it came to practicality.

The headphones cannot be folded or disassembled for easier storage. Furthermore, the N-Tune does not come with any sort of carrying case, merely a fabric pouch, which is superfluous.

Unless you intend to wear the N-Tune around your neck when not in use, or you frequently tote a large backpack, the N-Tune is not suitable for use on the go.

For $249, Monster has created an absolute beast of a headphone whose sound quality far outweighs its minor design flaws. A must have for all audiophiles.


Monster NCredible N-Ergy

The NCredible N-Ergy In-Ear Headphones by Monster offers a good balance of sound quality, style, and cost.

You really get the most bang for your buck, so to speak.

For a pair of earphones, the N-Ergy has a strong bass. It won't be reverberating your chest, but it lends a pleasant kick to fast-paced songs.

The sound quality is crisp and clear and the noise isolation is decent.

I would especially commend Monster for the combination of anti-tangle cords and magnetic ear buds that allow you to magnetically "clamp" your ear buds behind your neck. One of the annoyances of modern life is having to wrestle with your earphones when you wish to use them, but this was hardly an issue with the N-Ergy.

It may be a minor feature, but it's the little things that helps Monster stand out from the crowd.

The N-Ergy, like its bigger cousin the N-Tune, is made for marathon music sessions.

The lightweight ear buds are soft and comfortable.

SNUG

I forgot I was wearing earphones after a few hours of continuous use.

It can even be used at the gym or on the track as the ear buds are very snug.

The N-Ergy manages to blend style with simplicity. The result: a subdued, yet eye-catching design.

My only complaint, if it can even be called that, is the steep price of $129. I try never to exceed $50 for earphones, but the N-Ergy is well worth the cost.


SUBSCRIBE AND WIN

All you have to do to own one of these amazing headphones is to subscribe to The New Paper.

Those who sign up will also be rewarded with attractive prizes in our biggest-ever Grand Draw.

The top prize: A Harley-Davidson Sportster worth $27,900.

Subscribers to the one-year plan will get to take home a gift of their choice: Monster NCredible N-Ergy In-Ear Headphones worth $129, or a Lomo Konstruktor DIY kit worth $58.

Those who sign up for two years will get to choose between the Sony Smartwatch 2 worth $288, and a pair of Monster NCredible N-Tune On-Ear Headphones worth $249.

To subscribe, simply visit www.tnpsub.com or call 6388-3838.