Monster? Ew. They make those GROSS Beats right? Well, yes, that’s very true, but they also make the fantastic Turbine series. How fantastic? Well, do you consider thumping bass, highs as smooth as silk, and a smoky midrange fantastic, then read of! And you’re in luck! This review contains both the Gold and Copper versions!
The Copper review shall go first:
The doorbell rang. I saw the FedEx truck leave, so I walked out the door to see if a package had come. Strange. A medium sized box with Monster written on it. Could it really be the Lady Gaga Heartbeats I’ve been wanting for ages!? I quickly bring the packing in, and take a knife at the box to open it.
Much to my dismay, it was not the lovely Heartbeats. Instead, even better. A pair of Turbine Pro Copper Editions! I was chosen to review these for FREE. (Thanks!) Despite this, I’ll try to be as unbiased as possible. To be honest, I had low expectations for these after being disappointed with the Beats. Even more so by the Solos. Don’t get me wrong, the Beats sound “okay”, but nowhere near the asking price. I’d probably buy them for $75, if just as headphones to use outside and not look like a dork. Audio Technica A500s are an example of dorky looking headphones I had. I’d have liked some accuracy and neutrality, and some good damping. And the bass to actually reach 30hz on a frequency response graph. The bass was too boomy and uncontrolled and headache inducing, mids were sucked out, and treble, yeah what treble? I’d like to think the Beats Pro are much better. If they improved the driver and damped it properly, I’m sure they are, and I’d like to hear them. (Update: The Pros have been released since the creation of this review. Spoiler alert–I like the Coppers better.) Monster, are you listening? The Solos however, depress me, mostly because I know Monster can make a better sounding headphone. Yes, I’ve heard them. They were pretty bad for the price. I wonder how they’d do if properly damped though. I’d like to hear them. Anyways, if Monster does as well with its full sized headphones as they’ve done with the Coppers, they’ll surely lose that stigma.
Beautiful packaging, and the famed quote, “Life is too short to listen to bad headphones.” is all too true. Once the box is opened–it comes with a very nice smell–, you see the Coppers in all their glory with a very nice magnetic flap case. Under the magnetic case is another magnetic pouch-case. I probably could have done without the “For Audiophiles and Audio Professionals Only” phrase on the other case. Sounds too condescending and snobby to a normal user like me.
Under the velvet lined top portion, you find everything else you need. You find the awesome Supertips, a new innovation by Monster; it comes in foam-silicone hybrid and gel filled silicone. You also have some normal silicone tips, and some triple-flange tips. There’s a–unnecessary, in my opinion–cleaning cloth too. I don’t see the purpose because the Coppers are miniscule, but why not right? There’s also a nice shirt clip, a necessity, and a really snazzy 6.3mm adapter for those who want to use them in their receivers or headphone amp. There’s also a really cool tip holder. And there are manuals. Obviously. The earpieces are pretty weighty in your hand, but when worn, you barely notice them on. I honestly expected them to fall off, surprisingly, they hold up well. The cable joiner has a pretty cool rubber section that I know has a use, but I haven’t really found it out yet. I was told I had to say something about the “cable management system”. This is actually just a pair of Velcro strips. They could be convenient if you weren’t absentminded like me, but I personally don’t find much use to them except as something to lose.
Put simply, these are pretty well made. In more words, this is a two-piece earpiece made of metal. Despite being named Coppers, these are not actually made of copper. Don’t think that they are going to turn green on you, they’re just plated with copper color. The cable is pretty beefy, flexible, and tangle resistant, but it’s somewhat microphonic and has a bit of memory. The strain reliefs going into the earpiece are really well made, but the strain relief to the plug could be a bit better, nothing to complain about though. The “turbine” slits on the earpiece seem to be overkill, but they look nice and don’t seem like they’ll break off.
They may look a bit gaudy in person, but kind of blend to your skin.
(Oh, when I took this picture, I was too lazy to make a good seal.)
I tried every tip on these and the foam Supertips gave the best seal and least tradeoffs in sound, in my opinion. I’ll post my thoughts on each tip in the actual review.
Okay, so as giddy as a schoolgirl (I‘ve never understood that simile to be quite honest), I plug these in my HTC HD2. I was too lazy to look for my iPod. The first album I played was Like A Virgin Losing A Child by Manchester Orchestra, a band (Think Modest Mouse, but with more emotional lyrics with biblical allusions) that really should be getting more fame.
The first thing I noticed after making a good fit was “This has pretty good head stage.” Wolves at Night’s drumstick clap intro had amazing positioning for an IEM. It was like I could almost measure the exact distance. Guitars have decent, not great crunch to them, vocals are forward but lack body. It’s like the singer is suspended in the air. I Can Feel Your Pain is a simple vocal/acoustic guitar song. The key to portraying this song right is to convey the emotion in Andy Hull’s voice, which I don’t feel the Coppers do. The guitar does have really good timbre and tone though. Where Have You Been sounded pretty good. The drums have good impact, vocals are much better than the previous song. The power in Andy’s voice is finally shown. Guitars seem to be less “there”. They began to sound recessed. Again, headstage is wonderful. I Can Barely Breathe wonderfully shows how great the headstage is. Andy is about three feet from me to the left. I understand most of you people on Amazon and Monster reading this will think I’m insane, but trust me, that’s how great positioning is with a perfect fit. Detail is also one of the highlights. Breaths are easy to recognize, along with swallowing, which also sounds weird, but you guys know what I mean. Vocals and guitars are more of the same. The drums seem to take a back seat though. There are some incomprehensible words at the end though which slightly upsets me. Golden Ticket has nothing new worth saying, except the end where Andy seems to walk away from the microphone. Positioning again is great. Don’t Let Them See You Cry is, like I Can Feel Your Pain, is a vocal/acoustic song. Emotion is actually shown in this song. Don’t know what changed, but I like it. I like placebo.
In short, mids and highs are pretty decent. Lows shine on these. Detail is great, head stage is pretty good.
Okay, so long first impressions right? Time for actual review. For this review, I’m using three different sources. An HTC HD2, A Sony A726, and an iPod Video 5th Gen. The HD2 is, frankly, nothing special. There isn’t really enough power to fully appreciate these, and the mids are thin. Bass has a nasty dip with these, most likely because of power constraints. The Sony A726 is a warm sounding player with nice soundstage. For you laymen, a warm sound is a boosted low and lower mid frequencies. And the iPod, despite what most anti-Apple people say, sounds decent. Now, I have no Apple bias, on the contrary in fact, but these have one of the flattest frequency responses I’ve heard in a digital audio player. There will be no headphone amp used for two reasons. First (For your Head-Fi folk) is because most people have never heard of a headphone amplifier, so I don’t really want to confuse the people reading this on Amazon and Monster. Second, probably more paramount, I broke mine. Whoops. As an aside, did you know that “whoops” is an actual term in the Word dictionary? Anyways, I burned these in for 100 hours. Now, I’m not really a believer of burn in, more of “brain in”, but I figured I might as well to please all of you. Anything else? No? Well on to the review!
…Hold on a sec. You might me wondering what kind of sound I’m used to and expecting from these. My reference that I can readily compare to is the AKG K271, a neutral headphone. I really like a mid forward sound with bass being the last thing I nit pick about because I’m not really a fan of huge bass. Normally that wouldn’t be so weird, however, most people my age like TEH BAZZ 2 B AZ BEEG N DIIP AZ P055I813. No, that actually irks me. I’ve never gotten the point of having an earthquake in your head. If you want an earthquake in your head, I have some fireworks I need to get rid of. I’ll provide instructions. BUT WAIT, I’ll give them to you for free if you put me in your will. Anyways, I know this is probably a rather long review, so I’ll try to make it as entertaining as I can.
This review isn’t meant to be the end-all definitive review, as I just don’t have enough experience to do that. This is more of my personal view on these more than anything. If you disagree, fine. I’d like to know how you have the same hearing as me. And if you don’t like my review, cool, you write one that impresses everyone (and I mean Every. Single. Person.) and then you can flame me. But if you have issues with my grammar, please tell me what I did wrong. I’d like to improve on that.
I’ll be exploring quite a few genres in this review to try to cover everyone’s preferences. I know well that I can’t get everything, so sorry about that. And I’ve been in a school band since 4th grade, so I know what instruments are supposed to sound like and how quickly/slowly they decay. And this review will feature the iPod headphone out as the source because of its neutrality. I’ll post snippets of how the others sound too. And all music is 256kbps and up. Caveat, everything I say is FOR AN IEM. Especially the soundstage. I’m used to almost no soundstage with iems. I would not be surprised if a full size headphone of the same price wiped the floor with them. Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if these wiped the floor with some other manufacturers’ high end headphones. Not like Bose or the Beats, the Coppers just laugh at them and do the, “Hey, what’s that on your shirt?” “What?” *flick* trick. Skullcandy? What? Skullcandy displeases me; don’t talk to me again. I’m talking about Audio Technica, AKG, Beyerdynamic, Denon, Grado, Sennheiser, and Sony.
Basic sound: If any of you read a review saying these are neutral, they are most likely bassheads. Or there are discrepancies with the sound of the different Coppers between batches. I hope it’s the former. The bass is a good bit more than neutral headphones should have, and the mids are pretty forward. These are not neutral, in my opinion. These are purely fun headphones, no way around that. Etymotics are my basis of neutral (only heard the ER6is though), and apparently the head Monster used the ER4s as a reference, There isn’t all that much they have in common. For example, the treble on the Coppers is smooth (really pleasant) whereas Etys’ treble is almost anything but. You can also hear some veil in some songs. Not too sure whether it’s the recording or the Coppers though. One more thing, these like to be turned up loud to perform their best. Probably more of a bad thing than good.
Highs: These do highs great, in their own way. Now, there are quite a few bases to judge highs, and different types of treble. Well in my view anyways. Rock needs a good bit of treble energy for aggression. Classical needs, or at least likes, treble that extends to dolphin ranges while being refined and smooth. Maybe a bit exaggerated, but I’m here to entertain you instead of boring you. Electronic and pop likes treble that’s a bit of both. More leaning towards rock, but without as much aggression. The Coppers do all of these well. But not perfectly. They don’t go infinitely high for classical music, but they make up for that by being incredibly smooth and for the most part, unfatiguing. They can be slightly aggressive for rock music when the song calls for it though, which is quite impressive.
Mids: My favorite part of the spectrum. This is where the magic happens. This is the backbone of music. This is…Sparta? (“Nice magic three” I hope you grammar people are thinking. I couldn’t really think of one for the last one, so I reused an old meme. Hope that‘s okay.) The mids on the Coppers are admittedly forward, just how I like it. Vocals are conveyed really well, along with instruments in the same frequency range. If anything is precedent in the Coppers, the mids may well be it.
Bass: This is probably what most of you were waiting for, sadly. The bass in the Coppers is more than I’m used to. There’s something special about these. The bass is polite when the recording calls for tight and fast bass. The bass can also be thunderous yet quick when the recording calls for it. These probably have some of the best controlled bass out of all the universal iems. Please take note on the word PROBABLY. I haven’t heard nearly enough to make a guess that bold, but just to express my enthusiasm of the bass.
Soundstage: So to have PROPER soundstage, you need a lot of air for the drivers. Iems just aren’t able to do that, so I don’t expect any out of head sound for these. Thankfully, I was wrong, to an extent. They don’t have huge soundstage, in an absolute scale, but they have great soundstage for an iem.
Detail: For $400, I expect to know if a saxophone player is wearing a corduroy shirt. Well, not really, but I expect to hear some micro-details. I don’t think I heard enough to justify the price tag, but I heard some details that I didn’t hear in others. Some whispers were hearable, but in a “What was that?” way. You could hear them, but not make out what was being said. It made me feel kind of sad and left thinking my hearing’s not that hot.
Decay: Decay, for you non-music savvy people, is how fast the vibrations an instrument causes to stop. Decay on the Coppers is about a bit better than average. Not completely realistic, nor do I expect them to for an iem.
Sibilance: Pretty much no sibilance. If you’d like the “ssss“ sound, give me your address. I might have a snake for you.
Isolation: Pretty decent. I was able to mow the lawn while listening to these and not hear the lawn mower. Provided you listen to aggressive music. Don’t expect to not hear anything while listening to mellow acoustic music.
PRaT: These have a good amount of it. It’s hard not to tap your toes along to any music you’re listening to with these.
I’ll start this off with one of my favorite Death Cab for Cutie albums, The Photo Album. Steadier Footing is one of my favorite songs on the album to get lost in. It’s a cute song that’s much too short. Ben Gibbard’s voice is conveyed wonderfully in this song. The Coppers really seem to like high frequencies. The guitar has nice tone and detail, drums have nice impact and really good decay, if a bit too fast for my liking. A Movie Script Ending is a song that shows the prowess of how good the positioning of the Coppers is. Drums are about two feet behind the guitars, vocals are a foot ahead of you. Drums, like always, have great impact, guitars seem a bit fuzzy though. The bass (guitar) is kind of mushy here. Stability’s piano intro is a bit dark (as in dark sounding, not depressing) Ben sounds kind of mixed in with everything, but it’s fun to hear him almost miss a beat at about 1:11. Regardless, Ben getting the air out his lungs sounds heavenly. Pun intended. Information Travels Faster’s tambourines sound a bit off, which surprised me considering how well the Coppers convey highs. Ben’s vocals still sounded blended in, but less so. Piano is rendered pretty well. Rhythm bass sounded washed out yet again. Blacking Out the Friction’s intro sounded really good. The guitar sounded crunchy, the synth was impact along with the drums, but there’s a slight veil that bugged me. Melody and harmony vocals are an improvement. Styrofoam Plates’ vocals shone on the Coppers. Drums sounded a bit off on this song though as if covered by a veil. Cymbals were nice and never tinny. Debate Expresses Doubt brings back the veil to the vocals, which makes me think it was intentional, because there’s no way that there can be an alternating veil in every song. If so, I either give the producer a cookie for being creative, or a kick in the knee for making me suffer. Most likely the latter because danger is not my middle name.
The HD2 made the veils more noticeable, Ben’s vocals weren’t as pretty, and the rhythm bass just sounded strange. Drums were about equally impact though. Guitars lost their crunch. The Sony A726 gave more body to the vocals and drums. Rhythm bass fleshed out.
Now for some industrial music, Nine Inch Nails for this review. Mr. Self Destruct’s intro was actually pretty cool with the THX 1138 sample. The song picks up aggressively which the Coppers do wonderfully. Vocals sound belligerent, and the whispers of “and I control you” are completely comprehensible and send shivers down my back. The effects are portrayed pretty well. Piggy’s bass is shown wonderfully and the Coppers don’t break a sweat. Vocals are gritty, in a good way. Whispers are yet again chilling. Closer’s intro has great impact, if a bit too much for my liking. Synth is great throughout. Vocals are spot on in my opinion. They seem recessed, but it adds to the effect, sounding about ten feet away. Whispers are incomprehensible though. Big Man With a Gun sounds off. Like there’s a screen over everything, but at the same time, aggressively wonderful. A Warm Place is great. Impact and detail is shown wonderfully. Eraser’s intro was portrayed pretty well. The drums are epic. The guitars sound pretty good and “strange” as intended. The Downward Spiral’s white noise sounded well, not really any words to describe that. The acoustic guitar sounded crisp. Vocals were ominous. Think the last thing you hear before you’re dragged down a hole to the abyss. Hypothetically. I’d be pretty scared if I actually was dragged somewhere while listening to his song.
On the HD2 it sounded a bit lifeless and digital. On the A726, everything was improved. Drums had more impact, vocals were more growly. Guitars had more bite, synth and such had more effect.
Now for Ska, featuring Streetlight Manifesto’s Somewhere In the Between. We Will Fall Together’s trumpet intro sounded nice and crisp, saxophones were wonderful, though I may be biased. I’m a saxophone player myself. Rhythm bass seemed a bit slow. Vocals were forward. Would You Be Impressed’s guitar intro was sparkly, vocals were a bit more shouty than I’d like, but acceptable for the genre. The bass was quicker in this song. Trumpets shone here too. Guitars were groovy and PRaT (Pace, rhythm, and timing) was high here. It’s nearly impossible not to tap your foot along to this song. One Foot On The Gas, One Foot In The Grave’s bass and guitar intro was crisp sounding and hypnotic. The melody and harmony vocals were as mesmerizing as the intro. Drums kind of take a back seat and aren’t very prevalent. Cymbals are sparkly. Sax and trumpet are smooth and retain their flavors without mixing. Forty Days’ trumpet/trombone melody is a joy to listen to. The Coppers portray them pretty well. Bass and guitar is a lot of the same, no need to get into detail here. The Receiving End of It All has a really nice trumpet/trombone/bass intro that the Coppers breeze through without a sweat. Vocals are still a bit shouty, but it’s more likely the recording than the Coppers. You wouldn’t believe how many times my finger somehow slipped from “a” to “e” in this section. Weird.
The HD2 didn’t render highs nearly as nicely, and the same problems as the other albums. The A726 shone with this album, bettering the iPod in every way except maybe in speed.
Now alternate rock, featuring A Perfect Circle’s Thirteenth Step. The Package has a nice intro with the drums beating behind you and the melody guitar about three feet in front. After the intro, guitar takes its place, never sounding “off”. Rhythm bass was strong and detailed, you could hear White’s fingers move up and down the strings. Keenan’s voice retains his distinct character, range shifts never sound strained. Blue’s guitars sound wonderfully distorted. Drums have impact but are not intrusive. Vocals have a euphoric tone to them. It’s difficult to explain correctly. A Stranger’s acoustic guitar has wonderful tone and timbre to them. Keenan’s voice still retains entrancing. At about 1:12, when Maynard’s voice drifted to the right channel, I had to look around to make sure that there really was nobody there. Violins sound amazing on the Coppers. Crimes’ percussion intro had a strange effect. The impact was scarce, but was prevalent at the same time. Bass remained the same as The Package’s. Whispers and the ending, whatever it was, were pretty comprehensible. Pretty cool. The Nurse Who Loved Me yet again has a euphoric sound to it. Vocals sound masked, in a vintage way, you know like when you hear an old recording? Pet’s gritty guitar/bass sounds wonderful and rendered aggressively. Vocals are more prevalent here than the other songs on the album, which is probably more of a mastering technique than Copper magic though. Drums have good impact and decay. To those of you who were expecting a Tool album here in place of a Perfect Circle album, get over it you OGTs. Must you spend 10,000 days in the fire? Will all the pain be all an illu-u-u-usion? *inserts Undertow and Opiate pun*
The HD2 kind of fails on this album. The dynamics are a bit more compressed than the other players and loses emotion. The A726 presented the album with more ferocity. Everything had more grunt to it.
Time for some metal, and I like my metal just like I like my coffee. “With cream and sugar…? So like some weird Japanese metal with Namie Amuro or something? She‘s pretty sweet and smooth.” No? What are you talking about? I was going to say black, but that’s actually more accurate to my coffee tastes. Now that that’s out of my system, I’ll be using Sigh’s Hail Horror Hail, so Japanese, but no Namie for you Jpop lovers in the closet. I know you like Jpop, don’t lie. I KNOW. With the song of the same title, you can hear the distinct coughing in the intro. And, I didn’t think it was possible, but I can understand most of the lyrics pretty well. This goes for every song in the album. Guitars were aggressive, drums have okay impact in this song. 42 49’s whispers in the intro are incomprehensible, sadly. Synth sounds, well, synthy. Guitars had more grunt to them than the previous song. The growls sounded ominous and somewhat realistic. Drums were actually pretty veiled. 12 Souls’ intro was pretty cool, especially the binaural dog. Other than that, nothing else of notability that I hadn’t said before. Guitars did seem to have more bite though. Invitation To Die’s drum intro was really impactful. I could ALMOST feel it. Synth was rendered really well. Bassline was quick and not very noticeable. Curse of Izanagi fully showed how much PRaT that Coppers have.
The HD2 actually sounded somewhat decent with this album. A726 somehow sounded pretty veiled with this album.
Now I’ll make a drastic switch to some…BLUEGRASS! I’m not really a bluegrass fan, so bear with me please. I’ll be using the O Brother Where Art Thou OST. Yeah, probably not ideal, but I know basically nothing about the genre. Po’ Lazarus’ “rock breaking” throughout the song has a pretty cool effect. The right channel plays first then the left half a second later, giving a cool binaural effect, anyways the Coppers do positioning well and the Coppers seem to like jazzy vocals. Big Rock Candy Mountain’s “vintage” effect is done well, and the banjo is detailed. Vocals are also rendered well with body. You Are My Sunshine’s banjo and whatever other instrument (sorry!) sounds pretty realistic. Vocals are smooooooth. Allison Krauss’ vocals Down To The River To Pray are just wonderful. Tone and texture is so easy to get lost in. Keep On the Side’s instrumentals are detailed and just fun. The Coppers show a lot of PRaT here. Vocals are nothing special here, but still good. I’ll Fly Away also features Krauss along with Gillian Welch. Vocals are still amazing but have a weird coloration to them. Didn’t Need Nobody But the Baby has three wonderful women for vocals. Krauss, Welch, and Emmylou Harris. The three voices blend wonderfully and are fully distinguishable between each other. I Am Weary, Let Me Sleep is rendered beautifully, melody and harmony vocals are separated perfectly, instrumentals are crisp and clear. Man of Constant Sorrow’s acoustic guitar is kind of muffled, yet makes you tap your feet. Vocals are decent. They’re also veiled, but listenable. O Death is strictly vocals from Ralph Stanley. Chilling vocals at that. The Coppers make his voice raspy and makes my spine cringe. They have done well. Angel Band sounds really pretty, but the song is recorded pretty badly and clips a lot. The Coppers catch all the faults, whether they were intentional or not. What is listenable, is pretty. Yup, so I just demonstrated I know nothing about bluegrass. You’re welcome.
The HD2 did pretty well, until the female vocals. They just can’t do them justice. The A726 make the female vocals shine even more and gave everything more body.
Speaking of female vocals, Hayley Westenra’s Pure is next up. Pokarekare Ana shows her wonderful vocals and a beautiful string section. Never Say Goodbye is awe-inspiring. Not only is Hayley’s voice beautifully conveyed, but the Coppers don’t even break a sweat with the high frequencies. Violin is kind of veiled here though. River of Dreams’ is a better indicator of how well the Coppers do high frequencies. Piano and violin have a weightless character to them. Dark Waltz takes advantage of the Copper’s wonderful soundstaging. Piano three feet to the left. Violins on either side beside Westenra. Vocals seem suspended in the air and the high notes are always perfect. Amazing Grace’s instrumentals are wonderful, vocals even better. Beat of Your Heart takes a more upbeat approach compared to the prior songs with a Latinesque instrumentals. The Coppers seem to struggle a bit in this song. For some reason, they seem strained and can’t keep up with the song, even though it’s relatively slow. However, it portrays the song wonderfully looking past its faults. Heaven’s violin/guitar intro is as smooth as can be, and vocals glide in just as smoothly. The lower frequencies seem a bit strained though. This girl simply amazes me.
The HD2 didn’t really do so hot here, causing Hayley to lose some body, and instrumentals weren’t as smooth. The A726 showed a slightly different flavor, giving the lower frequencies a bit more body, which isn’t really needed.
I was going to do a J-pop section, but I don’t really feel it’s needed. If you’d like to know how they perform in this genre, contact me somehow. I’m talking to you, metalheads. I saw you listening to Ayu, don’t deny it.
Time to Take Five and relax to some jazz. The Dave Brubeck Quartet’s Time Out 50th Anniversary for this round. Blue Rondo A La Turk’s is upbeat and detailed with great positioning. Drums on the left, piano to the right. Sax two feet in front, bass a foot to the right of the saxophone. The saxophone is smooth and “jazzy”. Strange Meadow Lark’s piano is smooth, but you can hear some static throughout. The bass’ timbre is spot on, but the decay is a bit too quick. Take Five’s drum intro is nice and realistic. Desmond’s saxophone is wonderfully smooth, but sounds a bit off. However, you can every breath being blown, which is pretty cool. Bass doesn’t show as good timbre in this song. The drum solo shows nice decay. Kathy’s Waltz’s piano does pretty decent here. Saxophone is just as smooth as Take Five. St. Louis Blues does pretty much everything right. Saxophone is quick and smooth, drums and bass have great decay and impact. Piano is realistic. Since Love Had Its Way’s percussion is quick, saxophone is still smooth and euphoric. Bass and piano kind of take a back seat though, as if covered by a veil. Pennies From Heaven’s bass is surprisingly quick and the Coppers never miss a note played by it. Sax is, I hate to use this word again, smooth and makes you want to get up and dance. Just put some clothes on first and x out that tab. I’m not legally allowed to see that.
The HD2 does pretty well here on the simpler sections, but has some trouble on the faster songs. The A726 is about on par with the iPod here. The Sony gives more boost to the bass and drums, while making the sax more euphoric, but slows everything down a bit. The Sony’s bigger soundstage does benefit this album though.
Classical next, I’ll be using Mahler’s Symphony No. 10 performed by the New York Symphony Orchestra. This will probably be a bit too short because I’ll admit, I’m not a classical person ironically. Violins are realistic and detailed. Trombones retain their deep brass sound, trumpets sound a bit uncontrolled and shouty, which can’t be right. French horns are a bit grainy. Clarinets sound, well, like a clarinet. The wooden sound is retained. Flutes are smooth and pleasant. Oboe sounds particularly nice on the Coppers. Drums have decent impact. Cymbals sound a bit restricted and grainy, but nothing major. It’s more than likely the recording or the rip. Soundstage is pretty wide and precise. This album is actually 156kbps, probably the worst genre to have a poor recording of, but please, bear with me. I’m a pathetic 90’s boy.
HD2 suffers here, sounding congested throughout, A726 sounds rather congested too, but the soundstage is wider here.
Time for a 180 and move to electronic music. I’ll be using Hallucinogen’s In Dub. First, Mi-Loony-Um. The intro is really funky with the soundstage, moving from left to right. The bass (I don’t quite know the term. Synth bass? Well that’s what I’ll be calling it, or referring to.) at the 2:30ish mark is really powerful and head-shaking. The entire song is an out-of-head song, quite impressive. Solstice is yet another great song for a strange atmospheric sound. It’s so easy to get lost in any of these songs. The Coppers really excel at electronic music. Gamma Goblins has a very cool dripping water intro that was so realistic, I thought a sink was on. The vocals, erm well story (?) is pretty trippy and liquidy (not liquid mids, mind you). Bass is nice and impactful, still head-shaking. L.S.D. has a strange intro speech masked by a veil but still entirely comprehensible. Other than that, not much else to say that hasn’t been said. I really don’t know how to talk about electronic music. Boom boom boom untz untz untz untz? What does that even translate to?
The HD2 kind of struggles here, not enough power for the Coppers so the bass isn’t as impactful. The A726’s warm sound and larger soundstage made electronic a treat.
Now for something a bit…comical. Prozzak‘s Saturday People, just for the heck of it. It’s still somewhat electronic, but more “commercial” and dance-y. The entire album is a good demonstration of the Copper’s PRaT. Pretty Girls was complete fun to listen to. Vocals are nasaly, as most likely intended, and guitars are just entertaining. They aren’t crunchy or aggressive, nor are they really supposed to be. Bass is strong, but never loose. Be As’ drums have nice impact, vocals are upbeat and toe-tapping. It’s Not Me It’s You has a vibration during the intro I’d never noticed, which kind of surprised me. Soundstage is kind of compact in this song, most likely the mastering. Bass has a bit of smear in this song. In the song Saturday People, the large soundstage returns. Not much else to say, this is a pretty uncomplicated song. Usted Es Muy Loco es una canción muy divertido! The guitar is wonderfully Latin sounding and the trumpets add to my enjoyment. Bass is huge in this song. Frankly, I wouldn’t have cared if it were sloppy, but to my delight, it isn’t. There’s no reason to analyze this song, just get lost in it, and the Coppers are great at that. Introduction to a Broken Heart’s door opening intro demonstrates the great soundstage and the dream fading part sounded really strange, in a good way. Think…yeah I’ll leave that to your imagination. Not too sure I can legally say what I was going to say. Not that I have experience, honestly! Really. Anyways, guitars are still exciting and toe-tap-inducing along with the pretty large bassline. The fact that this song reminds me of a pretty funny/ironic story helps with the funness (that’s right, I’m making up words now!) of this song. And one last Prozzak song from their album Hot Show. Anna-Lisa. The acoustic guitar is absolutely beautiful. Vocals show raw emotion and you’d have to be soulless not to feel a bit sad when you listen to this song. You can also hear, what is presumably, train departures leaving throughout. This is probably the 90’s equivalent to Lady Gaga, nay, that’s an insult to them.
The HD2 manages to take a good bit of fun out of the album and the A726 adds to the fun. No need to really go into detail here.
Time for some rap/hip hop. I’m not really a fan of this genre, so take this with a grain of salt. I’ll be using the Gorillaz’s Plastic Beach, which I do like a good bit. Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach’s bass goes pretty deep and impactful. Snoop Dog’s voice is impactful (like, you know right? Not bass impactful but chilling?) and smooth. White Flag’s flute is pretty and realistic. Violins (they ARE violins right?) sound a bit weird. Bass is almost headshaking. Vocals are hazy. Rhinestone Eyes’ synth and bass is well, nice? Really impactful and luscious. Damon’s vocals are hypnotic and smooth. Stylo’s constant bass rhythm is impactful through out and stays constant, showing how fast the Coppers are. Vocals are yet again hazy. It’s pretty annoying. In Superfast Jellyfish, the bass drum is huuuuuge has really quick, unrealistic decay. Synth bass is a bit less impactful. Vocals aren’t hazy unlike the previous songs. Empire Ants sounds beautiful and entrancing. Everything sounds wonderfully smooth. The Coppers really take kindly to the volume increase at about 2:28. They never falter, but I do have to turn the volume down a notch. Glitter Freeze doesn’t really have anything notable except that the Coppers convey the high synth sounds really well. The random speech parts are also pretty chilling. On Melancholy Hill maintains a constant bass rhythm that’s more of a background sound, which the Coppers do well at taming. Vocals have a vintage-y sound to them. Broken has some really nice effects to the song, and the Coppers do pretty well in that regard. Bass is yet again quick. Vocals are a bit recessed. Cloud of Unknowing’s breaking waves intro is pretty realistic. Vocals are nice and chesty. They remind me of an old jazz/soul singer’s voice in a way. Again, I dislike hip hop and rap. I’m far from your stereotypical teenager, and I’m far from your stereotypical Asian in America from the suburbs. Don’t like classical nor do I like rap.
The HD2 doesn’t really do much wrong with this album. A good bit less impact though. More things are fuzzy sounding. The A726 shines with this. Everything is improved over the iPod in regards to a fun sound.
Now for a favorite of mine. The Postal Service’s only album, Give Up. Such Great Heights’ almost iconic intro is done justice by the Coppers. There’s also an airy effect as if going up on the back of your head. Headstage is fantastic here. Vocals, which are smooth and soothing, move positions often in this song, causing a very cool effect. Synth is, well, catchy. Nothing Better shows Jen Wood’s and Ben Gibbard’s vocals wonderfully and distinctly, with euphoric tone. Clark Gable’s bassline is prevalent and powerful. Vocals are as above. The beeping is subtle, but acknowledgeable, which I never heard on most of my other headphones. This Place Is A Prison’s vocals are yet again, amazing. Gibbard’s voice never fails to calm you. Drums have good impact, synth is pretty sounding, never wonky. Brand New Colony has a strange sound, whatever it is, on the intro that drifts from left to right and becomes subtle when the music starts to pick up. Everything about the song sounds great. I’d like to use this as a petition for the Postal Service to make another album. Ben, Meet Me At the Equinox makes me want to vomit. Go back to the days of old. Please.
The HD2 is pretty decent with this album, missing a few details though. The A726 sounds a bit hazy with this album.
Indie next, featuring Metric’s Fantasies. Help I’m Alive’s synth bass is rendered well with decent impact, drums are pretty impactful too. Cymbals have sparkle. Vocals are smooth and gritty at the same time, if that makes any sense. Guitars sound a bit off. Sick Muse’s guitars sound a good bit better–well then I can probably blame the recording now. Vocals’ range is good. The highest notes never sound harsh, on the contrary in fact! Bass is deep and quick. Twilight Galaxy’s bass drum intro is nice and headshaking, synth seems a bit recessed though, but as soon as vocals come in, I realize that it’s intended as vocals also have a hazy intimate sound to them. Vocals also seem rougher than the previous tracks. Gold Guns Girls’s guitar intro is wonderfully distorted and forward. Vocals are exceptionally smooth in this song, completely infectious. Drums are quick and tight, losing some impact. Gimme Sympathy’s bass is quick and stays in the background. Vocals sound peaky and sibilant, the first time I heard sibilance from the Coppers. Guitars are still forward but lack crunch to them, most likely intended in the recording though. Front Row’s guitars finally get the aggressiveness that I felt was missing. Vocals sound a bit recessed though. Sibilance appears here too. But I’m giving the Coppers a break here because the recording is looks kind of bad when run through Audacity. Stadium Love’s drums have good impact, but cymbals are really ear piercing. I wonder what happened. Vocals are not really much to write home about either. Guitars sound kind of horrible. Ick. Waves sounds strangely smooth and never sibilant. Guitars are wonderfully distorted but polite. Drums are never out of place, and vocals go incredibly high but never are annoyingly high that it gets to sound peaky and give me a headache.
The HD2 just butchers this album. It doesn’t have enough power for the Coppers to sound good with this album. The A726 fixes some of the problems I experienced with the iPod. A good bit of the brightness was countered by the warmness of the player.
I’ll be ending the genre-specific sound section with pop. With this album, I lose all my credibility as an audiophile. The Fame Monster by Lady Gaga. My friend told me to use this album, so yeah. I go through with my promises. I probably should let you know, I am not a Monster (the term for Lady Gaga fans, I’ve heard. Coincidentally the name of the company of the Coppers, so it fits within the review I guess.). I’ve only listened through this album (which is the only album I’ve listened to by her) about 3 times. The first two were by force. Anyways, back on topic. This album is to evaluate the fun-ness of the Coppers. Bad Romance (ick, just typing this out makes me cringe) actually sounds decent. Soundstaging is actually present in this album. Vocals aren’t really spectacular, not too many faults. She sounds rather intoxicated at about 3:45, good job Coppers. Bass is present, but impact is lacking. Am I missing anything? No? Okay next song. Alejandro. Alright, so the intro violins preserve a nice corny soap opera sound. Vocals sound decent and forward. However, the Coppers make them sound overly nasal at times. Or that’s how she actually sings. No clue. Bass is impactful. Synth is recessed. The entire song’s a ton of fun though regardless of faults. Monster’s bass is huge and almost obtrusive. Vocals are now throaty at times. I’m not really sure which is at blame here. Speechless doesn’t really have much special about them, but the really throaty vocals (in my opinion, not that I can do better. Then again, I‘m not famous and making loads of money for singing.) are accentuated–the Coppers dislike this. Dance In the Dark is actually one of the few songs where she sounds good, shame vocals are overshadowed by the ridiculous bass. Telephone’s vocals aren’t as recessed, but still overshadowed by bass. Synth is really loud in comparison to vocals. This is another song for pure fun. Nothing special, or even good about the song sonically, but it’s kind of hard not to dance to it. I was able to resist though. Barely. Because people were watching. So Happy I Could Die’s vocals actually sound pretty decent. Bass isn’t as thunderous as before, instead have somewhat realistic decay. This is another song that’s really hard not to at least tap your foot to, so the verdict is that the Coppers can do a fun sound pretty well. I think I’ve just lost any respect I have for myself. To the person that told me to use this song, (I’ll be nice and not make your name public) you better be happy.
The HD2 doesn’t convey as much of the fun sound I was expecting. The A726 added to the fun sound. Very complex theory here.
Well, that’s for the genre specific section. I’m guessing only 5 of you actually read that all, and to those of you that did, here’s some tip comparisons.
There were many different tips that came with the Coppers. I’ll be illustrating the differences with words.
Silly con: Your basic tip. The sound is pretty average with these, nothing particularly special or bad.
Silly con tri phlangee: I really don’t like inserting these in my ear. I feel violated whenever I insert something longer than a fingernail inside me, which only happens for iems, mind you. And they hurt. These are for maximum isolation, obviously. They are farthest inserted into the ear and make a deeper seal. The soundstage is wider, with the expense of sounding more distant (dur dur dur?) Well I mean everything sounds more hazy, but resonance of the lower frequencies is more prolonged. Vocals sound veiled though. Like those cliché running-on-a-treadmill-with-something-cool-in-front-of-you things. Imagine Diana Krall backpedaling just a tiny bit faster than you can run while singing to you. That’s pretty much what’s going on. Not that that made any sense to most of you.
Jello-silly con Sooperteep: Alright, so this is one of Monster’s innovative (teehee, I sound like a PR agent. Maybe not “innovative”, but pretty cool) new tips. The silicone gel hybrid if you cringed trying to read the title. It’s your average silicone tip with some gel injected inside them. I couldn’t get an optimal fit until I spent about half an hour messing with it. Provided you have a good seal, they sound bassier than the other provided tips, at expense of the closed in soundstage.
Foam-silicon Supertip: Couldn’t think of any spelling play for this sadly. These are my preferred tip for the Coppers. They are the tip and the shaft of a silicone tip wrapped with foam that does not need compression. They have the best combination of the frequencies and have the least amount of drawbacks to the sound. The bass was a bit more prevalent in these than the Monster and Ultimate Ears silicone
Ultimate Ears silicone: These tips are pretty good, my second favorite of all the tips I have. They make the Coppers the most balanced out of all the tips, and the soundstage is the largest while preventing the echo-y effect from the triple flanges.
Comply tips: Ick, the bass is disgustingly huge and mixes in with the mids. Good if you’re a hardcore basshead, but if you’re one of those, skip these in entirety and get Beats. Treble is harsh.
Ultimate Ears Super.fi 4: This isn’t really a fair review because they cost me less than one tenth of the price of the Coppers‘ retail price. There isn’t really any comparison. The Coppers do everything much better, probably not 1000 times better though. I’m not really going to waste time comparing them. In short, the SF4’s mids sound grainy, bass is unrefined, and treble…is actually not that bad. Not good, but not horrible.
AKG K271: So, a $200 (retail price) full size headphone against the $400 (retail price) iems. Amped from my receiver, the mids on the K271 absolutely smoke the Coppers. The K271’s mids are so smooth and entrancing where as the Coppers’ mids seem almost grainy in comparison. Valiant effort though against the king (again, in my opinion) of closed headphone mids under $200. Treble is where it gets interesting. I prefer the smoothness of the Coppers in comparison to the K271’s detailed but nothing special treble that‘s a bit rolled off. Bass is where the Coppers easily win. The K271s just don’t do deep (I’m talking 40hz and down) bass. What’s there is pretty good. Detailed, and tight, but the Coppers’ is an improvement in every way. Soundstage is kind of hard. K271’s is a bit bigger than the Coppers’, but is more smeared. However, the Copper’s soundstage is almost annoyingly small in comparison. If this sounds hypocritical from the review, it isn’t. Remember I said FOR AN IEM? Yeah, they have large-ish soundstage for an iem, but in general, not really. Detail and timbre, the K271s win. No explanation needed. These are studio headphones, so they better have won. Still couldn’t hear the corduroy shirt though.
Okay, so for the two of you that read this far down, I applaud you. The Coppers are a great pair of iems, there isn’t too much to fault about them, and what is faulted is almost negligible, especially if you’re a Sennheiser fan. That being said, at $400, it’s a princely sum to pay, and I’d be a bit annoyed if I paid $400 for these. They’re great, amazing in fact, but not the end all in ear monitor.
Now, it’s time for the Golds. Actually, along with a sound comparison, for those of you that actually care, the Copper review was my first review, so you English majors can compare writing styles I guess.
Shiny…what message does this convey? Maybe some gaudiness, so it’s probably hopelessly bassy like other fashion headphones. Not quite. While the MTPG is bassy, it is tasteful, voluptious bass. How so? Read on!
The Monster Turbine Pro Gold is Monster’s second-from-the-top tier IEM. Actually, it’s somewhat of a disservice to the Golds if I call them that. They are about on the same level in enjoyment as the Coppers and the Miles Davis Tributes. The two are more side-steps than anything. The Gold’s focus however, is a fun sound, and a fun sound it gives.
I’d like to thank Monster for sending me this pair of Golds to review, this has, in no way, influenced my opinion of them, yadda, yadda, legal stuff. If I was a shill, I wouldn’t be reviewing stuff from different companies. I write things as I hear them, and if I genuinely hate a product, I would politely say I don’t feel comfortable creating a review that totally decimates the reputation of a product and its company, which thankfully hasn’t happened yet. Nor do I expect it at the rapid rate the headphone industry is growing and improving at.
I’m going to copy/paste this from my Copper review, since it’s exactly the same. In case some people skipped the top part, here it is. Beautiful packaging, and the famed quote, “Life is too short to listen to bad headphones.” is all too true. Once the box is opened–it comes with a very nice smell–, you see the Coppers in all their glory with a very nice magnetic flap case. Under the magnetic case is another magnetic pouch-case. I probably could have done without the “For Audiophiles and Audio Professionals Only” phrase on the other case. Sounds too condescending and snobby to a normal user like me. Under the velvet lined top portion, you find everything else you need. You find the awesome Supertips, a new innovation by Monster; it comes in foam-silicone hybrid and gel filled silicone. You also have some normal silicone tips, and some triple-flange tips. There’s an, unnecessary, in my opinion, cleaning cloth too. I don’t see the purpose because the Golds are miniscule, but why not right? There’s also a nice shirt clip, a necessity, and a really snazzy 6.3mm adapter for those who want to use them in their receivers or headphone amp. There’s also a really cool tip holder. And there are manuals. Obviously.
The earpieces are pretty weighty in your hand, but when worn, you barely notice them on. I honestly expected them to fall off, surprisingly, they hold up well. The cable joiner has a pretty cool rubber section that I know has a use, but I haven’t really found it out yet. I was told I had to say something about the “cable management system”. This is actually just a pair of Velcro strips. They could be convenient if you weren’t absentminded like me, but I personally don’t find much use to them except as something to lose. The housings are a two-piece metal affair—likely able to resist a good bit of torture, unless the glue comes undone, which I assume has been fixed if I am correct? I have an early pair of Coppers, and the glue on them is already worn out. They are plated with a gold paint, not genuine gold, which is a shame. Less blingy. In my opinion, it looks tacky, but I’ve always been one for the understated look. The cable is pretty beefy, flexible, and tangle resistant, but it’s somewhat microphonic and has a bit of memory. The strain reliefs going into the earpiece are really well made, but the strain relief to the plug could be a bit better, nothing to complain about though. The “turbine” slits on the earpiece seem to be overkill, but they look nice and don’t seem like they’ll break off.
Since I have the Coppers, I’m aware of how the Supertips sound, and ironically enough, my favorite pair of tips on the Golds is the Sony hybrid tips. It gives the best balance of sound, while still providing deliciously impactful bass. The Supertips reduced the bass exponentially, and caused some shrillness in the highs. My initial take on the sound is that it shows no favors to those who are seeking the most accurate sound possible. There is an obvious bass hump, which warms the mids up, making them superbly free flowing, and the treble has a bit of a peak.
In this review, my source is a NaNite N2, which is a warm sounding, class A amped player. Songs are 320kbps, like they should be!
I’ll start with the bass, since anyone actually interested in the Golds is likely a bass lover. Well the bass in the Golds is probably the best I’ve heard in an IEM, which admittedly isn’t saying much, since I’m one for neutral/treble happy IEM’s. Regardless, the impact these have reaches levels of ridiculousness considering how relatively balanced the mids and treble is. They hit 20hz with ease and would probably go even deeper if I tried. Rumbling passages are hilariously fun to listen to, since the Golds rumble like no other if called upon to. But like all good things, it is not gumdrops and butterflies. This bass comes at a cost. The overall sound comes across as a bit slow because of the fatness of the bass. However, even though the bass is silly huge, it still remains controlled, and takes a step back if needed. It never encroaches on the mids, just warms them up. Vocals and instruments are velvety smooth, feeling like a cloud. Guitars do lack a bit of crunch though because of the smoothness of the mids. In general though, the midrange is the most critical aspect of the sound spectrum to get in my opinion. While the way the Golds present mids is not my ideal method—forward and clear—it still manages to creep its way into one of my favorite mids because of the ridiculously serene presentation of them. It’s warm and enveloping, but still manages to be detailed and real. True, I don’t feel like I’m “there,” but there are times I’d rather be “here, in my room, with my eyes closed and getting lost” than “there.” Treble is also deliciously smooth—a bit less smooth than my Coppers, but still smooth as chocolate. Cymbals aren’t exactly the Golds’ forte, since the decay is a bit too quick and are too warmed up, but really nothing to complain about. Most wouldn’t know the difference. Flutes and high pitched brass an pseudowoodwinds are also warmed up. Imagine a stereotypical “tube” (even though that stereotype has more or less been debunked as of recent years) sound. The Golds have that sound. It’s pleasant, warm, smooth. Yet the Golds are still very clear and detailed.
They are pretty close to the Brainwavz B2 in detail, which, considering the B2 is basically the opposite of this in sound signature, is impressive because the Golds don’t have the extra treble to simulate more detail. The soundstage of the Golds is pretty decent. There is good depth and width, but still relatively small—about a foot and a half deep, 2 feet wide. The PRaT is relatively good, but the “slowness” the heavy bass in the Golds has creates a stimulation of smooth and relaxed rather than keeping up perfectly with the music.
Rock: I’ll start with this, since it’s one of my favorite genres to use the Golds in. Tool’s 10,000 Days for this segment. Electric bass is wonderfully growly, and notes are easily separated, never smeared. Vocals are growly, but keep control. Drums are well spaced and impactful, while cymbals are a bit muffled. Thunder crashes in Wings are…shocking, and rain is surprisingly accurate, and I say this as it is raining as I write this review, and I hear almost no actual difference between the two.
Electronic: Electronic is downright amazing on the Golds. I used Hallucinogen’s In Dub for this test. This is just…wow. If I go to a club, this is what the music should sound like. The bass is huge, enveloping, impossibly deep, while still being quick enough to keep up. The Golds just might have reconverted me into an electronic addict. While there is so much more I can say, do I really need to? It’s like the Golds were made for electronic.
Hip hop/Rap: Like I’ve said before, I’m not the biggest fan of this type of music, so I’m not the most reliable source for this genre, but for the sake of completion, I’ll include it with Atmosphere’s When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint that S#!+ Yellow. With this in mind, I expect clean bass control, along with clear vocals and pianos from this album. Vocals are clear, as hope for. Lyrics are easily comprehendible and delve straight into you. Bass is tight for the most part, but can get a bit overwhelming at times. Pianos are great.
Metal: Finsterforst’s Weltenkraft for this album. I have used this on many reviews, but I find the fact that this band has an accordion as a main instrument absolutely fascinating, and a good basis on which to test the smearing of instruments, because, well, most headphones get this wrong, but my DT48 has gotten it right, so I know it isn’t a recording fault. Therefore, for any headphone to really pass this test, they need to get the accordion right. And right the Golds do. While yes, the accordion gets lost on occasion, those situations are few and far between. All other aspects of the album are very good. Vocals are actually comprehendible, guitars are wonderfully crunchy, and drums have amazing impact.
Indie: Like I have with every review lately, I will be using The Age of Rockets’ Hannah. The Golds’ smooth nature presents this album’s natural sublimity beautifully. Vocals seem to float in the air, strings sound pleasantly warmed up, guitars sound real, and drums are impactful.
Female Vocals: I will be using Regina Spektor’s Begin to Hope. Regina’s voice is wonderfully smooth thanks to the Golds, while remaining great timbre. Instruments sound sublime, and is a wonderful experience all around.
Jazz: Dave Brubeck’s Take Five for this genre. The saxophone sounds wonderfully smooth, drums are impactful, while well defined and distinguishable. You can almost feel the snares. The bass is full of body, and the plucking of the strings is easily heard.
So, you’ve read about 1750 words about the Golds, but what does it all mean? Well, for starters, the Turbine Pro Golds are a wonderfully smooth pair of IEM’s, with bass that can almost challenge a good subwoofer, while leaving the rest of the sound mostly untouched. It definitely deserves the status as a top-tier IEM. However, this IEM is definitely not for you if you like oodles of detail, or any true accuracy, because the Golds are for pure fun, and don’t try to act like they aren’t, unlike the Coppers admittedly do. For the $180ish new they go for, it’s an absolute steal if their sound signature is what you’re looking for. Sure, most IEM’s under $100 have this sound signature, but there are tradeoffs. With the Golds, there are much fewer tradeoffs in the sound. Just don’t expect them to be perfect, and you’ll be having years of sonic nirvana.