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 on! And you’re in luck! This review contains both the Gold and Copper versions!
The Copper review shall go first:
Put simply, these are pretty well-made. In other words, this is a two-piece earpiece made of metal. Despite being named Copper, 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 they kind of blend with your skin.
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 PO as the source because of its neutrality. I’ll post snippets of how the others sound too. And all music is 256kbps and up.
The 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.
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.
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.
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 of the word PROBABLY. I haven’t heard nearly enough to make a guess that bold, but I just had to express my enthusiasm of the bass.
So to have a 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 a huge soundstage, on an absolute scale, but they have a great soundstage for an iem.
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 was not that hot.
Decay, for you non-music-savvy people, is how fast the vibrations an instrument causes to stop. The decay on the Coppers is about a bit better than average. Not completely realistic, nor do I expect them to for an iem.
Pretty much no sibilance. If you’d like the “ssss“ sound, give me your address. I might have a snake for you.
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.
There were many different tips that came with the Coppers. I’ll be illustrating the differences with words.
Your basic tip. The sound is pretty average with these, nothing particularly special or bad.
Silly con tri phalanges:
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. Well I mean everything sounds hazier, but the resonance of the lower frequencies is more prolonged.
The 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.
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 frequencies and have the least amount of drawbacks to the sound. The bass was a bit more prevalent in these than in 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.
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 their entirety and get Beats. The 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, the bass is unrefined, and the treble…is actually not that bad. Not good, but not horrible.
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. The 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 a large-ish soundstage for an iem, but in general, not really.
With detail and timbre, the K271s win. No explanation is 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 endgame 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.