Monster iSport Victory in-ear headphones

These in-ear headphones are designed to stay in place while you exercise

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Monster iSport Victory in-ear headphones

Pros

  • Snug fit and limited movement, particularly when running
  • Plenty of bass and clear treble sounds
  • Nicely-constructed carry pouch

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Some users might find them uncomfortable

Bottom Line

There are much cheaper in-ear headphones that deliver the same quality sound. Nevertheless, the Monster iSport Victory sit quite well in the ear and perform well in all conditions.

Would you buy this?

Perhaps one of the biggest issues for runners — who are sometimes forced to run alone with only music for company — is the constant need to adjust in-ear headphones while moving. It’s frustrating and takes away from the experience. Many models never seem to fit quite right.

Without other runners to talk to while you’re pounding the pavement or the treadmill at the gym, a good pair of headphones with decent bass that don’t wriggle around at high speed, can be a good motivator. And you need in-ear headphones to avoid looking like a total dill.

Next month, Monster will make available its range of iSport in-ear headphones, touted as "the athlete’s headphones". We road-tested the iSport Victory series, which have a useful design that hooks the headphones on the front inside rather than over the back of the ear.

After the initial shock of feeling like someone is prodding your ear canal with the end of a cotton swab, the headphones actually fit quite snugly. However, the feeling that you have something stuck in your ears (it can sometimes feel that way), might be a problem for some users.

The headphones stayed exactly where they were supposed to during an 8km road run, even when dealing with moderate crosswinds across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. They even managed to stay reasonably snug when it started to rain, and small droplets of water didn’t affect performance.

Used with a 2GB Apple iPod Shuffle, they delivered the kind of sound that you would expect from a relatively expensive pair of in-ear headphones.

The headphones ship with silicone sleeves (which go over the speakers) in several different sizes, enabling users to achieve the best fit for their ear size.

There’s also a remote on the cord to change tracks and volume levels, as well as a nicely-constructed pouch to store the headphones when they’re not in use. This pouch is a great addition as it keeps the headphones secure and goes a long way towards preventing them from being tangled or even destroyed in a gym bag.

At $189 RRP, the Monster iSport Victory headphones are expensive, significantly more than comparable $99 Apple in-Ear iPod headphones. However, Monster does offer less expensive models in the range with the iSport Strive ($99 RRP) and iSport Intensity ($129 RRP).

We’ve also used the Apple EarPod with Remote and Mic, which deliver a similar sound to the Monster iSport Victory; those Apple headphones retail for only $35.

Monster makes a point of telling potential buyers that the iSport range "seal in 100% of all music while simultaneously allowing any ambient noise to be heard". This apparently offers athletes a new level of road safety. In reality, using headphones while running in the vicinity of traffic (large metal vehicles moving at speed rather than soft humans), carries a level of risk. No amount of headphone technology is going to make it any safer.

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