Hands-On: Monster EA Sports MVP Carbon Headset

Hands-On: Monster EA Sports MVP Carbon Headset

Recently at The Villa in San Francisco, Monster had a pre-CES showing of a few products they’re highlighting.  Known for their Dr. Dre Beats headsets, the company is now making a push into the gaming headphone arena with publisher Electronic Arts.  To begin that journey, they have unveiled the Monster EA Sports MVP Carbon Headset.

At first, when you put the on-ear headset on your head, it’s deceptively light and truly comfortable. Adjustments were made quickly and with ease. Although it didn’t make an impact on my head, the headset is composed of durable materials that seemingly won’t break when twisted and feel substantial. Two jacks, one on either side, allow the user to swap the positions of the microphone and cord. You can also daisy-chain headsets using these jacks. Inside are 30 mm drivers that produce good highs and decent lows in the short time I was able to listen. In one particular sound test, I was given was something recorded specifically to test the surround sound capabilities. Wrinkling and rustling paper filled my ears in a circular pattern that gave me a sense of depth to the sound.

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While listening, I noticed the audio isolated my hearing so much that I couldn’t make out anything anyone was saying.  That’s not to say it completely blocked out the loud music at the event, but it did decently at the attempt.  While the microphone was attached, I decided to give it a quick test by connecting it to my phone and making a call.  The person on the other end was surprised by the clarity of my voice and wondered what I was using.  If you’re not planning on using the microphone, though, it’s removable and can be placed in either jack.

Examining the headset up close, I found the EA Sports logo, which is illuminated when plugged into the included mix-amp or another special cable with a lithium-ion battery inside.  This logo piece, along with the ear padding, are not removable.  The headset will come in black and white with a carbon fiber pattern running nearly everywhere on it.

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Monster is clearly out to step the audio gaming category up a notch.  Their MVP Carbon headset doesn’t feel at all cheap, but does come with a fairly steep price tag.  While the representative I spoke with mentioned the price may be around $260, GameStop currently lists the headset for $230.  In either case, it might be too steep for some out there for the feature set, which isn’t as extensive as other products on the market.  For those who don’t balk at the price and don’t mind the fact it’s wired, it’s something stylish to look forward to come March.

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