“A stylish option for bass lovers”
The Monster Octagon, for those not in the know, is the official headphones of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). As a result of this partnership, all UFC fighters use the Octagon for training and pre-fight warmups. So, you would expect these headphones to deliver powerful bass, and they definitely deliver on that front. Priced at $170-$200, it is much more reasonably priced than some of its biggest competition.
But, how good is the Monster Octagon when compared to other closed-back models like the Meze 99 Classics, Sony MDR-1A or the Beyerdynamic T5i? With a tagline that says “Music for Champions,” you would expect the Octagon to shine, no matter what you throw at it. For Monster, the biggest competitor, however, is Beats by Dr. Dre. Both brands are stylish and are aimed towards bass lovers.
Design and Comfort
As you would expect from a UFC branded product, the design of the Octagon is definitely aggressive. Every aspect of the design, from the branding in the swivel hinge to the large octagonal shapes cut into both the ear cups, gives the impression that these headphones are designed for people who are willing to go all out to win. Both the color options – red and black – look great.
The swiveling ear cups ensure a good fit, no matter how large or small your head is. The padded headband is extremely comfortable and makes sure that the headphones stay in place. The plush ear cups are soft and comfy, and great for extended use. The red stitching on the cups also add a premium touch to the design.
Build Quality and Cable
Even though they have a bit of weight to them, the Octagon is not that heavy. Build quality is excellent overall and feels solid in hand. Monster has added some extra padding to the headband to make sure that is able to withstand heavy punishment for longer. One of the biggest USPs of the Octagon is its swiveling hinges which allow you to listen to your favorite tracks while having a conversation with the person next to you. But, hinges are a bit too stiff, and while that is good for durability, it doesn’t let you swivel the ear cups easily.
These headphones come with two cables. The first, called the ControlTalk Universal Cord, is designed for use with portable devices and has a single button which can be used to pause or play. It works well with both Android and iOS devices, and the mic clarity is excellent. The second cable, called the Pro Studio Link, is designed for use in a professional setting. It is tangle resistant and has a coiled section as well.
The sound quality of these headphones is exceptional no matter what you are listening to. As promised, it delivers deep and powerful bass – the Octagon is definitely not the way to go if you are looking for authentic sound reproduction. Unlike other bass-heavy headphones, the bass is tight and well-defined and does not encroach on the midrange and the sound is otherwise well-balanced.
The mids are clear and truly stand out, no matter what you are listening to. The highs, however, are a bit weak and gets shrilly from time to time. The instrument separation and clarity of the treble is a bit inferior to other models in this bracket. But, this won’t be a problem for most people since most mainstream tracks are mixed with inferior playback equipment in mind.
Since they are closed-back, the Octagon has better noise isolation than open-back models like the Sennheiser HD598. There is plenty of passive noise cancellation and you can easily enjoy the aural experience during your daily commute. As long as you stick to normal volumes, the sound leakage is pretty minimal. Having said that, even if you turn the volume up to the maximum, only the bass is usually heard outside.
Along with the two cables, the Monster Octagon comes with a cleaning cloth, booklet, manual, a carry case and a ¼ inch adapter. The carry case is made of a soft cloth-like material and doesn’t give adequate protection from jolts or bumps. The only thing it is good for is keeping the headphones free of dust.
The Monster Octagon over-the-ear cans are a great buy for people who want a combination of style and good sound. It has a punchy bass which, while nice and full, does not overpower the music and maintains an overall balance.
- Great build
- Punchy bass
- Style not for everyone
- Highs lack enough instrument separation