Review: Monster + Diesel = Vektr

Our score: 3/5
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May 2, 2013 9:06 AM
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Published: May 2, 2013 9:02 AM
Updated: December 23, 2013 6:00 PM
By Tristan François
Translated by: Catherine Barraclough
Monster may have parted ways with Beats, but the one-time cable-maker doesn't seem to be short of new partners. Since going it alone, Monster has worked on headphones for several well-known names, including Italian fashion brand Diesel.

Design: Angular Design4/5



Available in black or white, the Vektr is a very angular and very plastic pair of headphones. While the pointy design could generally have been effective, the very plasticky finish spoils the overall look and feel when you get up-close to these cans.

Still, compared with some of the firm's other headphones, build quality is pretty decent here. None of the parts seem wobbly or rickety, and there are no problems with the headband-adjustment system. Only users with larger heads may find the fit problematic, as the headband is small and quite tight. As a result, the Vektr squeezes your head in a way that may bother some.

Diesel Vektr headphones review - angular design

These headphones come with the usual line-up of Monster accessories, namely a soft but protective shell-style zip-up case (the headphones have a folding design), a standard cable and two smartphone cables (one for Apple devices and a second generic cable). A microfibre cloth is also included for wiping away fingerprint marks—something that's pretty much essential with Monster's glossy finish.

Sound Quality: Decent Output3/5



Free from its partnership with Beats, Monster has toned down the bass in its headphones to make the output more neutral. That said, the Vektr isn't entirely flawless.

Diesel Vektr review - frequency response
Frequency response from the Monster Vektr (low frequencies on left, high frequencies on right).

Monster seems to be a fan of lower-middles these days, and that's particularly noticeable in the Vektr. Although no doubt influenced to some extent by the shape of the earcups and cushions, these headphones are heaviest in high bass and low middles, leaving deeper bass and higher frequencies trailing behind.

This emphasis is evident when using the headphones too. The Vektr are not at all bassy, instead focusing everything on voices—male voices most of all—to the extent that vocals sometimes end up having a kind of megaphone effect and sometimes have resonance issues. But still, it works pretty well with acoustic music.

Diesel vektr disto dbDiesel vektr disto db
Left: ThD+N in %  / Right: harmonic distortion only in dB

Harmonic distortion is controlled more effectively over bass frequencies than in certain headphones, such as Monster's Diamond Tears. In fact, there's nothing too problematic to report here, even if distortion stays at a visible level for longer over the spectrum. Again, that's no doubt caused by the shape of the earcups and it's really not that troublesome when actually listening to music through these headphones.

Precision and soundstage aren't strong points for these Vektr headphones, which give quite a frontal and tight feeling output. However, they do an excellent job with square waves, giving a very clean result. That should help keep any  feelings of floatiness or softness at bay.
3/5 Monster Diesel Vektr DigitalVersus 2013-05-02 10:02:00

Pros

  • Unashamedly audacious design
  • Flattering on vocals
  • Precise output

Cons

  • Too plasticky
  • Output could be more balanced
  • Soundstage could be wider

Conclusion

Fans of the Italian clothing brand will no doubt love the Monster Diesel Vektr headphones and, to be honest, they do a decent job. But is that enough to make them a must-have at any cost?

OUR SCORE 3/5
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