Monster’s line of audio devices is now available in the Philippines as part of HOLO Space (formerly known as RichGo, which also distributes the Nokia audio wearables locally), and here come their newest Airmars N1 gaming headset with stereo sound and lighting to boot. Here’s a quick review of this device.
Unboxing the package we got from HOLO Space reveals the contents including documentation and the headset itself. Very straightforward, we see.
Design: Not too overbearing
As we picked up the headset right from the box, we realized one thing: This headset’s quite light. Perhaps, because of the polycarbonate construction with a leather pad for the support over your ears, which does not feel uncomfortable even when worn for long periods of time. Being light also means that it’s also easy to carry around, but there is no case included in the package so better handle with care.
It’s composed of almost all plastic, with the conforming ear cups and headband featuring padded leather for comfort. The ear cups do not swivel in any way, nor fold inward. The headband has the Monster Gaming logo and automatically adjusts upward if you need that extra length.
There’s a volume wheel at the rear-left cup, but a mute button is nowhere to be found. The cable connecting the headset to your source of choice (also connected at the left cup) is a thick wire that spans 2.1 meters, to which you’ll find a 3.5mm audio plug, as well as a 3.5mm one to power its built-in LED lighting.
Once you connect them, you’ll see parts of the headset light up in one color — red. The headphone’s microphone has one of those lights, and this mic can be adjusted to conform to your mouth for better audio capture. Too bad it’s not detachable nor retractable upward as it stays that way.
Overall, the lights only illuminate the Monster Gaming logos on both ear cups, giving it a very distinct color that it’s in use. There’s no audio splitter for the 4-pin audio plug, so you’re bound to purchase one if you need to use it with your PC.
Sound Quality: All that’s in a gaming headset
Real take: This gaming headset did not disappoint. Music-wise, the vocals tend to be pushed forward while the mids tend to be muddy but are clear enough to distinguish how bad MNL48’s audio mixing is compared to AKB48’s song mixing. Low frequencies, bass, treble, and dynamic range are also good. Noise cancellation is decent given the isolation offered by the over-ear cup form, but you will still tend to hear environment noise from time to time.
This shines in gaming. Combined with Windows Sonic, the audio gear can be a very good peripheral you can use for games that require spatial audio such as Valorant or Rogue Company. The soundstage is wide enough to hear different noises at different locations and is not limited to just stereo. Voices heard from our friends in Discord are also bright and clear.
Unlike other reviews of the phone we’ve seen online, the headset’s microphone is decent. (Sample) The audio is decent for online calls and communication, but no noise-canceling is available as you can hear faint noises of environment noises (electric fan, dogs) while I am recording a snippet.