Monster Supertips in Review - The best foam earphone tip on the market?
You know, inner earphone earpieces/tips make a big difference, but not just to comfort. They also influence sound a great deal. If you tend to wear earphones many hours a day, the right ear piece makes a huge difference.
Each company has its own set of silicon/foam/hybrid tips and each work to some degree of success. I tend to prefer foams of either low or high densities simply because of comfort, and in some cases, sound.
What are Supertips?
Monster shipped Supertips with their Turbine Pro Gold and now with the Copper edition. Those are 100% silicon with a bit of gel stuck in for good measure. But today's ear tips are the hybrid foam tips which have yet to hit the market. They are encased in an outer layer of soft, heat-activated foam and supported on the inside by a long column of thick silicon.
The combination really works. The inner silicon column reaches to the very top of the tip, and this is the most important part. You see, most foams support the sound tube only till the last few millimetres. The rest is foam and foam, because it is soft and expandable, will tend to expand over the sound tube, interfering with sound. If you don't like bloated bass and softish mids with some instrument smear, the Supertips may a personal saving grace.
I love the comfort afforded by ComplyŽ tips, but they tend to boom up the bass, making music ever so thumpy. Shure Olives are a bit better; they don't boom as much, but they tend to muffle some frequencies, mainly bass, and personally, I find them abrasive. Low density foams such as Shure's yellow foams are probably as good as it gets for preserving the natural sound of the earphone, but they gum up, yellowing and hardening quickly and need to be replaced often.
ComplyŽ foams are the same: they isolate very well, but get nasty really quickly. And they also die quickly, their inner silicon separating from the foam part pretty easily.
Monster's Supertips aren't perfect, but they get the job better than most foams and with less impact on the sound! Their silicon portion doesn't close in on the sound tube, leaving sound passageways open and clean. This is in part due to the fact that the silicon reaches to the very tip of the ear piece, but also because the tip tapers away in the ear. It is a perfect combination of pragmatics and sound quality.
The outer portion of the foam is coated with something - I honestly have no idea what it is - which protects the foam from getting too greasy/waxy. Your Supertips should last a longtime, at least as it relates foam deterioration. Honestly, Monster have this aspect down.
The Supertips aren't perfect however. The inner silicon portion DOES tear away from the foam, though not overnight. These may not be final production samples, so the design could change a bit, but that is the one and only problem with these.
They isolate well enough. Not as much as the Olives or ComplyŽ tips, but more so than Monster's regular Supertips and silicons. They are more comfortable and supportive, and they last a good while, outpacing ComplyŽ and are more comfortable than the sometimes abrasive Shure Olives.
Currently, they are unavailable to buy, but when they go on market, I'll be hoarding a bucket of them. They fit almost all of my earphones from the wide-mouthed EXS EX10 to the narrower Sleek Audio SA1, and have become my default choice when enjoying music anywhere. They don't work with narrow-mouthed earphones such as Shure's SE530 or the Earsonics SM2, but if you don't mind vivisecting your old foam sleeves, you can rip the silicon out and slip it over the sound tube. That done, the Supertip will fit pretty as pie.
In case you are wondering, these are a GRAB.
Minimal impact on sound
Incredible fit with most earphones
- Eventually silicon and foam will rent apart