Monster's exhaustive 2017 line-up includes two 'truly wireless' earbuds

Completely wireless earbuds (ones without adjoining wires) are all the rage, and Monster has jumped on the bandwagon with its first two models: the Elements in-ears (part of a wider wireless Elements family), and an iSport model that builds on the brand’s existing sporty range.

Both use Monster’s new AirLink technology, which allows for a ‘truly wireless’ experience. Instead of wires connecting the buds, they feature a proprietary Y-shaped inner antenna that ensures a reliable signal between the two. Two drivers inside each also claim to deliver ‘perfectly balanced’ sound quality.

The jewel-inspired rose gold-finished Elements (above) will be presented in a velveteen charging case, which gives the buds enough juice for 2.5 hours playback at a time, and offers 21 hours of charge before needing plugging in itself.

The Elements are due to launch in April, priced $300, while the iSports are due ‘later this year’.

The blingy Elements over-ears supports smartphone playback via USB type-B

The blingy Elements over-ears supports smartphone playback via USB type-B

The new Elements family also includes on-ear and over-ear (above) models, which also come in a rose gold finish, as well as black slate. Like most wireless models, the Elements’ can be wired to your music source via a 3.5mm jack, but also digitally through a USB-typeB connection. Both offer 24 hours playback, ‘club’ and ‘natural’ sound modes, on-ear swipe controls and a portable folding design.

Last year, Monster introduced a range of ClarityHD headphones, and this year the Clarity family will expand to include an over-ear wired model (Around Ear Wired Passive, $80); wireless over-ears (Around Ear BT Wireless, $130); and a wireless, noise-cancelling pair of over-ears (Around Ear BT Wireless Active Noise Cancellation, $180).

All three new Clarity models, due in April, are equipped with “some of Monster’s most advanced audio engineering and technologies”. There’s a newly-designed microphone for “crystal clear calls”, while the Around Ear BTs feature Monster’s “best-in-class active noise cancellation technology”, which monitors external sound and responds with phase cancellation to reduce unwanted noise.

A new tapered ear cushion design aims to provide a light and comfortable experience – from our time with the wireless over-ears, we can confirm they’re lightweight. The closed-back range also features a foldable design for easy storage, four-way built-in button controls, and over 24 hours of playback.

MORE: Best headphones 2017

Numerous portable Bluetooth speakers are also in Monster’s 2017 line-up, including a six-strong Blaster range, which builds on the solo Blaster speaker released last year.

Heading the expanded fleet is Monster’s flagship Battleship ($600, above). With a built-in propeller and waterproof design, the six-driver speaker is designed to float in and can be guided across your swimming pool using an app.

A kind of multi-room feature, ‘Big Party Mode’ lets you wirelessly stream to all Blaster speakers, while a ‘Juke Box’ mode lets you queue your favorite songs. It has a claimed battery life of 25 hours before needing recharging.

There’s also a Ravebox ($500) that features built-in LED lights that synchronise to your music, and offers the same bi-directional sound as the original Blaster thanks to a V-shaped cabinet with drivers on both sides. It also features Monster’s proprietary PowerBass, subwoofer for “full and deep bass,” and promises 12 hours battery life.

The giant flashlight-looking Nitro ($350) and Dynamite ($250) models also feature six-speaker configurations and omni-directional sound thanks to Monster’s V-sound technology. The latter is also waterproof, plays music for up to 20 hours on a single charge and lets you charge up to four smartphones or tablets simultaneously from its built-in Power Bank. The Nitro simply adds to the Dynamite’s talents with the ‘Big Party Mode’ featured in the Battleship model, and also features Pure Monster Digital Hi-Resolution processing.

At the end of the Bluetooth speaker convoy is the Firecracker ($150), a more modest torch-like model featuring dual full-range drivers and a bass radiator, 25 hours battery life, USB smartphone charging, a microphone for calls and a seven-hour flashlight.

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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.