Monster iSport Immersion

The iSport Immersion headphones rank among the best wired in-ear sports headphone models out there in terms of fit and sound quality.

CNET Rating

In recent years, Monster has become known more for its celebrity-endorsed headphones and other products, including a now-defunct partnership with Dr Dre and Beats. But Monster has also made a quiet push into the wired sports-headphones market with its iSport line, which is set to expand this fall by adding a couple of new models.

The model reviewed here, the iSport Immersion In-Ear with ControlTalk, comes in a couple of different colours and flavours, including a yellow LiveStrong version.

The iSport Immersions with their carrying pouch.
(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

Tight seal

All iSport models are sweat-proof and Monster says that you can literally wash the earphones; I did dunk mine briefly in the pool and they came out no worse for wear. The iSport models all have a flat, tangle-resistant style cord and an inline microphone for making cell phone calls.

The variously sized ear tips and SportClips.
(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

However, the key here is the fit. Monster includes four different sizes of SportClips and silicone ear tips. Those SportClips, made out of firm but flexible rubber, hook comfortably on the inner rim of your ear and help keep the ear tip securely in place. The medium ear tips and SportClips worked for me, but you can obviously mix and match large with medium or small, depending on the shape of your ear.

After some experimentation, I got a good fit and tight seal with the iSport Immersions. That tight seal is crucial in maximising bass response; and the iSports not only offers detailed sound but big bass as well — not overwhelming, just meaty and pretty tight. They sound very good for sports earphones, and very good for earphones in general.

I went on several runs with them, and they stayed in my ears without a problem, keeping their tight seal. The only issue for some people will be that the noise isolation is so good that very little sound from the outside world is let in. I ran against traffic on a country road, so I could mostly see cars coming, but on a couple of hills where I couldn't see over the other side, I had to stay on alert, because there was almost no shoulder to the road and I couldn't hear cars until they were about 9 metres away.

All the iSport models have an L-shaped plug, which is typically more durable than a standard straight plug. However, it's worth mentioning that if you have a thicker "tough" case on your phone you might have some trouble getting the plug to fit into the phone's recessed headphone jack.

On a positive note, I appreciated the protective spring-clasp pouch that's included with the headphones. Monster ships the same pouch with other earphones, and I consider it one of the best protective cases on the market, because it offers decent protection without it being bulky at all. It's also easy to get the earphones in and out.

The L-shaped 3.5mm connector.
(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

As for the integrated ControlTalk microphone, (it's compatible with recent iOS products, but check this list to see whether it's compatible with your smartphone). I found it worked well for making calls, and liked that volume controls are available on the remote. As with all ControlTalk remotes, there are no transport controls, per se. You simply tap the answer/end (pause) button twice to skip a track forward, and tap it three times to skip back. Since it's easy to skip forward, but more challenging to go back, this won't be the ideal remote for some folks.


Overall, I really liked the Monster iSport Immersion headphones. As noted earlier, I consider them to be among the best wired sports in-ear headphones available, and I wouldn't hesitate to use these on a day-to-day basis. While they won't fit everybody equally well, I got a very secure fit and they stayed in my ears on all my 4-mile "test" runs. They fit more securely than the Polk Audio UltraFit 3000 in-ear headphones and they also sound better, with bigger bass and more detail. But the Polks, which sound pretty good, allow more outside sound in, which some people may prefer.


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Pining posted a comment   

$200......for a set of ear plugs.
And ou give it 8!!!
Obviously your not paying.

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