I’ve been fortunate enough to test several different headphones over the past few months and this is the second pair of Monster headphones I’ve been able to use. Before I started doing headphone reviews I was very much in the camp of thinking that brands like Monster aren’t worth the price you pay. Having been a user of Apple EarPods and the absolute low end SkullCandy over-ear headphones I thought sound is all about the same from any headphone. Well, things have changed and this is the Monster RoC Sport Freedom review.
- On-ear style
- Wireless/wired Bluetooth
- Apt-X + AAC
- Water resistant and sweatproof
- Noise isolation
- On-ear controls
- In-line wired controls
What’s In The Box
- RoC Sport Freedom headphones
- In-Line AUX cable with controls
- Micro-USB cord for charging
- Carrying pouch (nylon)
- Manuals and warranty info
The RoC Sport Freedom’s are marketed with a distinct user in mind. Endorsed by Cristiano Ronaldo (FIFA player) they’re designed to let people know you’re there. Black with shiny gold trim this design is anything but subtle. I’m a fan of minimalism and muted design but I understand the need for different styles for different people. For those who like to show off their accessories the RoC Sport Freedom’s shouldn’t disappoint.
The on-ear padding is soft and comfortable and they have an interesting accordion design to them giving them a “sporty” appearance. The materials are made of high quality plastics, metals and rubber. The headphones fold up into a compact form easy to tuck into the including nylon carrying case to take on the go. On-ear headphones are generally smaller than over-ear headphones and with the ability to fold up these are really small and easy to carry.
The RoC Sport Freedom’s are also water resistant and sweatproof and that rubbery accordion material that is part of the ear cup padding plays a part in that. It’s important to note these are not water proof, that being said, that rubbery material covers the micro-USB port and headphone jack to protect them from moisture. I did find that the headphone jack cover sometimes did not want to stay put, it popped out frequently. This wasn’t an issue for me as I generally don’t take my headphones around moisture and I probably should exercise more but I don’t so no worries about sweat.
Controls for your music and phone calls are also on board the RoC Sport Freedom. You can control the pause/play, FF/REW and answer calls with these controls. If you run out of battery you can plug in the included cable which also features in-line controls for the same functions.
Overall the design is nice. While it’s marketed to the person who likes a bit more flash for their cash, it’s not gaudy or unbearable to look at. The Monster DNA Pro 2.0 design is more to my liking but that doesn’t make the design of the RoC Sport Freedom bad, it’s all about what kind of fashion you like.
Ease of Use
Pairing via Bluetooth is as easy as flipping Bluetooth on your phone, pushing the pairing button on the headphones and choosing the RoC Sport Freedom on your Bluetooth list on your device. Using these headphones should be as easy as using any other Bluetooth device, pairing is the hardest part of the whole thing and that’s just a breeze.
While most of my life I’ve used earbuds and a few cheap over-ear headphones my first experience with on-ears were the V-Moda XS headphones which I am still very impressed with. I would have never considered on-ear headphones before because I perceived they would be uncomfortable and sound bad, the V-Moda’s changed my mind and the Monster RoC Sport Freedom’s affirmed that.
After hearing the V-Moda’s I was pretty convinced I might not ever hear a pair of on-ears that sounded that great. But the RoC Sport Freedom’s do an amazing job and hold up to what V-Moda and others have to offer. The first thing I noticed with the RoC Sport Freedom’s is how loud these things are. They’re seriously very loud, which of course doesn’t equate to great sound but they offer great sound as well.
The equalization seems to fall into favoring deep ended music such as Hip-Hop and Rap but all types of music sounded great on the headphones. The lows are easy to spot with these on, the mids are also there but some of the highs do get lost just a bit. I tried everything from Rap to Lord of The Rings soundtracks and the RoC Sport Freedoms handled them all well. There are some apps you can use to customize the equalization to your liking if the default sound doesn’t fit your style (depending on OS). Overall the sound on these is pretty amazing. I think the V-Moda XS offer a more balanced sound but the RoC Sport Freedoms are no slouch.
I don’t generally use these types of headphones for calls but I did test them out for the sake of this review and call quality is clear on my end. On the other end, my wife said she could hear me just fine with an occasional need for me to repeat myself but it was nothing glaringly bad.
I got a solid 11 hours of battery out of these but your milage will vary depending on use.
The RoC Sport Freedoms are priced at $249 on Monster’s website. This is a bit higher than some other headphones in this class but they do include noise isolation, water/sweat resistance along with passive controls and use. I would have probably priced these a bit lower around the $200-$219 range but these Monsters are worth the money for those who like the flashy looks and the deep bass sounds.
Equalized for a deeper bass sound, designed with some flash and priced at $249 the RoC Sport Freedom’s aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But if you’re looking for a deep bass sound, noise isolation, flashy design, some nice features and comfort. The RoC Sport Freedom’s could be what you’re looking for.