This article first appeared in HWM May 2012.
With Windows Phone devices like the Nokia Lumia series making rather good headway in the market, Nokia takes things one step further with their line of smartphone accessories by teaming up with Monster. One of the end results: the Purity Stereo Headset by Monster.
These earphones seem to draw inspiration for their design from pop-art aesthetics. Available in funky eye-catching colors, the cyan pair we had definitely turned heads when in use. Even though primarily constructed from plastic, the Purity in-ears still felt sturdy and not particularly cheap. Monster’s input in the design of the product is evident by the flat, non-tangle cord that the earphones sport.
Sound is provided courtesy of 9mm dynamic drivers. The flange design of the ear-buds also offers a good degree of noise isolation once the earphones are popped in. A 5mm microphone driver is also present for conversation while on-the go. More importantly though, while the in-line microphone will work with any other device that has a 3.5mm audio jack, media playback and volume control is only available when these in-ears are used with Windows Phone devices.
To test out the sound performance of the Purity in-ears, we brought out our usual test tracks. Crisp and clear mids and trebles were evident on Melt My Heart To Stone. The inflection of Adele’s delivery was reproduced and the clarity of vocals was admirable. This characteristic of the earphones also translated across other mellow tracks, such as a live acoustic rendition of Hotel California by The Eagles.
The performance levels set by the first two tracks were not upheld however when we shifted to heavier fare. The Purity in-ears seemed to be a bit overzealous when it came to handling bass. While the lower frequencies had oomph and impact, they lacked a certain degree of precision. Elements of Life by Tiesto sounded sprawling and the distortion on Sail On Soothsayer by Buckethead was muddy.
Good highs and mids make these earphones perfect for soft rock, pop and acoustic tracks. Low frequency performance was a bit over enthusiastic for our taste, but the Purity in-ears aren’t as bass heavy as other Monster audio products. Above all, the fact that the headset’s full capabilities only come to the fore when used with Windows Phone devices can be a limiting factor if you like its looks, but own Android- or iOS-powered devices.