Monster and Nokia have partnered up to create a duo of stereo in-ear and on-ear headsets exclusively for Windows Phone smartphones. The Nokia Purity HD by Monster are the first official stereo headset headphones geared solely for Windows Phones said to deliver outstanding audio quality with the hands-free convenience. The Purity headphones are a purty set with a lot of promise judging by their marketing jargon. So what happens when two widely known companies collaborate with each other? Find out after the break!
The Nokia Purity By Monster are one sleek, well designed headphones. If you're going to be wearing an on-ear pair of headphones like these, chances are you really care about how good they make you look in public. Now granted beauty is a subjective thing like many other things, but the Purity are one the of most good looking pairs I've seen in a while. Designed to perfectly match Nokia's Lumia handset series, the Purity are amongst the more modern headsets money can buy. I'm in love with the Purity's clean cut headband, contoured ear cup style and the portableness of them. Colors like this cyan really stand out from the herd of black headphones that flood the market.
The Purity headphones don't come cheap at $200, but they do come in four colors, black, white, magenta and this beautiful shade of cyan color we're reviewing. Monster takes great pride when it puts out a pair of headphones. Packaging and accessories are top notch. We've seen the same with both Monster and the Beats By Dre brand. The Purity headphones come packed inside impressive packaging with a really great protective semi-hard shell carry case that's fitted with a carabineer and is compact enough to be tucked inside slim gear bags like the Muzetto. It has plenty of room to neatly store the included cables inside as well.
For far too long has the iPhone been the center of attention when it comes to accessories. Our Gadget Hub for headphones and in-ears is overfilled with "Made for iDevice" plastered audio gear. This is the first time we're reviewing a pair of headphones that aren't iPhone friendly. And there's nothing wrong with that. Aside from a well protective carry case, the Purity come with two sets of detachable, tangle-free flat audio cables. A ControlTalk Universal headset cable with a 3-button remote and mic along with a secondary audio cable fitted with only a mic, both have reinforced angled 3.5mm plugs at the end.
On-ear headphones in general tend to put a lot of pressure on top of the ears making it uncomfortable after extended use. I've had a pleasant comfortable experience while using the Purity headphones. I should say that they're extremely comfortable from the moment you put them on, however, I begin to notice that infamous pressure building up after an hour of use. The Purity's ear pads are super soft, pillow cushions that are shaped just right so that they fit the natural shape of the ear instead of partially covering them up with a spherical shaped ear cup. In fact they're so well designed that they create a great tight suction seal which helps reduce background noise and isolate your music better than most on-ear and even over-ear headphones. Adjusting the headband can become guesswork as there isn't any level indication. Extending the headband height reveals a matte metal band that compliments the sleek aesthetics of the headphones.
Even though I prefer the super comfortable over-ear style of the Sonic by Incase headphones which I can wear all day long, they aren't even close to offering the same sound isolation as the Purity headphones do. The ear cups also articulate freely on ball joins hidden behind the headband so that they better adjust to the specifics of each individual. While the headband isn't the most padded of them all and covered with a basic rubbery pad, it hasn't bothered me at all.
The build quality of the Purity headphones isn't what you'd expect out of a $200 pair of headphones. Unfortunately, Nokia let Monster do most of the work it seems. The Purity headphones have the same exact awful build quality as the Beats By Dre Solo and Solo HD on-ear headphones. Although they don't look like it, they feel cheaply made with plastic that creaks when handled and the freakishly thin audio cables don't help either. I cannot see these being a durable pair of headphones in the slightest, and that's a big shame. Monster and Nokia. The inner parts of the headband look like they're coming apart, including wires routed underneath get exposed when stretching the headphones apart in order to wear them.
On a brighter note, I do really like the high-gloss, scratch-resistant finish on these. So far the finish has held up very well without any scratches or scuff marks to be found. Fingerprints are also undetectable on this particular color, though I couldn't say the same for the black pair.
Headset and playback control features are becoming a standard these days with virtually every single new wearable audio gear boasting headset functionalities. The Purity are aggressively marketed as stereo headsets, and that's no surprise with Nokia at the forefront. As was mentioned earlier, the Purity come with Monster's ControlTalk Universal remote and mic. It features three buttons for music and call control made to work with any Windows Phone. Buttons are easy to use and offer great tactile feedback. The mic is separated and placed further above the button remote for better sound recording and unhindered finger interference. I'm quite pleased with the mic quality, it's very clear sounding just as it should be.
The Purity headphones also come with a secondary audio cable that only features an in-line mic which can also be used for talking and having your smartphone handle the controls instead. I'd say that for a Windows Phone headset, the Purity are outstanding as a headset. Last but not least is the Purity's collapsible design which lets you quickly fold them up when commuting.
Nokia made sure the Purity's headset functions don't work with the iPhone, iOS devices and Macs. At least Apple gadget users can still enjoy these as ordinary headphones for all intents and purposes. On a side note, the Purity close resemble BlueAnt's Embrace headset headphones at $200, offering the same exact features and form factor. And if you really want the Purity to work with your iPhone as a headset, you can replace their cable with one that's compatible with iOS devices and your problem is solved.
What it all really comes down to is sound quality. Although the Purity headphones are literally identical in build quality and desirable good looks, the Purity headphones should not be confused with the Beats By Dre line of headphones when it comes to audio. And that's a good thing. Monster has always set itself apart from overpowering the bass and drowning out the important details in its in-ear headphones. This is true to the Purity headphones as well. These headphones took me by surprise from the moment I started listening to my usual set of music set for testing audio gear via a MacBook Pro and using only the highest quality iTunes tracks.
You gotta love the incredibly great sounding bass the Purity deliver. It has everything you want and need, strong punchy presence without drowning out the mids. The bass sounds smooth, full and tightly packed and is not at all overpowering. What's more is that you can turn the volume way up high and not have any distortion. Mids are a bit recessed and not as detailed for headphones at this price range, albeit still sound good. Highs don't have enough clarity to make you feel like you're at a live concert, but they're clear and not muffled. After having spent a considerable amount of time using the Incase Sonic, the transition to the Purity was from cold to warm. It isn't necessarily a bad thing, it only means the sound signatures are different yet still sound just as good. The Purity headphones sound more closed and full of richness while the Sonic headphones sound more airy and with a bit more treble.
I suspect the warm and full sound signature of the Purity comes from them having a closed ear cup design and cushions that create a very good seal keeping the sound at bay. Also, there isn't much noticeable sound leakage.
There's no doubt Monster and Nokia did an amazing job designing the Purity headphones. As a stereo headset, these are actually fantastic. Great sound, comfortable on-ear fit with a clean modern style and Windows Phone compatibility. Our only two complaints about the Purity are their price and build quality. At $200, the Purity headphones are pricy and don't offer a better total-package than more affordable pairs that sound and look just as good such as Incase's Sonic headphones. Granted you'll have a hard time finding compatible headsets at this caliber that'll work with Windows Phone devices.
With that said, the Purity headphones are worth checking out especially if you're looking for a solid headset for your Windows Phone device. You can pick up the Monster Nokia Purity headset headphones on Amazon for a little under $200.