Friday, January 9, 2009

Jury Duty

Normally by the time the New Year officially rolls around we're already snoozing. But this year was different. I was actually sitting at the computer like a nerd, working on an Excel spreadsheet, when about 40 minutes into the new year I got an e-mail from Amazon. The subject line read:

Amazon: Free pair of Monster Turbine Headphones in exchange for your honest opinion.

Well that piqued my curiosity so I opened the message and found that the offer was good for the first 50 people to reply back. Even though I really don't need anything like this, heck it was free so I rushed back a reply. There was no acknowledgment but I figured I had a decent chance since how many people are going to be at their computer at 12:40 am on New Year's morning??

Then I forgot about it. Last night the doorbell rang at about the time the UPS guy shows up (poor guy normally comes after 6 - he must really be overwhelmed). I wasn't expecting anything but after two rings and a knock, I went to see who it was. He said a signature was required.

It turns out that the box contained a pair of Monster Turbine headphones! (Now why do they refer to headphones as a pair, as they do pants, when there's really only one of them?). Here's a picture of the box.

I had previously looked at the Amazon product page and noted that these are very pricey ($149.95) and also had gotten some really lame reviews from people. Perhaps Monster was sending out samples to try and raise the average ratings?

Now if you ask me, Monster products are all flash and no substance. They are good quality but way way way way overpriced. A good example is the HDMI cable I mentioned a few blog entries ago - brick and mortar stores wanted upwards of $50-$100 for one and I wound up getting one at Fry's (still brick and mortar but on sale) for less than $10. It works just fine. Even if it fizzed out, you could still buy 10 of these for the price of one Monster cable. Cable is cable.

If Monster had undergone the same selection process for reviewers to whom to send their samples, I would not have been chosen. I'd be like the guy questioned by the attorneys who was all for capital punishment, even for stealing a pizza. Zap, take him off the jury, he's already got preconceived notions! That's me when it comes to stuff like Monster products and other similarly overpriced items.

BUT.. A deal is a deal. By replying back with my e-mail I agreed to post an "honest and substantive" review on Amazon in exchange for a free sample. That I will do. I really hope that I am wrong and these are fantastic (they are still inside the box as I type this). Oh, and I also will not sell these to anyone, as agreed.

This entry is already long enough so I'll stop here but tomorrow I'll relate some other experiences I have had doing comparisons between supposed "high-end" stuff versus the more "common" stuff, and I'll also give you my impressions on these headphones (actually earphones) after I give them a whirl.

Meanwhile, here's some consumer education for you:

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