The Monster DNA Max is a no-frills Bluetooth speaker that mixes stable sound with ease of use—and it’s now accessible in a lot of enjoyable colours.
The wi-fi speaker market is filled with lookalike and lackluster Bluetooth fashions that may be laborious to inform aside. The Monster DNA Max is an impressive different to the group, with a singular design, spectacular options, and glorious audio efficiency.
Monster Audio first made its identify in premium audio cables and energy provides earlier than revolutionizing the wi-fi headphone and speaker markets as the corporate that first developed and manufactured Beats by Dre. The corporate lately dropped the over-ear headphones from its lineup, nevertheless it continues to seek out success with wi-fi audio system and earbuds.
Monster has simply introduced 5 new limited-edition colours for each the DNA Max and its smaller DNA One Bluetooth audio system, describing the brand new tones as placing blue, vibrant inexperienced, daring orange, royal purple, and fiery crimson. These are along with the white and black variations already accessible.
Design and construct
The DNA Max is designed to face on one finish, with a slim base. The speaker measures 8.7 x 4.4 x 3 inches (HxWxD) and weighs simply 2.43 lbs. There’s no built-in deal with, and the circumference/weight combo could make the DNA Max a bit laborious to choose up and carry. Thankfully, there’s a put up for the matching carry strap. Until you’ve got very massive palms, you’ll wish to use the strap. A good higher possibility may be Monster’s $39.99 molded carry case with strap.
The highest, backside, and aspect of the DNA Max are comprised of a sturdy rubber materials. Should you’re involved about long-term look of your speaker, the white unit appears destined to choose up stains and marks that wouldn’t present up on the black one. The material grille is comprised of plastic and never fabric, making it really feel comparatively indestructible. The DNA Max has an IP67 waterproof and dustproof score. It additionally floats in water, so it’s protected to make use of by the pool or on a ship.
The speaker has a 4,400mAh Li-ion battery that delivered simply over 12 hours playback on a full cost, and it took 5 hours to get there after its battery was emptied. The DNA Max is designed to work with a customized Qi wi-fi charging base, though I had no drawback getting a cost out of different Qi bases round my home. Monster features a USB-C cable and a wall charger. The USB-C port on the aspect of the unit will also be used to cost the speaker or act as a charging port for a telephone.
The DNA Max has omnidirectional sound generated by two 15-watt drivers and a pair of passive radiators. That design means you’ll want to make use of the speaker vertically, one thing that may be a little bit of a difficulty as a result of the DNA Max is a bit high heavy. You’ll want a flat floor, or the speaker would possibly fall on its aspect.
There are 4 buttons on the highest of the unit, together with massive “plus” and “minus” ones to manage the amount. Customers can skip to the following observe or go to the earlier observe by urgent the plus or minus button for 2 seconds. There’s a multifunction button that powers the unit on and off and controls the play and pause. The M button controls the Monster Share Celebration Mode, which permits customers to sync a number of Monster DNA audio system.
You may take telephone calls whereas the speaker is linked, due to a built-in microphone. Reply or hold up calls with a single press of the ability button or reject an incoming name with a two-second press.
There are audio and voice prompts that allow you to know that standing of the speaker when powering on or off and connecting. These prompts are loud, so loud that some customers would possibly discover them annoying.
The $150 Monster DNA One speaker measures 6.1 x 4.4 x 3 inches and weighs 1.5 lbs. That diminished peak and weight makes it a lot simpler to deal with, nevertheless it nonetheless contains the put up and strap that comes with the DNA Max. There’s additionally a $29.99 molded carry case. It’s received a smaller battery however delivers related playback time due to its twin 10-watt drivers. The 2 fashions use the identical charging base.
The DNA One has a decrease middle of gravity, so it’s much less more likely to tip over. It’s simpler to hold than the DNA Max however can’t fairly match the bigger speaker’s efficiency on the highest volumes. If pressured to decide on, I’d decide the smaller unit regardless of the DNA Max’s extra highly effective audio.
Having a celebration with the DNA Max
What’s the easiest way to get customers to purchase a fleet of your audio system? Add a operate that enables them to daisy chain as much as 99 audio system for an audio pageant. Monster Share Celebration Mode is the model of this function included with the DNA Max.
Flip in your essential speaker and let it connect with your Bluetooth supply. Activate all the opposite audio system you wish to embrace in your array, then press the M button in your essential speaker for 2 seconds. Single-press the M button on all the opposite audio system and they need to join.
This sort of function will be balky regardless of which firm made the audio system, however the Monster pairing was extra constant than what I’ve encountered from different manufacturers. Monster helpfully notes that customers ought to restart the method if the pairing hasn’t accomplished inside 30 seconds.
The DNA Max is a mono speaker and pairing with one other DNA Max or different suitable Monster speaker doesn’t create a stereo pair. You’re simply replicating the mono playback from the primary speaker.
Monster doesn’t tout any wi-fi specs for the DNA Max speaker as a result of this unit’s not going to attraction to anybody who’s seeking to max out the specs on their Bluetooth. The speaker makes use of Bluetooth 5.1 and solely helps the low-res SBC codec. There’s no AAC, LDAC, aptX, or any codec that guarantees a “hi-res Bluetooth” expertise.
Monster didn’t construct an app to manage the speaker, which implies there’s no method to modify the EQ or tweak another settings. The expertise you get will all the time be the one that you simply benefit from the first time you flip it on and connect with a supply.
I don’t have an issue with this, and I’ll go to this point to say that it’s a welcome antidote to the parable that monophonic wi-fi audio system want the identical options that high-end stereo parts and even mid-level earbuds require.
The DNA Max isn’t designed for important listening, nevertheless it does a wonderful job with Spotify playlists, streaming radio, audiobooks, or podcasts. Listening to music, the sound is pleasingly thick with glorious decrease mids and no distortion within the excessive finish at regular listening quantity.
Should you’re seeking to pump up the bass at most loudness, you’re going to get distortion with none noticeable improve within the low finish. Physics will get in the best way right here. Should you’re on the lookout for that booming backside, you’ll want extra energy and discrete woofers or a bigger passive radiator.
Must you purchase the Monster DNA Max?
The DNA Max options dependable Bluetooth connectivity, stable mono sound, Qi wi-fi charging, and all kinds of arresting colours. Press the ability button and also you’re able to go after the speaker connects. You may determine the controls by contact and by no means have to fret about water or grime should you’re utilizing it exterior.
There’s no assist for extra superior codecs, no app for EQ adjustment, and no stereo functionality when the DNA Max is paired with one other speaker. There’s an argument that the absence of these options makes this speaker simpler to make use of. Over the previous few weeks of testing, the DNA Max proved itself to be a no-fuss listening possibility with glorious sound.
Neither the DNA Max nor the DNA One audio system will minimize it as celebration audio system. Their optimum quantity is extra suited to private or small group listening. Taking that under consideration, I’d give a slight edge to the DNA One for my very own listening despite the fact that I’d give the 2 audio system the very same score. If the function set appeals, each the DNA Max and DNA One are glorious wi-fi audio system.
If this isn’t the speaker for you, try our round-up of the very best Bluetooth audio system we’ve examined for extra suggestions.