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Monster High Character Headphones
Last Christmas my 'soon to be' ten year old daughter was lucky enough to receive an iPod for Christmas. It was a big hit over the holiday period, and between listening to her music, and her transferring the earphones to her computer so she could watch you tube clips without disturbing those around her, she got a fair bit of use from the earphones over a short period of time. We quickly came to realise that she was getting lots of ear infections and as soon as one we got one infection sorted, she'd quickly get another. Whether it was the wearing the earphones for long periods, causing a warm and moist environment for bacteria to breed, sharing the earphones with her friends (one each so they both can listen), or just the winter bugs and a sheer coincidence we just don't know. When her birthday came around (it was late January so not too long to wait), I had a thought that 'over the head' style earphones would suit her better. With this in mind, plus being that 'tween' stage, I purchased headphones from the Monster High range from the leading toy manufacturer Mattel Inc.
Monster High is a range of toys that follow the series of books by author Lisi Harrison. The books themselves are more teen orientated as they feature teen angst and drama. They follow students from the aforementioned Monster High School, and all the characters are offspring or related to, famous monsters such as Dracula (Draculaura), the abominable snowman (Abbie Bominable) and Frankenstein (Frankie Stein). Their more grown up style have meant that they have made the leap to toys well. Their 'Freaky but Fabulous' style is perfect for that 'tween age' where girls are too old for dollies, but still want to play with dolls per se. Therefore I thought that the headphones would be perfect for her as I'd already bought her several toys from the range before; they were sure to be a hit, and they were.
The headphones came mounted on a flat piece of cardboard backing featuring a rather fetching depiction of Frankie (daughter of Frankenstein and his bride), and the headphones are prominently displayed beneath an acetate bubble outer. The packaging is quite tough to open, so I recommend you use scissors to gain access, or your poor fingers will suffer. I liked that once the packaging was open though, there were not thousands of fastenings to undo before you could get them out; there were just one or two; and my daughter managed this herself; being eager to test them out.
With actual headphones being all the rage nowadays, in direct competition to 'in the ear' phones, my daughter doesn't feel too babyish to wear these out and about, although as time has gone on, I feel that she wishes that the Monster High theme wasn't quite so prominent. Kids! They grow so fast; she absolutely adored them just over six months ago.
The black and fuchsia pink colouring will appeal to all girls in my opinion. Yes OK, it's pink, but it's bright and modern, and not a sugary, candy coloured pink. I think that especially with the Monster theming, even tom boys would like them. The earphones are marked L and R, so there can be confusion to which ear goes where, but to be quite honest, I really don't think it matters; they are just as comfortable whatever way around you wear them. On the right hand one, you see the Monster High school badge logo. It's a white shield shape, with the MH and the skull with the pink bow detail. Underneath that is the Mattel copyright. On the left, it features white scribble with a picture of Frankie Stein overlaid, also in white. This white on black, is a really nice feature, and gives it a more grown up feel rather than being overly coloured and babyish. These are somehow printed within the plastic of the earphone outer shell, and are not simply a cheap transfer. This makes them great quality as the picture will stay true, and over the (almost) seven months my daughter has owned these, there have been no scratches to ruin the design. Although saying that, if they were a transfer/sticker, I could remove it as my daughter grew out of the Monster High theme, and the whole earphones would have a longer lasting 'shelf life' so to speak.
The headband section is made from a high quality black matt plastic, as opposed to the high gloss shine on the earphone shells. It's manufactured in one solid piece, but splits at the side to form two prongs, into which the parts that allow the headphones to alter to the correct size of head are situated. At the crown of the head, there is cushioning in the same fuchsia colour of the padding on the ear sections. It's manufactured from some kind of PVC but is made and secured, extremely well to the headphone. It not only provides comfort but also prevents gaping on little (and occasionally not so little heads (I can wear these comfortably).
The ear sections are on the smaller side, for obvious reasons, being aimed at children. However, I have, as mentioned previously, worn these on the odd occasion, usually when my own headphones go walkabout. As per the cushioning on the crown section, these are extremely well padded, and provided a really cushioned, and comfortable listening experience. The adjustability of them is great, Elysia has been wearing these since she was ten on the smallest setting, but I feel that my seven year old niece could wear them comfortably on the same setting. I myself (Five feet, two inches) only need to widen these around one centimetre at each side, to provide a more personal fit. The sound quality of these is great for kids and those non audiophiles among us. There is none of that awful crackling or breaking up. Let's be truthful, there are never going to be the best soundwise, but for the price, I think they are perfectly adequate and do the job well.
The whole look has been given a modern touch by the addition of chrome rims and matching chrome adjusters. The pink lead completes the look and is finished with a 3.5 mm gold plated headphone jack. The length of the lead does worry me a little, especially as it's a 'toy' but as long as younger kids are supervised, I foresee no problems. The main lead is about a metre long (I can't find my tape measure at this moment in time to give accurate dimensions), and then the lead splits to either earphone and provides around another forty centimetres or so of length. One feature that would have been handy on these would be some kind of volume limiter; but there is none. If you have an MP3 player (or whatever you are requiring these for) that is to be used by kids, and it has a limiter on there, I suggest you utilise it; I wouldn't want anyone to damage little ears when it could be prevented.
Overall, I think that these were well worth the £19.99 I paid for these when they first came out. They are £12.92 with £1 delivery at the moment on Amazon (cheapest price 04/08/13), and I feel that is a bargain, especially if you are buying these for a younger child than my daughter, as the Monster High theme would have a much longer lasting appeal. They were a great buy for me personally too; as a mum I want what's best for my kids and anything I can do to keep her safe and well, I'll happily do. It can't be coincidence that since she's been wearing these 'over the head' style headphones there hasn't been a reoccurrence of the dreaded ear infections. I feel that by letting more air circulate within the padded earpiece, it's keeping the sensitive ear canal as bacteria free as it can. Therefore, I recommend these over the head style headphones rather than in the ear style ones, and the Monster High theming of these are perfect for those girls in the 7 - 11 age range.
Five out of five from me and my Monster. ;)