AUTHOR: Grant Gaines
One of the struggles with product lines is knowing which to buy. Sometimes it’s easy due to budget, whereas other times it’s a slippery slope that is more so personal preference. With Monster’s DNA line of True Wireless headsets there are some distinct positives and negatives that can make the choice difficult. While we already covered DNA Fit, we wanted to cover DNA Go so you know which option makes the most sense, or if you should invest in the DNA line to begin with.
Monster starts by making a strong impact with DNA Go’s packaging. The box features a contrasting black, grey, white, and red design. If that isn’t enough, certain elements on each side have an eye catching glossy finish. It’s the type of product that will absolutely stand out in a retail setting, with enough information to get an idea of what you’re purchasing.
Once the slip cover is off, there is a box with a magnetic clasp holding it shut. Opening this will reveal a protective embossed paper insert, and a message from Noel Lee, Monster CEO, about “Pure Monster Sound.” Lifting the red ribbon will reveal DNA Go, along with a box containing accessories below.
Before talking about DNA Go, I wanted to touch on the included accessories. As you’d expect, there is a helpful quick start guide. I strongly suggest checking it out for shortcuts, and other commands to make full use of these headphones. This pouch also contains a pair of stickers. One has the Monster logo in red, with the name in white with the red logo. Another document links to this page that unfortunately confirms the companion application is still in development.
So Many Ear Tips
There is a USB-C to USB-C cable that comes with a USB-C to USB-A adapter attached. The cable is about 4′ long, with a high quality nylon braiding. In fact, it feels like one of the nicest quality cables in my vast collection. Finally, a total of eight ear tips are included that should cover a plethora of sizes.
Similar to DNA Fit, Monster tried to make DNA Go stand out in a different way. The case is a simple matte plastic throughout the shell. There isn’t rubber feet or anything to prevent it from sliding around a table. It also comes in an interesting rounded triangular case that slopes downward. The benefit to this design is easier access to DNA Go, though it can have an unusual feeling in your pocket.
On a high note, it’s a more compact package compared to DNA Fit. At 2.6″ x 2.4″ x 1.4″ it’s in line with similar True Wireless headphones. Still larger than AirPods, just marginally so this time.
Each earbud is fairly compact, boasting a smaller overall size than an AirPod. Instead of the usual circular design there is a triangular one with a tip pointing inward. It gives DNA Go a more modern look. There is also a single multifunctional button on top of each earbud. Given the struggles with touch gestures I appreciate this, even if I would prefer more buttons.
DNA Go Next to DNA Fit
Due to the triangular shape I found DNA Go to be somewhat uncomfortable. Depending on the size of your ear and position of the earbud, they can sometimes press against something. That said, when they’re in the intended location they’re surprisingly secure. They also feel slightly more comfortable, though they never reach feel of DNA Fit.
Sound performance was okay for this level. They’re tuned in a way that brings out the bass, leaving vocals rather hollow. Great if you listen to bass heavy music, and okay if you’re not. This was especially bad with songs more on the high end where everything was just really flat and bland.
I also tried Resident Evil 4 remake with these to see if they fared better than DNA Fit, but they were about the same. Largely lifeless setting with a lot of the quirks I praised F2 for were lost here. Still, they’re very similar to headphones at this level, it just depends on what elements mean the most to you.
Even if the sound performance isn’t spectacular, the feature set is solid for the price. The main benefits to DNA Go are roughly 28 hours of battery life with the case, 7 hours of playback, IPX5 water resistant, wireless charging, and 15 minutes giving you about 2 hours of playback. Fast charging is noticeably better than DNA Fit, even if the latter gets more overall time. I also wanted to confirm the information listed under Amazon‘s compare, which suggests DNA Go has ANC is not true. Unfortunately, that is a feature that requires DNA Fit if you want it.
Easily Fits on Most Charging Pads
Wireless charging has some positives and negatives. The indicator light is inside the case, so you can’t glance at the case to confirm its charging. The compact design should eliminate the chance of messing up, though it’s still nice to have confirmation. Sometimes I did get it to make a sound when charging, so it seems to have some indicators, just nothing overly simple. While you can obviously open it to confirm, a number of standing wireless charging stations have limited space to do so.
Buttons are also going to be a hit/miss feature. While DNA Go easily accepts its commands, holding to increase/decrease volume is a bit cumbersome. This was one of the more standout features on DNA Fit, as the dual volume knocker made it effortless to find the right volume.
Bluetooth performance was exceptional. I had no issues with Monster DNA Go remaining connected to my device. Like most Bluetooth 5.0 or better headsets, I was able to get to my car without an interruption. This is always nice to see, with the buttons making it easy to control things without messing with your phone.
Monster DNA Go Review Verdict
Both DNA Fit and DNA Go are jack of all trade devices. They both offer a lot of nice features, like wireless charging, fantastic Bluetooth range/connectivity, high quality accessories, but this unfortunately comes at song performance. Those looking for a headset first will likely want to look elsewhere. Likewise, given the small difference in price, DNA Fit offers a stronger overall package. ANC is always nice to have, along with a better overall fit.