Made for the Workout Junkie, Monster's DNA FIT Active Noise Cancelling Earbuds Review

Manufacturer & Model
Monster DNA Fit Wireless Earbuds with ANC
$89 - $129
Comfortable design, stays in place during aggressive physical activities, excellent onboard controls, IPX5 moisture rating, Bluetooth 5.2 wit 24-bit audio, excellent battery life, wireless charging case.
Monster's DNA Fit Wireless Earbuds with ANC is designed with the fitness enthusiast in mind. They're comfortable, stay in place during rigorous activities, and offer plenty of controls to keep you focused and moving. Call quality is decent, although ANC performance is subpar. Overall sound quality is passable.

Monster, you say? That’s still a thing?

Believe it or not, the brand is very much alive, though these days, its products are primarily developed and manufactured by licensees and approved in-house. Having flourished through the 80s and 90s as a premium, high-dollar cable manufacturer and created gold with Dr. Dre and Beats in the early 2000s, the Monster name is now found on a variety of speakers, earbuds, smart home and gaming products, and, yes… cables.

Today, we’re taking an up-close look at Monster’s DNA Fit Active Noise Cancellation earbud, a 2022 CES Innovation Awards Honoree and the direct result of a licensing agreement with Lifeworks Technology Group. Designed for those on the go, DNA Fit manages to deliver quite a bit of good despite a few shortcomings.


Being a gym rat, I’m forever on the lookout for earbuds that can handle the rigors of a workout while delivering convenience and quality sound. And while I’d prefer all three of those attributes to be equally addressed, it often seems that a bud’s ability to survive workout sessions gets the short end of the stick. Here’s where DNA Fit enters the picture because its design is 100% movement friendly, which made this particular review more fun than most.

The DNA Fit is crafted for secure comfort, with a flexible loop that hooks over the ear to keep the buds in place. Weighing 0.38 ounces (each) and boasting an IPX5 water resistance rating, DNA Fit is light enough to wear for long periods of time and can handle both sweat and inclement weather. It’s even washable, which is a nice bonus for something that’s likely to need some cleaning.

The list of technologies integrated into DNA Fit doesn’t stray far from what most earbuds claim, including true wireless Bluetooth performance, active noise cancellation (ANC), 15-minute rapid charging, and the promise of a long-lasting battery. That tech is fleshed out by aptX Bluetooth 5.2 with 24-bit audio, ANC aided by three built-in microphones per earbud, and onboard batteries that deliver 7.5 hours of playback. The case extends on-the-go battery life with an additional 26.5 hours of power, and if time is of the essence, you can quick charge for two-hour hits of playback.

Let’s not forget phone calls, which Monster says are improved by echo cancellation and ambient noise suppression.

Both earbuds have physical controls that mirror each other. The large triangular shape on the side of each bud is a multifunction button that allows you to toggle through ANC and transparency modes, play and pause tracks, activate a phone assistant, and answer calls. And the rear edge of both buds houses a rocker button that doubles as a volume control and track selector.

Unboxing and Set-Up

Despite costing $129 (currently on sale at Amazon for $89), DNA Fit ships in packaging befitting of much more expensive gear. The box’s outer sleeve is embossed with high-quality glossy images and the inner gatefold container has multiple layers that open to reveal branding and messaging that adds to the product’s presentation value. Most materials are paper-based, minus plastic packaging that holds 12 additional ear tip sizes, so Monster gets a few bonus points for being more green than mean.

In addition to a wide array of ear tip sizes, the box contains a large pill-shaped charging case, a four-foot braided USB-C to USB-C charging cable with a USB adapter head, and some marketing goodies. The cloth-wrapped case is bigger than most, but its size is necessary to accommodate the larger-than-normal earbuds. Like most earbuds, the case has a button, a charging port, a wireless charging option, and a charge status light; tho the light isn’t where you’d think it would be (hint: it’s located on the outside of the case next to the end-mounted charging port). And much like you’d expect, both earbuds have charge status lights that illuminate once seated in the case.


Set-up is about as simple as it comes. By design, the buds automatically enter pairing mode when removed from the case or unpaired from a source. That means you don’t need the case to pair. And once they’re paired, you’ll hear a small guitar riff as confirmation, so there’s no guesswork in the process.

Monster says that DNA Fit will eventually have a companion app, so it’s safe to assume that some functions, like battery status, will be accessible through your phone. I’d also like to see EQ controls introduced, though we won’t know what’s included until the app is released.


The DNA Fit feels fabulous on/in the ear, partly because of its weight and soft materials but primarily due to its slick form factor. I found them easy to put on, and they stayed in place throughout rigorous levels of activity. Long runs? Not a problem. Heavy bag work, pull-ups, rowing, and lifting? All were smooth sailing without the need for constant reseating or repositioning. More importantly, the buds didn’t impart a “thud” or concussive sound resulting from foot strikes while running.

From a wearability perspective, DNA Fit is a homerun.

On the usability front, the edge-mounted rocker button is intuitive and easy to use (press once for volume control and twice for track skipping). The multifunction button, however, requires a bit more patience, as control features are spread across single, double, and triple clicks – not an insurmountable problem, but it takes some practice to memorize. That said, once I learned all of the controls, DNA Fit proved to be a great companion during workouts, particularly during times when device controls – like volume – weren’t easily accessed.

I paired my sample with an iPhone 14 Pro and found functionality seamless, minus the fact that answering an incoming call instantly shifts microphone and audio duties to the phone, not the buds. If you intend to hold a conversation using the DNA Fit, you’ll need access to your phone to switch audio duties back to the buds. A minor issue, yes, but an annoyance nonetheless.

Call quality proved to be ok, though Monster’s promise of “ambient noise suppression” didn’t ring true. Voices and intelligibility on my end were fine, but callers said that background noise (such as clanking dishes and running water) was audible and distracting. However, it’s worth noting that one test subject told me background noise was worse on an older pair of Apple AirPods Pro. So, perhaps Monster’s calling technology has some sort of impact… but because noise was identified as an issue, I’m hesitant to sing its praises.


And let’s not forget about battery life, which seemed to fall in line with Monster’s specs. The 15-minute rapid charge definitely provided a healthy amount of juice, and the buds survived for hours and hours… and hours… with a single full charge. My only complaint in the battery department is the case’s size, which is slightly smaller than my iPhone’s footprint and nearly 3X as thick. It isn’t an item that slips into your pocket and disappears, so beware if you’re looking for a case that’s easy to transport.

Unfortunately, DNA Fit’s ANC capabilities are a non-factor, primarily due to the lack of a tight seal with the ear. I tried a wide array of ear tip sizes and various positions of the buds on/in the ear, and the seal was never good enough to make ANC useful. Even so, I tested ANC by firmly seating the buds and holding them pressed into my ear; the difference between ANC On and ANC Off wasn’t readily apparent. Transparency Mode was also disappointing, offering a negligible uptick in mid to higher frequencies sounds. On the plus side, the bud’s natural tendency to reveal ambient sound makes them safe to wear while performing outdoor activities near traffic.

Overall sound quality also proved to be middling, landing squarely in what I’d call serviceable territory. Over a period of weeks, I listened to a wide range of tracks from acts such as The 1975, Post Malone, Third Eye Blind, Bleachers, Muse, Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, and Snoop Dogg. The resulting presentation was best described as having a hollow low-end, with sound quality dominated by mid- and high-range frequencies. Based on the DNA Fit’s loser fit to my ears, I wasn’t surprised bass reproduction was light. But even when I forced a tighter fit to introduce conditions for a bit more low lend, the resulting sound was muddied and unrefined.

My sound quality assessment might read as a strike against Monster's workout friendly buds, but I wouldn’t say the sound was distracting or largely out of whack. Just know that if you’re a fan of deep, punchy bass and refined mids and highs, you’ll be left wanting more.

For me, these earbuds are all about the comfort factor and a secure fit during workout sessions. If that’s top of your list, then you’ll probably find audio quality to be passable enough not to be a bother. But if you’re looking for a thick and juicy audio experience that drips with high-end appeal, you’re not going to find that here.


To summarize, Monster’s DNA Fit gets high marks for presentation, fit, workout friendliness, and controls. And while overall sound quality is a little light in the low-end, it’s competent enough to land itself in the “doable” category. As for ANC performance, it’s a non-factor.

So, here are my purchase recommendations. If you’re looking for an earbud that can suppress noise on a plane ride and deliver high-quality playback during listening sessions, this isn’t the right buy for you. On the flip side, if you’re looking for a workout-first earbud that practically disappears on the ear during rigorous sessions in the gym, providing playback controls that eliminate the need to fumble with your phone, the DNA Fit is worth a try.

Currently on sale for $89 (Amazon), the DNA Fit is affordable enough to take a flier on… besides, Monster offers a 30-day money-back guarantee making it hard not to recommend for the true workout junkie.

Monster DNA Fit Wireless Earbuds Specifications
  • IPX 5 water resistant
  • 7.5 hours onboard battery life
  • 34-hour battery life with case
  • 15-minute quick charge for two additional hours of use
  • Wireless charging case
  • Active Noise Cancellation and Ambient Sound Mode
  • Bluetooth 5.2 with 24-bit audio compatibility
  • Onboard 3-way multifunction button
  • Two-way volume and track control button
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