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Monster XKT16 Review: Gaming Earbuds on a Budget

So you think gaming earbuds are expensive? Well, not really! Today, I’ll introduce you to a cool, cheap pair of earbuds that perform decently: the Monster XKT16.

After spending a week with the XKT16s, I’m ready to share my in-depth review.

Unboxing & First Impressions

Inside the box, I found:

  • Product packaging
  • Headphones
  • Instructions manual
  • Charging case
  • Type-C charging cable

The XKT16 earbuds come in a compact box with the earbuds and charging case, a USB-C charging cable, and small and large ear tips (mediums come pre-installed).

Monster XKT16 box

My first impressions were positive. The earbuds have a sleek, understated design with Monster’s logo on each bud.

The charging case is lightweight and pocketable with a matte black finish. It feels durable and well-made, especially for the price point.

How to Setup and Pairing Monster XKT16

  1. Open the cover of the charging case to automatically turn on the earbuds.
  2. Search for “Monster XKT16” on your device’s Bluetooth list and select it to pair.
  3. When successfully connected, you will hear “Connected.”

Comfort & Fit

The Monster XKT16s have a one-size-fits-most design – there are no rubber ear tips or wings. Instead, the buds sit in your ear concha. I was skeptical about the fit and comfort at first.

After wearing them for a few hours, I found the fit to be reasonably secure and comfortable enough.

Monster XKT16 design

They don’t create a full seal in your ear canal, so there’s less passive noise isolation compared to other in-ear buds.

But the upside is they feel very lightweight and put little pressure on your ears.

Your mileage may vary in terms of comfort and fit. Those with very small or large ears may have issues with these.

Bluetooth & Battery Life

The XKT16 earbuds feature Bluetooth 5.3 for a stable, long-range wireless connection. In my testing, the Bluetooth performed well – the earbuds connected quickly to my phone and I experienced no audio drops or sync issues.

Monster XKT16 connectivity

Battery life is the biggest weakness of these earbuds. You get about 4 hours of continuous playback per charge, which is below average.

The charging case holds about 3 additional charges. That’s a total of around 16 hours – not bad but not great either. Competing earbuds in this price range commonly offer 6-8 hours per charge.

Sound Quality

I was pleasantly surprised by the audio quality of the Monster XKT16 earbuds. They have a fairly balanced sound signature with good clarity in the mids and highs.

The bass is a bit lacking, likely due to the non-sealing earbud design. So if you’re a bass head, these may leave you wanting. But for most music genres, the sound is detailed and engaging.

The soundstage is also decent for earbuds – not super expansive but not totally closed-in either. Instrument separation is clear and precise.

Monster XKT16 Review

One issue is the modest volume – these don’t get super loud even when maxed out. And audio quality starts to suffer a bit at higher volumes.

Overall though, the sound exceeded my expectations considering the affordable price. To my ears, audio quality is very similar to the Monster XKT15 earbuds.

Controls & Special Features

The XKT16 buds have touch controls that work reasonably well:

  • Double tap either bud to play/pause music or answer/end a call
  • Single tap right bud to increase volume, left bud to decrease volume
  • Triple tap right bud to skip track, triple tap left to go to previous track
  • Long press left bud to summon voice assistant
  • Long press right bud to toggle between music and gaming modes

The inclusion of a low-latency gaming mode is a nice bonus for mobile gamers.

Call Quality & Microphone

Using the Monster XKT16 earbuds for phone calls, the microphone quality was okay but not amazing. My voice came through clear enough in quiet environments but sounded somewhat thin and distant.

In noisy environments like a busy street or windy day, the mics struggled to isolate my voice, making it hard for people to hear me.

These will work alright for the occasional call in relatively quiet places. But I wouldn’t rely on them as my main headset for frequent voice or video calls.

Monster XKT16 Specs & Details

Bluetooth version5.3
Battery life (earbuds)4 hours
Battery life (with case)16 hours
Earbud weight4g each
Earbud touch controlsYes
Mono listeningYes
Frequency response20 Hz – 20 kHz
Supported codecsSBC, AAC

Monster XKT16 Pros & Cons


  • Affordable price point
  • Balanced, clear sound quality
  • Lightweight, reasonably comfortable fit
  • Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity
  • Low-latency gaming mode


  • Below average battery life
  • Bass is lacking
  • Mediocre call quality
  • No ANC or transparency modes

Where to Buy?

View on AliExpress

The Bottom Line

The Monster XKT16 earbuds offer very good sound quality and handy features for a budget-friendly price under $100. While battery life is underwhelming and there’s no ANC, you’d be hard-pressed to find better sounding true wireless earbuds at this price point.

If 4 hours per charge is enough for your needs and you don’t need expansive bass response, the XKT16s are a great value. Their lightweight fit and gaming mode are added bonuses.

But if you need all-day battery life, high-quality voice calls, and noise cancellation, it’s worth spending more for premium earbuds. For Monster fans on a budget though, the XKT16 wireless earbuds are easy to recommend.

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