Monster Digital Coaxial cable
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
Monster M850 DCX is a wedding of high-profile technology and aesthetic sizzle (if you find it hard to imagine how a digital coaxial cable can look like anything besides a cable, just take a quick look at one of these). If this cable were also a wedding cake, it would be the most elaborate seven-tiered beast you've ever seen, complete with a three-inch-thick layer of fondant and garnished with intricate doilies, authentic pearls and a functional chocolate fountain. It is as deluxe as cables come—but plan for rain. Unfortunately, the poor tech support and watered-down warranty are not very sweet at all.
A quick look at the audio cable specs and you'll see why Monster is such an apt name – these digital coaxial cables have it all. They feature a silver-coated copper conductor at the core, designed for high conductivity and audio-timing preservation. A gas-injected dielectric material makes up the next layer, designed to insulate the signal as it travels down the cable and keep the core wire properly spaced from the outer shields.
It features a foil wrap to reflect lower-frequency radio waves and a braided shield to absorb electromagnetic waves. The braided guard is made of highly conductive copper to better ground potentially harmful electric signals. Like the copper core, the braided guard is brushed in silver to enhance performance. This layer of shielding gives the cable a nice, hefty feel.
Unique among most digital coaxial cables, the protective jacket on the Monster M850 DCX-4 is made of stylish Hex-Mesh. And unlike wedding cake frosting, it is more than just good looks; Hex-Mesh is specially woven for flexibility and tear resistance. Furthermore, it meets the UL standards for in-wall installation, which means that you will be able to run these cables through your walls with confidence.
This digital coaxial cable features gold-plated RCA connectors with a split center pin. These features promote conductivity and contact pressure, and guarantee that the cable faithfully delivers audio signals. It even features a turbine-style cut on the outer grip ring.
This audio cable shines in terms of technology, but falls short when it comes to length selection. The limited cable length options are a slight drawback. Available lengths include the following:
For most home audio systems, these length options will be sufficient. The cable only has to span from your DVD player to your receiver (which are typically placed close together), so you may not need longer cables. Nevertheless, you should plan your home theater before you purchase any cables to make sure you get the right amount.
Help & Support
Monster also falls short when it comes to customer support and warranty. Almost all specialty cable providers offer a lifetime warranty on their cables, and the best companies will include tech support as well. For premium cables like these, you would expect a premium warranty. After all, you don't want to shell out a premium price more than once. Unfortunately, a one-year warranty is the best these cables can deliver. If you have any problems with the cable after you have owned it for a year, you will be on your own.
If you need tech support, you can contact the manufacturer via the email address provided on the company website, but there are no phone numbers. If you do not want to wait for an email response, the website also features a limited section dedicated to FAQs that may resolve any problems that you experience.
Monster M850 DCX is a high performance digital coaxial cable with a celebrated brand name. It has all the best features and will leave as small an imprint on your digital audio as possible. The only real hang-ups are the somewhat limited length options, the limp warranty and poor customer support. Fortunately, digital coaxial cables are resilient, so you may not need the warranty.