Monoprice 108320 In-Ear Enhanced Bass Hi-Fi Noise Isolating Earphones - Silver
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- Featured in 4 Stylish Colors for pairing with your favorite electronic device
- Easy-Fit Design for Comfort and Fit, 3.5 mm plug
- 1 Pair of Soft Earpads Included, 1 Year Limited Warranty, Parts and Labor
- Huge Drive Unit - Diameter 14.2mm Delivers a Full and Rich Sound
- Impedance (ohm/1kHz) - 32
- Long 48" Cord offers Full Range of Motion
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With its stylish design, these Monoprice earphones will prompt complete strangers to ask you where you got them, but you won't hear a word they say as you rock on down the highway! Made with a noise-isolating design and producing clear and solid sound, these earphone are a great way to enjoy your favorite music from your iPod or other portable music device. They fit comfortably into the ears and produce solid bass notes and clear midrange tones, both normally a weakness in earphones, thanks to the large 14.2 mm driver unit. The package includes three different sized pairs of silicone earbuds, for a better, more comfortable fit. The 48" cord terminates in a gold-plated 3.5 mm stereo plug, which connects to most popular music devices and phones, with better connectivity and corrosion resistance than the more common nickel and tin-plated connectors. The end result is a pair of earphones that are made for the rigors of daily use from the music fan on the go! Amazing sound clarity, hard-rocking bass, and durability. Who could ask for more? What? You want Aerosmith to play at your birthday party? OK, you CAN ask for more! Note: For best results these earphones should be broken in by playing pink noise through them for about 24 hours. The difference in sound quality before and after the pink noise break-in period can be quite dramatic.
Top Customer Reviews
- Worst stock tips ever. Monoprice MUST know this, but at $8-$11 price range and how many they sell, no reason for them to change this.
- Odd design. For some people they will just flat out not fit in your ears. For me, it feels like my ear was the original mold. They fit PERFECT (well except for the stock tips).
- Awful Microphonic Cable. Meaning, every time you move the stock cable, you are going to get noise in your ears. Best to sit still using these.
Ok, on to the Pros
*Note* - to get the best sound out of these you HAVE to get aftermarket tips or steal tips from other IEMs you have. Most would say this is enough of a reason to give the 8320 a bad review, but once past this SUPER easy fix, your world will be forever changed, by a $8 IEM.
- Once the ear tips are replace (*Update, I now use the Comply T-400 Tips) the overall Sound Quality will blow you away. Though, I have no idea why these are called "Enhanced Bass" IEMs. They are not bass heavy at all. They are bass neutral. You hear the music the way it was meant to be heard. Not too much bass, not too much Treble or Mids, but just the right amount of each.
- The sound that comes out of these is perfection at a super budget level. They should not sound this good. They should not cost this little. But they do. They really do.
Of course you do not have to believe me. Check out the Head-fi forums and read for yourself. The best trained ears in the world will tell you the same things about these IEMs.
I can see why people give these lower ratings. These are not ready to go right out of the box. They need tips, they need the right shaped ears and to be used when not moving at all. Though once all these requirements are filled, they are 5 STAR IEMS. For me, they are 5 Stars and More.
UPDATE 12/30/2014: The braided coating of the rubber cord/tubes split in many areas, the result was bulges or bubbles of the inner rubber tubing where the knitted outer layer gave in. The bubbles burst, wire got exposed, and wires got severed by the bend caused by the tension of the outer braid. Severed wires = broken headphones!!
These earphones were going to last indefinitely as they were my favorite pair, but I guess not.
UPDATE 3/31/2014: I liked the headphones so much that I bought them and tweaked them to prevent the braid design flaw in mid-January. I severed the thread while leaving the rubber tubing intact. This is a very tricky procedure, so I attached a photo showing how it should look. They haven't given me any trouble. Same excellent sound, and they'll last this time too!
UPDATE 5/7/2014: I haven't been the most gentle with my pair, but even then, they work just as good as they did when I bought them. No rubber tubing issues, no other issues whatsoever. If you plan to get these earphones, do yourself a huge favor and SEVER THE OUTER THREAD. They will be the best pair you'll ever lay your hands on, especially considering the cost!
They are astonishingly good. Truly great value. Would definitely buy more (and will buy several more) at this price. Replace the tips, mod them (they are so cheap, why not?!) and tape over the porthole for better bass.
As too many other reviewers have gone into the technical details of frequency response and comparisons of factual sonic performance, let me instead just say that to my ears they sound wonderful. Very clear, bright with medium-full soundstage and solid mid-range punch. They are advertised as extra bass IEM’s but the bass is not that fantastic out of the box. It is clean and is not distorted (unless you have it too high on your post processing or equalizer) but it’s not that emphatic or loud. This can be improved in several ways, more on this in a minute.
The fit is ok, I suppose. They now include slightly better earbud fitting tips than they did previously and they include a small, med and large pair in the package (with the medium pair already fitted and the other 2 in a small Ziploc bag)
If you have thus far avoided in-ear phones like I have because they don’t fit at all or they fall out of your ears or you simply hate them for being terribly uncomfortable… these may not be too much better but bear with me. The sound is worth it, and I find myself wearing these more than my over-ear Sennheisers now.
For comfort and fit, there's a thread over at Head-Fi.org ([...]) regarding modding them / adjusting them and it's fairly unanimously recommended that for the best overall fit and sound the tips should be replaced with the Comply T-400 foam tips (also available here on Amazon: Comply T 400 Isolation Earphone Platinum
These, presumably, fit well enough to work out in, and do not fall out.
They will be ill-fitting at first but like memory foam or Birkenstocks they are supposed to mold more and more to your ear as you wear them.
You might be saying “why would I pay $15 for tips when the headphones only cost $9?” and I hear you, but that’s bad math.
Good math is that for $24 dollars you get a pair of in-ears that sound better than anything under $150. They aren’t $9 headphones, they just sell for that price. (for now, until everyone discovers them? SSSssshhhhhhhh!)
Another option (this is what I’m doing) is to custom-fit them into a set of Jabra Ear-gels (Jabra Eargels Ear Gels C100
If I’m successful I’ll have the equivalent of the $300 custom monitors (like these Westone Custom Musician Monitor Earphones that you see people wearing on singing competitions these days, but for $18, roughly.
So we’ve mentioned one of the ways you improve the bass, by making them fit better. Without a good seal, In-Ear drivers CANNOT give you good bass. They aren’t moving that much air, really. They need to move your eardrum in order to replicate a full range so good fit is imperative, not just for comfort, but also for sonic effectiveness.
The other things you need to do are:
firstly, burn them in!! I know MOST people don’t do this, especially average non-audiophile listeners and it’s unfortunate since first impressions are everything but as these cost like, $7 - $10 dollars, of course MonoPrice didn’t bother to burn them in for you. It’s easy to do, you essentially play various music through them for about 18-24 hours. Maybe less. I’d say you should do at least overnight once. Just open up your iTunes playlist and put it on shuffle at about 75% volume and leave them doing that while you sleep. Leave them in some other room if you have to, it won’t be that loud.
Finally, they are ported and this detracts from the seal, thus from the bass but this is AWESOME! It means that those of us who prefer cleaner highs, less bass and less ear-suction that is typical with this kind of driver can leave them as they come and enjoy great sound. Those who prefer more bass will want to make this one tiny modification.
On the inside face of each driver there is a tiny pinhole which looks like you’d imagine a reset button would look on your cell-phone, etc. Tape over it with tape.
Now when you press them into your ears you’ll get that suction that makes you have to “pop” your ears once in a while but you’ll enjoy a very audible amount of improvement in bass immediately.
I ultimately compromised and taped over them with a very fine mesh tape. I used cloth medical tape but a bandage would work just as well. (Only trouble is cutting tiny circles as the area you need to tape isn’t very large. A hole punch would do this perfectly but I can’t find one in my house.)
Also - the braided cloth cord. It sounds like a great idea but it is stiff and quite microphonic in that every time it brushes against your shirt or bumps something you hear that, amplified, in your ear. I don't know what to do about this but I have just (CAREFULLY) dragged the cord back and forth across an edge (like the edge of your desk) repeatedly to break it in. Do this too hard and you might pull the cord out. Do it calmly and purposefully and you'll straighten them out nicely and the cord will become much softer and more pliable.