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Monoprice 8320 IEM

Posted

Pros: Great sound, clarity and price of item

Cons: Tangle prone cord

I read reviews on this and I said let me try this out, for $10 I couldn't lose. This surpassed all of expectations for a $10 IEM.

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I am going to purchase a set for my wife, she was also blown away by the sound.

Posted

Pros: Unheard of sound quality and build quality at its price

Cons: Not the most isolating IEMs.

Allow me to preface this by saying that I have way more experience with headphones. The only IEMs I've ever owned before this were some cheapie $20 Sony IEMs, the MeElec CW31s, and the MeElect M9-BK. I've sold every IEM I've owned before this one, mostly because I felt like they never got any head time compared to my full-sized cans.

 

The packaging for the 8320 was about was minimalist as you can get -- there were the IEMs with inserts already on, no alternative inserts, no box, just a small plastic bag. 

 

The design felt pretty solid, especially for a headphone of its price. The clothed cable was a nice touch and felt like a definite step up over typical cables for low end earbuds and IEMs, but it did feel cheap. I did find that they very often got tangled. I'm actually very impressed with the durability of the cable so far. I've already accidentally hard slammed the car door on this cable, pulling the Monoprices out of my pocket with such force that one of the tips flew off and they still worked perfectly afterwards.  

 

The comfort could be better, but I'm not a giant fan of cheap IEM comfort. The lack of additional, different sized inserts is somewhat annoying, but they're also $7. The comfort is acceptable, but not something I'd want to wear all day. 

 

As for the sound, the bass is tight and punchy. The sub-bass isn't quite that extended and you get the typical dynamic driver drop-off at the sub-bass frequencies. Bass had a solid amount of impact, but the rumble made bass-heavy electronic music feel a little lacking. Overall, though, I found the bass response to be solid. The mids had a surprising amount of clarity. By no means was it crystal clear, but it was better than I remembered my CW31s. Overall, the details in the mids and highs was solid.

 

For the price, I give the Monoprice 8320s my highest praise. They're certainly not hi-fi audio, but they're absolute monsters in their price range. Most $7 earphones sound and feel like absolute crap, but these could definitely compete with the $20-40 MeElecs. 

 

Posted

Pros: Great clarity, looks interesting

Cons: Lack of bass, lots of microphonics, easy to tangle

Hey Head-fi,

 

The 8320 have a lot of hype, but there are several aspects of it that I can't help but dislike. However, if you can look past these issues then it's really a very nice IEM.

 

Here's my review:

 

To sum it up:

There's a surprising amount of clarity, though instrument separation isn't the best. I felt that there was a distinct lack of bass (this could possibly be attributed to an improper seal, though I was under the impression that they were sealed adequately.). Comfort is a bit of an issue, as the top of the 8320's dig into my ear a bit. Microphonics are strong with this one (and they leak more sound than would be expected), but the mids and highs are quite good for the price. Just don't expect too much from them...

 

I'd love any feedback that you have, and thanks for the inspiration!

Posted

Pros: Clear sound. Cheap.

Cons: No bass. Weak subs.

First off, I got the 9963's, because there were lots of comments about how it's the better deal.

Got these because of all the head-fi rave, but they sound mediocre to me at best. Honestly, I'm not audiophile, and my hearing has been getting noticeably worse as of late, but these sound no different from my beat up MDR-J10s. Could be just me, but I was really disappointed after all the hype. I felt NO punch from the bass, and the build quality is no different than those mdrs. The driver enclosure is big on me (and I have pretty average size ears), hurts because of the stupid sharp ridges on the outside (I'd file it down, if I cared more about it. I nearly tossed it though), and the cable really feels cheap.

 

I used the J10s for a longass time with no complaint and these sound really no better to me, but I guess I was just in search of something stronger. This wasn't it for me. I need to feel my bass, not this squeaky crap that hurts my ears.

 

Went ahead and dropped 6x the money for a proper IEM ...

Posted

Pros: Sound can be excellent, depending on the source. Price is the best value to be found.

Cons: Fit and seal can be difficult. Cord is kind of strange, looks GREAT but is actually kind of stiff and kinky. Needs a neck slider.

I bought these cheap 'phones because of all the hype I saw on Head-Fi. The hype is so well deserved that I registered to Head-Fi just to add my weight behind these earphones!

I use these on my Sansa Fuze+ player and they sound absolutely excellent! With a good seal, which admittedly is difficult to get, the base can rattle your eyeballs....... NO KIDDING...... I was amazed.

 

My gold standard for "phones is the Koss Porta-Pro, And the various formats using that same drivers. On my Sansa Fuze+ the Porta Pros sound BREATHTAKING.... But I actually prefer the Monoprice over the Porta-Pros. There is an over-all pleasing and satisfying quality to these "phones that is difficult to explain. The sound is different than the Koss, Since the Koss are PERFECT, this would indicate that the Monoprice is inferior. Even so I consistently reach for the Monoprice and am extremely satisfied with the sound.  They are more efficient that the Porta Pros Too.

 

Now to be fair I also own a Sangean DT_400W pocket radio. This is a VERY high quality radio and the sound is WONDERFUL in headphones........ Except these Monoprice 6320s sound harsh and middy with that radio. The sangean's BassBoost switch only adds boominess to the mix. I would love to love the Monoprice on that platform also....... But no, the Porta Pros are the only way to go there.

 

For the $8 you just can't beat these "phones! My Koss cost $35 ON CLOSE OUT SALE, yet the Monoprice are every bit the equal on some platforms such as the Sansa player. The Monoprice will take amplification to the point of pain, in spite of the better efficiency...... I just don't have amp enough to make these drivers clack bottom. I can overdrive the Koss with the same amp.

 

If you don't like these 'phones then you didn't get a good seal..... Or your device just doesn't drive them well. The good reviews are ten to one against the bad ones. Buy some Monoprice, They are excellent. If you don't think so, just save them. Another platform will show them to be the (ugly) little jewels that they are! 

Posted

Pros: better than the average iem that i got with my Cowon D20 and C2

Cons: For the price none reallly

Bought these just to see if the hype was justified, and yeah I think it is...

Posted

Pros: Great sound quality, price, tight bass

Cons: none

Exceptional sound quality, tight bass, engaging highs and is a nice all rounder. Also found that a headphone amp (FiiO E10 in my case) makes this little guy shine. Great value is what I expect from Monoprice and that is exactly what I got. Lacks extension both in highs and lows but can't really complain for the price.

Posted

Pros: None.

Cons: Sound irredeemably awful with voices and natural tones. Left vs. Right drivers very unbalanced.

Purchase and Receipt:

My Shure SE215 were stolen last week and I wanted a very cheap temporary replacement with over the ear cable routing. I have seen the hype and the hand waving and smelled the BS, but also noticed some reasonable people say some reasonable things about these so thought they would be worth a try.

I bought these on Amazon UK from the Monoprice UK marketplace seller (fulfilled by Amazon). They cost £5.31 which at the moment is US $8.23. Delivery was free.

They arrived boxed, with medium size tips attached and a small packet containing one pair each of small and large silicone tips. The model number is MEP-933 and these are the metallic looking style with fabric covered cord.

First Impressions and Fit:

These are big for an In Ear Monitor. The driver is very large for this type of 'phone, so the housing is correspondingly large and the tube which holds the eartip is quite long and unusually angled. The silicone tips sit right on the end.

The cable is fabric covered and routes up and back over the ear. It is shorter than usual for this type of design and at its limit when you take your player out of a trouser pocket or unclip it from a belt or waistband. This is acceptable but not ideal. This is the most tangle prone cable I have encountered. Usually this type of design has a slider on the cable so the cable can be kept snug against the back of the neck. This prevents noise from the cable (often called microphonics) and keeps things tidy and convenient. The Monoprice cable has no such sliding keeper. It doesn't seem important until absent at which point the absence is constantly irritating and inconvenient as the cable slips off the ear and twists and tangles. A zip tie with any excess trimmed does just as well. The cost to a manufacturer of doing this properly could only be in fractions of a penny so the omission looks mean.

I suppose my ears are medium to large because I have no trouble accommodating these IEMs in my ears and they are perfectly comfortable in normal use. They are extremely light. The tips don't go deep into the ear but are sit in the ear canal entrance and should seal it. Despite the size these don't protrude but sit flush inside the shell of the ear. At first glance these might appeal to anyone who likes to fall asleep with earphones in, however the point where the cable exits is designed without regard to the shape of the ear. It does press onto the ear, there is no avoiding it, and over time causes a pressure point.

The product description/name/claim "Noise Isolating" is a bit misleading. Almost any other IEM will offer as much or usually more isolation than these. As well as failing to isolate you from external noise the Monoprices also leak sound - people nearby can hear your music. If you expect the kind of isolation offered by Shure, Klipsch and Etymotic IEMs you will be disappointed. Probably the worst aspect of poor isolation is that to mask external noise you tend to raise the volume to extremely high levels without realising it has become loud enough to damage your hearing. These Monoprices are sensitive enough that they can be driven very loud indeed even with a small player so if you need IEMs for use in a noisy environment then avoid these or risk hearing damage.

Sound Quality:

NOTE: HUGE EDIT!! I've now spent many hours with these and have tried them with a wide variety of music and they fail so badly in important areas that I have had to rewrite this review to reflect this..

To clarify: I have used these with the supplied tips, with Sennheiser tips, and with Comply TX-400 tips. With the Monoprice and Sennheiser tips I have also used them modified with material from foam earplugs. I am perfectly familiar with getting and recognising a good seal. With the Comply tips there is no doubt that the foam tips expanding to fill the ear canal makes a very good seal. The modified silicone tips also work really well. The deficiencies I describe in this review are not related to seal or fit issues. I used the Monoprices with good quality sources: iRiver H140 and H340 and a Sansa Fuze+ (all Rockboxed) and also with a Yamaha Home Theatre receiver connected via TOSLINK to my PC. My music files are lossless, flac ripped from CD.

These Monoprice IEMs have severe defects which are especially obvious when listening to unamplified voices or unamplified instruments. These Monoprices are quite tolerable for short periods with amplified music, and especially electronic musc where natural tones are absent but even then the harsh, unconvincing mid highs become intolerable. I was trying to like these but it isn't possible. I played my lossless rip of my CD of "Christopher Gibbons: Motets, Anthems, Fantasias & Voluntaries" and this was the final proof that these IEMs are irredeemably terrible. This is an album of beautiful solo and choral works and consort music, so there are some exceptional singers supported by a small ensemble of players. It is music composed for the acoustic of an English church (a stone chamber with long decays and reverberations) and was recorded brilliantly in such a place. With good or even just modest headphones it sounds fantastic. Unfortunately these Monoprices produce a hideous and ugly sound as they fail to even begin to offer any lifelike reproduction of natural tones. Out of curiosity I found my iRiver ear buds from about 8 years ago that were supplied with my 2005 model iRiver H340. In 2005 these were low end Sennheiser buds rebranded for iRiver player, real throwaway stuff. They sound way better than the Monoprices! My even more ancient Sennheiser MX-5 buds (good quality buds from the 1990s) were better again. My 2009 Sennheiser CX 95 IEMs sound utterly fabulous in comparison with these Monoprices on this kind of material. Next to the Monoprices my Koss KSC75 seem like they arrived from heaven carried by a unicorn and sprinkled with magic pixie dust. I am sorry to say it but unless you only ever listen to artificial and over produced sounds that are all bass and top end then these Monoprices don't belong in your ears but in the trash, they are that bad. They are easily outperformed by disposable OEM earbuds from decades past, the kind of things people throw out, and so massively outperformed by very modest modern IEMs and portable headphones that any money spent on them is money wasted.

These earphones are horrible, hideous and not worth even their tiny price.

Monoprice 8320? Bleeeuuurggh.

edit: I had another session with these, taking some time with parametric eq to see if/how they could be made usable. It is possible to tame the huge spike at 3000 Hz and to introduce a little warmth at the bottom end but eq only corrects frequency response, it can't help with ringing, distortion, imbalance and other issues and these still sound like ess aich eye tee even with a seemingly quite balanced tone. And it gets worse: what became apparent with attentive listening is that the left and right drivers are seriously unbalanced, one being obviously much louder than the other! These things have not a single positive attribute and the people hyping them (the same few who regularly hype mediocre and poor products) ought to be embarrassed, and a lot quieter too. My advice is to look at the people who started the hype on these, look at the other stuff they relentlessly hype (usually just ordinary or below average even for budget gear), remember their names and in future ignore everything they say.

Posted

Pros: Decent SQ for price, fairly nice cord

Cons: Build quality, huge clunky body, very harsh sound

I got these for ~$10 online. I must say the first thing I noticed was the shoddy build quality. However, considering the asking price and the decent sound quality, this is really nitpicking. The cable is actually decent enough, especially for the price, being a braided sort of fabric. 


On to sound quality! These things sound incredible compared to stock earbuds.

The bass is very present and strong, punchy even, but feels cold and kind of harsh in places. Sub-bass is very good for a headphone in this price range, as long as the seal is perfect.

The mids feel recessed, almost drowned out by the bass in some songs. 

Highs are fairly detailed but sound tinny and harsh, which is a turn-off for me. Jazz sounds absolutely terrible on these.

There was barely any improvement over 50 hours of burn in.

 

The sound stage is about as flat as a piece of paper. On more aggressive, bass-oriented songs,

the bass completely covers much of the mids. Even though the bass is so strong, it sounds thin and far too harsh.

There is barely any instrument separation.

 

Build quality on these is the worst out of anything I have ever seen. On my pair the filter screen above the drivers fell off after about a week. 

However, I guess they had to make up the price of the drivers somehow.

Overall, not the greatest. My $30 set of JVC HA-S600 full-size cans completely destroys these in every possible way, as do many pairs of cheap ~$15 IEMs I've owned.

 

Seriously, if you're thinking of spending the ten bucks, why not spend another 5 and actually get something halfway decent sounding? There are plenty of other options,

and I feel as though this set of IEMs has been severely over-hyped. 

Posted

Pros: Sounds like Hi-Fi IEM Tight bass, great instrument separation (even for $30-50 IEM) Very Detailed Highs, very fast

Cons: FIT IS HORRIBLE very boring mids

Just want to explain one thing. In my opinion, the reason this IEM is receiving so much praise is it really sound Hi-Fi  It somewhat has lots of elements an audiophile looks for such as speed, positioning, instrumental separation and a punchy but tight bass, thus, making it what we might consider the Cheapest Hi-Fi IEM which, in my opinion, does fit the name of the 8320. 

 

Warning  as far as my experience went, I would suggest you all leave the other monoprice products alone. I ordered 3 other IEM/earbuds and none of them was even able to touch the 8320's shadow, not even the one that was almost double the price of the 8320.

Monoprice 8320 IEM
Description:

Cheaper IEM's made by monoprice. Site description: With a stylish design and a premium fabric-covered cord, 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 48" cord is completely covered in fabric, which helps prevent breakages. The gold-plated 3.5 mm stereo plug connects to most popular music devices and phones, with better connectivity and corrosion resistance than the more common nickle 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!

Details:
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