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Great budget headphone, but quite harsh

A Review On: Monoprice 8320 IEM

Monoprice 8320 IEM

Rated # 8 in Universal Fit
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Audio Quality
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Design
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elpsycongroo
Posted · 28898 Views · 5 Comments

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. 

5 Comments:

If these sound cold and harsh, they're being underpowered. With a high quality source, they're warm and smooth with a nice little soundstage. Very enjoyable.
Good review though.
I seriously doubt the above comment. They're incredibly cheap earphones. Almost anything will scale with a good source or amping, but a bottom-end IEM won't suddenly be without harshness or go from zero soundstage to a observable depth with a change in source.
It's still a 32 ohm voice coil. Impedance is impedance, whether it's a cheap IEM or not. While 32 ohms doesn't need an amp, it most certainly benefits from one.
Take it from someone who owns them and has actually tried them out of good equipment.
I bought a set of these a couple months ago and went through the burn in process. Around 50 hours or so. Ended up putting them away since they didn't really impress me too much. I figure..ehh...just $10. So had the itch to buy another set of IEM...ended up ordering a set of vsonic gr07 mkII. So for the heck of it I figure pull out the cheapy monoprice 8320 and give it another chance. In my research of the vsonic's there was mention of 200 hr burn in to get the best sound from them. Hmm...so may be I could try something similar on the 8320. So I plugged them and beat them into submission for another 24hrs. To my surprise something seems to be happening. Little better sound stage....mid-high separating. Amping also seems to make a difference. Going to give it the 1 week burn in(200 hrs) and see what happens. Anyone out there who can speak to what their experience is after a significant burn in?
The mesh part falls out after about a week and rests against your eardrum. Drove me crazy, and my audiologist refused to take impressions until it was removed. 3 doctors later it still isn't removed :(. 
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