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Multi-IEM Review - 352 IEMs compared (Pump Audio Earphones added 04/03/16 p. 1106) - Page 398

post #5956 of 16848




post #5957 of 16848
Thread Starter 

Added the Monoprice 8320 / MEP-933



(3C21) Monoprice 8320 (MEP-933)

Monoprice 8320 400x300.jpg
Reviewed Feb 2012

Details: 14.2mm dynamic-driver IEM from cable vendor Monoprice
Current Price: $7 from monoprice.com (MSRP: $7.11)
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 32Ω | Sens: 96 dB | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 4' I-plug
Nozzle Size: 5mm | Preferred tips: Sony Hybrids, Meelec long single-flanges, Comply T400
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (0/5) - Single-flange silicone tips (1 size)
Build Quality (3/5) – Large housings containing the sizeable drivers are plastic but feel well put-together. Strain reliefs are present all around but the nylon-sheathed cord is very tangle-prone and lacks a cinch
Isolation (2.5/5) – Large, vented housings and short nozzles greatly limit isolation
Microphonics (3/5) – Annoying when worn cable-down, not much of an issue with over-the-ear wear
Comfort (2.5/5) – The plastic housings are lightweight but large, thick, and complete with sharp ridges. They seem to be designed for over-the-ear wear but don’t fit those with small/medium-sized ears well. With the cable exit point pointed forward, the cable can be worn straight down or looped over the ear. The nozzle is shallowly angled and not very long, which may make the stock tips useless for some

Sound (7.5/10) – Monoprice specializes in sourcing cheap, high quality parts and offering reasonably-priced alternatives to brand-name products. When it comes to audio quality, the MEP-933 does exactly that, rivaling far more expensive earphones in traits such as balance, detail, and clarity. The bass of the MEP-933 is punchy but far from overblown - I would even hesitate to call the earphone ‘bass-heavy’. Bass quantity is more in line with sets such as the Brainwavz Beta and MEElec CW31 than bassy IEMs like the Dunu Trident and Soundmagic E10. The low end offers good speed and resolution but doesn’t have the greatest depth. Sub-bass lacks texture and fails to portray individual notes well compared to higher-end sets, especially at lower volume levels. Partly to blame are the MEP-933’s average dynamics, which result in a mild case of ‘one-note’ bass. There is also a bit of reverb audible in the plastic housings, not unlike what I experience with Sennheiser's IE-series earphones.


The midrange of the MEP-933 is crisp and clean - not just for the asking price, but even next to high-end sets. Detail levels are good and though the bass is slightly boosted, the mids are not notably recessed considering that the presentation is distancing on the whole. Vocals are prominent, if a bit thin – those who prefer a thick or lush sound will probably be better off saving up for a Dunu Trident or Xears set. The MEP-933 is still slightly thicker than the Brainwavz Beta and lacks a bit of the detail and transparency of the latter. It is much smoother, however, especially moving up into the treble region.

The top end of the MEP-933 is low on sparkle and not very revealing, but not laid-back enough for the earphones to sound dark. Resolution is decent and the MEP-933 is smooth and reasonably well-extended – more so than many pricier earphones. There is a bit of smearing when things get fast and heavy on the cymbals but nothing to complain about with a lower-tier product. Indeed, minute issues with the bass and treble being noteworthy is a testament to how solid a performer the Monoprice is on the whole.


What’s more interesting is the earphones’ presentation. In contrast to most budget IEMs, which tend to have a congested, in-the-head presentation, the MEP-933 has a wide, airy, and open sound to it. There’s good width to the soundstage but nearly no depth or layering, resulting in poor imaging and a distinct lack of centering ability. The heightened left-right separation gives the MEP-933 a more laid-back, headphone-like feel but also means that imaging and overall positioning ability lags behind not-so-budget sets such as the Soundmagic E10 and Brainwavz M1.


Value (9/10) – Budget IEMs typically follow a simple formula – cheap, straight-barrel housing, high-sensitivity driver, and massively enhanced bass. The Monoprice MEP-933 shrugs such convention - its gigantic shells and equally enormous 14.2mm transducers, over-the-ear fit, and balanced sound signature make for one atypical budget option. There is no doubt that you are getting much more than your money’s worth in sound quality – the MEP-933 is clear, balanced, and detailed unlike anything I’ve heard in or near its price range. Simply put, it has no business sounding as good as it does. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for user-friendliness – the ergonomics are questionable and the fabric cable is noisy and tangle-prone. Aftermarket tips are likely a necessity as well, and even then the MEP-933 simply won’t work for some users. In the end, it isn’t likely to be the end-all earphone for most, but at least it’s cheap enough to try without regrets.

Pros: Fantastic sound quality for the price
Cons: Noisy, tangle-prone cable; large housings with sharp ridges won’t be comfortable for many

Thanks to nmxdaven and randomZash for the MEP-933!



Edited by ljokerl - 2/12/12 at 11:49pm
post #5958 of 16848
Nice! Pretty spot-on from my experience.
post #5959 of 16848


post #5960 of 16848

Great review Joker!  They really are super smooth, the only negative thought I have is the timbre is off IMO but can't complain......for me they are a 10 for value all day!

post #5961 of 16848

Great review as always.

post #5962 of 16848

Does MEElectronics A151 sound good with metal and dubstep?

post #5963 of 16848

Any ideas for something with mic and ipod controlls that is good with well produces electronic music, pop, rock and jazz and have great build quality under 150?

post #5964 of 16848

On amazon there are a few review saying the cable is stiff and breaks easily, also turning green After a while.... Should these be a concern? As I'm planning to buy it for myself maybe a few months later

post #5965 of 16848
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

All great choices, really don't think you can make a bad decision there. Unless you want a ton of bass I'd go for the E30, personally. It's a good all-rounder with slightly enhanced bass, good space, and excellent clarity.



Thanks that is exactly what I was thinking, going with the E30.


But quick question I noticed you put the Monoprice 8320 sound rating at 7.5 and the E30 has a 6.9 rating, is the Monoprice iem sound really better than the E30?



post #5966 of 16848

Are the numbers you give weighted? Or in other words, are you saying that (despite the very different sound signature) the Monoprice's are, in your opinion, roughly on par with Monster Turbines? I don't really use the numbers too much but I was just curious about that.

post #5967 of 16848
Originally Posted by Niyologist View Post


My reaction exactly. Much higher score than I expected (I was thinking maybe a 6.7 - 7.0) but I totally agree with the review. The Monoprice IEMs have no business sounding as good as they do and if someone is able to get over the pretty poor ergonomics, they'll have an IEM that could very well be the only one anyone ever needs.


Well, anyone who doesn't come to Head-Fi anyway. tongue.gif

post #5968 of 16848



Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

Bass as presented by a headphone is slightly different from bass as presented by an IEM. The HD25 is more impactful than the SE215 in terms of air moved by the diaphragm but if you're using them in noisy environments some of that punch might be lost because the Shures do isolate better. As Gilly said, make sure the Senns you're looking at are HD25-1s. 


As for IEM availability, I'm afraid you'd have to order the from Japan. The FXT90s and CKM99s are avilable from accessoryjack and the FX500 from seyo-shop.


Thank you for all your help for a audio newbie like me beerchug.gif After reading your review of the FXT90 and various others it sounds perfect for what I'm after, went ahead and ordered them from accessoryjack as someone already snapped up those used Sennheisers!


post #5969 of 16848
Originally Posted by Mironov View Post

Does MEElectronics A151 sound good with metal and dubstep?

They won't sound good with dubstep because they lack the bass extension. They should be fine for metal.


post #5970 of 16848

I'm very sure the Monoproce earphone is the ONLY IEM in |joker|'s list that has a SQ value (7.5/10) that is higher than it's cost in US dollars ($7)!!!  If only the cable weren't so attrocious. 


I didn't care for the extremely open build, so I stuffed some small bits of hose/stocking into the ports on the inside body below the nozzle -- bass punch and clarity has gone up, and the overall focus is much better -- even for $7.  I'm also using the small size 3-flange eartips from MEElec; otherwise I have a hard time getting a good seal, as they rotate/swivel too much; the 3-flange tip goes deeper and stabalizes the movement, and gives me a good seal and clear sound everytime.

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