Welcome one and all to yet another discovery in Headfi land that definitely warrant a thread. For those that know me around these parts, I am not one to be afraid to tell what is up with a product that is so astonishing I had to bring it to the attention of those that are willing to throw out any notion of common sense..
Yes it makes no sense as these are so under the radar. So not discovered. I mean who buys a $7.11 IEM if your a serious listener right? I frequently mention to guys that want a great sounding cheaper IEM on the threads about these and most that have any semblance of common sense will just skip my colorful suggestion and go about recommending the usual suspects for in ears.
Now I will clearly tell it. I am a complete NOOB when it comes to IEMs so knowing this, it is up to you all to see if I am right or wrong about what I am about the show the community..
So why would any audiophile veteran take this thread or this product seriously? It is because to my ears on sound quality alone I have not heard anything better in an IEM. I am sure there are plenty of high end in ears that trump all over these. I mean they better right? But what will surprise the many that will try these is just how complete the sound is on these. More than complete these are the very definition of clean balanced dynamic and bassy IEM.
Purchased at monoprice.com. These will set you back a whopping $9 or so shipped anywhere in the US.
|Driver Unit||14.2 mm|
|Sensitivity||96 +/- 3 dB / 1mW (S.P. L at 1 k Hz)|
|Frequency Response||20 Hz to 20 kHz|
|Wire Length||1225 mm (48")|
These use a big 14.2 mm driver unit housed in a thick metallic coated plastic housing that is surprisingly sturdy and strong that is vented which adds to the clean sound on these. The braided cloth cord was a good design choice on part of monoprice as without it I can see these snapping faster than one would care for. By looking at the specs, it certainly does not indicate the level of sound these emit. I know there is a tendency to look for more dynamic specs that might indicate dynamic sound but that is why this thread exist. The sound.
The Sound..To say these came to me as a complete surprise.. Guys this wasn't just a surprise. This was a complete.
.. I mean how can the sound from something this cheap sound stay up with the sounds of a Denon D2000 headphone but with better mids or a Ultrasone HFi-580 with better detail? How can these have a clean balanced dynamic sound? How can these have some of the best BASS I have ever heard in any headphone, both quality and quantity? How can the level of detail on these be so great symbols and high hats literally jump out from your sound spectrum and leave you thinking.. Wait a sec that high hat should not be that far from the sound stage.? But you just heard it! Little details in every recording are clearly heard on these. WTF? Right..
So without going into much detail I will challenge anyone reading this to try one.. If you end up trying one and feel this discovery wasn't warranted and I am full of poo.. Just let me know and I will clean up any extra earwax that is piling up in my ears as I must be hearing some type of magic because of it.. Magic. Just magic.. Let me know how you guys are hearing it. I am curious to know how these stack up to your existing Iem collection.. You can think I am a retard or a joke. If I am wrong. But what if I am right.. The sound value to money ratio on these is over the top..Instead of saying to yourself. .This is all popycock! Just try one. Oh and I would get one before they sell out at monoprice. They will sell out once a few of you guys throw out the word. I have no doubts in my mind these will catch on fire.
For the guys that do get them to try out..Burn them in for a solid 24 hours.. These don't require a huge burn in to start enjoying but the 24 hours is a requirement. If you hear any type of pop or crackle that is the driver flexing so no worries. Burn away my friends!!
As far as I know I haven't heard a better sounding IEM. SO with that I start this thread. It will be up to the community to let others know how they hear these.
A four Iem comparo JVC HAFX1X, FXC51,EB41B, Monoprice 8320 Page 9
newly acquired MMElectronics CC51 comparo. Page 45
Thanks for the early christmas gift. Your open box vids are the best on the planet as far as I am concerned. NICE. I appreciate.
Quick unboxing video. I shall post some impressions later, but for now I am quite impressed!
I think I found a good solution to a proper fit issue with these. Kinda loosely based on the suggestion of Cotelio and his link on how to improve the isolation. One of the main issues with these earphones. The stock earphone tip is not only loose but the flimsy rubber type.. I will tell you guys to get the full sounds on these the fit is everything. The ear plugs I bought cost around $3.00 or so for a box of them. I first tried making a tip with one and that failed miserably but what did work is this. I made a ring cushion to fit the stem of the tip. I just cut the bottom end of a a squishy ear plug and made it into a donut shape cutting a hole out in the center, it is important that this hole is a smaller one to put pressure on the stem of the tip.. I threw them all together and this is what you get. Not only better seal so you get the full sound but notice it sits secure now on the tip of the earphone and not all the way down it. This will help in comfort level and sound level. Try it out..The foam donut cut out put pressure into the flimsiness of the stock or any standard rubber tip and sits secure on the tip of the 8320. Now that the driver end don't sit into my ears as much. Way better comfort..
New wiring job by ScottFW
I used my second pair as guinea pigs to see how practical it is to recable these. It's pretty easy so I'll share a few pics in case anybody else needs a little encouragement.
A razor blade works well to open them up. I chose to start at the top near the strain relief to minimize any chance of damaging the driver. Just wedge it in there and gently pry & twist until the shell starts to open up. Once you can get a finger nail in there it will pull apart by hand. The adhesive used from the factory is not terribly strong.
Here's the stock cabling. The greenish wire is L+, the copper colored one is R+, and the brass colored wires are the grounds. So + is on the left side of the pic and - is on the right side for both drivers.
For a 3.5mm mini plug, L+ goes to the tip, R+ goes to the ring, and the grounds go to the sleeve. Being that these are cheapies, I wouldn't guarantee that the color scheme won't be different/reversed on yours, and it never hurts to verify with a multimeter which wire(s) go to tip/ring/sleeve before you desolder them.
There might have been a dab of adhesive holding the stock wires into the rubber strain reliefs, because they were somewhat difficult to remove. I just squeezed them in several directions using pliers in an effort to loosen the adhesive, tugged & pulled a bunch, and the strain reliefs eventually pulled off.
The wire I used for this exercise was Cat5 since I had a bunch sitting around (who doesn't?). With some effort I was able to feed it through the strain reliefs. They are SNUG, no worries at all about them pulling out. If you snag the cord, the IEMs will pop out of your ears long before the wiring budges. If you think they may loosen up over time, use a drop of your favorite glue/epoxy.
Left side soldered up. I used the bLue twisted pair for Left and bRown for Right. Tin your wires first to minimize the amount of time your iron has to sit on the drivers to make good joints.
Close up the shells with your glue of choice (small clamps will help) and you're all done. Cheapy Rat Shack 3.5mm plug with a little heat shrink to hold things in there.
Now for my impressions of the results...
I used Cat5. Never do this. Pick something else. Cat5 is plentiful and essentially free, but it still isn't worth your time to mess with it. It is much less prone to tangling than the stock cable, but it doesn't have much else going for it. It is somewhat heavy, which may lead to issues with the IEMs staying in your ears if the fit is marginal. Cat5 will also pick up any vibration, touch, brush, crosseyed look and send it straight to your ear canal. It's annoying unless I'm sitting perfectly still, which is basically never the case if I'm using IEMs instead of full sized headphones. Perhaps some sort of jacketing could mitigate this. Sonics leave a lot to be desired. Bass seems muddier, midrange is slightly veiled, and the highs are lacking detail and extension relative to bone stock MP8320s (recabled set was thoroughly burned in).
Anyway, recabling these is definitely doable, just pick something other than Cat5. Any wire that is a significant upgrade will likely cost more than you paid for the 8320s. I ordered 3 more sets of 8320s to mess with and will be looking into wire options. If anyone has specific suggestions, I'm all ears/eyes.
Edited by Dsnuts - 4/12/12 at 10:18am