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Mod These Phones! (Monoprice "Premium Hi-Fi DJ Style Over-the-Ear Pro Headphone")

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

So I bought these headphones a while back figuring, $25 after shipping was something worth investing in even a mediocre pair of headphones, and they've been sitting around my house for a while.  The other day I got the bug to mod them, they have 50mm drivers which I figured have to be useful in some application.  I was going to throw them into a pair of sound isolating earmuffs people wear when they are chainsawing or jack-hammering, but I couldn't really figure out a good way to mount them.  So, I gave up on that idea, and decided to just use the stock molding.  I don't think I've come up with anything here that is MINDBLOWING, but I drilled some holes into the back and sides of the molding and both the bass and the soundstage opened up (I expected a drop in bass, but it didn't, although the amping obviously helped - little dot I+ hybrid drove these exceptionally well).  Here's what they looked like after:

 

20120528_133556.jpg 20120528_133544.jpg

(I drilled holes around the edge and put holes in the backs - they are asymmetrical because of where the cord comes into the left ear).

 

Anyway, the dramatic improvement in sound from these cans made me think that there might be something about these cans that is worth modding - and for $25 after shipping, its not too expensive of an experiment.  I'd love to see if anyone else can mod these and get the greatest product from these cheap phones.

 

Some might not think its worth it to play around with $25 pair of headphones - I'm telling you, these were a tier below my hd580s in the way they sounded - it was not a $25 sound, they have a $100 sound or greater (after mod).  Maybe you have some skills making a custom mount and head strap, or want to come up with a completely different setup using just the drivers.  If there are any other brave souls out there willing to drop $25 bucks for an experiment I'd love to see what people come up with!  You can grab them here.

 

Happy modding.

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post #2 of 5

Detachable cable at that price? wow

The build quality looks good from the pictures. Do they feel flimsy?

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

No, they aren't flimsy.  They are plastic, but its pretty solid.  My only complaint about the stock build is that the padding is smaller than I'd prefer, I'm thinking about dicing it up a little to see if I can get a broader surface for my ears.  Generally, the only complaint I had about these headphones prior to modding them was that the soundstage was cluttered and the sound was generally 'un-involving'.  After modding them, I found drastic improvement in both these aspects of the phones.  One thing I have noticed, and it might be my amp with them, there is a problem with 'sibilance' (I think thats the right word), I wouldn't call it as much a problem as really just a limitation.  If theres anyone who has an idea of how to correct that (I wonder if there is a way of doing it acoustically) I'd love to hear any suggestions (ie padding or something else.)

post #4 of 5

I actually have a pair of these. In case anyone is interested:

These cans also come with two cables (a thinner portable one and an extended thicker one) as well as a 3.5 mm to 1/4" adapter to plug them into an amp or receiver. I love the breakout cable design, as that means when the cable inevitably fails, you can simply replace it rather than having to deal with a messy patch job.

So what is the problem? They are uncomfortable and will probably fall apart by the end of this month. The cushions are made of an imitation leather that starts soft and supple, and becomes hard and tough within a week or two. The design is such that it doesn't cup your entire head and distribute the load like most headphone bands; instead creating 3 pressure points on both ears and the top of your head. This design also means that larger heads will not be able to use these headphones comfortably (I have a "medium" head, so while this design isn't the epitome of comfort, I can deal with it). The cups are also smaller than I would prefer, and just barely cover my ears. This makes them more portable, but less comfortable. Those with big ears will have their ears pinched as the cups will have to rest on their ears instead of around them. This would me made worse by the pressure points. Lastly, the plastic design means that things crack and fall apart. I've already had to use super adhesive to glue back a aesthetic cover that fell off, and the band has cracks in it near both of the cups, and looks like it is about to snap off any day now. I haven't been particularly rough with these, which is why I'm so disappointed with the build quality: they have only been used at my office desk for 3 months and 3 weeks.

These are essentially a rebranded version of a pair of Kicker 'phones that go for ~$50. If you are looking for a temporary set of headphones as a backup or something along those lines, these are perfect for the job. However, don't expect to get any respectable long term use out of them. The value is great (for the sound), and that's why I don't feel like it is money wasted. But you could spend more money and get something that will sound even better, be far more comfortable, and last a lifetime (meaning you can spend $200-300 for a GREAT set of cans vs $25 every 4-5 months for a good pair).

If Kicker/monoprice decided to come out with an updated version that uses a more traditional band design and metal components, I'd pay significantly more because the audio quality is pretty good. But with the build quality and comfort issues, I have a hard time recommending this to others as a permanent solution.

I'm not too sure how well these will mod due to their plastic design. I just wish they had a traditional band, it would make them 100x better.
 

post #5 of 5

What earpads should I buy for these to improve sound quality and comfort?

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