Monoprice 8320 IEM

Rating:
3.86364/5,
  1. elpsycongroo
    Great budget headphone, but quite harsh
    Written by elpsycongroo
    Published Mar 14, 2013
    3.0/5,
    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. 
    1. View previous replies...
    2. takato14
      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.
      takato14, Mar 16, 2013
    3. hchanrn
      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?
      hchanrn, May 17, 2013
    4. pyroom
      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 :frowning2:
      pyroom, Apr 16, 2014
  2. Golila3
    Cheapest Hi-Fi IEM
    Written by Golila3
    Published Mar 12, 2013
    3.5/5,
    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.
      soundstige likes this.
    1. mechgamer123
      Hmm, I just borrowed them from a friend for a night. I have to agree with you on just about everything you said. Did you ever find any tips that actually fit in your ears and gave you a good seal?
      Also, I thought the treble was slightly unimpressive, moreso than the mids. Both are easily fixed though with a small bump at 1k and a slightly larger bump starting at around 8k and going up from there :)
      mechgamer123, Mar 12, 2013
    2. Golila3
      Nope...No luck on the fit either. The best one for me so far is the Ortofon medium tips.
      Regarding the treble.... yeah....I have to say, not so pleasant sounding but still quite detailed.
      Golila3, Mar 12, 2013
  3. gm20
    Good Sound, Lousy Fit
    Written by gm20
    Published Feb 12, 2013
    2.0/5,
    Pros - Best sounding IEMs under $30
    Cons - Could never get a good fit
    I could never get the 8320s to fit right.  I put on smaller tips (helped a little), put the cord over my ears, in front of my ears, twisted the bud...my ears just aren't big enough.
     
    The 8320s suffer mostly from a bizarre design.  If Monoprice would put the same guts into a standard, straightforward bud I would buy them in an instant.  Soundwise, they are on par with UE SuperFi 4s and MEElectronics M9P, but with larger soundscape.  All of the instruments are very distinctive, even on crappy 192 AAC.  Isolation is poor with the stock tips, better with smaller tips, not great overall.
     
    I wanted to like these so much, but I can't stand wearing them.  They're too big for me, the cord is always tickling the back of my ears, and there's something very sharp poking me when I adjust them.  I replaced them with Panasonic RPHJE120Ks which are the most comfortable IEMs I've ever owned, though the sound is much, much thinner.  I wear them 2+ hours a day, so comfort wins out.
    1. Hutnicks
      Try the 8322 model Tacky with the diamond stud, but it does fit the ear and I actually find the sound smoother than the little seashells that fit no ones ear that I have found.
      Hutnicks, Feb 12, 2013
  4. inline79
    Worth the fitment ritual
    Written by inline79
    Published Jan 2, 2013
    4.0/5,
    Pros - amazing soundstage, mids
    Cons - have to plan in advance to wear them
    Awkward fitment, but pleasant sound.  Good control of microphonics, even without wearing cord up (only really one way to wear it).  R Ch lost trebel after 10hrs of burn in!
     
    2nd pair.  These don't isolate that well, but super wide soundstage, great detail, and suitable amount of bass that extends well into the deep.  Very fun to listen to.

    THese are definitely mid centric, maybe even bordering on bright.  Bass, as said before is there, even with a good seal, maintains its backstage presence.  Mids and treble are clear with great detail and that superwide soundstage.  Only the awkward fitment, difficult sealing, and de-emphasis of bass take away from an otherwise great experience.
     
  5. thelostMIDrange
    promising
    Written by thelostMIDrange
    Published Dec 22, 2012
    3.5/5,
    Pros - detail and air
    Cons - fit
    this little acorn has a pretty honest and balanced sound that is musical when used at low volume. The problem for me is the sound tube is too large and uncomfortable. These also need an eq boost in the low mids to fill out the sound and there is a uneven-ness somewhere in the mids that can be distracting.
  6. Spiff0
    Overhyped
    Written by Spiff0
    Published Dec 19, 2012
    1.5/5,
    Pros - Detailed highs
    Cons - Tiny soundstage, Poor Isolation/fit
    These IEMs were a surprise to me, after all the reviews I read I am still not sure if my pair is defective, but so far nothing seems to show that.
     
    I was extremely disappointed with the 8320. Highs are detailed without being sibilant but I never use mine due to:
     
    -Soundstage is tiny. They sound flat and distant. Sound appeats to come from inside your head, cold and not involving.
    -Bass is acceptable but depends on good fit.
    -Format is not very good. Over-the-ears are my favorite but their format does not allow for a deep insertions/good isolation, they are not particularly comfortable. Also despite the format, it is easier to let the cable to down instead of over-the-ear.
    -Cable is very thin and microphonic.
    -Build quality is low, but perhaps acceptable for the cost.
     
    Problems 2 and 3 can be mitigated with better tips, probably triflanges. However I could never get past #1. To me they sound as if they are worth indeed no more than $10.
     
    Other headphones I own/compare to:
     
    IEM: Sony E888, Fischer Audio Eterna, Mylar X3, RE0
    Other: Sennheiser HD590, Sony MDR-CD3000, Koss PortaPro.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. pro1137
      The stock tips are dreadful. You'll need to get some better tips for the best sound.
      pro1137, Dec 19, 2012
    3. Deviltooth
      I'm agreeing. These things are some of the least comfortable IEMs ever designed. I tried it with 7 or 8 different tips before I decided to just call it money wasted.
      Deviltooth, Dec 20, 2012
    4. elpsycongroo
      Agreed with your review. Most uncomfortable IEMs ever. Sound ok, though a bit harsh and aggressive to my ears, but they just won't sit right. Ended up giving them away.
      elpsycongroo, Mar 14, 2013
  7. aangen
    Wow, a nice surprise
    Written by aangen
    Published Dec 1, 2012
    4.5/5,
    Pros - So cheap, yet decent sound
    Cons - None.
    These little things sound really good, even though they cost less than $8. How do they do it? Everyone should try these at this price, I mean why not? Totally useful phones for nearly nothing. You can't go wrong.
  8. lyleyork
    Buy These!!
    Written by lyleyork
    Published Nov 29, 2012
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Separation of highs, mids, and bass.
    Cons - Wire noise
    Don't hesitate, just buy these, they are a definite steal for 8 bucks.  I promise you, these headphones will put a smile on your face.  Nice separation of highs, mids, and bass.  It has nice control in high volumes and heavy bass.  Can basically handle any genre you throw at it.....
     
    The texture of the wire does not bother me, i think its kinda cool, i think they are a handsome pair of headphones, though i'm more concerned about the sound.
     
    More for sitting down still and listening to tunes, not for working out (too much wire noise).
  9. MarkdotT
    I liked them so much, I started importing them into the UK!
    Written by MarkdotT
    Published Nov 19, 2012
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Top end of the value for money spectrum,
    Cons - Poor presentation
    I am not a regular headphones/earphones user so what caught my eye originally was the articles in Lifehacker. To see a $9 version of anything compared favourably to $100+ version is something to pay attention to whether the item is earphones or cruet sets.
     
    When the shipment arrived I was surprised how small the carton was. I had seen unboxing videos on Youtube and expected something larger for the quantity involved. SO, you can imagine I was a little disappointed to find bulk packed items just in small plastic bags with no packaging at all. Of course, if they had been packed in boxes, the shipping charge would have been higher but I was a little disappointed.
     
    I got a pair out, reviewed the videos and photos of how to wear them, and slotted them in.
     
    Many people have remarked about the fit with a significant minority saying that just did not fit at all. While some of those may have later found they were wearing them incorrectly, many must genuinely have had problems. My last earphones were Sennheiser and they came with different size tips to get the best fit. A budget item is just that but I know that we will be offering ours with different sized tips (at extra cost) to try and address this issue.
     
    So back to my installation process. I have trouble inserting ordinary foam ear protectors but I had no problem with the 8320s which was a pleasant surprise and, though I have not had them long enough to evaluate long term comfort, they felt fine and now my wife has nicked my set to listen to Beethoven while she marks school work.
    This must surely come down to the issue of features/value/price. I think the 8320s deliver a great deal more bang for the $ (or punch for the £) then anything I have ever heard of but if they are not for you, there is no much you can do about it.
     
    8320s in my ears and I fire up iTunes and take the first thing it offers me... Neil Young ah!!!!!!!!!!
     
    Most amazing thing of all? The volume was not LOUD but very adequate and I then realised I had it on the lowest possible setting before mute.
     
    Happy listening.
     
     
  10. Huntbald
    WOW
    Written by Huntbald
    Published Nov 7, 2012
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Cheap, Great, Sounds like it costs 10x more
    Cons - None really. Bothers my ear after a while.
    WOW! These IEMs are amazing especially for the price! Best IEM I have ever owned! I actually prefer listening to some songs in these than my modded ATH-M50s. I have owned other IEMs preferably JLAB J5 those were crap. I then switched to some that came with my Galaxy S3 and thought those sounded pretty good. Than I told my brother about these and he got some. I heard than and was so amazed that I bought myself and pair (Who wouldn't? There freaking 8 dollars!) I was surprised at the bass in these. Some people may not think the have any but there is just a perfect balance between bass and everything else. The bass is clean and not overwhelming the mids and highs are perfect. Just awesome. :D