General Information

Impedance
32Ω

Sensitivity

116db

Frequency range

18-22000Hz(±10dB)

Interface

3.5mm

Cable Length

1.2m(±2cm)

Plug type

Straight PLUG

Size (diameter of shell)

16.8mm

Monk Go are entry-level earbuds by Venture Electronics which are only produced with limited quantity. They were released 2021, with only 3000 mass produced all throughout internationally.

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Latest reviews

Otto Motor

Headphoneus Supremus
Goodbye Cruel World
Pros: Decent timbre and technicalities, ok at low volumes; good build; cheap.
Cons: Spicy upper midrange, sounds thin, lacks body; not for loud listening.
Monk-Go-review.jpeg


I don't want to double up with packaging and physicals and focus on sound.
You find the whole story here: https://www.audioreviews.org/venture-electronics-monk-go-1/

The Monk Go (with foams) has two faces: one at low volume and the other one when played louder. This lies in its sonic characteristics: lack of bass, lack of overall body/richness, spicy upper midrange…but it also offers acceptable resolution, imaging, and timbre.

At low volumes, the overall sonic impression is ok as the elevated upper midrange and the lack of congestion (no bleeding bass!) create a decent image with good transparency and air.

When turning the volume up, the lean sound becomes nasal, hollow, and aggressive. You will not find many earbuds that sound thinner.


Monk Go Compared

Cheap earbuds appear to have a big following, so I compared the Monk Go with the $12 Moondrop Shiro Yuki, the discontinued $20 Sennheiser MX560, the discontinued original Apple buds, and a custom-made earbud.


VE Monk, Moondrop Shiro Yuki, Apple earbuds, Sennheiser MX560.
From left to right: VE Monk Go, Moondrop Shiro Yuki, Apple’s 1st gen. bud, Sennheiser MX 560, and the HungryPanda custom bud.

The 32 ohm HungryPanda DIY model with its Fengru LCK 1596 15.4 mm driver is the by far richest sounding of the bunch. Second comes the Sennheiser MX 560, which still has way more body than the Monk Go.

The Yuki Shiro sounds even thinner than the Monk Go, just awful. Apple’s original 2001 earbuds lack treble extension which makes them sound thicker in the midrange than the Monk Go, but they lack in top end.

When ranking them, I’d put the HungryPanda before the Senns and the Apple. Monk Go come in fourth, and the Moondrop last.

The most positive about this comparison is that you are not able to purchase most of these cruelties anymore, with the exception of the Moondrop Shiro Yuki and the Monk Go. You are better off with the $7 KZ EDX if you crave low-fi (these are iems)…

Monk Go may be a good deal at $5, but the sweet spot of many audio enthusiasts is way above that. A realistic pairing would be a $50 phone or a $30 dap – which are hard to come by. So, while getting good material value, these would go into most people’s drawer-of-no-return in no time.

Disclaimer

The Monk Go were provided unsolicited by Venture Electronics and I thank them for that.

Get The Monk Go HERE.
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mervindc146

New Head-Fier
The elusive but better Monk Plus
Pros: + Textured lows with decent punch
+ Smooth midrange, clean tonality over transparency (subject to preference)
+ Musical, intimate midrange
+ Lush female vocals
+ Crisp treble presentation, good decay
+ Decent sparkle and micro-detail retrieval
+ Good layering & separation
+ Good horizontal imaging, but average depth
+ Inoffensive, for longer sessions
+ Good price to performance ratio
+ Entry-level price
Cons: - Rolled-off sub bass as other earbuds
- Quick decay for lows, depth/note weight can be improved
- Slight mid bass bleed on bass centric tracks
- Midrange smoothness over articulation and transparency (subject to preference)
- Male vocals slighty lacks thickness and warmth
- Initial attack on percussive instruments lacking
- Rolled off lower treble (presence region), soft initial bite
- Rare, limited and elusive
Sound Signature: Midcentric

Sound Quality: 3.5/5
Total Score: 4/5

Disclaimer: I bought VE Monk Go from Venture Electronics store in Shopee PH. This will be as honest a review as it can get. All you can read here will be my own opinion, subject to different factors such as gear used, music, and what my own ears perceive. I also only write reviews after thoroughly listening to it for a week or more rather than just a day; both casually and critically with reference tracks I'm personally familiar with listed below. Please be respectful towards the comments section. For these, I used donut foams. With all that on the side, let's talk VE Monk Go.

Price: $5/₱250

Store Links:
Venture Electronics Website
Shopee PH

Specifications:

Impedance: 32Ω
Earphone sensitivity: 116dB/mW
Frequency range: 20-20000Hz
Interface: 3.5mm
Cable Length: 1.2m
Cable: Rubber cord
Plugs: Straight Plug SE termination

Gear used:
(Hiby Music) Mi 9T Pro (naked)/Mi 9T Pro > Tempotec Sonata HD Pro w/ 2 Vrms active. (Foobar2000) Desktop (naked) > Avani/ Desktop > Shanling Q1 DAC mode. LG V30 (naked). Shanling Q1 (naked)

Reference Music:
Isle Unto Thyself - Hawaii: Part II (FLAC 16 bit)
Dream Eyes - Mine, Kosuke Quintet (DSD 128)
Work 1 - Mine, Kosuke Quintet (DSD 128)
Giorgo by Moroder - Daft Punk (DSD256)
Making of a Cyborg - Kenji Kawai (FLAC 24bit)
Evolution Orange - Earth, Wind & Fire (FLAC 24bit)
Charlie Wasn't Afraid - Day Din (FLAC 16bit)
Uchiage Hanabi - DAOKO x Kenshi Yonezu (FLAC 24bit)
Upstairs - Psapp (FLAC 16bit)
Grand Escape - RADWIMPS ft. Toko Miura (FLAC 24bit)
Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach - Gorillaz (FLAC 16bit)
Hotel California - The Eagles (WAV 32bit)
Black Rainbows - Hawaii: Part II (FLAC 16bit)
Metropolis Part 1 - Dream Theatre (FLAC 16bit)

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Introduction:
These past few months, a new "hype" was circulating around Facebook groups, concerning a $5 earbuds made by Venture Electronics. Named "Monk Go" these buds are limited by numbers, 3000 to be exact and they sell like hotcakes on both VE website and e-commerce shops like Shopee. Needless to say, I was pulled in by the mystery surrounding them, since they're cheap; I can buy one without any regrets. The thing slipped out of my hands twice, they sell faster than my grandma's cooking and by God do people have quick fingers to pull off such a heist when it was made available for a few minutes. I'd say Wild Lee made quite the marketing stunt making these things limited. We were all looking for it, frankly I love the challenge it gave. I even promised to "run around my street block naked" just so I can get my hands on these so-called limited cheap-o earbuds. With the help of some friends, I was finally able to get my hands on them via Shopee PH. Are they worth the hype? Let's find out.

Build:
Typical black painted mx500 shells. Like the Plus, they have the VE logo along with "Monk" branding at the stem. Each termination has L & R markings painted in white; as most earbuds, they're quite hard to discern on low light. Nothing special for the shells.

Just like VE Monk Plus ($5), cables are protected by rubber, easy to handle but still retains kinks. They can be laid down on a flat surface if you do the "over and under" wrap though might fight back from time to time.

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Comfort:
Some mx500 shells trigger my dermatitis or hurt my conch after hours of listening, and these are one of them. Despite being lightweight, when dressed with standard foams, they irritate my upper conch; making it uncomfortable after extended use. Still your mileage may vary.

Isolation:
These are earbuds, don't expect too much.

Lows:
There are two frequencies that made Monk Go better than its brother, Monk Plus; lows and midrange. Bass presentation is better with this pair, they're textured, it can play Electro and Trap genres with satisfaction. In Charlie Wasn't Afraid by Day Din, synths have decent punch, basslines have good transients and compensates for its slightly quick decay. Rumble is rolled-off but earbuds tend to have this weakness due to lack of isolation. Playing Making of Cyborg by Kenji Kawai, mid bass offers a sense of thump and body, however note weight might be lacking as it makes me miss that lingering feeling that comes with proper roll-off on 80-300hz frequencies. Nevertheless, when listening to tracks such as Superfast Jellyfish by Gorillaz, texture more than makes up for the lack of depth; so, playing tracks that have tight bass recording is a pleasure.

Midrange:
Smooth and musicale. The Monk Go's greatest strength lies in its good upper midrange to lower treble transition (3k-4khz). To my ears, they do not explicit weakness when presence region had steep ascent following midrange, which makes most earbuds shrieky and edgy. They have good midrange positioning as shown when playing Uchiage Hanabi by DAOKO x Kenshi Yonezu, DAOKO's voice are a little bit more forward than usual but they aren't "in your face". Female vocals are lush, though lacking a little bit in richness, they serenade you with clean sounding lyrics all throughout the track. Playing Black Rainbows by Hawaii Part II provides a better insight to male vocals, as they're smoothened and lacks the usual transparency and thickness present from the track. Maurice's voice confirms these claims on Evolution Orange by Earth, Wind & Fire; when the usual huskiness has been toned down to a musical tonality. Slight mid bass bleed also smears some early midrange notes, though they're still done rather tastefully when compared to other earbuds within the price range. I'd say folks who love midcentric earbuds would find this pair a gift from the Wild (pun intended).

Treble:
The weakest part of Monk Go. I initially thought that just like Monk Plus, these are technically adept, with accented highs, but they differ more than what meets the eye. Playing Isle Unto Thyself by Hawaii Part II showcased crisp treble presentation, clappers have more than decent decay and sparkle to them. They're also micro-detail capable but the I feel like treble could do better with more extension. Guitar transients sounds soft, with transients a little bit on the weak side. Listening to Dream Eyes and Work 1 by Mine, Kosuke Quintet; you can feel that initial attack on percussive instruments are lacking, something that slow ascent towards 4k-6khz does. Still, they deliver average emphasis on highs especially that air region roll-off is handled well without degrading definition. Despite it being the weakest frequency, I genuinely think it adds character to the Monk Go, as they were tuned to be inoffensive with no abrasiveness, good for appreciating Adele or YOASOBI's amazing voice.

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Soundstage:
Quick Note: Soundstage is a highly subjective spectrum of audio. Different factors such as how the track was recorded or if it was properly mastered, plays a crucial role in identifying soundstage. Please take everything with a grain of ajinomoto seasoning.

Soundstage is above average. Playing On the Run by Pink Floyd showcases Monk Go's ability to present depth and horizontal imaging, as the opening score produces good left & right panning albeit a little bit short from being spatial. Footsteps from the track: Upstairs by PSAPP tends to sound closer than usual rather than coming from meters above, pertaining to mediocre headroom, but definitely not a deal breaker. For $5, they're more than what I've expected.

Layering and Separation:
Amongst fierce competition at the entry-level price range, Monk Go places average in layering & separation. As expected of earbuds with weaker treble presentation, they do good on well-mastered tracks, you can easily identify what instrument is playing without any hiccups, but when it comes to busy tracks such as Metropolis Part 1 by Dream Theater; the lack of initial bite on string instruments makes it harder to discern which is which. The mid bass bleed also adds to overlapping transients between percussive and midrange, albeit slightly. Though they're still better than most, and for the really cheap price I can't really complain too much.

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Comparisons:
Quick disclaimer: Comparisons are made with my own preference and bias, solely based on experience. My ears are my own. Whether you take this as a compliment, a constructive criticism or dismiss it entirely is up to you.

Vido Red: Winner (VE Monk Go) Vidos are one of the most popular entry-level earbuds in the chifi market. For a dirt-cheap price of $1.67, they provide good lows with punchy, tight and resolving bass presentation. With the Reds, midrange is linear with treble showing energetic initial strikes. So why Monk Go? simply because it has better midrange, musical tonality, lows and soundstage. The muddy, congested mid bass of Vido ruined lower midrange notes which Monk Go accentuates. Albeit having a livelier rumble, Vido dug its own grave as it masks other frequencies, our challenger on the other hand has better instrument separation and frankly, better timbre overall. No contest, Monk Go wins.

VE Monk Plus (Smoke Grey): Winner (VE Monk Go) If you're not paying attention, where were you when I mentioned that our challenger: VE Monk Go is the long-awaited upgrade for VE Monk Plus? The only edge I can hear is technicalities but even that, the Plus still has its own shortcomings. Monk Go has better bass extension. They have better punch, textured lows and adequate note weight to play even Dubstep genres; whilst on the other hand Monk Plus disappointed me by just pushing air without sense of body on each bassline. The two Venture Electronic earbuds were tuned to highlight mids, unfortunately for Plus, female vocals exhibit coldness whilst Monk Go presents a lush and arguably a more musical tonality. Monk Plus edges out on both soundstage and instrument separation but our challenger isn’t slouch eithers as they still offer crisp treble presentation which completes their smooth, inoffensive tuning. I'd pick Monk Go over my Monk Plus any day of the week.

Tingo TC200 Old: Winner (Tingo TC200 Old) This two buds offer very different sound signatures, comparing them is like comparing oranges & lemons, but if the question is what I'll want to listen to more? that is without a doubt my Tingo TC200 Old. The TC200 offers transparent midrange, good articulation with natural timbre whilst Monk Go has a different approach, with smooth and clean midrange tonality. Our challenger takes the cake when it comes to lows, with better extension, texture, and decay while our contender has bouncy and somewhat slow bass decay. However, when it comes to treble, Tingo never fails to amaze me how airy, crisp and brilliant it is as compared to other earbuds with the same price range. While Monk Go brings out joy, TC200 on the other hand brings out definition to each cymbal strikes. I'll give it to TC200 for this match.

Conclusions:
Venture Electronics's Monk Go established quite a following after the "limited edition" marketing stunt the company unleashed unto the public. People had been eagerly waiting for an announcement when it'll be available again or if there's a chance it'll pop up on their local online marketplace. So, after missing twice then finally hitting strike and grabbing these $5 earbuds on my third try, do they live up to the surrounding hype? Yesn't. Yes, because for just 5 dollars, you'll get something worthy for the price or even better than the price range but No, Monk Go isn't the "diamond in the rough" golden earphones we've all been looking for. I'd say they're good pricewise but average when you've already heard dozens of earbuds during your time as an enthusiast. Do I recommend them? Of course, especially if you're looking for an upgrade to your Monk Plus, but just because the public hyped them up so much doesn't mean they're the El Dorado of entry-level earbuds.
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