[2021 Update] Venture Electronics (VE) Monk V2, Monk Plus & Monk Go: a $5 earbud that taking the world by storm!!!
Oct 10, 2015 at 1:05 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7,415

DJScope

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2021 Update: I've recently come back to Head-Fi after years of being absent do to illness. I've gotten my hands on the new iteration of the Monk family, called the Monk Go and will be adding impressions as I go.
It feels great to add to the history and journey of such an enigma when it comes to this hobby where money kinda gets thrown out of the window and some as small and insignificant as a $5 ear bud can make such a huge impact on the scene.




Original Monk V2 review/impressions (Oct 10, 2015):

Disclaimer: Please read the story before making judgement.


I'd like to start by saying that before trying the Monk, I absolutely hated earbuds and thought that they are an outdated technology which has no place in today's market. I've tried numerous earbuds some that were over $300, and thought that they were all trash. Uncomfortable, sound atrocious, clunky, ugly, cheap looking and feeling too, are some of the reasons I had in mind.

But please bare with me...

View attachment
Not the best of first impressions, I know.


I got the VE Monk randomly with a review sample of the VE Duke IEM and the VE RUNABOUT portable amplifier. Inside the package was this very plain looking earbud which I didn't even look twice at. I simply picked up the ziplock bag it came in and lobbed it into a drawer, and never thought of it until today.

So today, Im sitting around, in a curious mood, and remember that I've got them. Mind you that I didn't even know what they were called at that time. I asked @H20Fidelity (who has passed them onto me, as he had some misfortune and could not review them) and even he did not know what they were. So I decided to plug them into my desktop DAC (Audio-GD NFB15.32) and give them a listen, just for Schiits-n-giggles.

As they settle in, I start to flick through track after track until I get to a live recording of "The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Medley".


What I got is this wonderfully open, natural and organic sound signature with a very natural and effortless soundstage and imaging. Sound performance that I've not experienced before in an earbud.

So then I went asking around. And to my absolutely surprise, I find out that these VE Monks are worth 5 freakin' dollars. $5?... $5?????


This just might be the best value for money earphone/IEM/headphone that has been ever made. For $5, you cannot deny this statement. I own it! I'm actually considering going out and trademarking this statement. But seriously, this is absolute madness! (not Sparta)

For those curious, more details on the VE website here: http://eng.52ve.cn/product.php?cm_id=205

Just wanted to share my experience, and explain why I think a $5 earbud deserves to be on Head-Fi.

Cheers!!!

beerchug.gif




[size=17.03px]At this stage the only official seller of the VE Monks is here : Venture Electronics (AliExpress)[/size]






Monk Go Impressions (18/06/2021)

Looking and reading back on this thread brings warmth to my heart seeing who the VE Monk brought us all together in such humble discussion. The Monk has gone through many iterations, whether in style, colour or tech, many of them sounded slightly and even drastically different. So it is hard to give a comparable impression on such an evolving ear phone.

So onto the Monk Go. I've only had them for Maybe 3 days, so these impressions are super early but I couldn't wait to write something about them. I can't give a comparative impression until I find my original Monk stash which I've not listened to for quite some time. So here it goes. Please be kind as it's been years since I've written anything here.

The Monk Go sounds quite dynamic and full bodied, with a slight airiness to highs. The bass isn't in your face but it's all there. Even powering them with the Audio-GD NFB15, the bass goes quite low and stays flat through mid bass with a tiny bit of a hump in the upper bass region which warms up the vocals and acoustics. In terms of soundstage, they're not widest or deepest, but you can't really expect much from an ear bud. Though saying that, when listening to something that's well mastered and has a lot of separation between the channels, you can pinpoint locations of elements horizontally, though not much vertically.

Please note, these are very early impressions.

IMG_0342.JPG
 
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Oct 10, 2015 at 2:24 AM Post #3 of 7,415

waynes world

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Awesome! Can you say "Gateway drug to the VE Zens" lol?
 
Oct 10, 2015 at 2:26 AM Post #4 of 7,415

mebaali

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I am not a big fan of earbuds and largely been an IEMs user. With whatever earbuds I have tried in the past (mostly el-cheapo ones), always had the issue of uncomfortable fit and need to crank up the volume very high to get a decent enough sound that still lacked the detail/clarity/bass of most of my IEMs. That's when I saw the VE thread and came to know about Monk. 
 
It was kinda breath of fresh air (in terms of earbuds) for me. Monks have got Fantastic consumer friendly Sound (that rivals some of my more pricier IEMs) with a solid build quality. Have been using these intermittently over the last 2 weeks with Fiio X1 + NX1 combo. IMHO, Monks are an impressive piece of work that gives maximum price-performance ratio (BTW, I bought it from Aliexpress for under 9 US$ shipped) for a weary earbud consumer (like me). 
 
Oct 10, 2015 at 2:52 AM Post #5 of 7,415
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Thanks fot starting this thread!

My experience with earbuds and the Monk is very similar to yours.

I also got mine with the Duke and was curious so put them on and got lost in the music for hours before even getting to the Duke :wink:
 
Oct 10, 2015 at 3:04 AM Post #6 of 7,415

nmatheis

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First, good on you for starting the thread, Igor!

Second, if you think these are good, the Asura will surely astound you and the Zen will blow your freaking mind. Not kidding at all, either!

Third, if you've got a 75 or 100 Ohm impedance adapter lying around, give them a try with Monk, hook them up to the Runabout or other amp, and see if it doesn't tighten up the bass and add a bit if sparkle up top.

GO TEAM VE!!!
 
Oct 10, 2015 at 3:39 AM Post #7 of 7,415

DJScope

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  I am not a big fan of earbuds and largely been an IEMs user. With whatever earbuds I have tried in the past (mostly el-cheapo ones), always had the issue of uncomfortable fit and need to crank up the volume very high to get a decent enough sound that still lacked the detail/clarity/bass of most of my IEMs. That's when I saw the VE thread and came to know about Monk. 
 
It was kinda breath of fresh air (in terms of earbuds) for me. Monks have got Fantastic consumer friendly Sound (that rivals some of my more pricier IEMs) with a solid build quality. Have been using these intermittently over the last 2 weeks with Fiio X1 + NX1 combo. IMHO, Monks are an impressive piece of work that gives maximum price-performance ratio (BTW, I bought it from Aliexpress for under 9 US$ shipped) for a weary earbud consumer (like me). 

 
Indeed! The build quality is top notch. Even if they were $30 they would still be amazing value.
 
 
 
 
Thanks fot starting this thread!

My experience with earbuds and the Monk is very similar to yours.

I also got mine with the Duke and was curious so put them on and got lost in the music for hours before even getting to the Duke
wink.gif

 

 
 
First, good on you for starting the thread, Igor!

Second, if you think these are good, the Asura will surely astound you and the Zen will blow your freaking mind. Not kidding at all, either!

Third, if you've got a 75 or 100 Ohm impedance adapter lying around, give them a try with Monk, hook them up to the Runabout or other amp, and see if it doesn't tighten up the bass and add a bit if sparkle up top.

GO TEAM VE!!!

 
I was a bit scared of the backlash of starting this thread. Hence my long-winded story to justify such a audiophile-suicide action. I'm a terrified at what I've ventured into and a little birdy told me that I might be getting the Asura and Zen as well. 
 

 
Oct 10, 2015 at 3:49 AM Post #9 of 7,415

DJScope

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Something tells me you're going to be very happy with them. I was using the Zen with the Aune X1S. Dayum, was that a good combo!

Who'd a thought earbuds + desktop DAC/Amp would induce eargasms
blink.gif

 
Well to be completely honest, I think the Monks sound a little garbage using my phone. Once you put some power through them, they sound brilliant! 
 
Oct 10, 2015 at 3:57 AM Post #11 of 7,415

DJScope

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You think Monk sound crap out of a phone, just wait for the 300Ohm Zen monsters
wink_face.gif


Monk are one of those things every headfi'er should try!

 
Read through this entire thread > realise how insane we sound! 
 
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Oct 10, 2015 at 4:23 AM Post #13 of 7,415
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Oct 10, 2015 at 4:28 AM Post #14 of 7,415

Tobias89

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I whole-heartedly agree. I tried either earfonia's or RedTwilight's monk I think. My note3 couldn't power it properly, but once i tried it(via the hugo), its like......whaaatttttt?!?!?!?!?!?! And I immediately decided to get one.

IMHO the monks is fully deserving of 5 stars. At its price, with its sonic performance it didnt make sense not to buy them.
 

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