Monoprice Monolith M1060 and M560 Planar Headphones
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givemetacos

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I've read almost this entire thread, and I think my ears might be broken or my preferences are really weird.

I just got the M1060 and have spent about 8 hours comparing them to my existing HD598.

I keep thinking I prefer the HD598 because they seem more detailed, with better clarity, detail, and separation of instruments.

At the very least, the HD598 is a better value given the M1060 cost me 2.5x as much.

My source is a macbook pro, I have an NFB-11 on the way to see if that makes the M1060 pop.

If it doesn't, I think I will keep the HD598 and seek out a bigger upgrade jump to some cans that have better clarity like HD800.
So one of the best words of advice I always give people that are immediately disappointed with new headphones is to not jump to conclusions quickly. I really think it takes the brain time to get that mental burn-in when adjusting to new sounds. I would highly advise you to listen to the M1060 exclusively for 1-2 weeks. Don't go back and forth with the HD598. If you do that it will be much easier to make better comparisons.

For what it's worth, I have never heard the 598 but I have owned HD600, HD650, HD800, and M1060 simultaneously. The M1060 holds its own in clarity and separation. It isn't as detailed as HD800, but it is on par with HD600/650. I also have mine fuzzor modded with vegan pads, which I think help in those departments, but even stock I remember it being pretty good. I also have NFB-11 and a Macbook Pro. The NFB-11 will definitely help the M1060, probably mostly in the bass, but I don't think it will be night and day different. It is an awesome dac/amp though and I am sure you will really like it. But yeah, give it some more exclusive head time before making any decisions.
 
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ses1984

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Another way I can describe the difference is that there generally aren't any details in the 598 that are not in the m1060, it's just that the the 598 reveals the details easier, at lower volumes.

The m1060 are pleasant to listen to loud, but the - 598 is easier to listen to quietly.

Edit: also I was really looking forward to modding with audeze vegan pads, and they are discontinued! LAME!
 
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DavidA

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I've read almost this entire thread, and I think my ears might be broken or my preferences are really weird.

I just got the M1060 and have spent about 8 hours comparing them to my existing HD598.

I keep thinking I prefer the HD598 because they seem more detailed, with better clarity, detail, and separation of instruments.

At the very least, the HD598 is a better value given the M1060 cost me 2.5x as much.

My source is a macbook pro, I have an NFB-11 on the way to see if that makes the M1060 pop.

If it doesn't, I think I will keep the HD598 and seek out a bigger upgrade jump to some cans that have better clarity like HD800.
I don't think you are weird, its just your personal preference to the sound signature that you like. I had a similar impression of the M1060 when I first heard them, a little boring and with no sparkle in the highs but I do have quite a few other headphones to compare them to. I had the HD598 a long time ago, it was one of the first "better" headphones that I got but even when I first got them they were a little thin sounding with no body/weight to the sound to me. While they don't really need an amp it can sound warmer with a well chosen DAC/amp but my old GF that I gave the HD598 to just loves them with her MacBook pro. Other things to consider are the genres of music that you listen to and the volume level that you listen at since these will influence your preferences.

While I think @givemetacos has a good suggestion on just listening to the M1060 for a week or two without going back to your HD598 it really depends on the individual. I'm constantly listening to difference headphones so I tend to pick up on the different sound signatures of the various headphones quickly but I enjoy all the different sound signatures of all the headphones that I have and don't consider one "better" that the other but appreciate each for their own unique sound. One way of looking at this is to use the right tool for the job, if you are into classical I would suggest the HD800 or similar, if you love a nice bass then one of the Fostex headphones would be my suggestion, if classic rock or acoustic jazz a Grado would be my suggestion.
 
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ses1984

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Other things to consider are the genres of music that you listen to and the volume level that you listen at since these will influence your preferences.
I like bass heavy music, electronic music, indie and classic rock, and very occasionally classical.

When I first got the 598s I thought they sounded hollow and thin for bass music, but I've come to appreciate the level of detail they reveal and I really miss those details when they are gone or recessed. I would rather have crystal clear imaging, sound stage, and details than slamming bass.

Also I prefer to listen quietly since I lost for hours at a time and I don't want to go deaf.
 
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chuoi123

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My M560 will arrive next week. Do I need an external amp for it?
 
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givemetacos

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I like bass heavy music, electronic music, indie and classic rock, and very occasionally classical.

When I first got the 598s I thought they sounded hollow and thin for bass music, but I've come to appreciate the level of detail they reveal and I really miss those details when they are gone or recessed. I would rather have crystal clear imaging, sound stage, and details than slamming bass.

Also I prefer to listen quietly since I lost for hours at a time and I don't want to go deaf.
I still think it is worth giving the M1060 some more time or even trying the mods. The details are there. But I also do think this headphone changes a bit with volume levels. If you read the discussion a few pages back we even talked about volume levels quite a bit and I think many of us agree that it is a headphone that performs better at higher volume levels. I'm not saying dangerously high levels, but not quiet levels either. I use a sound level meter all the time. I have a flat piece of cardboard that covers the ear cup entirely with a hole cutout in the center that I stick the sound level meter mic through. I find that I try to keep my volume levels around 75-80 dB range, with peaks up to 85 dB. Those are well within safety limits for listening levels. I would say going down to like 65-70 dB does make the M1060 lose some sparkle and body.
 
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ses1984

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I have never measured my sound levels nor do I have a point of reference, but subjectively speaking, I am in complete agreement. At louder levels, the m1060 sings while the hd598 gets really harsh.

Maybe I should come up with a way to measure sound levels, because maybe I have room to safely turn up the volume.

I am not sure what other ear pads are available and well suited like the audeze vegans that are no longer available. I would rather get velour, but I'd settle for a nice leather that's a little more absorbant/breathable than the stock pleather.
 
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givemetacos

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I have never measured my sound levels nor do I have a point of reference, but subjectively speaking, I am in complete agreement. At louder levels, the m1060 sings while the hd598 gets really harsh.

Maybe I should come up with a way to measure sound levels, because maybe I have room to safely turn up the volume.

I am not sure what other ear pads are available and well suited like the audeze vegans that are no longer available. I would rather get velour, but I'd settle for a nice leather that's a little more absorbant/breathable than the stock pleather.
The sound level meter I use was <$20 on Amazon and I recommend everyone in this hobby have one. Not only is it crucial for monitoring your own safe hearing levels, but it is incredibly useful in doing volume matched comparisons.
 
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DavidA

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I have never measured my sound levels nor do I have a point of reference, but subjectively speaking, I am in complete agreement. At louder levels, the m1060 sings while the hd598 gets really harsh.

Maybe I should come up with a way to measure sound levels, because maybe I have room to safely turn up the volume.

I am not sure what other ear pads are available and well suited like the audeze vegans that are no longer available. I would rather get velour, but I'd settle for a nice leather that's a little more absorbant/breathable than the stock pleather.
Getting a level meter as suggested by @givemetacos is a great idea but if you have a smart phone you can download apps that do a decent job of getting you ball park figures of the levels you are listening at, this is what I use but its been calibrated against a friends level meter used for noise monitoring at his work:
Phone-dB meter-4.jpg
I use a closed cell foam sheet with a slit cut to keep sound from around messing up the readings.
 
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Getting a level meter as suggested by @givemetacos is a great idea but if you have a smart phone you can download apps that do a decent job of getting you ball park figures of the levels you are listening at, this is what I use but its been calibrated against a friends level meter used for noise monitoring at his work:

I use a closed cell foam sheet with a slit cut to keep sound from around messing up the readings.
My God Man! You're going to blow your ears out! :stuck_out_tongue:
 
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cskippy

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I figured the tongue sticking out couldn't hurt.
 
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thebkt

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Don't do the Ether C pads, they're too bright and the 5kHz brightness will light you up. Audeze Lambskin is supposed to be quite good as are the ZMF Ori. Those Brainwavz pads probably will have too much treble and not enough bass, but I'm just guessing there.
Good shout! @cskippy, I read a few pages back that the Ori's were the way to go, though I wonder if they're angled enough? Leaves me thinking the Audeze Lambskins would be the best in this scenario? Leather pads are fine for me, I'm mostly focused on improving the sound for my preferred tunes (metal mainly). Eitherway, thanks for the heads up, that helps narrow it down to two options, neither of which I'm sure would be a terrible mistake.

I am open to advise re applying new pads to the M1060's though. How have people been doing it so far? Using the left over adhesive? Double sided tape? Glue?

the stock pad is so comfortable, it is a waste to throw it away, just do the fuzzor mod and use EQ for the rest
I think this is probably a good place to start. I quite like the sound of them stock for some genres, however as I alluded to above, I'm not liking them much at all for metal, which I primarily listen to. A bit more brightness up high would be nice I think, not sure, I'm still new to the game :) The clarity and imaging is leagues ahead of my other cans though.

Thanks for the input thus far though. I'm happy to give them some more time stock. Apart from many metal tracks sounding almost muddy in the mids, I'm still very impressed with the sound otherwise, eg. they seem great for gaming!

One last question. If I were to apply the fuzzor mod/change pads, both of which would be reversible mods, would that void the 30 day return guarantee and/or warranty? Honestly, if the mods sort out my couple of issues, I'm more than happy to keep them. In stock form though I probably wouldn't. If these mods would void my return opportunity, I'd probably play it safe and return them.

Open to feedback from people's experience so far :)
 
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