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Monoprice Monolith M1060 and M560 Planar Headphones

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by wordfool, Sep 13, 2016.
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  1. heliosphann
    When I get home tonight I'll try and give them a quick comparison.
    Pakalini and cskippy like this.
  2. cskippy
    That's an interesting comparison. I'll post my thoughts later.
    Pakalini and heliosphann like this.
  3. Kane Williams
    OK, so Monoprice are now in the UK. "Yes", I thought, I will be able to get some M1060's with no import duty and VAT. The price £335! So, probably about the same price as importing them. Just can't afford that, will have to get an American friend to bring some over next time they visit.
    Matt White likes this.
  4. bjaardker
    You know you've been spending too much time in the planar headphone threads when you are channel surfing and stop on the jewelry channel because it looked like they had gold plated Fazer grills.

  5. cskippy
    Okay, so a little comparison. I'll keep it brief as I don't have the M1060 anymore and it's not stock. Also, my M1060 did not exhibit ringing at 5kHz to my ears, YMMV here.

    I thought the target response curve of the M1060 was pretty good, a warm take on neutral. The midrange and lower treble were slightly accentuated and could be a problem with the wrong associated gear. There were a couple issues with the M1060 that led me to selling them. The irregular frequency response (stock), comfort with the bumps in the suspension strap, and a "veil" to the sound. What I mean by veil is that the sound seemed too distant or behind a layer of cloth. This was NOT fixed by removing the protective earside driver cloth material, that just made them harsh. I think the pad distance and slotted design didn't jive with my personal preferences. Now that I think about it, that's probably the reason I don't care for Audeze headphones either, as they also have a slotted design for the housing. Personal issues/preferences aside, I can see these being a pretty substantial step up from most other headphones in their price range IF you get a good pair. And that's the problem, quality control. I might suggest people look at the HE-400i or 400s as an alternative.

    The AR-H1 screams quality compared to the M1060, and it should being double the price at $599. I'm not sure about weight differences but the AR-H1 is more comfortable for me although the pad depth is barely to shallow and my ears graze the metal housing. The suspension headband is pretty good but you might still get a hot spot after a couple hours. You can push it up to relieve the pressure and I'm sure the elastic will loosen up with use and be less of an issue, same for clamp.

    On to sound...

    These two headphones both have good bass quantity and extension. Were they differ is the midrange and treble. The AR-H1 has a dip at 4kHz were the M1060 has a peak shortly after that. The dip at 4kHz isn't as pronounced since your ears are so close to the drivers and they are not angled. The leather pads also reduce the treble output so the peak at 10kHz is also not as bad as the measurements show. This frequency response creates a very wide and deep soundstage, one of the largest I've heard, up there with the HD800. There is excellent clarity and air with the AR-H1 which I found lacking in the M1060. Both have kind of a looser bass compared to ToTL headphones but extension and quantity are excellent staying pretty neutral.

    I prefer the AR-H1 especially now since it's had more hours on it. It started out kind of harsh but I would keep coming back to it for an hour or so every day. It's now a great alternative to my modded HE-6 when I want something a little more lively for rock.

    Comparison between AR-H1 and M1060 stock:

    M1060 Waterfall: Note the excessively high and long "ortho wall".

    M1060 Waterfall: Much cleaner than the M1060, the ortho wall seems tensioned a little looser at ~2kHz and is at a lower amplitude.

    M1060 Impulse Response: Very ragged with bounce back up so there is some issues with diaphragm movement and decay.

    AR-H1 Impulse Response: VERY clean, one of the best impulse responses I've seen on par with the HD800.
  6. Phantaminum
    I really enjoyed modding the M1060's as well but ended up having to part ways with them for the reasons you stated. It paired fantastic with an Oppo HA-2 since that amp/dac has a forward characteristic that compliments the tame mids while also throwing out a wide sound stage. Great combination except clarity took a small hit and notes just kind of melded into each other. Listening to Lifeboi (Matthew) - Bleach made say "WOW" at how good that song sounded on the M1060+HA-2 pair.

    The other reason was the M1060's treble had a metallic sheen. It was even more noticeable when paired with my Jotunheim. The Jot didn't help either with the low end and made it sound limp. There was no musicality behind it and the sound stage was collapsed compared to the HA-2. There was also a slight ringing that bugged me depending on the song which goes back to your point on QA/QC. Find a good pair and pairing folks.

    I still enjoyed the heck out of those headphones while I had them. Good planar to purchase and start tinkering around with mods. I may be purchasing the AR-H1 soon and see if it'll scratch the planar itch I've had since listening to the M1060s.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
    cskippy likes this.
  7. youngarthur
    I bought them from Amazon, with Global shipping, and cost was £284, all taxes paid, and they are MK 2 version.
    Matt White likes this.
  8. Kane Williams
    Good to know, thanks.
  9. givemetacos
    That's an excellent comparison and the measurements look great! You are the second person now to say the AR-H1 is the closest headphone in soundstage to HD800. That really really piques my interest, especially for a planar. Damn I really want to hear these now. And I completely agree on all points you made about M1060, even vegan modded. That "veil" or rather distance you mentioned is pretty apparent on both M1060 and LCD-2. I just recently sold off both of those and have given up on planars for now. I might have to revisit them with AR-H1. Though after reviewing a ZMF Auteur, I am leaning towards buying one so that might have to wait a while =)
  10. cskippy
    Right on man! I'm probably going to buy an Auteur as well.
  11. SilverEars
    I've never experienced any vail to the sound. I drove it out of Mojo and Questyle CMA600i(this makes a world of a difference), although Mojo did pretty good in itself for a little guy. Details are very good, and no recessed mids I've gotten with LCD2s, or congested mids I've heard with Ether Flows open, or shills I've heard with Aeons or HD800s. Balanced, and very detailed and dimentional sounding out of Questyle. Technically, very good sounding, and performs much better than those I've compared with. Very very good value for money. It scales.

    It's very difficult to find headphones with clear coherent mids, that's the part I dislike about full sized. I look for good separation, clarity, and resolvability. I like the M1060 a lot, and I've heard a lot of setups. I'm blindly looking at things outside graphs or price tags. Objectively based on what I've heard.

    Please don't mistake, unbearable treble boost with high resolvability.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  12. DavidA
    @cskippy , @givemetacos when I first listened to a stock M1060 a few months ago I mentioned that it sounds "veiled" to me and was wondering that since it was stock did all the mods change them that much but since the two of you have moved on it seems like I listened to my ears and think I can cross these off the list and start to think about the AR-H1 and maybe the HD660S.

    @SilverEars the amps didn't make much difference in sound on the M1060 when I tried them, used a Liquid Carbon, Lyr2 with Siemens CCa, Asgard2, Ember (Telefunken 12AU7, lowest output impedance setting), and the headphone output of UD-301, M1060 sounded lifeless on all even with tubes that are somewhat bright but very clear in the Siemens CCa and Telefunken.
  13. SilverEars
    When I drove it out of CMA600i, I noticed the difference in refinement compared to other sources. It does scale. You hear things in more of a dimensional tonality, and there is more of depth to the sound, and more information put out, very detailed.

    CMA600i I consider a source. It's a DAC/Amp combo.

    I've also compared out of the Hugo 2 of various headphones. Once again, M1060 is very very good valued headphone.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
    Brahmsian likes this.
  14. DavidA
    Agree about the value but if one needs to do all the mods which make them closer to $400-450 then you need to consider the HE400i, HE560 and even a EL-8 ($339 for b-stock) if wanting a planar headphone.

    My LCD-2f was quite a bit better sounding than the M1060 when I compared them, to me the M1060 was closer to the Nighthawk in sound, a bit too dark with rolled of treble, a boring mid range due to be smoothed over too much and bass that was a bit one-note to me.
  15. SilverEars
    I've heard dark, and M1060 shouldn't be considered dark. LCD2 was dark with recessed mids.

    M1060 was far from boring in regards to balanced response, dynamics, and detail retrieval. I expect greater priced headphones to perform, but sadly there is no correlation based on comparisons.

    No mods.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
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