Monoprice Monolith M565C closed planar headphones impressions thread
May 31, 2020 at 4:00 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

CopperFox

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Having been on the market for more than two years, it is high time for these to have their own thread.

The information page along with @Loneract 's review can be found here: https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/monolith-m565c-closed-back-planar-headphones.22876/

There are not many options available for closed planar magnetic headphones that are not on the physically larger end of the available product range, which was my primary motivation for getting these. I like my Audezes and M1060Cs, but they will easily fall off my head if I try to rest it on a pillow. Of the other smaller options the Oppo PM-3 and Fostex TRP50 MK3 come into mind. The latter has less sub-bass than its previous versions. I considered getting the PM3 but ended up with the M565C mainly with the idea that they would be easier to mod to my preference (Not to mention they are about half the price). And like the M1060Cs, the 565C are truly easy and fun to mod as the cups can be removed by just unscrewing four screws. Unlike with the M1060C's, the M565C's stock pads are fastened with velcro strips so you can both remove them and put them back easily. The stock pads are relatively small, but they still were ok for my big head (the Sennheiser Momentum 1st gen pads were not).

Here's a measurement graph from my MiniDSP EARS (default HEQ compensation) of their sound compared to my Audezes:

M565C_Stock.jpg

The sound is clean with no harshness. There is more bass than with some other planars in this size and/or price range, although these are not particularly bassy either in the stock configuration. The area that is lacking most is high treble.

The first impression of the stock sound is that it is clear and interesting with focus on mids and low treble. (And as stated, there is also more bass than on some other options.) If I liked that kind of sound - like many people would - I'd probably like the stock sound.

However, I prefer a sound that has a lot of bass in - almost but not quite basshead level - with mids next and high treble last. That brings us to the next part, which is modding...
 
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May 31, 2020 at 4:43 PM Post #2 of 17

CopperFox

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In the following I will describe my mod for these, which consists of two parts: 1. Removing half of the rear damping and 2. changing the pads. It is a very simple and easy mod and it requires no exotic materials. The replacement pads I used cost $2.56 (!) and can be found here --> https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33010591286.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.49f44c4dTu7ws4 . Thanks to @Restatic for mentioning these in the Takstar HF580 thread.

Edit: that listing is not currently available but there are other listings for the same product (can be found with search terms "Ear Cushion Pad for Sony MDR V6/ZX 700 brainwavz") such as https://www.aliexpress.com/item/400...earchweb0_0,searchweb201602_,searchweb201603_ or https://www.aliexpress.com/item/400...earchweb0_0,searchweb201602_,searchweb201603_ or https://www.aliexpress.com/item/400...earchweb0_0,searchweb201602_,searchweb201603_ .
The pads' dimensions are listed roughly as 110mm*85-90mm and 40mm thickness on the thicker side and 22mm thickness on the less thick side.

First, the stock rear damping consist of four pads in total - two large felt pads, one large foam pad and one small foam pad. Those are what you will see after unscrewing the cups. The two felt pads are closest to the driver and the foam pads are closer to the cup. The foam pads are the ones to remove in this mod, so take them out, put the felt pads back in (if you took them out) and reattach the cups.

Second, the stock pads are replaced with the aforementioned replacement pads. There is a reason why high-end planar headphones generally use thick and angled pads. The reason is that the thick pads create more room between the driver and your ears, which causes boundary gain in both bass and treble, while the mids - the planar drivers' innate strong area - are pushed slightly back. Unlike with the M1060C, the M565C's stock pads are not thick enough to do this.

(Photo of stock pad on top of replacement pad)

Pads.jpg

Here the replacement pads need to be attached somehow, perhaps by two-sided tape or glue or something. If that seems blunt, well that's how my Audezes' stock pads are attached. You can of course first try the new pads on the phones without permanently attaching them as well.

And that's it. The mod costs less than $5 and can be done in less than 10 minutes.

Here's a photo of the M565Cs resting in their new earpads on my EARS, with the removed foam pads from each cup in the foreground.

M565EARS.jpg

Here are three comparison graphs of the modded sound: First the modded M565C compared to my Audezes, then the modded M565Cs compared to my modded M1060Cs, and last the modded M565C compared to the stock M565C.

M565CM_Audeze.jpg


M565CM_M1060CM.jpg


M565CM_M565Cs.jpg

The two things the mod consists of are quite literally the first two things I did to mod these and the end results are exceedingly better than I could have expected. The modded sound's FR pretty much matches the LCD2CCB from 1kHz to 7,5kHz, yet has the bass quantity of the M1060C. The sound is also very clean without harshness.
 
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Nov 30, 2020 at 4:25 PM Post #3 of 17

Tano

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Thanks for this really nice thread. You made a really nice work.
Im planning on buy them and get the pads to try your mod, the results look really good.
I was looking for a closed back planar and this look the best option for the price.The 1060c is just to heavy for me. By the way, hows the isolation on the 565c?
 
Dec 24, 2020 at 6:24 AM Post #4 of 17

Tano

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I performed the mod yesterday. I used the official Brainwavz HM5 oval pads because one of my great neighbours stole the ones I ordered from AliExpress.
Anyways, they were a bit tricky to install because I didn't want just to stick them with glue and ruin the velcro. So I used a very thin 3m double sided adhesive and finally installed them.
After removing the foam , the sound became way more clear in the highs but I didn't really feel a significant boost in the lows, still sounds way better than with the stock ones.
Really useful mod. Thanks for sharing it!

IMG_20201224_115320.jpg
 
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Feb 20, 2021 at 6:32 PM Post #5 of 17

Themilkman46290

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Seems not many people got these, nice mods, any other mods you've done since?
 
Mar 18, 2021 at 8:19 AM Post #6 of 17

Themilkman46290

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It really is Strange no one jumped on these, do you guys know how to tune the mid bass down, I have been playing with different mods, a new cable, I had bought these used and the headband was worn out, upon removing them I had realized the yolk mechanism was disassembled and put back incorrectly.
One of the plastic peices was also cracked...

So I decided to remake them, worst part was that the cups aren't made from matched wood, the good thing is it was zebrano wood which I had laying around, so I remade them from wood

Was curious if anyone could suggest a mod that may boost the upper treble?
And tune down the midbass a bit
Looking for any recommendations
Thanks, I will post the pics later, cool headphones, easy to modify, and headband is easily rebuilt
 
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Mar 18, 2021 at 10:51 AM Post #8 of 17

povidlo

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Mar 19, 2021 at 7:39 AM Post #9 of 17

Themilkman46290

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Would like to hear these, are they still in production?
Definitely still for sale, if you are curious, just grab them up next time they are on sale, really great and affordable planars, excellent modding platform.
Unlike the competition, these have very little glue, not crappy plastic or fragile construction like most name brand companies
Having been on the market for more than two years, it is high time for these to have their own thread.

The information page along with @Loneract 's review can be found here: https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/monolith-m565c-closed-back-planar-headphones.22876/

There are not many options available for closed planar magnetic headphones that are not on the physically larger end of the available product range, which was my primary motivation for getting these. I like my Audezes and M1060Cs, but they will easily fall off my head if I try to rest it on a pillow. Of the other smaller options the Oppo PM-3 and Fostex TRP50 MK3 come into mind. The latter has less sub-bass than its previous versions. I considered getting the PM3 but ended up with the M565C mainly with the idea that they would be easier to mod to my preference (Not to mention they are about half the price). And like the M1060Cs, the 565C are truly easy and fun to mod as the cups can be removed by just unscrewing four screws. Unlike with the M1060C's, the M565C's stock pads are fastened with velcro strips so you can both remove them and put them back easily. The stock pads are relatively small, but they still were ok for my big head (the Sennheiser Momentum 1st gen pads were not).

Here's a measurement graph from my MiniDSP EARS (default HEQ compensation) of their sound compared to my Audezes:



The sound is clean with no harshness. There is more bass than with some other planars in this size and/or price range, although these are not particularly bassy either in the stock configuration. The area that is lacking most is high treble.

The first impression of the stock sound is that it is clear and interesting with focus on mids and low treble. (And as stated, there is also more bass than on some other options.) If I liked that kind of sound - like many people would - I'd probably like the stock sound.

However, I prefer a sound that has a lot of bass in - almost but not quite basshead level - with mids next and high treble last. That brings us to the next part, which is modding...
Hey thanks for all these details and graphs man, you are awesome for posting those graphs, I been tryiiing to find more info and sadly didn't find much, other then that zeos douche trashing on them for no reason.
Have you tried any other pads?
Made any more graphs?
I been curious about these cloth pads (more comfortable, better highs, smoother but at a loss of bass)
IMG_20210319_132157.jpg

Or these velour type pads
(They seem to have a bit better bass then cloth, but not as comfy and the treble isn't as smooth)
IMG_20210319_132201.jpg


Here are some pics of the re finished cups and replaced headband (still haven't stitched it up yet)
IMG_20210319_130051.jpg
IMG_20210319_130037.jpg
IMG_20210319_130028.jpg
 
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Mar 19, 2021 at 8:55 AM Post #10 of 17

Tano

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Definitely still for sale, if you are curious, just grab them up next time they are on sale, really great and affordable planars, excellent modding platform.
Unlike the competition, these have very little glue, not crappy plastic or fragile construction like most name brand companies

Hey thanks for all these details and graphs man, you are awesome for posting those graphs, I been tryiiing to find more info and sadly didn't find much, other then that zeos douche trashing on them for no reason.
Have you tried any other pads?
Made any more graphs?
I been curious about these cloth pads (more comfortable, better highs, smoother but at a loss of bass)IMG_20210319_132157.jpg
Or these velour type pads
(They seem to have a bit better bass then cloth, but not as comfy and the treble isn't as smooth) IMG_20210319_132201.jpg

Here are some pics of the re finished cups and replaced headband (still haven't stitched it up yet)
IMG_20210319_130051.jpgIMG_20210319_130037.jpgIMG_20210319_130028.jpg
Wow man, these look gorgeous!!
 
Mar 19, 2021 at 9:41 AM Post #11 of 17

Themilkman46290

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Wow man, these look gorgeous!!
Thanks man, I was trying to keep it clean looking

Felt that they deserved to look as good as they sound :L3000:
 
Mar 19, 2021 at 12:00 PM Post #13 of 17

Themilkman46290

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I agree completely, wish I would've gotten them a lot sooner
 
Apr 2, 2021 at 1:54 PM Post #14 of 17

CopperFox

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Hey thanks for all these details and graphs man, you are awesome for posting those graphs, I been tryiiing to find more info and sadly didn't find much, other then that zeos douche trashing on them for no reason.
Have you tried any other pads?
Made any more graphs?

Hi, yes actually I did mod them further and tried some different pads as well.

The further mods begin with removing half of the stock damping as described in the first post.
Then a self-adhesive 3mm thick sheet of solid rubber (NOT rubber foam) is attached to the insides of the cups, like this:

P_20210402_200406.jpg

This improves the bass response with a similar effect as putting a speaker closer to a wall, except here the driver is now closer to the cup.

The pads I tried are these, both in the 95mm size:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/10000339305053.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.27424c4dVEXKGM
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33057605882.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.27424c4daSe5hM

And here are the graphs:

M565C_graphs.jpg


The blue graph is the mods from the first post, purple graph is with the the perforated 95mm sheepskin pads from the Smart Watched store and brown is non-perforated 95mm sheepskin pads from the JingZhi store. Sorry the blue graph is a bit lower in overall level, but you probably can see the spectrum differences anyway.

The new mod and pads further improves the bass response and makes it more Harman-correct so that there's no more excess high bass. There is more treble too from 2Khz up.

Hope that helps :)
 
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Apr 7, 2021 at 12:08 PM Post #15 of 17

OspreyAndy

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This headphone deserve more attention definitely.

Going into 2nd week, I have been enjoying my M565c for the refined relaxing sound she provided. However there's some glaring issues that I deem somewhat annoying:
- The oval pads just refused to synergize with my outer ear lobes. After 40 minutes of use I can feel tingling pain which severely ruin what was supposed to be a relaxing on the couch listening indulgence
- Coming from Etymotic ER4S and AKG K701 background, I sensed that there's a tiny veil on micro details and treble sparkle. I have always prefer flat sparkly sound and the M565c is neutral indeed, just missing that tiny bits of sparkle

Good thing is I am a geek at modding and there's solution for everything if you look for it yes?

So I figured that the biggest issue was the size of the inner diameter of the pads, they are just not big enough that some part of the ears are compressed in to fit. I have always enjoyed the comfort of AKG/Beyerdynamic type of circular 100mm pads. They fully envelope the ears without touching the edges. So what better to do than to apply the same principle yes?

As seen in the pics below, a total makeover of my M565c and I opted to use my spare AKG K52 pads to test the theory:

To address the veiled high frequencies I did the most basic known mod which is to remove any padding between the drivers to the ears. As seen below the paper filter was completely removed, of which later the only layer remaining will be the pads screen.
20210407_213745_HDR.jpg


Then I fashioned a custom plastic plate measured precisely to allow for the rounded K52 pad to mount. This will also mean later on I can easily slap in any 100mm rounded pads of Beyerdynamic DT770 or any compatible ones for tuning purposes
20210407_213753_HDR.jpg

20210407_224727_HDR.jpg


Then the plates attached to the driver chassis with hot glue (which is totally reversible). It's mounted solid and clean.

20210407_231948_HDR.jpg

20210407_232033_HDR.jpg


I must say I am very satisfied with the results. The appearance remained stock like and very neat. But what's more important, the issue of my ear lobes getting squeezed is totally resolved now. No more pain and bites.

You would also noticed that I have also replaced the dual mono plugs with MMCX ports. Which in turn allowed for the use of my existing balanced cables. And currently she's running 54 Ohm setup as the cable contains inline Impedance resistors for use with my Cayin DAPs and LG V35 (the cable fully modular for 4.4mm, 3.5mm or 2.5mm use)

Now the interesting part, yes the veil is gone now. I can say the overall sonic characteristics are now presented with more sparkle and micro detailing accentuated better similar to how Etymotic ER4S would present it. I just can't wait to order a better pair of 100mm pads, most likely gonna order a velour and protein leather from Misodiko.

Once all settled in, I plan do add an impression write-up on the M565c thread. :)
 

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