Monoprice 8320 Review, Budget Monster or Headfi Hype

 

Monoprice is a company that makes cables, HDMI cables. The main focus of Monoprice was to make high quality, low cost cables that could compete with “higher end” cable manufacturers like Monster. Similarly to Monster Cable, Monoprice ventured into the audio market and created the 8320 enhanced bass earphone.

Upon first opening you will realize a severe lack of accessories or of a box at all.  Due to manufacturing restraints and a greater profit Monoprice most likely shipped these with a minimalistic, Ziploc, plastic bag.  The only accessory you get with this earphone is the earbuds included with it. With the default earbuds on, the Monoprice 8320s sound horrible. Everything is bad and it actually sounds like a $6 earphone, though it is better than the Apple iBuds.  I would recommend burning these earbuds on first contact like I did. Many of the bad reviews on Amazon are of people who didn’t follow this advice.

The cable is also horrible. While it feels nice and good in the hand in practicality it is tangle prone and has horrible micro phonics, meaning whenever you move around you can hear the sound of the cable. The micro phonics of the cable can be fixed by wearing the cables up instead of down however this is not a viable option for many people upgrading from stock earbuds. It also kinks very easily which means this earphone is not for travel. IMG_1161

While the build quality of the actual cable and earphones are good for the price, it doesn’t beat earphones 3 times or even 2 times the 8320s price.  I’ve heard many horror stories of earphones breaking due to glue problems but due to the low price and the great customer service that Monoprice offers it is only a small problem.

Many people will have problems with comfort due to the “innovative” design of the 8320s. The drivers inside the Monoprice 8320s are a monolithic 14.2mm. Most earphones in this price range have 6mm, sometimes 9mm. Even in the under $100 price range there are not many earphones of this gargantuan size.  If you have small ears there is no hope of you getting a good fit with these earphones. Due to its dorsal finns , many people may have discomfort when wearing the 8320s for extended periods of time. The appropriate way to wear the 8320s is very unintuitive most likely due to its design. Isolation is average at best and because it is a dynamic driver it has vents and due to the size of the driver the vents are bigger than normal.

Now the Monoprice 8320s might seem like a horrible earphone after reading this review but its sound is incredible. It’s unlike anything ive ever heard in its price range and even under $50. These $10 earphones compete with $30 – $40 earphones and even beat some of them. The sound is far superior to even the Beats by Dre Solo HDs.

The Bass is adequate. It is almost neutral. The Monoprice 8320s convey bass very naturally and without much of a boost like most earphones in this price range.  If you do get a great seal on the 8320s, which is very hard, the bass will get better and sound fuller. The Monoprice 8320 is missing a bass extension but for the most part the bass is very clean.

The midrange is the highlight of this earphone. The mids are smooth and lush with singers sounding amazing on these earphones. Any rock or pop will sound perfect. With most earphones, even in the under $100 range, don’t have a smooth midrange but rather resorting to a mainstream sound. The Monoprice 8320 defies all earphone logic and has a very smooth and clean midrange. This results in you feeling like the singer and guitars are the highlight of the sound. While this is far from neutral it still is a great sound without the midrange sounding fatiguing or too forward making the singers sound nasally and un-natural.

IMG_1164

The treble also sounds very good; treble is very nice and clean. It isn’t boosted a lot like in most other earphones, which usually results in sibilance if it isn’t done right, but it is very clean. Cymbals, high hats , and pianos all sound amazing though in some recordings electric guitars can lack energy. The only thing wrong with the treble is that it lacks extension but at this price range that is a non-issue.

Soundstage is surprisingly the other strong suit for the 8320s. With most earphones in the under $30 price range it’s a miracle if they have any soundstage at all. The 8320s have a very wide soundstage but not much depth. It almost reaches the Triple fi 10s in terms of width of the soundstage.

The Monoprice 8320 does everything right, in terms of sound. The problem is there are compromises that you have to make in order to achieve the great sound the 8320s can have. You should only be using it on a mobile device and not a laptop because it is very sensitive to which device you are using. You need to burn the earphones in with pink noise for 24 hours or with music for 40 hours in order to achieve the best sound quality.  You can’t have small ears otherwise the 8320s will not fit with your ears. You will also need to “tip hunt” in order to achieve the best fit.  The trouble is well worth it once you finally get the best sound out of the 8320s.

Monoprice, due to the unexpected success of the 8320s, is making an updated version the 8320 called the 9927. The 9927 comes with a box, 3 pairs of tips, and a rubberized shell for better comfort.  It also has the same exact sound. I would recommend them rather than the outdated 8320s.

Pros:

  • Great Mids , Highs
  • Very clean sound for price
  • Able to compete with $30 earphones in terms of sound
  • “Environmentally friendly” packaging

Cons:

  • No included accessories
  • Isolation is average
  • Build quality and cables are not very good
  • Bass can be light for some people
  • Comfort and fit can be questionable for some people

Monoprice 8320

Monoprice 8320 Final Score: 7.3/10 A great sounding product just not an all-rounder

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Hydro Ninja

Hey, I am Hydroninja9. I have been in the tech writing biz for 2 years now and I joined TeckComesFirst in February of 2013. I am a gamer , technophile and audiophile. Of course some info about me isn’t known; blame mind control chips for that. I also make YouTube videos on a regular basis.

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  • NaijaMan

    Great review dude, will have a greater look into the models mentioned.

  • Nice one man! Welcome to the team 😀

  • TeckComesFirst

    Awesome review Hydro, Especially love the graph and final scoring at the end. Add’s a lot of professionalism to the review. Welcome onboard the TeckComesFirst team, Were glad to have you onboard 🙂

  • Tojo Poofinger

    would you reccomend these for popish rock songs?

  • Pingback: Bizmo - Monoprice 8320 — лучшие наушники за 8 баксов - Bizmo()