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Old 07-25-2012, 04:16 PM
Reddlemagne's Avatar
Reddlemagne Reddlemagne is offline
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Post Monoprice 8320 IEM headphones first impressions/review

Hello, and good day to all of you. After checking mail today, I was pleasantly surprised to find my order of two (!) Monoprice 8320 headphones have arrived. Without further ado, I present my first impressions, and (after some further testing), eventual review of what Lifehacker states as "The Best Earbuds You’ll Find Under $10"

Out of the box:
Well, bag, more like. I got both of these in a plain envelope, with both sets of headphones in plastic baggies and...nothing else. No extra tips, no warranty, nor other papers. TBH, I kinda like that approach. Less waste and all that goodness. When I first got the envelope, I was surprised at how light it was. I almost thought the envelope was empty.

Look/Feel:
The Headphones are very smooth, yet don't really seem to attract fingerprints, and are a very shiny silver color, which while some of the gents over at the head-fi forums have dubbed "tacky", I actually kinda like the look. No squeaking, nore give upon pressing on em, and the plastic used feels...well, not quite premium, but not really cheap either. Very solid build quality overall.
Tips on them, which are silicon type tips, feel a tad squishy, and remind me heavily of the Zune 80 included headphones. A fair amount of people say the tips don't fit well, but they fit my ears just fine, but I hazard that others don't have my ear type, so if you do decide to buy these, keep in mind the tips may not suit you, and may require adjustment/purchase other tips for a proper fit. They're actually quite hard to pull out of my ears once the seal's been made, but they don't block noise out as well as the JVC Marshmallows (My old standbys).
The cord itself is cloth type, which once again, reminds me of the Zune 80 headphones. I haven't gone walking in them yet, so I can't attest to whether or not they make noise while walking/working out with them yet. There's a decent length of cord, a bit more than my JVCs, which I found nice for budget headphones. Overall, I quite like the look, the fit, form, and general build of these headphones.

The sound:
What your all here for, probably. Do they stack up to the hype?
In short: Yes. For BUDGET phones.
For testing purposes, I'm using my modified HTC Droid Incredible, with the Neutron player set to a default equalizer.

The original guy over at the Head-fi forums, Dsnuts, stated that these headphones would serve well for the trance/dubstep/electronic genres, and wouldn't you know it, I happen to be a fan of those genres.
First song tested was Deadmau5's "Strobe", and quite frankly, it sounds...very punchy. Normally, I'm not a fan of bass, due to too many cheapo headphones not holding up well to it, washing out the song in general. However, using the Monoprice phones, the bass was nice and punchy, but it didn't have that same washout effect. At all. I could hear everything very clearly, and like I said, while still having that nice, punchy bass.
My second song for bass testing was the song "Existence" by Excision & Downlink. This wasn't as bass-y as it was with my JVCs, but it made up for this by being more..."ambient". It seemed to fill my ear with the bass, without being overbearing, and yet again, I can hear the other parts of the song with clarity.
Third song I tested, since it was suggested that these songs are also quite nice for hiphop/rap genres, was "Walk with me" by Joe Budden. Now, please note, I am, by no means, a hip hop fan, so take everything said here with a grain of salt. The bass, once again, wasn't as strong, but once again, seemed to be more ambient, and the vocals...oh man, I'm not a hip hop fan, but the vocals seemed to just pop out (in a good way). The vocals, bass, and beat all seemed separate, in the sense that they didn't interfere with each other, but rather seemed to mesh well, keeping it very clean.

Overall:
I am very impressed with these headphones. For 7 bucks, You get good bass, clean, crisp vocals and beat, wrapped in a solid form factor. Now keep in mind upon reading this, that I still haven't done burn in, as suggested over in the Head-fi forums, and that this is very much just my initial impressions. I intend to do further testing, and will update this thread as needed.

EDIT: Have some photos. Feel free to post up any further questions/suggestions/songs to use for testing/etc below

Photos:


Here they are, in all the minimalistic glory.









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Last edited by Reddlemagne; 07-25-2012 at 07:00 PM. Reason: Adding images
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