On a tight budget? Love high quality sound? These are the headphones you can’t live without.
As NautilusMODE has been considering expanding into the video market we found ourselves in need of a decent set of headphones to replace the $15 pair we found at our local discount retailer so we could ensure proper sound composition. Looking over the market for anything remotely studio quality seemed to cost over $100 or more. Then I found these; the Premium Hi-Fi DJ Style Over-the-Ear Pro Headphone from Monoprice. These headphones are a value, hovering in price from between $17 and $25 (USD price that fluctuates often, prices listed are what I observed near time of purchase. The price could be higher in the future.), and with an average of 4.5 stars out of 5 and over 1000 reviews they can’t be bad? Well I bought us each a pair to put them to the test.
How do they sound? Amazing.
The most important part about headphones is their sound quality and these things deliver. They are capable of producing some of the best sound I have ever heard in my life. Granted I haven’t used any professional equipment, but compared to my favorite Altec Lansing computer speakers coupled with a sound card in my PC, these things deliver an equal if not more dynamic range of sound for your ears to enjoy.
Highs, mids, lows and bass are all incredibly clear and each distinct from one another without muddying up the sound. When listening to many of the songs I have listened to for the past half decade they suddenly had new life. I was able to hear background instruments and noises that were lost in cheaper headphones/speakers. This honestly made me felt as if I was sitting in a private performance as the sound was incredibly deep and clear. The only downside to this is that many of the songs I have do not have a high sound frequency range and were designed to be listened to on lesser quality systems. Thus only about half of my music library(My CD collection ripped to 320kbps MP3 files) were able to really show an additional level of quality. That isn’t to say that they didn’t benefit from less sound flattening, its just that nothing new was discovered from listening to them with these high quality head phones.
Build Quality and Fit
Next to sound, the second thing I always concern myself with is build quality and fit of headphones. If they are easy to break or uncomfortable, they are not worth anything to me. Luckily, the quality continues. Although bulkier, the headpiece does extend on both sides allowing for a wide range of positioning and sizing to fit pretty much any head. The ear pieces themselves also swivel allowing you to comfortably wear only one side or even flip both sides outward to have two people listen at once, although the speakers are touching when adjusted as such.
In addition to this, the padding used on the ear pieces is soft, comfortable and doesn’t get too warm from long time use. I have used these for hours on end without discomfort. These are noise isolating headphones as well, so the padding helps keep outside noises out and your sound in. I found this to work fantastically, and they do a good job at isolating noise even without any sound playing in them. Then once you are listening, the world can easily fade away without giving you any distractions. The last thing to note is that the ear padding is replaceable and the replacements come in different colors so you can add some customization to these.
As for build quality, the wire is not fixed. This allows you to swap cables on a whim, or perform an easy repair should they ever get damaged. Any 3.5mm audio cable will plug into this headset. The actual unit itself is made of plastic which doesn’t feel as sturdy as it could. I don’t think they would survive misuse or abuse, but they should definitely handle years of proper use and care. They don’t feel flimsy or cheap, but I’m not sure how well they would take a larger fall especially onto hard surfaces. The only place the quality seems to lack is with the cables included. Although they feel light/airy and delicate, they do seem to hold up well. However if they are too thin or weak for your needs, you can replace them with any standard cord, so in the end it isn’t really an issue.
Not only do these headphones deliver quality sound, they also deliver the basic accessories you would need. There is a 3.5mm female to 1/4 inch (6.096mm) male adapter so you can plug into both standards. Also included are two 3.5mm cables. One is thinner and is 50 inches (about 1.27 meters) long, while the other is a rubberized cord and measures 11.5 feet(about 3.5 meters) in length. The length of cables are perfect for being on the go or relaxing in your favorite spot with cord to spare to reach your audio system.
If you are in the market for a new pair of budget headphones these should be at the top of your list. Low cost, high quality sound and all the accessories you need in a single package. Although I am sure they do not rival professional equipment they do offer some of the most dynamic sound that I have ever heard, and yes I have tested out $100 (USD) headphones in stores. At a fraction of the cost these things are probably the best that your money can buy in the lower price ranges. I personally recommend them to anyone who is looking for quality headphones on a budget.
If you are interested in a pair for yourself you can head over to Monoprice and buy them here: Premium Hi-Fi DJ Style Over-the-Ear Pro Headphone
If you don’t wish to purchase direct, you can also find them on Amazon. (Clicking the link below will take you to Amazon.com’s product page.)