CES 2012: Monoprice and their Great Cheap Headphone

Not long ago, Steve Guttenberg gave me a call, "Dude! You've just got to hear these Monoprice headphones. They sound great and they're just $21.59!"

Shortly afterward, he posted an Audiophiliac article about the Monoprice 8323, and after reading it I scurried over to my CES planner and marked down the booth. I love good sounding cheap stuff, and I've found Steve's recommendations pretty solid in the past. This was one I wouldn't miss.

Man!!! Am I glad I went to the Monoprice booth for a listen to the 8323. This is a seriously good headphone ... and not seriously good for $20, these sounded good for a $80 headphone ... or at least that's what my head was telling me as I listened in the booth. Again, show listening conditions suck, but I was stunned at what I was hearing. Review samples are forthcoming, and I'll be sure to review these cans. You don't really have to wait for the review, however, at $21.59 there's not much to loose.

Here's Tjayi Malone to tell you about them.

Monoprice, Inc.
11701 6th Street
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

RPGWiZaRD's picture

These are exactly same as the Kicker HP541 (same drivers) DJ headphones with a different packaging (I think these Monoprice even offered a bonus cable in the package or something) and obviously significantly lower price (Kickers go for $50+)! There's a good thread on these headphones on head-fi somewhere.

Yea well 70~$80 or so worth sound isn't far-fetched (excluding people's personal taste variances as usual). It's slightly on the warmer side, too much for some while just suitable for others.

However if you really like good sounding budget headphones you just have to check out the Panasonic RP-HTF600, it goes for like $31 on amazon atm, these sound more like ~$100 worth of headphones but beware of burn-in on these, these if any headphones need 50hrs burn in. With just a 1~2dB or so boost to the highs (as well as deep bass if you like to balance it out the mid/subbass ratio a little) or simply removing the foam in front of the drivers and they sound pretty much perfectly balanced in mids & highs. The frequency balance is just amazing for $31 headphone headphone with no severe dips or peaks anywhere (they do have a boosted bass response but it's not the overhelming kind) and the soundstage is also very good, very "musical" headphone (ie. not the most accurate but very enjoyable to listen to). There's an over 100+ page long thread on those on head-fi. They are quite similar to the Monoprice/Kickers but slightly better regarding some people, especially soundstage.

What about a <$50 budget battle? Monoprice 8323 vs HTF600 vs Samson SR850(C) etc? :)

jddesigned's picture

This is a battle I'd like to see too. Let's see the HTF600 in there for sure

Mkubota1's picture

If we can get 50+ people together, you can get these for $20.15 off of their website! =P Cheap finds are always nice. These might also be a good candidate for modding since operating on them won't be such a nerve racking feat.

Tarweb1562's picture

Is it neutral and/or flat? Or was it a bit warmer and bass-heavy?

Tyll Hertsens's picture
I thought it was pretty neutral, but I only had a short listen.
RPGWiZaRD's picture

They are slightly on the warmer side, bass is definitely boosted above being a perfect flat line and highs just tiny bit recessed/rolled-off but yea to the ears they sound quite neutral & musical. Not a detailmonster but a "musical" headphone if that makes any sense to you.