Monoprice Enhanced Bass Hi-Fi Headphones Review
A detailed sound profile for less than 10 bucks
The Monoprice Enhanced Bass Hi-Fi Noise Isolating Earphones (MSRP $7) may have the worst product name ever, but hold your judgement: For a mere fistful of dollars, these unsuspecting in-ears deliver distortion-free listening, very detailed sound, and healthy overall balance.
Of course, for such a paltry price, buyers can't expect the full works. The sound quality is pretty spectacular, but the comfort level isn't—and don't expect durability or any fancy extras, either.
A sharp enough look, but not particularly comfortable
For seven bucks, Monoprice actually delivers a spiffy-looking product with its Enhanced Bass in-ears. The speaker backs are rounded and sporty, and users can find these little headphones in a bouquet of likable colors: pink, black, white, and gleaming silver.
Not so likable is the fit. The plastic protrusions on the speaker backs tend to graze parts of the ear, causing occasional aching and discomfort. At least the Enhanced Bass headphones ship with two extra sleeve sizes, however, to help listeners find a snug fit.
Look no further, because that's all she wrote for design. Evidently, $7 doesn't buy you a mic/remote or a carrying case.
This is well beyond $7 performance.
The results I found after testing the Monoprice Enhanced Bass in-ears aren't just good for the money, they're just great test results in general. As I executed trial after trial in the audio lab, I kept waiting for the ball to drop—yet result after result came back positive.
This product's soundscape is spectacularly detailed. I'll begin by flagging the fact that the bass range is almost perfectly flat. Hobbyists love this kind of thing, because it means they can tinker with tunes in an EQ without creating loads of distortion. However, if you're a fan of brain-rattling bass, you won't like this soundstage at all.
Anyone can appreciate the sheer detail here, though: The whole range sounds forth clearly and cleanly. Every musical texture holds its place in the balance, from the lowest growl on a bassoon, to the snap of a stick on a snare drum's rim, to the airy sibilance of a violin's highest reach. This is not what I expected to find on a $7 set of headphones.
And the quality sounds clean, too. Testing revealed not one spec of audible distortion—so don't worry about added noise or damaged harmonics hampering your music.
Isolation didn't wow me. Outside noise definitely breaks past the sound barrier at times, so these Monoprices aren't a flawless companion to travelers and commuters. They might cause trouble in the office, too, because these in-ears leak a fair bit of sound. If you have a deep, dark Miley-Cyrus-related secret, better keep the volume down—lest your coworkers find out and judge.
The Bottom Line
All things considered, these are a dynamite deal.
There are a handful of reasons to pass over the Monoprice Enhanced Bass Hi-Fi in-ears: You pine for booming bass and you never use an EQ; you're searching for above-average noise isolators; you'll settle for nothing less than Royal-grade comfort.
If none of that describes you, grab a handful of dollars and scoop up a pair of these headphones. If the $7 price tag isn't motivation enough, the spectacularly detailed, distortion-free soundstage should be.
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