| 14.2 mm Driver |
? Monoprice is not mainly an earphone brand but they do have various iems of their own with competitive prices and some specs that sound interesting for the price.
The Monoprice 8320 is one of the most popular earphones they offer; the 8320 come equipped with a 14.2mm dynamic driver which is a pretty big piece of driver for the price that it sells.
8320 come equipped with a 14.2mm dynamic driver which is a pretty big piece of driver
To keep the low price seems that they have cheaped out with the construction quality and accessories provided. The earpieces have an odd shape and design and are made of plastic (shiny metallic if you get the silver one), the cable is round Y-type and braided. The fact that they made the cable braided is a nice spec and it is tangle free, though the durability of the cable is unknown.
You can get the Monoprice 8320 in 4 different colours: black, silver, white and pink; the confusing fact is that Monoprice has decided to name each colour with a different model name 9927 for the black one, 8320 for the silver colour, 9963 for the white one and 9960 for the pink option.
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Monoprice 8320 - Review
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Accessories & Packaging
Out of the box you get 3 pairs of eartips inside a simple retail packaging, nothing fancy here.
Bass & Sub Bass
Driver size many times means nothing about bass and sub bass quantity, the rule “bigger driver size”=”bigger bass” does not always work. Read our Superlux HD381 review for an example of a big driver but not huge bass and see our Sony MDR-7550/800ST review for a big driver and huge bass example.
bass and sub-bass are present but not very strong
The Monoprice 8320 has a big 14.2mm dynamic driver inside that we expected to deliver stronger bass impact out of the box. Both bass and sub-bass are present but not very strong. Bass does not bleed into other frequencies and does not make the 8320 overall sound muddy at all. Sub-bass can get some depth with songs reaching frequencies below 60Hz but needs an eq boost to show the full potential of the 14.2mm driver. If you decide to equalize to enhance bass and sub-bass frequencies you will notice that the Monoprice respond well to equalizing, bass and sub-bass get enhanced though still does not fall into a muddy sound.
the Monoprice 8320 are marginally a basshead contender
If you even decide to go a step further and combine bass equalization with amplifying you will discover that the Monoprice 8320 are marginally a basshead contender (replace the Monoprice eartips with the KZ ATE large eartips to enhance bass impact), similar to the KZ ATE,but with less depth, below the Elecom EHP-CA3580 and slightly below the Vots QT100. With a basshead eq and amplified with a Fiio E12 in high gain and bass boost ON, the Monoprice can handle without issue 65% of Fiio’s maximum power; impressive! Without any equalization and amplification do not expect any basshead level coming from the 8320, actually out of the box they are not even bassy or boomy at all, they just have a balanced bass presence and might sound too conservative to many.
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Mids & Vocals
Mids and vocals are forward and very present. The 8320 can get harsh when songs reach peaks on the 800-3000Hz range (peaks on this ranges are very very common). At any other time they are not terribly harsh but they are not the smoothest either. If you are sensitive to harsh mids you may not like these ones at all as you may find it quickly quite fatiguing. Mids lack some body and depth and feel somewhat thin.
Highs & Treble
Highs on the Monoprice 8320 are recessed, never piercing nor sibilant. Due to the recession, definition can get lost on some high frequencies but still they don’t sound dark.
Sound leak on this iem is terrible, everybody will hear what you are listening to even at low and moderate volumes. Forget about using them at any library or get ready to get kicked out immediately.
Unfortunately the Monoprice 8320 do not excel at sound isolation, being able to isolate practically nothing from the noises that may surround you.
If you see photos of the Monoprice 8320 you may think that they are really big, but they are not, somehow the shape makes them seem gigantic on photos. Being made of plastic they are light and if you wear them with the cable going up and around your ear (like many sport earphones) they fit well and are pretty comfortable. The odd shape with some rough edges could result in some discomfort to some ear types and sizes.
Response to Equalization
The 8320 respond well to equalization, if you need to emphasize or de-emphasize any frequency or, even better, if you need to workaround any of the rough edges of the sound signature. Eq down the frequencies between 1kHz-3kHz and harshness is gone, Eq up high frequencies (not +/- 6kHz) and definition comes to life, Eq up frequencies below 60Hz and enjoy more bassy sessions.
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Monoprice 8320 Frequency Response
|Cord||Y-type, braided round cord|
|Plug||Stereo mini plug|
|Supplied Accessories||2x Earphone tips|
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