Monoprice is at it again with their newest noise cancelling headphones. They combine affordable price with a proven track-record of success when it comes to building great headphones for the fraction of what competing manufacturers charge. Will they match the high-quality standard that we’ve grown accustomed to, or will they show that not everything can as affortable as we would like?
Design and Build quality
The overall design follows Monoprice’s tradition of reliable simplicity. Both earcups have a shiny plastic finish that attracts fingerprints, but looks very nice when it’s clean and polish to perfection. Fortunately, it’s not that hard to keep the headphones looking great, as all other plastic surfaces are matte and resistant to scratches.
The headphones definitely look much heavier than they actually are. They weigh just 6.3 ounces, which makes them very comfortable to wear. Their grip is just about right – not too loose and not too tight. The memory foam earpads feel nice on the skin and let plenty of air in to keep your ears sweat-free.
Storing the headphones is no problem, since they fold flat and the cord is detachable. The right earcup hides the battery compartment designed to house a single AAA battery, which can provide up to 50 hours of power.
The sound of Monoprice noise-cancelling headphones is dominated by the excellent bass response and undermined by the general lack of clarity that is so common in many higher priced headphones. The resulting sound is fun to listen to and perfectly suitable for background listening while studying or working, but it probably won’t please those who are looking for something a bit more analytical and precise.
The noise-cancelling feature produces a slight hiss when activated, which quickly fades to the background when the music starts playing. It managed to suppress most of the background noise, despite not being as effective as Bose headphones.
We like that music keeps on playing even with the noise-cancellation turned off. This is something that was missing in some older Bose noise-cancelling headphones and often led to frustrating moments when listeners ran out of battery power. Luckily, Monoprice was wise enough to correct for this potential problem.
What is in the box?
These noise-cancelling headphones come with a 58-inch standard cable and 55-inch cable with an inline microphone. Both cables are terminated with a 3.5mm L-shaped plug. A 3.5mm-to-1/4-inch plug adapter is included to help you connect the headphones to your home stereo system, and Monoprice didn’t omit even an airline plug adapter. But the absolute highlight is the hard-shell nylon case with zipper and internal mesh pocket. It’s rugged, well-built, and is guaranteed to protect the headphones from just about anything.