Musicians are always looking for a pair of headphones that are both high-quality and affordable, and the Monoprice 8323 comes close to attaining both.
Monoprice is a corporation that was founded in 2002. They’ve established a solid reputation over the last 15 years, notably in terms of customer service and product support. Known for their high-quality, low-cost HDMI cables, they now sell a variety of consumer gadgets, including speakers, keyboards, and professional audio equipment.
While Monoprice’s direction and ownership have changed over time, their online site now boasts over 6,000 electrical products and accessories — no minor feat by any sense of the imagination.
Monoprice, based in California, appears to have only one goal: to get the best and cheapest product into the hands of customers. “We exist to offer simplicity, justice, and confidence to technology decisions,” their website claims. They appear to be achieving their goal for the most part. Their items, both offline and online, are frequently highlighted in periodicals, and the Monoprice 8323 is no exception.
Monoprice 8323 Headphone Performance
If we’re talking about performance, the bass doesn’t jolt me forward with its eagerness. I won’t call it neutral, though. It follows the ever-popular centre ground, naturally delighting both casual listeners and aspiring pros. Boosted bass urgently pulls the listener through Flipturn’s Beep, a tune loaded with what could easily be turned into rumbling din. Despite this, the bass signature is unclear. Furthermore, the soundstage can be visualised as a game of solitaire. Although the cards are stacked on top of one other, you can still see where one card stops and the next begins. The soundstage isn’t completely devoid of noise, but it could be improved.
Arcade Fire’s Good God Damn has strong vocals. The self-referential lyrics on the record convey a mournful tone that is effectively reproduced by the cheap 8323.
The highs were laid-back. Thankfully, notes do not inflict vengeful sibilance on my eardrum. Instead, I can listen to these for hours without becoming tired of them. The XX’s VCR has distinct and enjoyable high frequencies. The exquisite resonance that I’ve gotten accustomed to is overshadowed by the plucking of the electric guitar. In general, the highs may benefit from being sharper. However, I’d rather have sharper highs than have them sanded down five grades.
Monoprice 8323 Headphone Design
The headphones’ physical design is actually better than average. They aren’t the most durable headphones, but they do have a separate cord (Even both my pairs of Beyerdynamic DT-990s lack this, and my Grados did as well). The top of the headband has some padding; they aren’t DT-990s, but they’re more comfortable than your usual pair of headphones.
While they don’t have full cup rotation like my Numark RED Waves, I’ve never found the ability to fully spin the speakers to be really useful whether DJing or otherwise. They also fold up beautifully for storage. They’re not as durable as the more expensive Numark Red Waves, but for the price of one pair of Numark Red WAVES, you may get 2-3 pairs of these headphones (depending on where you get them).
Monoprice earns points for having two 1/8-inch cables: a small, lightweight cable for portable music and a heavier-duty, longer cable for home/gaming, as well as a 14-inch converter, which I’m always glad to have extra of.
Monoprice 8323 Headphone Value
Don’t be put off by my harsh assessment of the Monoprice 8323’s build quality. The spare cables ensure product longevity, while the 50mm drivers ensure sound quality is never compromised. If you can see past the drab exterior, Monoprice’s 8323 model is a technically and economically smart engineering feat.
It’s difficult to find fault, but if your money allows, I’d choose the Koss Porta Pros due to the strange vocals. They appear to have a more linear, smoother tone than the monoprice.
They have a sealed back, so if you have a beautiful pair of open headphones for home usage, they would be an excellent alternative for portable/travel use provided you don’t mind if they break or get lost.