Monoprice 108320 Enhanced Bass Hi-Fi Noise Isolating Earphones Review

Susie Ochs's picture

Monoprice 108320 Enhanced Bass Hi-Fi Noise Isolating Earphones Review

Hat tip for these goes to The Wirecutter, which is the best kind of gear site because instead of inundating you with review after review (like we do!), they just tell you what thing in each category is THE thing to buy. For cheap earbuds -- really cheap, sub-$10 -- they recommend these, from cheap-stuff emporium Monoprice. And I was skeptical enough at the price that I had to order some for myself.

First of all, for the princely sum of $7.11 (and less if you order more than one pair), these earbuds do not offer such luxurious extras as a microphone for talking on the phone, or an inline remote for controlling your music. But that music will sound pretty darn good, with good bass levels and decent detail. I prefer the sound over Apple's stock EarPods, and a replacement set of those is $29, although EarPods do have a remote and mic, of course.

At first I was annoyed by the fit -- Monoprice's buds are big, and the shape is somewhat unwieldy -- but I quickly realized the problem existed between user and earbuds. (Yes, I was doing it wrong.) Don't just shove them in your ears with the earbud cable pointed straight down, as you might be used to. Instead, loop the earbud cable around the back of each ear, and place the earbuds in so that the end with the cable is pointed up. Suddenly the shape that seemed weird actually matches up with the shape of my ear, and they fit fine and didn't slowly worm their way out of my ears like they did when I had them in wrong. Maybe this would be obvious to other users, but I felt dumb that I didn't figure it out immediately,'re welcome? They also sound better once broken in for a while -- you can speed that up by playing pink noise through them for a few hours.

The bottom line. Without a remote and mic, these won't become my everyday earbuds. But they make a great backup -- with a set of these stashed in my bag, I will never have to suffer a music-free commute just because I forgot my good pair at the office. I may even keep a couple pristine pairs on hand in case a coworker or houseguest loses or breaks theirs. Monoprice wins again.


Any device with a headphone jack


Super duper cheap earbuds. They sound better than you'd expect for the price.


No remote or mic. Chintzy appearance.



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