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Monolith M560 Planar Headphones
The Monolith M560 planar headphones are the perfect way to experience your music collection. Clarity, detail, and balanced sound are all hallmarks of a planar driver. A unique feature of the M560 is that you can tailor the sound to your taste with the ability to transform the headphones between an open or closed back configuration. Engineered for maximum comfort and durability, the Monolith M560 offers a premium audio experience.
Planar Driver and Functions
Planar Drivers: Not your typical headphone driver! A planar magnetic driver is a flat membrane that is surrounded by magnets. When current is delivered, the membrane produces sound that has lower distortion, better bass, and pinpoint imaging that is usually not found in your typical headphone driver. The size of the drive in the Monolith M560 is 56mm.
Open or Closed Back: The M560 has magnetic wooden cups, allowing them to be easily removed. Go open back for a slightly larger soundscape, a more natural sound, and a live music feeling; or a closed back configuration for isolation, no sound leakage, and a studio sound experience.
Comfortable Fit: The soft, plushy leather earpads fit comfortably around almost any set of ears. Listen to your music for hours without feeling the fatigue of wearing a headset. Just simply enjoy the music!
Buy with Confidence
Monoprice not only stands behind every product we sell with a 5 year replacement warranty, we offer a 30-day money back guarantee as well! If the product you purchase does not satisfy your needs, send it back for a full refund.
Quality at a Fair Price
Monoprice's rugged design and rigid quality control standards deliver high quality products at fair prices.
Hassle Free Packaging
Monoprice exists to bring simplicity, fairness, and confidence to technology choices. This product features recyclable packaging that is simple to open, cost effective, with minimal waste, and fully protective as it travels to you.
Service & Support
You're never on your own with Monoprice products! We have a full team of friendly and knowledgeable technicians available to answer your questions, both before and after the sale. Contact our technical support team for questions about our products, troubleshooting, or even suggestions for products to fit your particular needs. Not to be outdone, our friendly and helpful customer service team is here to make your ordering, delivery, and any possible returns a quick and painless operation, from start to finish!
|Style||Open or Closed|
|Magnetic Structure||Matrix Double Pole|
|Maximum Power Handling||500mW|
|Maximum SPL||100dB/1mW at 1kHz|
|Frequency Response||16 Hz ~ 40 kHz|
|Total Harmonic Distortion||Less than 1% at 1mW; 1kHz|
|Impedance||42 ohms ±10% at 1kHz|
|Optimal Power Requirement||20mW|
|Weight||1.1 lbs. (500g)|
First, whatever you do, don't judge these headphones straight out of the box. Honestly they sounded pretty bad. I thought about packing them back up and returning them right away.
But, after 24 hours of burn-in (playing music on them continuously), they have completely changed their sound. Before they were really bright and harsh and sibilant. They had very little to no bass. Not good! Then 24 hours later, WAY more bass. They are still bright, but not as harsh or sibilant as before. Still might be too bright for some tastes. If you like a darker sound, these are not for you. They do NOT sound like Audeze headphones.
Hopefully they will continue to smooth out as they burn in more.
I have compared them to my AKG K7XX, Sennhesier HD600, Fostex T50RP MK3, HiFiMan HE-400S, Paradox Slants, Audio Zenith PMx2, and Focal Utopia's. Initially, I thought all of the headphones listed were better. But after burning them in more, I will make another comparison. I think the M5660's will be a lot closer in the long run. Already, I think they have surpassed the K7XX and HiFiMan HE-400S. We'll see...
They definitely respond well to a touch of EQ to tame the peak at around 8Khz or 9Khz. A couple dB of mid-bass boost also helps give them more body.
PROS: Great build quality. Comfortable. Great design overall. Folds flat. Sound is good, but only after burn-in.
CONS: Sound terrible out of the box, but give them a chance and burn them in for at least 24 or more hours. Closed cup covers are a nice idea, but I don't think the closed mode sound as good.
4 months ago
DAC/Amp: Schiit Jotunheim
Other headphones I compared them to:
Sennheiser 558, 6XX
Alessandro Music Series One
Build quality: Good at any price, and outstanding at this price. They are made from premium materials - real wood and metal; these are rock solid and designed to last a long time.
Comfort: Fine, and I have no trouble listening to them for hours on end. They are definitely less comfortable than my Sennheisers or AKGs, but those are pretty much perfect, and a tough act to follow. The earcups are weird - for me, they are not quite over the ear, being over the ear at the bottom, but touching a bit at the top. If you have small ears, they will be great. If you have big ears, you might not like these. For me (I have pretty normal-sized ears), they're passable. I lent them to a friend who said that they didn't really fit on his ears and didn't like the feel, but he's used to ultra-comfy Sennheisers.
Open, these sound really good. Soundstage is pretty normal (not too wide, not too narrow, but just right). They are reasonably accurate across the frequency range, though I did have to EQ them a bit (+2.5 dB around 80 Hz and a +1-3 dB curve through the upper midrange) to make them suit my taste. Once I EQ'd them, I really liked them.
The thing that is really special is something that I don't have a great word for - "texture", maybe? These sound incredibly good with big horns, strings, breathy voices. There is detail that I do not hear with any of my other headphones. It's special, and the main reason I have been picking these up over my other headphones again and again.
Using these closed, with the magnetic wood caps installed, is a big compromise. The soundstage disappears, frequencies are squeezed and missing (I didn't try EQing it out, but it's not a good starting point). I didn't listen to them for long this way, as I have no reason to use them closed. If you share an office with someone, being able to switch them to closed might come in handy, but you will never want to use them closed for sound reasons. My Fostex closed headphones are way better than these in closed mode (although they were twice the price too).
Portability: I'm going to take these with me traveling. They sound pretty good plugged into my phone and don't need an amp to sound decent. They fold up flat, and the case is nice. They are pretty big, but are thin in their case, so they are definitely portable if you have a backpack or mid-sized bag to toss them into. The build is designed for some light squishing - it's solid and I have no doubt that these will survive some abuse in my backpack.
Summary: Great value, solid build, sound great open, big but still portable. Get them for the "texture". Can't wait for the M1060s!
4 months ago
4 months ago
5 months ago
6 months ago
Very nice packaging.
Outer box and zippered custom carrying case. Very nice fabric covered cable.
No information whatsoever in the box. No manual or anything else.
I don’t really like headphones. However, I keep trying to find some that don’t make me want to switch back to speakers almost immediately. The M560’s come close to my ideal. I’m well aware that they’ve received “mixed reviews” on Head Fi. OTOH I don’t really care what someone else hears. TBH a lot of people listen to speakers and systems that I think sound truly awful. While I’m “bitchin” I want to mention that no headphones I’ve ever heard in 40+ years with this hobby produce anything resembling a soundstage. The best any of them do (for me) is to produce sound in a straight line from one ear to the other. The M-560's were essentially no different.
I'm using a plug in with Foobar that does a blend of the channels to try and recreate some sort of a soundstage. I was able to listen to the M-560’s for the entire first half 0f tonight’s Eagles game. For me this is a major happening. Being able to listen to any headphones and be relatively satisfied is a new thing for me. So, regardless of all the ambiguous and negative reviews on HeadFi I can say I like these headphones.
I also like their appearance.
5 months ago
The Monoprice Monolith M560 Planar Headphones feature an unbeatable price point of $199, which made me wonder how stacks against the Audeze and Hifiman of this world. Before comparing it to other headphones, I listened to the these for 4-6hrs. Here are my finds based on that experience.
Very light (compared to other planar magnetics)
Nice short braided cable (detachable, so if you desire, you can do balanced cable later on)
Very comfortable band
Open and closed design for flexibility
Con’s (not all negative, just not positive)
Clasp is pretty light (many people will like that) on my big head, so when I shake my head or walk, the headphones are almost falling off.
Not easy to drive. On my onkyo dap, I had to get over 100 on my dap to hear (same as lcd-3)
I prefer slightly elongated cups, to entirely cover my ears (being picky here). To me, these almost act as on-ear rather than over ear.
How do these sound to my ears? After additional listening of 4-5 hrs of side by side against the competition, for me, the sound signature is somewhere between lcd-3 and hifiman he-1000. Not as sweet/warm as lcd-3 but not as neutral as he-1000. I do not get the same clarity or base with these though. The sound is slightly imprecise and only after comparing to others, I could hear the difference. I don’t always want to hear everything though for my older music, clarity would involve hearing recording artifacts. I also tried these with their open setting and closed setting. While the closed setting is convenient and respectful to people near you, I also did not find vast different in sound stage or clarify. To me, this means one of two things: the isolation is not adequate or soundstage is already pretty good. I’ll let you decide that.
I also compared these to beyerdynamic dt-880 and sennheiser hd-650. I feel like dt-880 little warmer while hd-650 is neutral, but I did not find them necessarily better or worse. I prefered these when listening to 80’s pop but dt-800 when chillin to pink floyd. HD-650 is my choice when listening to American pie.
For $199, these are very attractive and one should not expect the same performance as headphones 5-10x its cost. If this is your first foray into planar magnetics, you won’t be disappointed and will get the benefits of consistent performer at a very attractive price.
PROS: -Very light (compared to other planar magnetics)
-Nice short braided cable (detachable, so if you desire, you can do balanced cable later on)
-Very comfortable band
-Open and closed design for flexibility
CONS: -Clasp is pretty light (many people will like that) on my big head, so when I shake my head or walk, the headphones are almost falling off.
-Not easy to drive. On my onkyo dap, I had to get over 100 on my dap to hear (same as lcd-3)
-I prefer slightly elongated cups, to entirely cover my ears (being picky here). To me, these almost act as on-ear rather than over ear.
4 months ago
The soundstage is nice and open and gets even better when you wear them in the "open" configuration. The bass has a deep rumble and doesn't feel too weak. The highs are clear and the details come right on through.
The build quality feels like a battleship but they seem to float on your head feeling oddly light for such a heavy pair of cans.
The one issue/ quirk I have found is that they seem to rotate the wrong way when you take them off of your head and lay them down flat. When you grab them to put them on the desk the cups rotate towards you. This is a little thing but if you lay them pad side down in the case or on a surface the Right ear pad is on the left and the Left ear pad is on the right. I often put them on backwards. Over time I'm sure I'll train myself out of this but it sort of throws you off at first. Especially if you are used to picking your headphone up with both hands.
For the price they cannot be beat.
2 months ago