For the audiophile or budding audio engineer, the OneOdio Monitor 80 headphones provide a portal to sound that is as detailed as it is honest. This pair of open-back headphones, retailing just shy of £100, stands out in the market for offering high-resolution certified sound at a price that doesn't make your wallet wince.
The Monitor 80, with their 40mm drivers and 250 Ohm impedance, invite you to a world where sound breathes freely, thanks to their open-back design which fosters a spacious and natural audio experience. Lightweight at 299 grams, the plastic build does raise questions about longevity, yet they score high on comfort. Their soft velvet ear cushions, while slightly stiff, comfortably envelop the ears, ensuring that long listening sessions remain a pleasure.
Design-wise, they take a minimalistic approach, only marred slightly by a quote on the right earcup that some may find less than subtle. Functionality is not forgotten, with two detachable cables catering to various audio inputs without the hassle of an adapter.
The sonic profile of the Monitor 80 is commendably flat, ensuring that the audio you hear remains uncolored and true to the creator's intent. However, it's this very neutrality that might not resonate with everyone. While they perform admirably with high-resolution sources, offering crisp trebles and tight bass, the mid-range, especially in vocals, can seem understated. This neutrality, while a boon for professional applications, may come off as lackluster to those accustomed to a more vibrant sound profile.
Comfort is paramount with the Monitor 80, almost to the point of forgetfulness, yet they do have a tendency to feel loose with rapid movements, which is a minor concern given their intended use is more static in nature.
While their open-back nature means they won't suit every environment, particularly noisy ones, and their lack of wireless connectivity and noise cancellation might deter the average consumer, for the dedicated audiophile or professional, these are hardly deal-breakers.
In conclusion, the OneOdio Monitor 80 headphones are not trying to be the jack-of-all-trades. Instead, they offer a specific set of skills: a flat response, a comfortable fit, and an open-back design that allows for natural sound reproduction. They may not tick every box for the everyday listener, but for those in search of a pure and detailed sound on a budget, they are a very worthy consideration.
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