Monoprice 8320 Earphone Review - The $7 Eargasm

May 3, 2013 | Posted By: Troy Redington | Categorized in: Technology



Monoprice 8320 earphones
We're giving 10 pairs of these away!
It might be a stretch to call myself an audiophile. Iím simply an audio lover. My first car stereo was worth three times the value of my car. Nowadays my wife would MURDER me if I were to spend $10k on car audio, but I still have a decent collection of high quality audio equipment. Hearing a quality audio stream makes me happy. A crisp and clear array of midrange and high frequencies perfectly balanced with deep punchy bass induces an inner ear euphoria that only super expensive audio equipment can induce.

Or not...

The only thing better than the eargasm produced by a crisp and clear soundstage is one that doesnít infringe on my kidís college savings account.

Enter the Monoprice 8320 Earbuds - The $7 Eargasm


I discovered these bad boys while angrily searching for my 90th(ish) pair of earbuds in the last decade. Iím always losing them and ruining them.

I had set a budget of $30-40, hoping to find something comparable to my Klipsch S4s. Several people in the internet-audiophile forums had recommended these, but I ignored them thinking they were spam, trolling, or just n00bs. There was no way a $7 headphone could compare to a $50 one - amirite? No. I was wrong.

After reading positive review after positive review, I caved in and ordered 3 pairs, they were simply too cheap to order just one. I also ordered some more HDMI and usb cables. Afterall, itís Monoprice, and you can never have too many HDMI and usb cables!

The earbuds, or technically inner ear monitors (IEM, but for the sake of this review Iím not going to be snobbish enough to call them that) arrived three days later. THREE. DAYS. LATER. Pretty sweet for free shipping!

Packaging
I kinda love that these donít come packaged. They come in a tiny little ziploc bag; no case, no box, no instructions, no warranty card. Nothing. No evidence to throw away (or leave laying on the couch for your wife to complain about tomorrow morning). These things are eco-friendly.

Build Quality
The earbuds feel solid. The casing of the actual 'bud' is plastic, but looks and feels like metal. The cords are wrapped in fabric instead of PVC or plastic. This definitely makes them feel high quality. Theyíre heavier than I expected. The Y split has a metal (or metal-ish plastic) protector, and the plug has a decent amount of reenforcement. They feel better than many $30 earbuds.

Comfort
Theyíre not UNcomfortable, but theyíre not exactly comfortable either. I have no problem wearing them for 3 or 4 hours straight, but my ears are a bit tender afterwards. These arenít worn like traditional buds, these sit in your ear upside down with the wire wrapped over and behind your ear. This may cause discomfort if you have precious little princess ears. I wear glasses, and I find that they help keep the wire in place. After a few days of use, the wire adapts to the bend of your ears and becomes more likely to stay in place. The rubber tips that come with these arenít great. You can replace them, or modify them, or simply deal with them. I've replaced mine with the $2 set from Daiso and the Comply T-400 tips from Amazon. The Comply tips REALLY improve the comfort and sound quality, but cost more than the earphones.

Sound
This is where these things really shine. I listen to several varieties of music; classical, hip-hop, spoken word, pop, rock, and (mostly) heavy metal. They sound great at all volumes. The frequencies are balanced and accurate. Thereís no tinny sound, and no obnoxious booming. The sound is precise and accurate. If youíve never listened through high quality headphones before, youíll be amazed at the detail in the sound that is absent in most speakers and headphones. The sound quality of these earbuds will bring a fresh new life to your whole music collection! Thereís enough bass to feel it, and enough volume to make you go deaf or annoy your nearby coworkers. Seriously - be careful. These things can get LOUD.

Durability
Earbuds need to be durable. Iíve yanked mine out in a quick tug to catch a phone calls on several occasions - no damage whatsoever. To speed up the durability test, I swung my buds around over my head like a helicopter and even bounced them off the wall, ceiling, couch, and my face (not recommended). The wires never pulled from the buds - which honestly surprised me. My wife also ran them through the washer and dryer a couple of weeks ago. Theyíre still intact and sound great.

Price
Seriously, at $7 these things are a steal. I now own several pairs; one for my desk, one for my backpack, one for my bed, one for every gadget, one for every person in the family basically.

TL;DR

These inner ear monitors are fantastic for the price. They perform as good as $50 earbuds.

Pros:
- cheap
- sound great
- decent quality

Cons:
- packaging
- not compatible with precious little princess ears
- tips suck
- awkward wires at times

Cash Back Resources

Additional Electronics Resources

  • Monoprice Coupons
  • The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide
  • Ultimate HDTV Buying Guide



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    Comments
    May 3, 2013 | Posted By: apodgo15
    I think this was my favorite line in any review I've ever read: "The only thing better than the eargasm produced by a crisp and clear soundstage is one that doesnít infringe on my kidís college savings account."
    May 3, 2013 | Posted By: FrugalFreak
    Do they fit in the ear canal or pressed up against it? I'm hard-of-hearing and prefer in ear to block background and to concentrate noise in the canal.
    May 3, 2013 | Posted By: michele13
    Mine always tear at the wire/connection to the laptop. I gave up but maybe I am now compelled to give it one more go!
    May 3, 2013 | Posted By: mudley
    Frugal, these go deeper than usual - which is why I really like them!
    May 3, 2013 | Posted By: JohnnyRay
    Mine keep failing where the wire attaches to the ear buds. Last run I went on, the sound went on just the left one, which is worse than no sound at all. I tore the right one off too to equalize the silence.
    May 3, 2013 | Posted By: dananner
    My kids are always destroying their earbuds and then they come after mine. The one pair I destroyed was by washing my exercise one with my shorts :( $40 pair of earbuds down the drain.
    May 3, 2013 | Posted By: jochoki
    would these be any good for use at the gym or are they not protected enough from sweat? The fabric vs pvc covering for the wire makes me unsure
    May 3, 2013 | Posted By: mudley
    dananner, i have the same issues. that's why i've invested in several pairs of these.
    jochoki, I haven't had any problems with sweat - but I'm not an expert at getting sweaty :(
    May 3, 2013 | Posted By: cudas64
    excellent description. I'm going to have to try these out
    May 3, 2013 | Posted By: ihuey
    I always run through earbuds like candy. Hope I can win and finally have a decent pair!
    May 3, 2013 | Posted By: ihuey
    Last time I destroyed a pair of earbuds was by stepping on them. Most other ones just stop working over time, or have one ear go out.
    May 3, 2013 | Posted By: rainmanloveshismomma
    awesome, thank you
    May 3, 2013 | Posted By: smeagle
    Would love to have them.
    May 3, 2013 | Posted By: riverrat317
    Have the same problem. Would love to give them a try.
    May 3, 2013 | Posted By: rozzer
    Will have to try these, nephews are always washing, breaking and losing theirs and they use them all the time
    May 3, 2013 | Posted By: tooq2love
    Mine just stop working. Would love to win them!
    May 3, 2013 | Posted By: vito888
    I am always looking for replacement ear buds, nothing I find is ever good enough...
    May 3, 2013 | Posted By: vito888
    I actually dropped a pair of ear buds onto the train tracks below the bridge I was walking on and a train came along and crushed them right in front of my eyes!
    May 3, 2013 | Posted By: boratscape3
    I dropped mine in a lake when crossing it via rocks... Couldn't get them to work after that
    May 3, 2013 | Posted By: ivanc
    It's always the wire coming loose at the bottom of the earpiece and then the exposed copper, agh!
    May 3, 2013 | Posted By: ablang
    One side always stops working on my earbuds. I wouldn't mind a new pair.
    May 6, 2013 | Posted By: sfsaigon
    hopefully i'll get one
    May 7, 2013 | Posted By: lross
    Dragged them outside the car door....in the rain.
    May 15, 2013 | Posted By: iwanttowin
    fingers crossed
    May 15, 2013 | Posted By: soonerhart
    I'm in!
    May 19, 2013 | Posted By: mogelijk
    You have to love Monoprice. Their quality typically is very good, and occasionally outstanding (such as with these earbuds) with great prices.
    May 25, 2013 | Posted By: visciouslolita
    by giving them to my boyfriend, they were promptly destroyed. missing earcuffs, and everything .
    May 25, 2013 | Posted By: btVash
    Used them like a grappling hook to swing on a tree like a monkey.
    May 25, 2013 | Posted By: LilacRose
    Used them for my tomatoes to climb
    May 27, 2013 | Posted By: Rell813
    smashed them with a rock
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