One of the problems I encountered when I purchased my DJ headphones was sound quality. For that pure unaltered sound, I needed a pair of open back headphones. With so many to choose from it was difficult to narrow down the choices. Luckily, there are some quality options out there.
The Monolith M1060 headphones promise to deliver you quality sound via their planar drivers. With an unusual yet striking design, it aims to be comfortable for long listening sessions.
Monolith takes aim at more expensive headphones by offering up an affordable option making them one of the best budget planar magnetic headphones out there. Let’s check out if they live up to these lofty ambitions.
Now let’s dive into the details and see if Monolith has a winner on their hands with these headphones.
When buying open back headphones the most important feature is the sound quality. High-end sound quality is usually reserved for very expensive headphones. The Monolith M1060 planar headphones break this stereotype by offering excellent sound quality at an affordable price.
Open back headphone allows for a richer and more natural-sounding experience.
The key to this is the planar drivers. At a chunky 106mm, they are large and with good results. Planar drivers spread the current across a flat membrane that is surrounded by magnets. This differs from the usual dynamic drivers found on most headphones at this price point. The end results in solid sound at all frequencies.
Coupled with the open back design this results in very natural-sounding audio. At this stage, you’d think these are perfect but that is not the case. While the overall sound signature is impressive it does get a little rough around the edges to those with keen ears. This is most clear in the mids where they sound a little brittle.
The low end is well represented. While it doesn’t offer punchy kicks or smooth warm bass it was pleasant and much better than I’ve heard from other headphones.
The M1060 has very good sound quality. Only having a few small issues is impressive at such a reasonable price point.
This is an area that I have mixed feelings about. The Monoprice M1060 is quite large and weighty. My first impression was that these would feel like strapping a log to each side of your head. Luckily this wasn’t the case.
The headband is solid and comfortable. There isn’t a great deal of padding but it doesn’t dig into the top of your head. If you do have a large head you may find the weight distribution to be a little off which can make them uncomfortable.
The Monolith M1060 comes with a straight cable with a 1/4 inch jack.
The earpads are plush and also comfortable. They are not real leather so after a while, they do get a little warm. Mind you this is after several hours of wear so that’s to be expected.
Clamping pressure is also good. Not overly tight but still firm enough for them to sit comfortably and in place. As with a lot of headphones if you have a large head they may feel a little too tight.
While the design is large and bulky they don’t feel that way. If comfort is important to you, you’ll be impressed with the Monolith 1060.
As always keep in mind that one person’s work of art is another’s person’s garbage. Design is such a personal choice that it can be hard to critique, but that won’t stop me from throwing my opinions into the ring!
The Monolith 1060 is unique but on the bulky side.
The Monolith 1060 has a striking outside grill pattern that draws the eye in. Lining this is a splash of dark wood to give it that feeling of elegance. From a personal perspective, they look more expensive than they are.
However, these headphones are big. The size mixed with the wood and grill will turn heads. For better or worse. Be prepared for the looks if you do plan on wearing these in a public setting.
The Monoprice Monolith M1060 looks rugged and durable at first glance. Upon closer inspection, you do notice how they managed to get the price down. Now it’s not a case of using poor materials, it seems more a case of not giving too much. The headband, for example, is a basic strip of metal with minimal padding.
I always recommend you look after your headphones. These are definitely a pair I would not recommend you get too rough with.
A 5-year replacement warranty is a nice touch as well as 30-day returns. This gives you a chance to give them a good test. If you do like them and decide to keep them it’s good to have a lengthy warranty up your sleeve.
What Others Have To Say
Headphone users come in a variety of different types. From the casual listener all the way to hobbyist/audiophile. I checked out what others thought and most agree the Monolith 1060 offers good value. But they are by no means the perfect pair of headphones based on these Monolith M1060 planar headphones reviews.
How Are Open Back Headphones Different?
There are some key differences when it comes to open back headphones. Closed back headphones are perfect for beatmatching and mixing on the decks. Where they struggle is representing sound in its purest form. You can learn more about how headphones work in the short video below.
When a headphone driver emits sound it pushes air around. Closed back headphones trap this air which can lead to sound build-up as it bounces around the limited space available. This can lead to unwanted build-up, especially in the lower frequencies.
Open back headphones have grills or vents covering the driver. This allows for the passage of air and the reduction of build-up. This gives you a more natural-sounding representation of what you are listening to. It’s the reason audiophiles prefer open back headphones.
The built-in vents or grills also allow for heat to escape. This can help minimize headphone fatigue. As a result, extended sessions of listening become more pleasant.
Can You Use Open Back Headphones For DJing?
All professional DJs use closed back headphones when DJing. Rocking a massive festival or even an intimate club requires sound isolation.
The music is too loud for open back headphones to be effective. It becomes very difficult to be able to hear the song you are lining up and likewise difficult to beatmatch.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t use open back headphones for DJing. In certain situations, they will actually make your time on the decks more enjoyable.
If you have a home DJ setup you can practice your DJ sets without the main out at a loud volume. This allows you to enjoy the mix through your headphones. The increased sound quality will help you refine your mixes and pick up on details you may not have heard.
While practicing at home you don’t want to disturb your roommate or partner. Even worse if you have kids, the last thing you want is to wake a sleeping baby. Likewise, you probably have neighbors that wouldn’t appreciate the thumping bass rattling their home!
Unless you’ve soundproofed your studio, you’ll likely not be playing your mix at epic volumes. Why not enjoy better sound quality? We’ll go over everything you need to know in this Monoprice M1060 review.
The amount of choice in headphones is staggering. Each pair offers a new set of benefits and drawbacks. Below you’ll find some other open back headphones within the same sort of price range.
Beyerdynamic DT 990 Review
For lovers of bass, the Beyerdynamic DT 990 is a good alternative. A rich soundscape with that meatier bottom end is an appealing option for DJs.
- Excellent sound with impressive bass.
- Very comfortable plush earpads.
- A bit light on included accessories.
Beyerdynamic DT 990
Grado SR325e Review
If the large size of the Monolith 1060 is a bit much for you, these are a good option. More compact and refined. The Grado SR325e showcases an industrial-inspired design with good overall sound quality.
- An on-ear alternative with a more compact design.
- Runs well without a headphone amp.
- Vocals and details are great. The bass, not so much.
AKG K702 Review
For the more budget-conscious the AKG K702 is a reasonable option. Excellent sound representation is impressive at such an affordable price point.
- Good overall sound quality.
- An affordable option but as a result, not the most durable.
- Benefits from an amp, more so than other headphones available.
Should You Buy?
As shown in this M1060 review, a quality pair of open back headphones are a great addition to your gear. The Monolith 1060 offers good quality sound in an attractive (albeit bulky) package. If you plan on using them at home to enjoy your favorite music you’ll enjoy them.
From a DJs perspective, these are also good for listening to your favorite music or listening back to your mixes. Using them while mixing is only applicable if you are not blasting your music. Otherwise, stick to your closed back cans.
An affordable price and planar drivers make these a great choice.