Isolation: 7/10 (these are earbuds)
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LET’S START OFF BY SAYING THAT WHAT I AM ABOUT REVIEW IS NOT HEADPHONES BUT DESTROYS MANY HEADPHONES IN SOUND QUALITY.
Hey bob have you tried that headphone? Hey bob have you tried that IEM? Hey bob have you tried those speakers? Hey bob have you tried those EARBUDS? Wait earbuds? Are earbuds even part of high quality audio experience?
After reviewing the MONK PLUS by venture electronics, I can without hesitation tell you two things:
- YES, earbuds is part of high quality audio experience
- I have learned a lot of valuable lessons through this product
READ ON TO FIND OUT WHAT I MEAN…….
WE invest in HEADPHONES & SPEAKERS & IEMS. WHY? Why not just ONE. That is because the way these products produce sound is different and although they will never be “PERFECT” Us audio maniacs always strive for it. And who said earbuds cannot be as good as headphones or speakers or IEMS? Of course, the way they sound and usage for it will be different as it is with everything else BUT EARBUDS are equal in standing as to making “GREAT SOUNDS”
I am a hobbyist and bought these myself to review and add to my collection
ABOUT VENTURE ELECTRONICS
This company does something that no other company has ever done and that is to admit that perfection may not be feasible. This is true in many cases but not many companies come out and say it. This company is honest from the root. They also carry the same mindset as us AUDIO-MANIACS “We will never stop striving for perfection.” They do 3 things to strive for perfection:
- They want to break the notion of EXPENSIVE = BETTER SOUND. They strive to make great sounding products for best value possible
- Creating products that are inexpensive but does not sacrifice build or sound quality
- Creating positive and honest relationship with their costumers and fans by creating products that they themselves would be proud to use
With that being said, VE’s presence in the HI-end audio does not fall behind. VE is the first to introduce hi-end earbuds, which is priced for 358usd with premium cardas cable and the first in the world to introduce true balanced portable amp with full spec desktop connector. which is the ra2.0b.
Does this sound like a great company to you? I am normally not impressed with company descriptions but I was inspired by how they kept it so REAL, HONEST, and most importantly shared their PLANS & how they will achieve it with us.
The VE MONK PLUS was launched for sale in 2015. It was regarded as the best price for performance sound quality that will ever exist in history. It was created by a talented and ambitious engineer KK with the aim of detail and enriched sound into an earbud.
TYPE: DYNAMIC Earbuds
Termination: 3.5mm (or options for TRRS 3.5mm & 2.5mm)
Sensitivity: 116dB (1mW)
Frequency Response Range: 20 – 20000Hz
Cable Length: 1.2m
Resistance: 64 Ohms
WHERE DO I BUY IT?
You can buy it directly from their website: https://www.veclan.com
Or on their aliexpress page: https://www.aliexpress.com/supplier-fm/wholesale-products/232029927-productlist.html
Accessories: This depends on whether you got an ex-pack or not but here we will talk JUST about the accessories that comes with 5 dollar earbuds. With the coffee colored Monk Plus, I got 2 coffee colored & 2 Black covers. These covers go over your earphones and although I felt like they were for more comfort than for sound, they did seem to calm down the highs a little bit for longer comfortable listening session without getting fatiguing.
Ex-pack: this is one of the things that can be added to your order along with your earbuds. This is basically different types of covers and hooks that go on your VE MONK PLUS earbuds to make a more secure and comfortable fit. Adding this to the order for an extra 5 dollars is a great idea if you are like me and plan to keep them for long and plan to order more in the future BECAUSE although it did not happen to me yet, I assume the covers will warn out and you will need replacements.
THE SHELLS: They are made of plastic shells. for 5 dollars, I did not expect much but these were not bad quality at all. I mean… they are earbuds… they were built like one…. Better than the ones you would normally get.
THE CABLES: The cables are cables, they are normal cables unless you opt in for the better cables for more money but the cables that comes with the earbuds are normal wires and do I DARE SAY? At the level of sennheiser wires. I do not mean to bash Sennheiser, I love them and their headphones but we all have to admit their cables needs to step up in the game. With that being said, the cables and splitters are made like normal set of cables… no impressive feature or WOW quality…. Did I tell you? Its 5 dollars.
TALKING WITH THE OWNER
I usually contact the business before I review products to gain more insight to their objectives and views on their products. While not many respond, Lee, the owner of VE responded within seconds. While talking to him directly for not few minutes but hours, He seemed dedicated and interested in this field more than anyone I have met. He seems to know who is his target audience while being insightful of the future in the audio industry. Most of all He seemed not only dedicated but well informed in what he was doing. He was interested in my research topic in perception of music and human hearing. This shows how much he cares and values knowledge in creating his products. I wish our talk in the future will give him more scientific insight as I have received very useful knowledge for my future reviews. He was very helpful in creating this review, so, Thank you Lee.
THE FIT: Some people complained about these falling off… like all earbuds do if you are running with them or weightlifting…. But to my surprise… these fit well without being uncomfortable. I did not have to yank them out with force when taking them out but they did stay in my ears when I hit the cable by accident while moving around
SOUND ISOLATION: These are earbuds and they do not have sound isolation as part of the deal but they did seal well in my ears, enough to make them not leak too much sound. However, sound leaking into your earbuds will not be preventable
PAIRING: These are 64 ohms and that is high for an earbud BUT NOT FOR HIFI earbuds! These do run off practically anything but better sources do affect and improve the sound.
SUGGESTED USE: you can use them portably in a quiet space like the library or study space or office but do not expect to crank up the sound if you don’t want to bother the person next to you. You can also use them at home if you are listening to a specific song that you enjoy on these earbuds.
NOTE: depending on what you add, the number of accessories you get will vary.
BASS – Coming from headphones, speakers and IEMS these earbuds may lack in the lower frequencies. But that does not mean that these do no entail the rich details in this frequency range, they do. It just takes time to get adjusted to the amount of bass and it feels wonderful and ENOUGH. The fact that earbuds have bass like these do is quite remarkable.
MIDS – When I was listening to different tracks that I am familiar with, I felt like there was nothing special. That was my mistake, this was because I’ve been so used to the sound of my HD600s and 650s… the fact that I felt there was nothing special but also nothing particularly wrong in this frequency range shows and says a lot about how the MONK PLUS performs in this frequency range… I do not want to get stones thrown at me for saying this But I do want to go on record for saying this: I felt like these were a really good alternative to those who want the HD600 experience but cannot afford the HD600s. With this being said, The mids on these are warm sounding.
HIGHS – Now the highs are very present. They are not as detailed but they hit the sweet spot. They are out in the open playing with the soundstage and does not sound sharp or sibilant in your ears at all… these are very relaxing pair of earbuds. Usually going from pricey headphones to EXPENSIVE AS HELL headphones means getting more details in a lot of these frequencies, especially the highs…. For a few hundred dollars more…. (MINUS the sound signature and stuff… obviously… we are strictly talking about detail). With that being said, I think for 5 dollars, these get a kiss for how well they perform in this frequency.
SOUNDSTAGE – THE VE MONK PLUS have extraordinary soundstage for an earbud. These resemble the soundstage of some open back headphones and I mean it.
SEPERATION – These have great separation, especially paired with my oppo ha 2 se… these put up a finger to many headphones out there…
7 DAY IMPRESSION:
FOR MY REVIEWS, I WRITE A DIARY OF WHAT I WANT TO SAY FOR THE FIRST 7 DAYS OF STARTING THE REVIEW FOR A PRODUCT. THE PRODUCT IS REVIEWED MORE EXTENSIVELY AFTERWARDS FOR A LONGER TIME BUT THIS IS THE MY IMPRESSION FOR THE FIRST 7 DAYS
I was skeptical to as how a 5-dollar earbud can possibly be any good. I usually do not even wear earbuds, I rely on quality iems, headphones and speakers. I ordered coffee color ones due to my obsession for coffee. When I opened the small package, I was not at all surprised… it was a pair of earbuds. When I touched them to pick them off from the package, I was surprised to how the plastic felt more premium then I would have imagined. But what really mattered was sound.
I tossed them on the side as I had many other things to review and listen to tonight. Few hours later I listened to the VE monks while sleeping. With my surprise… these blew my mind away… and this was after I was listening to other MUCH MUCH more expensive gear for review purposes!
I got up, sent my friend (who is also a reviewer) a msg, “take these next week and try them” THEN I went up to the computer and ordered another pair because I wanted to keep one…. FOREVER.
While listening to these, I felt bass was lacking compared to what I usually listen to because they are earbuds BUT I quickly got used to it… and everything felt right into place. I didn’t want to sound crazy but even bass felt perfect in these earbuds. Mids were warm and full sounding and highs were there to give you an extra WOW on the soundstage but not sibilant in any way. I listened to this earbud more than anything this day. I kept looking at my bank account to see if I really paid 5 dollars for these….
I paired these up with different devices, Samsung Galaxy S5, S6, S7, Fiio x1, Oppo ha 2 se… and they were not source sensitive… they sounded great on all devices but I did notice a improvement when paired with better sources. I enjoyed them best combed with my oppo ha 2 se with bass control OFF.
I loved these so much that I decided to push all my IEMS aside and take these to the gym. YES, IM HUMAN TOO AND I MAKE MISTAKES, I will admit it… it was stupid. These are earbuds and sound isolation is not the part of the deal nor should it be the reason you buy these. When I took these to the noisy gym, I could not hear these to their full potential and the bass was not strong enough to boost my lazy body. MY FAULT ENTIRELY. When I came back home, I listened to them on my desk… some smooth jazz all-stars play sam smtih. For those of you who do not know this song, this song is an instrumental of sam smith’s songs and contains a lot of saxophone, trumpet, etc. Let’s just say… it felt like I was on a cloud.
I was really hoping to see something wrong with these after some time, not because I am psychotic or I hate these but because I love them so much that I started carrying them with me wherever I go…. AND for 5 dollars… I really would not mind if there was something wrong with them but they do their job and beyond SO VERY WELL. That is, it for today.
So today, I officially decided to give these to my friends for review and when the new sets arrive, I will be putting them in my pelican case along with my expensive IEMS because these really have earned it…. They deserve to be protected and cared for… Price is irrelevant, I’ve started building respect for the person who made this. Thank you, Venture Electronics. I took these and introduced them to few people at my university who are audio enthusiasts, talked to people on Instagram who were curious, and brought my clueless cousin brother and his response was:
Cousin: wow these are good!
Me: I ordered another one, I might give this one away on a giveaway on my Instagram
Cousin: I usually do not ask this but can I, have it? Please?
Me: If you guess how much it is
Cousin: I don’t know… 60 dollars?
Cousin: 70? 80? No way 100?
Me: You have the Sennheiser HD598Cs I got you for your b-day, you like these more than these?
Cousin: No I like the headphones better but these do some stuff my headphone can’t.
BOOM! ending the story there and you can later find out on my Instagram if the little guy (he is 18, so not that little) got his wish granted or now! Technically he can buy his own LOL. BUT with that being said… the point/lesson of DAY 6 story is that “these are not here because it’s better than headphones or IEMS BUT because they are different” Just like we get headphones and IEMS, these have their own purpose, way to wear and SOUND.
I listened to these the whole day as my friend came to pick these up from me today for his chance to review. His initial response when I offered him the Monks was this “I usually do not wear earbuds… but I will try them out.” 2 days later I talked to him and I quote “these blew my mind away.” AND the story repeats again with this man. I feel like after listening to the VE MONKS, we all learn many valuable lessons. ONE of them being “money doesn’t speak sound quality all the time, good engineering does” and the other being “there is different ways to hear things and earbuds have always been one of them AND there is a reason for that.”
For 5 dollars, this is something all audio enthusiasts should have and furthermore, introduce everyone around you to quality hi res audio.
Overall, Venture Electronics really have done well to bring this beautiful product into the light. For 5 dollars, I do not think I can ask for more. It was pleasure reviewing this product and I plan to dive into their future and current products as well.