Tech Tuesday: Great Headphones For About $20? Yup!

Monoprice has stunned me again. I was thrilled when someone suggested their 8320 earbuds. The sound was crisp, the bass was deep and the value was extraordinary at $7. Of course, you can’t go wrong with their cables, adapters and small parts either. I recently ordered a bunch of things I needed and spent $80. Out of curiosity, I added up the totals for the exact same items if I had ordered them from BestBuy: $220!  Anyways, despite my past successes, my expectation for their 8323 Hi-Fi Over the Ear Pro Headphones was relatively low. How good can $20 headphones sound?

Fantastic! And not just fantastic for the price. Fantastic period. The best thing about the 8323 Headphones is not simply the great sound but the overall package. Decent build quality, portability, great looks and extreme comfort add to the appeal of these headphones. Read on to learn a little bit more about these amazing, full-size, over the ear headphones and to find out how you can win your own pair from Hidden Track!

Monoprice 8323 Over the Ear Pro Headphone 

Build & Comfort Pretty amazing what you get for about $20. These headphones feel really well made both in your hands and while wearing them. Nobody is going to mistake them as premium or luxury items, but they could certainly pass for an item costing well over 5x their price. Build quality is sturdy and they have attractive looks though relatively pedestrian. A well cushioned head band and generous ear cushions give outstanding comfort. The earcups are a snap to get a perfect fit for any size head with easy swiveling from side-to-side or up-and-down.

Many full-size headphones are tough to travel with but the design of these allow for compact storage and travel which is a big bonus. The cables to the headphones are detachable which is also a nice design touch. So many headphones in this budget range have permanently attached cables making it impossible to replace if the cable is damaged. They come with a 4′ cable as well as an 11′ cable that can be plugged into any 3.5mm jack on smartphones, MP3 players, or pretty much any other audio device. Conveniently, an adapter plug is included if you want to listen to the larger jack found on home stereo systems.

Sound Wow! These things really pack a decent punch with great tones, clarity, detail, and pretty ample range. Bass is very good and if anything, perhaps just a touch too much for my liking. Fortunately, both the mids and the highs are well balanced and all work together quite nicely.  Overall, they are very easy listening and quite enjoyable. I listened to Robert Glasper’s jazz-piano album Double Booked and loved the intricate detail I was able to hear with both the piano and the bass. The drums, and later in the album, electric bass, also sounded simply perfect.

I have a handful of headphones in the $50-$125 price range including sets from Sennheiser, Sure and Sony. In every case, I found the Monoprice Headphones superior to or just as good as the others. The only knock on them is that they can get warm. Like most closed headphones, especially budget ones, they don’t breath all that well so your ears can get warm after extended listening. Given the decent sound quality and the comfort, it is probably something you will be doing quite a bit.

Monoprice 8323 Headphones

Bottom Line Given the price tag, Monoprice’s 30 day return policy and the quick shipping (you’ll have them in a couple of days), what is there really to lose? They sound great directly from your mobile phone, portable player, or any other audio device. Volume is excellent as they are very easy to drive. Pairing them with a portable DAC or headphone AMP will yield even better results and you’ll have a hard time believing the price.

Hidden Track has a pair for a lucky reader. Simply leave a comment below that you’d like to win a pair & we’ll pick a random comment and post the winner next week. Good luck!

Monoprice 8323 Headphones $23


Hidden Track Technology Tuesday

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70 Responses

    1. Nice! Bought a pair of Sennheiser for my husband for Christmas..would love to check these out to compare 🙂 thnx for the review.

  1. My dog chewed up my headphones about two months ago and even though one side does not work anymore as the ear bud is gone, I still continue to use them religiously. I think this might be the right time for a new pair.

  2. ahhh my headphones just broke too! could rly use a pair to return to my daily ritual of blasting evil phish on the train to work!

  3. Would love to try these on the new phish album…after bitches brew of course…and through my HiFiMan the greatest Tech Tuesday device EVER! If you listen to music through your CPU, you shouldn’t ever again without one of these… -Thanks again Parker! #hattip

  4. cool- thanks for recommendation.
    I’ve seen these on Monoprice before but figured they were junk. I definitely want to check them out. What is the difference between those and the other headphones that Monoprice offers? They are all cheap and about the same price from what I remember.

  5. having watched my oldest son go through two pair of beatz and my two younger boys clamoring for their own, i’m looking for affordable options. would love a pair of these…or four.

  6. Kurt- Glad you enjoy the HiFiMAN- you’ll love these headphones with that.

    DougF- I have not personally listened to any of the other headphones in the Monoprice line. However, someone told me that they tried the 8324’s (the “Light Weight” version) and they sounded “brash” and “kind of harsh” compared to these. Though, again for $20, may as well give them a try. Everyone’s taste is different and you can return them in 30 days regardless.

    Good luck!

  7. These look amazing and if they sound half as good as they look – Oh My! Please sign me up as I would LOVE to have a pair.

  8. I am in the market for some new headphones & I hate the ear bud kind. It would be pretty sweet to win these. Thanks for the entry.

  9. Yeah, I found these after your review of the Monoprice earbuds.. these sound really good for price, great value for sure.

  10. Got these for use with a headphone amp in my Home Studio, they sound pretty good. Could use a few more. 🙂 The detachable cable is a great feature, and the quality overall is great.

    Tried the Monoprice 8320 earbuds, the sound is good but I found that the cable made a lot of noise when it moved around.

  11. John-

    Yes, that is definitely something I notice when I move around- definitely not the best for jogging/working out.

    However: You can DRAMATICALLY or even ELIMINATE that noise by wrapping the cable over your ear once. No idea why that solves the issue: but it does. (Not just on these- but any other earphone with cable noise)

  12. I still buy the $4 dollar headphones from Wal-Mart. I would really love to have a good pair of head phones to listen to music. Even better they come with an adapter so I can listen to my records off of my 1970’s Sanyo turntable and Realistic speakers. Love me some Tech Tuesday


  13. I’m a female Dj , i ♥ to have Monoprice 8323 Headphones.They sound amazing compare to the $150 i usually spend….

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