Intro

Many music lovers and aspiring audiophiles find the potential of planar technology challenging to grasp. It’s a luxury that many of us can’t afford, and we all have other priorities to attend to in life. Possibly the planar headphone you’ve been waiting for is the Monolith by Monoprice 1070C. It’s impossible to call the M1070C inexpensive, but it’s a bargain compared to five-figure planar headphones.

If so, what do you think of the Monolith M1070C?

Who should buy Monoprice M1070C Monolith?

  • Audiophiles on a budget might enjoy Monoprice’s planar headphones for their superb sound quality at a relatively low price.
  • The M1070C is an excellent choice for anyone with an extensive collection of headphones for desktop headphones.

Monolith by Monoprice M1070C: Design Features

The size of the Monolith by Monoprice M1070C is the first thing that catches your eye. With a 642g (1.4lb) of weight, your head and neck will feel like they’re lifting weights while you listen. Only a dinner plate-sized zip case and a (biodegradable) cardboard box containing the planar headset’s scant paperwork are provided by Monoprice. Monoprice deserves kudos for not going overboard with the packaging and branding. The headband has a little Monolith logo sewn to it.

However, the weighty M1070C doesn’t strain the ears on the lambskin memory foam ear cushions. Furthermore, the cushions are flexible enough to accommodate people wearing glasses.

The headphones are mostly made of metal with a leather headband. If you have a problem using big headphones, the M1070C won’t be a pleasure to use for lengthy periods. Even though I’m used to wearing heavy headphones, the M1070C’s weight is quite unbearable after about an hour.

To effectively distribute the weight, the M1070C uses a tighter grip. Additionally, the ear cups remain firmly in place no matter the orientation of the user’s head. Be advised, though, that the metal is pliable. Thus, questions about durability can be raised.

If you consider that the neodymium planar drivers measure a massive 106mm in length, you can get a feel of the sheer enormity of this monster. For comparison, the Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2 has 45mm drivers. That is why Monoprice’s headset is referred to as the “Monolith” brand.

The M1070C is best suited for critical listening applications. However, its dimensions and weight make it unsuited for long-haul flights or daily commutes. Notwithstanding, the metal ear cups with closed backs prevent sound from leaking out.

Monolith by Monoprice M1070C’s accessories

As previously noted, there is a high-quality zip case included with the M1070C. The case’s interior is sculpted to properly fit the headphones, with a netted pocket inside to retain the second pair of earpads (velour) and the attached detachable cable. There are 3.5mm connectors on each ear cup, and the braided cable terminates in a standard-size 3.5mm headphone socket or, with an adaptor, a 1/4-inch jack. You can quickly replace this cable if it breaks, increasing the longevity of the M1070C.

Headphone amplifiers with monoprice’s M1070C

For the Monolith M1070C, users may not need a headphone amp. After trying it out, if you notice that the sound is too quiet, the remedy is to get an amplifier.

As anecdotal evidence suggests, both my audio interface’s headphone output and my six-year-old Macbook Pro have no problem driving the M1070C. Many PCs can withstand the M1070C at 60 ohms and 97 dB/mW sensitivity.

Monolith by Monoprice M1070C sound isolation

What kind of a sound do these monstrous cans make? As a result of my limited knowledge of other planar magnetic headphones, I cannot make any direct comparisons. However, I can say this: The M1070C is the first closed-back pair of headphones I’ve ever heard that sound open and spacious.

While open-back headphones like the Sennheiser HD 560S provide a feeling of openness, these headphones also offer a more enclosed experience by sealing off the outside world. Soundstage depth and width are almost equal. The eerie opening notes of Phil Collins’ classic In The Air Tonight seem to be projected from afar, perfectly underlining Collins’ warning that he can hear it coming.

In terms of EQ, they’re quite neutral, with a tiny lean toward low-end bass, which isn’t to everyone’s taste, but I like the added warmth they provide to my recordings. If the M1070C has a flaw, it doesn’t communicate well. This came as a surprise given the planar magnetic headphones’ well-deserved reputation for superior sound quality (especially clarity). Yet, there is a noticeable softness to the details throughout the frequency range. Even though I’m sure a trained ear can hear the difference right away, I had to do a lot of A/B testing with several headphones that cost less than the M1070C before I could tell the difference in quality. Despite this, they all scored better than Monoprice’s gigantic cans in terms of clarity.

In comparison, is there any consolation in the spaciousness and openness? Because it’s half the price and half the weight, I’d choose the M1070C over the M1070S any day. Although the M1070C weighs in at a hefty 400 grams, you’d think that for that money, you’d receive a pair of headphones that sound at least as good as, if not better than, similarly priced dynamic driver headphones. Unfortunately, that is not the case with these cans. Despite Monoprice’s best efforts, the company’s implementation of planar magnetic technology falls short of expectations.

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The M1070C does not have a Bluetooth connection, as previously stated. For a technology that transmits data at a loss, Bluetooth sounds great. A headset wirelessly used by audiophiles or engineers is a waste of time, and it’s only used to test an existing mix on another distribution method. It is easier to discover individual instruments in the stereo sound field because of its ability to separate them more clearly. Listening with this headset is unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. It has a more “genuine” feel to it. Or, to put it another way, listening to M1070C helps you get a greater sense of the instruments and the performers.

Is Monolith by Monoprice M1070C a good buy?

The Monolith by Monoprice M1070C seems to have it all, at least on paper. The frequency response is excellent, and the components are easily swapped out. There aren’t many alternatives in this price range for planar drivers, so it’s a good value.

Even yet, the M1070C’s size and the fact that most of its weight is concentrated in a small location on the crown of the head make it difficult to suggest it for extended listening sessions. Even though the sound quality is superb, the high pricing range from $299 to $399 can put people off. That’s a lot of money to spend on headphones that only last an hour before becoming unbearable.

MacGyvering its gripping force through bent metal may also cause you concern. The ability to bend the headphone is an unwanted characteristic that we do not subscribe to. It weakens over time when you turn metal and gradually returns to its original form.

In light of this, it’s safe to say that the M1070C sounds fantastic. Experienced audiophiles often choose the M1070C over others. The frequency response and high-quality cabling are only two of its many highlights. The earpads can even be purchased from third-party manufacturers. The only major problem is its massive size.

Alternatives to the Monoprice’s M1070C Monolith?

HIFIMAN is another brand that springs to mind if you’re looking for inexpensive planar headphones. Most HIFIMAN planar headphones seem to need an amplifier, or at the very least, are on the verge of doing so. Even though the amp costs more, you can use it with alternative headphones. Drop x HIFIMAN HE-X4 cans are less expensive and lighter than the M1070C by 200 grams. There will be a lot of noise leaking out of these cans because of the open rear. HIFIMAN’s build quality is acceptable, but the company also prioritizes pricing, allowing them to make concessions.

You don’t require planar headphones to get a broad soundstage and a decent frequency response. The Drop x Sennheiser HD 6XX, which boasts dynamic speakers, is a great alternative. It costs roughly a third of what the M1070C does. It offers a studio-like sound and is pleasant to wear for long periods. You may require an amplifier, depending on your setup. Open-back ear cups mean users can’t carry them on public transportation, but so can the M1070C.

You may give up the fantasy of planar drivers, but you still want the sound leakage that closed-backs delivers; therefore, users can try the Beyerdynamic DT 700 PRO X headphones. This is a better option for those on a tight budget since its construction is better and weighs less. Excellent velour cushioning enhances the level of comfort.