OneOdio’s Monitor 60 closed‑back headphones, which I reviewed back in July, are an impressive value‑for‑money proposition. As an all‑round studio tool or something for musicians to hear themselves on, they do a good job at a very affordable price. If you want to mix on headphones, though, it would be well worth spending extra to get something that sounds less coloured and more neutral. And, obligingly, the Hong Kong‑based manufacturers have now launched their own candidate for this role.
The Monitor 80s are the more upmarket open‑backed cousin of the Monitor 60s, but it would be misleading to characterise them merely as an open version of the same design. Whereas the Monitor 60s present a typical low impedance of 38Ω, the Monitor 80s are 250Ω; and although there are some similarities in terms of construction, there are also many differences, for instance in the shape of the earcups and the depth and material of the cushions. As with the Monitor 60, there’s an eighth‑inch mini‑jack socket in the left earcup and a quarter‑inch one in the right. Two cables are supplied, one terminated in two mini‑jacks and the other in one of each, for use either way round, as appropriate. You also get a smart and robust carry case.
The Monitor 80 are the more upmarket open‑backed cousin of the Monitor 60, but it would be misleading to characterise them merely as an open version of the same design.
The Monitor 80s sit quite lightly on the head, and although they gave me an odd feeling of being ‘back to front’, they’re reasonably comfortable to wear. They’re also relatively easy to drive, despite their high impedance: any half‑decent audio interface should be able to generate a decent enough level from them.
Sound‑wise, they share quite a similar basic character to the Monitor 60, with a fairly rich low end, a broad suck‑out in the midrange and an obvious presence peak somewhere in the 4‑5 kHz region. However, I didn’t find these characteristics quite as distracting this time around. The Monitor 80s certainly aren’t the last word in neutrality but, unlike the Monitor 60s, I can imagine adapting to their tonality well enough to produce tolerably good mixes.
You’re not quite getting a Ferrari for Ford money, but if you’re on a tight budget, the OneOdio Monitor 80s will get you from A to B, and in reasonable comfort!
£111.60 including VAT.
$99 plus shipping.