🔶 Monolith M650

This is the official thread for the Monolith M650

This thread is for discussion and reviews.

  • Type: Over Ear
  • Amp recommended: Yes
  • Open Back

:red_circle: Hifiguides Amazon Link


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this is an older headphone now, isn’t it?

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yes, but there isn’t much info about it online/reviews. i suggested this be posted in hopes that some of us tried these and can maybe compare to the 600?

This is not an hd600. It’s not on that level imo. I think the treble on these are just alright, slight v shape and wider sounding, the mids are nice but not really that detailed as I would want them to be, and bass is good but nothing stand out. I would say the m650 is eh in my mind

Edit: I just realized you most likely mean the M600, and compared to that I don’t think the m600 is that good at all. While the M650 is pretty decent for it’s price the m600 isn’t that great imo

lol i did mean M600… but yeah, no reviews online recommend the 600 over the 650 (now it really sounds like im talking about sennheiser) besides some more bass.

I think if the m600 was like 80 bucks (or a fair bit less) I think it would be more palatable and good for the price

Well, since you mentioned $80… lol

You can buy a used m650 for 80 bucks as well lol

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M650s are now 80$ new!


Worth it to hear what beryllium drivers can do I guess :slight_smile:

They are $47 right now open box (coupon code “openbox”). I think I’m gonna get them. They have to be worth it for that price right?


LeDechaine did you get them by chance? If so, what do you think?

Nope :confused:
Joshua Valour has done a great review for these.

Got em like 30 minutes ago. Slight V-shape.

Pre-review: With all the sales, good luck finding better for 100$ shipped. Plastic case included.
Nothing to add, nothing to remove, no pads to change, they’re just great out of the box.

And the plastic case is the only plastic you’ll see, because this is all wood and metal. Braided cable with metal endings even!

Only downside is I’ll need to add Dekoni nuggets or padding to the headband because… huh, apparently they’re made for larger heads.

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So, yeah, the “slight V-shape” is annoying. And mine didn’t came with the velour pads. Apparently the leather pads are to blame for the lifeless mids.

Time to buy velour pads.

Monoprice Monolith M650 review: Your own 10-foot wide dome of dynamic sound.

TL,DR: HD58Xs did not make me feel like I was at a bar I know in front of… deceased musicians playing for us. HD58Xs did not make me cry. These did. They’re the best headphones I have. Excellent detail. Excellent, life-like soundstage and depth. Excellent naturalness. Just mercilessly squash these damn, terrible, deceiving pads on a 1ft wide thing for 6 to 12 hours, and you’ll change these “slightly V-shaped and soulless” headphones into “timbre monsters” with incredible mids, and all-around neutrality (harman neutral) and detail – but with a (pleasant) dip somewhere around the 10khz region, killing all the sibilance (esses). Sometimes sold for 60$, these are a steal.

It’s hard to find frequency graphs for these, but I saw one or two, and I was expecting no “air” at all. Pleasantly surprised: there is “air” (10khz, even 15khz+) in these. They definitely do not sound like “half a pair” of headphones. You hear the entire studio. No information missing – except maybe a lack of mids, stock, with the (damn) leather pads. They’re slightly V-shaped. I’m treble-sensitive, but even when the treble was a bit too much, it never sounded harsh or sibilant. (What?! I thought treble and harshness and sibilance were all synonyms! Sorcery!)

The treble and high-treble (10khz+) sound like open backs, but with a good seal, the bass can sound like it’s coming from closed backs. Like, Sennheiser HD280-ish, 32dB attenuation C-clamp, closed-back-like bass. For open backs! Theeese got a surprising amount of “power”. For electronic music or rock/metal, they knock. And it’s never too much. I recommend HD58Xs over these if you prefer tube-like warmth. But if you’re used to cheap headphones and believe you need closed backs for the “knock” and open-backs for “air”, these might be your best, all-around, headphones. (I got mine for 100$ shipped, and Monoprice sometimes sell em for 60$USD – that’s 60% off – M650s are 150$ MSRP.)

Mids: “Timbre monsters”.
Stock, the mids from M650s sound… like every other pair of cheap headphones you can try at Best Buy. You have to concentrate on the lackluster mids to find the details and try to enjoy the sound – in vain. For beryllium driver headphones, talk about Monoprice shooting themselves in the foot! A/B these with HD58Xs (still 170$ on Mass/drop) and five seconds will convince you to not buy M650s. But you’d be oh, so wrong… That’s exactly what I did. I then squashed these damn, terrible, deceiving pads: This will get rid of the V-shape and boost the mids. And you’ll get timbre, timbre, timbre. Magnificent, soulful mids. Change the pads or just squash em. And theeese headphones will sound like 200$+ headphones.

Pure beryllium naturalness:
So… Why did I buy these? (Incoming assumptions overload from the lo-cost hi-fi noob)
Planars throw absolutely everything at your ears at the same time without ever being physically able to sound muddy. This can be “stressful”, sound “too fast” and/or “too sterile”. Dynamic drivers (especially cheap ones) tend to be the complete opposite: “too smooth”, “too slow”. So beryllium drivers appears to be a great choice, in-between planar speed and dynamic drivers smoothness. And for me, it is. Holy shit. Drum kicks, guitars, snares, voices, everything can really sound natural, lifelike. Combine this with an excellent soundstage, and you get natural, life-like timbres, in a natural, life-like studio room. I try to tell myself my HD58Xs can sound as good as these… but no. HD58Xs did not make me feel like I was at a bar I know in front of… deceased musicians playing for us. HD58Xs did not make me cry.

Dynamics galore:
I believe these headphones accentuate, “boost” everything. They’re extremely dynamic. It sounds like even all my mp3s and youtube videos I listen to are now in 32bit audio or something similar – i.e.: at least twice the dynamics. I believe you could clearly hear the difference between amps and DACs with these. If it’s not dynamics… is this real? Or are the headphones doing “euphonic” stuff, messing up with the sound? To give that much soul to HD58Xs, you’d need to plug em in a (colorful) R2R and a Class A amp or something similar… but you still wouldn’t get the soundstage.

10-foot wide soundstage:
Above all, I hear all the sounds I heard before, but from different places: There’s space between the instruments. Great soundstage. Impressive depth. Seriously, sometimes it’s as if I can hear the reverberations coming from the wall from the back of the studio (also, I place my ears, in the pads, “behind” the drivers – and by doing this, with M650s, singers are like “in front of me” instead of “in my head”). Maybe all this is because they’re 64 ohms – or maybe because they’re well made and (really) open, so the sound is free (so “free” these could almost replace a bluetooth speaker, lol).

-Dynamics galore means they’re brutal with mixes. Bassy recordings will sound really bassy. Clear recordings will sound really clear. Shitty recordings will sound really shitty. And excellent recordings will sound really excellent. You’ll instantly know if there’s too much of something, somewhere. All this also means an extremely dynamic soundstage. If the song was recorded in a 4’x4’ cube, you’ll hear it and feel the “claustrophobia”. It will sound like “mono” sound or bad cassette tape. All this combined means I already had to concentrate on someone singing somewhere 20 degrees at my right to hear what he was singing. Definitely weird – but definitely not common. So… avoid these if you’re hard of hearing – these are like the opposite of “compressed” (like Koss ESP-950/Xs?) headphones (…or earspeakers). And avoid these if you listen to music at low volume… you won’t hear half of the details.
-For heavy, fast, double-bass and/or cacophonic stuff, you sometimes wonder what’s happening. Because it’s just too fast, too “everywhere”, lol.
-I’d still recommend HD58Xs over these for mixing, because it’s easier to hear every detail with a smaller soundstage.
-Again, they’re really open, so someone in the same room as you definitely knows everything you listen to.

-Pretty, braided cable, metal endings, but the cable is also the definition of “jank”. Copper usb cable jank.
-Microphonic cable. i.e.: If it touches your shirt, you’ll hear it.
-This one is for big heads. I had to glue another headband under the headband.
-They’re not plug-and-play. They’re “open package, put these on a 1ft wide thing for 6 to 12 hours to squash the leather pads, and plug and play.” Otherwise, you’ll be deceived.
-Velour pads (I don’t have em) are apparently neutral… but sibilant. And without the leather pads “seal”, you wouldn’t get the “HD280 Pro-ish”, closed-back-like bass.

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The only graph I saw for the M650s is this one. And… don’t trust it. Using SineGen :

-This graph makes you believe the hole is from… 200hz to 2khz or even 3khz.
-This graph makes you believe the drivers are “starting to die” at 7khz. Definitely, definitely not.

Seriously, for my ears, I can hear the drivers working at 15hz (even less but whatever lol) – then it’s pretty much flat everywhere from 30hz (yes) to 10khz – then starting to go down slowly until 16khz. Which might very well be where my hearing stops. The only exception is a small hole, strictly from 1khz to 2khz.

So, yeah, nothing is flat as a ruler, but my “addition” to the graph is more realistic than theirs, lol.

wow. i had no idea. i should pickup a pair. thanks Dechaine. What pads do you recommend for them?

If you’re not treble-sensitive, the velour pads (shipped with these) makes em neutral-bright (neutral but with sibilance, maybe) according to DMS. Personally, I did not want to lose the 100hz-ish bass drum “kick” so I kept the leather pads (they seal well) and “squished” em for maybe 6 hours, and they turned from V-shaped to neutral-ish with great mids.

Sweet thanks i’ll check them out. i just found out recently thatyou can fnd great headphones in the unlikeliest of places lol

For everyone interested, these aren’t discontinued, they’re back in stock. :slight_smile:

And also back in stock on amazon.ca (“ships from the US”), but not amazon.com for now, oddly enough.

I’m adding something to my review. These headphone add some kind of euphonic reverberation to everything. It’s definitely, definitely enjoyable, but I listened to a pop-punk CD with these for a while, thought the CD was badly recorded, then put on my T50RPs and I started hearing more of everything (oh…).

So, yeah. These are not detail monsters. At least for energetic and extreme music, this “reverb” blurs some details. But they’re still really, really enjoyable headphones that I still absolutely love. Detail isn’t everything.