Do you know if there are any better options for the price range? I mainly listen to Japanese music with female vocals and EDM if I am feeling a little spicy. My price range is about 1k, but I really want to spend less. So if there are any good recommendations, I would really appreciate it.
Others to maybe consider Thie Clair or Shuoer EJ7?
I like both the Monarch and Clairvoyance but decided on the Clairvoyance.
Thieaudio tuned them for different reasons. Audio Discourse has some great info on both these IEMs. I’ll probably end up with both. You can’t go wrong with either.
Thanks for the link. It was actually very helpful
If you’re looking to save money and want something similar to the Monarch, I’d suggest the Thieaudio Legacy 5 or the Mangird Tea. Both are sub bass focused and similar to the Monarch in that aspect, but the Monarch will be more detailed. The big difference will be in the treble with the electrostatic driver. It will be more present and detailed while retaining smoothness without sibilance.
I’ve also been mulling over the Monarch. I just don’t have a feel for which Chi-fi companies are deserving of my speculative money.
I was away from the audio hobby for over 5 years until a few months ago, so I’ve been doing my homework, reading as much as I can. Back when I actually had a collection of gear (90+% of it sold more than 5 years ago), it consisted primarily of the usual suspects: Sennheiser, Beyerdynamics, Audio-Technica, Sony, etc. My “fly by the seat of my pants” acquisitions before I left the hobby was $$$$ on Astell & Kern DAPs (3 of them).
Anyway, sorry, didn’t start with intention of typing all that out, but just felt I needed to somewhat explain why I’m dragging my feet. The Monarch, even with the issues it surely has (hell, nothing is perfect), sounds up my alley. I just can’t get myself to pull the trigger.
Add a likely month+ long wait time (I had an email exchange with Linsoul late last week and that was the time frame the rep gave me) until delivery here in the States…well, I don’t feel super motivated. I just have no point of reference for things like build quality, and I know post sales service is gonna be a PITA given they don’t use re-sellers in the US (or anywhere for that matter, as far as I know).
I just ordered the Monarch last week. Wait time 15-25 days, just fyi.
I had similar criteria, but replace female Japanese vocals with female pop vocals. Definitely listen to EDM, Jazz, Indie and some Classical. I wanted something that imaged really well, didn’t have rolled off treble and could produce a live hall sound. The Monarch sounded good for this. Was looking at IER-Z1R, but maybe another time. The size seemed like it could be an issue as well.
In the same price range, Clairvoyance for smoother presentation and EJ07 could be good. I wanted a little more sub bass presence for the depth/ambience and clean imaging, so went Monarch. If I listened to rock or more bands outside of some indie, I’d look at Clairvoyance for myself. I might end up with both, but we’ll see how I like the Monarch first =).
I only have Starfields and older RHA MA750s right now, so wanted something with near TOTL detail and imaging to try, since those attributes and real sub bass is where I feel IEMs can shine vs headphones. Sadly the Starfields are just a little above average on detail and imaging, while having no real sub bass at all.
But after considering the IER-Z1R and Mest, this was an easy choice for me. Clairvoyance and Mest were high up, but after hearing what they do best, I feel like they’d be a little more boring than the Monarch. We’ll see.
You do realize the Clairvoyance has more bass and slightly more sub bass than the Monarch? This is the reason I went with the Clairvoyance first.
Yep. By presence I meant relative to the midrange. Giving up a little mids and mid bass gives the lower bass and highs a bit of a lift in relative terms.
You chose well @Resolution
I keep debating the merits of both, keeping in mind what the reported differences are. I am someone who tends to err on the side of more resolution; I care mostly about technical ability and non-anemic bass response…I can easily adapt, and enjoy, various sound signatures; thin, non-impactful bass is a instant NOPE for me; “bright” tends to be fine for me in many cases; the mid frequencies are the easiest to hear, so I tend to dislike/tire easily of sets universally described as “forward mids”; I don’t need the easiest audible frequencies to be “forward”, YMMV.
I listen to 40% electronic (ambient/chillout/house/trance), 20% instrumental jazz (from Bill Evans & Miles Davis to smooth, contemporary), 20% progressive rock/metal; 10% blues/rock/alternative; 10% a smattering of a bunch of stuff. About the only genres I don’t listen to, except for very infrequently, are classical & country.
Once/if I can get over my trepidation of unknown build quality and the pain it would be to deal with post-sales service issues (I am in the U.S.), I’m probably leaning Monarch given my tastes and music.
If you take audiodiscourse’ discription as accurate, looks like the Monarch is you’re best bet. Your prop rock might sound fuller on the Clairs, but chances are you won’t miss what you haven’t heard. Otherwise, resolution, imaging, bass and sub bass are reported to be better on the Monarch, while being slightly more muted for acoustic bass instruments in the mid bass, where the Clair has more.
I’m sure you’d more than enjoy either, but I think audiodiscourse kind of lays out nicely why BGGAR/Hawaiibadboy like the Clair more for hip hop and rock, while others prefer the Monarch for EDM, Jazz, Classical.
It sounds to me like you’d be in the Monarch camp, but that’s for you to decide.
I wouldn’t consider the Monarch or Clairvoyance as very detailed or technical IEMs.
I will also add that the way BGGAR reviews IEMs is great and he constantly references his own library as a reminder that his favourites and tier list is based on his music library. There are a number of reviews that have the Monarch as being preferable to the Clairvoyance and MEST. Usually because the reviewer admittedly will give up some midrange presence and smoother high-mid to high end for a signature that compliments their musical preferences. So, just keep that in mind. No one that I know of flat out doesn’t like either the Monarch or Clair, or even declares one as objectively better than the other. Which one you like is kind of up to your music preference and personal taste as well. This is true for any IEM, speaker or headphone that’s a top tier performer in their given category.
Not to put words in his mouth but BGGAR/ hawaiibadboy doesn’t sound as jazzed with the Monarch from what I’ve read & heard.
Monarch - “muted kick drums and bass guitar”
Clairvoyance - “bass/mids fantastic treble perfect for vocals/rock”
After hearing both, I agree with his assessment.
My entire point was that his opinions are based on his musical preferences. Which are, obviously, not close to those of the OP or myself.
The review/comparison on the two that both of us posted by Audio Discourse shares similar observations but the reviewer preffered the Monarch because his preferences obviously differ, as he openly points out.
Furthermore, BGGAR said at no time that he didnt like the Monarch, and wouldn’t have them in A tier if that were the case.
If you look at Crinacles tier list https://crinacle.com/rankings/iems/ he has an inverted view of the two based on his preferences. Both points are valid and, again, positive for both models.
Yeah, to be clear as @Adrian points out, my views are based on my library. Owners of each and sometimes both sets seem to be quite happy. As it turns out , me and Crin seeing different sets as being the better one is much preferable than the 5 guys dropping reviews on same day saying "OMFG!! the ________is unbelievable!! omfg!!
As everyone’s should be. I think the Monarch and Clairvoyance are both nice IEMs. But anyone buying either for technicalities and not tuning should probably look elsewhere. The bass technicalities especially is not at the level of other IEMs even at much lower prices. I hope you enjoy your Monarch.
As someone currently shopping and considering the Monarch, I would be interested in your alternative suggestions. You dont seem very impressed by the Monarch…
Hi and welcome to HFGF another good alternative to either the Clair or Monarch would be the Shuoer EJ7 or if you want to spend a bit more then the UM MEST.