🔶 ThieAudio Monarch MKIII

This is the official thread for the Monarch MKIII

This thread is for discussion and reviews.

  • Type: In Ear
  • Amp needed: No but better with
  • Driver Type: 1 Sonion EST, 2 x Knowles DWFK 31785 , 1 X Sonio 28UAP, 2 x IMPACT2 10mm Composite DD

:red_circle: ThieAudio Link

[Reviews]

Z Reviews…

4 Likes

So, these were my first new purchase in a bit over two years.

I‘ve had the chance to listen to a lot of sets in between (either through friends, demos at stores or demos at conventions) but never felt the need to get any of them, even though there were a lot of excellent sets among them (like the Helios or U12t).

Up until this point, I was content with my favorite sets I got in my rotation:

  • Variations
  • Oracle (OG)
  • Bravery
  • Kato
    in order of personal preference/ranking.

So when I heard that the Monarch MK3 were up on pre-order, I was intrigued. Back when the MK2 came out, I considered getting those, but ultimately decided against it due to having been satisfied by my current collection. Now however I wanted a new set and after going through a couple of early reviews decided to order them blind.

…least to say, I did not get disappointed

These are an incredible Allrounder capable of replaying any genre you could possibly throw at them excellently.

Massive, yet well controlled bass presence of incredible quality paired with the incredible timbre and vocal midrange of the OG Oracle and some of the most hyper detailed, sparkly treble I have ever heard which somehow avoids any sibilance is how I would describe this set.

Quite honestly, I had pretty big expectations of this set and it still managed to even surpassed them. When I hit shuffle and listened to the first track on these („Schwule Mädchen“ by Fettes Brot) I just went „…screw me, these are so clean.“

Separation and micro detail are something else as well. The slightest sounds and changes in a voice picked up during recording get revealed by these. Symbol strikes feel lifelike and almost as if played right next to you. These manage to „pull apart“ even some of the worst mixed/masters and „congested“ sounding tracks in my library.

I plan on doing an in-depth breakdown of these, but in the end they are by far my favorite Set (together with the Variations) and pushed out the Bravery from my top 4 rotation.

Overall an impeccable set and absolute endgame material. Although I obviously cannot recommend blindly buying a set this expensive like I did :wink:

10 Likes

These are a fantastic pair of IEMs, no doubt about it. I thoroughly enjoyed my listening time with these a few weeks back :+1:


7 Likes

"A Whole New World”

Pros: Great Soundstage
Customizable design
Bass is impactful
Timbre is amazing. Everything sounds right.

Cons: Slight U shape
Can be slightly energetic or exhausting

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A Whole New World is a fantastic song. Disney yes, but that doesn’t always mean for children but often times universal made for all. The point of the song to me is that there is a different approach something can give you. This iem has baffled my mind as I listen to it unlike any audio product before. It’s unique and interesting.
I haven’t listened to many high-end iems, and this is the most expensive inner ear monitor that product that I’ve purchased. The Theiaudio Monarck MK III. As a disciple of Crinacle, the Theiaudio Monarch MK ii has been on my radar for a while. So as I wanted to get a good big high-end benchmark it has been on my radar for a while. After first impressions of the Monarck iii started to get posted I quickly pulled the trigger and I bought it from Headphones.com. This product can be bought from many other stores as well.

So this iem, what can I say. It’s tough to describe as my experience with iems is limited. But I’m learning more and more what my preferences are. I like my bass big, my treble airy, and my mids tame and flat. This iem hits everything perfectly. It has the treble of the Aful 8 and is overall just fantastic.

This iem has many unique features The IMPACT2 subwoofer solution revolutionizes personalized audio with its isobaric design and enhanced bass power and texture. These Dual DD drivers sound really good with studio-like performance in the 200-800 range. It’s really remarkable. I’m personally excited to try out the Hype 2 a 300-dollar set that uses this technology. I think it could be a game changer for those who love quality bass with impact and no bleed without the need to EQ. Everything I’ve heard leads me to believe the Hype 2 could be a new benchmark at 300, especially for those who love bass.

I normally listen to 10-30 hours of music before a review depending on how much I like the product. For this iem, I’ve listened to it for hours on end, probably 100 or more in the past few weeks that I’ve had it. Everything sounds really strong on it.

Song Choice: Tidal list here:
I listen to a wide variety of music. I pick the songs because of various reasons. But I picture myself locked away like Andy Dufresne from Shawshank blasting music and shut off from the world. It’s a blissful image.
The Marriage of Figaro -The opera song from Shawshank Redemption, terrible recording but fun and gets me in the mood to listen to music.
O mio Babino caro -This is a modern less operatic version but a song with great female vocals.
Video Rigoletto - “La donna e mobile” Sung by one of the three Tenors, great song for high-performing male vocals. Pavarotti is the greatest classic singer maybe ever. Fight me!
Iron man - The sound at the beginning is hard to make sound great, great drums, and cymbals, and if done right it feels like an old-school band.
I Will Survive (1981 recording, I like her voice, and the old vocals, the drums, and various natural instruments really make this a favorite for me.
There is a light That never goes out - Smiths ( A classic, I just love it. It’s mellow, and I can tell a lot of the tuning if this song is done right.)
Jump (I like how the sound effects are in this!)
Star Child Someone recommended this song to me, and I like how funky it sounds and has nice vocals and a mix of music and things going on.
Dicke Titten Ramstein The beginning is amazing and the bass hits hard. Great song. I love rock and metal. The German language fascinates me
Master of Puppets: Very fast song. Helps me determine if the driver can keep up.

Bass (20-60 Sub Bass, 60-250 Hz Mid Bass)

The details of the bass is strong and everything sounds right on it. You don’t hear the bass… you FEEL it. It’s rubmly. It is reminiscent of being at a concert with my crazy girlfriend years in the past. You get next to the bass speakers and just feel something, you feel the stress of work, and the pains of life fade away. The bass timing is fantastic and natural. When testing the headphone it goes low and is beautiful extremely low and natural, an almost old school feeling as the iem almost shakes as it plays. It’s unreal The bass seems well-controlled and exceptional. Percussions sound fantastic, and all music sounds silly good on it.

Midrange (250 HZ to 800 HZ Low Mids, 600-200 Hz Mids, 2000-5000Hz Upper Mids)

The resolution is perfect and wonderful. The voices sound amazing. It has a high-end speaker or headphone feeling. In fact, the sound is just right and wonderful The MK3 has smooth treble and good detail. Voices sound right, podcasts sound right, and voices sound supported with the bass also being present. I don’t find it shouty at all but fun, smooth, and enjoyable. Podcasts and voices all sound great on it, and it has a good feel to it. Overall this iem is fresh, non-fatiguing, and just an easy clear listen. The vocals sound detailed and lifelike. Resolution is life-like, and it’s almost daunting compared to my average speakers and car audio setup! The sound could be described as colored right. Not over the top, but good still. Unfatiging and refined.

Treble (5000- 10000 Trebble/Highs, 10000 ++ HZ Upper Trebble & Air)

The treble is a good part of this set and this iem has great detail and sparkle for me. No issues here. I’m able to game, listen to music, and a podcast all at once with this iem. It has incredible details that come across in the treble. Looking at the frequency response I would think it would sound neutral or boring without the 3k spike, but I enjoyed it. All the music that I listen to sounds great and I feel that it has a wide beautiful soundstage.

Gaming
I find this iem ideal for gaming. I highly recommend it. The space and detail sound right, the explosions are amazing and I feel I get a great sense of where I am. It’s a top-notch pic for gaming.

Shell
The shell is not large. It fits snugly but not too big. My ears have grown as I wear iems 5-12 hours a day at times, and this iem is fine for me and I really enjoy it. It feels great and looks great. The shell I purchased is more expensive but I am happy with the design and my purchase.

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Case

For those who have purchased a Thieaudio case, this case should be familiar. It is fairly large but provides good protection for the iem. I personally am a little scared of my iem breaking and typically use the case as protection when not in my ears. This case is rigid and strong on the outside, and delicate and soft on the inside. It included pockets as well. It can easily fit a few cables, connectors, tips, and a small dongle or Bluetooth amp dac like my Quidelix 5k. Cases are subjective but this is a nice case that doesn’t feel glossed over.

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Cable

The cable is very nice and smooth on the skin. It lays flat and doesn’t have a lot of memory and has a connector for all types. It has come out a few times from the connector, but that is an easy price to pay for a 3:1 lovely cable that I would easily value at 200 dollars or so. It’s wonderful.

Tip Selection
The tip selection is very nice. I enjoy their presented tips and find them great to have and to use. They are passable for this level and nice, but not exceptional for the price.

Comparisons

Thieaudio Monarch MK III VS. Butasurr

This is the one I am asked a lot about. The Monarch MK is the better iem. It has a better timbre and tone, and personally a slightly better fit. The design of the iem shell, the stock cable, the tips, and the case are all much better. But if none of that matters and you just look at sound. They are close. Butasurr is a fantastic iem, but does come across a tiny bit neutral and an all arounder. The Monarch is more visceral and impactful in the bass. Theiaudio Monarch MK III would be like having a spicy dish, while Butasurr would be like having something safe and almost calming like a steamy calming soup. Both are great and contrast each other well and should be looked at as benchmarks for the price range.

Thieaudio Monarch MK III VS. Kinera Imperial Loki
The Loki has some of the most impactful banging bass that I’ve ever heard and it is a great iem for a lot of music. The Monarch has a flair of spice and better treble response with better tone and wow factor. The Loki is a fantastic iem, yet I did have fit issues with it. I felt like it was hard to have in my ears for a long time say longer than an hour. The monarch is something that doesn’t bother as much. Yet it is an engaging listen not a relaxing set. The Loki has a large nozzle and has a lot of tech in it which makes things sound fantastic and realistic. The Monarch does this with much more modest packaging and is my pic for the lower price and faceplate choices will give you a great ability to customize your iem and make it yours. The Loki does feel like an iem made for a King, but a King who can deal with large iem nozzles.

Thieaudio Monarch MK III VS. Symphonium Meteor

The Meteor is a much more exciting listen for an iem and is a bit fatiguing. Sonic quality isn’t as great to be honest. Monarch iem to me is just overall better. It has the best qualities of the Meteor for me in the cable and the engaging sound, but the sound is clearer how my preference target is closer to. The extra energy of the Meteor at the 200-400 makes a few tracks go a bit weird for me. While the Meteor on this graph may not show it exactly as 10K+ can be unreliable it does feel more energetic and has a slightly different timbre. Bass impact is better, and overall timbre is as well.

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Thieaudio Monarch MK III VS. ThieAudio Oracle MKII

I find the bass better in its quality on the Monarck and the energy of the Oracle was also a little bit too much for me. I think the Oracle was mistuned trying to do something special for those who love the V-shaped presentation. The Monarch seems to do it right and has quality technicals that sound absolutely fantastic. I think they listened to feedback from the community and tried to make a better product with a pleasant mainstream tuning.

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Graph:

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Here is a graph that lets you compare a few things. It’s solid, with amazing technicals.

Sound - Final Impressions

Sonically I know more than the average person having listened to a lot of headphones and music in my days, but not nearly as many as others have. I find this iem my favorite for many reasons. It’s excellent and the music sounds and feels right to me. The only complaint that I have is it is a bit exciting as far as iems go. It’s exciting but not overly so. It’s tactful in its exciting presentation in that it doesn’t seem to attack you in the way the Oracle MK II can.

Recommended EQ: I don’t really recommend EQ on this iem. It’s my favorite iem, and it sounds right out of the gate. Often times I will switch it out for a more relaxing listen.

Gifting/Who is it for: It’s hard to know who to gift this to but the packaging is really strong. I think the customization for many is as or more important than the sound. Like if I were to gift my wife an iem, I think the ability to pick whatever she wanted would be a great thing to do. It opens the door immensely, but if I were, to be honest, my gifting alpha iems would be Phoenix Call or Aful 8 as they are great iems much cheaper, and most people won’t know the difference in packaging. Theiaudio’s packaging is a tiny bit bland outside of the high-quality cable, case, iem, and reasonable tip selection. While not poor, it feels only adequate as the Oracle was packaged almost identically for much cheaper. Personally, I’d gift a cheaper iem for most people, unless the person I was buying for was me, then I’d definitely get this.

Pairing: I used a Quidelix 5k for mobile, my dongle dac iBasso DC04 for my laptop, and my JDS labs Element III MK2 Boosted for my Desktop PC. I also tried the iem briefly on the Apple dongle as well.

Summary
Whelp, I tried. This was a hard review for me to write on many levels as this iem is very special to me and it’s been hard to describe as I want to do this review justice. It took me a lot longer than I anticipated to do. I also have redone my preference list to account for the Monarck MK 3 and my own feelings on what would help me decide what to get. Each iem is getting not only a Crinacle style rating for tone and technicals, but a gaming/comfort rating, and an overall score. This iem is fantastic. It’s a 10 for gaming, S for tuning, S+ for technicals, and is overall a 100, a perfect score out of 100 for me. I can’t see many iems topping this for a few years, especially at this price point, and the custom faceplate… just so remarkable. I am super happy as this hits everything that I would want from an expensive iem and makes me feel lacking as to what else I might want or need.

Thanks for reading. Any feedback is welcome.

7 Likes

Great photos… what did you think of them compared to the Hype 2?

1 Like

Thank you for that!

I think the Hype 2 is the sweet spot - I didn’t have much time with either set, but it was enough to understand that they both have tremendous strengths. The Hype 2 excels in bass texture, I mean really some of if not the best mid-bass I’ve heard under $1000. IMO, even better than the Maestro Mini due to its pure quality, not quantity. The Monarch 3s had a slightly more boomier bass, with less texture to my ears, which is also nice in its own way but not to my preferences. But where the Mon 3 Excel is going to be in the upper mids and treble. It was buttery smooth with tons of detail, however, I personally would not pay $1000 for the Monarch 3s but that’s just because I love my pair of Mon 2s and they possess a special playback within the mid-range. The Monarch 3s are probably the best all-arounder for the $1000 price bracket, but the Hype 2s are probably more fun with that little bit of special sauce in the mid-bass, and the Monarch 2s are for the vocal lovers out there.

If you have a few hundred extra, get the Prestige LTD. I think that set toes the line between both of them almost perfectly.

3 Likes

If you’re blessed and it fits then that’s my :trophy: Z1R :+1:

1 Like

In fact, it’s not a fast track by my criteria, and it’s hard to test DD transients and speed with it! :wink:

1 Like

Copyright strike @GooberBM :joy:

3 Likes

I had the same thoughts - I think I may have preferred the Hype 2 mid-bass impact and general rumble. What I disliked was the poor treble extension and relatively dark upper-end tilt. If I was looking for something in the $300 range this would be the buy.

I was deciding between Hype 2 and Monarch 3 and had the privilege to try them both side-by-side for 4 days (courtesy of the G JayAudio) and decided to go with it for the same reasons you liked it - I didn’t already own another super high end set aside from Symphonium Meteors and thought the Mk3 could do the job there.

5 Likes

If the MK3 uses the same two DDs with an isobaric design as the HYPE2, the bass isn’t the fastest, but it’s not lazy, it’s just very tasty, thick and punchy with good texture and timbre, as well as a sub-bass rumble. :muscle:

4 Likes

My ears be blessed in that case because the Monarch fits me almost like a custom

2 Likes

I believe we have listened to the same exact two sets of hype 2 and Monarch 3 considering I was also blessed by @VIVIDICI_111 and given the opportunity to listen to those sets from him - that rules out QC lol

Yeah, you’re making the right call IMO. The Monarch 3 is undoubtedly a fantastic IEM, and you’ll be very happy with them for years ahead. Once you actually pass that $1000 threshold, there’s almost no going back but, the good thing about it is you almost feel like you’re not missing out on much from the rest of the market. Enjoy the new IEM, brother and congratulations :handshake:

3 Likes