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These Monolith Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones Are A Bargain

These Monolith Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones Are A Bargain

Monoprice is a California-based consumer electronics brand on a mission to provide excellent audio products at sensible prices. I know some people turn their noses up at own-label consumer electronics, but my experience with Monoprice has been very positive in the past. The brand’s latest Monolith M1000ANC Bluetooth headphones with Active Noise Cancellation are no exception and offer excellent value for money.

I recently had the chance to try out the M1000ANC and they have most of the features you’d want from a pair of over-the-ear headphones. With the latest Bluetooth technology and advanced Active Noise Cancelation (ANC) functions, these headphones are ideal for long flights or commutes when you need to filter out unwanted background noise that might otherwise spoil your favorite music.

In addition to the ANC function, the Monolith M1000ANC also include Virtuo Spatial software from Dirac that creates a spatial audio sound at the touch of a button. The M1000ANC also include Qualcomm’s cVc Echo Cancelling and Noise Suppression features enabling you to make and receive phone calls with extra clarity.

The Monolith M1000ANC headphones employ Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation technology to filter out unwanted sound. The headphones have a combination of internal and external microphones to sample and filter out an extended range of low and middle-frequency sounds, such as airplane engines and road traffic. The M1000ANC are efficient at cutting out those unwanted noises and there are two levels of ANC available, with the strongest setting providing up to 35dB of noise reduction, enough to suppress most environmental noises and enable music to be heard more clearly.

Alongside the Hybrid ANC function, the MN1000ANC also include Dirac Virtuo Spatial, a sound processing that delivers an immersive listening experience by creating a spacious, natural soundscape beyond the physical confines of the headphones with accurate sound localization. It’s a little like listening to music through a pair of loudspeakers rather than headphones. The effect isn’t over-pronounced and it doesn’t create an artificial soundstage, but it definitely adds an oomph to the sound and can be easily switched on and off to suit the user’s tastes.

The drivers in the MN1000ANC are 40mm dynamic units with a fairly well-balanced tone. At this point, I should point out that these headphones only support the basic SBC Bluetooth audio codec; there’s no support for AAC or aptX codecs. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but I think I detected a slight muddiness in the midrange and although I think some of that was the ANC function.

An important factor with ANC headphones, which are often used on long flights, is the comfort level. No one wants to wear a pair of headphones for hours on end if they are uncomfortable. Fortunately, the MN1000ANC are superbly comfortable thanks to some buttery soft, memory foam, protein leather earpads with a clamping pressure that’s just right, even after several hours of wearing. These are headphones you could wear for a transatlantic flight without your ears feeling itchy, hot or sweaty. They also fold up nice and small and can be stuffed in a carry-on bag without taking up too much room.

A full charge of the MN1000ANCs’ rechargeable batteries will yield up to 60 hours of playback time with the ANC turned off. With the ANC engaged, you should be able to get about 40 hours of listening time, more than enough for even the longest of flights or maybe even a couple of weeks commuting and gym visits. And if you forget to charge the headphones before setting out for a run, a quick five-minute burst charge can provide up to two hours of playback time.

Touch controls are built into the right earcup and can accept swiping gestures for boosting or reducing volume levels, pausing music, skipping tracks, accepting or rejecting phone calls, as well as an Ambient Mode so the user can be aware of their surroundings or hold a conversation without removing the headphones simply by placing a hand over the earcup to decrease the volume of the music.

Verdict: These budget ANC Bluetooth headphones do a great job of cutting unwanted noise and they have a good sound. It’s a little disappointing that the MN1000ANC don’t support more audio codecs like AAC and aptX, but if you’re mainly using the headphones with ANC turned on, you won’t get audiophile sound as the ANC process does affect the audio quality to some extent. I liked the Dirac Virtuo Spatial sound feature and it’s useful to be able to switch it on and off with one button. The two levels of ANC are also handy as you don’t always want the full amount of noise cancelation, especially if you’re not flying. All in all, the Monolith MN1000ANC are a good value pair of ANC headphones with a great level of comfort and exceptionally good battery life.

Pricing & Availability: The Monolith MN1000ANC Bluetooth headphones are available from Monoprice and cost $129.99.

More info:

Tech Specs:

  • Driver size: 40mm
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Bluetooth: Version 5
  • Bluetooth chipset: BES2300Y
  • Audio codec: SBC
  • Noise reduction (ANC HI): 35dB
  • Noise reduction (ANC LOW): 20dB
  • Battery type: Lithium‑ion
  • Battery capacity: 720mAh
  • Charging connector: USB Type‑C
  • Playback time (ANC off): About 60 hours
  • Playback time (ANC on): About 40 hours
  • Burst charge: 5 minutes yields 2 hours playback time
  • Charging time: 2.5 hours
  • Weight : 9.3 oz / 263g

What do you think?

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