The OneOdio Monitor 80 are open-back headphones. They’re equipped with 40mm polymer composite diaphragm drivers and come with OneOdio’s excellent Shareport technology and adapter-free design. The price is $99.
Disclaimer: This sample was provided by OneOdio for an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.
OneOdio Monitor 80 Review
Whether you're working in a studio or enjoying music on the sofa, the OneOdio Monitor 80 delivers an accurate but pleasant experience.
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Accurate, warm tone
Instrument separation and imaging
Natural note weight
Silky, lifelike vocals
Lightweight and comfortable
Flat tuning may lack excitement for some listeners
The Monitor 80’s come in a nice compact box wrapped in a cardboard sleeve. Opening the box we’re greeted with an excellent EVA carrying case. The case is semi-rigid and feels robust but it’s very lightweight. That was an unexpected bonus.
In addition, the Monitor 80 comes with 2 cables: a 3m 3.5mm to 3.5mm straight cable and a coiled 1-3.5m 3.5mm to 6.35mm cable. I love using these coiled cables at my desk as they’re compact but can expand up to 3m in length, allowing me to reach almost any part of my room without removing the headphones.
Like other headphones from OneOdio, the Monitor 80 are foldable, so they’re nice and compact for easy transportation. The Monitor 80 are made primarily from lightweight plastic except for the metal grill on the open-back earpieces.
They feel a little bit cheap when you first pick them up because they’re so lightweight. But on closer inspection, the build quality is genuinely good. I’ve been using mine daily for several weeks already and they’re holding up extremely well. The hinges and swivels are firm but smooth and when you’re using the headphones there are minimal creaking or rattling noises.
With generous foam padding on the headband and large plush velour earpads, these are really comfortable. Combined with a light clamping force, these make the Monitor 80 headphones really cozy to wear even for long listening sessions. What’s more, the open-back nature of the headphones lets your ears breathe.
One of my favourite features of the OneOdio headphones is the adapter-free design. The left earpiece has a 3.5mm connector while the right side has a 6.35mm connector. Essentially, what this means is you can use either termination to connect to the headphones or your audio source.
Another great feature is Shareport technology. You can simply plug another pair of headphones into the free port on the Monitor 80 making it easy to share music with your friends and family.
First of all, the Monitor 80 have a 250Ω impedance. That means they are somewhat power demanding and are intended to be used with an amplifier. So if you try to listen to these straight out of your phone you won’t be hearing the best they have to offer. But something like the TOPPING NX7 or Yulong Aurora will really make these sing.
Because they’re designed as studio monitors, the OneOdio Monitor 80 headphones have a flat sound signature. For some, that may sound a little less flattering than the more coloured tuning styles you’re used to.
Personally, I think it’s brilliant. It means that these are ideal for things such as sound editing or mixing as they don’t have the usual upper midrange or bass lift that most headphones come with. As a result, these give you a more accurate representation of the recording.
It’s common for people to expect flat or neutral headphones to be boring or analytical. That’s far from the case here. The Monitor 80s have a warm sound signature and one that is extremely easygoing on the ears. However, what makes them remarkable is the level of transparency and detail they have despite their warm presentation.
Bass notes are full-bodied and loaded with texture. There are no unwanted resonances bouncing around thanks to the open-back shells so the bass doesn’t sound congested or bloated.
Sub-bass notes have great extension but they’re not emphasized. As such, Monitor 80 won’t rattle your skull but you’ll be able to hear every note clearly and without distortion. The mid-bass is punchy and fast, meaty and yet tight. The best of both worlds.
The midrange is a pure joy to listen to. Vocals come to life, forward and lifelike in their presentation. There’s no shoutiness in the upper mids, thanks again to the flat tuning. At the same time, there’s more than enough vocal presence for both male and female vocals.
Listening to Anathema’s “Untouchable Part 2”, I was completely drawn in by the melancholy beginning to the uplifting chorus. Both Daniel Cavanaugh and Lee Douglas’ vocals are clear and have a natural note size. The piano and orchestral strings sound grand and expansive while the sound of the acoustic guitar’s strings is clear and detailed.
Monitor 80’s treble sounds somewhat laid-back and dampened. While it doesn’t make for the most exciting highs, it’s definitely a boon for avoiding listening fatigue, especially during long listening sessions. It’s a slightly warm treble that sits in line with the mids without calling attention to itself.
However, all of the treble details are there, even if they’re not presented in an upfront or bold fashion. As a result, the soundstage isn’t as wide as you might expect from an open set of headphones but what you get in return are a more natural tone and flow. And yet the stage still feels expansive and there were still many occasions when I was hearing sounds outside of my headspace.
The instrument separation is top-notch for a budget monitor and the Monitor 80 is adept at revealing various layers within the music. Monitor 80 has good imaging too and provides clear positioning of elements around the centre image.
Whether you’re an aspiring audio engineer, DJ, music producer or just an enthusiast, the OneOdio Monitor 80 offer great value. Not only are they lightweight and comfortable but they’re balanced monitors with a warm, accurate tone. They need an amplifier to sound their best but with enough power, these are fantastic for both content creation and entertainment. Recommended.