The Monoprice Hi-Fi Active Noise Cancelling are an overall decent pair of headphones. They look stylish and deliver solid bass and mid-range audio reproduction. Noise isolation is not the best but is sufficient for office-like environments, provided you can achieve a good seal with the small earcups.
- Great bass and mid-range audio reproduction.
- Simple, efficient button layout.
- Creaky headband.
- Small ear cups for an over-ear design.
The Monoprice Noise Cancelling have an average design that is somewhat comfortable. The headband is flexible and the ear cups swivel to provide a good fit on the listener's head. Unfortunately, the headband is creaky and the plastic joints are weak points. The ear cup size also may not fit around every ear, which can cause some discomfort over long listening sessions.
The Monoprice Noise Cancelling are a decent looking pair of headphones. They have a dark gray color scheme with black accents on the ear cups, headband and padding. The back of the oval ear cup has a glossy finish with subtle Monoprice branding. The top of the headband is rubberized, giving them a more premium look.
These headphones are moderately comfortable. The headband is relatively flexible and does not apply too much pressure to the head. The ear cups are lightweight, decently padded and swivel for an optimal fit. Unfortunately, the headband is not that well padded, and the small size of the ear cups may not fit around every listener's ears. This may cause discomfort after long listening sessions and is not ideal for an over-ear design.
Button layout and functionality is above average, with some minor flaws. There is only one easy-to-use noise cancelling switch on the ear cups. The other controls - call/music and volume buttons - are relegated to the in-line controls of the provided cable. However, the in-line controls are very flat and don't provide good tactile feedback.
These headphones are stable enough for regular casual use but will quickly fall off your head while running. The headband is not broad enough to prevent, the slightly heavy ear cups from swaying, during physical activity. They're not ideal for gym use but on the upside, the cable will detach if its hooked by something. Preventing the headphones from being yanked off your head.
The Monoprice NC are mid-sized over-ear headphones. They are moderately portable thanks to the ear cups that swivel and lay flat to take up less space. However, they do not fold up into a more compact format which makes them a little too bulky for some and too large for pockets, even larger jacket pockets.
Build quality for the Monoprice NC is just average. The rubberized headband has a metal frame which strengthens the overall build. However, the metal frame is thin, the headband creaks a lot under stress and the joints are made of plastic, which is susceptible to breaking. The plastic used for the earcups also feels a little cheap, which lessens their build quality.
The Hi-Fi Active Noise Cancelling have great bass and mid-range reproduction. The bass is punchy, melodious and not overhyped and the core harmonics of instruments are also well represented. Unfortunately, the dip in the higher tones causes vocals and lead instruments, like guitars, to sound weak and overshadowed, especially because the lower tones are slightly amplified.
Very good performance. The only remarkable issue here is the 4dB over-emphasis in high-bass, which adds a slight boominess to the sound.
Good performance. The overall midrange response is a little slanted, clearly showing the bass-heavy and treble-light sound of the headphones. The over-emphasis in low-mid is the continuation of the bump from high-bass, adding a bit of a boxy quality to the sound. The dip in high-mid negatively affects the presence and intensity of vocals/lead instruments.
Poor performance. Except for the high-treble, where there is a little bit of overemphasis, the rest of the treble range is noticeably underemphasized. This weakens and dulls out the vocals/leads/cymbals in relation to the bass, causing tonal imbalance.
- 100% Avg. Std. Deviation
Decent results. Both 90dB and 100dB performance are within decent margins. The bump in the right earcup could be the result of a loose part in the headphones, or simply a bad seal caused by the headphones' stiff and small (for an over-ear headphone) earpads.
The Monoprice Noise Cancelling deliver decent noise isolation. The active noise cancellation is strong enough to block ambient noise in moderately noisy environments and if you can achieve a good seal with the small ear cups, they won't leak too much sound. However, the noise cancellation is not efficient enough to provide an isolated experience in very loud environments, such as on a plane. A good seal is also difficult to achieve, especially for larger ears.
Average performance. The passive isolation starts around 400Hz and continues until reaching -38dB at 20KHz. The active mechanism, however, seems to only kick in at 90Hz (not doing much at lower frequnecies) and reaching -16dB at 250Hz.
Average performance. The leakage is both rather broadband (500Hz-4KHz) and relatively loud, which is probably related to the poor seal of the cups. With these headphones, if you listen to loud music in a quiet environemt, the leakage might be audible a few feet away.
No active features.
The Monoprice Noise Cancelling deliver up to 48 hours of continuous playtime at average volumes. They're good headphones to take on long flights or road trips as you won't have to change the AAA battery as often. However, they do not have any battery saving features like an auto-off timer, but on the upside, they can continue playing audio passively even when the battery is completely drained.
No compatible app.
In the box
- Monoprice Noise Cancelling headphones
- Carrying case
- AAA battery
- Audio cables (x2)
- Airline adapter
- 1/8" to 1/4" Adapter
- Internet calling adapter