Heads up: Our content is reader-supported. This page includes affiliate links. If you click and purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
When compared to more conventional dynamic driver headphones, planar magnetic headphones are praised by enthusiasts for their quick response, great precision, and minimal levels of distortion. However, compared to dynamic drivers, flat magnetic drivers are far less frequent and need more precise construction, which has traditionally resulted in rather expensive costs
The Monolith M1070C are large, which is the first thing you should be aware of. How large? The M1070C, meanwhile, would be a Wayback Triple Triple burger.
They are huge in size, with earcups that are three inches thick and 4.5 inches in diameter at their widest point. But what really blows the imagination is their weight. They weigh more than 2.5 times as much (22.6 ounces) as Sony’s WH-1000XM4 over-ear headphones (8.9 ounces), which are equipped with rechargeable, microphones, and a variety of circuitry for things like wireless connectivity and digital-to-analog conversion.
Due to its size, the M1070C’s hard-shell carrying case might easily be mistaken for a hatbox. These cans don’t fold at all;thus the box has to be large. There may be place for them in a bag, but there won’t be much room for anything else.
Despite their enormous heft, the M1070C are really incredibly pleasant to wear because to Monoprice’s excellent cushioning.
The substantial headband disperses the weight across a wide surface area, but because of its enormous radius, those with large skulls will benefit far more than those with small heads like mine.
A heavily cushioned faux-leather “lambskin” set that is placed by default and a somewhat deeper, padded velour set are the two types of ear cushions that Monoprice offers. Both are quite comfy, however the faux-leather pair seals better on your skull. Additionally, they provide your ears more space and are less impacted by wearing glasses.
Big cans make a big noise
Now let’s get to work. How loud are these enormous cans? Planar magnetic headphones are something I have very little experience with, so I can’t compare them to other planar types, but I can say this: A closed-back pair of headphones has never sounded as spacious and airy to me as the M1070C.
In addition to providing the same impression of spaciousness as open-back models like the Sennheiser HD 560S, they also have the advantage of being able to block out external noise. The resulting soundstage is almost as deep as it is wide. On the timeless Phil Collins song In The Air Tonight, the eerie opening notes give the impression that they are being projected from afar, perfectly illustrating Collins’ warning that he can hear it coming, etc.
Our Call On It
However, that increased oomph comes at a significant price. Planar magnetic headphones often produce audio performance that may exceed conventional dynamic driver models. Although the Monolith M1070C from Monoprice significantly lowers the cost of entry into planar magnetic, they fall short of the improved sound they promised.
If you’re set on closed-back planar magnetic, the $200 Monoprice Monolith M565C has received great marks from WireCutter and is substantially less costly. Their sound, according to its critics, “beating out pairs that cost hundreds more,” was lively and detailed. That seems precisely like what I would anticipate from both Monoprice and Planar Magnetic. Even their weight, at 13.7 ounces, is quite appropriate.
The Sennheiser HD 560S provide excellent sound, low weight (8.4 ounces), and luxurious comfort if you’re comfortable with an open-back design and want a high-end pair of over-ear headphones for critical listening. You won’t care that they aren’t powered by planar magnetic technology once you hear them, however.
- airy, open sound signature
- very sturdy
- deep and spacious soundstage
- incredible weight
- avoids folding
- Absent clarity
- For tiny heads, not so good
Should you pick them?
They are really heavy even though they are plushly cushioned and comfy to wear, which limits how long you can wear them before becoming fatigued. Even while they offer an airy, open attitude, the $400 headphones’ lack of clarity is inexcusable, particularly because there are so many excellent options.