I’ll get straight to the point: these $ 60 wireless headphones with ANC, multi-point connectivity, and aptX are unbelievable. At least on paper, Monoprice has just nailed wireless on-ear headphones for 2022 and we can all go home. Our job here is done – especially mine as an audio specialist.
The headphones in question are the Monoprice SYNC-ANC Bluetooth headphones with active noise reduction and aptX Low Latency. And just look at them!
Where have we seen that new hooked headband accent in some of the best on-ear headphones? Oh I know Sony WH-1000XM5 ($ 399 / £ 380 / AU $ 649), the new Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless (accidentally launched then retired at CAD 449.95 which is $ 350 / £ 290 / AU 500) or Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2 ($ 399 / £ 379 / about $ 575).
It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to conclude that all the models listed above are flagship (almost in the case of black and white) flagship over-ear designs. Here is Monoprice, a company founded in 2002 and based in Rancho Cucamonga, approximately 37 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, casually releasing a competitive kit for the sixth price!
In Holmes’ unique style, let’s look at the evidence: Monoprice’s SYNC-ANC features a Qualcomm QCC3005 Bluetooth 5.0 chipset with support for Qualcomm aptX and Qualcomm aptX Low Latency audio codecs (to clarify: aptX enables higher quality Bluetooth streaming; aptX Low Latency provides more synchronized, lag-free audio during video transmission), hybrid active noise cancellation and Qualcomm cVc microphones with echo cancellation and noise suppression for noise-free voice during phone calls. Meanwhile, multi-point pairing should allow you to pair two source devices for seamless switching between sources. At this level, it is simply outstanding.
And Monoprice doesn’t go backwards when it comes to connectivity and endurance claims. The promise is around 20 hours at 50% volume with ANC off and Bluetooth on (you can turn off Bluetooth and listen using the included 3.5mm unbalanced headphone jack, and it looks like USB-C and USB-A cables are also included. ) or approximately 10 hours at 50% volume with ANC on. Connect by wire and the battery life should be around 14 hours with ANC on.
Opinion: However, Monoprice has achieved an exceptional price, I am interested
As I can see, the only major omission you’ll have to deal with here is the Auracast audio sharing potential which we were told will require the newer Bluetooth 5.2. Plus, there’s nothing to complain about – and really, for $ 60, it would be rude to argue anyway.
At 269g, they’re actually 19g heavier than the Sony XM5, but the difference is negligible and the Monoprice cans look well padded on the headband and earcups.
Anyone who’s used it before knows that multi-point connectivity changes the rules of the game, allowing you to watch Netflix on your laptop through headphones and then answer phone calls, all without worrying about missing anything. And while the Sony WH-1000XM5 offers a slight improvement in endurance – 40 hours with noise canceling turned off – an improvement of two hours over the WH-1000XM4 – our testing could not quite achieve the advertised 30 hours with ANC turned on.
I don’t see the automatic disabling of user detection on the spec sheet, but I don’t miss it when it’s not there. What could be a game changer when i listen to them (which i sincerely hope to come soon) is the sound quality. Monoprice did not provide the type or size of the driver, but given that Sony did reduced From the 40mm drivers found in the XM4 to the 30mm drivers found in the XM5, it’s important to remember that bigger isn’t necessarily better.
Will be SYNC-ANC by Monoprice (opens in a new tab) reveal themselves as some of the best noise canceling headphones on the market and thus completely change the game – the same way the JLab Go Air Pop has done for the best true wireless earbuds? Time will tell.
Ultimately, when audio specialists with 20 years of experience can offer this level of finish and support for higher definition codecs, all for the price of a tasty dinner, it’s a great time to live.