Premium headphones with customizable SoundID software
Monolith by Monoprice M-TWE True Wireless Earbuds with Sonarworks SoundID and EQ, Qualcomm aptX Audio, Qualcomm cVc 8.0 echo cancellation and noise cancellation, Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), Sweatproof
Type true wireless headphones
Fit is one of the biggest issues with true wireless headphones. I have a hard time keeping them in my ears, and it’s one of the many reasons I wear a beanie, besides being a signature look for myself. Wearing a beanie allows me to keep the headphones in place and enjoy music for hours.
The Monolith M-TWE headphones offered the same fit issue. Yet, I quickly forgot about that with the sheer number of features and premium sound that I had never experienced in previous true wireless headphones. Monolith, one of Monoprice’s sub-brands focused on high-end products, offers users a lot of features. With active noise cancellation and ambient background noise, the Monolith M-TWE headphones immerse the user in a superior hearing experience not found in many standard wireless headphones. Working with Sonarworks, the two companies will allow each individual to create a SoundID creating a personalized sound signature unique to that person.
Many other companies offer budget options with active noise cancellation or even ambient noise in the background to help with immersion. Yet they don’t offer a level of audio customization via a built-in equalizer, adding an extra level of personalization for the user. I’ve used Anker’s T21 model previously, a pair of EarFun wireless headphones from 2017, and recently Skullcandy Sesh Evo, and have always had similar issues with the fit, but haven’t had any never found one that sounded better than the other. The Skullcandy Sesh Evo was the closest I felt offered to more of the level of sound quality I was looking for, but, as with most true wireless headphones, battery life was less than stellar. There would be gaps where I would have to wait for the headphones to be charged to use them fully again.
The Monolith M-TWE not only offers great sound customization options, but also boasts a 10-hour battery life between charges. Adding to the experience is the Sonarworks SoundID sound customization app, available for iOS and Android devices.
The appearance of the Monolith M-TWE is sleek and sleek, with a sturdy case to hold and charge your headphones when not in use. Each earbud has a bit of a heavy weight, which was a sign of possible durability, but I wasn’t about to drop them from my ears onto my kitchen floor, never to be used again. Due to the material used, the glossy finish allows fingerprints to show through. Still, I’ve always cared less about when I won’t see the headphones unless I’m looking in the mirror or taking selfies.
I love the modern look of Monolith’s logo on the earbuds, which I have to admit adds a certain majesty to the true wireless earbuds. I also liked that the company offered a USB-C port for charging instead of the atypical and older MicroUSB ports found on many products still on the market.
There are sensors on the earbuds that stop music playback when you remove an earbud from one ear. It’s a great little detail so you don’t have to open the app and pause what you’re listening to at the time. Pressable buttons aren’t present on the Monolith M-TWE headphones, which is a nice feature, with a bit of an annoyance added to the experience. I found myself accidentally tapping the headphones, which forced me to turn the music on or off or the immersive modes – active noise cancellation or ambient mode. However, I still appreciate that there are no pressable buttons, which limits the possibility of damaging your headphones over time.
The only caveat I’ve mentioned about the design before is that it doesn’t always fit my ear, especially on the left side. Fit has always been a personal issue for me, which has led me to look for alternatives to allow me to use them without fear of them falling out of my ears, such as choosing to wear beanies as part of my style. Poor fit of the ear cups also caused me to wear headphones over the ear cups 90% of the time. But, it’s an expectation that I have, and I don’t think it speaks less well of the product. Other companies have used memory foam to properly fit the ears, but most people will find them uncomfortable after several hours. Monolith offers five different sizes for audiophiles, so most people will find one to suit them.
I also noticed that when it comes to comfort after many hours of use, they offer a little less comfort than what I experienced with my Skullcandy headphones. But, if you wear headphones for several hours at a time, I think that would be another exception to the rule because any foreign objects placed in the ear can cause some discomfort after several hours of use. I even expect this with headphones and will only use them for more than five hours before taking them off and maybe putting them back on the next day.
The Monolith M-TWE uses aptX, Bluetooth 5.0 and AAC technology, delivering fantastic sound and the deepest bass I’ve experienced in an earphone of its quality. Listening to NERO, Tech9ine or The Main Squeeze delivers exhilarating sound from the first use. The box says it delivers frequency responses of 20-20,000Hz, which I would have to believe because it was terrific. The album used to test the added app, Sonarworks SoundID, was incredibly immersive, which I’ll explain later in the review.
Using Sonarworks SoundID
Using SoundID was my favorite part of these high-end headphones from Monolith. When you connect your phone’s app to the Monolith M-TWE headphones, you can run a SoundID test to find your specific listening ID, which is a fantastic feature. Audiophiles will love having the ability to customize their listening experience, whether it’s an audiobook, an album, or streaming a movie. When the test is first activated, a process that takes just over six minutes, you are asked to respond to tones to see if you hear different sounds, specifically how fast you hear them. It also takes your age into account to help add to the experience. Once the test is complete, it lets you test listening to a song with and without the custom profile. I was amazed at the sound and the sought after bass levels and vocals I look for when listening to audio devices. I put the software and headphones to the test by listening to the official DOOM game soundtrack. The music bounces around in your head throughout the album and it’s a fantastic experience, especially if you like the type of hardcore music it offers. I was so immersed in the sound of the bass levels and vocals that I found myself bouncing my head, biting my lower lip, and smiling at times as good as it sounded with my custom profile. The software allows for further customization, mostly manual, and I didn’t care to tweak the sound any further than what was already optimized for my preferences.
The only issue with the added software was logging in every time. It was random, and it boils down to the software forgetting your device and the device you’re using with the headphones forgetting the device and reconnecting. It’s a little bulky, but I’m really happy with the output in general and would sometimes remember to turn it on.
I found that after a while, whether it was an issue of my own not charging the earbuds long enough, overloading the earbuds, or having too many resources drawn from the earbuds, I got found that ten hours of use was closer to four to six hours. Is it possible that I overloaded it? Absoutely. I sometimes charge my devices overnight for next day service, and this time frame can affect some devices with this issue. Also, phones will tend to drain power from connected devices, so my iPhone 12 Mini may drain connected devices faster than I would like.
Another random inconsistency was the microphone. I find no hearing problem if the microphone responds to my voice. All my recordings pass clearly for the clients I currently work with. For phone calls, it wasn’t ideal.
Monoprice’s Monolith M-TWE offers a huge range of features and will be a great buy for audiophiles looking for fantastic sound quality and custom settings to suit their needs. True wireless headphones will always have a problem with comfort and fit and will also be prone to user error in handling. However, let’s say you have the money (MSRP is $99.99, down from the original $129.99) and want a quality experience in a true wireless earbud that lasts incredibly long. and offers this high level of customization. In that case, the Monolith M-TWE headphones are well worth the asking price.
Monoprice’s Monolith M-TWE headphones are high-end headphones with plenty of customization options.
Design & Aesthetics9
- Wonderful sound quality, great customization, perfect noise cancellation
- The size of the earphone tips can fit most people; sometimes it wouldn’t connect without disconnecting and reconnecting to your phone.
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