Just a few weeks ago, we told you that the Monoprice True Wireless Earbuds were going to be released soon, and seemed to fit into that sweet spot of affordability and a decent feature set. We’ve been spending some time with a pair of them recently, and are ready to weigh on them.
Right out of the box, both the case and earbuds are going to look very familiar, as the design plays more than a little bit with the original AirPods (at least to my eyes). That means these have a much longer stem coming down from your ear than some other options (say, these or these), so you’ll need to think about what sort of fitment you prefer. Sync them to your phone (pretty straightforward process there, no app required), pop them in, and you’re ready to go.
Right out of the case, the Monoprice True Wireless Earbuds start in regular mode, which means you can hear background noise and the like. A long press on the left earbud first puts you into Transparency mode (so you can hear as if you didn’t have the earbuds in), and then another long press puts you into active noise cancellation (ANC). For being small earbuds, and just silicone ear tips (rather than foam) these do a surprisingly good job of blocking out the outside noise. If you’re outside, and there’s a little breeze, you will notice that you hear that a lot more than you’d expect, but that’s par for the course with ANC earbuds. In those cases, I just put the buds back into regular mode, and the breeze wasn’t as noticeable.
Speaking of the touch interface, the Monoprice True Wireless Earbuds has its own UI that you’ll need to learn as well. Single press the left one, and it’s volume up (do the same on the right, it’s volume down). Double press on the right will play/pause, and a triple will skip to the next track (triple on the left earbud will go back a track). If a call is coming in, you’ll need to use the button on the back of the charging case (with a double-press) to answer or hang up a call. Finally, if you want to kick in your voice assistant, it’s a long press on the right-hand one. Sounds confusing at first, but you’ll figure out what you use the most, and it’ll eventually settle in.
In terms of sound quality, I had some high hopes for the Monoprice True Wireless Earbuds. With the 13mm driver, I was looking forward to some better bass response. I will say it was decent, but it’s not the punchiest in the world. It’s there, you hear it, but the earbuds do tend towards the brighter high frequency notes. Then again, that’s the same for many, many earbuds. Still, for music while you exercise, it definitely gets the job done, as you’re just trying to feel the beat. Oh, and if you’re more of a podcast person, these do a really solid job reproducing the spoken word.
While I took the Monoprice True Wireless Earbuds out on my jogs, I didn’t have any issues with them staying in my ears, or having a comfortable fit. The IPX5 splashproof rating kept the sweat out, so all was good there. I will note that these earbuds do not detect when you remove them from your ear, so you’ll need to stop the music yourself. Also, I’d occasionally get a fuzzing out where one earbud or another would stop producing audio, but that’s not the first time I’ve had that happen with bluetooth earbuds.
All in all, the Monoprice True Wireless Earbuds are a solid offering at the price. While they don’t have all the features of higher-end units, the controls are easy enough to work with, and the ANC is really quite good. While our earlier article stated that these earbuds were not available, we’re glad to tell you that they are now ready for you to order. To get your own pair, just bring $59.99 directly from monoprice.com
Tech Specs from Monoprice
- P/N: 43452
- Bluetooth Version: 5.2
- Housing Material: Polycarbonate
- Driver Size: ø13mm
- Earphones Battery Capacity: 2x 40mAh
- Charging Case Battery Capacity: 400mAh
- Playback Time: Up to 7 Hours
- Talk Time: Up to 5 Hours
- Charging Case Charging Capacity: Up to 4 full earphones charges
- ANC Range: Up to 27dB
- Earphones Dimensions (each) (LxWxH): 1.5″ x 0.9″ x 1.0″ (39 x 23 x 25 mm)
- Charging Case Dimensions (LxWxH): 1.1″ x 2.3″ x 2.0″ (29 x 58 x 52 mm)