Here at KN, we’re all about exploring the tech and gear that’s out there. Sometimes that can mean some higher-end stuff, but we also like to explore what’s available on the more budget-friendly side of the spectrum. Monoprice is a great spot to find those sorts of things, and we’ve previously reviewed a pair of their earbuds (you can read that here). While earbuds are great for on-the-go, we feel that a good pair of on- or over-ear headphones are perfect for work-from-home use. So, that’s where the Monoprice Dual-Driver ANC Headphones come in.
What they are
Well, the Monoprice Dual-Driver ANC Headphones are a solid pair of over-ear headphones that can fit onto even the largest of noggins (read: mine) comfortably. While the earcups are larger in order to fit over your ears, you’ve got hinges that allow the headset to collapse down so it can fit into the included clamshell hard case to carry along on your commute or travels.
What controls do they have?
While some headphones can almost be a bit overwhelming with the amount of things you can do with them, the Monoprice Dual-Driver ANC Headphones keeps things simple. You’ve got all of the controls on the right earcup. On the back side, you’ve got a pair of buttons. The power one is lower, and powers the headphones on (or shuts them off), as well as cycles you though the ANC settings (more on that in a moment). Above that, you’ve got a button that allows you to play/pause your music, interact with the phone calls, and so on (more details here). Past that, you’ve got a USB-C port that charges the headset. No wired connection, no app for your phone to tune things, and so on. Simplicity is the name of the game, here.
About the ANC
As with most headsets, the Monoprice Dual-Driver ANC Headphones allows you to cycle through normal mode (no active noise cancellation), turning the ANC on (block out those droning background noises), and a transparency mode, which allows you to hear what’s going on around you without taking the headphones off. All of the settings work as advertised, and the ANC – along with the big earcups – cut out a lot of background noise.
What’s surprising with the ANC on these headphones is that the device does not remember what you had it on. With most modern headphones, we’re accustomed to turning them on, and having it start up in the mode you had it in last. Not so with the Monoprice Dual-Driver ANC Headphones – these always start up in “regular” mode. It’s not a deal breaker, as it’s one button press and you’re into ANC mode, but it is a minor annoyance that we hope a future version will address.
Surprisingly great things
For this, we’ve got two things we want to highlight. First is the fact that the Monoprice Dual-Driver ANC Headphones ship with a fairly sturdy clamshell case, which will protect your headphones in transit. This is something we don’t often seen on the inexpensive headphones, and saves you trying to find one that will fit the headphones.
Second is the battery life. Even with the ANC on, I was easily getting over a 8 days of regular usage between charges. The official spec is 70 hours, so what that means is you can easily get through the work week without needing to charge up the headphones. This is a solid benefit of the larger design, and makes us wonder why more brands haven’t hit this far north of the more-common 40- or 50-hour battery life.
Here, Monoprice tried to get things a bit more balanced, with both a 40mm and a 20mm driver in each earcup. This does allow a richer sound through than what you might expect, but it’s not something that’s going to replace or reproduce what you might have setup for a high fidelity listening session. Then again, that’s not what the Monoprice Dual-Driver ANC Headphones is aimed for. This is a solid all-day work headset, with reliable sound reproduction for your podcasts and music. Additionally, sound comes through great for video calls on both sides, making this a solid all-arounder.
How to get yours
If you want to get the minimally-branded Monoprice Dual-Driver ANC Headphones onto your ears, you’ll need to pull together $69.99. Yes, that does put it at a higher price point than our prior recommendations for an affordable ANC headset, but if battery life is what you prize, this it station you want to stop off at. You can get it from Amazon, or directly from Monoprice.
|Up to 70 Hours with ANC
|Up to 32 Feet (10 Meters)
|40mm and 20mm