The king is back and is new and improved! Introducing the ThieAudio Monarch MKII. Using feedback from the audiophile community, this in-ear monitor takes what it does best and improves on it to give you an IEM that’s fit for royalty!
The King is Back!
The ThieAudio Monarch is back and it’s better than it ever was. The Monarch MKII’s tuning has been redefined with driver overhauls. To design this IEM, experts from the R&D team took the reviews and comments from the audiophile community to improve on one of the most revered monitors of its class. The Monarch MKII includes a more balanced sound signature with all the drivers being updated & rearranged for a power-packed performance.
Let the Bass Drop
The original Monarch had a super defined and emphasized sub-bass. While some enjoyed the clean separation between the sub-bass and the low-mid frequencies, others were concerned about its quantity. To improve the resolution, ThieAudio added a 10mm composite diaphragm to the dynamic driver. This created a high membrane tension and magnet strength for extreme responsiveness.
Sub-Bass that Creates an Impact
When engineered to reproduce only sub-bass frequencies, the dynamic driver becomes a subwoofer, producing even tighter and more impactful kick drums and basslines. This ensures a clean and punchy subwoofer-like sound that doesn’t muddy the mids but adds a slightly warm texture to low-frequency instruments like the bass guitar. In addition, this IEM also features two dedicated subwoofer balanced armature drivers. The low-pass crossover was pushed from 150Hz to 200Hz for better coherency between the lows and the rest of the frequency spectrum.
Natural & Well-Balanced Mids
The heart of the Monarch i.e. the precise and neutral mids has been retained, making it perfect for studio monitoring. To reinforce this, the mid-frequency drivers were doubled to four balanced armatures for low distortion and high clarity and resolution. This keeps the frequencies between 200Hz and 1kHz ruler flat while the mid-treble transition between 1 and 2kHz has been pushed back to 3kHz for lower nasal and harsh vocal textures, while still emphasizing the bite and crispness of instruments.
EST Drivers, Now Even Better!
The Monarch is one of the few IEMs to incorporate EST drivers successfully. The new version rearranges the new drivers to minimise unwanted tubing resonance and extends the treble roll-off. This gives you even and detailed high-frequencies with improved sparkly, airy, and high-resolution atmosphere in your music. Each aspect of this IEM has been meticulously tested by ear and measurement equipment to bring ThieAudio’s vision to life.
What do you get when you bring together the best & most innovative engineers in the industry? That’s what ThieAudio set out to find out as a creative platform by Linsoul Audio. Each person in the team is carefully selected to inspire revolutionary IEMs for audiophiles, professional musicians and audio enthusiasts alike.
About the Signature Series
After the runaway success of the Phantom, Voyager and Legacy series, ThieAudio decided to once more raise the bar with the Signature Series. This series features the latest driver technology from the Danish manufacturer, Sonion — the Electrostatic (EST) tweeter. This driver utilises an ultralight membrane in a small tweeter chamber that’s powered by an independent transformer that extends the treble range up to 80kHz.
This IEM will stay with me for a very long time. Superb for daily listening and also an excellent refrence point for premium IEM's.
I have been using these daily (5+ hours) for more than a week now. It took me a few days to truly realize what a marvel these Monarch MKIIs are! Read on.
My setup includes using these on my laptop via my iFi Audio - ZEN DAC V2 and iFi Audio - ZEN CAN Signature HFM (Amp) via the 4.4 balanced output as well as on the Quedlix 5k DAC-Amp via the 2.5 balanced output. Source: Apple Music, Youtube Music (Premium).
You can run through these excellent test tracks to examine various aspects of your headphones/IEMs and trust me, you will see your equipment’s capabilities in a new (and hopefully good) light after that. https://www.whathifi.com/features/10-best-tracks-to-test-your-headphones OR https://hifigo.com/blogs/guide/7-best-tracks-to-test-your-headphones-and-in-ear-monitors-i. Btw, I think the Monarch MKIIs slayed all these tracks and it was difficult for me to fault it anywhere. You can of course find faults if you search hard enough but then as a consumer, you listen to music for enjoyment and not to look so hard for faults (with a microscope).
An important observation- for me, the Monarch MKII’s sound quality improved a lot after 2-4 days of usage (daily 5+ hours). Everything became more pronounced, tighter, clearer, separated, and airier. The in-ear fit also improved for me as the days passed. I am using the ‘S’ foam tips. I also note that if you’re using these IEMs over Bluetooth, LDAC is your best bet for exploiting the full potential. The iPhone's AAC is just not good enough over Bluetooth.
Physical aspects: As my first flagship IEM, I initially found the size to be a little bigger than usual. I was not used to this category and type of IEMs before. However, after use, I see that it sits fine in my medium-sized ears offering long (3+) hours of listening sessions with comfort. The passive sound isolation is also very good with low (20-25%) volume music being enough to mask any sounds that still trickle in, including human voices. The build quality is superb, and the cable is something you must see and touch to understand! Basically, one can carry around and use this with confidence. No flimsy or delicate parts, wires, jacks, or joints on this one. The case is also spacious, well-built, and on the larger side. Do note that the IEMs themselves are very delicate and handle them with care when picking them off or placing them on tables and other hard surfaces.
Sound Quality: The sound quality is very impressive! Many times, it's as if it has almost entered open-back headphone territory (I own the Hifiman Ananda too). All this coming in such a small, pocket-friendly, and portable package is mind-blowing! You cannot carry a full-sized open-back headphone during travel. But carrying this IEM is surely an option and it helps to get sound quality so much closer to open backs.
The sound is not overly analytical/critical or flat. It has the right tuning to give a fun but natural sound. It’s the kind I can listen to for hours. The bass is hefty and good, but never overpowering. Mids. are well-presented and very visible when they must be (vocally intense songs). Treble and clarity too are very nicely presented, but never harsh or sibilant. Layering and separation are also very good - complex tracks with busy passages having excessive multiple instruments playing simultaneously are delivered well. The soundstage is average though – it is more of a ‘most sounds coming from the left & right at shoulder width’ case. In some tracks, you will feel the base at the jaw while the treble is a little higher. But it’s never the kind of soundstage that will make you look at the door when you hear a knock in the music/movie. The sounds keep around (mostly left-right) and close to your head.
Additional observations- the Monarch pairs exceptionally well with the Quedelix 5k DAC-Amp. The sound is at another level! This works so good for a portable setup in the house as well as while traveling.
One more thing- make sure you talk to Pritam from TAS once before you finalize your purchase. Explain your music preferences, likes, and dislikes to him. He is knowledgeable and hence guides the purchases very well.
This is really good IEM. Very sturdy IEM. Little more bass for my taste. Clean mids. God spacious sound stage. However I find Fiio FD7 much more dynamic, with right amount of bass, more cleaner, holographic imaging and good soundstage. This could be just personal choice.
From Blon 03 in Feb' 2021 to Monarch mk 2 in Feb' 2022, my journey of iems has been full of thrill, excitement and surprises. Coming from series of iems like Blon 3, ZSX, Starfield, Fiio FD5, Fiio FH5, Fiio FD3, Summer, Legacy 5, Oh10, TFZ live 3, Kato, Blessing 2, Timeless, Hana and Audio Lokahi, I was truly mesmerized and intoxicated by what Monarch mk 2 brought to my table and highly highly appreciate this for the sound and music reproduction, which I could never experience before.
I shall definitely be updating my experience after a week or two of thorough listening, as of now I can say that it really wows me with its ability to produce full body engaging sound with stunning imaging, absorbing vocals and hypnotic instrument clarity and separation. Despite being so complicated hardware inside, i find sound to be extremely natural and soothing to ears without being sibilant or unnatural tlmbre.
Thank you so much Pritam Halpawat ji for your grand suggestion.
Fabulous IEM and might be the last one I need to buy. I own the Shure SE846, UE Live and UE 18+ Pro. The Monarch MKII outshines them all. It makes the Shures sound like something from the last century. The tuning on this IEM is fabulous and there is a nice sub bass emphasis. Spacial imaging, instrument separation are all top class. I highly recommend this IEM if you are shopping for an end game IEM. Lives up to the hype.
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When i am use this dac in my iem, sound quality much better and improve. Nice product.
Fitting is OK. But earpads could be much softer. Other than that go for it.
This converter is excellent, recommended. I have tried this with even a locally made earphones and also branded. It really made lot of difference in quality. Price tag is also reasonable, worth buying recommended.
I have piston fit. Later I bought edx pro(just a curious bug in head to try iem), then I wanted to buy 1more single driver. But unfortunately it's not available on sites these days. Then I stumbled upon demo section. I saw these earphones. I bought them. They came in excellent condition. Sound is really a big upgrade over piston fit. Music listening is more fun. Guitars felt a little low. I listened to the long after you've gone. Guitar strums were not that joy giving (compared to edx pro). Mahaganapatim by the priyarang project . Initial sounds I don't know what they are called;felt so good. I could feel the sounds coming from different positions. Thank you.
Those who are looking for 2.5mm male to 3.5mm female convertion adapter please don't go for this. This adapter may be only used with the particular sennhizer Headphone only.
Good quality convertion cable from 2.5mm male to 3.5mm female, served the purpose very well.
They are very good performing in all genres of music although not bass heavy. Although would like to see how they test against time with build quality and all.
Excellent Cable worth for price
Nice and sturdy case ideal for storing IEMS/earbuds & cables on the go.
This is my first IEM purchase. To be honest the sound quality is way more than I expected. For beginners like it's ideal choice to test & experince.Hearing good quality music for past three months. Looking forward to develop and upgrade my audiophile experience. Eyeing on the next one. Will snatch the right one soon
Value for money, great iem for this price, as others have said in their reviews, these are good and leaves nothing much to be said.
first time ordering from the audio store, the packaging was nice, they included additional 2 pairs of black silicone eartips, which i appreciate very much!
I asked for replacement once I recieve the replacement product i will review again
Bass is very leaky , wanted a balanced tight bass like that of cx180 but not even close to that.
Fitting could have been better.
Can get equivalent tws /neckband for under 3000.
Very good product
TL;DR: EarAudio adapter is great, if you need balanced, go for it, its worth a shot.
Wanted to use my sennheiser HD660S with the balanced port of fiio btr5. I do use senns with ifi hip dac as my main driver, so just wanted to try the fiio balanced option. So, needed a converter which could convert 4.5mm male end of senns cable to 2.5mm male end (fiio has 2.5mm female input end for balanced connection).
Senns do come with 3.5mm regular cable so I had already used the fiio btr5 with senns (on 3.5mm) and was quite impressed with the output, but was still curious about balanced connection, so got the earaudio converter to give balanced a try and it was worth it.
The connector / converter (EarAudio 2.5mm male to 4.4mm female Adapter Cable) is of great quality, I don't think there's any loss in quality at all, at least while using with stock senns cable (which are already quite good). Serves the purpose well, build is great as well.
So, for someone who'd want a couple words about balanced connection, it's a hobby guys. For me, balanced (on fiio) sounded way better than single ended because fiio btr5 provides more power output in its balanced output than its single ended connection and secondly, btr5 balanced output is just way better in every way than its 3.5mm counterpart.
I used the adapter with senns hd660s, fiio fh3 (4.4mm balanced cable). For iems, its not that exciting to go balanced route as iem (in general) don't need that much power but if you have a full size headphone lying around which could use balanced, its worth a shot to try balanced (with something like btr5).
Caution: ifi hip dac also has balanced, but its balanced is useless for iem as it hisses a lot with iem, so before going balanced, make sure to read some reviews.
As for my iem, FH3 (with btr5), I'm using them with a balanced 4.4m cable which just changed the way it sounded originally. Fh3 with 4.4mm connection is a different beast, punches above its weight and in this particular case, the balanced connection was super worth it.
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