Ve monk plus earbud, venture electronics


The Venture Electronics Monk, also known as the VE Monk, achieved an almost cult status aý muốn audiophile circles all over the Internet. That happened because of their insane quality/price ratio: at only $5, they delivered impressive sầu performance. The VE Monk Plus improve sầu over their predecessor while keeping the same price, for an even better giảm giá.

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Disclaimer: I bought the VE Monk Plus from Massdrop and I paid for them out of my own pocket. Neither VE nor Massdrop are in any way affiliated with this site nor provided any hàng hóa. You can kiểm tra out Massdrop’s page for more info.

TL;DR: recap

Detailed, balanced, lively sound

Incredibly cheap…

…yet well-built, long-lasting và with good sound

Huge soundstage

…at $5?

Rating: 8.8/10

Packaging và accessories


Well, the VE Monk Plus achieved their status both because of their impressive performance & because of their packaging. It’s incredibly simple, being just a plastic bag, but it’s what is printed on it that afforded it its celebrity: it’s a print of the face of Lee, VE’s CEO & mastermind, in a typical Chinese meme (whose name I don’t know). Inside the bag you only find the earbuds.

A bag of accessories can be bought separately; it contains earhooks, silibé rings and various foams.

Design & Comfort


It’s been almost ten years since I last bought a pair of earbuds. I reHotline it was way bachồng in 2008 and I bought some cheap Creative earbuds – they sounded awfully, but they were all I could afford at that time. It’s a bit odd to listen khổng lồ (well-sounding) earbuds again in an age dominated by in-ear headphones, but it’s a nice feeling.

The VE Monk Plus are classic in their kiến thiết, but they also add a few interesting touches of their own – the transparent plastic is a great example in this regard. The internal components are therefore exposed – they kind of remind the old Macs from the ’90s – and this gives them a somewhat vintage look. This fact alone makes the Monk Plus easily recognizable.


The xanh colour is a Massdrop exclusive, so the “normal” earbuds are transparent black. While the housings and strain relief are made of transparent plastic, the part that gets in touch with the ear is matte black.

The cable is covered in black rubber and it is prone enough to kinks and tangling. There’s a slider which helps keep tangling under control, but it doesn’t bởi wonders.

Using the foams included in the ex paông xã is almost mandatory, as the hard plastic they are made of tends khổng lồ quickly cause fatigue on the ears. That is also true for the rubber rings và hooks, as they vì chưng not add enough softness. This may be a personal matter, but I read a wide amount of comments on the Internet upholding this impression.


Comfort has proven great once I had started using the foams: after two hours usage I can barely feel any fatigue or bít tất tay. Truth be told, I have sầu khổng lồ say my ears feel much better using the VE Monk Plus instead of in-ear headphones as the ear canal does not become irritated.

As the VE Monk Plus bởi not completely block the ear canals, isolation is poor. A parallel can be drawn with the open-bachồng cans, lượt thích most earbuds; this fact has both pros and cons, since you can’t exclude sounds coming from outside but you also get a wider and airier soundstage. Isolation works both ways, though, so in silent environments (e.g. public libraries) it is not recommended khổng lồ listen to lớn the Monk Plus, at least not at high volume levels, because of sound leaking outside.

There is a version which also has a remote with microphone on the cord.

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The VE Monk Plus I got were burned in for ~100 hours. Source files were mostly FLACs, although a few MP3s (320kbps) slipped in. The earphones were driven by the Topping D30 > Topping A30 staông chồng, but I also used my Lenovo Vibe Shot Android phone while on the go.

VE Monk Plus
Frequency responseđôi mươi – trăng tròn,000 Hz
Impedance64 Ω
Sensitivity116 dB

64 Ω impedance means they’re easily powered even by a phone và there is no absolute need for an amplifier – although they perform better when amplified.

Soundstage is impressively wide và spacious, thanks to lớn the open nature of the earbuds. There’s a sense of airiness not commonly found in closed-back in-ear headphones và which more closely reminds the open-baông xã headphondes. Of course the Monk Plus are not really comparable with the latter, but this should give you an idea.

Instrument separation is quite good, too, and it is easy khổng lồ tell all the different instruments apart.

Frequency response is definitely not flat, although the Monk Plus are natural và musical. Their sound is lively and full, bursting with energy. They’re very entertaining but they also keep good fidelity – they can rightfully be called “audiophile-grade”.

What bass would you expect out of $5 earbuds with an open nature? I expected a light bass, especially given how much isolation matters in in-ear headphones. The Monk Plus deliver rich, rounded bass with a svào presence & good depth, too. It’s not as deep as that of some closed in-ear headphones (i.e. the RHA T20i or the Meze 11 Neo), but it’s more than enough lớn give it a pleasant body toàn thân. It has a good texture and it is precise and fast enough, without any spill in the midrange. It’s also got an unexpected kiông xã that makes transients especially notable.

Talking about the midrange, I think it is a bit lacking in the lower mids, but it’s otherwise notable for its clarity và detail. Male voices may lachồng a bit of depth in my opinion, but this may well boil down khổng lồ taste. Mids take the center of the stage without being too much upfront. They sound just right as they can be clearly distinguished from the rest, but don’t stand out as much as to overshadow bass or treble.

I bet a lot of effort went inkhổng lồ making highs sound the way they do: they’re airy, clear, detailed, rich. Confirming once again the qualities of these earbuds, theere is no significant sibilance. Extension is not as large as in more trebly và also more expensive headphones (i.e. Xiaomày In-Ear Headphones Pro), but it is anyway remarkable và sufficient enough lớn give the sound that added airiness và openness.

What headphones shall I compare these against? Their price is so low it’s difficult khổng lồ find other headphones in the same league. Here is therefore a selection of headphones under $100:

UBSOUND Fighter: these headphones, manufactured by an Italian company, are notable for their price-performance ratio. They’re no match for the Monk Plus, though: the resolution, instrument separation, soundstage, clarity… Almost every aspect is inferior. It has to be noted that the Fighter launched at €70!

Final Thoughts

There is a writing on the Monk’s plastic bag: “the biggest bang you’ll ever hear for your buck”. I can back that claim without hesitation. The VE Monk Plus have sầu an insane value for the price – and make no mistake: the point is not that they’re cheap, but that they punch way beyond their weight.

What you may have read on the Web is true: these earbuds are cheap *and* also sound well. They’re the perfect entry-màn chơi audiophile gear, the igiảm giá earbud lớn carry with you without worrying too much about it and without compromising on sound unique.

If you have sầu $5 spare, please do yourself a favor and buy a pair. That will probably be the best $5 you will spover in at least a year’s time.

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You can buy your pair for $5 on Massdrop (when the drop is active) or on VE’s own trang web.