I dither between giving these iems 3.5 and 4.5 stars. In short, the tuning is perfect for me: creamy and defined. The fit is great. But...the quality control seems shaky (literally). Within days of delivery there was a problem with the right iem separating too easily from the 2pin connector with the provided cable. It was unclear whether this was caused by the iem or the cable. I bought another, inexpensive cable from Amazon to check and indeed it seemed to be the cable. This was great news, as I love the sound of these buds. (Incidentally, I was on vacation for a month when I received the MKlll's and Bloom Audio was completely cool with the delay in a return if a return was necessary). THEN, I noticed the rattle. Again in the R iem. "Oh dear," says I. (See reddit comments about the rattle for Thieaudio's new HYPE2 iems). I have that faint rattle, but the sound seems unaffected, so I decided to keep the iems. Perhaps this is foolish, as I do worry a bit about the overall longevity of the MKlll. Why did I keep them? The sound. I tested them against 4 other iems, 2 more expensive and 2 less. They were the: UM Mest MKll($1500), 64 Audio U12t ($2000), FiiO FD7 ($600), and the Ikko OH10 ($179). They were "sandwich tested", that is listening to the same track 3 times using the test iems two times, sandwiching with a Monarch MKlll listen in the middle. The source was a FiiO M15S DAP, the source track was the first movement of Mozart's 21st concerto, Weiner Philharmoniker, Friedrich Gulda playing, Abbado conducting, Deutsche Grammophon, in Dolby Atmos. In short: the tuning, detail, and just plain listening pleasure of the Monarch MKlll's was superior to the OH10s (not surprising, but if you want a good sounding knockabout set of iems with good separation and lots of sub-bass, the OH10s are a very good buy). The MKlll's outshone the FiiO FD7s too. The FD7s are a good set of buds for the price, but somewhat harsh in comparison to the MKllls. AND, most importantly, the MKllls held their own against their pricier opponents. The U12Ts are superior in texture and definition, but not by that much. They're a great set of buds, unique. And I'd say it's a wash against the UM Mest MKll. When listening to the Monarch MKllls, I found that trying to maintain my critical listening stance was impossible after a couple of minutes - I just got lost in the music - for me, that's all I want. PS: I tried them against a $2k pair of Campfire iems which shall remain nameless - but those sounded a bit wild (sharp peaks, etc.) compared to the controlled, remarkably listenable tuning of the Monarch MKlll. I recommend them heartily, I also recommend buying them from Bloom if you're interested - but I'd ask them about the rattle issue and quality control of the Thieaudio products in general. They'll answer you honestly.
I was looking to upgrade from my Moondrop Arias when the Monarch MKIII was released. I wanted the best listening experience and the Monarchs didn't disappoint. Anything I play just sounded so satisfying, I don't think I'm gonna need another pair of IEMs again.
I wanted to give 5 stars, but I have an issue with the jack, it seems that the 3.5mm connector is a bit crooked. Although it doesn't really affect the sound, it is not something I expected at this price point.
Nevertheless, still a great purchase!
Hi Rafael. Thanks so much for leaving this review. Sorry to hear that the 3.5mm connector is a bit crooked. That's definitely something that Thieaudio can replace for you!
I have $4000 Headphones and have tried all the other ones going up to $7,000 including Susvara and Phi 1266TC, Stax 0009S. These IEMs are better then all of those. I will say they are quite large so if you have small ears going with the Oracle MKII.
The soundstage is massive. Treble is elevated. Bass is monstrous which i really adore. One of the best sounding audio devices i have ever tried and will be happy with for a very very long time.