Thieaudio Monarch MKII closeup over white background
Thieaudio Monarch MKII front and back with attached cable over white background
Thieaudio Monarch MKII front with attached cable over white background
Thieaudio Monarch MKII with attached coiled cable and eartips over white background
Thieaudio Monarch MKII included cable and assorted adapters over white background

Thieaudio Monarch MKII | Tribrid Universal IEMs

Regular price$899.00
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Condition

Thieaudio logo

Thieaudio Redefines its Tribrid IEM King with the Monarch MKII

  • Jammed pack with a single Dynamic driver, six Balanced Armatures, and two Electrostatics for explosive performance
  • Retuned and meticulously analyzed for improved balanced sound
  • New soft braided "paracord" stock cable with modular plug design
  • Includes 2.5mm, 3.5mm, and 4.4mm smart-switch plugs

Bloom's Take

Thieaudio Monarch MK2 brings a fantastic tuning with exquisite detail and strong dynamics highlighting an incredible listening experience. Monarch captures the highly resolving nature and micro-detail presentation of a flagship experience and delivers them with impressive value for your money. The Monarch MKII is easily a best-seller IEM at Bloom Audio and earned a seat at the table of Bloom Audio's "Best Bang for your Buck" IEMs of 2022.

Read our full review.


The King, Retuned and Refined

More than a year and a half after its initial release, the most popular and praised Thieaudio Signature Series IEM is making a comeback! The Monarch, a milestone for both Thieaudio and the global audio community, has been completely redefined with driver overhauls and enhanced tuning. The original hallmarked not only one of the first IEM’s to properly integrate EST driver technology, but also firmly established Thieaudio’s place in the world of Hi-Fi audio.

Listening to feedback from the audiophile community, Thieaudio has worked to refine what was already one of the most revered monitors of its class to present the ultimate form of the original: the Monarch MK II.

Thieaudio Monarch MKII closeup highlighting logo and shell

A New Engine for New Limits

The goal for the Monarch MKII: enhance its technical performance, introduce a more balanced tuning, and stay true to the original spirit of the Monarch. Thieaudio embraced the opportunity by updating the internal drivers and rearranging configurations to achieve an even more optimal performance.

Dynamic Driver
The 10mm dynamic driver has been upgraded to a brand new composite diaphragm driver increasing membrane tension and magnet strength to allow for extreme responsiveness. Focusing specifically on the sub-bass frequencies, this driver becomes a subwoofer, producing tighter, more impactful punches. Additionally, 2 dedicated subwoofer BA drivers were paired with the dynamic driver, bringing about a coherency between the lows and the remaining frequency spectrum.

BA Drivers
The heart of the Monarch was always its precise and neutral mids that made it a capable studio monitor. To emphasize this, the balanced armature drivers were reconfigured with 4 mid-frequency drivers. Doubling down on the BA drivers yields incredible advances in technical performance with reduced distortion and enhanced resolution, clarity, and articulation in the mids and highs.

EST Drivers
The latest electrostatic drivers are incorporated, and rearrangement of driver location has minimized unwanted tubing resonance while extending high frequency rolloff. The result is a more even and detailed treble allowing for a greater sense of sparkly, high-resolution atmosphere in your music. The Monarch MKII continues the Thieaudio legacy of being one of the few IEMs in the world to properly utilize EST technology.

Thieaudio Monarch MKII on included carry case with attached cable connected to iBasso DAP

Retuned for Balanced Perfection

Thieaudio listened to the audiophile community's feedback about potentially over-emphasized sub-bass by slightly decreasing the volume of the sub-bass while pushing the low-pass crossover from 150Hz to 200Hz. The clean, punchy subwoofer-like characteristics of the lows are maintained without muddying the mids but introduces a slightly warm texture to low-frequency instruments such as the bass guitar. The mids between 200Hz and 1kHz are kept at a ruler-flat neutral. The mid-treble transition between 1 and 2kHz has been pushed back to 3kHz reducing any nasal or harsh vocal textures while still emphasizing the crispness of instruments. Every aspect of the tuning process has been scrutinized and meticulously tested by ear and measurement equipment.

Thieaudio Monarch MKII frequency response chart

The Stock Cable of Monarch MKII

Thieaudio's cable has been improved by using a soft braided "paracord" material while maintaining the ultra-pure silver plated 26AWG OCC copper litz. However, adding an additional strand provides a beefier feel and richer sound. Also introduced is Thieaudio's proprietary "Smart Switch", a new modular plug design allowing the choice to pair the 2-pin IEM cable to a balanced 4.4mm or 2.5mm, or 3.5mm single-ended termination.

Thieaudio Monarch MKII stock cable with included modular plugs

Specifications

  • Drivers
    • (x1) 10mm composite diaphragm Dynamic driver
    • (x6) Sonion / Knowles Balanced Armature drivers
    • (x2) Sonion Electrostatic drivers
  • Driver Impedance: 36Ω
  • Driver Sensitivity: 108db
  • Stock Cable
    • Conductor: 26AWG OCC silver plated fabric-coated cable
    • Plug Type: Smart-switch (2.5mm, 3.5mm, 4.4mm)
    • Cable Length: 1.2m

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Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
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E
Edmond Gunny
Beyond my expectations

I'm 77 years old and do not hear well. I have been able to enjoy aspects of music with iems that have been long gone and I appreciate the detail retrievable from the Moondrop S-8. I hoped to obtain more bass and tried the Monarch Mk3 but realized this unit must be directed at the bass head market. Bloom Audio graciously allowed an exchange and I am pleased to recommend the Monarch Mk2. Some of the detail available from the S8 is not as apparent but the overall musical experience is enveloping. I find myself getting sucked into the Monarch Mk2 and I am afraid to think what might be possible from more expensive units. I will probably stick with the Monarch Mk2 the rest of this lifetime.

I
Ian
The Little King that Can!

Masterfully tuned tribrid hits way past its price point. Hard to top (even for Thieaudio, I like these more than my V16).

C
Corbin Grinstead
The Quintessential Harman Neutral IEM

It's almost hard to overstate just how good this IEM is. In a vast market of multi thousand dollar IEMs, very few actually strike the perfect tonal balance, whilst also maintaining superb technical performance across the board. The ThieAudio Monarch Mk2 is one of those chosen few. ThieAudio has truly struck gold.

Tonality:
The ingenious implementation of the drivers creates a clinical and precise execution of what Harman neutral is meant to sound like. Perfectly adhering to a Harman bass profile up to 200hz and maintaining a neutral presentation of the rest of the frequency range, creates a presentation that's impactful, and full of presence without intruding into the melodic mid-range frequencies, or being sharp or sibilant. You can feel confident in the tonal balance of almost anything you throw at this IEM.

Technicalities:
By now, if you're into this price range for IEMs, there is a certain level of expectations for technical performance. While not being easy to quantify, allow me to indulge myself and share my experience. This tribrid IEM attempts to make use of its drivers in a way that is, put simply, ingenious. A dynamic driver handling the sub bass delivers punchy and warm sub bass. Two of this IEM's six balanced armatures (per side) are dedicated to delivering tight and responsive bass and mid-bass. To someone used to dynamics, this bass can feel lean, but for those who enjoy tight and crisp detail in their bass frequencies, the experience this delivers is astounding, and unlike anything I've experienced. The rest of the armature drivers handle the mids, and the electrostatic tweeters (two diaphragms per side) deliver quite possibly the most natural sounding treble I have ever heard. Never once being harsh, peaky, or delivering an odd sense of timbre that is sometimes expected of the use of balanced armatures exclusively.

Value:
Having only just broken in to the thousand dollar price range, this IEM takes full swings at just about every single thing its price bracket. Most things in this price range (and above) are colored in some way towards user preference. The Monarch Mk2 is not colored in any way. For this type of tuning and technical excellence at this price point, it is, at the time of this review, unrivaled. It redefines, without question or hesitation, what the benchmark for Harman Neutral is.

Conclusions:
With all of the above in consideration, it would be almost impossible not to recommend this IEM. For those out there who prefer a V-shape tuning, or something colored with more or warmer midbass this might not live up to your expectations; it is a clinical execution for a clinical listener. Put simply, it is The Quintessential Harman Neutral IEM. To the rest of the industry trying this tuning, I say good luck. The bar has been set.

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