When a brand replaced a model with a new one, you usually expect the new model to be at least as good as the old one. VE disappointed us this time. The Monk Plus lacks clarity and brightness, compared to the classic Monk, and completely lost that special balance between the lows, mids and highs that the classic earphones had. Either the drivers are different, or the tuning is poor. Either way, the Monk Plus are great for the price, but I would no longer consider them the best bargain when it comes to quality budget earbuds.
I would urge you to consider the Headroom MS16 as the best resplacement for the classic Monk, for similarly affordable price.
Great earbuds for their price, with a loud sound.
Better packaging and accessories than the classic Monk.
Muddy and impactless bass responsee.
Unclear mids and highs.
Generic dull design and poor materials.
Might be uncomfortable to wear for many, given their bulky housings.
Package & Accessories
4 × Red
4 × Blue
Build & Materials
Plastic (matte), ø17mm, plastic faceplate
Plastic (matte), single-button
TPE, no strain reliefs
TPE, 117cm, separated, soft, straight
TPE, straight, long, soft strain relief
Comfort & Fit
I find most earbuds quite uncomfortable, and they tend to put pressure on my ears after a while. These earbuds' housings are very generic and used for many other earbuds, so there isn't anything special about the lack of ergonomics with these earbuds.
Lows / Bass
The first thing I noticed, as odd as it may seem, the bass actually sounds somewhat shallower and less impactful that what you would get with Monk. Kicks are colder and lack that vibrating bass to which I was accustomed.
Mids / Vocals
The mids are fatter and more honky compared to the classic Monk's mids, especially noticebale in male vocals. The overemphasis in the 400Hz-1kHz range, accompanied with a significant lack of definition in the upper-midrange and a more severe harmonic distortion than the classic Monk resulted in a rather unsatisfying sound. Snare drums sound more tinny and metallic and loud to the point of being fatiguing. The original sparkle is almost completely gone, the S sound is under-pronounced, and the overall sound lacks clarity. The issue seems to be even worse on low-powered devices.
Highs / Treble
One of the weak spots for these earphones are the highs, and that's easily noticable. The sparkle and crispness of the original Monk is gone. Most of the treble is recessed and they are darkish in tone. On weak-powered sources, they sound even worse.