Monolith M1000ANC wireless headphones make spatial audio more affordable

Spatial audio is 3D audio tech that creates a more immersive listening experience, and now it’s more accessible than ever. That’s thanks to the Monolith M1000ANC from US electronics company Monoprice. They boast 3D audio tech, yet cost just $130 (about £99, AU$175).

The technology comes in many forms, whether it’s Dolby Atmos, Sony’s 360 Reality Audio or Apple’s spatial audio. The Monolith M1000ANC use tech from Swedish audio firm Dirac (who also partner with Klipsch, Arcam, Onkyo and Pioneer, among others). Called Dirac Virtuo, it promises to enhance the listening experience “by expanding the soundstage far beyond the physical limitations of the headphones, allowing listeners to hear their music in a more immersive, natural sounding way”.

It’s not the only selling point of these headphones. They come with a 60-hour battery life, which is double that of our favourite wireless headphones, the Sony WH-1000XM4. They charge via USB-C, and if you don’t want to use the Bluetooth 5 wireless connectivity, you can plug in to an audio source via the bundled 3.5mm headphone cable.

Active noise cancellation (ANC) also comes as standard, promising to nix up to 35dB of noise. And they have an ambient mode – place your hand over the ear cup and it kicks in, letting in outside noise so you can hear conversations and things like station announcements and oncoming traffic.

All of which makes the price look pretty tempting. Of course, it all comes down to how they sound, and until we’ve had them in for an audition, we can’t comment. But in terms of features, there’s a lot to like.

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