Monoprice Semi Open Back Over Ear Wired Headphone Review

An old budget headphone returns with a ridiculous name

Alex Rowe


Photo taken by the author.

I had to double-check the name of this headphone three times before writing it up there in the title. Yes, this is really the name that Monoprice went with for this headphone. It’s printed on both the box and online store listings, and it’s one of the most hilarious and generic names I’ve ever seen for an audio product. It’s as much a description as a name — and it also totally ignores that this is actually a re-badged version of a headphone that made the rounds years ago then fell off the market.

Takstar is an OEM manufacturer with factories in China and Vietnam. If you’ve ever used a HyperX Cloud II gaming headset or one of its many variants, you were actually listening to a tweaked Takstar Pro 80 headphone. OEMs regularly work with outside firms to redesign and customize products and manufacture them through working business partnerships. But they also often sell their own product lines, usually in retail spaces in China and online.

The Takstar Pro 80 is named as such because it’s a clone of the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro’s 80 Ohm version, and it actually does a pretty good job of copying that classic studio pair performance-wise. Its sculpted signature also makes it a fun gaming headphone, hence HyperX’s long legacy in that space.

Takstar used to sell an open back version of the Pro 80 called the Takstar HI 2050. It was meant to copy the sonic signature of Beyerdynamic’s DT880. It seems like it was discontinued years ago, and although you can still hunt around and find old stock alongside a few glowing recommendations, you could also just buy this new stupidly-named headphone from Monoprice because it’s the same thing.

Photo taken by the author. Look at that springy cable mess!

For reasons unbeknownst to humanity, Monoprice is now selling the Takstar HI 2050 with their own logo on it and one of the worst names ever created for a headphone. It goes for less than $50 USD online (official site here), which is crazy cheap for a semi open back pair. Although this has some merits for its low price, I’d honestly recommend you step up to…