For the dedicated audiophile to whom sound reproduction is critical, a planar magnetic headphone set is as good as it gets. Planar technology works by using a double-sided magnet array which creates sound that is accurate with only minute distortion. The big problem is that this type of cans are astronomically expensive – until now.

The new Monolith M650 Planar Magnetic Headphones ($200) from Monoprice change that. They pack a 56mm driver with neodymium double pole magnets that allow a frequency response of 16 Hz to 40 kHz, 100 dB sensitivity into each earcup. There is less than 1 percent total harmonic distortion with an impedance of only 42 ohms. The M560 hits its best performance at around 20 mW of power and can be configured for either closed or open back depending on environment.

Monoprice assures users that the M560 provides all the clarity, detail and bass balance one can expect from other planar headphones that usually go for 2-3 thousand dollars a pop.