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On the surface the Monoprice Sync-ANC seem too good to be true, and in practice they are. Despite good sound, wireless performance and battery life, the noise-cancelling prowess (or lack thereof) is a big disappointment.


  • Warm, engaging audio
  • Battery life longer than expected
  • Strong wireless performance
  • Affordable


  • Weak noise-cancelling
  • ANC affects sound quality
  • Better suited to smaller heads
  • No USB-C support for charging

Key Features

  • Hybrid Noise-CancellationBlocks unwanted sounds with ANC
  • Battery life20 hours of claimed battery
  • Bluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 5.0 connection with aptX Low Latency codec


Everyone is looking for a bargain but that doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on quality to find a good product.

Monoprice aren’t a big name on this side of the Atlantic, but its been quietly making a name for itself. This site has reviewed the company’s wireless speakers, headphones, and turntables; and while some have missed the mark, others have sailed above it.

The commonality between them is that they’re affordable but boast features you wouldn’t normally expect within their price range. For instance, the Monoprice Sync-ANC headphones feature hybrid noise-cancelling, aptX Bluetooth, and Bluetooth Multipoint pairing for $59.99 (or about £45).

Is it all too good to be true? Let’s see if the Monoprice Sync-ANC are the bargain you’re after.


  • Comfortable design
  • Physical controls
  • No carry case

Like the Creative Zen Hybrid over-ears, the Sync-ANC’s form is a little compact for bigger ears. The earpads end up sitting on top of my earlobes rather than enveloping them but the padding nonetheless gives them a cushy feel, complemented by an equally cushy headband.

Monoprice Sync-ANC headband
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

There’s flex in the headband, which is not a knock against its build quality but rather a note that it should be able accommodate different sized heads. There’s also an adjustable slider to ensure that this is possible.

The design is also collapsible for stowing the headphones away but there’s no case, hard or otherwise to slip the Sync-ANC into.

Visually I like the simplicity of the black and silver look. It’s striking, especially the headband’s linkages on the side, and though the earcups are primarily plastic, the construction feels better than the Zen Hybrid.

Monoprice Sync-ANC folded
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

There are no touch controls but there are physical buttons. There’s an on/off slider for both power and noise-cancellation, alongside volume and playback buttons on the right earcup, which are easy to differentiate between. The port is USB-A, not USB-C, which means there’s no fast charging on this model. A 3.5mm jack is available for wired listening.


  • Better than expected battery life
  • Hybrid Active Noise-Cancellation
  • aptX Bluetooth support

As the model name implies, the Monoprice Sync-ANC serves up some hybrid noise-cancellation action. However, before you press the buy button, know that the ANC struggles in several ways.

For one, it doesn’t block much noise, not helped by the shape and size of the earcups, which as I mentioned above, sit on my ears rather than envelop them. There’s a slight reduction in external noise when ANC is enabled but it’s not strong enough for me.

Monoprice Sync-ANC noise-cancelling button
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

I found when used outside, traffic is still noticeable rather than reduced. It also has the issue where its focus on suppressing low frequencies leaves the midrange relatively untouched, so people’s voices come through clearer with ANC on than off.

On the London tube there’s always noise coming through, and at the loudest points on the journey it’s hard to hear music. I can also hear crackles and distortion through the headphones’ microphones during the loudest parts of a journey on the Victoria line.

When used on a train, the processed ‘whine’ makes carriage sounds appear more noticeable than when ANC’s switched off. That in a nutshell is the main problem with the Sync-ANC. Rather than reducing sounds it has the impact of making me more aware of them. The Creative Zen Hybrid are better in this regard.

Monoprice Sync-ANC earcup detail
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Bluetooth is version 5.0 and there’s support for SBC, AAC, aptX and aptX Low Latency, which should offer lag-free audio and video, as well as help with mobile gaming. I can’t remember any instance where the connection faltered, and for a headphone at this price, that’s very good. There’s also Bluetooth multipoint to connect to two devices at once.

The headphones make use of Qualcomm’s cVc Echo Cancelling and Noise Suppression technology. Clarity on calls is good and background noise is audible but not too intrusive. Consider them average for an over-ear but good value for money.

Battery is rated at 20-hours by Monoprice, and as there is no USB-C port, fast charging isn’t possible. Having performed a battery drain test with a Spotify playlist and the headphones set around 50% volume, the Sync-ANC seems to last longer than Monoprice indicates. Five hours of streaming and they were still at 100%.

Sound Quality

  • Warm sound with emphasis on bass
  • Decent balance across frequency range
  • Noise-cancelling diminishes audio quality

The first thing to note about the Monoprice is that tonally, it sits towards the warm end of the spectrum with an emphasis on low frequencies. Give it a track like Imagine Dragons’ Enemy feat. J.I.D, and it’s more powerful and assertive than the similarly priced Creative Zen Hybrid. If you like your bass fed with warmth and energy, I reckon you’ll enjoy the Sync-ANC’s performance in this regard.

The second aspect is the effect noise-cancellation has on the audio quality. The Monoprice’s soundstage is not the widest – a little more condensed than normal – and turning the ANC on widens the soundstage, which is a positive, but there are negatives too.

In the midrange a singer’s voice goes from being upfront in the soundstage to retreating backwards, as if the Monoprice’s ANC tuning recesses the mids. Bass is also flattened when I listened to a number of tracks such as Justin Timberlake’s opener to his FutureSex / LoveSound album.

Monoprice Sync-ANC lain flat
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Clarity is reduced across the frequency range and this leads to a shortfall of detail and definition, as if switching the noise-cancelling shrouds music in a fog.

There’s also an unwanted, audible sense of processing with ANC engaged, which serves to add more noise to the signal. All these characteristics of the noise-cancellation affect some tracks and genres more than others, but at its worst it makes music drab and unfocused.

High frequency notes aren’t especially bright, but I wouldn’t describe them as blunt either as they’re fed decent levels of sharpness, clarity and detail.

Without noise-cancellation on, the Monoprice Sync-ANC are an engaging listen. There’s an admirable balance and cohesion to the headphones’ audio, it’s a shame the noise-cancelling upsets that balance.

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Should you buy it?

If you’re after a simple, affordable pair of headphones

The battery life is much longer than I anticipated, the wireless performance is good, as is the sound quality. It’s a shame that the ANC performance drags these headphones down.

If you want a pair of headphones that can do proper noise-cancelling

The effect the ANC has on the audio is too negative to give the Sync-ANC a recommendation, and even with ANC on, it doesn’t suppress many sounds anyway.

Final Thoughts

The Sync-ANC feel like headphones that have tried to do more than they’re capable of at this price. A pair of headphones without ANC would have worked fine enough, but by integrating noise-cancellation Monoprice has exposed the headphones’ overall performance a bit like that exhaust hole did for the Death Star in Star Wars.

It’s a shame as these headphones can be good. Battery life, wireless performance, call quality and sound quality are all solid enough.

Nevertheless, there are better options whether it’s Creative’s Zen Hybrid or Sony’s WH-CH720N, as well as a few contenders from Monoprice itself. Don’t be compelled by the price – the Sync-ANC falls short of a recommendation.

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We test every set of headphones we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.

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Tested across several months

Tested with real world use


What forms of Bluetooth does the Monoprice Sync-ANC support?

The Sync-ANC headphones feature support for SB, AAC, and aptX Low Latency Bluetooth streaming.

Full specs

IP rating
Battery Hours
Release Date
Model Number
Audio Resolution
Noise Cancellation?
Frequency Range
Headphone Type

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