TouchMyApps » MEELectronics http://www.touchmyapps.com All Things iPhone and iPad for those who like to Touch. iOS App reviews, News, New Apps, Price Drops and App Gone Free Fri, 12 Sep 2014 16:31:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.4 MEElectronics A151 inner earphone in Review – KICKASS!! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/07/20/meelectronics-a151-inner-earphone-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2011/07/20/meelectronics-a151-inner-earphone-in-review/#comments Wed, 20 Jul 2011 07:54:50 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=55109 MEElectronics are hit makers. The M6 and M9 earph0nes defined perfection within their price points, sporting great build quality, good sound, and an impressive array of accessories. With the introduction of the A151, MEEl have outdone themselves in a number of areas, making on of the truly must-have earphones. Caveats aside (and yes, there are … Read more]]>

MEElectronics are hit makers. The M6 and M9 earph0nes defined perfection within their price points, sporting great build quality, good sound, and an impressive array of accessories. With the introduction of the A151, MEEl have outdone themselves in a number of areas, making on of the truly must-have earphones. Caveats aside (and yes, there are a few), this new single armature earphone is a must have for every music lover with a medium-sized budget.

[Bef0re y0u ask: my little 0h and bracket keys have been damaged by a stray glass 0f water. Please bear with me till I can aff0rd a new c0mputer!]


Specificati0ns
Driver: Single micro balanced armature
Housing: High impact deco housing with angled fit
Frequency Response: 15Hz – 20KHz
Sensitivity: 111 dB
Impedance: 27 ohms
Maximum Power Input: 25 mW
Connector: 3 pin stereo 3.5mm gold plated straight plug
Cable: Twisted black 120 cm cable (47 in)
Accessories: 5 sets of silicone ear tips (small/medium/large; double-flange; large triple flange), clamshell zipper case
Compatible Accessories:
Warranty: 1 year
Dimension: 0.25 in. H x 0.3 in. W x 0.7 in. L
Ship Weight: 0.75 lb

Y0u can find the A151 here f0r 74,99$.

Accessory and Package
Sadly, we start with the caveats (or, if you’re like me and prefer fewer syllables, the bad news). The A151 is a mid-high priced upgrade earphone; sure you can buy from Westone, Sensaphonics, Audio Technica, Sennheiser, etc., for much more, but if you’ve got fewer than a hundred bones in your yard, the A151 qualifies as a premium upgrade. What it doesn’t pack is a premium-grade accessory package. There is a cable winder, a few comfortable flanges, and a nice carrying case. Rather than screaming ‘great’, the accessory package mumbles ‘ho hum’ especially next to Jays’ a-Jays and t-Jays models.

This ain’t 2009 anymore; pretty much everyone packs nice carrying cases and flange options with their earphones. For earphones in the the 70-80$ mark, the A151 feels poorly covered.

You’ll have to pardon me here for not attaching pictures of the A151 box. The truth is that in the midst of a move from Korea to Japan, I lost it. It wasn’t much to chat about anyway (just a bit of serviceable cardboard), but my apologies are sincere.

From here on out, the news is mixed between good, great, and ho hum.

Fit and isolation
The A151′s body is a little awkward: it doesn’t sit flat or flush anywhere in any ear. It even sticks out a little when w0rn pr0perly [0ver the ear]. But, just about anyone should be able to find the right fit. If you can’t, you can slip Comply tips from your more expensive Westone and Sensaphonics right on. Kudos to MEElectronics for going with a standard sized sound tube on the A151.

Because the body doesn’t sit flush, though, you may have some trouble using these for working out, especially with rubber flanges that will get slick with sweat and grease. The earphone body is built from light plastic, so the A151 won’t weigh your ears down. They feel ultra good.

They also manage to block out a lot of noise, about parallel with the Audio Technica CK100 when used with silicon flanges. In other words, don’t expect the bus and train and annoying flock of vacationers next to you unless you employ dangerous sound levels. In noisy places, I get on fine with four clicks from the bottom on my iPod touch, or about -35 decibels on my Sansa Clip+.

Build and cable
The A151 is the first MEELectronics earphone I’ve seen use a triple twisted cable. It mimics the excellent Westone single ground, single left, single right design that has pretty much eaten up the professional market. But, looks are only skin deep. The Westone cable is in another league, vying with Sensaphonics and Audio Technica for strongest cable on the Market awards. The MEEl cable just l00ks like the king.

The A151 cable is wound loosely. If you play with cables, you will unwind this thing, leaving a tangled, prone mess. And if you are careless, you can probably cut it. It isn’t weak, but the older, clear plastic sheaths are more durable.

The plus side to the cable is that it is dead silent like the Westone cables and lacks memory cable. Glasses wears, the A151 is so damn comfortable. Pleasure, little treasure. Just be careful slipping your ProDesigns off and on as I’m serious: this cable ain’t that strong.

It is terminated in a straight plug with an eye-catching model stencil. Looks great. The strain relief is so so; it could do with a longer lead, and maybe a clamp before the wiggle protection cuts in. Again, i-plugs are weaker for both the player and the earphone. Ho hum.

The new y-split looks like a centipede and deserves as much praise as I can heap up in a single sentence. It is flexible, thick, non-abrasive, and light. For an earphone of this price, it is perfect. The earphone-side stress relief is just so-so, but I think it is well-sunk and should stay together for the length of the earphone.

Sound
Here’s where your investment really starts to pay off. The A151 is an ear pleaser. From first listen, I was smiling. I starts off with a good low, thump, but maintains control. Bass here is smooth, strong, controlled. It doesn’t bleed into the mids or highs. It retains perfect speed, and very good timbre.

It’s the sort of bass you hope for at it’s price point, the sort that doesn’t often come. Of course if you are a real basshead, it simply won’t do. It’s got more punch than Apple’s dainty Inner earphones and simply embarrasses the hell out of Sleek Audio’s SA1 (which tends to boom more), but it probably won’t satisfy American hip hop lovers.

Hip hoppers, still want the A151? It responds fairly well to good equalisation apps such as Equaliser and EQu, so pump up the low end jam and relax. The A151 has a lot of oomph way down low when pushed properly.

Its bass speed and depth are good for trance, and work work well for rock. There is enough detail that you will hit repeat on your favourite bass solos, but not enough to drown you in 3D details.

Bass-wise, there simply isn’t a better combination that I’ve heard for less than 80$.

The midrange has a few issues. Those are: there is a semi-suckout, and it isn’t because the A151 is hard to drive. No, it’s a proper psychoacoustic suckout that bothers some vocals in the ~1,5k – 2,5k range. Male vocals have great fronts, but lack the crispness they can have with better tuned earphones. Female vocals suffer less, but still sound a little tired. The culprit is a boom low midrange that bleeds into vocals and percusssions.

If you partularly favour non-vocal music, this is a non-issue. For everyone else, it is a small annoyance. After a few hours with these in my ears, I simply forget this slight vocal veil. Rock is pretty good. Guitars roar forward, along with bass, but lose a bit of their edge because of the veil. Still, the A151 sports a very nice sound. More subdued genres sound good enough but might be better with a bump around 1,5k with EQu or Eualizer.

As for high midrange and treble, it is a similar story, but with a much thinner veil. High hats decay a bit too fast, but everything else is good. Think of this as a tiny, budget Sennheiser HD650 with a strange suckout in the vocals and slight boom in the lower midrange. Overall, I am very impressed. For the price, there is so much to praise. No sticky, plasticky echo, no piercing treble, no sibilance. These things sound great.

And, the A151 is pretty sensitive. You can get loads of volume from your iPod touch or iPhone. I’d say it’s fair that you shouldn’t turn the volume past half on either as these earphones really get loud. They are also easy to drive for any modern Apple iDevice. You’ll suffer no roll off in the upper or lowers going straight from your player.

In other words, I’d not worry about an amp. There is also very little hiss, which is strange considering how loud these get. I can plug the A151 into my 2007 MacBook Pro and watch an entire movie without wanting to change to a dedicated DAC/Amp. Very very nice.

The stage and left to right separation are in a word, controlled. You won’t be looking behind you all the time wondering where Billy Joel jumped out from, but when recordings are really binaural, you’ll get a right headache. Trance lovers, yep, the A151 will do the things you want.

Out and about
Thanks to a nice carrying case, you can keep these batboys safe and sound. Just remember to use the case as the cable isn’t a wonder of mechanical engineering. If you’re are tall 185 cm like me, the A151 will fall from your ears to well below your knees. It is a lot of cable to toss into your pocket or purse, and since the cable is very light, you can wrap it up short without bugging your ears with too much weight. Good. And the cable, while built mote like Kickass than the Chuck Norris, is dead silent. Walk around, jump, sleep – you won’t be bothered by microphonic noises. Wonderful.

Remember, too, that the A151 blocks a LOT of noise. You can keep the volume down and take care of your ears!

Conclusion
The A151 sounds like a jackpot. Sure, it’s got a few issues such as its so-so cable and mild midrange suck-out and mediocre access0ry [my 0h key died] kit. But s0undwise and happy-wise, this earph0ne is great, and well w0rth a GRAB.

MEEl, work a little more on your cable and y0u’ve g0t a KISS!

Pr0s:
incredible bass and g00d treble
nice carrying case
great y-split

C0ns:
s0-s0 cable quality
access0ry package is 0utclassed in its pricerange

HPR-MEEL-A151-accessories HPR-MEEL-A151-case HPR-MEEL-A151-fit HPR-MEEL-A151-glamour HPR-MEEL-A151-plug-y-split HPR-MEEL-A151-stressRead more]]>
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MEElectronics M11 inner earphone in Review – King of the MEEl! http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/02/26/meelectronics-m11-inner-earphone-in-review-king-of-the-meel/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/02/26/meelectronics-m11-inner-earphone-in-review-king-of-the-meel/#comments Fri, 26 Feb 2010 14:42:24 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=28789 Cheesy title aside, the M11 really is the king of MEElectronics’ earphone line up. Luxurious in your choice of 2 turned aluminium colours, it hits its price point pointedly, if more politely than the skull-splitting lance which felled King Henry II. For the budget-conscious upgrader, its modest 39.99$ price tag scintillates royalty, and like most … Read more]]>

Cheesy title aside, the M11 really is the king of MEElectronics’ earphone line up. Luxurious in your choice of 2 turned aluminium colours, it hits its price point pointedly, if more politely than the skull-splitting lance which felled King Henry II. For the budget-conscious upgrader, its modest 39.99$ price tag scintillates royalty, and like most of MEEl’s line, is tough, made to last even the most organised of coups at the hands of its careless market.

Specifications
Driver: 7mm drivers with neodymium magnets
Housing: Aluminum tuned bass-reflex design
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20KHz
Impedance: 16 ohms
Connector: 3.5mm gold plated, right angle connector
Cable: 1.4m cord (4.59 ft) with attached shirt clip
Accessories: 5 sets of eartips (small/medium/large/double-flange/triple-flange), 1 carrying pouch, 1 airplane adapter, 1 wire organizer
Compatible Accessories: Comply T-400 eartips

Fit and Package
MEEl haven’t shaken their no-frills styling; the box is still the plainest of cardboards and the plastic insert still as drab as ever. Digging inside won’t reveal much to the curious: 5 sets of silicon ear tips (3 single flanges in S/M/L sizes, plus one dual and one triple flange set), an airplane adapter, a silly psilk pouch and a cable organiser. Sounds good? It’s okay. Head-Direct have a more impressive fit kit and box than MEEL, but what it gains in looks, MEEl take away in pragmatics. The M11’s ear pieces are rather comfortable and its dual and triple flange tips — the former of which is made for human elephants — can really help to erase the most annoying of background noise. And thanks to the light, miniscule earphone body, the M11 is wearable over a rather long haul, causing very little unwanted friction on the ear.

You can wear the M11 with the cable either over the ear or hanging straight down, but generally, it fits best hanging down from the ear. The reason is that the earphone arm juts out at an angle, so small-eared folk (poor sods really) might find that the cable’s strange angle a tad precarious. Tightening the neck cinch helps a lot, but never shakes the feeling that the M11 isn’t really meant for over-the-ear wear.

NOTE: All new M11, M6, and R1 ship with a new semi hard case for better protection.

Build Quality and Cable
Despite cruising in royal aluminium, MEEl haven’t forgotten their sensible roots – neither their checkered cable nor their shiny earphone housing wave any warning flags – certainly not at the M11’s price. It’s not as if the earphone is perfect, but it is a solidly constructed earphone though never passing too far past, ‘meh’, while stooping just below ‘great’.

The ‘right angl[ed]’ plug is well-fended, but as with most budget earphones, isn’t bonded to the cable. It is thin and should fit into all but the most stubbornly-designed DAP’s and mobile phones. Okay, so its stem is a bit long for pure comfort, but then so too are the reigns of many kings – consider it a trivial affair. Moving upward, the y-split comes in the now-common fender-free hard rubber pill box shape with matching neck cinch and no stress reliefs – to tell you the truth, the cable should suffer few to no problems at the pill box and y-split: there is a fair bit of glue holding them safely in. Finally, at the base of each earphone is a pliable rubber sheath which does an okay job of protecting the cable from cuts and hyperbends. But that’s just it – MEEl’s cable is great. It isn’t prone to crystallise or harden, and after a quick rubdown, dirt falls away. It has to be well-made; when inserting and removing the M11, a lot of strain rests on the cable because the earphone is so tiny. The earphones themselves are hard aluminium, the type which could kill if fired from a revolver. Aluminium picks up scratches, but does a great job of protecting the tiny 7mm speaker from harm. Strangely, the body rotates with a twist, but just won’t come apart no matter how much I yank – shame that.

Sound
I think we’re in a small-driver rut here at TMA – last week’s Sleek Audio SA1, a 6mm dynamic driver earphone which is priced nearly double what the M11 costs, sounds good, but demonstrably flatter and less dynamic than its larger-driver cousins. The same is true of the M11. As long as you don’t expect Heaven and Earth to shake, however, it is a good sounding earphone.

Overwhelmingly, I found it best with pop, hard electronic, and hip hop. Consider the following albums good material for the M11:

Ice Cube – Raw Footage
While not as phat as Cube’s Monster Turbine return, this album sings pretty well with the M11. Bass is punchy, but not overbearing and Cube’s low vocals catch the upper end of the earphone’s best frequency: bass.

Markus Schulz – Progression
Nothing can stop one of the most tight trance albums in the last few years. Even its benchmark lowdown, Mainstage, rumbles in small triumph as the M11 cruises energetically through this maiden album. While not as spacey and alluring as with other earphones, it is a good listen with this budget upgrader.

Depeche Mode – Songs of Faith and Devotion
This harder album proves not only that the substance-addicted electronic group can do grain and grit, but that the M11 can pull off rock/electronic/gothic music quite well. There isn’t much lush about the album anyway, so when the M11 barges through melodies like so many warring fiefs, there is no grief.

The M11 has a similarly punchy bass response to the SA1, though overall, is darker with more compressed dynamics. It also may have a few more decibels of power way down low. One of my favourite bass benchmarks, Markus Schulz’ Mainstage, rumbles on with a dose of confidence, but not verbose vigour. Low response certainly, is curtailed in comparison to large driver earphones, but bass impact is large. Hip hop and rap, whose low end duffs in slow, heavy beats is heaps o’ fun. Fast music such as trance, too, hits with speed and low end gusto. There certainly isn’t lack of ‘wham’ with the M11 which favours strength to resolution.

The smaller driver also permits the M11 to recover well from the slam of extremely hard-hitting bass. Bass notes don’t bleed into the rest of the music, clouding the sound. But like the SA1, MEEl’s earphone isn’t that resolving: soft details such as the lingering caress of a finger sliding over a guitar string and deft drum brushes are inaudible, and low-end texture largely fades in the face of impact.

While bass is alive with gusto, mids and highs begin what I will dub, ‘the commonising of the king’. Moving to vocal and jazz, and to a lesser extent, pop, reveals that the M11 retains speed, but loses richness in the mid range. Vocals are clear and succinct, but hardly lush. Throaty voices thin out and so do rich guitars and low-voiced violins. It is like a sudden immersion into a large room where voices disappear. High notes, too lack sparkle, though the M11 extends well.

The M11 foots a decent virtual stage and stereo image, but isn’t as good at presenting distinct instruments. The image it casts is ‘liver’ (as in more live) and grittier than other earphones. This presentation works well for rock and simple genres such as hip hop and rap. But when asked to anoint trance and classical with distinct instruments, the M11 balks.

If you are into fast or punchy music such as trance, electronic and hip/hop, you may really like the M11. It is very much like a budget Monster Beats Tour! It’s punchy low end is striking and powerful, and it kicks out a pretty linear mid and high frequency range. What it doesn’t do is well, however, is details: bass texture, mids and highs are good, but flatly shaded. For the price, however, it is one of the best closed non-MEElectronics earphones on the market. If however, you want even better sound while keeping decent isolation, why not try the M6 or M9?

Out and About
It should be noted that the M11 is a great earphone for out and about. Firstly, the chances that you will break it easily are minimal – its cable and overall good construction quality should keep it in good shape for a long time. Sweat and body oils aren’t THAT hazardous to its ingenious, but cheap cable, and despite a goodly amount of microphonic noise, the M11 is easy to use while out and about. The shirt clip — which reaches well past the nipple — is helpful in keeping the cable secure and to help reduce microphonics a little. Of course, the earphones can be worn with the cable reaching above the ear for a fair zapping of noise, but it isn’t as intuitive to use as some other options because of the angle of the cable arms.

Finally, at 140 centimetres, the M11 reaches deep into pockets and is great for purse/manbag use.

Conclusion
It’s hard to argue with MEEl’s pricing. All of their earphone products are priced to sell and most sound good. The M11 is another argument for that thesis. It is constructed well, embarrassing the otherwise excellent Head-Direct RE2, and as long as MEEl products are removed from comparison, pretty much any other earphone in the price range. I would favour it to the Nuforce NE7M in a joust, if only barely. It should be a sound investment for the budget upgrader, but where it isn’t 100% sound is its audio performance. Bass, mids and highs are clear and certainly better than stock earphones (unless you own a Sony), but lack finesse and texture. I recommend them for listeners who desire bass and listen primarily to modern beat-filled popular music.

Headphone Summary
Title: MEElectronics M11 Developer: MEElectronics
Reviewed Ver: M11 Min OS Req: Dynamic (moving coil) 7mm
Price: $36.99 0.6 MB
  • Great construction materials and quality
  • Great cable
  • Decent stress relief
  • Punchy bass and linear, non-tweaky mids and and highs
  • Good price/performance ratio
  • Unimpressive accessory kit
  • Lacks some finesse and detail in sound

Buy Now directly from MEElectronics ($36.99)

Hot damn! Headphones really are a rockin’ way to enjoy music, right? Feel free to explore TMA’s headphone oubliette

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MEElectronics R1 inner earphone in Review – all wood, all the time http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/01/11/meelectronics-r1-inner-earphone-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2010/01/11/meelectronics-r1-inner-earphone-in-review/#comments Mon, 11 Jan 2010 15:40:32 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=25899 MEElectronics’ earphones rode onto the scene last year with aplomb. Not only are they priced to sell, they sound good and in general, are made well. Now, MEEl have jumped on the wood bandwagon started by the venerable Victor FX500. The R-1 is a solid earphone which will rock the clocks of bass lovers who … Read more]]>

MEElectronics’ earphones rode onto the scene last year with aplomb. Not only are they priced to sell, they sound good and in general, are made well. Now, MEEl have jumped on the wood bandwagon started by the venerable Victor FX500. The R-1 is a solid earphone which will rock the clocks of bass lovers who happen to have no more than 40$ in the bank.

Specifications
Speaker: 10 mm moving coil (dynamic) driver
140 cm cord with gold-plated stereo 3.5 plug
Frequency response: 20 to 20,000 Hz
Impedance: 16 ohms
Sensitivity: 95 dB

Fit and Package
If you’ve seen one accessory package, you’ve seen ‘em all – this axiom is apt: each is a near perfect twin its brethren and comes with almost the same accessory package. In the box is a soft synthetic carrying pouch, 4 ear pieces, an airline adapter, and a chord winder. Considering the MSRP of 39.99$, this package, and especially the cheap pouch is unfortunately, underwhelming. Again, this prejudice comes from experience with Nuforce’s excellently padded NE7M headset which early on set a benchmark at TMA.

Fortunately, fit is quite A-okay. The R-1 is comfortable and light and although its cable is microphonic, it is a pretty resilient affair which will take a beating. Three of the ear pieces are acutely angled hard silicon which slip in quickly and out just as fast and are comfortable. One set of dual flange silicon pieces is included for those with very long ear canals. The earphone housing terminates in a flanged lip over which the ear pieces slip. As you can see, it is very shallow causing ear pieces at times, to dislodge in the ear.

Build Quality and Cable
There is hardly anything to bemoan about the R-1. It is light, comfortable and can take licks pretty well. Because the housing is ported wood rather than plastic or metal, it is best not to play basketball with the earpieces, otherwise you might end up with a splintery mess. But MEELectronics varnished the housing very well and the cable is pretty sturdily mounted inside the wooden base. MEEl have formed a fleshy niche inside my heart for their soft, multilayered cable. Outside is a pretty-well sweat-resistant rubber sleeve, and inside is a tinsel patchwork quilt which keeps the cable from kinking. Unlike some off-the-wall designs, the R-1 is a great handful of engineering and good looks.

While I hate to admit it, I’ve spent a goodly amount of time rubbing and tugging these badboys. Fortunately, the game as come to no ill effects: the strain relief is solidly anchored inside the housing and not subject to sudden breakage. The same is true for the right-angled plug. MEEl have more than done their homework on designing the R-1. This rather inexpensive earphone has very few colleagues who can stand toe to toe to it in terms of build quality.

Unfortunately, the R-1 is pretty microphonic and the sticky rubber tangles like a political rally. Pulling the cinch to just below the chin eliminates a lot of the touch noise, and even better, wearing the R-1 with the cable over the ear silences most of the rat-a-tat tat which filters through the cable at most times.

Music Selection
Ice Cube – Raw Footage
Again this album debuts to test a new earphone. The reason isn’t just because I am a fan of Cube’s smart, egotistical lyrics. Like a lot of contemporary American rap, it is completely low-fi: chalk full of poorly extended instruments, duffy bass, and to a fault, vocal-focussed engineering.

MC Solaar – Mach 6
This album remains my benchmark for well-engineered hip-hop. It is quick, lyrically tight, and varied in speed with a good selection of instruments and vocalists without throbbing for bass. Headphones should be able to jive with this album, but if they don’t it is because they are engineered for Ice Cube.

Braveheart – The Soundtrack
At once soft and tender, at times, this album crashes violently in sudden thundering crescendoes. Braveheart needs a delicate, yet mid-oriented earphone whose head stage is above-average and which renders bass deeply. But overstepping low notes will crash the delicate midrange – headphones must step lightly around this otherwise powerful album.

Phantom of the Opera – The Original Canadian Recording
While the London recording is good, the Canadian version, which debuted with Colm Wilkinson and Rebecca Caine is superior. Wilkinson’s Phantom: pained, wispy and haunted is translated admirably. There isn’t a better Phantom than in the Canadian cast.

Marcus Schulz – Progression
It is hard to recommend a better benchmark trance album than this debut by the American DJ. From the deep introduction in Mainstage to the gripping melodies of songs such as Spilled Cranberries, this album is a winner in the world of trance and a great benchmark for just how well a headphone handles tight melodies.

Sound
So what does a 100% wooden housing sound like? A cursory glance at the hybrid earphones: Victor FX500 and Mingo WM2, suggests bass by the tonne and at worst, crispy hot highs. Wood though, comes in many flavours and grains, each of which have a unique effect on sound.

If you imagined gobs ‘o bass, you were right. The R-1 doesn’t hide its bottom end in anything else besides bottom end. It is one of the most massively bassy earphones I have ever heard. Low notes are strongest above 75 Hz, but belt out quite a rumble even to 50 Hz. And strong they are. Powerful soundtracks, dance music, and hop hop/rap are smashingly boisterous. Think about strapping sub woofers onto your ears then pressing them hard so your brain is inundated by low, jacking vibrations. A short listen to Markus Schulz’ Mainstage is like a trip to a helicopter landing field day where the air thuds in amping gyrations to to the proverbial ’11’. Tonality isn’t bad, but the softer wooden walls of the R-1 don’t define edges well enough to bring a low-voiced instrument’s true voice forward.

Moving up, the R-1 reminds that wood, while acoustically sound, needs a lot of engineering detail. The midrange plays third fiddle to bass and treble. Vocals and the bulk of instruments filter through a couple of decibels back, like a lip-synch service. Becase of its massive bass, the midrange is veiled. Despite this drawback, vocal and jazz don’t suffer too badly. But, bass plucks right through vocals, pianos, and strings, overpowering the most intimate of moments. This presentation will have fans, but it will probably disappoint more than it does satisfy.

The R-1 is warm and bassy, but it also kicks out a pretty active, if mature high frequency range. High percussion and strings come through with excellent placement and oomph. They certainly outrun the sophomore midrange and add a little extra edge to otherwise suppressed instruments. Still, high frequencies are quite a contrast to its middling sibling; the midrange drops everything to join upper frequencies which at times, can linger too long.

The R-1 does a good job of placing instruments and directing a soundstage. For the most part, sound is focussed toward the front of the head – speaker-like if you will – but nothing is ever mushy. That said, dynamics in this bottom-heavy earphone are just short of engaging. This woody doesn’t present the best contrast of frequencies, so vocals and mid range instruments tend to get pushed back, hiding some details which otherwise would peek out. Fortunately, the R-1 doesn’t suffer from the horrid echo problems of some competitors. Wood may not be a cure-all, but it does a good job of patching over bad portions.

Out and About
MEEl have concocted a good brew of quality parts, low weight, and to a certain extent, good sound. Sure, the R-1’s cables are sabre-rattling rapscallions, but that is hardly unique or threatening especially when the 140 cm length can curl up over the ears and still reach the depths necessary to stuff the headphone jack into a pocket-stuffed DAP. And, whilst studying at library, you shouldn’t be too bothered by the slothful youth all about you; this earphone can repel the most annoying of sounds while not confining you to a solitary existence. Don’t expect miracles where the noise of the bus and train completely fade to the background, but do expect to enjoy a small vacation from noise. Finally, as hinted above, the R-1 is a fairly strong design with a good cable which shouldn’t fall apart after a few weeks working out.

Conclusion
With an MSRP of 40$, the MEElectronics R-1 is a balancing act of good and not-good-enough. Considering the price, it is made very well, but it has to be: the carrying sack would rather rip asunder rather than protect the earphone. This earphone is a beast; it belts out low notes with little regard for anything else; midrange therefore, suffers and while high notes come through pretty clearly, at times they cling a little too much onto musical peaks. The R-1 isn’t a bad sounding earphone. It is relatively clear, but if the Head-Direct RE2 sort of sets the upper bounds for 40$ sound quality, the R-1 sets the lower. If you really like bass and want an earphone which will survive your bombastic treks through hip hop, then this MEEl is probably your best budget bet.

Headphone Summary
Title: MEElectronics R-1 Developer: MEElectronics
Price: $39.99
  • 100% wood housing is light and pretty
  • Great cable for the price
  • Good stress relief
  • BIG bass
  • You call that a carrying case?
  • Where’re the mids?
  • Very bottom heavy sound also peaks out a bit too much up top

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Hot damn! Headphones really are a rockin’ way to enjoy music, right? Feel free to explore TMA’s headphone oubliette.

HP-Review-MEEL-R1-fitDown HP-Review-MEEL-R1-fitOver HP-Review-MEEL-R1-package HP-Review-MEEL-R1-pieces HP-Review-MEEL-R1-plug HP-Review-MEEL-R1-plugpull HP-Review-MEEL-R1-soundport HP-Review-MEEL-R1-stressrelief HP-Review-MEEL-R1-ysplitRead more]]>
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MEElectronics Ai-M6 & Ai-M9 Review – Royalty on a Budget http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/13/meelectronics-ai-m6-ai-m9-review-royalty-on-a-budget/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/07/13/meelectronics-ai-m6-ai-m9-review-royalty-on-a-budget/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2009 16:05:02 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=15312 . Established 2005 in southern California, MEELectronics focus on providing customers with quality products and services at the best prices possible. MEElectronics’ products are aimed at iPod and iPhone owners, offering a multitude of earphones and portable speakers. Today, we have their top-tier earphones with us, the Ai-M6 and the Ai-M9. Both house the same … Read more]]>

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Established 2005 in southern California, MEELectronics focus on providing customers with quality products and services at the best prices possible. MEElectronics’ products are aimed at iPod and iPhone owners, offering a multitude of earphones and portable speakers. Today, we have their top-tier earphones with us, the Ai-M6 and the Ai-M9. Both house the same driver, same specifications, and the same sound. The difference you ask? The Ai-M6 is a $39.99 “over the ear” style inner earphone and the Ai-M9 is a $19.99 “straight down cable” style inner earphone that has a mic’d brother for only $10 more.

Specifications
Variation: Ai-M6 is available in Black and Maroon, Ai-M9 is available in black with/without mic.
Transducer: 9mm Neodymium Dynamic Driver
Impedance: 16 ohms
Frequency Range: 20Hz-20kHz
Sensitivity (1mW): 95dB SPL/mW
Weight: N/A
Cord Style: Y-cord
Mini Jack Style: Gold Plated Straight (First Gen iPhone adaptable)

Accessories
The MEElectronics Ai-M6 and Ai-M9 come with nearly the same accessory packages. Each is adorned with 3 sets of single flange silicone rubber sleeves (small, medium, large) along with one pair of specialty sleeves. The Ai-M6 comes with a pair of memory foams, while the Ai-M9 comes with a pair of dual flange silicone rubber sleeves. (Note: As you may see below, our pair of Ai-M9 arrived with an extra pair of Medium silicone sleeve by some gracious accident). In addition to the sleeves, both models come with a semi-stiff carrying case, a wire organizer, and an airplane adapter and can be considered very well-equipped for their respective prices.

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Fit
Fit wise, both are comfortable and as for isolation, both models are comparable, if slightly less than the $249.99 Phiaton PS200. While wearing these earphones on the busy streets and buses here in Vancouver, they kept me in a well-separated world of silence where only the music and I were interacting.

“How do these feel?”, you’re wondering. I find that the Ai-M6 are a bit lighter on my ear canals, causing less pressure-discomfort than the Ai-M9. However, the rubber memory wire around the ear causes slight discomfort around my ear. The Ai-M9 on the other hand, doesn’t have memory wire (and consequently, the same problem), but like I said earlier, they exhibit a bit more pressure on my ear canals. Overall, I prefer the Ai-M9 over the Ai-M6’s sometimes itchy fit.

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Audio
Before I start this section, just a reminder that both earphones have the same sound. From high to mid and low frequencies; and when considering soundstage or detail, the identical driver and musical tuning result in the same sound. As always, I made sure both models perform at their peak by giving them healthy doses of frequency sweeps and pink noise for over 200 hours. Audio quality is the party piece of both models. After a quick listen, I decided to give them the same test as the Phiaton PS200 and stray from my often-used Mariah Carey. This time, MEELectronics earphones will face Celtic Women’s lovely voice, their excellent crew of musicians, and the famed fiddler, Máiréad Nesbitt.

Highs
Simply put, Meelectronic’s M6 and M9 are detailed and Crisp. Listening to “The Last Rose of Summer” by Celtic Woman, they instantly shoot spot on to vocal detail and power. One thing they lacked on a small scale is the pitch of the notes which were presented just shy of truly emotional. This slight lack can detract from music like Celtic Women’s great vocals and some instruments like violins and flutes.

Mids
Smooth, Lush, and Buttery. Listening to “Mo Ghile Mear”, Méav’s voice is beautifully presented. The depth, richness, and clarity of her voice tangible, but not be as detailed and full as on the Shure Se420, or Se530 (both of which cost many, many times more). All in all, the mid frequency band is still top notch, comparable to Head Directs Re1, and detailed and able-bodied enough to draw comparison to much more expensive earphones.

Lows
The most powerful frequency band of the Ai-M6 and the Ai-M9 and the most attractive to the market is powerful, deep, and speedy. Not as quick as Head Directs Re0, but definitely on par with the Re1 in terms of speed, depth, and power. Once again, listening to “Mo Ghile Mear”, drums are captivating from the start. The two little MEElecs give drums a full-body punch, and an ocean-deep richness to keep you into the song – truly amazing for the price.

Soundstage
Both models were quite average when first out of the box. However, after breaking them in, the soundstage widened to reasonable levels which would compare to a spot in between the Head-Direct RE1 and RE0. The front-to-back depth too, is quite believable and again, for the price, one of the best in the industry – certainly a great choice for the smart buyer and the teenager!

Build Quality
Both are such affordable earphones that I found it surprising how well-made they are. The cables are flexible, thin, yet not super tangle-prone. Unfortunately, they are prone to a microphonic nature. If you’ve heard the Monster Turbine cable, then you will know what I’m talking about. If not, they are around 70% as loud as the similarly priced Skullcandy Ink’D earphones are. Of course, the over-the-ear M6 suffers much less microphonics than the M9.

Strain reliefs on the earbuds themselves work, are flexible and are well-made, however, there isn’t one on the cable, so no ‘insured’ feeling. Material and build wise, both earphones have a flawless plastic housing that is well-built, yet stylish – no complaints from me there!

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Conclusion
Affordable, well built, and stylish with astonishing audio performance rivaling competitors that cost more than many times their price, Meelectronics M6 and M9 are great. These cheap phones even nailed isolation and fit which means you can maintain a seal even when participating in sporting activities! What more can I say?! The Ai-M6 walks away with a grab from behind due to its slightly higher price of $39.99, while the Ai-M9 is definitely getting a doggy-pile full of kisses at its unbelievable $19.99 price-tag.

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M6

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M9

App Summary
Title: MEELectronics Ai-M6, Ai-M9 Developer: MEELectronics
Price: M6 $39.99, M9 $19.99
  • Great construction
  • Inexpensive
  • Great sound
  • So many accessories
  • comfortable
  • Microphonic cables

Buy Now from MEElectronics:

Ai-M6: $39.99

Ai-M9: $19.99

Please also take a look at our Headphone section or, if you want to read other low-cost hifi earphone reviews, check below:
Klipsch Image S2 inner earphone in review – Head-Direct RE2Nuforce NE7M Mobile Phone Compatible Inner Earphones in Review


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