The MEE M9 Hi-Fi Sound Isolating Headphones, from MEElectronics, are an entry-level pair of in-ear headphones that promise to offer a pleasing sound quality at an affordable price.
MEE M9 Hi-Fi Sound Isolating Headphones: Features, design and fitting
The MEE M9 Hi-Fi Sound Isolating Headphones are an affordable pair of in-ears that come in two colours: silver and black. We received the black version, which had a simple and ergonomic design. The in-ears have 9mm drivers with neodymium magnets, and the frequency response is rated at 20Hz to 20kHz .The sensitivity is rated at 95db (1mw @1KHz) and impedance is 16 Ohms. The MEE M9 Hi-Fi Sound Isolating Headphones can play loud enough with most portable audio players or multimedia phones. The cable ends with a 45-degree L-shaped connector with a 3.5mm gold-plated stereo plug.
The MEE M9 Hi-Fi Sound Isolating Headphones have a metallic housing painted in black on the outside. It has a symmetrical cable design that also has a shirt clip and a Y-junction slider for tight fit and to reduce the clutter and cable noise while jogging. The cable is 1.4m long, which is good enough to reach your trouser pocket, and is of good quality.The package included a generous list of accessories, including things we don't even see with more expensive headphones: four ear tips, one carrying pouch and a wire organiser.
Among the four tips, we felt that the bi-flange tips gave the best fit and prolonged use was comfortable. The MEE M9 Hi-Fi Sound Isolating Headphones' build quality, though not stellar, is good enough to withstand daily usage. Noise isolation was also sufficient in crowded areas.
MEE M9 Hi-Fi Sound Isolating Headphones: Sound quality
We tested the MEE M9 Hi-Fi Sound Isolating Headphones with a Cowon MP3 player and the Apple iPod touch, as well as with the M-Audio interface hooked up to a PC. The first thing we noticed was the warm sound signature that all the audio sources played with.
The MEE M9 Hi-Fi Sound Isolating Headphones sounded a bit restrained in the beginning, so we burned them in for a good 100 hours which loosened them up a little bit. Post the burn-in period, the overall sound quality was much better than expected for a pair of in-ears in this price range. The bass sounded warmer and bigger, while mids were clear with the upper midrange dominating this frequency range. The highs were bright with decent extension. Soundstage, though not spectacular, was good.
Overall, the MEE M9 Hi-Fi Sound Isolating Headphones have sound quality that's exciting and their frequency response is commendable for its price. For a sub-£20 pair of in-ears, we can certainly recommend this for your next upgrade to use with your mobile phones or MP3 player if you're on a budget.
For serious listeners, though, the MEE M9 Hi-Fi Sound Isolating Headphones' bass sounded a bit over-emphasised and the recessed lower mids made vocals and guitars sound a bit thin. Due to this, listening to acoustic music or jazz vocals did not sound as good as we expected. The highs were also not silky smooth, and the upper high-end frequencies lacked refinement.
Pushing the volume beyond 80 percent on the iPod made the overall sound lack transparency and definition too. The MEE M9 Hi-Fi Sound Isolating Headphones' overall sound quality is rich and exciting but if you are looking for neutral or well-refined sound, look elsewhere.
MEE M9 Hi-Fi Sound Isolating Headphones: Pros and cons
Pros: Warm and punchy bass; good transparency; comfortable fit and good design
Cons: Weak lower mids; lack of transparency at loud volume; not for critical listeners
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