Over the last several years I have tested and used a few of MEElectronics IEMs and they have stood up to the test of time. So when they reached out to ask my opinion of their new dual driver IEM I accepted the challenge. While not all their IEMs are as perfect as a picky person like myself would like, they certainly deliver a great sound in relation to your investment. Of all the ones reviewed I still use the A151s, the A161Ps and have now added the M-Duo’s to my list.
I received the M-Duo’s mid summer just before I headed off on vacation so I now have almost 2 months testing them, which makes me feel more than prepared to discuss them. Dynamic drivers typically provide a fuller bodied sound signature with less detail, precision and speed than balanced armatures deliver. Nevertheless throw in a dedicated tweeter and woofer and they can deliver a very fun sound signature.
With that thought in mind, read on if you would like to take a closer look at the M-Duo.
- MEElectronics M-Duo Specifications
- Dual dynamic drivers
- Frequency response 10 Hz to 20 kHz
- Impedance 16 Ohms at 1K
- Sensitivity 101 dB
- Noise isolation up to 27 dB
- Cable length 135cm (53 inches)
- 3.5mm right angle TRRS plug (4 pin)
- 6 pairs of eartips, shirt clip & zippered carry case
Design, Build & Specs
The packaging is similar to the magnetic flip box that housed the A161Ps, expensive looking in my opinion. As stated in other reviews I am not much for packaging as I view simple is best and the quality of contents within the packaging is what’s most important. While the box is cool looking and does provide some good information for the novice IEM user it really is not needed. I am of the belief that wherever a company can shave some costs, adding it back into the product or save the consumer some cash I’m all for it. Aside from that the packaging will certainly keep everything safe during shipping and is top notch.
I find the design rather pleasant, reminiscing of old school shaped housings similar to one found on older CrossRoads but made of light weight metal. The IEMs are small, compact and ergonomically correct for my ears fitting in deep enough for a good seal. The housings are made from a combination of plastic and metal which appear strong enough to take a hard beating and have held up fine under my use. If you find the right fitting tips the housings are very comfortable to wear for extended use, so I would state their comfort level as very high and non-fatiguing.
I dislike being redundant in my reviews but for those who have never read one of my reviews, I perform real life testing with my gear by biking, skating, running and walking around in crowded areas to see how a product performs. Isolation is low to medium at best with the included ear tips but that can be resolved with aftermarket tips that achieve a better seal. Although MEE does provide a plethora of tips so your mileage may vary.
Either skateboarding, biking, running or in windy situations they produce substantial wind noise. In strong wind something akin to a whistling sound while wearing the cables normal (down in front of you), this is similar to the old CX300s when not worn over the ears. I’m not sure but I believe the sound comes from the stress relief in combination with the cables transmitting microphonic sound as the wind rushes by them. Although if you wear the cables over the ear down inside the back of your shirt the wind issue and microphonics are substantially eliminate removing the issue. This is why I did not fault the small vent on the housing back. Over the ear use does leave you without being able to use the inline control or mic unless you can reach back to it. This wind/microphonic sound is not an issue while sitting, walking around or using them with your PC where you would most likely need the mic/remote.
The strain relief is made of a strong flexible rubber which appears firmly attached but the cables do have some memory effect and tangling is not an issue. Since they are springy they are easy to untangle if that should happen. Cable length is 53 inches (135cm) terminated in a right angle 3.5mm TRRS plug which is rather large but works fine with either a TRRS or TRS female jack. Wrapping up the cable discussion similar to the A161P the M-Duo includes an in-line mic and remote which appears to be made from metal with a rubber button and works fine with Ipods, Ipads and some Andriod phones.
In closing design, build and specifications I would be remised if I did not mention the carry case. It’s a clam shaped design, semi-soft and works great to protect the IEMs. I love the color, feel, low key branding and in my opinion they certainly hit a home run with it. In my case it can house my smallest player the SanDisk Clip plus the IEMs and a few spare tips, great job MEE!
The M-Duo’s come packed with a dedicated woofer to cover the lows, on the surface the lows sound wonderful. They are not the deep rich sub-bass producing monsters that most bassheads frequently love. But they do deliver an nice tight thrust in the mid bass region and extend well below it without distortion or masking other frequencies which is very enjoyable. You can hear a respectable thunder, punch and thump if the music contains it feeling the impact. Although they do not introduce bass that isn’t already there and while they are not tight or fast, they are a whole lot of fun to hear with their thick texture and solid delivery.
If you wanted to find a flaw with these fun IEMs their only short coming would be in their midrange reproduction as the sound signature is V shaped but only slightly. That said, the upper end of the woofer does a good job covering the low side of the mids while the dedicated tweeter covers the upper end of the mids. So in concert together they perform a very acceptable job covering the midrange or masking this dip as you do not notice any substantial loss to the sound quality but there is a slight dip.
Over all the treble sounds very pleasant, a very nice crisp sound but lacks full extension on the high side. With some recordings you do hear a little sibilance from female vocalists. Although the clarity and sparkle are present and sound very good. You hear good detail, instrument separation although some micro detail is missing. While very hard to spot there is a mild roll-off at the very top but this doesn’t take away from their overall fun sound signature. I find their soundstage very tight although this does not hinder their performance as they do a good job separating instruments for IEMs in this price range which makes the soundstage seem wider than it truly is.
While the M-Duo’s might not be for everyone, they do provide a fun sound signature that I would recommend to those looking for in the dynamic driver category and they win out over many in this price range. I position the M-Duo’s a few steps below the A161Ps although they are completely different allowing MEE to compete in a different category.
The M-Duo’s are like comparing Bob Marley to Mae, they do a great job compared to others in their price range but are impossible to compare to the sound signature of armatures so they are completely different than MEEs A161P. That said, there are many who prefer dynamic drivers over armatures and these would make a great addition to one’s headphone/IEM quiver. Build quality, fun sound signature, comfort, in-line remote, mic, carry case and a plethora of ear tips make these a great starter package for someone wanting to move to the next level of dynamic driver IEMs
- Fun sound and value for the price
- Great clarity at the top
- Dual dynamic drivers
- Fun dynamic sound signature with dedicated woofer
- Comfortable and non-fatiguing
- Plethora of ear tips & carry case
- Slight V-shaped sound signature
- Cable microphonics and wind noise
- Right angle plug is too large
- Flimsy silicone ear tips
- No option to buy without in-line control/mic
The M-Duo can be purchased direct from MEElectronics with a MSRP of $79.99