Pros: Great All Rounder, Cable, Nice Case, Extremely Comfortable
Cons: Rubber Strain Relief, Box
First of all, I’d like to say a big thanks to Mike of Meelectronics for sending me an A151P for me to review.
Meelectronics is a company created in 2005, at which time they made MP3 players. Further down the line in 2010, they started to make their own earphones and headphones and they have further developed their product line. The A151P that I am reviewing now is a revision of the older A151 with an added microphone and one button remote. This is one of their more mid range IEMs and has a RRP of $79.99 but the street price is somewhere around $50. One thing I feel like I have to mention up front is how impressed I’ve been at Mike’s quick responses to emails and my questions.
**Disclaimer** I am in no way affiliated or against Meelectronics in any way. I was given these as a review sample and was told to give my unbiased impressions.
I listened to these through my Sansa Clip+ and Fiio E6 during the review. I found that the difference between various sources was rather minimal compared to other IEMs but going up to a better source like the DX50 did improve the SQ. It sounded great through my Samsung Galaxy S3 as well, which is what I’ll be using it the most on because of the remote, and the mic and remote worked great on my SGS3. Overall, the A151P isn’t source dependant at all and sounds right through everything.
Unboxing & Accessories
The box was pretty plain and you just open the flap, slide out the clear plastic thing and there are your earphones. Simple and easy.
The box that I got wasn’t sealed, so I’m not sure if I got all the accessories, but I just got the IEMs, clamshell carrying case and some tips. There wasn’t a cable clip, but personally I don’t really care because these are worn over the ear and have no microphonics.
Design, Isolation & Cable
The A151P does look a bit weird and different from other IEMs, but I don’t mind because I’m not looking at it, but instead putting them in my ears. Personally I’m not a huge fan of mics, remotes and 4-pole connectors, but since I’m going to be using this with my phone, this is good. There is a non mic/remote version available as well. One thing I am not sure of is the rubber strain relief on the housing, which always look like they are about to come off. Oh, and I forgot to mention that these are extremely comfortable, I forget that they are there at all, but obviously, YMMV.
The isolation is about average and around other vented IEMs like the GR07 and BA-100.
I actually really like the cable. It is braided tightly, flexible and easy to use with no microphonics. One of the best stock cables I have come across and IMO is better than the stock CIEM cables, which come apart after a bit of usage.
I have never heard a Meelectronics product before this, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I felt they were very good for $50. As per all my reviews, the sound section will be divided into 3 main sections: the bass, midrange and the treble.
Just like what the frequency graph would suggest, the bass is very flat with an extremely slight emphasis in the mid-bass. People get the impression that BA drivers always lose to dynamic drivers in terms of bass, but I disagree. Yes, dynamic drivers usually offer more slam, but I feel like BAs have more control and their detail levels are at least on par with dynamics. Even though the bass doesn’t have a lot of impact, it has nice detail and it has a good impact when it is called upon. I actually really like the bass guitars on these and feel like they have a rather realistic tone to them. There is great speed and control, which is better than anything I’ve heard in it’s price range. Personally, I would have loved to have a tiny bit more bass, but that’s just my preference.
To be honest, I’m not quite sure whether I like the midrange or not. The A151P has a peak in the upper midrange and when I first heard it, my first impression was that it made vocals sound nasally at times. However, after spending some time with them, I feel like it has gone, so maybe it is my ears adjusting or the IEMs burning in, whatever you believe. On some songs, the midrange can sound great, but on other songs it just sound just a tiny bit off. I loved the vocal clarity and the vocal separation. Instruments also sounded very nice. Overall, I did enjoy the midrange on most songs, but I felt like it could be EQed to become better and after trying some custom EQs on Poweramp, I felt like the sound really did benefit from that. The midrange is still very pleasant with no EQ.
Looking at the graph, the treble is rather rolled off starting from 3K and when I saw the graph, I was expecting another veiled IEM, but surprisingly, the treble is not nearly as rolled off as the graph suggests, probably due to the spike at 7-8K, which makes the sound lively and interesting. I find that rolled off treble can make an IEM very dull, boring sounding and just lifeless, but rest assured that the A151P is not like that at all. Cymbals have a nice sparkle to it, but it never gets sibilant at any point. I love the detail of these single BA IEMs. Usually, I prefer a more sparklier treble such as the treble that my UM Miracle presents, but the rolled off treble does have a very relaxing sound and there is no listening fatigue whatsoever.
Soundstage & Imaging
The soundstage isn’t huge, but it is good for it’s budget-minded price point. I mean the soundstage isn’t non-existent like stock IEMs that come with your phone, but it isn’t big. I think that it is a bit above average in its price range.
I think that imaging is one of its strong suits. With multiple instruments and singers, it is still relatively easy to tell what is where, which is rather impressive considering its price range and quite average soundstage.
Separation & Detail
One of the highlights was the separation. Being a $50 single BA driver IEM, I wasn’t expecting too much from it in terms of separation, but once again, I was proven wrong. On the track “Some Nights” by Fun. The vocal separation was what you’d expect from a much pricier IEM. Instrument separation was great as well.
The detail was actually very good with these, much more detailed than anything that I have heard in it’s price range and even better than some $100 IEMs like the SE215 and H-100. Small details were there, but obviously, there were no microdetails that I can hear on something like a GR07.
Personally, I don’t feel like the A151P excelled in one particular area, but was very good across the entire spectrum, which is an extremely rare thing for an IEM of this price range to do. I feel like this beats anything in the $50 range hands down, including the E212, PAA-1 Pro (earbud) and even quite a few $100 ones like the SE215 and H-100 as mentioned above.
Meelectronics has really impressed me with their A151P and I wait for the day when they join the $200 area . Well done if you read the entire 1250 word review and I hope that it helped you.
BTW, all the pictures are from Google Images, I didn't take them. I didn't post my own pics because all my pics are crap.