Pros: Great detail across the frequency spectrum considering the price, good microphone quality, inexpensive
Cons: Driver flex can be an issue, sensitive to insertion depth, can be too bassy for some
The M9P IEMs hail from a small California-based company by the name of MEElectronics. They produce a wide range of IEMs that cater to different users with various sound signatures. The M9 and M9P IEMs are among the most inexpensive products available and are currently selling for $20 and $23 respectively. I decided to buy the M9P IEMs because they not only function as earphones but will also have use as a headset for my cell phone and iPod Touch. After breaking them in and listening to them with a variety of music in my collection, these are my favorite IEMs in the sub $30 price range and are fantastic earphones for the price.
Driver: 9mm dynamic driver
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20KHz
Impedance: 16 Ohm
Cable Length: 1.2m/4ft.
Packaging/Accessories: The M9Ps come packaged in an attractive transparent box and include a bevy of accessories including a hard zippered case, a cable wrapper, four sets of silicone eartips which includes a set of biflanges, a shirt clip and an airline adapter. Considering that the M9Ps only cost about $23, MEElectronics has included a highly impressive accessory package that puts many other inexpensive IEMs to shame.
Design and Build Quality: The M9Ps feature lightweight aluminum housings which feel durable and are ported at the rear to allow for more air flow. This helps with the low end response and the soundstage but cuts down the isolation.
The cable is perhaps the best I’ve seen on any IEM. It’s lined with what appears to be delicate braided silver wiring inside and coated with a transparent plastic coating that both looks very attractive and makes it feel very durable. The cable is properly relieved at both ends which inspires confidence in terms of long term durability. Because of the great cable design, microphonics are negligible when worn straight down and practically non-existent when worn over-the-ear.
All in all, these are very attractive and durable IEMs that should be able to stand up to pretty heavy usage and last quite a long time.
Comfort and Fit: MEElectronics includes three pairs of single flange silicone eartips as well as a pair of bi-flanges for deeper insertion and better isolation. I have small ear canals so I opted for the smallest single flange tips and managed to get a good seal. The included silicone eartips are fairly soft and made the M9Ps very comfortable to use for long periods of time.
One thing that was a constant point of contention with the M9Ps is the seal itself. Now it’s common knowledge that IEMs require a good seal in order to sound their best but the M9Ps take that concept to another level. Simply put, I’ve never come across an IEM that was as finicky about the seal as the M9. If the seal wasn’t absolutely perfect, the resultant sound was imbalanced, shallow or just plain bad. That said, using the M9Ps while on the move isn’t the best idea because of its need for a perfect seal.
Usage/Burn-in: These IEMs have been given 50+ hours of burn-in prior to review but settled into their final sound signature after about 10 – 15 hours.
Low End: The most dominant frequency range on the M9Ps is also the best detailed. Prior to burn in, the bass was somewhat muddy but now, it has tightened up and boasts surprising refinement. Bass is still a bit boomy but not too much so. Extension is pretty good as well, reaching down into the sub bass levels before rolling off.
Midrange:Definitely recessed in comparison to the other two frequencies (especially the bass) but not so much so that it is overly detrimental to the overall sound signature. They’re smooth and don’t stand out too prominently, which may disappoint fans of Rock and Alternative music. The low end can creep up on bassier tracks which does make the midrange sound a bit washed out in comparison but overall, I think they are decently detailed.
Highs/Treble:Nice extension, detail and clarity. There’s a bit of harshness in the upper treble region but overall, highs are pleasant sounding and have a nice sparkle.
Soundstage: Wide and airy. Imaging isn’t too great but instrument separation is surprisingly good.
Sound Signature: Dark, warm, thumpy and very fun. Very bass forward and somewhat aggressive but rarely fatiguing. I love the sound signature of these when listening to Hip-Hop, Jazz and R&B. I think the low end is a bit too overpowering to be used with much Rock and Alternative music and the highs are a bit too harsh to be used with Classical but overall, these are very versatile and will work with a large number of genres that I haven’t mentioned. This is definitely the best and most entertaining sound signature I’ve heard for the price.
Microphone Quality: Very good considering the price. Voices come through clean and clear and the microphone does a decent job of filtering out ambient noise but can get overwhelmed in noisy environments. It works well for making phone calls as well as Skype calls on the iPod Touch.
As a whole, I’m very impressed with the M9P IEMs. They are well designed, perform above their price range and are, above all, inexpensive. $23 is a very small price to pay for a great pair of IEMs and considering that price, I can’t find much fault with them. While the bass may be a bit too deep for some listeners and there can be some harshness in the treble region, there isn’t much these do wrong. If you’re looking for a fun pair of IEMs that will work as a headset for your iPhone or other cell phone, sound good and won’t put a strain on your wallet, look no further. These things are practically a steal.