Pros: Smooth, clear sound, great Isolation, comfortable and light
Cons: No shirt clip, lacking in the sub lows, mircophonics
Meelectronics started out in 2005, making MP3 players with a desire to bring customers exceptional sound quality at affordable prices. However, the sound quality of any player is dependent on the earphones used, so they developed their own. In 2010, they shifted their focus to earphones that provide durability, style, and exceptional sound quality.
First off, would like to thank Mike form Meelectronics for sending me a review sample of the newly updated A151. The new model now includes and inline mic for phone calls, hence the model is now called A151p. I received the sample earphones and was impressed worth the overall quality of the packaging considering that these in ears cost under $80, depending on where you purchase them.
Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality
Standard retail packaging is expected for the price range, the earphones are pictured on the front, the box has chrome accents, which are also on the earphones themselves. The included accessories are a colour-matched carrying case (Black), which is quite small and the in ears just fit inside, there is also no inner place holder to wrap your cable around, so it takes a little longer to pack these up, but I expect most will just place the cable in their bag or a pocket loose, or even just wrap it around their phones. The carry case seems to be a standard across the range, as my M6 in ears have the same case, just a different colour.
Included as well are 5 pairs of ear tips, Silicone Round (S/M/L), Bi-flange ,Triple-flange and a cable cinch. The most notable absentee is the shirt clip. This became most notable when wearing these for a walk or playing drums. I did manage to grab one from my other in ears, but would still prefer this to be standard. Foam tips and a cleaning tool is also missing.
For the price of these in ears, the build quality is rather high; the cable is a flexible twisted cable, similar to high end earphones from Westone. The IEMs are made of high quality plastic with chrome accents that neither looks tacky or cheap. You can wear these comfortable as a straight drop down or over the ear, but without a shirt clip; they do seem to pull a little. Also would like some memory wire to hold the shape on the ear.
As a single Balance Armature design, I was very interest in how these would do with bass heavy music, as well as playing on stage using my Roland TD-30. Firstly, I did burn them in as standard with any earphone I test; even tho BA (Balance Armatures) doesn’t need to be burnt in. Having done this I went straight to my favourite reference track to get a gauge on how these would fair to all my other earphones. Livingston Taylor's - Isn't She Lovely is a great reference recording that I would recommend to anyone who wants to test the highs, mids and lows of any system, being headphones or hifi.
When I put these in, I knew I had a nice set of in-ears. The warmth of these is beautiful. They really do sound more expensive than what you pay. The beginning of Isn't She Lovely starts with a Livingston whistling the tune, this really tests the highs, and I can say the A151's passed with flying colours. Sibilance was minimal, and the flow between the highs and mids was seamless.
Moving to some bass orientated music from Lindsey Stirling, the A151 stood its ground, but it didn't reach the lows that you can expect from a dynamic driver or multiple BA's. The bass is punchier, but sub lows are not as apparent. The sound is more suited to treble heads and people who like Mids.
The second environment I used these is playing Roland V Drums (TD 30 K) in a live performance environment. As a drummer, having IEM's that fit and stay sealed is a huge positive, equally is the sound isolation. I found the isolation of the A151 to be great.
The best fit was the standard round tips; they seemed to "suck" into the ear canal the best, creating great isolation. Not having a shirt clip, does restrict the movement that you can achieve without pulling on the cable. I also found that microphonics from the cable was reduce when I place a shirt clip on, so I would recommend you find a spare one. If you wear these straight down, then this does not really affect you. The sound from the Roland was a present surprise. The cymbals were the stand out, as they were very crisp, cutting through nicely. Kick was not the greatest, but you can't have it all with a single BA. Still, having a full band with vocals coming through your in ears, the A151p's did a great job.
With regards to the phone call abilities of the A151p's, it was a present surprise from my standard Apple earphones. The clarity of the call was great, and the person on the other side of the call noticed an increase in clarity when switching between the two. I did wish for more control on the mic, like volume buttons, but overall, it worked well.
The Meelectronics A151p earphones is a great buy, they can hold their weight with earphones double in price. The smoothness of sound and clarity are one of the best in-ears I have heard in the sub $80 price range. The sound is gentle and you can listen to these for extended periods of time without fatigue. Some minor accessories upgrades would be welcomed, but all in all, a great set in earphones. You can get these all over the internet from the popular sites such as eBay and Amazon, as well as from the friendly team at Meelectronics.
Driver: single micro balanced armature
Frequency response: 20Hz to 18KHz
Impedance: 27 Ohms
Sensitivity: 111 dB
Maximum power input: 30 mW
Connector: 4 pin stereo 3.5mm gold plated straight plug
Cable: twisted black 135 cm cable (53 in)