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MEElectronics R1 Review

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
MEElectronics R1 Review

First impressions: These look rather not bad don’t they? I do really like the look of these IEM’s, I wasn’t sure how their being wood would look in front of me rather than in a photo but they look as good if not better in person. The cable looks mightily pretty too. A woven silvery grey with a translucent grey sheath over the cable from the y splitter to the jack. These could easily aesthetically pass for being far more expensive than they are. The bundle they come with isn’t great though, that little bag thing, cable tie and like its sibling that aircraft adapter. I really don’t know why this is included as I’ve personally never used one or even know anyone who has. Are these much more commonly used in yankland? Answers on a postcard. That aside these feel and look like a good quality item here and a really very nice cable that certain other manufacturers would do well to emulate and you can tell some thought has gone into it, well done you.

Sound wise that’s a big chunk of bass there but instantly noticeable its bass quantity is step up from its sibling the M9. Mids sound warmer too. Away to the bun in machine with you.

Lows: No doubt if you buy this you’re buying for its bass. Its lows are smooth, very deep, well controlled and have a good amount of punch to them. Like its stable mates its kinda heavy on the bass but its rather good quality bass particularly in terms of its depth and visceral power. On Mika’s “I see you” the opening third has vocals and a deep rumbling powerful bass sounding throughout and the R1 holds this richly deep note with ease and control that many others would struggle with. The bass also has enough speed to get good and punchy when the song calls for it. On Goldfrapp’s “Number one” the bass has a good combination of depth and impact that works rather well, particularly as that track is really held together by its bass line. On quantity there really is just too much bass for my tastes and I find in some songs I just wish it would behave more and bugger off slightly. The bass even though its good is just too ever-present for me but this is unlikely to be a major problem for the market its aimed at, young chaps and chapets (almost used the word quine but thought better of it, points if you can say what it means without googling it first) that want a jump up from stock rubbish but want a really heavy bass line. This will give a great value heap of pretty good quality bass without being too overbearing and drowning everything else out.

Mids: Like the bass the mids have really improved on the M9. These are still well behind the bass in terms of quantity but they are keeping up with it in terms of quality. They are rich and warm with pretty reasonable clarity; this lets them still sound clear and not got lost behind that powerful bass. The chirping Veronicas can still quite clearly tell me how they feel untouched (if they say so.) Miss Bextor even valiantly battles through the gargantuan bass of “Heartbreak, Make Me A Dancer” to be clearly audible. Lordy that’s a lot of bass in that track but the vocals still sound nice, like the bass it’s rich and warm just nowhere near as abundant. It’s smooth and clear and no matter what I did could I make the vocals sound harsh. I just really would have rathered there was more mids and less bass.

Highs: Well like its siblings these are not treble monsters which suits my ears but what treble is there is pretty decent but don’t expect it to shine brightly through. On Noah and the Whale’s “Shape of my Heart” the tambourine is pushed right to the back and really isn’t clearly presented at all but it never sounds harsh in the highs. This adds to the warmth and richness of these IEM’s and is somewhat reminiscent of Sony, warm and rich and toned down on the treble energy. If you’re a treble junky look elsewhere but what is here is pleasant sounding but a little recessed and will hide a little when there is too much going on.

Soundstage: They have a rich full bodied sound but instrument separation lets it down a little. They sound quite big but I’ve no idea where the sounds are coming from.

Comfort: Very comfortable, had these in for hours at a time and never had the slightest issue with them. Wearing up or down both worked fine but as usual I preferred up.

Fit: Fit was fairly good out of the box, it did take a few tip changes to get them just right but once I had found the small tips worked best then that was me. From there on no real issues just shove in and that was they. I did get some driver flex but after a min or so they would right themselves and sound like they should.

Microphonics: Nonexistent as far as I could tell, a kick ass cable, a shirt clip and I wore them over ear.

Isolation: Better than I was expecting, nothing outstanding going on here but certainly good enough for day to day use. Maybe even good enough to go on a plane with. It wouldn’t be my first choice for a flight but I could live with it. (Actually I probably couldn’t because I’m spoilt for earphones and I only get on a BAe-146 if I have any say in the matter.)

Cable: These have a great cable, it feels great and it looks even better.


Amped / unamped: Well these did get better when amped with the icon, they are rather warm and bassy and the icon is cooler and bright which balanced them a little. No great night and day differences going on and dear lord they certainly do not need a bass boosting.

Value: At present these are us$40 which works out as about £25. These really don’t come with a great bundle I feel, that airline adapter is a pointless thing and the little baggy for storing them is sorely deficient as a replacement for the little case the M9 has. It’s barely better than nothing in my opinion. The thing is the IEM’s themselves make up for the bundles failings. Yeah these look awesome in the flesh and I can’t think of anything that’s going to be outright better value if you want a big warm absurdly bassy sound. Yeah these are good value.

Conclusion: Bass, bass and more bass. These have a really very warm bassy rich sound which the more I heard them the more they remind me of Sony and the EX500 I have except I can’t say I really enjoyed these. Lots of warmth that’s smooth and rich but these have quite a bit more bass that a bass head may well love but me its killing. Sash and “Raindrops” my god they absolutely belt out the bass on that, abundant punch, depth and power. For me it’s fun for a little but after a few minutes I can’t take it and have to skip the track. The thing is a lot of songs have bass that on these is just too much for me. I don’t doubt that many will just love the sound these produce with it big ass bass but it’s really too much for me. Thankfully for bass lovers not only is the bass big on these it’s really well done for the price. It has a very good balance between boom and punch that does pair up well with fast punchy music Guru Josh’s “Infinity 2008” has massive power and punch that these do wonders with, hammering out the bass while giving it real depth and authority. If that’s the sort of music you listen to (i.e. stuff that’s in the charts) then these could suit you well if you want a prettier option to what Sony has to offer then these could be what you are after. If you value any semblance of balance, neutrality and bright treble go look elsewhere.
post #2 of 3
Nice writeup! Bass seems to be a central theme with budget IEMs nowadays. Don't dig the look so much.
post #3 of 3
Quine seems like a rather more northern word for a loon from Edinburgh to use.
Don't particularly like the look of these either but might be tempted if it really is a good bit better than the M9.
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