Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › MEElec M6 & M9: Chameleons of Portable Phones
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

MEElec M6 & M9: Chameleons of Portable Phones

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

 

I won't go into a review of either of these phones, or post pictures, as that has all been done before, and I'm just too lazy a sod to bother. Instead I though it important for people to realize the potential of these phones, their chameleon nature, just by swapping tips. So I decided to start a new thread as I don't believe this has been touched on before for these phones. And yes, I do understand the importance of ear tip fit, and how even different compositions of ear tips can alter the sound sig (I've written before on the topic). The difference here is that different tips transformed these modest, seemingly ordinary phones to a very happy place.

 

So here my story begins.......

 

I purchased the M9 as earlier reports suggested it and the highly regarded M6 shared the same drivers. As I posted earlier on a different thread, I was a bit disappointed in what, to my ears, was a bass heavy sound signature. Not my cup of tea, especially as such imbalance can rob the other end, the high freqs, of their presence. But at this price, no biggie. It was still better than I expected. However I found myself reaching for the Apple earbuds for just going out because although they were lacking in the tactile cues we relate with as 'Hi-Fidelity', they had a flatter freq response. 

 

After contacting MEElectron regarding the M9 phones, the kind people there sent me different tips. Charge for the tips. Zero. Time to respond to my email. A few minutes. 

 

A world of difference! Much more neural and defined from the previous sound sig which was rather bass dominant to the point of detracting from the rest of the freq response, and the music. Or at least this is my opinion, and my preference for a sound sig. But I was amazed the range one can get just by swapping tips. These can go from extreme bass machines to a darned flat response. In the mood for Hip-Hop with some juicy bass you'd be bumping from your Chevy Impala? Or perhaps rather a sensual violin concerto? Just switch tips. Crazy.

 

 

I was on such a roll with this nice company, I thought I'd try the M6. Again, the very kind folks at MEElec provided additional tips for my preferred freq balance. And again a winner. And as 'joker' mentions, a slightly cleaner sound sig, and slightly more extended high freqs in the M6 than the M9, but still fun phones. Please see others reviews on these phones for a more in depth description.

 

 

There is currently a difference in the new M9 and M6 drivers. The fit is also different. The M9 has a shorter and stouter nozzle the the tips fit on. The M6 is longer and thinner. As such, the M6 fits further into the ear. 

 

If you think of bass loading, the smaller space of an IEM that fits deeply into the ear canal vs one that seals at the outer edge (tri-flange v donut tips, for example) would have less air to move, thus less bass, yet likely better highs. This was the case here, even though the drivers were not identical.

 

 

So the M6 trumps the M9? Well, not exactly. The M6 does sit further in my ear, and my ears are more sensitive to those tips over time. The M9, far less so. Also, fitting the M6 takes more effort. The may be easy to detach if you need to speak with someone, or check if you're crossing a busy street, but the M9's are far more convenient to just pop in and out as you're walking around. Chances are if you're popping them in and out, listening is not critical. I dare say the sound sigs are quite similar, as one might expect from MEElec signature, but then again, that depends entirely on the tips you use.

 

In all, I'm happy I own both the M6 and the M9. And even though the M6 sound is slightly better to my ears, I use the M9's more frequently. Different shades of flavor for different moods and purposes. Very pleased owning both.

 

Better yet is the Customer Service, which is second to none. You'd think these were $300 headphones instead of $30, and even then I doubt you'd get the rapid response I got from the nice people at MEElec. Thanks for all the help Joe and Simon. A great philosophy to build up a good customer base- keep them happy, and they shall return. I wish this company success as a model to the industry.

 

 

NOTE: MEElec is currently having a sale on the M6. Now it is truly a 'steal'.

post #2 of 35
I agree great products and their customer service is just outstanding IMO. They are super quick in responding to emails. I need to add the M-9 's to my sig.
Edited by pablo7 - 8/5/10 at 8:04pm
post #3 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by pablo7 View Post

I agree great products and their customer service is just outstanding IMO. They are super quick in responding to emails. I need to add the M-9 's to my sig.


And a M6 :)

post #4 of 35

Volume of air inside the canal after seal has little to do with bass response. If anything a smaller volume would better couple the driver to the ear diaphram but it's likely quite small. Deeper insertion of the same phone can warm things up a bit but it's small in the scheme of things. Opinions of the sound and quality on IEMs is always appreciated.


Edited by goodvibes - 8/5/10 at 8:14pm
post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Volume of air inside the canal after seal has little to do with bass response. If anything a smaller volume would better couple the driver to the ear diaphram but it's likely quite small. Deeper insertion of the same phone can warm things up a bit but it's small in the scheme of things. Opinions of the sound and quality on IEMs is always appreciated.


I find that air pressure differences do make a difference. Living in an area with altitude variations enough to make it apparent, I find that sometimes the bass is reduced/enhanced with the variation. Some IEMs it's welcome, and others I find myself breaking the seal to balance it out again. So, I think that it actually can make a difference, since these things move very small amounts of air generally.

post #6 of 35

I've got the gray "neutral" tips on my M9's and enjoy them very much. I like them a little more than the M6 except when the volume goes up. The M9 seams to loose composure for some reason. I also put the gray tips on my M11's with similar but more subtle results.

post #7 of 35
Thread Starter 

I agree goodvibes, deeper, less air = better coupling. Which is why the highs don't get drowned out.

 

I used to design speakers and a small woofer in a small room coupled well and the system could sound balanced, but placed in a larger room couldn't move enough air and the bass would sound anemic, and the treble overplayed due to a lack of bottom end balance. So it seemed contradictory here to me with phones. However,  you can also amplify bass by placing speakers against the wall or worse, in a corner. Anyone remember Klipschorns? They actually required wall or corner placement to elongate their bass 'horns' and reinforce their bass. Although, as they were actually designed for wall speaker placement, they were less plagued with the standing nodes that often accompanied large speakers inappropriately placed near walls or corners, or in rooms too small to support them.

 

Although it's only an hypothesis, I think the donut tips that leave the most room open in your ear canal would cause this sort of bouncing off the walls bass reinforcement waves that we see in speaker near wall placement, whereas a smaller volume would, as you said, couple better- cleaner, so to speak. I think this bass reinforcement phenomenon may contribute to the bloated sound of phones like the Senn 300's with the donut tips. I also think the donuts absorb less pressure than the flanges, again increasing bass. Like I said, just my hypothesis. 

 

Designers have to pick and chose from the options they are given, and often to cut corners to meet a price point. When I first heard the M9 phones I knew the sound they designed for, and for the price that was okay. But with the different tips, it all opened up substantially, much to my surprise. The M6s were not so bass heavy, and seems slightly more articulate, but they too changed their colors with the new tips. Anyway, I was just pretty taken back by the difference the tips the guys at MEElec sent that I felt compelled to write this thread, just in case anyone else was in the same (bass bloat) boat.

 

I'm really liking the ability to contour the sound sig to fit the music. 


Edited by jSatch - 8/5/10 at 11:40pm
post #8 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Painful Chafe View Post

I've got the gray "neutral" tips on my M9's and enjoy them very much. I like them a little more than the M6 except when the volume goes up. The M9 seams to loose composure for some reason. I also put the gray tips on my M11's with similar but more subtle results.


Yup, those are exactly the tips I got too for the M9 that made the difference. They also have some tri-flanges for the M6 that do the same.

 

The new M9 is no longer the same driver as the M6. The M9 also appears ported (bass reflex). Although ported speakers seemed to require less juice to open up, they'd also break up quicker at high volumes.

 

Please don't play music too loud for long periods. 

post #9 of 35

Great thread.  Also agree on the tips.  The Monster Gel tips are the biggest bass enhancement tip I have ever heard.  Also second the Meelec service.  

 

Meelec made the cheapest phones I have ever bought and they have the best customer service I have ever experienced from perhaps anybody?  The SQ is also above average which is amazing for the price. 

post #10 of 35

Do the grey tips bring out mids on the M6 while taming the highs and lows?  Too me the mids sound like they simply are sucked out a bit w/ no fix really doable.

post #11 of 35

Hi! Thank for telling us about this I have both phones. jSatch can show some pics of the tip with the phones? Thanks!

post #12 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by actorlife View Post

Hi! Thank for telling us about this I have both phones. jSatch can show some pics of the tip with the phones? Thanks!

 

I'll have to check when I get home but the grey tips Painful Chafe is speaking of are for the M9 and I believe are bi-flanges. I have the clear M6 and the tips match the original tips in color, but seem to be larger tri-flanges, if I remember correctly.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post

Do the grey tips bring out mids on the M6 while taming the highs and lows?  Too me the mids sound like they simply are sucked out a bit w/ no fix really doable.


To me, even if the bass doesn't muddy up the mids or highs to any extent, and this becomes a pretty good balancing act with a single driver, it does, when prominent, shift the balance of the sound sig to the low end. As per my example of the small speaker system, above, in a small or larger room, the bass may couple in a small room and yield a balanced freq response. Place it in a large room and the speaker will sound like a tipped up shrieking hag, even though the tweeters have not changed and are putting out the same as they were before. Same is true with a large bass speaker in a small room- the presence of the highs will get lost- even though they are independent speakers.

 

To me, and quite likely having to do with my ear canals, which apparently are on the large size, and the bass loading, etc, these phones are bass prominent as delivered. This detracts, to my preferred listening, from the mids and highs (my other IEM phones are heavily modded Altec iM716s- so the detailed Ety sound sig is something I prefer- just as a reference). The new tips gracefully provided by the kind people at MEElec decrease this prominence and allow the mids and highs to open up. They are still not the detail freaks the iM716s are, but they are more fun, more balanced and are importantly, more portable. Yes, the mids are still a tad recessed, but less so, at least to me, than previously. The highs may demonstrate added presence due to a high freq breakup node (which happens in all HF drivers- just look at some freq response graphs of raw drivers). This could be damped electronically, but may also decrease this 'presence' which gives a sense of HF detail. Remember, this is a single driver, and it performs extraordinarily well given that fact. In my opinion, the M6 driver pulls this off better than the M9, which mentioned above, when pushed can get irritating (likely the HF break up node, as mentioned. These nodes are caused when the motor pushes the base of the driver in one direction and the center of driver is still moving in the opposite direction- it has a lot to do with the size and composition of the driver. This 'flexing' point is a circle in the middle of the cone, ie 1/2 the distance from the center to the edge. Move up and the next node will be half that, or at 1/4 of the cone, etc, etc, in a regular pattern. The first node is the largest in most cases.)

 

Again, the bass prominence to me may be a factor not only of my tastes, but large ear canals. But for me, these phones didn't go from ordinary to extraordinary within this price range until I tried the new tips. YMMV.


Edited by jSatch - 8/6/10 at 11:23am
post #13 of 35

Oh!  I have some M9/11 tip sets.  I'll try them out.  Didn't occur to me.  

post #14 of 35



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan961 View Post




I find that air pressure differences do make a difference. Living in an area with altitude variations enough to make it apparent, I find that sometimes the bass is reduced/enhanced with the variation. Some IEMs it's welcome, and others I find myself breaking the seal to balance it out again. So, I think that it actually can make a difference, since these things move very small amounts of air generally.



Air pressure and air volume are entirely different things. Same happens in a plane but it's because your ear drum is being pulled to one side due to pressure change and not the volume of air in the canal. As I said, a deeper insertion can warm things up a bit, probably due to better coupling of a smaller volume but things clearly don't happen as the op postulated.

post #15 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

..... but things clearly don't happen as the op postulated.


well then, so much for 'goodvibes'

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors › MEElec M6 & M9: Chameleons of Portable Phones