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MEElec vs. Brainwavz, Sub $50 IEM Help

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

I am looking to make a slight upgrade from my current IEMs the SoundMagic Pl21 in a few months. I really like the Pl21 and i was very happy with them. I liked the bass which was a lot better than my old Philips IEMs and i found them to be a lot clearer than stock earphones which was a real highlight, however the bass did feel a bit, boomy.

I feel now that it is time to upgrade my earphones, (slowly but surely) so i was looking for a good budget Sub $50, preferably sub $40 (approx 50nzd) earphones. At the moment i have had a good look on this site for the recomended sub $50 IEMs and i have narrowed it down to a few.

 

- Meelec M21 ($35)

- Meelec CX21 (recommended by meelec for my music taste) ($40)

- Brainwavz Pro Alpha ($35)

- Brainwavz M1 ($35)

 

I am open to other options, this time i should be able to order online. My main questions are;

 

"are the Brainwavz superior to the Meelec models? I have heard that they are better than the M6 but no comparison to the CX and M21 models." 

 

"what would you say is the difference between the M1 and ProAlpha, it really seems to come down to personal taste but which would you say suits metal, metalcore and death metal genres which i listen to a lot (killswitch engage, august burns red, the devil wears prada, as i lay dying)?"

 

"are there any other earphones that would suit my genres of music or would i have to pay a higher price to get one that suits metal? I have had a look on ljoker1's massive thread and none have been recommended for metal music"

 

I am also not sure if the M1 has been discontinued because they are advertised on MP4nation but when i click on it, it says they are not there. 

What i look for in an IEM is hard to say, i like clarity but at the same time i miss the warmness. It's hard to explain since i am new to the whole 'audiophile' analysis. I like the warmness of the bass but i also love clarity. I am useless at defining instruments so i will just say i love the sound of the symbol on the drums so any IEM that gives it that extra prominence or sparkle/shimmer (wrong word?) will be nice.

 

I almost forgot to add, this will be used on my Ipod video which i may rockbox.

Sorry for the long post.

post #2 of 17
If you want warmth and clarity the CW31 would be a better choice than the cold CX21. It is a little more expensive though. But the better build quality alone might justify the expense. The only thing negative I can say about the CW31 is you may want a little more sparkle in the highs.

Something that be worth considering: Amazon has the MEElectronics A151 for $50 this week. Every review I have read considered it be one of the best bang for your buck earphones at $75, so at $50 it is a steal. Reviews say it warm and has good clarity. Again though, the highs do not have a lot of sparkle from what I have read. Here is the catch though, Amazon is out of stock. You can still order today and get it for $50, but it might be a week or two before it ships.
post #3 of 17

 

 I am sort of in the same position as you. I am a novice, and seem to have the same sound preference. I am not sure we can really get it in a sub $50 IEM. I am testing a few different models than the ones you have listed. I noticed that using a different tip can make a huge difference in the sound of a headphone. The Sony hybrid enhances the bass and decreases the treble, almost to the point of making the sound muddy. A smaller tip does the reverse. The Meelec "balanced" biflange seem to be a good compromise, which is why I suppose they call it "balanced." I think the only way to know which you will prefer is to order a few of them and eat the return shipping charge or sell them on ebay or here. You might want to add to your list the Meelec M6, the imetal im-590, and the Nuforce 6. With the right tips, these might get the sound you want. In fact, for a non-audiophile the M6 sounds fairly close to the other ones, and is only about $20. Of these three, my slight preference is the nuforce, but that is just my personal taste.  The CW31 caught my attention, but I had already bought four. 

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnhardwick View Post

If you want warmth and clarity the CW31 would be a better choice than the cold CX21. It is a little more expensive though. But the better build quality alone might justify the expense. The only thing negative I can say about the CW31 is you may want a little more sparkle in the highs.

Something that be worth considering: Amazon has the MEElectronics A151 for $50 this week. Every review I have read considered it be one of the best bang for your buck earphones at $75, so at $50 it is a steal. Reviews say it warm and has good clarity. Again though, the highs do not have a lot of sparkle from what I have read. Here is the catch though, Amazon is out of stock. You can still order today and get it for $50, but it might be a week or two before it ships.


At 50 USD i would buy the A151 almost without thinking, it seems like a great steal. However i have one major problem, i live in new zealand so i can not buy items through amazon.com only through amazon.co.uk so unfortunately i can not get that offer. The CW31 is an extra $10 from the CX21 so i guess i will have to check the reviews on it.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by novice1 View Post

 

 You might want to add to your list the Meelec M6, the imetal im-590, and the Nuforce 6. With the right tips, these might get the sound you want. In fact, for a non-audiophile the M6 sounds fairly close to the other ones, and is only about $20. Of these three, my slight preference is the nuforce, but that is just my personal taste.  The CW31 caught my attention, but I had already bought four. 



Yeah, i was thinking a lot about the M6 but a person for Meelec recommended me the CX21 instead, (maybe because it is more expensive?) but either way the CX21 seems to be an improvement from it.

post #5 of 17

I am not sure that the cx21 is an improvement over the M6, just a different sound. I think the M6 started out at $40, but is now easy to find around $20.  You may not prefer the over-the-ear design.  For rock, which is what I listen too, the difference among the three headphones I listed is not that great. The 590 is a little clearer, sharper, if that makes sense.  That might make it harder to listen to for longer periods. The more I test these, the more I can see that the tips really change the sound.  Which ever ones you get, you should spend time using different tips.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by novice1 View Post

I am not sure that the cx21 is an improvement over the M6, just a different sound. I think the M6 started out at $40, but is now easy to find around $20.  You may not prefer the over-the-ear design.  For rock, which is what I listen too, the difference among the three headphones I listed is not that great. The 590 is a little clearer, sharper, if that makes sense.  That might make it harder to listen to for longer periods. The more I test these, the more I can see that the tips really change the sound.  Which ever ones you get, you should spend time using different tips.



Yeah sorry i got my facts wrong, the CX21 is not an improvement of the M6, the M21 is. For the price the M6 is worth it and to be honest the over the ear design is something i love and because it's flat it should mean i can sleep with them on without too much trouble. However i just quickly asked ClieOS and he said the CX21 will suit my music taste better than the CW31 so that seems to be the ideal IEM at the moment especially considering mp4nation's shipping stories are abysmal which kind of takes the Brainwavz IEMs out of consideration. Possibly might go all in and get both.

post #7 of 17
Quote:
especially considering mp4nation's shipping stories are abysmal which kind of takes the Brainwavz IEMs out of consideration.

What stories? I got all of my 6 packages fine so far. And shipping is free, unlike from meelec.
I think maybe the CX21 is more balanced, with better low-end extension, than the M1 (unfortunetly I didn't had them at the same time) but every other aspect of the sound is a little better with the M1 imho. (tho the CX21 is much better, than the M9) There's no recommendation for genre, because it doesn't mean anything. I love breakbeat too with my K601, and you don't see them beeing recommended for that. People usually like metalcore with a slight V shaped response which the ProAlpha has, but many like me, like it more with more balanced phones.

To make it more complicated: I like the fit, cable, and shirt clip of the CX21 better. So I think it evens out the bang for buck.
Edited by Shufny - 4/23/11 at 3:00am
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shufny View Post



What stories? I got all of my 6 packages fine so far. And shipping is free, unlike from meelec.
I think maybe the CX21 is more balanced, with better low-end extension, than the M1 (unfortunetly I didn't had them at the same time) but every other aspect of the sound is a little better with the M1 imho. (tho the CX21 is much better, than the M9) There's no recommendation for genre, because it doesn't mean anything. I love breakbeat too with my K601, and you don't see them beeing recommended for that. People usually like metalcore with a slight V shaped response which the ProAlpha has, but many like me, like it more with more balanced phones.

To make it more complicated: I like the fit, cable, and shirt clip of the CX21 better. So I think it evens out the bang for buck.


I had a search on this forum and i found a few threads about people waiting a month possibly 2 for their overseas shipping from mp4nation and the customer service was not helpful at all, they just got an automated response. I guess if i am patient i could wait that long.

I understand what you mean about no recommendation for genre but imo i think it is just an indication that the type of sound produced is popular with listeners of that genre, or am i reading too far into this? I didn't know that people usually like metalcore with a V shaped response but that's not really suprising considering i am new to IEMs and being an audiophile.

I also really seem to have no option to get the M1 on mp4nation so the ProAlpha is the only option it seems. I guess what it has come down to is the CX21 and the ProAlpha. 

So in your last statement you said some like the V shaped response given by the ProAlpha for metalcore but you personally like it with balanced phones, implying you prefer metalcore with the CX21? So i guess in the end it comes down to personal preference. Things would be so much easier if i could imaging the sound difference.

post #9 of 17
The waiting time is out of their control. 1: I read some posts of people bitching about that, and it turned out that they don't know how preorder works. 2: Raz (mp4nation) stated several times the current state of HK mail. They really can't do anything about it, other than offering alternative shipping for a fee. 3: My packages I think all arrived within a month. The last two times it took exactly 2 weeks. Sometimes even domestical shipping takes like 2 weeks here, so many times even the HK post has nothing to do with the delay.

M1 is out of stock I think. I really meant, that I like the M1 more than the ProAlpha. Not sure about the CX21. I like balance, but it's not everything. And yes, there can be things that certain genre preferences usually imply, but it can't be used as a principle. There can be huge differences between earphone preferences of people listening to the same genres. It can (and will) change with time too.

I don't think I can do better than joker and clieos (and maybe others) with describing their sound. Personally I really like the Brainwavz phones. The CX21 is nice, and I was kind of suprised by the pronounced low-end. (I mean like real low-end, not 60Hz) But soundstaging and clarity/detail is better with the BWs. It's certainly not a big difference tho.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shufny View Post

The waiting time is out of their control. 1: I read some posts of people bitching about that, and it turned out that they don't know how preorder works. 2: Raz (mp4nation) stated several times the current state of HK mail. They really can't do anything about it, other than offering alternative shipping for a fee. 3: My packages I think all arrived within a month. The last two times it took exactly 2 weeks. Sometimes even domestical shipping takes like 2 weeks here, so many times even the HK post has nothing to do with the delay.

M1 is out of stock I think. I really meant, that I like the M1 more than the ProAlpha. Not sure about the CX21. I like balance, but it's not everything. And yes, there can be things that certain genre preferences usually imply, but it can't be used as a principle. There can be huge differences between earphone preferences of people listening to the same genres. It can (and will) change with time too.

I don't think I can do better than joker and clieos (and maybe others) with describing their sound. Personally I really like the Brainwavz phones. The CX21 is nice, and I was kind of suprised by the pronounced low-end. (I mean like real low-end, not 60Hz) But soundstaging and clarity/detail is better with the BWs. It's certainly not a big difference tho.


Ok thank you for clearing up the mp4nation shipping, if it means i just have to wait that's fine considering my PL21s are still working so i am in no rush. 

Also i too hope the M1 is simply out of stock as i was planning on getting that. Thanks for clearing up my confusion about your preference over the ProAlpha.

If soundstaging and clarity/detail is better with the BWs i might lean towards them again. Hopefully i can wait for some sort of sale and get one BW and the CX21.

 

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnhardwick View Post

Something that be worth considering: Amazon has the MEElectronics A151 for $50 this week. Every review I have read considered it be one of the best bang for your buck earphones at $75, so at $50 it is a steal. Reviews say it warm and has good clarity. Again though, the highs do not have a lot of sparkle from what I have read. Here is the catch though, Amazon is out of stock. You can still order today and get it for $50, but it might be a week or two before it ships.

 

Hmm I just made an account to ask this question (I've been a lurker for a while).

I own a Cowon S9 and Sennheiser CX300, and I'm looking to upgrade my IEM.

I'm currently looking at the MEElectronics A151 and MEElectronics M6 w/ mic.

Right now its a $50 vs $20 question, but I'm worried about the sound of the A151 as...

 

Quote:
Fans of bassy, trebly, v-shaped, or mid-forward sound signatures would probably want to pick something else as the A151 is none of those things but if accuracy is a priority, the A151 competes with some of the better earphones in its price range.

My music collection includes bassy dubstep remixes to orchestrated OST / trailer music.

Any thoughts?

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by usb7 View Post

Hmm I just made an account to ask this question (I've been a lurker for a while).

I own a Cowon S9 and Sennheiser CX300, and I'm looking to upgrade my IEM.

I'm currently looking at the MEElectronics A151 and MEElectronics M6 w/ mic.

Right now its a $50 vs $20 question, but I'm worried about the sound of the A151 as...

 

My music collection includes bassy dubstep remixes to orchestrated OST / trailer music.

Any thoughts?


I do not have the A151, but from the reviews I am not sure it would have the bass you are looking for.
post #13 of 17

It's not like the A151s are bass-less... They still have pretty okay bass, and you'll definitely hear them politely knocking on your ear drums,  although Dr. Dre probably won't approve the bass quantity. Bottom line is they are a little warm but mostly balanced and neutral. 

 

Nobody knows how you like to hear your music, and most of the stuff has been said over and over so what else do you want to hear?

Quote:
Originally Posted by usb7 View Post

Hmm I just made an account to ask this question (I've been a lurker for a while).

I own a Cowon S9 and Sennheiser CX300, and I'm looking to upgrade my IEM.

I'm currently looking at the MEElectronics A151 and MEElectronics M6 w/ mic.

Right now its a $50 vs $20 question, but I'm worried about the sound of the A151 as...

 

My music collection includes bassy dubstep remixes to orchestrated OST / trailer music.

Any thoughts?



 

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by usb7 View Post

Hmm I just made an account to ask this question (I've been a lurker for a while).

I own a Cowon S9 and Sennheiser CX300, and I'm looking to upgrade my IEM.

I'm currently looking at the MEElectronics A151 and MEElectronics M6 w/ mic.

Right now its a $50 vs $20 question, but I'm worried about the sound of the A151 as...

 

My music collection includes bassy dubstep remixes to orchestrated OST / trailer music.

Any thoughts?



Okay this i may be able to help you with in the bass department, if you want bass and don't mind muddled mids i would say head for the MEElectronics M31. I was recently reading a review of it and i quote; 

 

"I am a bloody bass-head who like to feel as if a sub-woofer is placed in my ears / What the hell is midrange anyway? / I like an IEM with god-forbidden amounts of bass, but still has a decent presence across midrange and treble / I have a budget under $50 and I have been proudly using my Sansa earbuds or EP-630 or CX300 for the past three years and the damn thing just broke on me - Buy it!"

 

This is in the context of the reviewer saying whether or not the buy these depending on certain situations, that was situation 1.

 

The same review compares it to the CX300 and says it has the same bass but without as muddy an extension. All other reviews talk about it's strong bass, but compliment the fact that although it does bleed into the mids, it does not completely ruin it, just warms it up but makes detail a harder to pick out. Reviews also mention it's highs to be reasonably good  and ClieOS stated it has the most sparkle and detail in the highs compared to the other M models. It seems from what i gather to have a V possibly a U shaped sound. 

However whether or not it is an upgrade is something i can not be sure of.

 

Hope this helps, at the moment i am ready to buy the CX21 but if there is a sale on it or the Brainwavz i may get both.

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

Sorry for the double post, just thought i should say, i bought the CX21 this weekend for $20 and $3 off shipping! No regrets there, but now i have to wait 2-4 weeks.

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