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[Review] MEE A151

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Intro

Thank you to Joe from MEE for sending these to me to audition, I have really enjoyed the experience.  The A151 can be purchase from them from their website or through one of the retailers that carry them.  I am going to approach the write up of the review backwards, providing the listening impressions and summary first, then details about the accessories, fit, etc... As I have stated before I am a classical music listener that also listens to other genres on occasion, the equipment used for this review was primarily my rockboxed fuze using VBR -0 files.

 

Summary

From the first day with these I have been very pleased with their sound.  They have become my new number one for all genres. The sound is very clear and balanced, They sound great listening to classical but also excel with vocal, acoustic, rock, even drum and bass.  They are not bass monsters, the bass is punchy overall they are very balanced and well defined.  The cord is a braided dream come true, soft supple, tangle free.  Its hard to use anything with a different cord after handling these  I listen "with" them rather then "to" them when I listen to classical music.  It is easy to get lost in the music rather then reviewing and comparing their sound. I prefer single driver IEM's and only have one pair of dual driver IEMs (UE700).  I have many other single driver balance armature phones, I feel these are the best all around pair, a great value for the sound.   My only regret is that I wish could have started my journey for the perfect all around pair of IEMS with them rather then ending with the A151.  They are at the best of any IEM MEE has put out to date.             

 

Listening

What follows are notes that I made while I listened to the listed tracks.

 

Beethoven Violin Concerto - Hillary Hahn

The separation is excellent, the timpani is very well placed and defined, with just enough presence.  Her violin is very present but not in front of anything else.  Very enjoyable and detailed. 

Attack and decay are excellent on the cello.

 

Shostakovitch Cello Sonatas

Piano is extra pleasant with these.  Plucking of instruments makes me sit up and take notice.  Cello is fully bodied and very clear.  Details are amazing from the time the cellist starts to draw the bow across the strings to the decay.  Texture is smooth.  Never fatiguing.    

 

Mozart Sonata for violin and piano no. 18  K301

An amazing balance is heard between the piano and violin.  Everything is so evenly matched.  Natural.  Pleasant.  The piano has body, proper timbre.  The violin here is sweet, satisfying.         

 

Listening to Electro House

Nice clean sound.  bass has good extension, bass does not bleed at all into mids,

Seriously nice tight clean bass, while being able to enjoy all other aspects of the hard hitting electro house mix.

 

Herbie Hancock quartet

Wow, everything is so well balanced, drums are tight, trumpet is placed well.  Separation is awesome, drum solos are punchy never over bearing.  everything has its own space.  Everything is very balanced and presented together.  Compared to my aurvana's, they have a ^ sound sig where the drums disappear behind the trumpet as does the piano.  Very engaging lively sound, bright, not veiled not flavored.

 

Listening to RATM the bass is fast, bass drum has great placement, little minute details are clearly revealed.  They are fast, clean, with great separation and instrument placement.

 

Specs

  • Driver: Single micro balanced armature
  • Housing: High impact deco housing with angled fit
  • Frequency Response: 15Hz – 20KHz
  • Sensitivity: 111 dB
  • Impedance: 27 ohms
  • Maximum Power Input: 25 mW
  • Connector: 3 pin stereo 3.5mm gold plated straight plug
  • Cable: Twisted black 120 cm cable (47 in)
  • Accessories: 5 sets of silicone ear tips (small/medium/large; double-flange; large triple flange), clamshell zipper case
  • Dimension: 0.25 in. H x 0.3 in. W x 0.7 in. L
  • Ship Weight: 0.75 lb

 

Packaging

Packaging is their new cardboard box with a clear plastic insert that holds the phones and clamshell case.

IMG_6017.JPG  IMG_6023.JPG

 

Accessories

Small, Medium, Large, Dual Flange, and Large Tri-flange tips are included.  They are pretty standard silicone tips, although I did notice that for the best fit I had to step one size down to medium from my usual large that I wear.  The dual flange fit me and were easier to get in and out but did not create an ideal seal.  The tri-flange also work very well, however I just don't like the way they look on the IEM's.

 

Fit and Finish

These are very well built, they are made of plastic but feel very solid.  As mentioned in the summary the cable is a huge benefit and a welcome change from what I used to.  They are designed to be worn over the ear, they are very comfortable and stay put.  The isolation is average and varies a little bit depending on which tips you choose.  

 

IMG_6024.JPG  IMG_6042.JPG


Edited by dziendobry - 4/27/11 at 2:08pm
post #2 of 21

(i'm replying a bit late but)  nice review

this one seems to be my next purchase

do you find a similarity between all the BAs?

 

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 

I do find a similarity in some BA iems, but each has its own flavor and turning, I have had single BA's that were too mid forward for my tastes, and some where I love the treble, the etymotic tuning for example.  The A151 is a great mixture about what is great about single BA's. 

post #4 of 21

awesome review! i got a pair of ue500 but i think i also want one pair of ba phones. did you like the superfi4 or these a151 better in terms of sound quality, becuase i loved the fit of the superfi4 and these look bigger and less comfortable. also which has deeper more impacting/sustained bass? thanks a bunch


Edited by bmeat - 10/26/11 at 9:35am
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmeat View Post

awesome review! i got a pair of ue500 but i think i also want one pair of ba phones. did you like the superfi4 or these a151 better in terms of sound quality, becuase i loved the fit of the superfi4 and these look bigger and less comfortable. also how is the bass compared to the superfi4? thanks a bunch



They are both comfortable, but the SuperFis are much more comfortable than the A151s in my opinion.

 

Bass wise, the A151s have a bit more thump than the SuperFis.  The SuperFis are really just balanced overall and do dig deep.  The A151s do have good extension into the sub-bass, but it's not as audible as the SF4's sub-bass.  Speed-wise, SuperFi wins hands down for me.  What the SF4 needs is slightly better impact and body, however, the A151s are nicely well rounded, but slightly heading towards the thumpy side. 

 

The mid range, the A151s have sort of a resonating sound to them, making the mids linger a little too long.  At times, I found them to be slightly harsh.  The SF4s are really detailed and have good separation and presence in the mid-range.  HOwever, they lack slightly in the timbre.  Timbre is there, but could be much better. 

 

THis is where the the SuperFis will destroy the A151s, it's the high-end of the spectrum.  The SF4s have much more presence and don't sound rolled off like the A151s.  There is slight smearing every so often, and slight sibilance, if you are sensitive to sibilance.  THe A151's high end does have details, but it doesn't have as good of decay as the SF4 which has a slower decay.  The highs seem to roll off on the A151.

 

This is my experiences with both IEMs, other's may differ.

post #6 of 21

thanks so much! i think i may sell my ue500 for $50 shipped and get a pair of superfi4. i listen to metal and i noticed that with the fast dense tracks, ba shine. how much more fatiguing is a ba(superfi4) than a dynamic driver?

post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmeat View Post

thanks so much! i think i may sell my ue500 for $50 shipped and get a pair of superfi4. i listen to metal and i noticed that with the fast dense tracks, ba shine. how much more fatiguing is a ba(superfi4) than a dynamic driver?



SuperFi 4 may not suite metal that well...  Just FYI.  I don't find the SuperFi 4 too be that fatiguing at all.

post #8 of 21

really why not? and thats good that its not too fatiguing. then what kind of phone would suite metal? the newer metal tracks are of high quality and im a drummer and im trying to pick out the drum and cymbal hits as best as i can. i figure a ba would do this best becuase of the great speed clairty and instrument seperation no?

 

i listen to rock hardcore/metal whatever and rap


Edited by bmeat - 10/26/11 at 11:37am
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmeat View Post

really why not? and thats good that its not too fatiguing. then what kind of phone would suite metal? the newer metal tracks are of high quality and im a drummer and im trying to pick out the drum and cymbal hits as best as i can. i figure a ba would do this best becuase of the great speed clairty and instrument seperation no?



My honest opinion would be that a slight V-shape curve would suite you better for your genre and use of the headphones.  A fully balanced one will work, but not as well.  The SuperFi 4s are balanced while the A151s are more mid-range based (in my opinion).  CC51Ps would be a good choice for you in my opinion, maybe Phonak PFEs (PerfectBass would suite you too, plus you get filters if you buy direct from Phonak).  Maybe even the ThinkSound TS02s.  These each have a V-shape (in my opinion, again, ears vary in size which results in a different perception of sound). 

post #10 of 21

why would i want a v shaped frequency over a balanced one? i apologize for asking so many questions but i dont understand. then what type of music is the best for a balanced phone like a superfi4?

 

i listen to rock hardcore/metal(whatever you want to call it) and rap

post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmeat View Post

why would i want a v shaped frequency over a balanced one? i apologize for asking so many questions but i dont understand. then what type of music is the best for a balanced phone like a superfi4?

 

i listen to rock hardcore/metal(whatever you want to call it) and rap



Balanced phones tend to do better with stuff like Classical.  Balance does work for rock, but I don't find it working too well for metal which needs more of an emphasis on the higher-mids and highs, along with fast punchy bass.  Rap needs punchy bass that is textured, maybe a body would be nice as well.  All this leaves the main mid-range (higher low-mids and mids able to be slightly recessed to allow the rest to flow out).  It just puts an emphasis on the main things that the music itself emphasizes.  I think it might be worded weirdly.  Just think of it this way, all music emphasized a different frequency range more than others.  If you can get headphones that match that, you can bring out the best in the music.

 

Some argue against this though saying that the songs are meant to be listed as if it were balanced out of the studio.  Personal preference also plays a big roll into this.  Some people just prefer a balanced phone overall.  If that is indeed you, go ahead and try the SuperFis.

post #12 of 21

i think i do prefer balanced, because i have a pair of vic firth monitors and i like the flatness they have, it shows the music for what it really is, how it should be played. im just worried that the superfi4s wont produce a sufficent amount of bass according to this graph

http://www.pcmag.com/slideshow_viewer/0,3253,l%253D224137%2526a%253D225738%2526po%253D6,00.asp?p=n#fbid=F4rruCp1saW

 

is that the case when hearing them, or is this graph wrong or something? the left ear piece seems to have a little more bass, so maybe its just faulty?

http://www.pcmag.com/slideshow_viewer/0,3253,l%253D224137%2526a%253D225738%2526po%253D8,00.asp?p=n#fbid=F4rruCp1saW

 

but as you can see there is no where near the amount of a ue11

http://www.pcmag.com/slideshow_viewer/0,3253,l%253D224137%2526a%253D225738%2526po%253D7,00.asp?p=n#fbid=F4rruCp1saW

 

i appreciate all your help!

post #13 of 21

If you prefer balanced, you can go ahead and try the SuperFis...  But those do lack in bass and may not be enough for you.

post #14 of 21

So if you could only have one, the A151 or CC51, would you choose the A151? How does the sound of the two compare? I like a balanced sound without exaggerated bass, and without a recessed midrange. Which sounds the most neutral and natural? Is the A151 much easier to drive than the CC51? i want decent bass, but in proportion to the other frequencies. Both of these look interesting.

post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 

I would go with the A151 over the CC51.  The CC51 has a slightly v shaped sound sig.  the more neutral natural between the two for my tastes is the A151.  Both are just as easy to drive, the CC51 opens a bit in sound stage and bass control is slightly improved when fed with an amp. 

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