Impressions: An Earbud Lover's Take on the Blox M2CINTRODUCTION
First off, I'd like to thank kanonathena
for setting up the M2C audition tour!
The following impressions/mini-review is a collection of my thoughts on the Blox M2C. I hesitate to call this a full-fledged review due to the brief time I spent with the earbuds, but it was enough time to form some opinions on their sound and other aspects.BUILD QUALITY AND COMFORT
The Blox M2C seems to use a housing very similar to that of the now-classic Sennheiser MX300/400/500. As such, the build quality of the buds is good, although I did notice some very slight imperfections in the glitter-containing dark silver paint. The familiar-looking cable is actually a bit more soft than that of the Sennheiser, and hopefully won't harden as quickly. I would prefer an L-shaped plug, but the straight plug on the M2C is well-constructed and relieved.
The two pairs of M2Cs that were lent to me each were equipped with "donut" foams that allowed the center of the driver covering to be exposed. I actually found it a bit curious that these foams were used since there are no holes toward the center the driver covering, but the foams do their job in keeping the bass from Having been accustomed to the fit of the MX500, I had no problems with the comfort and fit of the Blox.SOUND
While the M2Cs and the old Sennheiser buds look the same, they certainly aren't in the same league when it comes to sound quality. It's clear that Blox spent its money on where it counts.
When I first tried the Blox, the earbuds' unique presentation was a bit surprising. The M2C has excellent separation, but the actual width of the soundstage isn't really that large. Having experienced the impossibly large stage of the Sennheiser MX760, as well as the superlative airiness of the Creative Aurvana Air, I was a bit disappointed as the manufacturer touts the earbud's wide soundstage. Upon further listening I started to understand the imaging characteristics a bit more; specifically, I found the depth of the soundstage to be quite impressive, the best of any earbud I have tried.
The bass of the M2C is nice and full-bodied, though still within the borders of neutrality. It may even be ever so slightly lacking when used outdoors, but the bass quantity is sufficient for indoor listening. It won't give the listener huge impact, but it does reveal good texture. The midrange is easily the best part of the M2C, providing great transparency and detail. This, combined with the forward-projecting sound image, makes these earbuds great for listening to vocals and piano pieces. The treble is smooth and articulate, though I like it more for its non-fatiguing nature rather than its detail level.
The neutrality of the M2C lends well to virtually all genres of music, though I would like to have a bit more width to the sound image when listening to classical music. Fortunately, the M2C does have great instrument separation. The lack of peaks and valleys in the frequencies also make this great earbud to relax to, and there were several instances during my time with the M2Cs where I had forgotten that I was wearing the buds!CONCLUSION
The M2C's neutral, smooth frequency response makes it a great earphone for long-term, fatigue-free listening, perfect for listening while reading, studying, or other background listening situations. On the flip-side, this means that some may find the M2C a bit too polite and even a bit boring. Though I do prefer earbuds that are more musical (with the Aurvana Air being a prime example), there is certainly a place for a refined, smooth, and easy-listening earbud like the M2C. I'll certainly keep an eye out for future products from the earbud gurus at Blox.