From The Audio Journal Of A DigitalFreak
Sound Byte: Meelectronics A161P
The form factor of the A161P I rate as well done. The cord feels good and not overly plasticy and microphonics are practically non existent. The cord also has a nice neck slide adjuster which helps provide very good cable management when using the IEM. Strain reliefs on housing and plug seem sturdy enough and I'm guessing this IEM's cord should stand up to the test of time nicely. The 3.5mm plug on this IEM isn't a straight plug or a 90 degree plug but a 45 degree angled plug which I like a lot. The IEM's housings feel sturdy in your hand and look quite nice with their gold markings and avoids the pitfall of blinged out gaudy looks. You are provided with a nice selection of tips and I'm happy to say I didn't have to scavenge my other IEM's to find a good tip that would give me a proper seal. Along with the nice selection of tips you get a nice circular semi hard clam case to protect your investment. Comfort, the A161P joins the ranks of my pop them in and go IEM's. I'm getting no ear canal pain and I'm easily getting two to three hours use without feeling any discomfort whatsoever. In short form factor wise everything that's a must for a well manufactured IEM to have is there and well executed.
Sonically I'm really really liking this IEM and it's a incredibly impressive all arounder that bests even my UE700 as a great sounding bang for the buck earphone. The A161P is very much a step forward when compared to the old flagship the A151. What surprised me the most about the A161P was the bass, I never expected it to be so full sounding and so aggressive. The most surprising part, control speed and detail wasn't sacrificed for the sake of more bass and there's excellent extension and clarity through the whole bass sound spectrum. Although nowhere near the realm of a bass head cannon the 161P's bass has enough punch and slam to rattle your brain around when the music demands it.
The mids continue on the aggressive nature of the bass with a slightly forward presentation of guitars and vocals. The general feel of the mids I would class as fairly neutral and guitars have a nice resolving crisp like crunch. The A151 with it's very so slightly warmer mids for some listeners could possibly be classed slightly ahead of the A161P as having a more pleasant sounding mid frequency but for me the A161P's far better detail retrieval puts it way ahead of the old flagship. The overall neutral sounding presentation in the mid range coupled with the fast aggressive bass and quick clean note decay to my ears gives this IEM an overall feel of raw sounding. Nowhere near as raw as say my faster more aggressive EX600's but raw none the less.
The treble of the A161P was another very pleasant surprise, finally we have some nice sparkle. The A151 with it's overly smooth highs to my ears was it's achilles heel and I couldn't help but feel part of the music was going MIA when fast aggressive rock or metal was being listened to. Sparkle on the A161P is very well done and I'm loving every second of it. On certain songs I'm noticing a little haze as in slight smearing between the upper and mid treble resulting in what sounds like a little splashiness up top but overall I'm quite happy with the highs on the A161P. The upper mid to lower treble transition has some nice energy behind it and I'm finding sibilance isn't to bad and generally well controlled while using the provided dual flange tips.
Instrument separation is very well done but I'm finding soundstage compared to say my MDR EX600 or FXT90 does not compare favorably and you've gone from a medium sized hall to a small hall. It's not bad per say but I can't get away from the sound coming from inside my head feeling. I would have to rate the A161P's soundstage as average or just slightly above average. So overall I'm really happy with this new IEM and give it a full 5 stars in the audio bang for buck category. I was able to buy it for only 80 bones plus shipping using a 20% off coupon code on the Meelectronics website which puts the A161P easily up there as one of the best bang for buck deals currently available.
Edited by DigitalFreak - 6/10/12 at 5:58pm