The A161p is MEelectronics newest flagship IEM and is priced at $100 MSRP. Using a single armature Knowles ED driver, it aims to deliver reference quality sound that is balanced, clear and accurate. Read on after the photos for the details!
MEelectronics describes the A161 as delivering great clarity, accuracy and detail to your music and they do not fail to deliver. The A161 offers great frequency extension on both the highs and the lows. It offers a clear and detailed yet musical sound signature and presentation.
Lows – Fantastic. Offers great body, detail and texture. Traditionally, the weak point of balanced armatures, the low-end is the A161’s greatest strength. It is focused on being balanced and neutral so while the quantity is not great, the quality is amazing. Both the sub-bass and the mid-bass are weighted equally and are able to handle quicker and more complex songs.
Mids – Warm, smooth and clear. Not as full bodied as many other IEMs but very musical regardless. Very well balanced and detailed.
Highs – Good extension and clarity. The treble has very good sparkle without being bright or fatiguing. Highs feel very slightly pulled back in comparison to the mids.
Soundstage – Soundstage has an average width but feels like it lacks depth. This is the probably the weakest point of the A161. Imaging suffers due to the lack of depth in the sound stage.
Isolation/tips/comfort – Isolation is above average for an IEM. The A161 is extremely light in your ears and very comfortable.
Exercise/Microphonics – Cable is about average for microphonics. However, the A161 comes with a shirt clip as well as a ear guide which will eliminate most if not all cable noise. Due to the lightness of the IEM and the lack of a vent/wind issues, it would work well outdoors.
Microphone - The microphone is attached to a one click button and appears to fairly sturdy. Microphone delivers clear audio and transmits well.
The A161 comes with a 45 degree plug to alleviate any potential stresses on the jack. The jack is a gold plated 3.5mm TRRS connector. The cable itself is not the twisted cable previously used on the A151. It is instead a standard single cable of average thickness that appears fairly sturdy. The strain reliefs are somewhat thin but long and have the L/R stamped on the sides and are tangible. The earpieces themselves are fairly light but do not seem to be built with very thick plastic. It somewhat reminiscent of a large medicine pull. They may not be able to survive an accidental stomping but due to their lightness, should suffice in most scenarios.
Packaging and Accessories
The A161 comes in a nice solid black box covered with a gold and black sleeve. Inside the case, the A161 is bundled inside the travel size MEelec case with the earpieces set into black foam. Inside the travel case are the various accessories MEelectronic provides. A set of s/m/l set single flange tips, 1 bi-flange and 2 tri-flange tips are provided. In additional to the standard tips, a microphone/headphone jack adapter is provided for use on laptops/computers. A TRRS adapter is also provided for cellphones that use a different arrangement than provided on the jack.
Overall Recommendation and Thoughts
MEelectronic stated that they wanted an IEM that focused on clarity, accuracy and details and they delivered. If you’re looking for a balanced and detailed IEM, the A161p is for you. It is amazing for its price and may be the best BA driver in the $100 dollar range. If it had a larger/better soundstage, the A161 would have been perfect. As it stands though, it's still the best in its class. Combined with MEelectronic’s stellar reputation for customer service, it’s a solid buy.
Edited by Dacrazydude - 6/5/12 at 1:50pm