Definitely not going anywhere. The search is never over....
Case in point, the A161P managed to commit an unforgivable foul and thus has been packed up for return. Aside from the low impedance making them sound markedly different on everything I plugged them into, because of the smooth, mid-forward tuning I found myself turning up the volume way louder than I should have without realizing it, in order to pick up the detail I was missing and in order to drown out my footsteps. Long story short, it ended up being loud enough to cause temporary damage, similar to what happened to me a year ago but not nearly as bad. I'm mostly over it and am confident I'll recover (basically it's like going to a loud concert without earplugs), but that scares me. I didn't get any indication (e.g. piercing treble, shouting, barking mids) of just how loud I was listening, and though of course it was my own fault for winding them up like that, I wasn't enjoying the music at the lower level. And if the music isn't enjoyable at the level you'd like to listen at, what's the point?
I learned a lot from this, though. I learned that I can't get on with a mid-forward or sweet signature, that a single armature probably isn't going to cut it, and that treble extension and presence are very important parts of my preferred sonic signature. I also learned that a comprehensive fit kit is very important, since only one set of tips out of the six included really fit me well and sounded right.
I still feel bad returning it, though. MEElec is a great company, and I'd never say the A161P is a bad earphone. The tuning just didn't work for me. I'd love for them to come out with a dual BA with a brighter, more neutral signature to take on the likes of the DBA-02/B2, GR07, and R-50. I think something like that is sorely lacking in their lineup--a lot of audiophiles start with brands like MEElec, Brainwavz, SoundMagic, etc. but move on to higher end products by other brands because the lower end of the market is usually filled with bassy- and sweet-sounding products.
Make an A171 (or A261) with dual BAs and tune it like a DT880 and MEElec will have a customer for life right here. Oh, and bump up the impedance. The A161P has way too much hiss at 16 ohms and is way too susceptible to tuning shifts because of the non-linear armature impedance.
Edited by Argyris - 12/19/12 at 6:04pm