- Featuring IML Printing Technology: IML technology embeds striking graphics into the headphones
- Detailed and clear sound with ample bass
- Built-in microphone and remote with universal volume control
- Single-sided detachable flat cable
- Ergonomic ComfortZone™ vented ear pads
The Next Headphone
The Atlas ushers in the future of headphones, utilizing cutting edge technology and advanced materials to deliver both substance and style in a way never before realized. The latest advancements in driver design create power, dynamics, and clarity for an exhilarating high-resolution audio experience that embodies our true passion for audio. Innovative in-mold labeling technology delivers vivid multilayer graphics for stunning visual appeal while the flawless, high definition finish and clean lines round out the forward-thinking design that will make the Atlas a timeless classic.
IML Printing Technology
The Atlas makes use of a unique IML printing process that has never before been used on headphones. This enables us to place multi-layer graphics on the headphones right as they are being made and creates uniquely striking, intricate, and high-contrast visuals that are resistant to scratches and won’t fade over time.
Looking for inspiration to the boundless blue expanse above the California horizon, the Atlas Sky is a celebration of the journey taken, as well as the one not yet embarked. Featuring high-resolution graphics applied with an advanced multi-layer printing technique, the Atlas uses gold accents on a brilliant azure canvas for the ultimate aesthetic expression while superb audio quality encourages you to take comfort in your music wherever the voyage takes you.
The 40mm drivers of the Atlas are tuned to produce deep, powerful bass while maintaining clarity across the rest of the spectrum. This creates a dynamic, high-resolution sound that brings out the energy and impact of any music track and provides an exhilarating audio experience that embodies our true passion for audio.
Detachable Cable with Headset Functionality
The tangle-resistant flat cable attaches to the Atlas on one side for maximum convenience and provides seamless headset functionality. Take calls and control media with compatible* phones and tablets using the remote button and adjust the volume of any device conveniently with the universal volume control.
All-day Comfort and Convenience
The new ComfortZone™ ear cushions are ergonomically designed in order to remain comfortable and vented to keep your ears cooler during long listening sessions. When not in use, the Atlas folds into the included carrying pouch for convenient storage.
What's in the Box
- Atlas Stereo Headphones
- Detachable cable with inline microphone, remote, and universal volume control
- Carrying pouch
- User manual
|MEElectronics Atlas On-Ear Headphones|
MEElectronics Atlas On-Ear Headphones
- Average User Rating:
Recent User Reviews
"The Creative & Elegant Headphone"
Pros - Great Design, Good Pricing, Strong Bass, Decent Detailing, Lightweight, Portable, Detachable Cable
Cons - Clarity, Treble, Overall Definition and Refinement
Review on the MEElectronics Atlas
Fellow Head-Fi'ers, this is my review on the MEElectronics Atlas (Carbon), which was a headphone that I wanted to try out as I was in need for a set of headphones for on-the-go purposes.
I had bought these cans from my local audio store, Noisy Motel, in which I shall give a shoutout to them for their great service to me over these past few months on a few of my purchases. I am in no way affiliated with them, but I do wish to express to my fellow Australians, that these guys provide amazing customer service, and have my recommendation.
For this review, I am thinking on using a new layout that goes straight to the point, as opposed to my usual waffling. Hopefully, it should work out for the better, and much easier on the eyes of the reader.
Anyways... That aside; onto my little Pictorial Unboxing.
Here are a few quick snaps of the unit and its accessories when I unboxed it. Overall, an elegant, yet premium feeling box that housed the regular accessories, such as a carry pouch, removable cable, and the headphones themselves.
(Sourced from MEElectronics)
For this review, the majority, if not all of my literature will be in the forms of dot points for the ease of reading.
Build Quality & Design/Function Factor
- Construction (Consists of a strong plastic build which feels like it will last; slightly flexible and is durable for the time being)
- Lightweight and highly portable
- Designs (I found it to be very sleek and creative in what they did, and is very appealing/eye-catching)
(From left to right respectively: Carbon, Sky, Fantasy, Orion, Diamond)
- IML printed graphics (I did not find it very special and dramatic as the manufacturer's had made it out to be; just a standard design in my eyes)
- Folding for portability (Has nice clicks as to when they are folded; very portable in this form)
- Headband size adjuster (Strong clicks can be heard when adjusting the size/height, and notches are visible for OCD people such as myself
- Vented earpads (Very soft and plush, and allows less sweating occurring than usual)
- Headband (Not sure if it's just pleather or real leather, but it is sure super soft and comfortable! Made from the same pleather/leather material used for the ear pads)
- Flat cable (Not a fan of flat cables, as they are less durable than rounded cables, but they're holding up fine so far)
- Mic functionality (Works as should, and is pretty clear in terms of sound)
- Analogue volume control (I like this design as it offers me the ability to quickly reduce the volume if someone is talking to me, or if my music is too loud - Also works with all applications)
- Carry pouch (Nice materials used; feels durable and has the ability to protect the headphones inside from water in small amounts, eg. rain)
- Decent levels of detail for a $100 headphone - it's there, but not as obvious as it would be in higher-leveled headphones. More detail would be good, but for the price, it is pretty impressive.
- Musicality is there - Has good PRaT and flow to the music to make it enjoyable for on-the-go purposes, when paying the closest attention to detail isn't the number one priority.
- Tonality and signature is slightly warm, by the slightest, in which it has a super-thin veil cloaking the mids and treble. In no way did this make the vocals sound utterly blanketed; just by a minute amount. Also would be considered so, due to the narrowness of the soundstage.
- Has a weighty low-end, with a vibrant sub-bass and strong, bodied bass punch. Can be perceived as overly bassy, otherwise known as "potential basshead material".
- Vocals have a minute veil and are forward sounding, so it can give the appearance of a minimal "muffled" sound, but it still has good body, and fullness. It's not rich, but it is far from thin sounding.
- Instrumental separation is not so bad on these cans - enough to distinguish each instrument (almost), but not enough to detect the "layers" in between each instrument.
- Sounds clustered by the tiniest amount from the narrowness of the soundstage. This congestion is not emphasized, but it should be noted that the soundstage is not as wide as it could be.
- Treble is there in its crispy, clean ways, but could do with more detail and extension. It is not as bright as it could be to define the headphones as a neutral sounding headphone as the bass to treble ratio is rather one-sided - leaning to the bassy side more. This takes away the sparkle in the highs. A bit more emphasis in the upper-mid range could easily fix this (even things out).
- Clarity is not the clearest out there, as this may be due to the treble not extending as high up and having that detail and crispiness.
- The sound is relatively clean for a portable, budget headphone, but could certainly do with a cleaner sound. This may have been the result of the sub-bass being predominant.
- Soundstage isn't very wide, and is rather narrow. The overpowering bass may contribute to this as it makes the sound much closer to your head due to the strong bass punch.
- Has good depth from the deep bass produced.
- Lacks definition and refinement, as it still has plethora of unsmoothed edges, which is due to the absence of micro-detailing, which differentiates it from higher-leveled headphones. Could do with much more information, and positioning/imaging. Sounds rather linear as of this.
(I know some of you people out there prefer the lengthy, audio descriptions on what the headphones sound like, but I think the shortened version of it with the main key points is more easily noted. If this format is too confusing and you guys prefer the old format, do let me know
ConclusionUltimately, I believe the MEElectronics Atlas is a great sounding, portable set of headphones, as it works beautifully when in a rush, or just on-the-go, since it has the melodic flow that makes the music enjoyable. Only when paying close attention, such as being at home, would these headphones show its flaws in sections of which it lacks. But really, when you're on the train, bus, or going to the gym (and what not), all these minor details are of the past, as you just want to hear the song at hand, and focus on whatever it is that you are doing. These headphones are my workout/gym headphones, and for that purpose, they perform exceptionally well - enough to get the blood pumping, and are sturdy enough to live through drops and heavy usage.
Now the important question...Would I recommend them? Of course I would - only with the exception that you'd be using it for the purposes I had mentioned above.
PS: Any errors and/or flaws that you may spot in my write-up that I might have missed, or if there is/are something you don't quite agree on - please do inform me about it via PM, or in the comments below.
Over & Out,
"MEElectronics Atlas Carbon On-Ear Headphones"
Pros - -Fantastic sound -Great style -Comfortable fit -Price!
Cons - -Cold winter weather causes the cable to go stiff
“The Atlas ushers in the future of headphones, utilizing cutting edge technology and advanced materials to deliver both substance and style in a way never before realized. The latest advancements in driver design create power, dynamics, and clarity for an exhilarating high-resolution audio experience that embodies our true passion for audio. Innovative in-mould labelling technology delivers vivid multilayer graphics for stunning visual appeal while the flawless, high definition finish and clean lines round out the forward-thinking design that will make the Atlas a timeless classic.”
Since the advent of portable music, mankind has strived to create the best possible listening experience for on-the-go, everyday life. For years manufacturers have innovated their technologies to bring us new and exciting products, many which have gone the way of the 8-track cassette. Dolby reduced hiss on cassettes, CDs brought us crystal clear digital sound, and digital music files allowed us to carry our entire music libraries in small compact devices. Only one factor has always been a constant; They all need headphones.
For years, many of us have been ‘Chasing the Dragon’ when it comes to finding the perfect set of headphones that sound amazing without ‘breaking the bank’. Having a drawer or box full of a giant mess of wires and plastic is common for a lot of people with myself being no different. Poor fit, uncomfortable to wear, bass too overpowering or lack there of, sibilance. The reasons are vast and in the end we just settle for something until the (seemingly) next best pair comes along. Today I am going to review a set of on-ear headphones that may just be ‘The Dragon Slayer’, Atlas: The NEXT headphones, from MEElectronics!
“If it were me, what would I want to buy and listen to?”
Born out of a passion for music, MEElectronics has a goal of delivering Musical Enjoyment to Everyone. We started out in 2005, making MP3 players with a desire to bring our customers exceptional sound quality at affordable prices. However, the sound quality of any player is dependent on the earphones used, so we developed our own. In 2010, we shifted our focus to earphones that provide durability, style, and exceptional sound quality. Our current lineup of headphones and earphones has won acclaim from audio enthusiasts and reviewers worldwide, but that hasn't stopped us from continually refining our lineup and developing new products; we won't bring anything to market if it doesn't meet our high standards!
First Look: IML
“The Atlas makes use of a unique IML printing process that has never before been used on headphones. This enables us to place multi-layer graphics on the headphones right as they are being made and creates uniquely striking, intricate, and high-contrast visuals that are resistant to scratches and won’t fade over time.”
The moment you first gaze upon the Atlas Carbon, you are treated with the stunning design of the IML (in-mould label) print on the headphones. The images on the screen do no truly capture the beauty of the multi layered IML finish on the Atlas Carbon; These have to be seen first hand. Without a doubt these are some of the most beautiful and stunning headphone graphics I have seen to date. Combined with a crystal clear, deep, smooth finish the carbon-fibre weave set against a brilliant blue background is striking to say the least. Be sure to carry a cleaning cloth with you if you intend to show off he Atlas Carbon as people will immediately start poking and rubbing the finish in disbelief, trying to comprehend the IML.
“The new ComfortZone™ ear cushions are ergonomically designed in order to remain comfortable and vented to keep your ears cooler during long listening sessions. When not in use, the Atlas folds into the included carrying pouch for convenient storage.”
The Atlas Signature Series headphones have one mission: To combine style and comfort with amazing sound. Being on-ear headphones the design is basic and straight forward. The drivers are mounted on a swivel attached to the main body, which attaches into the padded head band and can be folded for easy carry and storage. However the similarities end there.
After the striking finish, the first thing you will notice about the Atlas is their weight. At only 136 grams these headphones are incredibly light, yet very well constructed. Holding the Atlas in your hands you get the sense of a very solid design. I have full confidence in the construction quality and durability. The ear cups are lined with a metal ring, and both the size sliders and the folding hinges are re-enforced with an aluminium backing plate. Needless to say this is great forward thinking, ensuring the longevity of the parts prone to breaking. Another great feature to ensure a long life is the fact that the cable is detachable, meaning that it is replaceable as well. Most of us have experienced at one point the dreaded cable failure or accident, resulting in a worthless set of headphones; Never again! Kudos to the engineers who designed the Atlas!!
Comfort of the Atlas are on a whole new level. Most on-ear headphones have one inherent problem; Fit. Certain elements of the design such as the padding on the head band or the cups, the clamping force, or the materials used in the construction, play important roles in overall fit and wearability. What good is the overall sound quality if you can not stand to wear the headphones for any given length of time? I must admit I have stayed away from on-ear headphones regardless of their sound simply due to the fact that they hurt my head and ears to wear them. The Atlas has changed my opinion.
Starting with the ear pads, the Atlas features a unique and ergonomically designed shape. Most on-ear headphones uses a round or rectangular shape. As we all know ears are neither. The ear pads on the Atlas are actually shaped like the average human ear! This greatly alleviates uneven and unwanted stress. The clamping force of the Atlas hits the perfect sweet spot, never feeling overly tight yet stays firmly in place. The pads, both the ear cups and head band, are made of an unbelievably comfortable material that not only promotes greater air flow but cooler temperature as well. This allows for a much longer listening session. Believe me when I say this, there will be many long listening sessions with the Atlas. Once again, kudos to the engineers!
“The tangle-resistant flat cable attaches to the Atlas on one side for maximum convenience and provides seamless headset functionality. Take calls and control media with compatible phones and tablets using the remote button and adjust the volume of any device conveniently with the universal volume control.”
When it comes to accessories there really is not that much to talk about. Basically you get a nicely logo’d carry pouch, user manual, and of course the headphone cable. Nothing too fancy but then again, what more is needed? Although in my opinion, a cleaning cloth would have been a great addition.
Normally I would end my review of the accessories here, however the detachable headphone cable does warrant a closer look. If the cable gets damaged or lost one can easily replace it. This feature is also great if you want to upgrade the cable to any of your choosing, including other Control-talk cables, noise cancelling modules, or a fancy high-end 3.5mm connector. The cable’s controller contains a basic 1-button Control-talk, analogue volume slider, and mic. I had no issues at all controlling my iPod touch (5th gen.) whether it was iTunes or Siri. The volume slider is very smooth and easy to use. I do not normally use headphones that have volume sliders as they are not very precise. I usually find myself fighting to obtain the right balance between built-in volume and the slider. Not so with the Atlas. Crank the device volume to max and use the slider to adjust or max the slider and use the device to adjust; Both work equally well.
All said, I do however need to bring up a negative point about the material of the cable including the control/volume module and how it reacts to cold temperatures. From my experience, at temperatures -10’C and lower the cable becomes stiff. As well the button on the Control-talk becomes very unresponsive; Double-press to skip often results in play/pause making it almost impossible to change tracks by this method. In my opinion, the great engineers at MEElec really dropped the ball on this one and is disappointing considering the M-Duo’s I own hold up extremely well with full cable flex and fully working Control-talk at temperatures -25’C plus windchill. In all honesty, I picked up a $4, 3.5mm audio cable from 7-11 that has no flex at -25’C, let alone at -10’C. Perhaps a future revision will include a cable more suited to cold Canadian weather.
Before my final decision to purchase the Atlas I read up on user reviews, as any smart consumer would do before dishing out their hard earned cash. Being a huge fan of the M-Duo, my first headphones from MEElectronics, I was expecting nothing short of glorious reviews for the Atlas. I was not disappointed. In fact reading the dozens of real world accounts got me so excited before the day of my purchase it was hard to sleep. My local MEElectronics reseller had just got 2 more of the Atlas Carbon in the night before and I was determined to finally get my hands on a pair, after months of them being out of stock. I have been let down in the past from many of the higher priced consumer headphones from the ‘big guys’ that got glowing reviews. My expectations were high, and excitement was building!
Perhaps the hardest part of any headphone review is the actual sound quality. The reasoning behind this is simple; An end user’s listening experience is completely subjective. Everyone’s ears are different and one person’s preference may be completely different from the next. In reviewing the Atlas I am going to try and be completely honest and objective. For this review, the testing methodology is simple; I will be using my iPod touch (5th gen.) with all tracks converted from AIFF to AAC 256kb/s. The reasoning behind the choice is to replicate real world use. No up converting, no DAC, no external amp! I will not be making any direct comparisons to any other brand or model. If applicable, I will try and answer to the best of my knowledge any questions in the comments. That said, let the review begin!
“The 40mm drivers of the Atlas are tuned to produce deep, powerful bass while maintaining clarity across the rest of the spectrum. This creates a dynamic, high-resolution sound that brings out the energy and impact of any music track and provides an exhilarating audio experience that embodies our true passion for audio.”
The moment I put the Atlas on my head and pushed play I knew right away that these were a huge cut above the rest. For a pair of headphones at the Atlas’s price point, I was expecting merely good. Instead I was pleasantly shocked at the overall sound quality, rating them not great, but rather FANTASTIC! The Atlas possess a very fun yet detailed listening experience. The overall signature has a slight U-shape, meaning the bass and treble are slightly boosted while the mids a remain relatively flat. One would expect (assume) the bass would be overpowering while the treble sounding artificial, washing out the mids in the process. Not so with the Atlas.
The overall sound signature of the Atlas is very detailed. The right balance between transparency and dynamics have been masterfully met. Instruments and vocals are layered with great separation while none of the frequencies overpower each other. Bass is tight and accurate, mids are smooth and not recessed (too much), and treble has excellent sparkle to it. Nothing sounds out of place or artificial. While not the most accurate headset in terms of a ’neutral’ sound, the Atlas is very fun and greatly enjoyable to listen to.
Soundstage is above average in regards to width and height. While instruments and vocals are nicely layered and transparent, the placement is not as accurate as one would find in a larger set of over-ear headphones. Sound isolation and leakage are average as well. While not as loud (and annoying) as the standard white earbuds included in virtually all portable devices, people upwards of 10’ away will be able to hear what you are playing. You will also be able to hear sounds around you such as traffic, doorbells, or a phone ringing. In no ways is this a negative towards the Atlas, rather indicative on-ear design in general. I actually don’t mind being “aware” of what is around me and in no way inhibits the listening experience.
While the Atlas does not have the most detailed bass, it is by far some of the most powerful, yet accurate heard in any headphone style. The bass is fast and tight with the sub bass having excellent rumble. Kick drums hit hard, bass guitars resonate with precision, and electronica comes through like a beast. Where there is bass in a song, there will be bass; The Atlas does not artificially add bass where there should be none. There is no bloat or muddiness to be heard at all, nor is there any overpowering of the rest of the frequency spectrum. Bass-heads will be more than satisfied while purists will appreciate the accuracy. I believe this is accomplished due do the fact that the Atlas use cobalt magnets vs the standard, more mainstream neodymium.
Midrange is where the Atlas really out performs the competition. Although the midrange is slightly recessed, it isn’t so by much. Vocals come out very clear and clean, not overly warm or veiled; Voices in a choir can be easily distinguished from one another, female singers high notes come through with power while not showing any (unnatural) sibilance, and raspy male voices sound, raspy! No matter the style or range of the vocals, the Atlas performs very well. I will note, at higher volume levels (max level on my iPod) there does seem to be a bit of a spike in the upper midrange. It is not annoying unless you like to have your music dangerously loud.
In my opinion the hardest frequency spectrum to get right is the treble. Too much can hurt the ears, too little lowers the perceived detail. The Atlas manages to do everything right. While the treble is emphasized, it is never over bearing or harsh. Detail extends well and sparkle hits the sweet spot for me. A true test of treble in headphones would be the chimes test. Each chime should come through clearly defined with it’s own ring and sparkle, and the Atlas handles this with ease. Cymbals crash with excellent sustain and decay, overlapping each other in a transparent yet dynamic way, electronica slices through with laser like precision, and flutes resonate down to your soul.
If you are looking for a neutral, accurate sounding pair of headphones then look elsewhere. If you want a fun, detailed sounding pair of on-the-go headphones, the Atlas is a prime example of what a company can do when they mix a passion for music while keeping the end user in mind. Not only has MEElectronics released a product that has style, comfort, and superb sound quality, they managed to do so at $100 MSRP. The Atlas easily out performs other headphones I have personally listened to which are double or nearly triple the price. I purchased the Atlas Carbon going off from nothing more than company reputation and user reviews, and was not disappointed. The Atlas not only meets my personal preferences in headphones, but exceeds them. If you are in the market for great on-the-go headphones and are considering Bose, Monster/Beats, or some other hyped up over priced headphones I would highly recommend you seriously consider the Atlas.
"Very Fun Headphones "
Pros - Bass, Treble, Looks, Price
Cons - Isolation
First I’d like to thank Mike of Meelectronics for sending me their new Atlas for me to review. Meelectronics started off selling MP3 players, but later decided to move into the headphone industry instead. They have mostly been making products in the more entry to mid-range level and the Atlas is no exception. At $99 MSRP its price range considered a bit higher than entry level headphones like the Zoro. A while ago, I reviewed their A151 IEM and although it took some getting used to, it was nothing short of incredible for the price. After reading more reviews on their products, it seems like their products are generally great sounding at a relatively low price compared to their competitors.
I have talked to Mike quite a bit about the Atlas and this is intended to be a Solo slayer much alike the Noontec Zoro. Admittedly, I don’t think this is very hard to do – the Solo/HDs suck…bad. They just sound plain muddy and bloated and yes, I’ve heard them and owned them at one stage. I feel like the Atlas most definitely succeeds in that, and it does better than the Zoro which is to be expected I guess with it being around double the street price. I do think the Atlas will become a little cheaper on sites like Amazon later on though, probably around the $80 range. Anyway, let’s get on with the review.
**Disclaimer** These were a free review sample sent to me by Meelectronics in return for an unbiased review.
Unboxing & Accessories
Actually, the box is rather nice like the Zoro box, but of course it’s nothing like the fancy Beats boxes. It has a picture of the headphone on the front and has the design name on the left. On the right, it has the Atlas “slogan” “The Next Headphone”; below it, there is a Meelectronics logo. The sides are completely transparent, which allows you to see the Atlas’ sides which BTW look awesome! On the back there is an introduction, the specifications and all the features that the Atlas has. The box has those magnet which is certainly welcome. Inside the box is rather normal; the compartment with the accessories slides out and you are greeted with them.
I was a little let down by the amount of accessories that came with the Atlas, but then again, Meelectronics have never really given us a lot of accessories presumably to keep the costs down. It only came with a cable and bag. The bag is rather plain but it does have the Atlas writing on it and of course, “The Next Headphone” on it. Don’t expect any protection from it though. The cable is nice, but I have a thing against flat cables, I just don’t know why people use flat cables instead of the traditional round one. The volume slider is a nice touch for those who use an android and there is a pause/play and a mic.
Design, Isolation & Comfort
On man, the Atlas looks stunning! If they wanted to create a headphone which the average consumer would look at and say wow, then mission accomplished! I love the design on the headphone and personally, the Orion is my favourite. Now, a big thing about the Atlas is the way that they print the design on the headphones. It’s called IML Printing Technology which certainly looks very interesting, but personally, I don’t quite see any difference between this and normal printing, but supposedly it is scratch resistant and doesn’t fade over time. If so, then this is certainly a great idea. There is a Meelectronics logo on the headband much alike the Solo, but the Atlas really looks nothing like the Solo and in some ways it actually looks better! Oh, and this isn’t a fingerprint magnet like the Beats headphones either, which is a relief.
The isolation is bad, very bad. Next to on ears like the DT1350, it almost seems like the Atlas doesn’t isolate at all. However, I don’t necessarily find low isolation a huge downside. When I walk, I tend to want to be able to hear what’s going around me because I think that is safer and I certainly won’t be taking the DT1350s on a walk or crossing the road with them on. Oh, and there is also some minor sound leakage, but it is not bad at all.
I have never found a pair of on ears comfoirtable because the headphones sit on your ears as opposed to around your ears like circumaurals do. The Atlas is no exception but it is well above average for an on ear. Usually, I have to take on ears off after an hour or so, but with the Atlas I get around 2 hours before my ears start hurting. Comfort is not great, but I don’t expect any on ear to be.
When Meelectronics created the Atlas I think they intended for it to be used with mobile phones and perhaps small players like the Sansa Clip. They are very efficient headphones and really don’t need amping at all and adding an amp doesn’t really improve the sound. I will be conducting this review with the Sansa Clip+ because I don’t think the changes were large enough to warrant using an amp with these. They sound great through anything really.
When I first heard that these were going to be marketed to the mainstream crowd, I must admit, I was expecting these to be very bass heavy and terrible sounding. However, when I got these, I was a little surprised. The entire headphone had a rather V shaped sound signature, and they weren’t dark at all. Actually, they were bordering on sibilant. The sibilance has become better, but it is still noticeable after some burn in.
For me at least, I love the bass on the Atlas and feel like it hits very hard, but it is not slow and bloated at all. It is rather clear when you hear them that they were targeted at the mainstream audience. The bass hits much harder than the Zoro and I feel like it has more sub-bass rumble as well. One thing that I am most impressed by it is how fast it is. I was expecting a little bit of bloat, but there is none at all. The bass guitars are nice as well, although they are not the most detailed headphones overall but they are still rather detailed. If you love a more boosted bass region and use these for just recreational listening, I don’t see how you can be disappointed with the incredible bass these put out.
Here things become very different from both the Zoro and the Solo's warm midrange. Instead of the midrange being warm and a little veiled, the upper midrange seems to be somewhat forward. On some tracks there was a little bit of sibilance and on other tracks I had no issues though. As a whole, the midrange is recessed, but not by a lot and on lower volumes, vocals do take a step back but you don't get a feeling like they are veiled like the Solos. Now more about the upper midrange spike; it’s not a big deal, but a bit annoying. I EQ it down when I use the Atlas on my phone, but it is fine without EQ as well; some may actually prefer the midrange tonality the way it is. At lower volumes there are no problems, but when you start pushing them louder, the sibilance can start to be heard, but it is not nearly as bad as some other things I've heard. Overall, I quite like the midrange and it's colder tonality, but in the future I would love for Meelectronics to pull the upper midrange spike down a little.
The treble is exaggerated as well, perhaps not as raised up as the bass though and I absolutely love it. Those who know me know that I prefer something that is around neutral or a bit of a bumped up treble. The treble of the Atlas is definitely exaggerated, but definitely not as much as some of my other headphones/IEMs. It hit around the sweet spot for me. The treble extends quite well and it has plenty of sparkle. This gives it an impression of being quite detailed and in the treble, it definitely is. Cymbals are clearly the highlight, being very clear and having a very realistic decay. On the Zoro, I felt like the cymbals were just a bit too dull but over here, it’s definitely better.
The presentation is somewhat closed in, which can be both good and bad, depending on what your preference is. The singer is a bit further away but everything is rather up front, but not in your face. The Atlas is pretty good at making things feel out of your head, but the soundstage is lacking but it is not bad for an on ear at this price.
Out of all of my headphones and IEMs I’ve ever owned, the Atlas has to be one of the least flat headphones. As I mentioned before, the bass is very boosted, the mids recessed with the higher mid spike and the treble is elevated. If you are looking for a neutral headphone, stop looking at the Atlas at once. It is very much a fun headphone and not meant for things like analysing music. They are great to listen to though.
Soundstage & Imaging
As I have mentioned before, the soundstage size is definitely not one of the Atlas’ strong suits. The soundstage is a bit crammed in and lacking in both width and height. The fact that I’ve been listening to some HE-500s for a while doesn’t help either…
The imaging is good, but when things get congested it isn't the best at making out where everything is. The Grado SR80i is a bit better, but it is an open headphone so apples to oranges here. These have very nice imaging and it does have an average soundstage. Overall, these are pretty good in these departments for its price.
The separation is actually quite good with the Atlas. It does better than the Zoro for sure and I feel like it is quite a large upgrade. The vocal separation is good, but I really felt that the instrument separation was excellent. I am impressed with the separation, especially the instrument separation.
Ok, I am a detail freak. On the detail front, I wasn’t particularly impressed with the Atlas when I first got it. Now, I don't think that the Atlas is going to beat an SR80i in terms of detail, but it has gotten better with burn in (physical or mental) and I feel it is a good step up from the Zoro. However, I find that when I listen to the Atlas, I don't really listen for the small details, but rather just enjoy the extremely fun sound that these put out.
Let’s start with the looks… Wow! It truly looks awesome; I especially like the Orion and Carbon models, but all of them look absolutely spectacular. It has a very well thought out design, just the isolation isn’t great. The sound really shocks you with just how fun, yet capable it is. It is clearly “mainstream” but the sound is wonderful and can easily challenge other $100 headphones targeted towards “audiophiles” and even come out on top depending on what sound signature you prefer. Well done Meelectronics and thanks again to Mike for making this review possible.
All pics are from Google Images.
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