Two years ago, I reviewed the P1, MEE Audio's first attempt at a high-end flagship. It stood as the culmination of their experience and expertise in engineering and manufacturing. It was – pun intended – the pinnacle of their capabilities, and it remains the best earphone I have ever reviewed to this day. A year later, they released a new model.
This new model, the Pinnacle P2, was not the P1 successor some of us had expected. This was instead a takedown model, an earphone that lowered the cost of entry into the Pinnacle experience. Priced at half that of the P1 – $100 – we can reliably expect it to leave out some of the details that made the P1 the luxurious earphone it is. Does this apple fall too far from the tree? Let's find out.
TL;DR: The MEE Audio Pinnacle P2 is a fantastic IEM that packages the Pinnacle formula into a more accessible package and a sweeter, mid-centric sound. A formidable competitor at the $100 price bracket.
(Full disclosure: Mike from MEE Audio sent me a unit of the Pinnacle P2 at no charge in exchange for this review. The P2 was tested for about three weeks before writing this review. The purchase links for the P2 in this review are affiliate links, so any purchase made through those links will give me a small commission. If you don’t like affiliate links, you can purchase them through the MEE Audio website.)
The P1 is, to describe it in one word, luxurious. In true MEE Audio fashion, nothing is compromised; every bit of the packaging is presented as elegantly as the earphones themselves. You are simply guided through to them like walking through an opulent ballroom to meet the maiden of the night.
The P2, owing to its half price, understandably cut a few corners in this regard. Unlike the P1, the box is smaller and uses a matte-textured wrap; the carrying case uses fabric and a leather-like vinyl wrap instead of real leather; you get one pair of Comply foam eartips instead of three; and you get one standard cable as opposed to the P1's two braided cables. But beyond that, the P2 doesn't compromise on much, if at all.
Another area that the P2 doesn't compromise on is the build. Sure, the earpieces use plastic instead of the zinc alloy on the P1, but despite that the P2 is still quite the looker with its glossy piano black finish. The plastic does feel a lot lighter, but they are still remarkably solid. The cable, though not braided and makes a lot of cable noise when worn cable-down, feels reassuringly substantial and doesn't seem to have too many weak points.
However, the cable does have one noticeable design flaw that I didn't get to cover in my review of the P1. Simply put, the MMCX connectors (the part that connects to the earpieces) create a strain point on the cable when the earphones are worn around the ear. This resulted in a P1 with two broken cables within a year. Unfortunately the P2's cable also suffers from this problem, so I've resorted to wearing them exclusively with the cable hanging straight down in an attempt to prolong its life.
As far as I can tell, there are two ways to fix this problem. The first is to make the MMCX connectors shorter or more flexible so the cable can curve around the ear more naturally. The second option is to add memory wire to that section of the cable, like what MEE Audio already does with the M6 PRO. This will make the cable rigid, thereby preventing strain from constant pulling.
So, being as (comparatively) cheap as it is, the P2 clearly did away with some of the luxuries that the P1 offered to keep the price at a more accessible 100 dollars. But I will tell you right now that the P2 did not skimp on the sound quality by any means. Mike from MEE Audio has told me before that the P2 was not made to sound like the P1 outright, instead aiming for a warmer tone. But if you were expecting a sound signature similar to the P1, throw those notions out the window, since the P2 is a completely different beast. And I love it.
Unusual for a 100-dollar earphone, bass does not take precedence over everything else on the P2. This is especially evident in dubstep tracks that cram lots of information across the frequency range at the same time. In examples such as "Myosotis (VIP Remix)" by M2U, "Kali 47" by Savant, and "Must Destroy" by Figure, the P2's midrange emphasis seems to overshadow the bass. However, I'm not saying that the P2 is wanting in the lower frequencies, as even in the above recordings the P2 displays a strong punch and excellent reproduction of sub-bass sounds.
Despite this, the midrange still shines the brightest on the P2. Its even tone renders vocals with a sweet colouration that I can't really describe. I *can* tell you, though, that voices ranging from DEAN's slick falsetto in "What2Do" to Post Malone's raw growls in "I Fall Apart" to Karen Carpenter's silky, wide range in "This Masquerade" to Chris Martin's yearning delivery in "Shiver" all sound ridiculously good on the P2.
I should note that the P2 isn't a very warm IEM – in fact, I'd say it has a bit of a colder tone compared to the P1 due to the former's midrange emphasis and the latter's stronger bass presence. This allows the P2 to really capture the atmosphere or "vibe" in a lot of recordings. The expansive synths in Haywyre's "Insight", the loose, laid-back sounds of offonoff's "Cigarette", and the hypnagogic tones of HOME's "Resonance" are all presented with the sort of reverence that really brings them to life. This, I believe, is also helped in part by its soundstage. As the P2 shares the exact same housing shape with the P1, the soundstage feels very similar, if not nearly identical. And it, like the P1, sets the music in a well-defined space that sounds very natural to the ear, regardless of the nature of the recording.
If you have been reading this review so far, you will have noticed that I have been reviewing the P2 mostly in comparison to its more expensive brother. And you might think that, across the board, the P2 is inferior to the P1. And sure, the P2 does have some flaws. The cable is a bit too heavy and suffers from the durability issue as with the P1; the treble can sound a bit splashy at times; and the earphones themselves have a bit of a hard time fitting into the case. But I'm just nit-picking at this point.
On its own, the MEE Audio Pinnacle P2 is a gem. It goes into a unique direction with a midrange so beautifully tuned that it, in my opinion, can even outclass the flagship P1. All the while, it still retains the Pinnacle formula of luxury elegance in its look and feel. And it does this while competing in a lower price bracket.
If I've learned anything from reviewing MEE Audio's fantastic earphones, it's that they seem to have mastered the art of maximising value for money. Each of their products have so much to offer – from the accessories to the outright quality of the earphones themselves – that they always feel like they're worth more than what you paid for them. The Pinnacle P2 serves as further proof of that, and it is a worthy addition to the MEE Audio product line.
As always, thank you so much for reading another one of my reviews, and a huge thanks to MEE Audio for sending out the amazing P2 to review. If my review has convinced you to want to buy these earphones, you can do so by clicking on this link here. (I should note that it is an affiliate link, so I earn a small commission from any purchases made through this link. If you don’t like that idea, you can go through the MEE Audio site instead and purchase through there.)
This has been thatBeatsguy of DB Headphones; thank you for reading and have a great day!