- Oct 22, 2008
Ever since MEElectronics came into the head-fi scene they have been known to provide good quality bang for your buck products. However up until now their products have all been focused around dynamic drivers. That has changed and the A151 will be their first official release into the Balanced Armature (BA) driver technology. As someone who has enjoyed many BA based earphones I just had to get my hands on a pair of them and that is exactly what I did.
Source: Audinst HUD-MX1, Cowon J3
Phones: MEElectronics A151
Bitrate: A mix of mp3 to FLAC
Frequency Range: 15-20000 Hz
Sensitivity: 111 dB
Impedance: 27 Ω
Maximum Power Input: 25 mW
Cable: twisted black 120 cm cable (or 47 inches)
Connector: 3 pin stereo 3.5mm gold plated straight plug
Driver: single micro balanced armature
Like the previous products from MEElectronics the A151 gives you a good amount of accessories as well and all of them are useful. You have a various assortment of tips and the same case that came with my M9. Of the included tips you get a set of three different sized single flange tips, a pair of biflange and lastly a pair of triple flange tips.
MEElectronics is one of the few companies that I have encountered that constantly updates their products to have better quality. The many revisions that the M6 and M9 have gone through is proof of that. The cable of the A151 is different than my last encounter with MEElectronics in the M9.
The A151 has a twisted black cable very similar to the Fischer Audio DBA-02 and they probably use the same manufacturer for the cable since it basically is the same thing. There are strain reliefs in the places where there should be one. It has a straight plug which I have come to enjoy and a chin slider which is helpful when wearing over the ear since a twisted cable such as this one makes a shirt clip not needed. The housings are built well and there are markings for the left and right although you can easily figure out which one is which without looking after some time if you are not used to over the ear.
To start things off with the bass you get what most would expect out of a single driver BA in the bass. It has good clarity, speed and decent impact but not the type that you can feel like you can with dynamic drivers. The bass is well controlled and for the most part I do not feel that it is out of place. There is a slight emphasis in the mid bass area which gives the A151 a bit more warmth than your typical BA. The bass extension is not the greatest but keep in mind that these are not meant to compete with the best. The A151 does an admirable job up until the point of its roll off and does struggle quite a bit at the lowest of lows which is essentially the sub bass.
The midrange of these is a tiny bit recessed but should not be too noticeable unless you have something that is relatively flat to compare them to. That aside the midrange has good clarity, detail and there is a bit of warmth coming from the mid bass but do not mistake that for lack of detail or the presence of a veil.
The upper midrange and treble smooths ever so slightly. Usually there is some kind of peak in the upper midrange (when dealing with these type of sound signatures) where it gives the perception of more detail and at the same time making it prone to sibilance. However these do not have that peak and I would call it laid back and sibilance should not be an issue within reason of course (overly sibilant recordings cannot be saved by the A151). Detail and clarity is good here however very much like the bass the upper limit of the A151 struggles to keep up in resolution. This is most likely due to the single BA driver not being able to offer the full frequency range. Also very much like the bass it does a good job up until it reaches the limit of their extension.
Sound stage is about average here but it is pretty coherent without too many gaps of space. Instrument separation and imaging is slightly above average as locational cues are fairly accurate and you get the general idea of where things belong.
So all in all the Meelec A151 is a good sounding earphone while not lightening the wallet too much. I consider the A151 a fairly good all rounder that does have a bit of warmth added to it which gives it an overall pleasing sound. It retails for $74.99 which makes it a great value. It also comes with a complete package in sound, build quality, accessories and even better they are backed by a company that stands behind their products and has great customer service.