The Bluetooth audio products market is a tough one to crack, but MEElectronics has a unique take onÂ it that continues to make them a very intriguing option in this space. Often celebrated for their great value, MEElectronics has recently revamped their Air-Fi Matrix Bluetooth headphones, relaunching it as theÂ Air-Fi Matrix2 AF62 Stereo Bluetooth Wireless Headphones. Crucially, MEElectronics has taken into account all the criticisms and suggestions from their consumers to improve the Matrix2, so let’s see if it has made a difference.
What’s in the box
MEElectronics is among my favourite manufacturers in audio thanks to their generally generous inclusions, and the gear included with the Matrix2 is no different. Along with the headphones themselves, you will also get a 3.5mm audio cable and a micro-USB cable for when you run out of juice as well as a hard case to store your Matrix2 headphones when not in use. Unlike the Runaway headphones that are also part of the Air-Fi range (see the full review here), the Matrix2 headphones are not collapsible, though the full-sized hard case is a nice touch to make sure no damage comes to the headphones during storage.
The Matrix2’s are very professional looking, with mostlyÂ dark plastic and dashes of metal adorning the headphone’s frame. The visual highlight of the device is its stitched earcup and headband covers, which are meant to resemble a carbon fibre finish; the outside of the case also has this finish, but is embossed into the case rather than being stitched on. In the area’s that matter, the Matrix2 headphones have soft leather over memory foam to make for a very comfortable fit; I had no issues wearing the Matrix2’s for hours and hours at a time and I didn’t notice any pressure points anywhere.
The Matrix2 headphones are technically over-the-ear headphones, but I found them most comfortable half on, half over my ears. Whether this is because my ears are giant and actually don’t fit inside the ear cups is up for debate, but needing to house 40mm drivers in each ear cup gives the Matrix2 ear cups some decent size.
Being a Bluetooth headset, there are also an assortment of buttons to be found adorning the ear cups. You will have access to the power (which doubles as the call button), volume up and volume down, play/pause, next track and previous track buttons. You will also be able to find recessed in the ear cups the microphone for taking phone calls, an indicator LED, and a 3.5mm audio jack which can be used to use the headphones when the battery has run out.
How does it sound
At $149 USD, the Matrix2 headphones come out at the top of MEElectronics’ Air-Fi series of audio products, with the Runaway at the bottom of the scale and Venture sitting pretty in the middle. For that money, you would expect some pretty impressive sound, and again, the Matrix2 doesn’t disappoint.
The best way to describe the audio quality of the Matrix2 headphones is balanced; it doesn’t go too crazy in any particular range, making the bass strong, but not overpowering, the mids are clear, as are the highs, making for a really great overall headphone that can be used for any genre of music, be it classical, rock, or dance. Audio quality is identical when the Matrix2 headphones are used wired or wireless with the only notable difference the telltale white noise when Bluetooth is connected.
Coming from the original Matrix, the Matrix2 has upgraded the old Bluetooth 3.0 to Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and while I haven’t tried the predecessor, I had no issues with connectivity with the Matrix2’s. This extended to consistent connections while listening for hours at a time and there was no evidence of anomalies or anything of that nature.
What I like about the Matrix2 headphones
If you have ever read one of my reviews of Bluetooth headphones before, you will know that one of my all-time peeves with Bluetooth audio products is the fact that because most controls and buttons are located on the right ear cup, the 3.5mm audio jack is also located on the right. While the option to listen while notÂ powered is obviously a plus, it’s such a jarring experience to need to become accustomed to having the audio cable hanging off the other ear cup than it is normally on. Perhaps this is a inane concern of mine, however I’m glad to say that MEElectronics has solved this bungle with the Matrix2 headphones and put the audio cable jack on the left ear cup; major points for that feature.
Another thing you will know if you have read my reviews before is that I love products that include a carry case, a box which the Matrix2 definitively ticks. While this is usually more of a thing for collapsible headphones, I’m really impressed that MEElectronics has gone to the trouble of making a hard moulded case for the Matrix2, something which isn’t normally afforded to full sized headphones. And as a side note, I was very impressed with how solid the Matrix2 headphones felt; despite being mostly plastic, they are quite heavy and the general feel is of quality.
The battery life of the Matrix2 headphones is quoted for a very impressive 22 hours, however in my testing I’m sure I exceeded that figure several times. And of course, if you run out of juice at any point (or get annoyed at the audio tone that occurs when you’re running low on battery), you can always switch to the physical cable to continue listening (and it’s on the right side!).
What I don’t like about the Matrix2 headphones
If you read my review of the Runaway headphones, you will know that I didn’t quite like the arrangement of the buttons used to control the headphone functions. And while the configuration on the Matrix2 is significantly different, I can’t say that I like it either. While splitting the controls between the ear cups makes it easier to remember which controls are on which side, I found myself fiddling with the controls too much trying to figure out which ones were which. I wouldn’t consider this a dealbreaker as the headphones are perfectly functional as theyÂ stands, however I think the experience could be much more enjoyable perhaps with wheels or switches instead of buttons.
This next concern might seem really unusual, but it was definitely one of the things that I noticed.Â It is said that the ‘new car’ smell is among one of the most sought after smells in the world, even being bottled up for those who want the specific scent; unfortunately, I can’t say the same for new Matrix2 headphones. I have a feeling that it has something to do with the fabric on the ear cups and headband, but the Matrix2 had an incredibly distinctive smell when it was first opened up. The weirdly synthetic smell lingered for a short while after, and while this again isn’t a dealbreaker, it’s just one of those things to be aware of.
MEElectronics has done it again; a great value set of over-ear headphones that look great and sound great. I’m a big fan of the balanced audio, the reserved, but elegant design and the fact that it does this as a Bluetooth wireless headset for less than $150 USD. There may be cheaper products in the same arena, but the Matrix2 shows itself to be a firmly premium offering at a not-very-premium price, and for that, it’s definitely worth a look.
As a hot tip, you can now get the Matrix2 on Amazon for just $79.99 USD, which is a phenomenal deal for such a great value set of headphones; you can find an Amazon link below.
If you want to take a closer look at theÂ MEElectronics Air-Fi Matrix2 AF62 Stereo Bluetooth Wireless Headphones, you can visit the product page here, or to take a look at some of MEElectronics’ other audio products you can take a look at their website here.