Our overview of MEElectronics’ CES 2015 line-up last month definitely gave the impression that MEElectronics is aiming at starting 2015 on the right foot, but before we move onto their latest products, we have to cover one of their headphones that launched late last year. TheÂ MEElectronics Air-Fi Rumble Bluetooth Headphones are the latest thing in the Air-Fi line of headphones whichÂ has more than a passing resemblance to the MEElectronics Atlas headphones we took a look at last year. Let’s jump in and see whether cutting the cord has changing anything.
What’s in the box
One thing that we’ve gotten used to with MEElectronics products is all the included accessories, particularly the carry bag, which I’m a huge fan of. As expected, besides the headphones themselves, the box contains everything you’ll need to get started with the Rumble including a micro-USB cable, a 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable, user manual and that carry bag.
As we mentioned in the introduction, the Rumble looks more than a little bit like the Atlas, which was a wired set of headphones. Being part of the Air-Fi line, of course, means that the Rumble is completely wireless, connecting via Bluetooth to your mobile device. While the Rumble isn’t quite as striking to look at, it still retains the glossy finish and instead introduces an interesting two-tone colour design – we’ve got the white and blue version here, but you can also get it in black and red for something a little less conspicuous.
Also like MEElectronics’ other headphones, the Rumble is fully collapsible, allowing it to fit into the carry bag with lots of space to spare. This makes transporting the headphones and its associated cables extremely convenient.
How does it perform?
Let’s start with audio quality. Pretty well all MEElectronics products exude value, and that not only extends to the accessories in the box, but surprising audio fidelity as well. With that in mind, I’m glad to say that the Rumble headphones is definitely one of their best – out of the box, it offers an incredibly balanced audio experience without the need for EQ tuning. The bass is amazing, and the mids and highs are extremely clear.Â If there is but one fault, it’s that there’s probably not enough depth to the sound – often it sounds like there’s a wall of sound at your ear. But for the price point the Rumble is at, there aren’t many other headphones with 40mm drivers that produce sounds like this.Â The microphone performance is pretty decent too with call audio getting through clearly and likewise the Bluetooth call audio is good too.
Moving onto comfort, you might expect that there isn’t all that much new to say about the Rumble since it basically shares the same design as the Atlas, and you’d be right. Bar the weight of the cable which the Atlas had, the Rumble feels exactly the same – although, considering the fact that there are controls in the left side of the headset, the Rumble feels remarkably balanced. The earcups are lined with the familiar perforated leather, and the headband is covered with the same soft leather as on the Atlas. Overall, it’s a pretty comfortable fitting headset as it’s not too tight around the headband (it’s probably a little on the loose side) and the earcups are nicely fitted for sitting on top of your ears. I do have the same slight complaint as on the Atlas which is that I found that the back of my ear would eventually get a bit sore from being pinned to my head after about an hour or so. That said, that might just be me and my big head (and big ears).
The fit of the Rumble is something important to bring up at this point because while it is a comfortable fit, its looseness affects its ability to cancel surrounding noise, and conversely, keep sound from leaving your headset. In an office setting, it’s actually pretty easy to hear everything going on around you and the only real way to combat this is by turning you music up a little more. Unfortunately, this is a double edged sword as if you are listening to something particularly zealous, the sound will leak out. Let’s be clear – this is more a problem with on-ear headphones in general rather than the Rumble in particular, but its just something you have to be aware of.
Battery performance of the Rumble is pretty impressive with MEElectronics saying you’ll be getting 14 hours playback out of them, which is pretty close to what we’ve been experiencing, and should get you through most any day. Recharging them is a snap too as you only need to plug in the micro-USB cable into the base of the headphones and 2 hours later you’ll be good to go again. And if you do for some reason run out of battery, the Rumble also operates as a wired set of headphones – just use the audio cable provided to connect the headphones and your audio device and away you go even with no battery power.
What I like about theÂ MEElectronics Air-Fi Rumble Bluetooth Headphones
Like its Air-Fi predecessors before it, the Rumble’s prime selling point is the fact that it is a wireless headset that doesn’t cost much at all and offers great audio quality. It does sound like a bit of a cop out to say that one of the things I like about it is the whole package, but that’s exactly how I feel, and I think it’s because MEElectronics has been at this value thing for so long that they’ve gotten it to a fine art. The Rumble is currently available on the MEElectronics website for $59.99USD, which is a very decent price for wireless headphones, and I think you’d struggle to find something much cheaper that replicates its stat sheet.
Probably the other thing I like most about the Rumble headphones is how light they are. Despite all the internal electronics the Rumble is supremely light, weighing in at under 150 grams and making it an absolute pleasure to travel with. Sure, the lightness due to the plastic might make it appear to be flimsy, but the build quality has me confident it can survive more than the odd bump from time to time.
What I don’t like about theÂ MEElectronics Air-Fi Rumble Bluetooth Headphones
My only real complaint with the Atlas headphones remains my only real complaint about the RumbleÂ – the comfort is the only downside for me, as I mention above. I want to clarify that the comfort of these headphones might even be perfect for you, but for me, they are just a little too difficult to wear for hours on end. Overall, they are a comfy set of headphones and they don’t squeeze your head at all, so that might be all you are looking for.
TheÂ MEElectronics Air-Fi Rumble Bluetooth Headphones are yet another well-roundedÂ Air-Fi product that presents yet anotherÂ impressive case for great value in wireless headphones. They sound great, feel great, are extremely portable, and they are priced quite competitively to boot. If you’re looking for a great value pair of Bluetooth headphones, it’s hard not to consider these.
For more information about theÂ MEElectronics Air-Fi Rumble Bluetooth Headphones, make sure to take a look at its product page here. Or if you want to know more about MEElectronics’ other audio products, you can visit their website here.
- Great value for money
- Extremely light and portable
- Comfort can vary
- Noise cancelling is minimal