Audio gear is among the most competitive markets in the technology world these days. There are literally hundreds of brands with thousands of offerings, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, shapes and sizes. Do you choose in-ear headphones, on-ear headphones, or over-the-ear headphones? Do you go for audiophile-grade sound, or just average quality to avoid premium pricing? In all this mayhem, MEElectronics is trying to bridge the gap between premium audio quality and pricing that’s music to everyone’s ears with the second generation of their M9P in-ear headphones line.
The M9P is a set of in-ear headphones that includes an inline microphone for phone calls. The M9P is somewhat different to what you might be used to in a set of earphones in that it utilizes a flat cable system as opposed to the more common round cables. This design was chosen to increase durability and decrease the possibility of the cable tangling and from my brief time with the earphones, I had very few issues with the cable.
Out of the box, the M9P comes with the earphones, 5 sets of interchangeable earbuds for your comfort preferences, and a case for carrying this all in. The case is hard cover and while it’s a bit of a snug fit for all this gear, it does a good job of keeping everything in one place in a tiny package.
The M9P itself also comes with a cable clip, which is easily removable if you’re dissatisfied by where it’s situated or don’t want it around at all. In-line controls are also available on the M9P, which I would call the bare minimum of mobile compatible controls; the controls are comprised of an answer call button, a volume slider and of course, a microphone. When playing music, the answer call button doubles as a play/pause button by default.
The appearance of the M9P is definitely a mixed bag. The design of the earphones themselves is great, particularly in the Pearl White that we had available at hand. How much you like the flat cable system is going to be completely up to your preference, but there are parts of the M9P that do look a bit cheap, for instance the clip and the earphone divider. That said, you’ll only notice that if you look particularly closely, and with the matched colours throughout the earphone’s design, you likely wouldn’t notice this too much.
The inclusion of additional earbud sizes and types is a nice touch to help you get started with the M9P relatively painlessly. I did have one slight concern with the earbuds themselves; on other earphones, the earbud material is often a slightly coarse rubber, but the M9P’s earbuds appear to be made from a smooth rubber. What this causes is a fair amount of slippage as I tried to keep the earphones snugly placed in my ears. Of course, this is only in my personal experience, and depending on your ear size and shape, your experience will most likely vary.
The audio quality of the M9P is definitely the highlight of this whole package. The bass is full, the treble is clear and deep, and there was very little indication of any distortion or static. The M9P somehow manages to sound like it has its own built-in surround sound system, typically associated with over-the-ear headphones, all from just 9mm drivers. For a set of in-ear headphones, this level of sound is unexpected and extremely impressive, which is made even sweeter by its MSRP of $39.99.
From blasting Linkin Park to rocking out with Mozart, the M9P never skipped a beat nor sounded anything less than surprisingly pleasant. And while there’s no complicated braiding or sound insulation system on the M9P, the flat cables do a good job of stopping conducted noise in the system, something I didn’t quite expect given the cables are somewhat more rigid than standard round cables.
With all the inclusions and knick-knacks that it comes with, the M9P is a very complete and functional set of earphones. It includes everything you’ll need to get set up and started, and it also includes a case to help you move your earphones around when you aren’t using them.
The in-line mic and controls are acceptable for mobile use, including everything you’ll need to use it as a hands-free accessory. Call quality is reasonable when accepting a call and the mic appears to do the job when required. The slightly pronounced grooves on the volume slider is a nice touch as this makes it much easier to manipulate the slider one-handed, which is obviously most ideal when using it hands-free.
If anything though, the in-line control module feels a little bit big. Considering how nicely they tucked away the microphone within the volume slider, there was no extra effort put in to reduce the size of the overall module, which is a shame. That’s not to say it’s too big, but it does add a bit of weight to the right earphone (which is coincidentally also the one that continually became dislodged from my ear).
The MEElectronics M9P in-ear headphones is a very good set of earphones. Its combination of audio quality and functionality at its price point is definitely the best I’ve ever seen and you’ll be hard pressed to find a more complete package. There are a few niggling issues with it and there are parts of it that can look a bit cheap, but for the sum of its parts the M9P is an incredibly good value set of earphones and a brilliant stocking stuffer this holiday season.
For more information about the MEElectronics M9P in-ear headphones, or any of MEElectronics’ other products, visit their website at the links below:
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