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Old October 9th, 2013, 12:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Review of Meelectronics M-Duo in-ear headphones w/lots of pics!!!

This is a review of Meelectronics M-Duo in-ear headphones with inline remote: MEElectronics M-Duo Dual Dynamic Driver Noise-Isolating In-Ear Headset

It's often said that sound quality of headphones is highly subjective and a matter of personal taste. I agree with that when you compare headphones in the same category - no two will be created or sound equally and have their own nuances. But there is a big difference when you start comparing headphones in different price categories. Typically under $100 is considered to be a budget category with a typical single driver design and some cut corners on build quality. When I saw M-Duo from Meelec described as dual driver design with a current price offered by Amazon under $73 - it surely got my interest! Here is what I think about these after a few days of testing.

The first thing I typically judge any headphones by is the packaging it comes in, and in this department M-Duo doesn't disappoint. It opens up with a great presentation of magnetic flap box with headphones and ergonomic carrying case made out of semi-rigid nice to the touch material with internal pocket to store your extra eartips or whatever else you prefer. And speaking of eartips it comes with 6 pairs of different types and sizes to satisfy any picky ears. I believe you can also use ComplyFoam 400 tips which I have coming later this week, and will update my review with impression on how they improve the fit, isolation, and sound quality. In addition, you also get a shirt clip which is useful for those who like to fix positioning of in-line mic/remote on your shirt. The housing of earbuds itself is all metal, two-tone (blue and black), very solid design that feels nice when you handling it (especially the fine rigid finish of black part) which I personally enjoy when metal is cold And when you handling these, you will appreciate a rigid strain relief - very important in earbuds where wire connections are typically the weakest point of design. The same two-tone theme is carried over to 3.5mm gold plated headphone plug with blue metal and rubber black finish. This one is a very unique t-shaped connector with a decent strain relief - very comfortable to handle when you need to plug/unplug these headphones and would work great with any phone case even with narrow headphone jack opening.

As previously mentioned, these headphones come with in-line remote/mic enclosed in a metal bullet housing as well. I know iProduct fans might not be happy that volume was not included but I absolutely LOVED IT. All the latest android phones (since S3 generation with 4.x) support multifunction button for play/pause of audio and video, phone pickup/hangup, and control by double-/triple-tap to skip next/prev. If your phones does work with this remote, get JAYS free app from Google Play, it should do the trick! Most of the headphones with these controls are advertised for Apple products and it gets very frustrating because us, Android users, get stuck with large in-line remote that houses volume buttons we have no use for. The solution of M-Duo is truly universal, very compact, and has a single multi-function button which is easy to locate by touching the remote and has nice tactile response. The same remote houses mic, and all my calls using these headphones went through with people complimenting me on how clear and loud I sound.

Now comes the fun part - how does it sound? Let me first start by mentioning that M-Duo name actually describes the design itself - dual driver design. With a very informative diagram on their box, Meelec gives you inner breakdown of the design where you can see a cross-over and a separate woofer (to handle low end - bass), and tweeter (to handle your midrange and treble). This design gives more control of how the sound is delivered to your ears, especially a better control of bass!!! M-Duo definitely has a strong bass presence, but its not overwhelming and actually very clear at different volume levels. Listening to these IEH and then switching to a number of my other headphones with flat frequency response (or some cheap ones with exaggerated bass), I was really able to appreciate the bass of M-Duo. Doesn't matter if you are listening to EDM or Rap/Hip-Hop, this extra presence of bass really adds a new dimension to the sound. The midrange of the sound felt a bit recessed but still clear, and I felt the upper midrange range toward highs got brighter and more enhanced which suggested a popular V-curve eq response. Overall, the sound was nice and clear across the whole frequency range, and different volume levels. I had no problem driving it from my Note 2. I also want to mention that I ran these through about 4+ hours of burn in using white/pink noise loop which I find to be a standard procedure for all of my headphones. Some might argue over the time of listening you get a burn in by default, but in theory white noise has best characteristics to exercise and to bring your drivers to life from get go.

Overall, I was very impressed with a design, built quality, and really enjoyed the sound of M-Duo. The bass response of these is fantastic and will be appreciated by anybody no matter what style of music you are in. I did get spoiled with my UE600 and their high frequency response and details, so I was kind of missing it with M-Duo, but the delivery of bass made up for it! Considering dual driver design, all metal enclosure, in-line remote, and fun sound characteristic, for $73 (quoting current Amazon price) these are a really good value!

Here are the pictures.
































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Old October 13th, 2013, 11:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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As I mentioned before, the quality of a sound even with the best IEH is highly dependent on proper ear tip fitment. Without a proper seal of your ear canal you will loose low frequency content of the sound and overall quality of the sound will not be the same, not to mention a constant frustration of adjusting headphones falling out of your ears. Although supplied with a variety of unique ear tips for the best fitment, M-Duo can still benefit from a help of Comply Foam tips. For this particular Meelectronics M-Duo model you will have to use 400 series tips, and I choose TSX series due to it's rounded shape which fits more comfortably and integrated wax-guard (still keeps sound transparent while keeping your ear wax away from headphones). Tsx-400 - Comply

The soft memory foam did a fantastic job with passive sound isolation. It definitely adds a few more dBs of noise cancellation on top of what you can already achieve with stock ear tips. Furthermore, it improved fitment in terms of being wedged in pretty good and staying in even if you accidentally pull on the chord. Definitely something to consider if you are planning to use M-Duo at the gym. But the best improvement came in a form of bass enhancement. M-Duo already shines in that department, but with Comply Foam tips I felt like it added another dimension to a bass with a slightly better definition. It was great to begin with stock ear tips, but in my opinion Comply tips did enhance the low end of the sound. I definitely recommend it as an addition to M-Duo.

Since I used Comply Tips before per my reviews with other headphones, I already know that medium size works for me. When you get these ear tips from Comply they come in a package of three pairs where I got the same size. But for those who are not sure or getting these first time you can choose an option of S/M/L combo to figure out which one fits you better.

Here are the pictures.







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