MEEaudio X7 Plus Review
Thanks to MEEaudio for the sample
First Impressions: Hmm, box with a flappy lid though it has magnets to keep it clasped shut it’s got a sticky circle thing to keep it closed. Seems stupid to me as the point of the flappy cover is so you can open it up and see the things through the window and the read blurb about them. Well that I guess is if you buy in a real life shop but who does that anymore? They look alright though through their little window. Opening up the snugly fitted innards they have a manual which right on the front tells you go look up how to put them on. Then on the earphones there is a tag telling you the very same thing. So I get that it’s nice to point out to noobs how you wear earphones over the ear. It was strange the first few times I tried it back in the day. Now that I see it, I wonder why no one’s done it before?
Right, got them out the box, charged up, paired up and slapped on a pair of Comply’s. In the ears. Hmm that cable is pretty short, going under the chin it’s actually really snug on me. Hmm I may swap to running behind the back of my head which I guess is the more sporty way but then wont the mic be really far from my mouth? Anyway…… its music time. Oooh, having just been playing with the BLU-200 for the last few days these are like a breath of fresh air. Okay so they cost twice as much but these are so very significantly better. Oh I like these, the bass is very nice and the mids are very nicely clear. Oh I think these maybe just shot to the top of the best Bluetooth earphone list in my head.
Source: Nexus 5, Iphone 5, Moto G 4G and Lumia 735.
Lows: Inside the X7 PLUS may be a relatively small driver at just 6 mm. So on paper you would be forgiven for assuming that the little driver may not be best suited to bass by stint of its relative inability to move a greater quantity of air. However these babies are nicely sealed and so that doesn’t matter so much, hell it doesn’t matter at all. The bass is glorious and coming from the much larger drivered BLU-200 at 9.2mm it’s so agile and articulate. I know these are aimed at sporty uses but they are actually, genuinely good sounding too. The bass it’s so clean it its grip, it clings on to a note with fantastical vigour. It does trail off at the furthest depth but being closed that little driver clings on but more importantly it doesn’t loosen up as it goes. Its stays nimble and taut, yey! The level of impact too for the diver is excellent, not too rigidly stiff that it’s a hard punch, think granite with a little covering of memory foam to take the savagery off. Its first class quality, it really is impressive not just for being Bluetooth but for the price too. The tiny amp in there must be a right little beast to drive these so.
Quantity wise they are a bit elevated in the bass, for a mainstream targeted product the bass isn’t overwhelming in abundance. I am very happy with the quantity but I could see some desiring somewhat more. However I find the balance to be highly natural sounding, a gently sloped back slash.
Mids: Once more I find them producing a much more evenly handed and grown up sound than I had anticipated. Bluetooth and sporty targeted I just assumed oh they’ll have bass mountain and dazzling treble, the mids will suck, stuck in a valley. Oh but no, the mids aren’t obscured in anyway. They are not just that but they are good. No really, they are actually very good. Not just “good for cheesy bouncy pop” but actually good. I find myself mouthing along to songs as they come on. They are very natural sounding too, perhaps the slightest slant towards dry and open. That just aid in their sense of clarity and openness. Its just not at all what you’d expect.
These aren’t just good for Bluetooth or good for a sporty earphone, these are good full stop. Personally I’d still want to bump up the quantity but for their more likely user demographic the mids may come as a bit of a revelation. Not only are they quantitatively in relatively near abundance to the bass quantity which may come as a shock, their purity and clarity make them highly noticeable. They have great transparency, dynamics are wonderful too for something of this nature.
Highs: Wow. While I’m no treble junkie, given my treble sensitivity I can be a little hesitant in listening to treble heavy things with earphones that I would expect not be of the highest accuracy. So a Bluetooth, sporty earphone at just US$100 is the sort of thing that would have me bracing myself for the onslaught. Oh but how completely not necessary in this case. Firing up Owl City’s “Cave In” and I’m just so pleased I can’t even. Holly hell these are so good, the quantity, the quality, the detail yet there is absolutely no harshness. Not a hint of abrasive, sharp edged brutality and believe me, I’m playing silly buggers with the volume dial. Yet no matter how loud I push them and I really am, they stay so well composed and clean. I doth my cap to thee MEEaudio engineers. You have a little bit of a masterpiece on your hands with these.
Quantity wise they are a little on the lighter. If you want wildly scintillating treble, hard, aggressive, that DBA-02 like aggressiveness I’m afraid you won’t find it here. Great for my ears but those desiring more or that exaggerated cutting crispness won’t find it here. This is much more textbook natural with a slight reduction.
Soundstage: In scale they are fairly reasonable. They aren’t huge sounding and their instrument placement is a little vague. I never found myself thinking that things were coming from anywhere in particular other than it’s on the left, it’s on the right, it’s kinda in the middle. Instrument separation to was, well kinda middling. With the right track things can scale up a bit and take on a more authoritative feel but their closed nature somewhat enforces this style. It’s nothing that’s a problem but symphonic, grand pieces just don’t really take on the grandeur you may want.
Fit: In the ears, well that way fine. In they went and bobs your auntie. What was a little more, well not really a problem per say but…. the cable is really short. Now for sporty that’s good because it’s not flapping about all over the place. However it was so short that when under my chin it, when tilting my head down typing it was a little snug. Head up and forward it was fine. So I wanted to wear them round the back of my head but then the cable constantly rubbed on my collars if I turned my head. That was a little annoying.
Comfort: Aside from the occasional bit of snugness under my chin it was all good. My ears were quite happy to use them until the battery died.
Microphonics: I should write Woo hoo, none but I’m not. Under the chin it was perfect and there indeed was none but round the back of my head? Well if I turned my head the cable caught on my collars and it did transmit noise right up the cable to my ears. If I was in a t-shirt with no collars it would I’m sure have been fine but I always wear things with collars. It’s not like it was a big issue but it existed.
Phone use: It worked fine. Even round the back of my head it did work, I believe the mic is in the actual earpiece so wearing back makes no difference however that was using in a silent room. Out and about, traffic noises and such im sure it would have been quite more of an issue. Button wise, the play/pause/skip button on my Windows Phone, the Lumia 735 running Windows 10. A double click rather than skipping wanted to try and make a call, why I have no clue. Something to otherwise keep in mind, the volume button adjusts the volume on the X7, the volume on the phone is independent.
Cable: It is tiny and short. Be warned it could be too short for some if you have a big head you may be forced to wear round the back of your head (granted that’s how its intended to be used.) The trade however is the short cable is that it doesn’t get in the way and doesn’t flap about the place.
Isolation: For a dynamic, it’s great. I’d be very happy to use out and about or on a bus. Even a Tube commute or flight I’d be fine with these I think, well I’d live anyway. Therefore they are easily enough to block out other gym goers and the normal acoustic clutter. So as you know that means there would be absolutely enough to get yourself run over if you aren’t looking where you’re going.
Battery Life: The spec says 7 and a half hours. I’m not sure where the battery for all that is but it seemed reasonably accurate. Sorry but I couldn’t bring myself to run it from fully charged till they died. Anyway its much better than the other Bluetooth things I’ve had in recently. The only danger is that with their life being sufficient that you don’t “need” to charge them after use, you’ll get in the habit of not doing so and end up randomly dying on you because you haven’t charged them in days.
Value: So, US$100 that kinda sounds a lot for some Bluetooth gym earphones doesn’t it? However these are really freakin’ good, these aren’t just Bluetooth gym earphones, they are audiophile Bluetooth gym earphones. If you are some one that regularly reads Head-Fi and you give a damn about audio quality, not just give a damn but simply cannot bring yourself to not hear the imperfections in mediocre earphones. i.e. you’re someone a bit like me then these are Bluetooth earphones for you. Sure US$100 isn’t exactly throw away money but they are so worth it, so very, very easily worth it.
Conclusion: So, usually I start with, well, you know they have ups they have downs yaddah yaddah yaddah etc etc. Nope, to hell with that, these things kick ass! They are by a considerable margin the best Bluetooth earphones I’ve played with. There may be better ones out there, it’s possible but given these also come from a well-established high value company such as MEEaudio if they do exist I’d bet they cost considerably more. So not only to they sound fantastic they represent pretty fantastic value too. Value aside though, these are the only Bluetooth IEM I would classify as audiophile quality, it’s that simple.
I feel like I ought to chip in something negative but I’m struggling. So I’m not wild about wearing round the back of my neck because if you wear collars it rubs on them. Also it was a bit so so for making phone calls, lol because who still does that anymore anyway? Err I thinks that’s it for down sides.
Acoustically the X7 PLUS pretty much nail everything I want them too. Their natural esq sound signature, a gently sloped back slash. Somewhat elevated bass, capable and forthright mids, ever so gently subdued, refined highs. I could listen to these all day, happily, acoustically so easy on the ears and so capable. They can dish out any genre with such of degree of competence you will rapidly forget they are Bluetooth. They are without doubt, by far, the best sounding Bluetooth earphone I’ve ever heard, seriously were talking not just good enough that audiophile users won’t want to kill themselves but will actually like and enjoy using them!!! Yes indeed, they are simply that good.