MEE Audio M6 PRO

MEE Audio markets the M6 PROs as stage monitors for musicians, but I think they serve equally well as a casual listening IEM.

Fit and Form

The M6 PROs come in an attractive box that shows the headphones themselves through a clear window on the side. They include a very nice, compact, and efficient hard zippered carrying case. It’s surprisingly good at fitting everything you need in it, given its size. Included is an 1/8” to 1/4" adapter, which is very solid and has nice knurling on its exterior end. Two cables are included, one clear with a volume slider and single-button mic and one white with just a Y-splitter. Both splitters are very solid, if a little large. Both cables come with a helpful shirt-clip and a slider to restrict the length of the Y-ends.

The headphones themselves are clear plastic with no machining errors and a good finish. They do feel a little bit fragile, but my experience using them reflects the opposite; they hold up well to everyday abuse. The canal onto which you put the ear-tips does feel a little bit cheap, but on such a small part, that’s to be expected with a $50 IEM. The cables use a 2.0mm DC connector at the earpiece which has a proprietary locking mechanism. They insert with a click and stay in very well.

The headphones stay in my ears tremendously well. Once the memory wire was shaped to my ear, they sat flush in my concha and absolutely did not move. Head-banging be damned, these things planted themselves solidly and refused to budge. They still aren’t quite flat enough to be comfortably slept with, at least in my experience.

The cable itself is very nice, and I think a highpoint of the build. It is very smooth, internally braided, and has the perfect amount of flexibility for me: not too flimsy, but not so resistant that it becomes a hassle with movement. Microphonics are very low, and were only noticeable when purposefully trying to elicit them. The cable terminates in a right-angle 1/8th connector that has good stress relief and is flexible enough to be bendable.

Sound

These headphones sound great. They have a close-to-neutral sound signature that doesn't preclude music from being very enjoyable in casual listening, if that makes sense. They don’t miss many details, have good separation and imaging, and have a reasonable soundstage for a closed IEM, but still have good quality and appropriate quantity across the bass and mids, with a little bit of sibilance in the treble.

Monitoring aside, I found that these headphones serve best with genres that claissically benefit from a neutral sound signature, like jazz and classical. However, I found that more bass-heavy genres (EDM, breakbeat, djent, hip-hop, etc.) didn't sound out of place and were still enjoyable.

Bass

Songs used: Midnight by Caravan Palace, Drum Machine feat. Skrillex by Big Grams, and Opr by Gessafelstein

The bass on these is not so much pronounced as it is good in the quantity provided; it is punchy, without bleeding over into the mid-range. However, it is fairly slow and a little bit syrup-y. In songs with heavy, continuous bass, such as the end of “Drum Machine”, these headphones do a very good job resenting the depth that is intended. There is a little bit of roll-off in the sub-bass that is noticeable, something around 50Hz and below. However, that doesn’t detract too much from the signature that MEE Audio has created.

Key descriptor: full, punchy, and balanced

Mids

Songs used: Divisionary (Do The Right Thing) by Ages and Ages, I Asked feat. Becca Stevens and Vasen by Snarky Puppy, and While My Guitar Gently Weeps by Jake Shimabukuro

These are pretty close to flat, but still have a little bit of recession in the mids. I still found male and female vocals to be very enjoyable, as the mids’ detail and clarity allow it even if the mids are ever-so-slightly held back. While you may not catch every gasp of breath that an audience member makes in a live recording, the mids are still very well textured and retrieve the majority of details.

Key descriptors: textured, lush, and detailed

Treble

Songs used: Morphogene by Machinedrum, Kings Season by C2C, and VCR by The XX

The treble is my largest gripe with these headphones. It is frequently sibilant and a little bit grating at times. Although it didn’t retract entirely by enjoyment of these headphones, it was a fairly consistent reality when listening analytically. This isn’t to say that there weren’t highpoints of the range. The treble is very detailed and has good layering with the other ranges, without overshadowing any of the others. I won’t say that the sibilance made these headphones anything near un-listenable, but it was noticeable enough to warrant commenting.

Key descriptors: sharp, detailed, and bright

Minutia and Miscellaneous

These headphones have very good isolation, such that at listening levels, someone’s going to have to tap you on the shoulder to get you out of the music. The soundstage on these is relatively claustrophobic, but I earlier called it reasonable as the separation and imaging allow for good distinction and placement within the soundstage.

I haven’t had the opportunity to use these as monitors, so I can’t actually comment on their intended use-case from experience, but I imagine they’d do fairly well as they have great isolation, good placement and imaging, with a fun, but still mostly neutral sound signature.

Wrap-Up

I like these headphones a lot. Sure, the treble can be a little bit grating sometimes, and is noticeably sibilant occasionally, but that still didn’t outweigh that these are a relatively neutral pair of headphones that still manage to make music enjoyable, and they're at a very reasonable price point. They’re very comfortable and wearable long term, and provide enough analytical highpoints that I can’t fault them too much.

Disclaimers

These headphones were provided to me by MEE Audio at a 50% discount for review. I am not being paid by anyone to write this review, to endorse the product reviewed, or for the content that I put in the review.

These headphones were powered by an Astell&Kern AK Junior, a Google Pixel, and by whatever soundcard is in the motherboard of my computer.

I have had these headphones for about a week, and have put about 20 hours of analytical listening into them during this time. They were left to burn in for twelve hours on the night I first received them.

Although I usually like to spend a little more time with a pair of headphones before I write a review, I found that I very quickly formed impressions that were only solidified with more listening. I have high confidence that the opinions expressed above will remain constant with extended listening, and if they do not, I will update the review accordingly.

Update (3/12/17 3:25 PM EST): upon rereading, my word choice mis-characterized my experience of the bass. I have adjusted the wording and rephrased a couple things, and I think it is now more representative of my experience. 

Update (3/13/17 8:00 PM EST): I talked with Mike at MEE Audio re: their connector, and it turns out it is a fairly standard 2.0mm DC connector with a proprietary locking mechanism, which has been updated in the review.

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