Budget in-ears are like Beatles covers; for every 20 duds there is one worth listening to over and over again – the SoundMagic E10Cs, for example – but most budget headphones passing through our test rooms leave little by way of lasting memories.
Unfortunately for US headphone brand MEE audio (the acronym stands for ‘Music Enjoyment for Everyone’), the M6 PROs fall into that category.
Build and comfort
With ‘me’ and ‘pro’ in the title, there’s a hint of narcissism here, but some of it is more than justified. They make a good first impression.
It’s not unusual for us to review in-ears with three-figure price tags, and at first glance the MEEs could easily be mistaken for one of them.
With nothing to hide, the earbuds have well-made transparent housings, inviting the more inquisitive soul to take a magnifying glass to them to scrutinise the circuitry and soldering work – even the circuit board for the in-line mic/remote can be ogled at through clear casing.
There are two cables supplied (one with a mic/remote and one without). They also have the accessory count of much pricier models: a wallet-sized case, 6.3mm adapter and seven pairs of tips; six silicone and one Comply foam
Putting the MEE audios in your ears is some process. They are made to be worn upside-down, so that the top part of the cable – stiffer than the rest thanks to additional tubing – bends over and around your ears for a more secure fit than the customary pop-in-and-out buds.
Though somewhat less convenient to insert – interruptions that require taking them off are harder to tolerate – they’re comfortable and easily endure accidental tugs of the wire.
The down side is the sound. The top end settles down considerably from its out-of-the-box enthusiasm with a thorough 72-hour run-in, but still comes out the other side a little thorny.
The M6 PROs bite down hard on the cymbals that crash through Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s No Love Like Yours, making them sound a little shrill and over pronounced.
The vocals, while clear, solid and decently detailed, are thrown forward a little too, and while the bass is still prominent and tight, that combined with the treble provide a balance for leaner tastes.
We prefer the stricter, more refined balance of the SoundMagic E10Cs, which more accurately communicate the dynamics and timing of music too.
But nevertheless the M6 PRO’s lean edge results in a fast, agile presentation that’s squeaky clean and more than willing to throw punches at drum beats and crescendos.
It breezes through the track’s background instrumentals with gusto and decent insight, with every piano note and bass strum clear and crisp.
In that way, the MEE audio M6 PROs entertain, but they need to rein in their brightness and be more rhythmically and dynamically impressive to be truly recommendable, even at this modest price.