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Old 04-19-2011, 07:33 PM
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robjrock robjrock is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 272
Default Review: Meelec RX11 Budget IEMs

Recently I was lucky enough to receive a review sample of Meelec's new budget earphone, the RX11.

Unfortunately my camera is on the blink so I will include some stock photos only.

Coming in a simple package, without a carry case, these $20 in-ears are clearly aimed at the budget conscious listener. The red cable looks very similar to the Dre Beats earphone range, which is certainly a popular choice on my university campus at the moment. I'm not going to comment any further on the looks, since such things are very subjective to the individual.

Fit is great. Compared to the somewhat cumbersome fit of the Meelec M6s (I admit I loathe looped-over-ear with memory wire designs such as the M6) the RX11s slightly angle drivers slide right into my ears for an easy, fuss free fit. They come standard with 3 single flange silicon tips and one pair of bi-flange tips.

Considering these sell for just $20 I really expected these to be CX300 style bass-monsters. IE: Goopy, sludgy bass and not much else. To my surprise the RX11 earphones are very balanced. They remind me more of the Sound Magic lines. The bass is there, and a really good fit brings it out, but by comparison the Meelec M6s sound like absolute bass monsters. The M6 ($30) and M9 ($25) share the same driver, but to my memory the M9 is a little less bassy, a bit more airy, but not quite as smooth when compared to the M6.

The mids on the RX11s are OK. They lack the warmth and natural timbre my Yuin PK3s ($40). Vocals are reproduced well, and they sit a little forward on the soundstage. But the overall clarity, warmth and naturalness are missing. Still for a $20 they're certainly acceptably clear and fun.

Treble doesn't extend too far up, but they don't sound as rolled off as the Brainwavz M2 ($50). To be honest the M2 was a big disappointment for me. They sounded way too dark, the bass lacked punch and there was no 'fun factor.' Although I'll admit they best all the aforementioned Meelec earphones for naturalness of sound. The Meelec do have a slightly synthetic edge to their sonics.

The Meelec website advertises the RX11 sound as 'spacious with powerful bass.' To be honest the soundstage is pretty narrow, and they aren't as bassy as the M9 or M6... so I'm not quite sure what they mean by that description!

So my verdict?

Well I'm a little torn. I think for $20 they are an excellent little earphone. They aren't giant killers, but they offer a nice, fun, reasonably balanced sound for little money. However for an extra $5 bucks you can get the M9s, which offer bigger bass, better treble and soundstage, plus a carry case (I think.) If you don't mind, or indeed want big bass and are willing to wrestle a little with the fit, the M9 seem the better choice. If you are more after a balanced, one-size fits all sound, good ergonomics & fit, the RX11s would be a good choice.
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Broke, Sold or Given Away - A couple of iPods, Gigabeat S30, Cowon D2, Creative ZWM, Clip, KSC75, Super.Fi 3
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