Current testing methodology is v1.2
May 20, 2019
3 x 3 x 3 in
After we favorably reviewed the MEE MX1 Pro previously, it was only natural to keep the ball rolling with the next model in the lineup. And so we have the MX2 Pro, a dual-driver design that adds a balanced armature to provide clear mids and crisp highs while the dynamic driver is left free to pump out even more bass.
Given the pretty massive jump in price, the goal of this review is to see what the MX2 has to offer over the already great base model. And with the especially stiff competition we’ve seen around that $100 price tag, it’s interesting to see how they stack up against the newer kids on the block.
MEE Audio MX2 Pro
A prosumer earphone aimed at drummers and bassists with a bright and bassy sound
The MEE Audio MX2 Pro asks for a pretty steep jump in price over the excellent MX1 Pro. In exchange, you get one of the better V-shaped sound signatures in this price range, offering bass thump and treble sparkle in equal measure that’s a lot of fun with loud genres.
That said, it’s still an MX Pro earphone, and the two cables included with the MX2 Pro are still annoying to work with when the outer insulation crumbles in a year or so. Whether this compromise over the long term is a deal-breaker, however, is for you to decide.
- Headphone Type: Closed-back in-ear monitors
- Driver Type: Hybrid 10mm dynamic driver + 1x balanced armature
- Frequency Response: 20 – 20,000 Hz
- Max. Input Power: 30 mW
- Sensitivity: 119 dB/V @ 1 kHz
- Impedance: 34 Ohms @ 1 kHz
- Cable: Removable 1.3m cable
- Connector: 2mm DC to 3.5mm (1/8″)
What’s in the Box?
- MEE Audio MX1 Pro earphones
- Audio cable
- Headset cable
- Carrying case
- 3 pairs of single-flange silicone ear tips (S, M, L)
- 1 pair of double-flange silicone ear tips (M)
- 1 pair of Comply T-200 memory foam ear tips (M)
- Carabiner clip
- 3.5mm to 6.3mm connector adapter
Stuff I like
- Deep, thumpy bass
- Sparkly treble that isn’t too piercing
- Solid accessories package
Stuff I like less
- Cable disintegrates pretty quickly
- Some will be sensitive to its treble spike
- Midrange sounds a bit too lean
A Bit of Background
MEE Audio is a fairly small but known manufacturer based in the United States. Founded in 2006, I personally find them interesting because of their very wide product catalog, which ranges from the KidzJam volume-limited headphones to the Pinnacle line of audiophile-aimed earphones.
The MX2 Pro is the second tier in MEE Audio’s four-piece MX Pro line of “modular” earphones. Targeted at performing musicians, their design is meant to be easy to upgrade, replace, and configure however and whenever you want.
However, each model in the lineup has its own unique tuning that keeps it distinct from the others. We’ll go into what those differences are later.
The MX2 Pro comes in the same box and comes with all of the same accessories as all of the other models in the MX Pro lineup.
This deliberate choice by MEE Audio goes both ways for the MX2. On the one hand, sharing the same accessories keeps the design consistent across all of the models, which helps MEE keep costs down while ensuring that you get the same level of quality no matter which earphone you choose.
On the other hand, this approach also makes the accessories package less compelling as a selling point the further up you go, since even the $50 earphone has the same cables and ear tips that are used on the $100, the $150, and the $200 models.
Keeping in line with this modular concept, every part of the MX2 Pro apart from the earphone housings themselves is exactly the same one that you get if you buy any other model in the product line. We’ll talk a bit more about what that means for its value proposition later, but at least for now, I can say that the MX2 Pro is built pretty solidly.
The plastics used on the housing are held together very well and are practically weightless in the hand. The main problem, however, comes when we account for the cable.
Now, it’s already expected for a cable to be the first part to wear out and fail. However, the material used on the cable’s outer insulation breaks down and crumbles away after about a year of use. I’m still not sure why this happens specifically to the MX PRO line’s cables, but the usual culprits for failure like this are rubber reversion and UV damage. Maybe even both.
In my 10 years in this hobby, these are the only cables that I’ve had sustain damage like this, and in such a short timeframe too.
To add further insult to injury, the MX Pro line uses a not-proprietary-but-not-common 2mm barrel plug as their connector. This means MEE Audio is the only place you can get replacements from — no aftermarket or upgrade cables for you if you want something a bit better.
In fairness to MEE here, both cables are still working fine, even if they’re steadily disintegrating with every day I’ve been using them past the first year out of the box.
And MEE still makes good on their lifetime replacement policy in which you can buy a brand new pair for half price as long as you have your proof of purchase. Spending $10 a pop for a replacement cable also isn’t too bad, all things considered.
Fit and Comfort
The housings of the MX2 are, for the most part, identical to the MX1, save for the extra internal mount for the balanced armature driver. A flush outer side means it still passes the “lying on your side” test, and the housings themselves are still small enough that they shouldn’t cause any problems with small ears.
They’re also one of the more comfortable cables I’ve tried. While the memory wire ear loops take a bit of getting used to at first, it lets you create a very consistent and secure fit that always stays in the ears even during lots of activity, whether it’s rocking out in a band or during an intense workout.
Another key design point of the MX Pro series is how each model in the lineup is tuned differently. I like that this approach gives each earphone a distinct vibe, but it also makes it difficult to recommend one over the other, especially with how big the price jumps are between each model.
The MX2 Pro, for one, strays away from the Harman-styled balance of the MX1 to deliver a V-shaped sound signature that MEE claims is aimed at drummers and bassists.
I guess the idea is that the boosted bass and treble are meant to help emphasize drums, cymbals, and bass guitars — and from the first listen, the MX2’s combination of a dynamic driver “subwoofer” handling bass and balanced armature “tweeter” handling mids and treble seems to be working.
True to MEE’s naming of it, the MX2 Pro’s bass driver delivers a solidly thumpy bass sound that’s a lot of fun to listen to.
It’s able to dig deep to shine in sub-heavy songs like Wiz Khalifa’s “On My Level” thanks to great extension and emphasis without overwhelming the rest of the sound signature. While it’s a fun bass sound, I can’t quite say if it’s basshead-approved.
More importantly, its emphasis on the sub-bass gives it a bit of a sluggish quality to bass impacts. The kick drum in “Self-Portrait in Three Shades of Mauve” by inside//outside, for example, hits with less of a “punch” and more of a “thud”. This isn’t a deal-breaker but it’s something worth noting if a more aggressive sound is what you’re after.
One of the benefits of a multi-driver setup in an earphone is the ability to delegate certain frequency ranges to different drivers to help minimize any bleed in the sound signature.
The MEE MX2 Pro is a great example of this in action, as the midrange still stays excellently clear even with the bass pounding away on tracks like “Chemical Bond” by REZZ and Deathpact. Bass guitars, in particular, are fun to listen to on the MX2 Pro, with lots of power to be easily heard while remaining clear and clean in songs like Shubh Saran’s “Pareidolia“.
Of course, there are some limits.
Balanced armature drivers tend to sound rather lean in their midrange delivery, and the singular unit installed in the MX2 is no different. There’s a pretty obvious lack of weight in the low vocal layers used in Seraphine’s “Made Me This Way“, and this rather cold tonality shows up across most things the MX2 plays.
The treble of the MX2 Pro is, by far, my favorite part of its sound. It’s very bright and sparkly up top which might be a bit of putting for some at first listen, but it doesn’t get too “hot” and in-your-face like a lot of V-shaped sound signatures tend to do.
I’m incredibly impressed by how the MX2 renders cymbals. Lots of clarity in the mix without being too harsh, it’s a lot of fun to listen to on songs like Daft Punk’s “Beyond” and other tracks that have the cymbals placed very prominently in the mix.
That said, the way I hear the treble here mostly applies to me. While our hearing is generally within the same ballpark, some people will be more sensitive to certain frequencies than others.
I don’t mind the MX2 Pro’s treble bump that goes from 9 kHz up to about 12 kHz, but there’ll be those who find it too sharp. At the very least, this treble bump manages to avoid the usual sibilance point around 7-8 kHz, although it’s not hard to find songs that will serve as an exception.
The MX2 Pro’s soundstage ability was pretty good as far as earphones of its class are concerned. As a closed-back IEM, it naturally won’t have much of it to speak of but having a stereo width that goes outside the “inside-your-head” feeling is a win in my book.
Its imaging ability is better than the MX1 Pro to my ears. Instruments in songs with a mic’d-up mix are defined quite well, although I’m a bit unsure if this is a fault of the soundstage or just the bright treble tuning.
The big question I wanted to tackle in this review was if the price tag of the MX2 Pro was enough to justify a $50 jump over the base model MX1 Pro.
If it were just up to me, I’d say “no” as I like the more balanced sound signature of the MX1 Pro. The V-shaped sound of the MX2 Pro, while it’s fun, doesn’t quite handle all of the music I listen to with the same level of control.
But when we consider it as a recommendation for other listeners, the answer becomes a lot less clear. Sound enjoyment is highly subjective, and it’s affected by all sorts of factors from personal preference to what headphones or earphones you used previously.
The MEE Audio MX2 Pro, unfortunately, doesn’t directly compare to the MX1 because it’s a completely different beast. This earphone offers a different enough take on the V-shaped sound that’s worth a try if you’re into it; but if you aren’t, some of the other models in the MX Pro line might turn out to be a better choice.
That said, sound is only half of the experience of any earphone — the MX2 Pro being one of them.
I’ve already gone over my concerns with the MX Pro series’ cables and their long-term durability, so at this point, it’s really up to you if you want to spend $10 every year or so to get replacement cables for an earphone that, while good, isn’t really a must-buy in my book.
It’s not often that an earphone’s sound matches its marketing materials. But for the MEE Audio MX2 Pro, its tuning does actually emphasize drums and bass guitar as advertised, which results in a sound that’s loud, energetic, and fun.
For an earphone at the $100 mark, the MX2 Pro’s bass- and treble-boosted locks in a surprisingly good balance of power and energy without being too harsh on either end of the spectrum. While a bit weak at times, the added driver more than pulls its weight in delivering the sound that it does.
While I’m not a big fan of how the earphone holds up long-term, I will say that the first couple of years with the MX2 Pro will go by without a hitch, and you can expect a consistent and reliable experience across the board.
This post was last updated on 2023-11-29 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.