Not another in-ear monitors review or a similar thought is probably going through your mind now.
You have read dozens of reviews by now, and there is no significant difference between the products of various manufacturers.
All one needs to look at is the price tag. The higher the price, the better the IEM’s are, that’s the general rule.
Well, this may be true for some other manufacturers out there, but MEE Audio’s new MX PRO in-ear monitors are a completely different ball game.
If you are a musician looking for customizable and reliable IEM’s with superb sound quality, or a genuine music lover, or both like myself, follow me through this review and find out why this MEE series is bound to make a stand on the IEM market.
Let’s begin with the MEE Audio MX PRO review.
There are 4 available models
Their shared features are:
- a pouch made of thick fabric
- two cables
- 3 adapter
- a pair of cable clips
- five pairs of tips (three pairs of single silicone, two pairs of double silicone and one pair of Comply foam)
All models can be customized with custom-engraved faceplates, 3D-printed custom ear tips and various accessories, such as Bluetooth adapters and cables.
Thanks to the modular design of MX PRO models, all parts, accessories and customizations can be upgraded or changed independently.
However, once you read the review, your perspective towards the M7 PRO series might change.
Without further ado, these are the four available MX PRO models, with all their virtues and shortcomings
Which model to choose?
Another question that is hard giving a definite answer. It all boils down to what exactly you are looking for in IEM’s and your budget.
Each of the models available has a lot to offer in its price range. The build quality, design and potential customizations are universal.
What makes them different is the character of the sound they deliver.
My personal choice was made in a photo finish. Being a drummer, I have to agree with MEE favoring MX2 model for drummer’s IEM.
They deliver just the details that a drummer needs to feel comfortable on the stage at all times.
On the other hand, the low-frequency clarity of MX3, coupled with more detailed mids better suits my needs since I also sing backing vocals and need them in my IEM’s, as well.
Coupled with the fact that I am an avid music listener outside the stage, gives MX3 a clear advantage in my case.
Therefore, the only viable criteria you should base your decision on are what you plan on using them for and what your ears are telling you.
The best way to choose the right model of the series is to try them all out, and only then make the final decision.
Things to know before buy
A Smoother Sound – looking for something that you can use every day for listening to music or your favorite podcast? Then you should look for a kind of glued-together driver. A pleasing and even kind of compressed sound is MX1 best feature!
Overall Mix/Pristine Audio – if you are a mix/sound engineer, or a keyboard player you would want to look for even sounding of the drivers from the bottom to the top of the frequency range. A nice amount of sparkle on the top and very even through the mids.
If You Are a Lead Instrument – lookout for drivers that will stick out your instrument, with a slightly softer high end, making everything sound fat and in-your-face.
Best for The Drummers – drivers who will provide a very present, punchy, and articulate low end. It should really help you lock in together by hearing the thump of the kick and the thump of the bass.
MEE Audio MX PRO Review
MX1 PRO Dynamic Driver
- Build quality
- Sound quality
- Lower bass level
- Flattened mids and highs
MX1 PRO is an excellent introduction to the entire series, and at the list price of $59.99 makes them highly competitive on the mixing and general listening market.
MX1 PRO’s are the entry-level model of the series. Like the name suggests it, they feature a single, moving coil driver.
The official data state that this model is characterized by a balanced audio performance, which was just the experience I had once I gave them a try.
Mids and highs are quite balanced, with highs being pushed a bit more forward giving the entire sound clarity and presence.
The bass frequency is slightly more prominent compared to other frequency spectres.
Bass heads among you would surely expect more to please their taste. Still, the bass prominence MX1 PRO model features nicely rounds the overall balanced audio performance.
These frequency characteristics recommend this model for mixing and general listening, just like the catalogue says it.
However, I would disagree with the recommendation of using them for monitoring, at least not as a universal solution.
The flattened mids and slightly prominent bass deem them inadequate for vocals and guitar monitoring, as well as for all those instruments that are characterized by clear mids and highs and require them to be fully audible and even emphasized when in IEM’s.
MX2 PRO Dual-Driver Hybrid
- Separate drivers for bass and mids/highs
- Improved dynamics
- Well-rounded soundstage
- Dominant bass signal
MX2 PRO’s are clearly more potent and dominant compared to MX1 PRO, which is expected taking into account they are almost twice as expensive. What came as a pleasant surprise was that they are quite competitive to M7 PRO, an MEE series belonging to a higher price range. The choice between these two boils down to the personal taste since the sound and build quality is at an equal level.
The second model of the line features two drivers. One is a Moving Coil Subwoofer, and the other is a Balanced Armature. What does this mean in practice?
The dynamic low-frequency driver provides emphasized bass frequency, but not in a way that it becomes too dominant rather more massive.
This is a very positive characteristic and particularly welcomed since this model is targeted for bass players and drummers.
No wonder then that drumtalk offers a 10% discount for all MX PRO series.
When mids and highs are concerned, the armature transducer does the job just right.
The mids and highs have good dynamics and detailed in most cases, which is just what to be expected with a single driver performance.
The issues become noticeable when the signal features a rich bass that takes dominance over low-mid frequencies.
This narrows otherwise quite an excellent soundstage and somewhat muddles the surprisingly good resolution MX2 PRO provides.
When mid-bass is not muddled, the vocals are resolute and nicely textured, which is something most rhythm section players love having in their IEM’s.
MX3 PRO Triple-Driver Hybrid
- Defined bass
- Great overall details
- Improved headroom
- Highs too prominent
For the list price of $149.99, MX3 PRO offers a lot of bang for the buck both for IEM stage use and general music listening.
With this model, the MX PRO series enters the mid-price range, where the competition is probably most fierce when it comes to the overall quality of IEM’s.
This means that in order to become noticed and remain so, the build and sound quality needs to live up to the expectations and preferably exceed them.
So, what the MX3 PRO has to offer?
It features the same moving coil subwoofer as MX2 does. However, it delivers a more laid back bass compared to the cheaper model.
The reason behind is the different treatment of mids that I will discuss in the next paragraph.
This does by any chance mean that the bass is lacking, just that it is of somewhat different nature.
Although not as abundant as MX2, low frequencies are well-rounded, spacey and have a defined place in the sound spectre.
Now, for the innovation MX3 brings to the series, the mids and highs performance.
The micro and macro details that two Balanced Armatures bring to mids and highs resolution are clearly audible to even the most inexperienced ears and clearly make a difference compared to MX2, let alone MX1 model.
Better details and larger headroom are additional attractive benefits. The most noticeable difference is in midrange reproduction.
This makes the model favoured by guitarists and vocalists, just the group MEE targets with this model.
The only possible downside is the fact that the highs are a bit accented, which may not please everyone. For all those among you that are treble sensitive, you should test them before purchase.
MX4 PRO Quad-Driver Hybrid
- Natural and perfectly balanced
- Impressive soundstage and details
- Might be too pricey for some users
The bass frequencies are more prominent than those of MX3’s, and slightly less than MX1 and MX2, just the right amount if you ask me. The soundstage is clearly wider and deeper than it’s the case with other models, the mids and highs are perfectly balanced, and the overall listening experience is simply breath-taking. There is no trace of treble excess, and even the most sensitive users could wear them for hours without any burden. They are list priced at just under $200, which makes them very competitive in the upper mid-price range.
We’ve come to the flagship model of the series, the one MEE engineers designed primarily for stage and studio monitoring.
It features a single moving coil subwoofer and a triple Balanced Armature to deliver high-resolution sound, superbly clear and crisp.
Due to construction and the number of featured drivers, MX4 PRO’s are the most expensive model.
They thus enter the IEM market section where every single feature counts in the overall grade a particular model receives and the expectations it needs to fulfil.
Quite simply, yes it does, and with flying colors.
This is the most advanced IEM model of the entire MEE catalogue and has earned every right to take the throne. MX4 PRO delivers the perfectly natural and balanced sound, just what is required for stage and studio monitoring.
However, not limited to it. All those musicians who prefer natural and balanced sound will enjoy using them as IEM’s, particularly if they also like the sounds of other instruments delivered directly to their ears during the performance.
Back to start
Now, after dealing with each of the models individually, let us go back to the very beginning of this review and shed more light one of the essential customizations available for this MEE series, namely the available ear tips customization.
Each of the models in the series can be customized with silicone custom molds that perfectly fit the owner’s ears.
It takes three to four weeks to receive these molds at the cost of $150. This may seem a lot at first glance, particularly compared to individual list prices of the MX PRO series, but they are a well-worth investment.
Anyone who has ever used IEM on stage knows how large a benefit comes from the custom molds, both in terms of isolation, wearability and overall sound quality.
Finally, all those who spend a lot of time on stage can never go back to using IEM without the custom molds once they tried them.
Ergonomics and durability are other strong sides of MX PRO series, and all the available customizations only add to the overall positive impression.
However, there is one primary objection that the majority of potential users would probably have. I know I do.
The changeable cables are excellent features, no doubt about it. Still, the fact that the cables are terminated with a removable 2mm DC connector on the monitor end.
This termination is not normative when it comes to IEM’s since the vast majority of manufacturers use a typical two-pin connector.
The outcome is that if you wish to upgrade or replace the existing cables, you are bound to use MEE produced ones, which is, to put it mildly, unfair.
The MX PRO series models obviously got their names based on the number of drivers they feature, thus the price difference.
However, despite the widespread belief and very often the actual case on the IEM market. From our MEE Audio MX PRO review we can conclude that MX1 model is not three times inferior to MX4 even though it is that much cheaper.
The sound quality of the more expensive models of the series is undoubtedly distinctly superior, as it should be given the price and construction.
However, the difference is more subtle than the price range would suggest.
What about the competition?
MX PRO series has its place on the market; there is no question about it. This goes both when the quality and price of individual models are concerned.
On the other hand, we, the users, are at the same time both blessed and cursed with the fact that there are so many manufacturers present on the IEM market.
Blessed because there are so many models available and cursed since the choice is hard to make.
One thing is certain, though, MEE’s MX PRO series well deserves the chance to be heard, and you should take them into strong consideration when shopping for your next pair of IEM’s.