CES 2015: Meelectronics Makes First Step Into High-End IEMs with Pinnacle P1

I've measured their A161P and it fared quite well. I recently reviewed their Air-Fi Matrix 2 AF61 low-cost Bluetooth headset and it rocked. So it really didn't surprise me when I walked into the booth and Kenny Li, MEElectronics VP of Business Development, introduced me to their upcoming effort to product an IEM to compete at higher levels.

The Pinnacle P1 uses a single 12mm dynamic driver and will retail for about $199. I did spend a little time listening to these little IEMs and thought they were quite good. It's becoming more and more apparent to me that IEMs with small dynamic drivers are perfectly capable of being strongly competitive with balanced armature type IEMs. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see dynamic drivers slowly but surely take over the category. Balanced armature drivers aren't without significant complication in their design, and dynamic drivers continue to deliver great performance in full-sized headphones. My guess is that we'll see driver manufacturers focus more strongly on premium 5mm-13mm diameter dynamic drivers for this type of headphone.

Expect to find the Pinnacle P1 available around March, you'll see it pop up then on MEElectronics website.

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COMMENTS
EvShrug's picture

Just opened up a box of the Matrix2, super impressed for their price, not even to mention the compromises of bluetooth... because I can't hear any compromises! I've had amps that created more static in wired headphones than this. During listening, had a phone call with a (head-Fi) friend for an hour. The buttons are plastic and the actuation is a bit stiff, but they have a nice "click," and were easy to answer the call and adjust stuff, and I hung up without even looking at the buttons, the layout and raised bumps help you easily remind you where you're touching (and which earcup, two dots/bumps together is volume on the left earcup, the bump-buttons are separated with a button in the middle on the right earcup, skip/play/pause there). Still listening to songs after the call, like five more, these headphones don't disappear BUT I'm having less wear-time problems than other closed headphones I've tried. And the sound, it's quite good, not $300 good but heck yeah pretty balanced and pleasant for $90. The BT transmitter, DAC, and amp (all have to be decent when built-in to a BT headphone), they seem to have pleasant grunt and detail, maybe lacking a bit of realism BUT I'm generally spoiled by a bunch of open headphones known for holographic transparency, these MEE headphones will be great in on-the-go environments and while on lunch break at work, which is where they were designed to be.

So yeah, in short, impressed. IEMs with similar good qualities would be very attractive for me, maybe moreso than closed headphones (IEM's are better in noisier background environments as a personal oasis).

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