Review: MEElectronics Atlas

MEElectronics | On-Ear Headphone | $ 99.99

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With the new Atlas, the headphone MEElectronics dubs “the next headphone”, MEE incorporates a slew of technologies, old and new, into a pair of headphones.  The in-mold label (IML) printing methods and technology employed allow the headphones to standout in design while the multi-layering due to this technique makes them feel great.  Vented pads tune the sound and add comfort.  Speaking of sound, though, these really just sound great. 

Specifications

Driver: 40 mm Dynamic
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Impedance: 32 ohms
Sensitivity: 113 dB

In the Box

MEElectronics Atlas Headphones
Audio Cable (with remote and mic)
Carrying Pouch

InTheBox

Design

MEElectronics decided that the Atlas would be a good test with their new IML printing technology.  The technology uses layers of engraved prints placed on top of one another.  This process results in a design that has a beautifully glossed finish to it, but also extends to give a striking 3D look to the headphones themselves.  There is a variety of design options to fit just about any life style: diamond creates a simplistic repetitive rhombus pattern in white, orion (pictured) replicates the design of a circuit board, sky is an oceanic map, fantasy is an artistic design with free flying birds, and carbon which replicates carbon fiber.  All of these designs are quite unique and look beautiful.  My two favorites would be orion and fantasy.

Design1

Design: ★★★★

Audio

I’ll have to admit that when I first saw the headphones, I wasn’t expecting much from them.  They looked plain and simple, and at 100 dollars, I wasn’t expecting much.  That said, I was caught off guard by the sound provided.  The sound is very linear with a nice, tight bass line that offers good presence.  What probably stood out the most was the wide, large soundstage these little things offered.

The low end on the Atlas offers a well balanced quantity of bass.  That said, these aren’t bass-head headphones, but will certainly offer enough bass for most people.  On bassy songs, these are bassy, on non-bassy songs, the bass doesn’t overwhelm; I’d call that accuracy.  The lower sub-bass offers great depth and beautiful subtle textures that are euphoric in a sense.  The lower bass offers a nice strong impact without overdoing it while the mid bass remains tight and on key.

The midrange on the MEElectronics is actually very smooth, quantity wise, it’s actually right on key with the bass.  The smooth sound doesn’t take away from details in the lower midrange as guitars can shred and sound effortlessly detailed.  Upper midrange clarity does seem to be a step warmer overall giving a very lush sound to the instrumentals.  Vocals are present and strong with good overall range.

Going up through the treble regions, we find that the highs are softer in texture but offer more than enough energy and power.  Snares come across with great detailing and extension.  At times, I do wish they were a little more dynamic though.  The upper treble allows cymbals to really sparkle and shine without becoming overbearing.  Detailing and separation are great up here, as is extension.  The treble can have a tendency to be a little edgy at times though.

Audio: ★★★★½

Build

MEElectronics packages their Atlas headphones with a carrying pouch.  The pouch itself isn’t the thickest, rather, it’s quite thin.  It is much better than coming packaged with nothing, which I could see MEE doing to cut costs (but they didn’t).  That said, this pouch will do its job and keep your headphones from the elements when they aren’t in use.

Case

Layer upon layer of plastic covers the MEE Atlas and gives it a very quality finish.  Almost lacquer-like, it feels.  That said, the plastics used on the housings of the headphones feels very firm and strong.  The arms that exit the housings have a metal skeleton which is a nice touch.  The hinges, however, are still plastic, I’d feel a little more confident if they were metal.

Housing1

The headband uses the same plastic design and layer as the housings.  This is certainly a good touch as the plastic used on the housing feels very firm and strong.  Like the housings, the headband should have a metal bar going through them as well.  The headband is a little stiff, but does offer ample flexibility to avoid snaps.

Headband

Coming out of the left housing is the cable that’s detachable from the headphones.  The cable is two-tone offering a nice texture on one side and being totally smooth on the other.  The textured side is also colored.  The cable is a little thinner, but doesn’t tangle and feels like it is decently strong for most applications.

Cable

The headphone jack on the MEElectronics Atlas is angled at 90 degrees and has a plastic/rubber covering.  A large strain relief comes out of the jack take quite a bit of slack from the cable itself.  The headphone jack feels nice and firm while the strain relief offers good flexibility.  Gold plating is used to resist corrosion.

HeadphoneJack

Build: ★★★★½

Comfort

Weight is something that the new Atlas has going for it.  The headphones are just about featherlight which does great things when it comes to comfort because you can wear them for long jamming sessions without discomfort or fatigue.  MEElectronics ensured that the pads would be comfortable as well by venting them and allowing airflow.  This keeps your ears from heating up during those hot days.  Overall, once you start using the headphones, they are quite comfortable.

Pads

Comfort: ★★★★

Value

MEElectronics prices these headphones at just under 100 dollars.  I have to say, they could have gotten away with a 50% increase in price and still been competitive against their competition.  These headphones can hold their own against something like the V-Moda M-80s or SOL Republic Tracks Ultra; the M-80s being well regarded in the audiophile world.  They have good build quality and are comfortable.  The design is very unique as well.  The cable also does come equipped with a remote and mic as well as an internal volume slider.

RemoteMic

Value: ★★★★

Final Thoughts

When I got the MEElectronics Atlas, I really wasn’t expecting them to be much.  As of right now, they are probably one of my favorites, if not the favorite, on-ear model I own.  And that’s saying a lot.  The IML printing really allows the design to pop while venting in the pads allow for good comfort, but also tune the bass as well.  And of course, you can’t forget about the wide, open sound.

I’d like to thank Mike for the product sample.

Overall Score

★★★★

MEElectronics Atlas

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