Review Price £19.99
MEElecctronics isn't a well-known manufacturer in the UK, but it offers a large range of earphones and headphones, almost always undercutting bigger-name rivals on price. The MEElectronics M6 look rather like the Westone UM1 earphones, but cost about a fifth of the price. Good looks do not necessarily entail good sound quality though.
At first glance, the MEElectronics M6 look much more expensive than their £20 price tag. Most budget earphones opt for a reserved, simple look, but not here. They use a flexible piece of wire at the bud-end of each wire to create over-the-ear loops, and we tried out the clear-bodied version, which exposes the inner wiring of each earphone to brash effect.
The ear loops aren't as malleable as those used in Ultimate Ears's high-end earphones, but they are roughly on a par with the sporty Ultimate Ears 300 loops. A closer look at the MEElectronics M6 shows-up their built limitations too. The seams are all a little too visible, the plastic not all that clear - and what you see underneath isn't very impressive-looking. You get to see a few coloured wires soldered into the back of the bud's speaker, but when the wiring's not perfectly ordered - and different between the two buds - you wonder whether the M6 earphones have as much to show off as they think they do.
Six pairs of rubber tips are included in the package, and while the flexible loops take a bit of fiddling to get into the right position, it's not difficult to get a good seal in your ear. The selection of tips includes both triple-flanged and standard designs, and there's a rubber cable tidy bundled too. MEElectronics also includes an airplane adaptor and a carry case - not bad for £20. A shirt clip features on the cable, which will reduce microphonic noise.
The MEElectronics M6 earphone cable looks as snazzy as the buds themselves from far off, with a transparent plastic outer sheath protecting a shiny silver core, but it feels cheap. It's plasticy, and although it's thicker towards the jack end, we wouldn't bank on its long-term resilience. That said, in our experience it's always the bud or cable end that lets a set of earphones down first, and we have no core qualms with them at this price.
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