A New Form of Music
- Attractive sound, frontal, extensive and clear,
- Amount of details and nuances.
- Capsule shape, ergonomics and fit.
- Shallow, colored, low-emphasis sub-bass.
- The lower part of the mid zone is thin and lacks body.
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NiceHCK returns to the charge, in the world of earbuds, to provide a new joy, after the famous EB2 and EBX. This time, the price is again very affordable, around 15€, this makes the ME80 even more desirable. On this occasion, NiceHCK has opted for a metallic capsule, with a surprising shape. A priori, it seems uncomfortable, but, in my case, it is one of the most comfortable capsules and that fits me best of all the models I own.
- Driver: Dynamic 15.4mm Titanizing Diaphragm.
- Magnetism material: N52 High-Magnetic
- Frequency range: 20Hz-25KHz
- Sensitivity: 109dB/mW
- Impedance: 34Ω
- THD: <1% a 1kHz
- Cable: Silver plated OFC
- Jack connector: 3.5mm gold plated
- Type of capsule connection: 0.78mm-2PIN
The ME80 comes in a white box with dimensions 101x77x26mm. On the front, you can read the name of the brand on the top, in black letters and capital letters. In the middle there is a photo of the ME80 and in the lower left, on a red background label, the model written in white letters.
On the back are the specifications, in several languages (Chinese, English,…).
Inside it comes:
- The ME80 inside a zip plastic bag.
- A velvet-like transport bag.
- 10 foams of different colors: 6 complete and 4 donuts.
- A clothes clip.
- A Velcro strap is wrapped around the cable to help pick it up.
For this model, NiceHCK has opted for a carrying bag, instead of the fantastic semi-rigid, zippered boxes.
Although the packaging is almost minimal, it is appreciated that at least has a specific box.
Construction and Design
The capsules are two large and long cylinders, to which a larger diameter disc has been attached, part containing the grid through which the sound comes out. This grid is metallic, has multiple micro holes and is attached to the body of the capsule by means of a plastic ring. At the back of the disc, there are two openings in the form of parentheses. The rear part of the capsules is flat and has a hole in the upper part.
The cylinder of the capsules has two diameters, 12mm for the largest, 11mm for the smallest. The diameter of the disc is almost 17mm. The depth of the disc is 6mm. The body of the capsule measures a little more than 10mm. The total length of the set is almost 17mm, coincidentally.
The capsules are made of aluminium alloy.
From the bottom of each cylinder emerges a tube, 16mm long and 4mm in diameter, of the same material, which protects the cable. In these tubes, at the bottom, there is a coloured ring indicating the channel.
The cable is made of oxygen-free copper, silver plated. It is covered with transparent plastic. The splitter is an aluminium-coated cylinder, with the model subtly inscribed. Its measures are 5.5mm diameter and 15mm long. In its lower part there is a groove that surrounds the piece. The connector cover is the same as the divider, but this time, it has the brand inscribed. A small plastic sleeve protrudes from the sleeve to protect the cable. The plug is 3.5mm, gold-plated. It does not have a sliding piece for the adjustment on the ear. The length of the cable from the splitter to the capsules is too long.
The cable is the same as the EB2 model, however the design has changed a lot with respect to the EB2 model. In this sense, a priori seems very large and bulky. However, the whole set is very light and weighs 18 grams.
The new size, can accommodate a larger driver and improve the response and depth of the bass.
In my opinion, what in principle may seem like a negative point, its size so large, ultimately reveals itself as a great advantage, in terms of sound and ergonomics. I think that this capsule has many possibilities of use, for future models, with different drivers. It would even be easy to incorporate an MMCX connection.
Adjustment and Ergonomics
The size is large, 17mm in diameter, so this point can be negative. For small ears, the fit may not be adequate. In my case, both the depth of the disc and its diameter, makes me fit perfectly, getting a very nice fit, firm and quite durable. The shape, being quite free, allows its classic use, like on the ear. In particular, I have achieved a better sound with the classic fit.
In my opinion, the ergonomics is quite good, even though the capsules are bulky and large. At first glance, everything seemed to point in the opposite direction. It was a surprise in this respect.
The profile is balanced, but without completely renouncing to any band, because it possesses a rather frontal and advanced sound, above all, from the middle up.
The lower part of the ME80 catches the eye, as soon as you try it for the first time. Although they do not have an elevated sub bass, the area enjoys a clear and noticeable texture. Although, in reality, the bass has a certain coloration, a tendency to sound sharper than it should. This makes the low notes sound more perceivable, losing some depth and naturalness. The mid bass has more protagonism, it feels more adequate, but with a contained punch, always behind the voices and the mids. Thus, the lower zone has balance and respect towards the rest of the ranges. But this balance does not imply that the basses are anaemic or insufficient. It is clear that they are not earbuds for bass-heads, but to be balanced, they enjoy good presence and quantity. Pity the sonority of the sub-bass.
With a somewhat destructive mod, the presence of bass can be increased, at the risk of losing some naturalness in the area. The aim is to increase the diameter of the rear orifice.
The mids are broken, as are the basses. In the same way that there is not much sub-bass, the lower mid zone is weak. That provides a feeling of hollowness and coldness, both in the voices, especially masculine, and in much of the instrumentation. There is a slight perception that something is missing, and at the beginning it is attributed to the bass, but I think that the greatest absence of presence is found in this initial zone of the mids. This particularity has a notable impact on the rest of the music. That’s why the voices are heard finer, lack body in them, the drums sound dry and less forceful, the basses, even the guitars, lose their impact. In this way, the ME80, save the muddy feeling that certain earbuds have, by limiting the presence in this area.
Then, the other half of the mids, improves a lot, both in presence and quality. It provides clarity, closeness and more light. This feeling is accentuated when donut foams are used.
Even so, the perception of the middle zone is quite frontal, extensive and airy, something that calls a lot of attention in the first listeners, as well as its focus on details and nuances.
This is why the overall sound of the mids does not become full and favors some genres more than others. That’s why I can’t consider it all-road.
Trebles are perceived differently, depending on whether you use full foam or donuts. With donuts, the brightness is more present, offering a more dynamic and lively sound from above, with more sharpness, detail and longer trebles. With full foams, the voices gain in presence, but weight is lost in the high range, as the highs are smoothed and softened.
However, the ME80, have balanced sound, which is not without good level of detail, plus a quasi excellent dose of nuances and remarkable resolution.
The scene is moderately wide; the sound so frontal, reduces depth and narrows the image, focusing the sound. But the sensation of stereophonic recreation is well achieved. Connected to a good DAP, which enjoys good amplitude, the ME80 will offer the best of their faces in this sense, managing to locate in a precise way, instruments, voices, details, even basses. In this sense, the separation is quite good, but it will be subordinated to the source.
A priori, the profile of both earbuds seems quite similar, once the ME80 basses get out completely. This can be seen in their graphs. Comparing their sound, the RW-9 still offer a warmer, richer and fuller sound up to 1kHz. While the ME80 has greater clarity and a dedicated approach to detail. It’s clear that the MX500 capsules encourage more bass and sub bass. In this way, Yincrow is more V-shaped than the ME80 and their voices are positioned behind the presence they have in the ME80. Returning to the voices, their orientation is different, given the greater warmth in the RW-9, the voices enjoy greater body and that minimum veil that offers the greater thickness of it. The voices in the ME80 are cooler, finer, but with more detail.
As it could not be otherwise, the low end of the RW-9 is simply bigger and wider; its extension is greater, as well as its incidence in the rest of the sound. The bass in the ME80 are more delicate, have depth and good texture, but go unnoticed below 40Hz. But it is also true that so much bass drowns out the presentation of the instruments. In that, the ME80, solve the task better, providing more air, avoiding the congestion that appears in the RW-9. From here, the balance of the ME80 flourishes and imposes itself on the Yincrow. The greater level of detail and spark that the ME80 generate, favors the clarity and amplitude of its scene, offering a more crisp and extended sound from above, with more air and separation.
I have a weakness for these earbuds from 150Ω, because of their low profile. The quality and quantity of their low area is really good for their price range. And in a similar price range, you will find the present M80. The comparison is simple, from 20Hz to almost 2kHz, I stay with the Seahf; above, I stay with the ME80.
The Seahfs have blunt bass, with a really deep and very enjoyable sub bass. The mid-low impact is clear, fast, very dynamic, but marked and content. Only the texture of the ME80 can rival in this range. In the lower mids something similar happens, the body and the feeling of a fuller musicality, which is perceived in the Seahf, is something that is not found in the ME80. Even the voices have very good clarity, balance, cohesion and presence in the F150C. But from the top up, the nuances and details are smooth, offering a darker, more contained sound that doesn’t expand as much as the ME80. That’s where they shine. Another particularity of the ME80 is the amount of music they generate: their front end produces a larger sound, a wider image, a fuller sound space, which encompasses a greater amount of notes, details and nuances than in the Seahf.
The ME80 has a front and explicit sound, clear and in the foreground, attractive at first sight. There is an obvious sense that everything sounds close and diaphanous, although maximum clarity is achieved with donut-like foams, at the cost of losing some presence in the lower and lower-mid zone. The upper-mid zone, the level of detail and the first highs are other strong points of the ME80. Clearly they are earbuds that can be easily recommended, without the risk of making a mistake.
The other great virtue, and this is a rather personal opinion, is the capsule design. Although, initially, the size seems large, it is probably one of the earbuds that most firmly fit me. Then, the shape of the capsules will allow you to use a variety of good diameter drivers, including adding MMCX connectors very easily. I think I could rival the MX500 classics, as they could offer better sound characteristics, which would allow you to create new models with even better sound.
Sources Used During the Analysis
- Burson Audio Playmate
- xDuoo X3II