headphones
Expert Score
9.0

MEElectronics MDuo Review

Simple design mixed with quality sound.

December 05, 2014

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

The Insides That Count

There’s a lot to love about the MEElectronics MDuo in-ear headphones. There’s a whole lot of technology stuck into a stylish package that results in a high-quality performance for a reasonable price. Let’s get down to the details and show the results of the tests we performed on our robot buddy HATS (Head and Torso Simulator).

Frequency Response

For a broad overview of the performance of headphones, we rely heavily on the frequency response (FR) test. This test determines how well a product is able to reproduce a series of frequencies across the audible spectrum up to 20kHz.

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Lovers of bass rejoice. Tweet It

Lovers of bass rejoice. The dedicated woofer in the MDuo place the sub-bass, 20Hz to 60Hz, between 90 and 93dB. The sub-bass starts right around that 90dB mark before tapering off to something closer to 70dB in the midrange to high mids. Then the tweeter kicks in and the high notes around 5kHz get another boost that brings it back up to 90dB. The resulting shape roughly resembles an equal loudness contour (ELC). It’s a sign that the MDuo attempts to reproduce all frequencies so that the entire range is able to be picked up by the human ear equally.

The extra support in the bass and high ranges produce a pleasing sound to music that drives home the kind of high-quality audio you can expect from even more expensive in-ear headphones.

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Distortion

Our distortion test measures how much junk sound the headphones cause as they blast music. It’s very difficult to pick up low levels of distortion when you listen to music, so it usually doesn’t start to get annoying until 3%, so anything below that is considered a good score.

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Let me just cut to the chase, the MDuo pass this test with a gold star. At 20Hz, we see a small bump in the right channel that creeps just past our ideal threshold of 3%, but quickly drops back down to a level closer to 1%. From about 40Hz and up the distortion levels stick below even that. There’s no other way to slice it, these are in-ear headphones that will deliver high-quality audio without a problem.

Isolation

Sometimes you just want to get lost in the music and forget about what is going on around you– maybe you have a loud, busy office, or a noisy commute. Our isolation test charts how well a pair of headphones are able to block the unwanted noises of the world and leave nothing but good tunes.

The MDuo already have a leg up on the competition, as the variety of included ear tips should help create a tight fit that will block your ear canal. But, you’ll get different levels of isolation based on which type of sleeve you use: standard, double-flange, or triple-flange.

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Standard Tip Isolation Test

The standard silicon sleeves scored relatively well. There is a small reduction in volume for bass noise, close to 5dB, that continues to decrease into the midrange frequencies that get to be about half their original volume. Once you hit the upper mids though you’ll see a significant drop to 1/4 the original volume around 900Hz.

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Double-Flange Isolation Test

When you use the double-flange sleeves you’ll notice a significant drop in bass compared to the standard variety. The double-flange will drop the volume of most bass and midrange frequencies to about 15dB, which is less than half their original volume. The double-flange tips may be the ideal middle ground between comfort and isolation.

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Triple-Flange Isolation Test

The triple-flange sleeves produced the best result when it came to pure isolation: Bass is reduced to half its normal volume, which is great news for commuters that have to listen to the engines of trains or buses every day. Midrange frequencies drop even further, and reach almost 1/4 of their normal volume. Many people think triple-flange sleeves are uncomfortable to wear, but that might be a trade you’re willing to make if it means you can shut out the world completely.

Other Tests

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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