MEE Audio X8 Pros&Cons
- Comfortable, secure fit
- Durable build quality
- Decent sound quality
- Not great battery-life
MEE Audio X8 Specs
- Battery life: Up to 7.5 hours
- Standby time: Up to 300 hours
- Driver configuration: 8mm dynamic driver
- Frequency Response: 20 – 20kHz
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Wireless range: Up to 30ft (10m)
- Form factor: Neckband IEMs
Something I have genuinely come to respect about the products that I’ve owned and reviewed by MEE Audio is that they never use outright skimpy packaging. The MEE Audio X8 is no different. Of course, it’s not on the same level as that of the M7 or M6 Pro models, and miles behind that of the Pinnacle P1, but it’s still more than acceptable. For the most part, the X8 packaging is nearly identical in construction to that of the M7P. It features the same magnetically closing front flap which opens like a book cover. And again, just like the M7P, once this cover is opened the X8 is presented behind a clear window. Directly on the reverse-side of the flip-cover we see a showcase of the X8’s various design elements and features.
What’s in the box?
- Mee Audio X8 Headphones.
- Storage/carrying case
- Charging cable
- 8x Various sized ear-tips
- Additional cable-cinch
Not a whole lot is included with the X8, other than what are really the bare essentials.
The included case is rather simple, but it does it’s intended job. It’s only just big enough to house the X8, and perhaps a few extra eartips, if needed. The case is larger and made of a different material than the one included with the M7P.
The additional eartips include a single pair of clear double-flange tips, as well as a pair of small and large single-flange tips. There are the very same colour coordinated tips that we saw with the M7P. The X8 already comes with a pair of medium single-flange tips pre-installed.
The charging cable is on the shorter side, measuring a total of 24cm (9.5 in) in length.
What the X8 is, is the M7P in wireless form factor. This means that the housings are identical, and as such also share the same sweat-proof construction, as well as the innovative adjustable nozzle as found on the M7P.
This also means that, although MEE Audio doesn’t label it as such on their website, but the replacement individual L and R earpieces for the M7P is applicable to the X8 too. However, whilst MEE Audio does sell a replacement cable for the M7P, the same does not appear to be true for the X8. As such, if you do get an issue with the cable, it seems that you’d have to replace the entire product, rather than just the faulty cable.
Perhaps his was done intentionally by MEE Audio, as a replacement wireless cable would mean that people could essentially simply “upgrade” their current M7P to a fully functioning X8 model just by purchasing the Bluetooth cable, rather than having to buy a complete retail X8 unit.
The built-in mic and remote allows the user to wireless interact with their connected device, whether it be for calling purposes, or to control media playback.
For more info on the design of the actual IEM housings check out the full M7P review.
Our only real complaint with the design is how squeaky the nozzle is. The M7P’s nozzle is smooth and quiet, whilst that of the X8 just seems less refined.
Being a wireless device, the X8 obviously needs to have it’s own battery too. A maximum of 7.5 hours of music playback isn’t exactly long, but should ensure that you wouldn’t need to charge the X8 for at least 2 of your workout sessions (depending of course on how much time you spend in the gym, etc).
Bluetooth range is also not too bad. The usual 10m (30ft) claim seems to be correct, but keep in mind that there should be no obstructions between the X8 and the source in order to get that range. Once you start introducing obstacles, that maximum range figure falls pretty quickly.
For the most part, the X8 sounds almost identical to that of the M7P. After all, it’s quite possible that MEE used the exact same drivers for both models (as is suggested by the specs).
But of course, the addition of a Bluetooth wireless module does mean that the X8 also must have its own DAC and AMP circuitry, both of which will be sub-par to even a cheap but decent music player such as the Fiio M3 or Hidizs AP60.
Connected to the Shanling M2s, the X8 presented an overall slightly darker and less detailed tonality than that of the M7P. This was also true when connected to the AP60. And in case you are wondering – yes, both players do feature the AptX protocol.
However, as noted in the M7P review (and is the case with all sports-orientated IEMs), it’s easy to forgive a sport-orientated IEM for not having a more refined sound signature. After-all, when listening to music during activities, we’re not in an environment or mindset to be critically evaluating the sonic performance of the IEMs in question. There simply is no point in trying to extract every last detail or trying to achieve the most realistic stereo imaging.
In fact, let’s consider the music we listen to during these exercise activities too. This would usually be some kind of electronic or rap music – hardly well-recorded or natural-sounding material.
As such, the X8’s level of isolation, along with an overall darker and more bass-prominent tonality is perfectly acceptable (and to some extent even desired) for its intended purpose.
The X8 is another good product from MEE Audio. The only question here is whether you need a wireless set of IEMs, as the X8 will cost you around double that of the M7P depending on online deals (±$40 vs ±$80). Whilst the M7P does have the edge in outright sonic quality, it does also mean that you have a cable to deal with, which may or may not be at the risk of getting snagged during your workouts. If you feel that you do need a wireless set of sports-orientated IEMs, the X8 is a fantastic choice. At this price-point it’s incredibly easy to recommend the X8 over numerous other, much more expensive, wireless IEMs.
The TECH MERIT rating system is designed to take as many aspects of the device into account as possible. As such, we have a basic rating, as well as a final rating. The basic rating rates the product purely as a high quality portable audio device, and is generally a good indicator of how it stacks up to its rivals in terms of standard features and specs. The final rating, however, grants bonus points for any extra features and specs that aren’t quite as common, and is a great way to judge the product as a complete package.
Look and feel: 8 / 10
More than 3 pairs of eartips included: YES
Protective case: YES
Excellent quality control: YES
Multiple colour options: YES
Seems durable: YES
Low microphonics: 4 / 5
Relatively balanced signature: –
Soundstage: 7 / 10
Detail retrieval: 7 / 10
Sibilance: 9 / 10
Instrument separation: 7 / 10
Isolation: 9 / 10
Hiss: 7 / 10
Small size: 8 / 10
Weight: 9 / 10
Competitive price-point: YES
Relative value: 8 / 10
Basic Rating: 8.0
Removable cables: –
Number of cables included: –
Premium cables: –
Pairs of eartips above 3 pairs: 1
How premium the case looks and feels: 4 / 10
Battery life above 8 hours: –
Volume/remote controls: YES
Metal body: –
Interchangeable filter system: –
Premium look and feel: –
Use of exotic materials: –
Bluetooth connection quality: 8 / 10
1/4” adapter included: –
Cable management: –
Aircraft adapter: –
Final Rating: 8.4