Massdrop Mee Audio Pinnacle PX Review


Overview
I joined the Massdrop Mee Audio Blue Box drop in June 2018 and received my box in early July 2018. For $70 you had the following odds of getting particular IEM. There was also the enticement of getting an additional set of headphones (7xx, 4xx, HD700, etc) if certain purchase thresholds were met (100, 200, etc.). But that didn’t happen. I don’t think they sold over 100 units.
  • 75% - Pinnacle P2 - $99
  • 20% - MD Pinnacle PX - $113
  • 5%- Pinnacle P1 - $199
I received the Massdrop Pinnacle PX. The PX is Massdrops version of the Mee Audio Pinnacle P1. It’s supposedly has the same sound signature as the P1, but with some cosmetic and build quality enhancements at a lower price point.
Impressions
TL/DR: The PX sound fantastic. They are a keeper. I like them very much but I think I might have preferred the P2. The lower cost, lower impedance option (16ohm vs 50ohm PX/P1).
I'm not complaining, I knew the risk when I signed up for the Blue Box Drop. It's just that my primary use case was going to be with my iPad Pro and Pixel 2 (#donglelife). Based on product descriptions and reviews I have read, the PX are a harder to drive than the P2. I have done some initial listening through both devices and the PX sound really good, but I need to max out the volume on the Pixel 2 to get adequate listening level and have to be at near max levels for good volume with the iPad Pro.
Sound
My initial sound impressions are very positive. As previously mentioned, I need to max out my iPad Pro and Pixel 2 to get adequate listing levels. Separation and detail are good and the sound is balanced with a slightly warm edge. Mids and highs are where I like them. Vocals and horns are clear, up front and not sibilant. Bass is slightly boomy but not distractingly so. I have read some reviews comparing the sound signature to the HD600. I don’t have the 600, but do have the 6xx and can see/hear why the reference to the Sennheiser sound is made.
When driven by my Aune X1S or Topping NX4 DAC/Amps the PX are in their element. The characteristics I described when driven by the iPad Pro and Pixel 2 are still true, but the power bump adds a little more heft to the low end and I get the impression of a wider soundstage. I was really surprised how much I enjoyed the sound of the PX when amped. Compared to my Klipsch X11i and Etymotic ER6i IEMs (neither of which require amplification) which both have a very in your head/narrow soundstage, the airiness and imaging of he PX were a pleasant surprise.
Fit
The PX come with 6 silicone and 3 foam tip options to choose from. For me, the best fit/seal is with the double flanged silicone tps. The PX fit my ears very well. I have no problems getting them on (over ear cable placement) and they feel very secure in my ears. I took the PX into the wild for the coffee shop test and passive noise isolation is really good. These should work well on a plane, train or in the street. Overall A+ for comfort and fit.

Build
As of this writing, I have only had the PX for a few days and the build quality so far seems very good. The earbuds are made of painted metal and have a good weight, but don’t feel heavy in the ear. I have read reviews from people complaining of the paint on the buds chipping, so time will tell how well that holds up.
The MMCX cable that came with the PX is about 4 feet long and has a nice braided coating. I have no problems wrapping the cable around my ears and it is quiet when I’m moving around. The cable has a mic and a button remote. I haven’t tested the mic extensively, but on one call where I used it with the Pixel 2 I was told by the person I was speaking with that they could hear a lot of background noise and my voice sounded far away. This is not a concern for me as my primary use for the PX is music listening and for that purpose the cord delivers.
Conclusion
I recommend the PX if you have a device (amp, phone, DAP) capable of driving them well. They’ll run from most phones, but they shine when provided proper power. When I joined the Mee Audio Blue Box Drop I figured I’d end up with the P2. I was looking for a sub $100 IEM that would sound good un-amped with my Pixel 2.
As luck would have it I ended up with the PX, which is not a bad thing. I really like the PX. They are comfortable and have balanced, wide, non-fatiguing sound that’s ideal for long listening sessions. Couple that with good passive noise isolation and I have an IEM that’s great for office, travel (planes & trains) and bedtime (don’t want to disturb the wife) use when I have access to an amp or can use my iPad Pro.
However, for my mobile needs the PX aren’t ideal as the Pixel 2 w/ dongle aren’t able to drive them sufficiently. As I wrote that last sentence I realized I am just making an excuse to get another set of IEMs. In any case, my options are to get a new phone like the LG V30 (expensive) that has a built in headphone amp, buy the P2 (less expensive) or get the Mee Audio BTX1 bluetooth cable (least expensive) that has AptX which is a supported Pixel 2 codec. I’m leaning toward the least option. I’ll report back on results when/if I exercise my options.

Used for Review
  • Music Sources: Google Play Music, Plex (FLAC)
  • Devices: 10.5" iPad Pro, Pixel 2, Macbook Pro
  • DAC/Amps: Aune X1s, Topping NX4
  • Click for GPM Playlist


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