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Saturday, April 6, 2013

MEElectronics A161P

Disclaimer: This is Inks' pair. Measured couple of months ago, but never had a chance to upload the data. Sorry for the delay, Inks.

A161P is MEElectronics' top-of-the-line IEM with a single balaced armature transducer installed within. Although the manufacturer is well-known for great value per performance products, A161P has been marketed for high accuracy and fidelity.

In order to prove their claim, the manufacturer even has their own frequency response plot, which is diffuse-field compensated, on the product description page. The plot is definitely not of hi-fidelity, but since not many manufacturers disclose their measurement data, such gesture from MEElectronics is very informative nonetheless.

PRO: It's good to  finally meet a balanced armature IEM with its polarity aligned correctly! Other than slight deviation due to employing different compensation targets, the manufacturer's data is pretty much on the same track as mine. Such honesty shall be applauded.

CON: Although the rated frequency response is 20 ~ 20 kHz, A161P only goes up to 11 kHz. The ringing at 5.7 kHz is really audible.

ON SECOND THOUGHT #1: A161P performs best when it is inserted all the way up to the reference plane, although the IEM is most likely to be designed for shallow insertion.

ON SECOND THOUGHT #2: Additional serial resistance is to be avoided, as harshness is amplified tremendously.

ON SECOND THOUGHT #3: Like Westone 4 or Etymotic Research ER-4, A161P can be precisely tune with Knowles dampers. Since such modification effectively gets rid of harshness and  5.7 kHz peak, it can be utilized for performance improvement.

ON SECOND THOUGHT #4: The stock small triflanges yield the flattest response. The insertion depth of  sleeves used in above measurement is matched at the reference plane.

ON SECOND THOUGHT #5: MEElectronics A161P needs a substantial amount of tweak for better linearity & high frequency extension. Above is such example, with the combination of a 33Ω resistance adapter, a 1000Ω brown dampers, and a small triflange sleeve.


  1. By any chance, do you remember how the stock metal mesh was removed (destructively or not)? I suppose the Knowles dampers would go underneath that and with the mesh back on over it, or not?

    For reference, here is a picture (not mine):

    1. Yup, you can just pop it out.

    2. Well, I finally got around to trying it, but I'm afraid I'm having issues.

      The dampers I have are those listed at 2.08 dia x 2.44mm, e.g. BF-1859-000. This is correct, right? After popping off the mesh cover, the damper itself seems to not fit in the shaft. Rather, it is too narrow, so it easily slides in and out. It just falls down all the way but won't stay inside. I'm assuming that it's supposed to stick in there firmly?

      Any ideas? Here are some pictures (please excuse the lighting and lack of real camera; sorry, I could do a little but not much better with more effort):

      I almost forgot, but I do not have the official insertion tool. Is there anything special about that?

      Thanks a lot. Your blog is a great resource.