Hi-fi sound for an affordable price
About MEE audio:
MEE Audio is established in the USA and is crafting headphones and earphones since 2005.
The MEE audio Pinnacle P2 In Ear Monitor (in short IEM) that I’m reviewing was provided to me free of charge as a review sample. I am not affiliated with MEE audio beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered, opinion about the product.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (in short MSRP) of the MEE audio Pinnacle P2 is $ 99,99.
Package and Accessories:
- Pinnacle P2 Audiophile In-Ear Headphones
- OFC audio cable with inline microphone and remote
- Comply T-200 memory foam ear tips
- Silicone ear tips (6 pairs)
- Zippered carrying case
- Shirt clip
- User manual
The 3.5mm gold plated SE (Single Ended) stock cable of the Pinnacle P2 has a MMCX connector interface that is seen more and more often as standard connector in new IEM models. The cable of the P2 is made of a rubber material that is quite thick and feels sturdy in my hand.
It doesn’t looks as sexy as the stock cable of the Pinnacle P1 but it has a build in microphone, which I have tested with my Samsung Galaxy S8+ that is quite sensitive and has enough clarity for a comfortable phone conversation.
Design and Build Quality:
The Pinnacle P2 has the same shell shape as the Pinnacle P1; the main difference is the material that MEE audio decided to use.
The Pinnacle P2 has the same design as the Pinnacle P1 that I found also very nice looking. The main difference between the two models is the material that MEE audio have used on the new P2. The Pinnacle P2 housing is made of ABS that is a sort of plastic, with a piano black finish. The Pinnacle P1 on the other hand is a hand polished die-cast zinc alloy material, which looks and feels more premium in my opinion. But don’t to forget, that the P1 is more expensive due the use of more expensive materials.
Fit, Comfort and Isolation:
The Pinnacle P2 is in my opinion; one of most comfortable Universal IEM’s in the market, together with my old Westone’s and the Ibasso IT03. You can wear it for hours without to fatiguing your ears. It has a compact design that should fit to almost every ear type.
Driver : 11mm Ø moving coil (dynamic) with copper-clad aluminum voice coil
Sensitivity : 100±3 dB (1mW at 1 kHz)
Impedance : 16 Ohm @ 1K
Frequency Resp. : 17 Hz to 20 kHz
Weight : 4gr (without Cable), 21gr (with Cable)
Plug : 3.5 mm right angle plug
Cable length : 1.3m
Connector Type : MMCX connector
Microphone Specs : Omnidirectional mic, freq. resp. 100 Hz to 5 kHz, sensitivity -40dB± 3dB
The Pinnacle P2 is an easy to drive IEM with an impedance of 16 Ohm @ 1K. The Pinnacle P1 on the other hand with its 50 Ohm impedance @ 1K was not a very easy to drive IEM. MEE audios target with the new P1 are Smartphone users and Digital Audio Players (in short DAP) that have less juice. My Samsung Galaxy S8 and IPad Air 2 could push the Pinnacle P2 to very high volumes without any noticeable struggling.
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
- Lazarus A.D. – The Onslaught (ALAC)
- Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Metallica – The Black Album (Flac 24bit/96Hz)
- Pink Floyd – Money (Flac 24bit/96Hz)
- Otto Liebert & Luna Negra – Up Close “Album” (DSF) – Binaural Recording
- Max Richter – Recomposed by Max Richter : Vivaldi and The four Seasons (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
- GoGo Pengin – Fanfares (ALAC)
- Alboran Trio’s – Cinque Lunghissimi Minuti (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
- Melody Gardot – Who Will Comfort Me (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
- Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer (Apple Music)
- Daft Punk – Get Lucky (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard – A Watchful Guardian (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
- Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (DSF)
In Ear Monitor : MEE audio Pinnacle P2
DAP/DAC : Echobox Explorer, Aune M2 Pro, Yin Lu Mei D200+, Chord Mojo, Zishan Z2, Ipad Air2, Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
Sound Analysis and Comparisons:
This review is written after an intensive burn-in process of 100 hours. I have used the stock provided double flange silicone ear tips due this review.
I will compare the Pinnacle P2 in many situations with the predecessor, the Pinnacle P1.
The tonality of the Pinnacle P2 is relative warmer compared to older brother the Pinnacle P1. The additional warmth comes from the mid bass region. Anyway, great to hear that MEE audio didn’t overpower the warmth to much that would otherwise destroy the balance that they have archived with the tonality of the P2.
Lows (Sub Bass and Bass):
One of the first differences I have noticed on the Pinnacle P2 over the P1 is the sub bass quantity. The Pinnacle P2 has more sub bas quantity then the Pinnacle P1. It sounds also tight and has good definition, especially for a $ 100 IEM.
Some sub bass tones created with bass guitars, kick drums or organs sounds live like and organic.
For example; the amazing fast kick drum performance in Lazarus A.D. – Last Breathsounds quite amazing with its great control. In short, the sub bass of the P2 is by no way overwhelming and is only there when it’s needed and I think that this is a good ability in for a IEM in this price range.
The Pinnacle P2 has also a noticeable difference over the P1 around the 100 – 200 Hz bass range. The bass has more presence and adds additional warmth to the P2 that is missing on the P1. The bass of the Pinnacle P2 is quite impressive for a sub $ 250 priced IEM and the right amount of warmth that comes from the 150 Hz range gives it a more organic presentation over similar priced IEM’s like The Fiio F9 or the TFZ Series 4.
The P2 should satisfy most Rock, Jazz, Pop or even R&B music lovers in this aspect, but is by no way a bass-head IEM for House music freaks.
Mids (Lower midrange – Midrange – Upper midrange):
The Pinnacle P2 has a slightly V shaped sound tuning while the Pinnacle P1 had also a V shaped presentation but with a slightly more forward midrange presentation.
Here again, at the upper midrange are some differences between the Pinnacle P1 and the P2. The P1 has more midrange clarity in direct comparison to the dryer sounding P2. The Pinnacle P2 has also a warmer and more organic sound tuning that gives both male and female vocals a fuller presentation. Female and Male vocal sounds rich and full and have a good detail level.
The resolution of the between 1 – 2 kHz is great, especially female vocals benefits form this tuning. My favorite female Vocals like Diana Krallor Melody Gardot voices sounding emotional and the detail retrieval is top notch in this price range. And again the Pinnacle P1’s vocal presentation is clearer and crisper with a bit more micro detail. I think it comes to personal preferences regarding the sound tuning.
One of the good parts of the frequency range is the upper midrange presentation of the Pinnacle P2. The upper midrange of the P2 around the 3 kHz barrier is a little bit rolled off, that makes the overall sound presentation more pleasant for log listening periods. For example; Female voices like Aretha Franklin or Céline Dion sounding delightful and intimate without being harsh or ear piercing, even in higher volumes. Another example for upper midrange control is Alboran Trio’s – Cinque Lunghissimi Minuti, the piano pulse between 14 – 15 seconds sounds soft, is relative good controlled and spreads very well for a $ 100 IEM.
The Pinnacle is thanks to this tuning not stricken from sibilance like similar priced IEM’s like my old friend the Vsonic Gr07BE or newer models like the newly released hybrid model of Fiio, the F9 that has a different driver combination but is in the same price range.
Highs (Treble – Upper treble):
The treble quantity of the Pinnacle P2 is nearly identical with those of the Pinnacle P1, but due the warmer tuning and a small roll-of on the top around 5 kHz, makes it doesn’t sound as bright as the P1. The slightly boost in the 5 kHz range gives the Pinnacle P1 additional clarity in comparison to the more distant and transparent sounding new Pinnacle P2.
The great thing about the Pinnacle P2 is that the treble section is present but never being harsh. This tuning allows the listener a comfortable sound experience without any ear fatiguing. Instruments like cymbals sound relative natural and makes the P2 a great pair for Metal Music listeners. For example, the treble extension onMegadeth’s – Sweating bullets and the cymbal strike ton in Opeth’s – Damnation is quit impressive for an IEM in this price league.
The upper treble tuning between 6 kHz – 20 kHz (20 kHz is the max. frequency that the P2 can represent) makes the Pinnacle P2 a relative airy sounding IEM. It has not as much sparkle as the P1, but the Pinnacle P2 sounds more engaging in many situations due this new tuning.
Please don’t get me wrong the Pinnacle P2 sounds in no way dull like the TFZ Series 4, but it has not as much upper treble presence as the predecessor P1 and exactly this new tuning gives Pinnacle P1 additional clarity and detail.
Soundstage and Imaging:
The soundstage of the Pinnacle P2 is above average; it is not as wide as the Pinnacle P1 but the depth is nearly the same. I have to say that the soundstage presentation is not the strength of the Pinnacle P2.
The instrument separation and imagine in GoGo Pengin’s – Fanfares was relative accurate, but there is missing some sense of space that was better with my old Pinnacle P1. Live recordings have a better sense of imagine than bass heavy modern genres.
The Pinnacle P2 is a very good option in the $ 100 USD category. It has a different tuning (warmer) to these of the Pinnacle P1 (brighter) that sounds more mature.
It is a matter of preference; if you want an easier to drive and cost efficient Pinnacle with a warmer sound and punchier bass, go for the P2. But if you do critical listening and can spend additional 100 Bucks, you can get the Pinnacle P1 with more detailed sound, better stock cable and a premium housing.
Pros and Cons:
+ Engaging sound
+ Good detail level
+ Great price to performance ratio
+ Perfect fit for long listening periods
+ Detachable cable = upgrade option
– Plastic (ABS) housing vs. Zinc Alloy on Pinnacle P1
– Stock cable