Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Stay in ears, adjustable ear hanger, six sets of ear pieces, enhanced bass, sweat and water proof, affordable.
Cons: Not comfortable, too noise-isolating, wire does not bend to a comfortable fit.
Best Uses: Stationary machines, noisy environments, traveling, some outdoor sports.
The ME Electronics Sport-Fi M6 sport headphones easily grab the Best Buy award for offering the most features at the lowest price. They come with six different pairs of ear pieces, allowing for replacements and different options for comfort while moldable memory wire ear hangers keep them securely in place. Falling in the middle of our test group in terms of sound quality, they surprised us by providing a more layered sound than the very similarly designed but more expensive ME Electronics Sport-Fi S6P. The complete noise-isolating feature requires caution from athletes using headphones outside. Most athletes look for sport headphones that let in ambient noise so they can still be aware of their surroundings, and these block out all outside sound, making them best suited to use in a gym. For their price of around $30, they are an excellent deal for a simple and easy pair of sport headphones.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The ME Electronics Sport-Fi M6 offer decent sound quality, completely block outside noise, and stay firmly in your ears during exercise. Due to their convenient features and affordable price, they earn our Best Buy award.
In our head-to-head music test, the M6 surprised us by presenting a richer sound than the ME Electronics S6P. We were under the impression that these two models were the same but with different features and accessories. Wrong. The M6, which is the less expensive version, sounded louder and more robust than the S6P. However, they still did not score in the top three because vocals sounded slightly faint and there was a barely perceptible background white noise.
Before you purchase a set of sport headphones, ask yourself, do you want to completely block external noise while wearing headphones? If you mainly use headphones in busy gyms and you would rather hear your pump-up playlist than the gossip happening on the treadmill next to you, noise-isolating headphones may be the way to go. The ME Electronics Sport-Fi M6 provide decent sound quality, but block any additional outside noise so you won't be able to hear the big guy panting on the elliptical. However, if you bike or run on busy streets you may want to be able to hear ambient noise so you can know when cars are creeping behind you. If you like the safety of hearing your surroundings, try the ultra comfortable Editors' Choice winner, the Bose SIE2 or the YurBuds Inspire Duro, which have excellent sound quality.
Due to the hard plastic used in the earpieces, these are not the most comfortable sport headphones. After a couple of hours, this rigid plastic becomes uncomfortable and makes your ears achy. But, for a short period of time, these are great. We do like the memory wire ear hanger, which is less obtrusive than any of the other ear hangers we tried, and can be molded to fit any shaped ear. This wire hanger fits better underneath helmets than other ear hanger models. For extended use, we recommend the Yurbuds Inspire Duro or Bose SIE2, both of which use soft ear pieces that offer long-lasting comfort.
Features & Accessories
The M6 come with an impressive list of features and accessories for a budget model: a hard zippered carrying case, six sets of earpieces, sweat/waterproof protection, a noise-free cord, plus an included shirt clip. They do not have a microphone or controller, but the S6P version does have this option.
The M6 headphones are fairly durable, especially for their price. Thankfully, these have many replacement ear pieces and a carrying case to keep them protected. Since they are sweat and water resistant they will last though rainy weather or a particularly sticky workout, but the Monster iSport Intensity are waterproof and washable, which prove to be the most durable out of all of the sport headphones. While the cord is manageable and lightweight, it does not feel durable in comparison to the Bose SIE2, which has a tangle-free swivel.
The best way to use this product is in the gym or a busy environment rather than outdoors on crowded roads or trails. Due to their noise-isolating feature, use them when you want to tune out any outside sound. They do fit under a helmet better than other ear hanger models, so these might be a good choice for snow sports like skiing or snowboarding. ME Electronics suggests the following activities for use: jogging, running, weight training, snowboarding, skateboarding, yoga, basketball, drumming, and stage monitoring.
At $29.99, these are the best deal for their quality. They perform just as well as several of the more expensive models and they come with most of the features desired for athletic use. Out of all the competitors, this is the only inexpensive set with a full range of accessories, which is what wins them our Best Buy award. The only less expensive pair is the Sony MDR-AS200 which includes a shirt clip but no other accessories.
For a simple sport headphone, these are the best bang for your buck. We recommend these for an athlete on a budget who still values convenience features such as a carrying case, water resistance, and a shirt clip. These meet the needs for an all-around athlete looking for a versatile, less expensive, but still highly rated sport headphone.
The M6 has a scaled up version: ME Electronics Sport-Fi S6P. This model comes with additional features such as a controller on the cord with an inline microphone and remote, an extra shirt clip, extension cable, plus a sports armband. It costs twice as much but is not rated any higher than the affordable M6.
— McKenzie Long and Lauren Jimison
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Most recent review: February 15, 2014
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