MEE audio Pinnacle P2 Review – K2

19

Sound –

The P2 utilizes a single 10mm dynamic driver like the P1 before it, however, it has been reworked to achieve easier drivability and a generally friendlier sound. Of note, I gave my unit 150 hours of burn-in before my final verdict to little effect, perhaps bass tightened up slightly but I cannot confirm any changes. I also tried swapping out the stock cable with both the original and silver plated P1 cable and did not notice a huge transformation besides ergonomics. That said, the P2 definitely does benefit on some level from a silver plated cable. Even a cheap one, if authentic, helps to smooth the P2’s midrange and slightly increase resolution without leaning out the low-end. That said, it’s hardly an economical investment, you would be $50 off the P1 if buying through MEE audio for example. Users should not feel that the stock cable is bottlenecking the P2’s sound, I would suggest replacing the stock unit simply due to its frustrating ergonomics.

 

Tonality –

The P2 has a lightly v-shaped sound with a mid-bass bump, slightly brighter midrange and a modest treble spike that gives them a more aggressive high-frequency presentation. To my ear, they are actually a little better balanced than the P1 as their warmer low end and less recessed lower midrange better balance out their brighter treble. The P2 is also significantly more balanced than most competing models such as the TFZ Exclusive 4 and 5 in addition to the Kinera H3. They also lack the forwardness of the TFZ King and though their treble is aggressive, they are still markedly more linear than all of the aforementioned models within the higher frequencies.

 

Bass –

The P2’s low end is agile, defined and well controlled, especially when considering their asking price. And despite their mid-bass focus, the earphones find a nice balance between engagement and linearity, neither sounding excessively bloated nor lean in any way. They have good sub-bass extension with noticeable but not bothersome roll-off though impact is tight and rumble defined, more so than the Simgot EN700 Bass and higher end TFZ earphones. And as with the P1, the P2 doesn’t possess huge slam, rather they pursue a slightly smoother, more organic tone with rounder note presentation. As such, the earphones lack muddiness that accentuates the more agile nature of their bass response. Upper bass is also emphasized though tastefully so, creating a midrange that is slightly warmed but well separated nonetheless. Through this tuning, the P2 sounds very inviting yet natural, some bloat is evident though they are easily one of the more mature offerings around this price.

As a result of their smooth sculpting and lack of any muddiness, the P2’s low-end sounds quite clean and defined.  They also have excellent resolution for their price, matching the TFZ King on technical ability. Bass notes are well separated and though texturing falls just short of the H3, they find a nice medium between the technicality of the TFZ and the musicality of the Kinera. Listening to Bruno Mar’s “24K Magic” and the P2 was quick and tight with nice sub-bass slam. Mid-bass had plenty of body and though notes were slightly rounded, bass never came across as tubby or bloated. The P2’s also well complements slower songs such as Hyukoh’s “Tokyo Inn” where the MEE audios provided a clean, snappy drum beat set to the concise plucking of bass guitars. So while the P2 may lack some sub-bass slam and a little texture on certain tracks, they compare very well to class leaders around this price with their agility, definition and control.

 

Mids –

Mids are among the most balanced around this price; the P2’s are slightly bright with great clarity and resolution, well-suiting pop, acoustic and Asian music while slicing through the muddiness of poorly mastered albums. However, they achieve brightness, not through a sense of upper midrange forwardness, but slight recession of the lower mids. That said, the P2 isn’t scooped like the Kinera H3 or even the more expensive P1, but the upper midrange is the main focus in both quality and quantity. Some tonal oddities are present, manifesting through odd voicing to some vocals though the P2’s are no worse than the TFZ Exclusive and Kinera earphones. Lower mids are the weakest aspect of the P2’s sound, male vocals come across as quite dry, thin and truncated, something the more recessed P1 doesn’t suffer from. And while midrange resolution is very good throughout, the P2’s lack of lower midrange body really saps texture and detail. By comparison, the more bodied Simgot EN700 Bass and K3 HD both sounded more natural with more accurate timbre and greater detail retrieval within these regions while the similarly voiced Kinera H3 and TFZ Exclusive 5 both experienced similar difficulties.

However, the P2’s middle and upper midrange are quite the opposite with much-improved quality and vastly smoother tuning. Higher male and female vocals sound consistently clean with excellent definition. Female vocals, in particular, have superb quality with quite a refined tone and great resolution of layering and detail. Clarity is also especially good without becoming overbearing and the P2 never suffered from excessive sibilance in my testing. Their brighter tone definitely preferences engagement over naturalness and upper mids on the P2 still doesn’t extend like those on the Rose Mini 2, but female vocal aficionados will no doubt enjoy the P2. So despite not besting my personal midrange benchmark from Rose, the P2 is still a terrific performer with a more vibrant presentation and warmer low-end finding greater engagement in daily use. Mids may not hold the greatest emphasis within the sound, but they do have many redeeming qualities that draw more attention to the intricacies within this frequency range.

 

Treble –

High-frequencies are on the aggressive side, bringing details to the fore as with the P1 before it. However, the P2 counterbalances their spiked lower-treble response with a slightly greater sense of body, allowing instruments to retain surprisingly accurate timbre and texture despite the nature of their tuning. As such, the P2 sounds more natural than earphones like the Kinera H3 and TFZ King with a similar approach overall to the Magaosi K3 HD. Extension is good but not outstanding, high-hats sound pretty thin and higher notes lack detail in general. And while the P2 doesn’t lack treble air or separation, they don’t excel either, the King and H3 both providing noticeably superior performances. The P2 also isn’t the most detailed earphone though they are very close to class leaders without being quite as peaky. As a result, though the K3 HD and Kinera H3 retrieve more raw detail, the P2 presents them in a more realistic, natural fashion akin to the Rose Mini 2.

However, coming back to their somewhat uneven tuning; where lower treble is aggressive and well-detailed, they do smooth off above that, clearly lacking the extension of the P1. Higher notes are very thin and some are quite distant. Their slightly rough high-end tuning does compromise a lot of higher frequency information that more linear earphones handily resolve. The Mini 2 best embodies this, its less exciting but more linear high-end providing a more consistently nuanced performance. This was highlighted when listening to Guns n’ Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine” where the P2 had a very clear reproduction of guitars and cymbals but also suffered from a distinct lack of air. Some air was evident and treble doesn’t suffer from blunting or congestion, but high-hats and atmospheric effects tended to get a bit lost in the mix. Still, though the P2 is bright and can tire after longer listening sessions, the earphones never sounded harsh with a smidge of refinement providing just enough high-frequency restraint.

 

Soundstage, Imaging and Separation –

As the P2 lacks the outright resolution and extension of the P1, it also fails to retain the wide open soundstage that model could produce. Width is still commendable but they never reach outside the head and depth is more intimate. As a result, the P2 is just above average in space but is quite coherent in its presentation. Imaging is accurate though some details can be too distant due to their sculpted treble and lower midrange. Centre image is strong and separation is very good on account of their cleaner, clearer sound.

 

Drivability –

The P2 was designed to be much easier to drive than its predecessor that could struggle during portable use. And with a 16ohm impedance and 100dB sensitivity, that is no longer the case with the P2. While not the most sensitive earphone around this price nor the outright easiest to drive, the P2 will happily sing from any decent smartphone. And being a single dynamic driver earphone, they also aren’t overly affected by output impedance if at all, I didn’t notice huge tonal changes when switching from my Chord Mojo to my HTC 10 besides the tone of the sources themselves. That said, the P2 scales better than most competing earphones, thriving off some additional amplification and a musical source. The aforementioned Mojo provided an excellent companion as did the Shozy Alien+ that both granted lower mids with a bit more body and smoothed the P2’s treble response. And even affordable sources like the Fiio Q1 MKII provided a nice bump over my smartphone with a noticeably smoother sound, more treble body and detail in addition to a little more bass control. The P2 is certainly a lot easier to drive than the P1 and doesn’t absolutely require a DAC/AMP but it does benefit quite a bit from a musical dedicated source.

Next Page: Comparisons & Verdict

1 2 3 4
Share.

About Author

Avid writer, passionate photographer and full-time student, Ryan's audio origins and enduring interests lie within all aspects of portable audio. An ongoing desire to bring quality audio to the regular reader underpins his reviewer ethos as he seeks to bring a new perspective on the cutting edge and budget dredge alike.

19 Comments

  1. Juan Luis on

    Hi Ryan,

    Any cheap silver cable could you recommend?

    • Ryan Soo on

      Hi Juan,

      You can give the Ourart Upgrade cable a go, it’s available from Penonaudio for $30 and can be outfit with a remote/mic. It’s a nice cable for the price and very ergonomic, Meeaudio’s own silver plated cable isn’t a bad choice either but costs $20 more.

  2. Amin on

    Dear Mr. Ryan Soo,

    I am new to the world of high end in ear earphones. My first step into this league is with the MEE M6 Pro. As I am on a budget and I want to buy a new pair of earphones, could you kindly suggest me a pair under $100. It would be of great help to me.

    Thanks for all your help.

    • Ryan Soo on

      Hi Amin,

      Are there any features that you are looking for in particular? For example, how much isolation, comfort, type of sound? The P2 is quite a safe choice but it may not be the best one if you prefer more bass.

      Cheers,
      Ryan.

      • A on

        Dear Mr. Ryan Soo,

        Thank you very much for your prompt response to my query. You are the first person online that I am talking to about earphones, so many many thanks for your reply.

        About the features of the earphones, I haven’t really used any good ones except the MEE M6 Pro (this is my first pair of quality earbuds), so I may not be able to look for the right features (ha ha). I listen to a variety of music but mostly rock and heavy metal. I also listen to EDM and some Pop now and then.

        I believe the M6 Pro provides a nice amount of isolation to the degree that I can’t use the Bose SoundSport when I am walking outside (they can’t isolate outside noise much in my opinion). So isolation and comfort for long time listening would be really nice. But I would also like the sound to be clear and lively (i.e. giving me that ‘good’ feeling when I am listening to good music). I guess its very difficult to explain it to someone and given that I’m a novice, I myself not sure what I’m looking for!!! But I believe your experienced ears can help me in this regard.

        Once again, Mr. Ryan, thank you very much for responding to my query.

        Looking forward to your suggestions.
        Amin.

        • Ryan Soo on

          No worries at all!

          Based on your criteria, the P2 is indeed a very good choice. It is very comfortable and well-isolating, it has a quick sound that will work well for the faster genres you listen to. In addition, the P2 has a nicely clear, detailed high-end. You can also look at the Magaosi K3 HD, its slightly more expensive but is more detailed and a little bassier with a nicer metal build. If it is unavailable in your location, the P2 is still a really solid choice, one of my favourites around this price for sure.

          Cheers,
          Ryan.

          • Amin on

            Thanks a lot, Mr. Ryan. I will definitely place an order for the Pinnacle P2 very soon.

            Thanks for all your help and I look forward to asking you again in the future.

            Sincerely,
            Amin

  3. Yannick Khong on

    P2 seems very seductive! How does the p2 compare to the SE215 special edition and oriveti basic? thx! 🙂

    • Ryan Soo on

      The BASIC is just as comfy and isolating with better cable and build. It has more sub-bass emphasis, more recessed midrange and darker tone with less aggressive treble. It is generally smoother throughout but also not quite as clear or detailed.

      I don’t think the Shure is a great choice for pure sound quality in 2017, but it still has a sound that is easy to enjoy. It isolates the most of the bunch and fit is super stable. It is L-shaped like the Basic but much warmer with regards to bass and lower mids. Upper mids are a bit wonky and treble is quite rolled off, it is quite a laid-back earphone compared to the P2.

  4. Xcrailer on

    Hey Ryan!

    How would you compare the Pinnacle P2 to the DUNU DN-2000?

    The dn-2000 have been my favorite IEM to date due to their excellent soundstage, resolution, micro detail and sparkly treble extension as well as sounding very natural with vocals.

    I use to get all my recommendations from Joker but he seems to be occupied with other things these days and I was curious on your take on this.

    I will be driving the headphone I choose with an iPhone 7 so there will be no amps involved.

    • Ryan Soo on

      Hi Xcrailer,

      Thanks for your comment and joker is a great (but busy) guy! I haven’t heard the Dunu DN-2000 for a while, but I do feel that it performed better than the P2 on a technical level. In all honesty, these $100 iems offer really great value, some are surprisingly technical for the price, but a higher-end iem, especially a good one like the Dunu, even if it is older, will still perform better when it comes to detailing, micro-detail end to end extension and resolution. A lot of them also sound a bit unnatural due to uneven midrange and treble tuning, the P2 is no exception though it is one of the more balanced earphones.

      That said, it’s very possible the P2 will suit your personal preferences better, it has excellent clarity and aggressive detailing that makes them sound super crisp even if the underlying technicality doesn’t match the Dunu. In addition, it’s easy to drive and, being a sensitive single dynamic, and sounds great out of a smartphone, where the Dunu can have some impedance issues. I also strongly prefer the fit and comfort of the P2 to the DN-2000. I can’t remember the Dunu clearly enough to provide direct comparison but that’s my general take on these matters, I hope that helps!

      Cheers,
      Ryan.

      • Xcrailer on

        I finally bit the bullet and ordered myself a set of the P2s. I was so tempted to order the Massdrop Pinnacle PX but ultimately I knew an iPhone 7 wouldn’t drive them properly with them being 50 ohms and I did not want to have to lug around an amp to work and back.

        I’m hoping I love them! How is the durability on them with them being only plastic? I can’t wait to get them as they seem to be the right sound signature from your impressions.

        Also, how come you’re one of the few people to even mention these IEM? It’s like the community just ignored them

        • Xcrailer on

          Hi Ryan,

          One more thing, Is there a particular cable you would recommend for the P2? Just curious so I’m not scrambling to find one if the cable ever breaks. Thanks!

          • Ryan Soo on

            I’m a fan of the Ourart Ti Upgrade Cable, it’s an 8-core silver plated hybrid for $30. Makes a small but appreciable difference to sound and a big step up in ergonomics.

            I haven’t found the plastic housings to be an issue, but I’m pretty forgiving on my in-ears. I doubt you would have an issue, even the nozzle feels well reinforced.

            Not sure why these haven’t received more coverage considering that the P1 was so popular, they definitely deserve the attention!

            • Xcrailer on

              That’s good to hear about the plastic housing!

              To be fair, so many things are made of plastic and have proven to be durable. My panic came from that you rarely see plastic IEMs anymore, even at the 100 dollar price range.

              I guess a part of me was a little salty that these seem to be the best fit for me but MEE didn’t include those nice housings of the P1! 😛

              I will have my P2 when I get home tonight, and I’ll let you know if they live up to the expectations you set! Haha but let’s be honest, they will sound amazing compared to the Ostry KC06A I’m stuck with right now 🙂

            • Xcrailer on

              Hello Ryan,

              So after listening to the P2s for awhile I must say the 100 dollar range is becoming quite impressive.

              After reading your review you are spot on with the P2’s mid range struggles. Male voices really fall behind the music and struggle to break through to the front. I will say that the fact they have such good isolation is a reason I will still keep them since I use them at work.

              I also 100% understand what you mean how the 3-4 year old DUNU DN-2000 still possesses such excellent sound compared to a lot of newer budget IEM. while the P2 is very impressive with its detail and tonality for only 100 dollars, I believe owning the DN-2000 showcases to me that age is only a number and an excellent IEM will stand the test of time.

              One of the biggest thing I notice while comparing the two is that the P2 has a very limited sound stage and separation, at least in comparison to the DN-2000. The DN-2000 has such an incredible soundstage with excellent width and depth. The instrument separation they achieve is also excellent and makes you really appreciate the music. Now don’t get me wrong, the P2 isn’t terrible but definitely more closed off and sounds much more congested.

              Basically what I’m saying is, can we start a petition to make DUNU create a removable cable version of the DN-2000 so it’s worth buying again? 😛

              P.S. – I do appreciate the ergonomics of the P2 a lot as they are extremely comfortable! Maybe whoever is in charge of ergonomics at MEE can give DUNU a call? 😀

  5. Carlos on

    Thank you for the reply! Very helpful. A little bright shouldn’t bother me, I have a pair of DT990s which i enjoy very much and people are always talking about how sharp the highs can be, but I haven’t noticed.

  6. Carlos on

    As someone who is making their first jump into high(er) end in ears, would you recommend this over the 1More Triple Driver? As in is the P2 the more capable in ear?

    • Ryan Soo on

      Hard to say, unfortunately, I haven’t heard the triple, only the quad driver. The P2 is certainly a very well done earphone, it is slightly brighter and more revealing than the Quad Driver and the Triple from what I’ve heard but may fatigue if that kind of sound isn’t for you. The P2 fits way better and isolates more making it a better choice for commute. The removable cable will also greatly aid longevity, it is definitely a feature to look out for longer-term investments. I would say that overall, the P2 is the most well-rounded earphone.

Leave A Reply