In the days when Dr. Dre was "just" a producer and not yet an electronics design billionaire, headphones looked pretty ordinary. They were usually black -- or in Apple's case, white -- and were more practical than flashy. With the coming of Beats, headphones became must-have fashion accessories, and the rest of the industry had to run to catch up.
The MEElectronics may not look like Beats -- they are too angular, and dare I say it, even gaudier -- but they follow the same "headphones as design aesthetic" blueprint. But there are also some well thought-out features in here: a universal volume control, foldable earcups, and a tangle-resistant, detachable cord.
Sound quality is pretty good for the price, with the bass-rich response that's expected of street-style headphones. On the other hand, they lack the noise isolation of other closed cans.
Given my regular commute on a noisy subway and the headphones' polarizing looks, I found myself overlooking the Atlas in favor of a model with better noise isolation. If you don't need to block out sound as much when on the move, however, and the looks appeal, then these well-made, well-featured, and better-than-average sounding headphones are worth a listen.
Design and features
If you're after a discreet set of earphones, you can probably tell already that the MEElectronics are not for you. The earcups and band use a process called IML (In-mold labeling) which involves printing designs between layers of plastic, which is supposed to make them hard-wearing. The designs themselves in this case are quite striking, though a little too ostentatious for my taste. I received the Orion models, which have a "Tron"-like motif. However, if you're an LA resident, you may want to go for the Sky model with its coastline of California.