MEElectronics Atlas review: Striking looks and decent sound

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 9.0
  • Sound quality: 7.0
  • Value: 9.0

Average User Rating

5 stars 4 user reviews
Review Date:

The Good The MEElectronics Atlas headphones sound very good for the price and are particularly suited to rock and dance. The detachable cable features a flat design that's tangle-free; the volume control will work with pretty much everything; ventilated earpads mean they're good for exercising; and they're collapsible.

The Bad Design is a little gaudy; the soundstage is of the "in your head" variety and lacks detail; overly warm bass; Sound isolation isn't as good as other headphones.

The Bottom Line The MEElectronics Atlas offer distinctive looks, a full suite of features, and sound quality that can't be faulted at this price.

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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.

Sarah Tew/CNET

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

Sarah Tew/CNET

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.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Color orion
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Additional Features Comfort Zone
    IML Printing Technology
    angled plug
    answer/end/play/pause button
    flat cable
    gold-plated plug
    single-sided cable
    volume control
  • Connector Type mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
    mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm 4-pole