Beyerdynamic MMX 102 iE Review! Premium In Ear Monitors Without The High Price Tag?

Beyerdynamic is undeniably one of the most trusted brands in terms of audio mastery globally in the mid-fi and high end category. However, not everyone can afford those really good offerings in a high price tag, what about those who wanted the house blended audio sweetness of Beyerdyanmic in a more affordable package?
Beyerdynamic MMX 102 iE review
Beyerdynamic MMX 102 iE review

The result, the company introduced a series of "premium" in ear monitors in a reasonably priced state that's touted to boast high resolution and crystal clear sound with its "powerful" neodymium drivers or speakers.

Were they successful in that claim? Let's find out in this opinionated review.

Beyerdynamic MMX 102 iE Specs

Drivers: 9 mm dyanamic
Frequency range: 10 - 23,000 Hz
Impedance: 23 Ohms
Sensitivity: 104 dB
Cable length: 1.2 m
Connector: 3.5 mm L jack
Remote and mic: 1 button
Price: 2,990 Pesos

Unboxing / Accessories

MMX 102 iE's packaging
MMX 102 iE's packaging

Beyerdyanmic presented this in ear monitors in a way you'll feel like it's truly a premium product. It's complete with the basic info you need to learn about the product and has a sneak peek on what to expect inside that adds excitement.
Inclusions inside
Inclusions inside

Upon digging further into the box. The MMX iE offers everything I wanted every brand to include in their package. You'll get a good quality velvet like carrying bag for added IEM protection, 3 sizes of tips (small, medium, large), VoIP Adapter and a cable clip.

Build Quality / Design

The body with metal frame, soft plastic and vents below
The body with metal frame, soft plastic and vents below

This Beyer IEM reminds me of the older type barrel type of design coming like Soundmagic's PL11. Except that this one has better overall materials used and build. It features a well polished anodized aluminum parts, TPE durable type of cable coating and gold plated angled plug.
The y-splitter with very good strain reliefs
The y-splitter with very good strain reliefs

It also goes with very good strain reliefs found in the plug, earpieces and y-splitter that will definitely reduce stress in bending your cables. As a result, we can expect longer cable life from this IEM. It also has a vent just below the body that should have some effect to make the sound sonically better.
Gold plated L jack is love
Gold plated L jack is love

However, I would have liked it better if they did a braided type of cabling here or at least make it thicker as it's a little prone to tangles.
Microphone connected with the left earpiece
Microphone connected with the left earpiece

Design-wise, its a minimalist type of IEM that won't get much attention. Some may love it, some may don't. For me, I'm the type of guy who prefers items that aren't catchy for most. It's a good one.

Comfort / Isolation

In terms of comfort, it goes with the same level of VSonic's GR99 and Soundmagic ES18 in my opinion. It sits very well to my ear, there's little to none irritation and this is the type that I can wear for hours as you won't notice it right in your ear. It also doesn't have sharp edges and has a well rounded design smoothly designed for your ear. One of the comfiest out there.

Upon checking its isolation, it doesn't really isolate that much even when you crank the volume way up. I tried all the tips available and I can still hear the person talking next to me. It won't do you any good too by turning the volume really loud as it may damage your ear. So far, this in ear monitor is best to use in quiet places or when you're alone.

Note: This IEM is prone to microphonics (cable noise) when moving or walking, but wearing it in over ear style will greatly reduce that annoying circumstance

Sound

Coming from similarly priced VSonic VSD5 and Havi B3 Pro 1, Beyer's MMX 102 iE sounds a little closer to the Havi. It boast a well balanced tone with some emphasis in the lows. Speaking of the lows, its fast and pretty tight with a tad or two below the speed armature drivers. It's just a little too bass light for some, but for me its just right that doesn't overdo it to make it bloat. It was also able to produce some sub-bass in some tracks which is nice to hear. 

The mids is very good as I really enjoyed listening to tracks with beautiful vocals. The MMX 102 iE also has that pretty nice in your face to your side type of soundstage that fans of live and acoustic music will surely appreciate.
Requires good driving power to shine
Requires good driving power to shine

However, I find the highs a bit thin sounding to my liking which resulted to me craving for more sparkle and extension. While it has decent level of being analytical, the separation isn't the most detailed out there that may not suit the detail freaks.

We also noticed that it isn't that easy to drive with mobile phones such as the Starmobile Knight Spectra and Huawei G8 as I needed 80% to 100% of volume in-order to achieve the level of audio I wanted. And it's still not that loud sounding.

To drive it properly, I used FiiO's E11K with my mobile phone or use the chunky FiiO X5 II dedicated music player.

Overall, this IEM is a decent all rounder.

Note 1: It may benefit from burn-in as I feel that it has more details after 100 hours. My statement could be a myth for some.
Note 2: The microphone and buttons works perfectly fine for both iOS and Android devices

Pros - Good mids and clarity, gold plated L jack, well designed strain reliefs, minimalist design, 2 years warranty
Cons - Thin microphonic cables, lacking highs, needs amping to shine, fairly weak isolation

Verdict

Beyerdyanmic tried with thr MMX 102 iE and they're fairly successful. They actually created a pretty decent product with clear mids and a good package that would put delight in the faces of their fans on a budget. This is something that individuals who aren't familiar with them that wants a combination good sound with mic that works on a smartphone would appreciate to have.

However, even if this IEM is a step up against other mainstream offerings, I personally think that Beyerdyanmic needs to level up their game a notch or two higher in terms of sound in order for them to attract the nitpickers of the budget-fi audiophile scene.

Note: The Beyerdynamic MMX 102 iE is available in the following branches in the Philippines: A. Refinery - Level 2 UP Town Center, Level 3 Ayala Center Cebu, Level 2,Abreeza Ayala Mall.

GIZ Rating: 3.75/5 Stars
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