When a pair of earphones claims to be designed for “stage, gym and street”, they are setting the bar pretty high. Those are three fairly different listening environments, so I was interested to see how the M6 Pros lived up to the billing. Let’s start with the accessories. Man, do you get a lot of them. The actual earbuds themselves are separate and plug into one of the three cables that come in the box: two regular audio cables and one with an integrated mic, remote and volume control for use with phones and tablets. The cables have a clothes clip and a drawstring for tightening the wire either under or behind your head, both features useful for vigorous environments like the stage or gym. It’s all extremely lightweight in construction, though the clips feel like they might not exactly last forever.
You also get a lot of different ear tips which can be swapped out: six clear pairs and one isolating pair. These are different sizes though only the very largest seemed to fit my ears properly, and I don’t usually have an issue with this. To firmly fix the buds in place it helps to wrap the wire hooks around your ears, especially if you’re going to be moving your head a lot. There’s an adaptor supplied too, for connecting to 1/4 inch headphone jacks, and a carrying case which is handy.
The M6 Pros sound OK, though not fantastic. How much of an issue this is depends on which of the proposed uses you’re actually going for. As regular, hi-fi listening earphones you can honestly do better for $50 although admittedly you won’t get all the interchangeable bits and pieces thrown in. You’ll need the tips to fit very well or most of the bass will disappear. Even when you get the fit right, there’s still a very bright upper mid and top end in the signal. For listening to music on your phone, many people will find this too harsh.
At the gym, fidelity is less of a problem as the blood is probably pumping in your ears and the lightness and ability to secure the cables to your clothing will be more of a benefit. On stage too, there’s usually so much noise that earphone bass often gets lost and it’s the mids and top you need to hear. Of the three potential uses, onstage monitoring is probably what these are best at.
There’s also the issue of the price. These are deliberately budget-conscious earphones, and pro models for onstage monitoring soon run into hundreds of dollars. But there’s a reason they do: things like custom molded ear tips, far better sonic response and so on. So you are getting what you pay for, and that’s fine. It’s arguable that you’d be just as well off using a decent pair of regular earphones from a sonic point of view, with the caveat that you don’t generally get interchangeable cables and tips with them. So if the accessories are a deal breaker—and they will be for some—check them out.
Pros: Very lightweight. Lots of interchangeable components. Affordable. Use with smartphone or onstage.
Cons: Very bright mid and top end. Clips feel quite flimsy. Soundstage not ideal for hi-fi style listening. You may find most of the tips too small for your ears.