The m.e. is a “Master Enhancer” that promises to improve the sound quality of any headphones without actually upgrading the hardware. Here’s everything you need to know about the m.e..
What Is m.e.?
The m.e. is a new Kickstarter-funded project created by audio engineer John Kasha. Kasha created a small lighter-sized device that fits between any consumer electronic device – like a phone or tablet – and your headphones.
You plug the device into your phone, then plug the headphones into the other end of the device. The m.e. boosts the audio information going out of the phone by enhancing its quality, vibrancy, loudness, and other metrics
As the Kickstarter introduction for the m.e. explains, you “plug it into any device and HEAR EVERYTHING!”
The project has not yet been funded. It just recently launched on Kickstarter and has until August 19, 2016 to achieve its goal. If it reaches its funding target, the m.e. is expected to ship in December 2016.
There are other audio boosters and amps on the market that work in a similar way to the m.e.: you plug them between your device and your headphones or speakers. However, these devices are merely amplifiers that raise sound levels and distort the sound. The m.e. promises to boost sound levels, clarity, dimension, and other important audio metrics.
Today, we’re explaining the core features of the m.e. to help you decide whether or not to back it.
How Does The m.e. Work?
It’s no secret that the average phone, MP3 player, game system, TV, and PC has average-quality sound by default. The truth is: most people have never experienced superior-quality sound, so they don’t notice when they’ve been listening to bad-quality sound their entire lives.
With that in mind, the m.e. claims to not only exceed the best mobile phones, MP3 players, and car stereos, but it also promises to exceed “pro audio” equipment – like recording studio systems and live music – in terms of quality.
That’s not an arbitrary measurement, either. m.e. ranks itself according to “The Big Six”, which includes Level, THD+N, Frequency Response, Signal to Noise Ratio, Crosstalk and Phase. In all of these metrics, the m.e. outperforms other consumer electronics.
The secret power behind m.e. comes from a small chip hidden inside the device. That chip takes your audio information and transforms it into superior quality sound.
All you need to do is attach the device to any audio source through a normal headphone jack, then plug the output into a pair of earbuds, headphones, and speakers, press the m.e. to turn it on, then instantly enjoy more depth, dimension, and definition in your music.
Ultimately, the sound of the m.e., according to the makers of the device, “is like nothing you’ve experienced before…it’s bigger, clearer and more defined.”
The m.e. comes with all of the following features, including:
-Boosts volume and dimension without noise or distortion
-Simple one button control
-Durable metal casing with chrome finish
-Lasts up to 80 hours on a single charge
-Low battery indicator
-Charges from 0 to full in 15 minutes using any normal USB port
-Removable key chain feature
-Smaller than a matchbook
-Single chip design
-Can be used for all different types of applications, including in-ear headsets and earbuds, gaming consoles, headphones, car stereo systems, computers, Skype, Netflix, PC gaming, speakers, TV (headphone out – HDMI may be added in the future), DAW mixers/mastering, and mobile phones.
Does It Actually Work?
Protoype versions of the m.e. have already been built by Kai Technologies. In multiple testimonial videos on the m.e. page, various musicians are seen endorsing the product.
The makers of the m.e. actually took the device to the streets at “music’s biggest industry event, NAMM”, according to the Kickstarter page. That’s the National Association of Music Merchants. At that event, various musicians, producers, and artists were seen endorsing the product.
You can view testimonials on the m.e. sales page. Some of the quotes include:
“I’m floored…everything sounded better. The m.e. is a game changer.” – Paul Jackson Jr.
“Amazing…a rare experience.” – Alvin Chea
“It blew me away” – Mauricio Guerrero
You can view video testimonials from these music industry professionals and others on the m.e. Kickstarter page.
Ultimately, there’s one thing missing from the m.e. explanation: we never really understand what the chip does. We learn that the chip inside transforms the audio information in some way or another, but we never get a more technical explanation than that. So yes, based on the evidence and testimonials on the Kickstarter page, it appears to work as advertised – but we still would like to have seen more evidence.
The most information we get about the m.e. is from an interview with Gizmag.com, where m.e. creator Kasha says the following:
“We have a mix signal design with our integrated chip and software. Our noise floor is exceptional, and the stereo spread is much wider and deeper than anything you will ever hear that is portable and small.”
Kasha goes onto explain that you can even plug the m.e. into a $1,000 pair of earbuds and they’ll still make them sound better – including greater clarity, better bass response, and enhancements across all frequencies.
- Early Bird: $49
- Kickstarter Price: $99
- Retail Price: $120
- Diamond Encrusted m.e.: $5,000
The company also plans to eventually release two versions of the m.e., including one standard version and another professional version.
The m.e. is currently available through Kickstarter, where it was initially priced at $49 for the first 100 backers (that has since sold out). There are also a number of different “support” packages you can pledge, including signatures from some of the musicians and producers listed in the testimonials section.
You can even pay $1,000 for private vocal lessons, private mixing lessons, and other private lessons from the musicians and producers.
Who Makes The m.e.?
The m.e. is made by Kai Technology. The device was originally created by Chief Executive Officer John Kasha, who brings over 20 years of product development and engineering expertise to the team. He’s the founder of Kai Technology.
Other members of the team include Karl Knepley and Greg Wood.
You can get in touch with Kai Technology using the email form here.
To back the m.e. on Kickstarter or check the project for yourself, check it out here.