The resolution of detail through the Medis is much better than what you might expect from a $50 earphone. While I wouldn’t go so far as to call the Medis a high-resolution reference monitor, they were much more detailed than the Bagis, Velodyne vPulse, or Ultimate Ears UE200 earphones. Much of this extra, perceived detail was a result of the Medis shelved-up midrange, which gives the whole presence range a little kick in the pants. While not so extreme as to give the overall balance a nasal edge, the Medis’ sonic shift does lighten up baritone and alto voices a smidgeon, and dries out the lower midrange slightly.
The Medis’ upper midrange and treble regions were smooth, but with certain sources I noticed some glare, especially at higher volumes. I much preferred the sound of the Medis when attached to the April Music Stello HP-100 headphone amplifier as opposed to the April Music Eximus DP-1’s headphone output. Somehow the DP-1 excited the Medis brightness zone far more than the Stello HP-100. Driven by an iPod Touch the Medis were not as forgiving of bright peaky recordings as the Urbanears Bagis or Velodyne V-Pulse. In this regard the Medis are more like an audiophile headphone—good recordings reward you with scads of detail while bad ones will show their flaws more readily.
Imaging and soundstaging through the Medis was more precise than through the Bagis, Paradigm Shift E1s, or Ultimate Ears UE200s. The soundstage width approached what I’m used to hearing from an open-back headphone, such as an AKG K-701. Although the Medis weren’t able to define edges or recreate depth as well as the full-size Sennheiser HD-600 headphones, the Medis did put the instruments in almost exactly the same locations in space.
Due, in part, to their high sensitivity and relatively large diaphragms for an earbud, dynamics, especially midrange dynamics, are quite lively. Bass dynamics are a function of fit—the more bass you have, the more lower frequency dynamics you’ll have as well. But unless you wear a skullcap that’s several sizes too small, I doubt you’ll ever get the amount of bass energy and contrast generated by the Velodyne vPulse or Paradigm Shift E1 earphones.