Urbanears Medis High-Performance Earbud/Headset (Playback 58)

Earphones and in-ear monitors
Urbanears Medis
Urbanears Medis High-Performance Earbud/Headset (Playback 58)


On Andrea Wittgens' “Punchline” from In the Skyline [Trapdoor Music] the Medis do an excellent job retaining most of the air and upper frequency delicacy on the synthesizer “bells” at the beginning of the tune. Wittgen’s voice sounded slightly drier and lighter than absolutely neutral and the lower regions of her piano don’t have nearly as much weight as I would have liked. Decipherability was well above average for an earbud at this price, meaning that the intertwining piano and synthesizer lines remained distinct and easy to identify.

Listening to Ben Zander’s rendition of Mahler’s 4th Symphony on Telarc, I appreciated the Medis’ ability to remain unflustered even during the forte passages. I was especially impressed by how the Medis retained inner detail in the string section. All of the subtle shadings and inflections of Camila Tillings’ soprano soloist performance were retained. Yes, I would have preferred somewhat more push and impact from the tympani and string bass section, but the Medis’ surprisingly articulate midrange partially makes up for the lack of lower frequency information and drive.

B.B. King’s “Sweet Little Angel” from the classic release Live at the Regal [MCA] demonstrated the Medis’ imaging ability. B.B.’s voice came from dead center, the piano and drums were hard left, and Lucille and the horn section are hard right. The only other sounds in the center besides B.B.’s voice were the crowd walla and the electric bass. Through the Medis the crowd comments and applause were much more apparent than through the Paradigm Shift E1s or Velodyne vPulses. The Medis resolution and detail retention reminded me of the much more costly full-size AKG K-701 headphones.


Consider this product if:

•You need an earbud that has (almost) no noise isolation; the Medis lets you hear music while maintaining “situational awareness” of external sounds.
•You want an earbud precisely because it doesn’t protrude into your ear canal, but rather fits comfortably (and securely) in your outer ear.
•You prefer an earbud with excellent midrange clarity.

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