Meade ETX 125 Telescope Review: Reliable Access to the Stars

Meade ETX 125
Written by Kane Dane

Whether you are looking for a telescope to observe celestial objects as an occasional hobby, or you are a professional looking for a reliable model to use on the go, finding the right one is always a challenge. So, why not consider Meade ETX125 Telescope?

Modern technology made telescopes digitalized, and it also made them significantly cheaper and more accessible. With a wide variety of features to choose from, it is not always easy to determine which model is good quality, and which is simply a toy that will last only a short amount of time before it breaks.

Additionally, a good-quality telescope needs to combine strong optical features with a compact design in order for the model to be portable enough. Since the amount of light in urban areas makes it close to impossible to observe the sky, astronomers depend on going out-of-town and finding the right spot for their observations. This requires for the telescope to be portable enough, and fairly simple to set up.

Product Specifications

Meade ETX125 Telescope Review

  • Audio star controller containing over 30,000 celestial objects
  • 1900 mm focal length, f/15 focal Ratio and 9.7 mm and 26 mm Super plossl eyepieces
  • Includes full size steel tripod with eq tilt plate – telescope weight is 15 pounds, tripod weight 9.7 pounds
  • 127mm f/15 maksutov-cassegrain optical tube Assembly
  • Internal 90 Degree diagonal, internal Flip mirror system

Check the price on Amazon

In this review, we will go through the features of the Meade ETX125 Telescope. We will pay attention to some of the most important aspects of buying a telescope, such as a price, warranty, its features, packaging and much more.

The goal of this review is to present you with verified facts, as well as to show some of the user experiences so that you can paint an image of the scope’s performance. Let’s start!


Meade ETX125 telescope is actually an upgrade of a previously popular ETX125EC model. The combination of an affordable price and promising features made the scope highly demanded amongst users, particularly beginners. Both beginner and amateur astronomers recognized that this is a good-quality scope that will help them learn more about observing the night sky.

Meade Telescope

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Thanks to the combination of highly advanced features, the Meade ETX125 telescope is perfect for those who are still learning, as well as for those who are yet to learn about astronomy. Here are some of our impressions on most important features of the Meade ETX125 telescope.

Packaging and size

The product itself is the size of 38 x 33 x 63 inches. It comes with a full-size tripod which has egg tilt plate and weighs 9.7 lbs and an assembly for a Maksutov-Cassegrain optical tube of 127 mm f/15.

While the total telescope weight is 25.7 pounds, the weight of the packaging is 39 pounds. This puts the model on a more massive side and makes the shipping time somewhat longer than it would take for a smaller item. While we can’t exactly call it compact, you should have no problem carrying it around.

Next, to the tripod, the packaging also includes 2 lenses and a compass, as well as the equipment necessary to use the AudioStar®. It also comes with a software installation CD you can use on your PC or laptop and a 1-year warranty.

Design and Durability

As we mentioned earlier, the Meade ETX125 telescope comes in three colors and you can choose between black, silver and blue. On the other hand, there isn’t any information about its resistance to water. As with the majority of telescopes, there is the possibility of specs of air, dirt or water getting inside the optical tube.

However, these occurrences are in a very small number. Also, you must understand that beginner astronomy is best done under the clear night sky. This means that anyone with the respectable level of knowledge should know more than to expect a completely weatherproof telescope.

Meade ETX 125 Design

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Overall, the design of Meade ETX125 telescope provides easy setup and portability, as confirmed by the users. At the size of 38 x 33 x 63 in and with its weight of 25.7 pounds, this is not exactly a compact telescope. However, its portability remains well-praised, due to the fact that assembling it and disassembling it is as simple as it can get.

Aperture and Optics

Coming back new and improved, the Meade ETX125 telescope promises to take portable astronomy to a whole new level. The most popular innovation about this model is an increase in the aperture. While the previous size of 80 and 90 mm grew extremely popular, the new model is upgraded to 127 mm aperture diameter. The significant increase in this Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope still does not compromise its portability.

The telescope provides the detailed view of the planets and the moon, as well as close-ups of the nebulae, clusters and other celestial objects thanks to its focal length of 1900 mm, focal ratio f/15 and its 9.7 millimeter and 26-millimeter eyepieces. It also has a 90° internal diagonal, and an internal mirror system with a flip.

The optics on this telescope doesn’t require the use of any additional accessories. The only thing you will have to provide on your own is a solar filter for observing the sun. The general recommendation is to never observe the Sun if you don’t have a good quality solar filter available.

AudioStar® Controller

Meade updated their ETX125 model with AudioStar® controller. This software serves to guide the telescope using computerized techniques, which will leave you with lot less work around tracking down objects.

This is a great feature in case that you are a beginner professional or an amateur. The telescope’s database contains over 30,000 objects. This is a substantial amount for its affordable price, considering that there are multiple-thousand dollars worth telescopes out there that feature far smaller databases.

Meade AdioStar Controller

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This software makes the Meade ETX 125 telescope a go-to telescope, especially comparing its other features with its price. The AudioStar® controller also has a built-in speaker, and a 4-hrs worth of audio content, that will educate you about the objects you are observing.

Best Use

It is safe to say that this telescope is appropriate for both professional and beginner/amateur use. It seems like its features and its price is accessible enough for a beginner and amateur astronomers to enjoy, yet, its performance, which has proven to be top quality, would and has had satisfied professionals.

For amateurs, this model will make the night sky exploration accessible and easy, and most importantly, educational.

Using Meade ETX 125

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Users found this telescope to be fairly simple to setup and use. Features like the focus knob and the red dot finder had proven to be quite helpful with amateur use. It is a great choice for beginner astronomers because it offers quality performance with a quite accessible price.

Value for Money and Guarantee

The Meade ETX 125 telescope costs approx. $700 and comes with a 1-year guarantee. While you can’t exactly call the price low-cost, it is definitely accessible to the majority of users. It is also one of the most competitive ones for telescopes with similar features out there.

Meade ETX 125

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However, you must notice that a plain promise of an advanced feature doesn’t guarantee a quality performance. The market is filled with scopes that underperform, which is not the case with this model.

Close competitors

The market is filled with the low-cost, good quality products, and it is often hard to determine which model is right for you. Here are some of our top picks for telescopes that can measure up to Meade ETX125 telescope when compared to price and features.

Orion 8974 TelescopeOrion 8974 Telescope

At the price of approx. $500, the Orion 8974 Telescope is slightly less expensive than Meade ETX 125 telescope. It is a deluxe upgrade of the manufacturers Maksutov-Dobsonian telescope. This upgrade brings enhancements to some of the most important features, as well as some of the new accessories included.

The model is produced in the appealing metallic-blue color, which is quite popular for telescopes. Its optical tube is placed on top of the base which is redesigned and features adjustable tension knobs you can use to set up its altitude. To achieve easy collimation without using any tools, you can use an adjustable secondary mirror.

To make your view sharper, this model includes a 2-inch Crayford focuser with dual speed as well as the fine focus of 11:1. The model also features new accessories. These include a DeepView eyepiece of 2-inch 28 mm, a Sirius Plossl eyepiece of 1.25-inch 10 mm, a solar filter, eyepiece rack, Shorty 2x Barlow, a collimation cap, EZ Finder II and much more.

Though this model seems like it is offering more at a more accessible price than Meade ETX125 telescope, all of the available adjustments require professional knowledge. This means that you’re a professional you might have a great experience with this telescope, but if you’re a beginner it might be easier and more practical to spend slightly more money on a telescope like Meade ETX125, which is practically entirely software-guided.

Meade ETX90 TelescopeMeade ETX90 Telescope

Made by the same manufacturer as the ETX125 telescope, Meade ETX90 Telescope is, not surprisingly, somewhat cheaper. It costs approximately $600 and it is made as a fine 90 mm Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope. This model is also available Achromatic Refractor of 80 mm, in which case it costs approx. $300.

The 90 mm version has a ratio of f/13.8, and it is made with ultra-high transmission optical lens coatings. The packaging also includes 2 eyepieces, one 9.7 mm Super Plods eyepiece and one of 26 mm. The telescope comes with a durable hard case for easy carrying.

While this model holds one advantage, and that is the highly demanded carry-case, it does also appear that the Meade ETX90 telescope has more advanced features at the price that is only slightly higher. There isn’t much that can replace its ability to present to the world of the educational astronomy to a beginner.

Orion 9826 StarMax TelescopeOrion 9826 StarMax Telescope

Orion 9826 StarMax Telescope has a 127 mm aperture which combines with a generous focal length of 1540 mm. The combination of these features is exactly the reason why the model is so popular amongst users, and why it is considered to be a telescope of top-notch performance.

This telescope model best used by either professionals or dedicated amateurs and beginners, who want to have a very detailed view of near celestial objects. It delivers a sharp and clear view of the Solar system planets, as well as the celestial objects belonging to the deep sky.

While this telescope comes in a short, compact size (only 14.5 inches long), it offers the highest quality of imagery and its visual performance. Images in this model are of high resolution, thanks to the fact that it comes with an adjustable tripod. The tripod is sturdy, and the model also has an AstroView Equatorial mount. This provides celestial tracking that is significantly faster and convenient.

The packaging also includes a Sirius Plossl eyepiece of 1.25-inch 25 mm, a 6 x 30 finder scope, a diagonal mirror of 90°, a case for the scope’s optical tube and its accessories, Starry Night software, EQ mount polar-alignment scope and plenty of others.


The Meade ETX125 telescope has proven to be able to meet the demands of both professional astronomers and the beginner/amateur ones. Compared to competitive models, this telescope most certainly brings high-quality features at an affordable price.

Meade Telescope

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We can safely say that, while the model isn’t exactly low cost, it is most certainly accessible to those looking to practice astronomy on a more serious level. Here are some of the pros and cons of this model:

The size and weight of the model allow it to perform with the highest quality, while still maintaining its portability. This, however, is something that some of the users wouldn’t agree with. Many have noticed that the telescope is missing a carrying case, which might be limited to its use, but it doesn’t necessarily have to.

Not that there is much to justify when it comes to the price of this telescope, but the ease of setting it up should not be overseen. As with many of its feature, this is one of the additional ones that the manufacturer paid their attention to in order to make the model appeal to the broadest audience possible. This telescope is quite easy to set up even for beginners, and it is equally simple to use.


  • Self-guided
  • Easy setup
  • Portable
  • AudioStar® controller
  • Excellent optics

  • No carrying case
  • It might happen that you feel some vibrations when focusing at higher magnification
  • The lack of adjusting

However, we must wonder who the right customer for this telescope is. Since it performs in a quality way to satisfy both professional and amateur needs, the right answer to this question that the best use of this telescope is the serious one. Features that come at the price of this telescope certainly deserve to be used on a regular basis, otherwise, you are wasting both your money and a good quality product.

A database of over 30,000 objects and hours’ worth of audio-instructions make the product more than worthy of the expense. It’s unique self-guided AudioStar® controller software and the computerized self-guidance system makes this model a jewel amongst telescopes.

Meade ETX125 Telescope
  • Packaging and size
  • Design and durability
  • Aperture and Optics
  • AudioStar® controller
  • Best use
  • Value for Money and Guarantee


While the scope remains a great choice for beginners and amateurs, it is questionable whether or not it could satisfy the needs of a professional astronomer.  In the case of this model, the lack of adjusting seems to be a two-edged sword.

While it relieves a beginner of obligation to set up the scope, it is questionable if it leaves enough space to do the adjusting one would want for a professional use. After all, an experienced astronomer needs a lot more than simply following the telescope.

User Review
5 (1 vote)

Do you have any of your own opinions to share? Leave them in the comments below.


Kane Dane