The nice people at Mixcder sent me these back in July. Yes, July. It’s now December and I’ve literally just found them. What makes this whole thing worse is the fact that they’re really very good indeed. Why? Well, let’s kick off with the price shall we?
Out of the box and the first thing that hits you is just how light these things are. They weigh almost nothing and there’s an immediate concern that they’d perhaps not be as good as my decidedly more weighty headphones. At just 173g they weight less thn most of the smartphones we have in here. I had these on during a recent train ride and – woah – it was like being in your own room. Just you and your music.
Don’t get me wrong, if you get a magnifying glass and check into the actual specs on the box, you’ll find that these are “passive noise-isolating, not active noise cancelling headphones”. So no, it won’t totally seclude you from the outside world in exactly the way that a noise cancelling pair would, but there’s a rather sizeable heap of deadening and I was very, very impressed with how quiet the world was.
The headphones don’t get overly warm and, due to their feather-light weight, you really don’t feel like you’re wearing anything. The soft and cushioned headband is totally adjustable and I felt confident enough to wear these at the gym thanks to the understated and not-overly-massive styling.
Whilst we’re talking about the styling, they’re really easy to transport around – just fold them down. I did, at this point, record a rather wonky video showing all this but – to be fair – Mixcder have done a much better version here…
Let’s not forget – these don’t just do Bluetooth. You can whack a microSD card in and play off that, using the controls on the side to navigate. Press and hold the “up” volume button and it’ll move forward a track. Likewise, press and hold the “down” volume button and it’ll move back.
If Bluetooth or microSD isn’t your thing, go for the 3.5mm-to-3.5mm cable (in box) and connect the old-fashioned way. To switch to the microSD card, you’ll need to press and hold the power button – this acts as a multi-function button.
The ear cups (I’m going to call them that) are surrounded with a thick, smooth outer cushion which surrounded my ears perfectly. The description of these is quite a laugh if you read them in the product listing. It actually says that “the artificial protein leather of the earmuffs is a simulated human skin texture”. Well, perhaps not quite but it is very soft, smooth and cool. It gives long-lasting comfort and, as I can vouch for after a long journey and a trip to the gym, they’re in no way irritating or sweaty.
The sound quality is absolutely epic – I must admit. Big, deep, enveloping bass and a tuned – noticeable balance on the upper tones and vocals. It’s not ear-bleedingly loud but they’re more than sufficient on max volume. Mixcder tell me that they’ve added “precision-engineered dual 40mm drivers” which work alongside an advanced “CSR chip” to deliver high definition and steady audio. I had a quick look to find out exactly what a CSR chip was and found it to basically be a Bluetooth chip with a powerful and yet sensitive transmitter and receiver, so … there you go.
Charge this up (via the microUSB cable, this takes about 2 hours and the small LED next to the charge port shows you when it’s full) and you should get a full 20 hours of playtime. The Bluetooth connection will pass the battery status to your phone so that you know just how much battery you have remaining.
Overall, I was seriously impressed by these. If you’re looking for over-ear headphones that hardly weigh anything but produce seriously decent sound, these are the ones for you. They’re comfortable, they’re designed well and they fit your head perfectly no matter the amount of extending you need to do. Sound-wise – and as you’d probably expect from over-ear headphones, there’s a chunky slice of bass being delivered to your ears with these.
What makes all the difference is the complete lack of weight. You can bop around the house, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the car, and you just don’t feel like you’ve got anything on your head. Brilliant headphones at a brilliant price. Highly recommended these.
Get them on Amazon UK (currently £28.99 but sometimes cheaper) and Amazon US or direct from the Mixcder website.