Nowadays I spend more time listening to podcasts and online news through headphones than I do listening to music. Considering that the highest frequencies are the most affected by the bandwidth limitations of Bluetooth and that the human voice resides primarily in the midrange, hi-fidelity is not of utmost concern.
The Mifo U5 Plus appears to be the latest iteration of a headphone design that stretches back a couple years. The U5 Plus has been branded and rebranded multiple times. You can find them under Morul, Lepfun, Photive, Axgio, Eanop and possibly other labels, some of which can go for exhorbitant amounts on Amazon, but as far as I can tell they are identical in features and accessories.
I purchased the Mifo U5 Plus from GearBest for $26.
The compact box contains a surprising amount of accessories, although their usefulness will vary from person to person. 3 pairs of different sized ear tips, 3 pairs of different sized shark fins, 2 cable cinches, an instruction manual, a certificate of authenticity, a warranty card and a micro USB cable.
Build and Functionality
They certainly look sturdy. The U5 Plus is a mix of soft-touch rubber and aluminum molded into an attractive, shiny cuboid. They are IPX7 waterproof and they have passed my shower+shampoo tests with superior shine and bounce. There's even a video demonstration of another iteration being submerge in water, cola and hot tea.
The outside of the driver housings are magnetic and feature a raised, flat surface so the two sides won't wobble when attached to each other. However, two issues arise from this design. First, the edge of the raised surface is unnecessarily sharp. Not razor-sharp, more like the inside lip on an open can of lager, which is sharp enough to cause concern and discomfort when inserting and adjusting them though they have been worn down over time. Second, the shiny finish of the aluminum is easily rubbed off by friction. After only 2 days of schlepping them around I've already rubbed away the centers of each earpiece.
Excuse the gnarly thumbnail. I clipped them in the dark.
The cable is a flat and stiff having more in common with a twist tie than an electrical cable. The kinks that were present when I unboxed the U5 are the kinks that will be present for eternity. The effect has lessened over time, but it will never escape its gnarly roots.
The microphone/control module is made of the same soft-touch rubber as the earpieces and has a simple, intuitive design with easy to navigate buttons that are well placed and spread out so there is no chance of pressing the wrong one. The small LED is a subdued white that is easy on the iris although it might be hard to see in daylight.
The voice prompts by default are set to Chinese. After turning the unit on you can switch it to English by holding both the Volume + and - buttons for 5 seconds and vice versa Charging takes about 1.5-2 hours and a full charge will last approximately 7-8 hours although I did not strictly time this.
The driver(and battery) housings are big and don't allow for too deep an insertion so finding the proper tips and shark fins is paramount.
You must use the shark fins. Look at that thing! It's huge!
I tried to avoid using the fins but the size and weight of these IEMs is too much for ear canal/rubber friction alone. One note about the shark fins is they had a tendency to fall off during insertion, more so on the right side where the charging port is hidden. I haven't lost any fins, but it's something to be aware of. I found the included ear tips serviceable but not ideal and have swapped them for some others I had on hand. Initially the large nozzle and shark fin caused discomfort after 30 or so minutes, but my ears have adapted to them over time and I can wear them for a couple hours without too much soreness. Once you have a good seal and get those shark fins in place these things are staying put.
Not a single exercise has dislodged the U5 Plus.
The cable cinches work well, but will require a bit of trial and error to get your desired result The stiff cable produces microphonics with collared shirts, but t-shirts and the like are microphonic free. Around the neck they function like an ugly, earwax strewn necklace which still looks better to me than a string of wooden beads.
These are large, unvented IEMs made of aluminum and rubber. Isolation is superb.
Basshead smooth. While not technically proficient in any area, these sound good and inoffensive unless heavy bass offends you.
Yep. And lots of it to get that heart pumping! It's boomy, but not overly so, and a bit wooly and slow. There's some decent impact and rumble although they don't go super deep, but any missing sub bass would probably be obscured by external noise anyway. Remember, these are for working out and they do their job of keeping you on beat.
A bit recessed and dry, but still musical due to the weight of the mid bass creeping into the lower mids. This is a warmish and darker signature for sue. They are not the most detailed and can get overshadowed by bass bleed, but bleed is how I like my workouts to end!
Sparkly, without being strident, sibilance free and even a little airy. Treble heads will be best served looking elsewhere for their workout fix, like the 1More EB100 or Macaw T60 which push treble like Pfizer pushes ED pills. My sore muscles need not be joined by sore eardrums as well. If there is sound fatigue to be had it will surely be from the low-end.
About average. There is more depth than width with a bit of air to grasp at. The elevated bass gives a sensation of listening inside a brick-walled chamber or a small club filled with dire wolves.
Not great. These have more of an in-your-head, blob of sound presentation, but if precise imaging is what's on your mind while using these, you need to up the intensity of your workout.
*5-stars? Really? Yes, really. Not for sound, not for comfort, not for aesthetics. This is a rating for pure utility. Imagine buying a water bottle that isn't too heavy, holds the right amount of water, keeps liquid cool, is easy to open and clean and becomes an indispensable part of your daily life. What would you rate it? The Mifo U5 Plus is my perfect water bottle. It's the only IEM/headphone I own that can travel with me from bed to shower to subway and back and it does it all while sounding good.