Packaging and accessories
The Mixcder ANC-G5 headphones come with extremely simple packaging. Open the box and you will find a carrying case, a user manual, and a warranty card.
The headphones and all the accessories can be found in the carrying case. There are a USB charging cable, two pairs of ear tips.
Design and build
The Mixcder ANC-G5 have plastic housings with metallic finish on top, which gives them a more premium feel. There are many ventilation holes on the housings, which can alleviate the pressure to your ear drums while there is a tight fit.
Like many in-ear headphones which are designed for sports activities, the Mixcder ANC-G5 has ear loops, which are designed to give users a more stabilized fit. In my personal experience, those ear loops did do their job in keeping the headphones in my ears, but they were not really as effective as the “shark fins” used on many Bose IEMs.
The nozzles of the in-ears are relatively short, so they won’t go too deep into your ears. Bad news for isolation, but great news for comfort.
The back sides of the in-ears are pretty big, and I think this design is more for beauty rather than usability.
The Y-split of these headphones is pretty large, as there are noise cancelling electronics and a Li-Po battery under the hood. You can also find an on/off switch for the ANC function as well as control for phone calls. On the left side of the Y-split is a Mini USB port, which allows you to charge the built-in battery.
However, in a modern world dominated by Micro USB ports and USB Type-C ports, the Mixcder ANC-G5 feature a 8-pin Mini USB port, which means you cannot charge those earphones with the charging cables for your smartphone, and that’s going be tricky if you need to travel often.
The cable is a combination of rubber and nylon. The wire above the Active Noise Cancelling Module is coated in rubber, while the wire below that module is coated in nylon. While the nylon coating is very effective in improving tensile strength and preventing tangling, it also increases the noise of friction. The tubing which connects with the housing has some memory and allows you to use the cable as an adjustable ear hook.
The build quality of these headphones is nice, but far from amazing. Although there are no sharp edges and sloppy construction, you can still see mold lines clearly.
Comfort and Isolation
The plastic in-ears of the Mixcder ANC-G5 are extremely light. Although the Y-split with an anctive noise cancelling module does add a lot of weight to these headphones, fortunately you can easily clip it to your clothes so that none of that weight will be distributed to your ears. Wearing them is relatively comfortable, and the loops can help keep the earbuds in your ears even when you are taking a light jog or doing exercises in the gym.
The isolation, even with a pair of right-size ear tips, isn’t really all that solid. Compared to iems such as the Monster Turbine and the 1more E1001 Tripe Driver, which can keep out 80% - 90% of the outside noise, the Mixcder ANC-G5 can barely seal out 60% of the outside noise. If you are walking on a road with relatively busy traffic, you have to turn the volume all the way up to actually prevent the noise from drowning the sound coming from these headphones. Thankfully, the selling point of this product is the active noise cancelling feature, which means you don’t have to solely rely on a tight seal to reduce the noise from the outside world.
Active Noise Cancelling
The active noise cancelling feature is a mixed bag. With the ANC Function enabled, the volume instantly becomes higher, low frequency noises are almost all gone. I remember running on a treadmill in the gym with the Mixcder ANC-G5 in my ears, I could barely hear any noise coming from the machines and the fans. And when I entered the locker room, it almost felt like I was the only person in the room even though there were four people taking showers 2-3 meters away from me.
However, when it comes to high frequency noises such as human voices, birds singing and cicada chirping, the ANC feature isn’t very effective in blocking them. I could still hear old women talking loud and clear on a bus from where I live to the tennis court and, sometimes the ANC function even intensifies certain sound from the outside world.
With that said, the active noise cancelling feature still offers more pros than cons, and allows me to better concentrate on the audio that I am listening to with minimum interference from the surroundings.
Beyonce – Daddy Lessons (mp3@320kbps)
Alicia keys – Unthinkable (FLAC)
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Let’s Eat (mp3@320kbps)
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – White Privilege(mp3@320kbps)
Justin Timberlake – Mirrors (FLAC)
Maroon 5 – Harder to Breathe (FLAC)
Gavin DeGraw – Fire (APE)
DNCE – Cake by the Ocean (mp3@320kbps)
Demi Lovato – Cool for the Summer (APE)
Snow Patrol – Run (FLAC)
Emeli Sande – Clown (APE)
Drake – Controlla (mp3@320kbps)
G-Eazy - Calm Down (mp3@320kbps)
Nick Jonas – Chains (FLAC)
Source: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, LG G3, Huawei P9 Lite, iriver U100
The overall sound quality of the Mixcder ANC-G5 is good, but not impressive, and the sound profile is more suited for bass heads than audiophiles. These headphones can be extremely loud, much louder than I would ever need them to be, but the sound is not well-balanced, the bass still dominates the entire spectrum.
Bass response is very good and extends pretty low in the lower frequencies. You can clearly hear it rumble and never seems to wobble in lower notes. However, it lacks the definition of higher-end headphones such as my Bose Freestyle and Monster Turbine.
Most budget headphones tend to compromise the mids for more bass punch, but the mids of the Mixcder ANC-G5 is better than average. It is clean and well positioned. Male vocals sound smooth and extremely right, higher mids seems to be quite fluid, as well. However, the higher mids is a little over-exaggerated, music sounds thin, and female vocals are sometimes harsh and fatiguing. The bass also sometimes bleeds into the lower mids and certain details in the midrange can sound subdued.
The treble has pretty decent extension, and isn't shrill or overwhelming. But I wouldn’t really call it smooth or natural, either. The details are not particularly refined, and separation isn’t as crisp as I would have liked. Also, these headphones can sound unpleasantly metallic while you crank up the volume to a relatively high level.
The soundstage of the ANC-G5 is surprisingly good. Most of the time I can feel myself being surrounded by the sound. It's not on par with many higher priced headphones, but I can still pick out where the sounds are originating from. Lots of of cheaper iems tend to sound very 2-dimensional at times, like the sound is only coming from Left/Right channels. These are totally the opposite and you can clearly tell where the singers and instruments are positioned.
The built-in rechargeable Li-Po battery is on board to power the active noise cancelling function, and it can last very long on a full charge. In my battery rundown test, the ANC feature worked for 8 consecutive hours. Given that it only needs to be enabled in certain environment, you won’t need to charge it very often.
Priced at $59.99 on Amazon, the Mixcder ANC-G5 are marketing towards people who need headphones with noise cancelling but are on a tight budget. They look nice, sound good, and have decent build quality, the ANC function works very well, too. However, they are not really the cheapest on the market right now. Cheaper options include the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23 QuietPoint ($49), the August EP720 ($39.75), the KIROBO Active Noise Cancelling Headphones ($38.99). Since I haven’t tested any of them myself, I can’t tell whether they offer more value than the Mixcder ANC-G5. The only other noise cancelling IEMs I tested were the Bose Quiet Comfort 20 Acoustic, which definitely bettered the ANC-G5 in almost every aspect, but the $299 price tag could easily put people off.