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Xiaomi Mi Headphone

Rating:
4/5,
  1. Hisoundfi
    A versatile and very capable headphone at a reasonable price. The Xiaomi Mi Headphone with interchangeable pads and microphone/remote
    Written by Hisoundfi
    Published Dec 1, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Interchangeable pads allow for a more custom fit and tuning, Slim profile for traveling/commuting, Easy to drive, Incredible fidelity with foam pads
    Cons - Plastic locking mechanism for pads doesn't seem the sturdiest, On ear protein pads butcher the sound quality
    At the time of the review, the Xiaomi Mi Headphones were on sale at Gearbest’s website for $88.29 USD. Here is a link to their listing of the product:
     
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    http://www.gearbest.com/headsets/pp_168282.html
     
    Introduction
    Well known Asian cell phone manufacturer Xiaomi made a huge splash into the audio market making the Piston 2.0 in-ear monitor. It is a V-signature budget earphone that won the approval of many who listened to them, including myself.
     
    Since the release of the Piston 2.0 Xiaomi has released the Piston 3.0 (a nicely balanced and more neutral tuning than the 2.0) and also a new hybrid version that is just hitting the market at the time of writing this review. In between these releases, Xiaomi released the Xiaomi Mi headphone. While many were excited about the release of this product, many people passed on them. I feel this is because their initial release asking price. At over one hundred dollars many were skeptical whether or not they could offer the same price to performance ratio as compared to the likes of Philips, Takstar, Audio Technica, Superlux and so others in this price range. Being their first venture outside of in-ears, Xiaomi jumped into a sea of intense competition at their initial MSRP.  
     
    Since the initial released the price has come down a bit. When George at Gearbest asked me if I could review them I jumped on the chance. It was finally an opportunity to see for myself what the Xiaomi Mi headphone was all about. After reading a couple mixed reviews, I was glad to finally find out what these headphones were capable of.
     
    Disclaimer
    I was given an opportunity to review the Xiaomi Mi Headphone in exchange for my honest opinion and review. I am in no way affiliated with Xiaomi or Gearbest. I would like to take this time to personally thank George over at Gearbest for the opportunity to review these headphones, and for their great website with lots of really good deals on headphones and much, much more. It’s a pretty good place to find good deals on various products.
     
    My Background
    I AM NOT a numbers and graphs audiophile or sound engineer. Personal audio enthusiast? Absolutely! Headphone junkie? Possibly…
     
    There’s something about quality DAPs, DACs, Amplifiers and Earphones that intrigues me, especially if they can be had for low prices. I will buy the $5 to $500 earphone that looks promising, in hopes that I will discover that one new gem that can compete with the big names in this industry. If you look at my Head-Fi profile you will see that I have purchased MANY different headphones and earphones, ranging from from dirt cheap to higher end products. For me, this hobby is more about getting great price to performance ratio from a product, and have a variety of different gears with varying builds and sound to mix and match. With personal audio gear, we tend to pay a lot of money for minor upgrades. One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that just because a headphone has a higher price tag, it doesn’t mean that it has superior build and sound quality.
     
    I’m always looking for great audio at a great price. I’m after headphones and IEMs that give me the “WOW” factor. I can appreciate different builds and sound signatures as long as they are ergonomic, and the sound is pleasing to the ear. It is my pleasure to share my experiences with audio products and make recommendations based gear I have owned and used.
     
    REVIEW
    The Xiaomi Mi headphones came packed in a simple white box with the “Mi” logo in the upper right hand corner of the box. It was nothing spectacular and resembled the clever box that came with the PIston 2.0.
     
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    Opening the box I was greeted with a compact black clamshell case and two other smaller boxes lining the inside. The inside of the case revealed the headphones with on-ear pads attached. Opening the other two boxes revealed a pair of full size pads, and a pair of porous doughnut foam pads a la Grado pad designs. Also included in the package was a airline adapter, quarter inch adapter and a drawstring pouch.
     
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    Specifications and Accessories
    General
    Brand: Xiaomi
    Color : Assorted Colors
    Wearing type : Headband
    Feature: Hi-Fi, Low Impedance
    Function : HiFi, Voice control, Answering phone, Microphone
    Specification
    Connectivity : Wired
    Connecting interface : 3.5mm
    Application : Portable Media Player, Mobile Phone, Computer
    Cable length : 1.4m
    Driver unit: 50mm
    Frequency response : 20-20000Hz
    Impedance : 32ohms
    Sensitivity : 98 dB
    Dimension and Weight
    Product weight : 0.220 kg
    Package weight : 0.380 kg
    Product size (L x W x H) : 18.1 x 15.15 x 6.84 cm / 7.11 x 5.95 x 2.69 inches
    Package size (L x W x H) : 25 x 25 x 9 cm / 9.83 x 9.83 x 3.54 inches
    Package contents
    Package contents: 1 x Headphone, 1 x Bag, 1 x Box, 2 x Audio Adapter, 1 x Audio Cable, 2 x Headphone Ear Cover



     
    Overall Build
    The Mi headphone is a really solid build for its asking price. It is pretty much an all metal and synthetic leather design, with the only plastic parts being where the pads connect to the cups.
     
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    The headphones are a folding collapsible design that allows the headphones to be stored on a smaller supplied clamshell case. Folding the headphones for storage is easily done by pushing the slides into the smallest position, then folding them inward towards the inside of the headband. This feature makes them a great travel companion. The carrying case is much smaller than most headphone cases and is about the size of two twelve ounce soda cans laid next to each other.
     
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    Despite being slimmer profile than many full size headphones, the somewhat sturdy build of the Mi headphone is definitely a confidence booster. As long as they are handled with a reasonable amount of care, there is no part of them that makes me concerned that they will break any time soon.
     
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    Starting with the headband, we have a flexible band that I assume is a spring loaded metal that is padded and coated in a red stitched black synthetic protein skin that feels nice. There is ridges where the pad makes contact with the head, making the headband more breathable. A brass or ring where the headband meets the slider is a transition piece to the slider. The slider is a thin sheet of black metal that clicks into place similar to many other headphones. A hinge allows the cups to move inward and outward, and another hinge allowing them to move up and down. Sorry DJs, the design doesn’t allow the headphones to fold flat or flipped outwards. It’s just enough articulation to allow users to achieve a comfortable fit.
     
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    The cups of the Mi headphone are a milled lightweight aluminum that is very sharp looking and reminiscent of the Piston 2.0. They have a yellow-ish gold finish that I find to be very classy and looks really nice with the black accents. Mi headphones are a semi open design with mesh vents on the backs of each of the cups. Although they are modeled after the widely popular design of the piston 2.0, the cup design also reminds me a lot of the top end Grado designs like the PS1000, but with a gold finish.
     
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    The package includes three different styles of pads that twist on and lock into place. Simply twist them on by screwing them on a quarter of a turn and securing them until you hear a click from the locking tab. Pads are removed by twisting them off the opposite way. Each pair is marked on the inside with left and right markings.
     
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    The cup locking mechanisms work well once they were secured to the cups, but changing the pads can be somewhat tedious. I was concerned that too much torque would possibly cause the plastic tabs to break. Since first using and switching the pads, I’ve become more acclimated to changing them, and the difficulties I’ve had are less apparent. Removing the pads reveals the 50 mm beryllium drivers.
     
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    All three sets of pads are pretty breathable. The synthetic protein pads on one of the on-ear designs and also the over ear pads have a series of perforations that help keep ears cooler than the average protein pad. That combined with the semi open design makes them well ventilated and easy to wear for extended periods of time.
     
    Cable, Cable Jack, Strain Reliefs
    The cable is pretty nicely constructed design that connects to each channel of the cups via two color coded 2.5mm jacks that plug into place (red/right, white/left). Approximately a foot and a half of rubber cable leads to a Y-Split that also acts as the universal microphone and remote. After the Y-split, a fairly thick cloth wrapped cable leads to a straight design 3.5 mm jack that seems durable. Strain reliefs seem adequate. If handled with a reasonable amount of care owners shouldn’t have any issues with the cable.
     
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    Functionality
    The stock cable microphone and remote is a single button design that will work for both iPhone and Android. When using them for phonecalls, I could hear voices with reasonable clarity. When talking to friends and family, most reported my voice coming through at a four on a scale from one to five. One thing to note is that because the mic/remote is so low on the cable and at the Y-split, covering it with jackets, sweatshirts, scarfs and so on could cover the microphone and cause voice transmission to be muffled or muted.
     
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    Comfort and Sound Review
    The Xiaomi Mi headphone is three different headphones in one thanks to its different variations of pads. Pad variation will impact fit and sound impressions. Because of this I will combine both criteria and break down each pad option in terms of comfort, then sound.
     
    I did my demo with my usual gear. I used an LG-G3 with the latest firmware for portable and smartphone use, and either my Shanling H3 or Sony Walkman F806/Cayin C5 amplifier for a high fidelity portable use. For desktop use I used my Toshiba Satellite Laptop in combination with a HIFIMEDIY Sabre ES9023 USB DAC/Bravo Audio Ocean Tube amplifier with a Mullard 12AU7 tube for higher impedance, and a Fiio E18 USB DAC & Amplifier in both high and low gain. Both were run at 24 bit, 96000 Hz. I also tested them with other DAPs and amplifiers as well. I used Google Music downloaded in its highest download quality (320 KBPS) and I also streamed FLAC via Tidal streaming service. I also used purchased and downloaded tracks in MP3, FLAC, WAV and DSD. I make sure that any gear I test has sufficient playtime before writing a review.
     
    I used my usual same songs for testing gear:
    “Limit to your love” by James Blake (bass speed, punch, response)
    “Doin’ it Right” by Daft Punk (sub bass)
    “Get lucky” by Daft Punk (bass to midrange transition resolution, male vocals)
    “Madness” by Muse (soundstage, separation)
    “Some nights” by Fun (soundstage and male vocals)
    “The soundmaker” by Rodrigo y Gabriela (texture and imaging)
    “Bassically” by Tei Shi (bass to midrange resolution, female vocals)
    “Skinny Love” performed by Birdie (female vocals, acoustic playback)
    “One” by Ed Sheeran (male vocals, acoustic playback)
    “Outlands” from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack (symphonic presentation, imaging)
    “Sultans of swing” by Dire Straits (detail, separation, balance)
    “And Justic for All” by Metallica (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
    “Ten thousand fists” by Disturbed (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
     
    Note: Other tracks were used, but the listed songs were primarily used to asses and break down the gear’s response.
     
    Source Selection
    The fact that they were designed with a microphone and remote should tell the whole story. The Mi headphone sounds good with just about any source and is easy to drive for a headphone. A smartphone will have no problem driving them. I didn’t notice any major improvements in sound when using a higher powered source. Although they are pretty forgiving with poorly recorded music (especially the protein pads) I did notice that these headphones upscale well with better recorded music and higher bitrate files (especially with doughnut foam pads).

     
    On Ear Pads
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    With the on-ear protein pads, the Mi headphone is decently comfortable. the clamping force in combination with soft padding is just the right amount for me to get a good seal on the ears but not enough to cause any kind of major clamping discomfort. They will get warm due to their design, but not to the point that I felt the need to take a break while listening to them.
     
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    As far as sound is concerned, these pads make them sound bloated and stuffy to my ears. Overall resolution is impacted by the forward bass (especially midbass) tones. I wasn’t able to determine if it was the pads making the treble take a back seat, or the boosted lower end causing frequency ratios to be skewed. Either way, the on-ear pads make this a bass forward consumer friendly tuning that avoids distortion and works well with modern genres. Midrange was not overly weighted, but seemed to be lacking in overall clarity and resolution. There was a stuffiness that prevented me from being able to fully enjoy them with this pair of pads.
     
    I think this pair of pads will appeal to a younger crowd that likes to listen to their Hip Hop, Pop, and EDM music at louder volumes. They aren’t a signature that will appeal to those looking for maximum resolution and soundstage.
     
    Although the bassiest and least resolving, I will say that because they seem to isolate the best out of the three options and are a slim profile design, which makes them my pick if using the Mi headphones for commuting.

     
    Over Ear Pads
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    The over-ear pads make the Mi headphone one of the most comfortable headphones I’ve experienced. The soft and perforated protein pads in combination with the oscillating cups helped distribute pressure. Moving my head, I could feel the headphones seamlessly adjust to the movements. The fit is consistent and requires little to no adjustments. because of the roomy and semi-open design, my ears stayed relatively comfortable. The pads are roomy and should fit the circumference of most ears. The only concern I would have would be the depth of the pads. Although I had no issues with them, I could see people with ears that stick out quite far from their head having issues their ears making contact with the driver grill.
     
    Sound quality with the over ear pads is a huge leap from the on-ear pads. They seem to retain a similar bass forwardness, but the sound is overall more resolving and controlled. Resolution in the midrange is improved and treble is in better balance with the rest of the frequencies.
     
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    Bass on the over ear pads is forward, with a slight midbass bump that doesn’t appear to have any bleed into other frequencies. Midrange has a slight warm tilt without going what I would consider overboard. Treble tuning is a nice compliment to the rest of the tuning that doesn’t seem to be over or under done. Pronunciations of the letter S and T are controlled and don’t go overboard. Soundstage and imaging isn’t necessarily spectacular, but the over ear pads do help give the Mi Headphone a decent sense of space.
     
    While overall resolution isn’t world class with the over ear pads, the somewhat consumer friendly and distortion free tuning in combination with the super comfortable pads makes the Mi headphone really enjoyable in this configuration.

     
    Doughnut Foam Pads
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    These pads are the least comfortable of the three (albeit not that bad) but also by far the best sounding to my ears, and the reason I consider them a great headphone.
     
    The porous foam doughnut pads are similar to the large Grado style pads you will see on their higher end models, but with a Xiaomi “twist.” The porous foam was uncomfortable when first putting them on, but they get more comfortable the longer they are worn. The foam will conform to the shape of your ear, making it a pad that works well for long listening sessions. They will get warm, but as long as you aren’t outside on a ninety degree day listening to them, they shouldn’t get too hot on most people’s ears. Fit issues that I think could make the Mi headphone with these foam pads a deal breaker are people with very large heads not being able to handle the clamping force, or people who have sensitive skin that reacts to foam contacting their skin.
     
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    I find the sound of the Mi headphone incredible with these pads. It is the leanest, cleanest and most detailed sounding of all the pads. In fact, I would almost say that these could be identified as neutral sounding to my ears with the foams. Bass tones do roll off a touch at sub bass levels but is still adequate in my opinion. Mid bass is not forward like the other pads and sounds in balance with the other frequencies. Midrange tones are very neutral, natural, detailed and airy to my ears. With these pads I wouldn’t consider the midrange to be warm from what I hear. It’s somewhere along the lines of a slightly colder, flatter and just as detailed sounding Sennheiser HD600 midrange. Treble is crisp and detailed. There is no radical spikes that will make them appear harsh. There is a very slight lift of upper frequencies in combination with some pretty good extension and resolution that adds a crisp and energetic energy to the music.  Some who are sensitive to crisp treble or those who listen at unhealthy volumes might take a stance on them with the foam pads.
     
    Because of the high resolution tuning the foam pads yield a pretty decent sense of space, Imaging is also pretty decent, but not elite.  
     
    Long story short, with a warm source the Xiaomi Mi headphones with doughnut foam pads sounds phenomenal to my ears. Their sound quality with this set of pads is world class in my opinion. I consider it to be a tuning reminiscent of the Sennheiser HD600 sound at a third of the price.
     
    Conclusion
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    Because of the versatility in both fit and sound, and combined with the solid build quality and portability, I would have no problem recommending them to just about anybody in the market for a good pair of headphones and doesn’t want to spend a ton of money. I think Xiaomi has done a great job with the Mi headphone. Their build and sound quality is on par with the best of the budget gear we discuss regularly on Head-Fi. It deserves recognition and consideration as one of the best headphone deals under one hundred dollars.

    Thanks for reading and happy listening!
      trellus, havagr8da, bcharusa and 8 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. linkbane
      Very impressed at a phone manufacturer making such a strong step into audio. I have a Xiaomi phone from China, their products really are quite good and affordable.
      linkbane, Dec 6, 2015
    3. Yazen
      pooh are you trying to say that these headphones sound better than the HE-400, HD650, DT880, AD1000x, etc?  $400-$500 is not cheap by any means
      Yazen, Dec 9, 2015
    4. 1clearhead
      Nice review!
       
      .....Waited for quite a long time for a good "hardcore" review on these headphones.
       
      Way to go!
      1clearhead, Dec 9, 2015
  2. viperxp
    Great headphones
    Written by viperxp
    Published Sep 12, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Different sound options, bundled extras
    Cons - two sided cable
    Hello,
     
    I am very excited to write this review, because the headphones are very special, and I hope to be able to explain why.
     
    I read some of the available reviews for those headphones, but when I got them I still was surprised by some of the features, and I will also write about that.
     
    Let's start
     
    Xiaomi? Headphones?
     
    Yes, the Chinese brand is producing a lot of products, and headphones are among it's products. Actually, it is not completely true, there is another company "one more design" which is responsible for headphones, but at the end it's Xiaomi logo in the headphones.
     
    What's good and special about those headphones?
     
    1. Open design. It is not a definite advantage, because such headphones leak sound more considerably and have less sound isolation, but sound-wise open back headphones usually provide more open sound.
    2. Several earpads, that provide different fit and sound (more on that later)
    3. Special "retro" looks, a lot of metal in construction
    4. Berillium 50mm diaphragm - not something you meet every day
     
    Personally, I don't think I am a basshead, I prefer a neutral but enjoyable sound presentation. So when you read about my description of sound of those headphones, have that in mind.
     
    Go
     
    DSC_3165_DxO_cr.jpg
     
    DSC_3166_DxO_cr.jpg
     
    The headphones arrive in a little white carton box. It is very compact, considering all the stuff inside.
     
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    The first thing you see inside the box are the over the ear earpads.
     
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    Then you meet the instruction manual, that has a special drawing telling you how to change the earpads, in order not to harm them. On a personal note - I did a lot of switching, and did not see any damage to the earpads and to the headphones.
     
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    Another "goodie" that you find inside the white boxes are the carrying bag and the foam earpads. The leather bag will be useful when you carry the over-the ear earpads, because when you fold the headphones they don't get inside the hard carrying case. Hard case?
     
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    Here is the case, and headphones folded inside. Please note that headphones come with the pleather on-ear earpads attached.
     
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    Besides the headphones the hard case carries 6.3 adapter, aircraft adapter and silica gel.
     
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    A, wait there is also the cable. The cable feels extremely well made, light and of very high quality. Please not the tension relief points. All the connectors are made from metal. There is one button on the remote control - it's the play/pause, no volume keys.
     
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    Ah, and there are the headphones. They feel very sturdy and well made. There is enough padding on the headband to wear them for a considirate amount of time. I don't think there is memory foam inside, but rather ordinary one.
     
     
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    The headphones have a removable cable, that has to be plugged to each of the earcups separately. You can know where the right and the left headphones re by the color of the socket, by writings on the earcups or on the headphones.
     
     
    DSC_3190_DxO_cr.jpg
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    Regarding the materials and the quality. It is outstanding. Sturdy. all held in place really well. There is a lot of metal involved - as you can see at the picture. One of the reviewers told that his pair had a not even headband adjustments, well, mine did not have such problem (in fact any problem).
     
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    In life the headphone look really well, a bit flashy but bearable. The "gold" finish is mostly matte, so they actually look good.
     
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    There is some tight cloth/mesh between the grille and the headphone cushions, to avoid dust and other particles to reach the driver. I see it for the first time and like the idea a lot. The diaphragm has some metal on it (hope it is the berillium stated at the specs), but not all the diaphragm has it, only the center part.
    The white arrow is being used do align the headphone pads.
     
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    Ah, regarding the pads.
     
    1. I thought that I could use pads from other headphones with the Xiaomi's, and discovered that it is a mistake. The earpads are of proprietory design, and won't fit other headphones, anyway not without a heavy modding.
    2. The leather earpads are made of artificial leather, not genuine. In this case I am not sure that it is a bad thing, as the leather is very soft and comfortable. The over-the ear earpads are super-comfortable, the most comfortable I ever used (something like HD5800/HD600 class). They really hardly touch the ears and lie completely around them, creating a very comfortable experience. I wore them at work even without music (we have an evil air conditioning at times).
    3. Each earpads affect the sound considerably. I will try to describe the sound:
     
    On-ear pleather - The sound is very close to a sound of most headphones today. I mean a lot of bass and treble, and not too pronounced midrange. The sound is fun, but if you like to enjoy a female vocals they are just not for you.
    Over the ear leather earpads - Like. Like it a lot. A lot of space, and that thing called soundstage. A Metallika, Nightwish suddenly sound even more exciting. The bass is not getting to a thunder level low, but it is there, controlled and enjoyable. The highs are crisp and maybe a little bit too pronounced.
    On ear foam pads - a very different sound from most that I know of. Maybe it is the Grado signature sound, I don't know. There is bass, but you hear it, without feeling it's impact. The mids are more transparent that with any of the other earpads, and so the highs. Maybe the highs fade a bit too quickly with those earpads.
     
     
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    Someone said Grado ? Please note the additional padding added betweenthe diaphragm and the ear, I am sure is affect the sound, and it was added for a good reason.
    By the way, regarding the design of the headphones - I think a proper description would be "half open" , and not open. They don't leak sound like a real open headphones leak. If you hold you hand near the metal grille while hearing music, bass disapears, and the sound in general worsens considerably.
    I'd say that the sound is the sound of Sennheiser PX100, but with much more details, kind of a seriosely upgraded PX100. I am talking about the first PX100, not the dark PX100 - II.
     
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    Those are the over the ear pads. A super comfy option, the sound has less bass compared to the on-ear pleather, but more soundstage and less congested mid-range.
     
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    The default option - on-ear pleather pads. The sound of those has the most bass and treble, and the least mid-range. It can fit a lot of music styles, and the headphones look really good with those.
     
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    Here is a comparison with the Pistons. You can definitely see some design similarities.
     
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    Koss Tony Benett Special Edition. Till I got Xiaomi I enjoyed those Kosses a lot. Well, now they are resting. No doubt about it, Koss give a more "reference" sound, with much more pronounced mids, and the sound feels more balanced. But sometimes in order to just enjoy the music the Xiaomi are better.
    I am sure I will come back to Kosses for certain songs/artists, but will use Xiaomi more.
     
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    Most of the times I used the Xiaomi with FiiO X3 II, but also tried it with Ipad Air 2 and Nexus 5.
    As you can expect, FiiO provides the best sound with a much more controlled bass and soundstage, but the Ipad does not sound too bad. Nexus eats the details that those headphones can reproduce. At volume 58-60 (high gain) FiiO provided enough power to really enjoy my music. Nexus needs to be almost maxed, and the Ipad gets to 60-70% .
     
     
    Final thoughts, conclusion
     
    I really liked those. You actually are getting 3 headphones for a price of one - which is not a bad deal at all. And build quality wise those are too great.
     
     
    The headphones were provided for review by www.gearbest.com
      trellus, ]eep, bcharusa and 2 others like this.
    1. Onix
      Nice review. I can't help it to feel that they take a lot of queues from Grado's design and thus I have to wonder how they sound compared to, lets say the SR60, which is a reference for most of us. Perhaps someone would eventually compare them. In the meantime, I commend you for the review again. Thanks.
      Onix, Sep 12, 2015
    2. viperxp
      Hi Onix,
      Well, I don't happen to own any of the Grado models and don't exactry rememeber how they sound, I only once listened to them in  B&H in NY, But, I own and like Sennheiser PX80 (PX100 first, rebranded) and the Xiaomi's sound a lot like them, with more data at both ends and more sensistive as well.
      viperxp, Sep 12, 2015
  3. MrTechAgent
    Insignificant.
    Written by MrTechAgent
    Published Aug 27, 2015
    2.5/5,
    Pros - Accessories.
    Cons - Garbage Fidelity and Headband Padding.
    TA-Head-Fi.jpg
     
    "Headphone Industry" nowadays is filled with dimwitted, dopey, stoned hipsters who think they can make headphones. This is a trend I noticed in the last 10 years of Headphone Manufacturing. China is a great place for these hipsters to go and start manufacturing and contribute nothing to Headphone Technology. Xiaomi being a Chinese company thought they needed to contribute something to this industry and this is their gift to us all!
     
    Build and Design - Blend of metals used, Aluminium, Spring Steel and Brass. Being a Brass fan, I appreciated the Brass insert just above the headband adjusters. It feels good in the hand until you start playing with it, shake it, caress it etc. You will know what garbage the build quality is. Nothing feels solid even though it's all Metal. Side adjustments are loose and have a weird articulation system, the headphone adjusts 70% less on one side from an another (Left to Front) both cups. The geniuses behind this headphone must have odd sized heads, that's all I can think.
    The paint job on this headphone is horrible, there are drip marks on the yolk, more than that there are some foreign materials on the yolk which seem to be permanently stuck, perhaps in their poor quality clean room something might have gone wrong and **** got stuck during the paint job , pshhh China.
     
    IMG_0947.jpg
     

    The paint job itself looks out of place, I wish they color matched the cups to the brass color, it's more of a Rose Gold than anything else, looks like a very poor matching resulting in making this headphone highly emasculating. 
    Xi thought that red stitching would be a good idea so they decided to go with that. Let me go over this again, colors used - Rose Gold, Gold, Black, Red and White. They managed to make this headphone incredibly gaudy. I personally dislike the way it looks.
     
    Comfort - They come with many Earpads, all the supra pads for me are irrelevant, all are uncomfortable. The headband is annoying, there is lack of padding and there are these bumps that touch and annoy your head, less extreme than a bumped AKG but still noticeable, if you are bald I can only imagine how bad you would want to destroy this crap headband.
    I find the Earpads (Any) become very unbearable after an hour or so...
     
     
    IMG_0944.jpg
     
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    IMG_0952.jpg
     
    IMG_0953.jpg
     

    Sound - 

    Time to stop bitching about other things, let's go to the sound. 

    This is a D-Thorn correction system, this is not going to be representative of 100% neutral correction but close compared to my references of an average neutral response of pretty much majority of headphones existing in this world.

    Test tracks used for correction - 1) Matisyahu : Fire And Heights
                                                     2) Aga Zaryan - I Put A Spell On You
                                                     3) Peter White - Talkin' Bout Love 
     
    There is a lot of accentuation of +8-10dB at 40-50 cycles, it's so much that it's disturbing the entire response adding, that needed to be trimmed down. Lack of 6-8dB at 30 cycles, -4dB at 100 cycles, I wanted to talk about the LF before I proceed, even after correction the system peaks at 40-50 even at any excursion, correction helps but the energy is more than I can control on my system, perhaps a better parametric equalizer could fix that permanently, one peculiar observation about peak excursion can observed, there is far more buzzing at 100 cycles than it is at 30 cycles, although there is an SPL difference, the system handles it better at 30 cycles albeit at a slightly lower SPL, it's not a very common behavior. Normal transducers hit it relatively but this one doesn't. 
    200-500 is fairly obedient, +2dB at 900 cycles to 1kHz, then there is +3dB from 2kHz to 4kHz. After that correction system doesn't kick in as well. This Diaphragm, which is BoPET coated with Beryllium is PET in the end, classic PET behavior is observed here as well, anyway, there is strong emphasis at 7kHz which I couldn't fix just right, any correction resulted in an unnatural tone, since it is so rolled-off on I had to fix the upper treble slightly, I didn't like adding anything but without emphasis it sounds like a fish tank, garbage fidelity is what I heard with this garbage headphone. 

     
    IMG_0958.jpg
     
     
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    IMG_0951.jpg
     
    IMG_0954.jpg  
    Comparison to other "cheap" phones - 

    1) Grado SR60i - I respect the SR60i, it is PET, it is decent but at least it is slightly neutral and has decent bass. It's a good headphone if you want to gift it to someone, $80 for SR60i or Mi, I would go 60i and do a Circumaural mod which I did with my personal pair. 
     
    IMG_0940.jpg
     
    2) AKG K240M (600Ω) - This is a discontinued model but since AKG made so many of these, you can get them on Ebay for less than $50, for that money it's a much better value, yes. It doesn't come with the Mi accessories but if you are looking for that then you could settle for IEMs, I for one think full-size for portable makes you look comical. 
    K240M has a much better Mid-Range than the Mi, it also has far better bass response than the Mi if we are talking non-synthesized  and non-corrected. 
     
    IMG_0942.jpg
     
    3) Beyerdynamic DTX-710 

    This one is a winner, you can get these for $50 new. More neutral, much better treble and bass than the Mi, easy to mod, you can make these balanced and use a Y-Split remote, like a V-Moda cable and then you have portable. What more can one want? 
     
    IMG_0941.jpg
     
    The Mi folds down like this...

    IMG_0970.jpg
     
     
    There you go, I named 3 headphones that are the same price or lower than the Mi, there is no reason for anyone to buy this headphone, it's insignificant and brings nothing to the table except making China rich. Don't bother unless you are ready for some correction, some serious correction. 

    Some Links : 

    1) "Unrated" version of this review - 
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1N5IKmoPYHl54wAF_5czMZD_fElLlrE_u7ECRh-2zmm4/edit

    Cause there's only so much you can say on Head-Fi before people get offended and Mods come after you like Five-O.

    2) Videos :

    A) Unboxing - 
     
    [​IMG]

    B) Video Review -  
     
    [​IMG]

    1. View previous replies...
    2. MrTechAgent
      @asymcon

      Hi, 

      Thing about that is that they vary from seller top seller, there's no fixed amount but, I have seen many K240 Monitors as well as K240M Annies go for less than 50 Euro on Ebay Kleinanzeigen. 
      In fact if you are into Vintage headphones I suggest you take a look there cause you will find rarest of Headphones there for little to no money! 
      MrTechAgent, Dec 6, 2015
    3. DarkZenith
      Love so much your review... "Highly emasculating" : I LMAO at this one.
      Many thanks.
      DarkZenith, Apr 18, 2016
    4. spixel
      This review is completely insignificant, just saying. Pretty much disagree with every single thing you said.
      spixel, May 1, 2016
      trellus likes this.
  4. Sir Gray
    Xiaomi Mi Headphones HiFi Edition review
    Written by Sir Gray
    Published May 15, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - high quality sound, good comfort, multiple use, travel case
    Cons - no volume buttons, weak sub-bass, price a bit too high
    This is the first pair of headphones by Xiaomi, who have previously gained their popularity with a series of pistons and their earbuds. They were  announced in January, but only came out this April.
     
     
    Those headphones were marketed as a custom-made gadget for the Xiaomi RedMi phone, but they did a pretty good job as headphones for my Mi 4 phone where I tested them. Designed as high-end phones for mobile devices, they will also do a great job as your regular headphones, for travel or even gaming.
     
    Performance
     
    The headphones are said to have a large beryllium diaphragm (25% larger than usual) and silver-plated wires for reduced impedance. However, as a non-techy audiophile, I did not notice any particular advantages of that. For me, it just does provide a great overall sound quality.
     
    The open diaphragm results in a clearer sound with no echoes, giving it a more natural edge, whereas closed diaphragm headphones tend to sound a bit closed in.  Even with high volume you are not bothered with any trembling or interference.
     
    The sub-bass tend to be a bit weak, which is especially notable on lower quality recordings (or when it has been processed by your phone software). However, the mid-upper bass is more than decent, giving a full sound enough for every song. The treble is prominent, maybe a little crispy on the heights – again, especially visible on lesser quality recordings – but not to the point of being annoying.
     
    Overall the headphones will give you nice listening experience without getting you tired or annoyed even after a few hours of music.
     
    Look and feel
     
    The headphones are black and gold, with leather finishing of the earmuffs and the arch. Although, the leather of the muffs is extremely soft and gentle, even though I got the headphones brand new, so you really don’t have this cold and stiff feeling as you might have with other leather muffs. It also has some kind of perforations, probably for better air flow to cool down your ears. There should have been a second pair of earmuffs, little larger ones that go over your ears, but my package came without those, so I cannot say much about those.
     
    The headphones can be folded to fit into a neat little box that is perfect for travel. This feature actually had me a little worried, because I have had a lot of bad experiences with folding headphones, where your hair gets stuck in there and so on, but Xiaomi did a pretty neat job on this. When you open the headphones, they do a little ‘click’ and stay open, so you couldn’t even say that they can be folded, and you absolutely don’t feel any problems with them. I hope this doesn’t wear off after a while, but so far so good.
     
    Comfort and use
     
    As mentioned before, the earmuffs are made of soft leather, which feels very nice to your ears. There are tiny perforations for better air flow, although it can still get a little hot. They sit firm and nicely, so I didn’t have any problems with listening on the go (I didn’t try jogging, though). The cord was long enough to put my phone into my pants pocket without any problems.
     
    The headphones also do a pretty decent job with cancelling the surrounding sounds. For instance, when I was driving with volume somewhere in the middle, I could hardly hear my car horn.
     
    The cord has an integrated mike, but there is just one button, so no volume buttons. This will allow you to play/pause or answer your phone, but you’ll have to take your phone out to change the volume, which is pretty annoying.
     
    Packaging
     
    As always, I am very pleased with Xiaomi’s packaging. Everything arrives in a nice white box, which contains just this black case. There you will find your headphones, the cord (it can be disconnected, which is a great feature for foldable headphones), together with ad additional pair of earmuffs and two adapters: 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm and the aviation adapter.
     
    Conclusion
     
    To conclude, these are good quality headphones which will serve great as a headset for your mobile phone, but will  also do the job as a travel hadphone or a second pair for an audiophile.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. kimosabe
      No offense meant, but I feel we need to clear up a few things:
       
      Here are 6 pictures from the very article you cite:
      http://www.soomal.com/pic/20100050664.pic.htm
       
      The picture you reference is one in which the Be coating was removed from the mylar base. Mention is made of the very thin, transparent remains.  
       
      1. I would not agree the sound is hideous; in fact, after 100s of hours of burn-in I feel the headphones sound fair enough at high listening levels
       
      2. You state, "only coating it partially with beryllium instead of coating it uniformly'" uniformly means evenly, in other words no area more coated than another. I would submit that in all native pictures referenced herein, the coating is evenly distributed. You ask to shine light through - yep, they are certainly extremely translucent, but evenly so. Perhaps you desire a thicker coating? and feel they cheaped-out on this aspect? From what I have read, and I am certainly no expert, Be coating is typically very thin for many technical reasons. I would imagine there is an optimal thickness for acoustical purposes and it may not be that thicker is better. Listen, for all I know there is not one scintilla of Beryllium in these things!
       
       
      Here is photo of my tear-down (as far as I am willing to go!)
       
      https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1F3gdNMOEmdd0w0STRucVJ0TXM/view?usp=sharing​
       
      In conclusion, my expectations were high and I was disappointed, but these are $80 cans and one could do worse. I see no reason to describe the sound as hideous or imply poor construction, personally. That's just my opinion and you are certainly entitled to yours.
       
      I am in no way attempting to start a war here, but in the interest of fairness, I do not agree that "horrendous" and "muddy" are appropriate adjectives for these under $100 headphones.
      kimosabe, Aug 19, 2015
    3. Maniac
      Which part of partially didn't sound clear to you?  I've never seen anyone coat their diaphragm half way like they do, and for good reason.  Want your diaphragm to flex in a weird way? Make part of it harder and part of it softer, that's how.  Xiaomi want to claim that they have this brilliant metal coating, and yet they don't want to spend too much... And we get this weird halfass coating that likely does more harm than good.

      As for flashlight, what part of uncoated and coated couldn't you understand?  Tell me, are you able to see part of the diaphragm as coated and uncoated or not?

      It sounded really bad at first, and yes, it got better, but it is still bad, very muffled detail, weird frequency response, unless you are going beats or some unknown weirdo cans, I don't really see you being able to do worse.

      The hardware and everything other than sound is great on this thing, everything except sound.
      Maniac, Aug 20, 2015
    4. xiaomifan111
      thanks for your sharing, I buy one from ibuygou , it's really awesome ! 
      xiaomifan111, Oct 28, 2015