Mixcder ShareMe 5 review: better design, better build and better sound

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by jupit3r, Nov 30, 2016.
  1. Jupit3r
    Pros: Nice design and build quality, improved sound quality, solid battery life
    Cons: ShareMe function doesn’t work ideally, no aptX support
     
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    Only a few months after the ShareMe Pro went on sale, Mixcder, the Shenzhen based Chinese acoustic company released another set of headphones called the Mixcder ShareMe 5, a new addition to its popular ShareMe headphones line.
     
    I am a little confused with Mixcder’s product naming, though. The first product of the ShareMe series was named the ShareMe 7, but the newest edition has a name of ShareMe 5. Since I know Mixcder’s products very well, I know which one I should pick, but for average consumers who know little about the Chinese brand, those names might be misleading.
     
     
     
    Anyway, does the ShareMe 5 offer any improvements over last year’s ShareMe 7, and how does it compare to the ShareMe Pro? We will try to answer those questions in this review.
     
     
     
     
    Main specs of the Mixcder ShareMe 5
     
     
     
     
    Type: Over-the-ear headphones
    Color: Gloss black
    Driver Size: 40 mm
    Transducer Type: Dynamic
    Frequency Response: 20Hz-20KHz
    Impedance: 32 Ohms
    Sensitivity: 95±3db
    Bluetooth Profiles Supported: HSP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP
    Operating Range: 33 feet (10 m)
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Retail package
     
     
     
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    Just like the other ShareMe headphones released before, the Mixcder ShareMe 5 come with a very simple retail package and only a few accessories. You will find a charging cable and an Aux cable inside the box. Since a dedicated wall charger is absent, users will have to use their smartphone chargers, computers, or other devices with a USB output to charge these headphones.
     
     
     
     
    Design and build
     
     
     
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    The first impression I had on the ShareMe 5 is: finally, there are premium-looking headphones from Mixcder! The ShareMe Pro, which were released earlier this year, might be a huge leap from the original ShareMe 7 in terms of design and overall build quality, but the all-plastic build still didn’t give them a high-end feel. Mixcder took a very different approach with the ShareMe 5 so that they don’t look like any of the previous models.
     
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    The ShareMe 5 headphones are particularly refined. From the aluminum backing of the earcups and the solid brackets that hold them in place, to the clean lines and thick ear pads, it is obvious Mixcder has taken measured steps to offer the users both style and functionality.
     
     
     
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    All physical controls are hosted on the edge of the left earcup. You will find a Power Button and a Volume Rocker, both are pretty easy to locate. The right earcup plays host to a Micro USB charging port, an LED indicator and a 3.5mm audio jack.
     
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    Like most over the ear headphones, the ShareMe 5 can be folded for better portability. The mechanism is quite similar to what we have seen on the original ShareMe 7. But unfortunately, like their predecessors, the ShareMe 5 do not come with a carrying case.
     
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    The overall build quality of the ShareMe 5 is simply great. These headphones feel polished, robust and durable. Also, those ugly mold lines which really kept the ShareMe 7 from looking premium are nowhere to be found on the ShareMe 5. To summarize it up, the ShareMe 5 are by far the best-looking over the ear headphones from Mixcder.
     
     
     
     
    Comfort and isolation
     
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    Mixcder headphones never disappoint us when it comes to comfort, and the ShareMe 5 are no exception. Although there is metal used on the back of the earcups, and the headphones are a little larger than many of their peers, still, they are quite light, and have the right amount of clamping pressure to keep the headphones on your head while not causing any discomfort. The cushions on the earcups are also very soft, so is the material used on the bottom side of the headband.
     
     
     
    The isolation of the ShareMe 5 is slightly above the average of headphones without active noise cancelling, thanks to the tight fit. You don’t necessarily have to turn the volume all the way up to drown out the noises surrounding you. For me, I only need to fix the volume at 60% - 70% to ignore other folks’ voices while standing on a crowded bus.
     
     
     
     
    Connection and the ShareMe function
     
     
     
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    Connecting the ShareMe 5 with your smartphone, or other sources with Bluetooth is as simple as it can be. Hold the power button for a few seconds until the LED besides the charging port flashes in red and blue, the headphones are ready to connect. The connection is pretty solid once it is set up, I could leave my smartphone in my bedroom and still enjoy music with the ShareMe 5 on the balcony of the living room.
     
     
     
    However, as you can guess from the product naming, the major selling point of the ShareMe series headphones is the ShareMe function, and the ShareMe 5 can share music not only with another set of ShareMe 5, but also with a set of ShareMe Pro. Pairing two sets of ShareMe headphones is also quite simple, just hold the power button on both units until both LED indicators flash in red and blue, then the connection between the two units will be established automatically. There will be a primary unit and a secondary unit, the primary one, on which the LED indicator still flashes in red and blue, is ready to pair with your source, while the secondary one has its LED indicator lighting in static blue.
     
    I paired the ShareMe 5 up with a unit of ShareMe Pro. In my personal experience, keeping the two units of headphones and the source close, the sounds coming from both units of headphones are in sync most of the time, but the secondary headphone did lose connection for about 1 second every now and then. For people with OCD like me, that could be a pain in the ass.
     
     
     
     
    Sound
     
     
     
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    Tested tracks:
    Little Mix – Shout out to My Ex
    Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
    Beyonce – Daddy Lessons
    Alicia keys – Unthinkable
    Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Let’s Eat
    Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – White Privilege
    Justin Timberlake – Mirrors
    Maroon 5 – Harder to Breathe
    Gavin DeGraw – Fire
    DNCE – Cake by the Ocean
    Demi Lovato – Cool for the Summer
    Snow Patrol – Run
    Emeli Sande – Clown
    Drake – Controlla
    G-Eazy – Calm Down
    Nick Jonas – Chains
    99 Souls ft. Destiny’s child & Brandy – The Girl is Mine
     
    Sources: Shanling M5, Fiio X7, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, Microsoft Surface Pro 3
     
     
     
    The two earlier models from Mixcder’s ShareMe line didn’t really excite us in terms of sound quality, the ShareMe 5 really have a lot to prove. After 48 hours of burning in and some serious listening with many different sources, I have the confidence to say that the ShareMe 5’s performance in sound quality is really a pleasant surprise.
     
    Please don’t get me wrong, these are still not musical headphones designed for audiophiles. But compared to the hollow-sounding ShareMe 7 and the too-boomy ShareMe Pro, the ShareMe 5 did have a more musical sound profile. There is still great emphasis on the bass, but unlike the thumpy and tight beats we had experienced with the ShareMe Pro and many other entry-level headphones, the punches of the ShareMe 5 were more precise, more relaxed and more refined.
     
     
     
    The midrange of these headphones sounded okay, although by no means exceptional. Vocals were generally clear, and weren’t subdued by the more dominant bass. Still, compared to higher-end headphones such as B&O BeoPlay H8 and Marshall Major, the lack of depth and details could still bother those audiophiles.
     
    The treble was somewhat recessed, but very smooth. Treble extension wasn’t quite there, and headphone nuts might miss those intricate details in the higher end. Fortunately, the ShareMe 5 was quite forgiving to low quality recordings, as the warmth and thickness easily veiled the flaws in the details.
     
    Like all headphones in the same price range, the ShareMe 5 didn’t really offer much soundstage. Complex recordings could sound busy, and sometimes even muddled. Instrument separation was generally fine, but it was hard to tell the positioning of these instruments and vocals sometimes.
     
    Using these headphones wired wouldn’t elevate the sound quality by a mile, but the improvement was still noticeable: the bass presence was less dominant, thickness and warmth gave some way to details, and the overall sound was a little more layered and cleaner in general.
     
     
     
    For a set of headphones without aptX support, the ShareMe 5 did exceed our expectations in terms of sound quality, and were acceptable for videos, broadcasting and even pop music.
     
     
     
     
    Battery life
     
     
     
    Battery life has always been a strong suit of Mixcder headphones, and the ShareMe 5 did not dishonor the tradition. In our battery rundown test, streaming music with a relatively high volume, the 5 lasted a little more than 12 hours. In the real life experience, using these headphones for an average of 2 hours per day, I can leave them unplugged for an entire week.
     
     
     
     
    Verdict
     
     
     
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    The Mixcder ShareMe 5 are easily our favorite product from the Chinese brand by far. We loved their simplistic but premium design, great build quality and impressive performance. There were still things that let us down a little bit, such as the imperfections of the ShareMe functions, and the lack of aptX support…. but given the $55.99 price tag, all of them could be easily forgiven. I remember saying in the reviews of the ShareMe Pro that if you didn’t need the ShareMe function, your money could be better spent on the Ausdom M05. With the ShareMe 5, it is more difficult to recommend anything over it. In the same price range, the Ausdom M05 would still be my No.1 pick in terms of sound quality, but the more modern design of the ShareMe 5 is also very tempting, and may be the deciding factor for some. But either way, your money won’t be spent in vain.       
     

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