Xiaomi Pistons 3.0 Impressions Thread
post-11458279
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 991

Weithulu

Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Messages
56
Reaction score
26
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Posts
56
Likes
26
Video Intro and Review
 
Intro
 
Xiaomi released the successor to their "budget and sounds amazing" Xiaomi Pistons 2.0 in March of 2015. Calling these new IEMs Pistons 3.0 seems to suggests these are slightly upgraded version of the piston - let me establish this right now: these are completely redesigned and are more like a completely new product. The aim of this review is to establish what has changed in their design and give a review of how these pistons sound. 
 
The new Xiaomi pistons seem to already have a good start, having on the red dot award for design excellence. The official (Chinese) website for these headphones are located at http://hd.mi.com/z/03261k/app/index.html. 
 
I am starting a new thread for this as the current Xiaomi Piston thread contains mostly links to pistons sellers. I hope this thread will provide an informative assessment and a preview of what you will get when you order the product.
 
Other Forum member reviews here: thatBeatsGuy
 

 

Pricing and Versions


 
Pistons 3.0 - Release in March 2015, these pistons are only available in the black version. 
 
Pistons 2.1 & 2.0 - This version of the pistons gained a high regard on Head-Fi for their budget price and their stand out sound quality. Check out this Head-Fi thread on these pistons for more information
 
Currently the Xiaomi.com is not distributing their earphones in North American or European markets (it is expected that they will launch a North American story selling accessories later this year). 
 
TypeMainland PriceOverseas Price
Pistons 3 (Black)
99 RMB = $16 USD$30-35 USD
Pistons 2 (Gold & Silver)99 RMB = $16 USD25-30 USD
 
 
Design (and comparison with Piston 2.1)
 
(following has been translated from http://bbs.xiaomi.cn/thread-11203159-1-1.html)
 

 
 
Cable - Xiaomi followed their Piston 2.0 design with silicon wrapped cables followed by kevlar wrapping after the left and right earbuds branch. 

Remote - The remote supports android systems and has partial support for iOS. On android all 3 buttons work and can control the volume. On iOS only the middle Stop/ play button works (tested on iphone 6).
The remote is positioned on the cable for the right earphone, around 2 inches below the earphone itself. 
 
No shirt clip is included in the box. 
 
XS, S and L eartips included. M sized is already on the earphone itself. ( Pistons 2.1 included S, M and L)
 
Earphone design:

 

 
 
The earphones have been completely redesigned. Gone are the piston like full aluminum frame. Instead we now have a "Spiral" design where the tip points towards the ear (see photo for more info). This is done to improve the comfort of the earphones. The body of the earphones is plastic and with an aluminium backing. The back vent is now large circular vent. 
 
It is also interesting to now that the nozzle size is smaller on the 3.0 when compared to the 2.1. 
 
Driver (diaphram) Design:
 

 
Xiaomi 3.0 pistons now employ a "sandwiched" driver design, where a titanium alloyed diaphram is stuck between two PET membranes. Xiaomi claims this to the be only IEM with this type of sandwiched design. This rather unique design is implemented to drastically improve sound quality in base, mid and high sound ranges. In addition, this design improves the sound balance.
 

 
 
First Impressions:
 
 
(I'm still working on this section and would expect a full report to be up by mid April)
Preamble: I own both the Xiaomi Pistons 1.0, 2.1 and 3.0. I also own a pair of Shure SE315, Vsonic GR07 Classic Edition, Seinheiser HD 600 for comparison. 
 
The earphones are comfortable for sustained use and works with both under-ear and over ear setups. The buds are approximately the same weight as Pistons 2.1, despite pistons 3.0 having a plastic body. This is probably due to the parts inside being heavier. I used the medium eartip and found that comfortable. It included box also offers XS, S and L silicon eartips. I would of appreciated the addition of foam eartips as i got used to them after using stuff from Shure. 
 
I tested the noise isolate of these headphones in an urban city environment. Unfortunately these headphones are do not offer strong noise isolation as has an open back setup. 
 
Initially I didn't know what to expect from the new "sandwich" drivers. Gone are the beryllium alloy drivers from the piston 2.0 and replaced with a new titanium "space age" alloy membrane. I found that the pistons 3.0 have the their signature V-shaped sound which impressive bass and highs. I felt that the sound has been refined and sharper sounding. The bass is never too overwhelming and doesn't cause the discomfort that I sometimes felt with Pistons 2.1. When compared with the Flat sounding GR07, I have to say I really enjoy having more bass in my music, especially for rock / pop / psytrance. 
 
I am happy to report that when compared to Piston 2.1, the midrange is much cleaner and pronounced. I feel that Female vocal sound stronger and warmer. However vocals are not as pronounced as with the GR07 which has a flat frequency response. 
 
I'll update if burn-in affects this pair of headphones - need a bit more time to let these burn for a while :D
 
In terms of sound recording, I'm amazed at how good they sound when chatting on the phone / recording voice messages. I recorded some message with whatsapp and it sounds very clear.
 
Conclusions:
Thanks for reading the article. If you have any questions or feel that i have left anything out please ask below. Also if you have any impressions of these pistons please post below!
 
If you are looking to buy these, you can check out the amazing compilation of sellers for Pistons 2.0, they will start selling the 3.0 soon if they have not already. 
 
 
Verified Sellers:
I am starting this section up to help people interested in buying authentic versions of these headphones. Xiaomi products are sometimes copied and sold as real on the market (this was a big deal with the Mi Pistons 2.0). I am looking for forum members who have purchased and received their xiaomi 3.0s to help me update this list of verified authentic Xiaomi Sellers. Please post your preferred sellers and verify their authenticity in this thread, I will update this list soon as I can!
 
 
 
Seller NameSeller SiteStatusNotes
Xiaomi
Regional sites:
http://www.mi.com (Mainland China)
Legit (Official Company website)Regional links taken from the Xiaomi 2.1 Thread. Thanks to thatBeatsguy and rondant for the original post!
Gearbest http://www.gearbest.comLegitConfirmed by AlecR
iBuyGou[Mod Edit: blacklisted due to shilling]Legit 
    
 [Mod Edit: blacklisted due to shilling]Legit 
 
post-11458283
Post #2 of 991

Weithulu

Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Messages
56
Reaction score
26
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Posts
56
Likes
26
  Oh nice....the KZ disease has spread to the pistons thread. GG guys. 
Anyways, here's mine: http://www.head-fi.org/products/xiaomi-pistons-3-0-in-ear-headphones/reviews/14354
 
 
     Share This Post       
post-11458685
Post #5 of 991

arcwindz

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
204
Reaction score
46
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Posts
204
Likes
46
Great review, but i highly suggest ypu put this in the product page review and post the link on the bigger piston 3 thread instead of making a standalone thread :)
 
     Share This Post       
post-11458699
Post #6 of 991

Shawn71

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
4,095
Reaction score
233
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Posts
4,095
Likes
233
Nice Job!......
 
     Share This Post       
post-11459081
Post #7 of 991

r0msk1

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 7, 2015
Messages
128
Reaction score
18
Joined
Jan 7, 2015
Posts
128
Likes
18
subbed! well written!
 
     Share This Post       
post-11464385
Post #8 of 991

AlecR

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Messages
251
Reaction score
27
Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Posts
251
Likes
27
May I ask where you purchased the V3 from?

It is a shame that they don't seal as well as I had hoped but I am hoping that can be resolved with a better set of ear tips (using Comply isolation tips with the V2 was a good fit). Is the barrel size the same as the V2?

Really excellent first impressions post though. I'll hopefully have something useful to contribute soon...
 
     Share This Post       
post-11465167
Post #9 of 991

Tom22

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 3, 2012
Messages
2,302
Reaction score
932
Joined
Sep 3, 2012
Posts
2,302
Likes
932
great job! i've never tried the original pistons (funny enough) but i nabbed the 3s, i'd be interested to see what the fuss is all about.

maybe i should grab a pair of the 2s (anyone interested in trading their 2s for a pair of ttpod t1es?)
 
     Share This Post       
post-11470158
Post #11 of 991

jagu

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 16, 2012
Messages
387
Reaction score
22
Location
Stockholm, Sweden
Joined
Dec 16, 2012
Location
Stockholm, Sweden
Posts
387
Likes
22
Just ordered a pair of 3s. I received 2s for my daughter today and they seem great value for the price! Interesting to compare the two versions later on!
 
     Share This Post       
post-11471535
Post #12 of 991

Weithulu

Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Messages
56
Reaction score
26
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Posts
56
Likes
26
The are great value for the price. 
I'm fed up with having to warranty my Shures.. they always seem to break one month after the 1 year warranty and then i'll have to pay $99 to get a replacement pair . 
 
I'm terrible when it comes to keeping my headphones in good shape (i mean for everyday use, you don't really want to spend 1 min putting away your headphones)
 
     Share This Post       
post-11471886
Post #13 of 991

jagu

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 16, 2012
Messages
387
Reaction score
22
Location
Stockholm, Sweden
Joined
Dec 16, 2012
Location
Stockholm, Sweden
Posts
387
Likes
22
The are great value for the price. 
I'm fed up with having to warranty my Shures.. they always seem to break one month after the 1 year warranty and then i'll have to pay $99 to get a replacement pair . 
 
I'm terrible when it comes to keeping my headphones in good shape (i mean for everyday use, you don't really want to spend 1 min putting away your headphones)
Here in Sweden we have two year product warranty, you should live here :wink: My daughters destroy headphones regularly so I don't want to spend too much on phones but still give them a good listening experience.


I just tapatalked!
 
     Share This Post       
post-11471960
Post #14 of 991

DJScope

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 24, 2014
Messages
2,832
Reaction score
2,629
Joined
Mar 24, 2014
Posts
2,832
Likes
2,629
Everyone can get their Xiaomi Piston 3.0 here: http://penonaudio.com/xiaomi-piston-3.0
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top