These Mpow Bluetooth headphones are a decent, moderately priced option for people who prefer traditional over-the-ear headphones versus earbuds. They are stylish, portable and offer the choice of a wired connection as well as Bluetooth.
In the box:
- Mpow Bluetooth Headset
- 3.5mm Audio Cable
- USB Charging Cable
- Packing Bag
- User Manual
- Bluetooth Version: 4.0
- Range: 33 feet (10 meters)
- Talking Time: Around 15 hours
- Playback Time: Around 13 hours
- Charging Time: 4 hours
- Charging Voltage: 5V
- Battery Capacity: 420mAh
It is very obvious that Mpow mimicked the design of the more expensive Beats Studio Wireless headphones when designing this unit. It has similar curves and angles to the Beats and a shiny black plastic exterior with plastic silver inlays over cups.
I did appreciate the small but clear indicators on the inside of the headband denoting the left and right cups.
The inside of the headband is matte red plastic with a very thin “memory-protein material” cushion for the top of your head and the same “material” on the cups for your ears. The cups are oval and quite narrow so these may cause discomfort for users with larger ears. The headphones were very uncomfortable for me after about thirty minutes of continued use. The headband has seven notches for adjustment, but even with that range I experienced some pressure on top of my head and ears. My ears also felt very warm after a short time.
Following the included instructions I was able to connect via Bluetooth to both my Android Nexus 5X and Apple laptop very easily. Setup is aided by a female voice which tells you when the headphones are powered on or off, when in pairing mode and when you’ve reached the maximum volume.
The controls are on the outside of the right cup and are a little difficult to access when you are wearing the headphones. You have to feel around a bit for the buttons and the clicks on the controls are very loud and require some pressure. The controls include volume up and down, next and previous track, power, play/pause, and call. The buttons don’t light up and are marked in very light grey on the black headphones, so they are difficult to see. The only lit area of the controls is a small ring around the center play/call button which blinks blue when powered or red and blue when pairing.
You can also connect the headphones to your device with an included male-to-male 3.5mm audio cable and an audio port on the bottom of the left cup. It is nice to have the option to use these as wired headphones, but once connected by wire neither the controls nor the microphone work. The sound quality of the wired connection and Bluetooth connection was the same in my testing. The bass was a little light on most tracks and on higher volumes the sound suffered from slight distortion and a loss of clarity. There were occasional dropouts in sound when connected through Bluetooth.
There is significant sound leak at all volumes. You would not be able to use these in an office environment or in public without annoying those around you. This is most likely because these headphones are designed to be passive noise isolating, as opposed to having active noise cancellation. Passive noise isolation simply means that once you have the headphones on and are listening to content, you can’t hear any outside noises. Active noise cancellation counteracts outside noises by creating an inverted waveform to cancel out the noise waveforms and requires extra power.
For phone calls or chatting via computer, there is a small microphone hole on the lower right cup, but maybe because of the design, my voice was muffled on all calls. The sound quality of the caller was fine, but I would not use these as my main headphones for calls or chatting on my computer.
The headphones fold at hinges just above the cups for storage in the included case. When fully opened, the cups lock into place with a satisfying click.
The headphones charge via a micro USB port on the outside of the right cup with included USB cable. The unit takes about four hours to attain a full charge. In my tests, the battery life for playback was right along with Mpow’s specifications, about 12-13 hours. This amount of playback time is great for a set of headphones you plan on using a lot during the day.
The Mpow Bluetooth over-the-ear headphones aren’t a great piece of audio equipment by any measure, but for the price, portability and option of a wired or Bluetooth connection, they are a good back-up set to have around.