ANC is a trending wireless earphone feature this year and Xiaomi’s latest Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro drag it to a very affordable price point of INR 1799.
Xiaomi has built its success on products that offer aggressive value and that’s perhaps why we had high hopes with the Pro model of the popular Mi Neckband. But do these wireless earphones truly punch above their weight? Read on our Mi Neckband Bluetooth Wireless Pro review to find out.
- Specifications and Price
- Design and Fit
- Set-up and Connectivity
- Battery and Calling
- Sound quality and ANC
- Review Verdict: should you buy it?
Xiaomi Neckband Bluetooth Wireless Pro Review
|Product||Xiaomi Neckband Bluetooth Wireless Pro|
|Driver||10mm bass boost driver|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth 5.0 over AAC, SBC; 10m range|
|Water resistance||IPX5 (splash and sweat resistant)|
|Battery||150mAh, MicroUSB Charging port|
Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro Review: Design and Fit
Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro are basic flexible neckband earphones made of rubber and plastic that look affordable or in line with the asking price. The rubber band has a grippy texture that should also ensure that these earphones don’t look as sweat-stained over a period of time. All controls are mounted on glossy plastic handles.
Tactile feedback from volume and other buttons isn’t great but they are easy to find with fingers. It’s good that Xiaomi has kept the ANC on-off button on the inside to avoid any confusion. ANC state is indicated by audio tunes instead of prompts.
The build quality isn’t flimsy and it isn’t premium either. We would have loved a Type-C port and that’s because it’s 2021 and it’s getting increasingly difficult to find regular USB cables at home and at work. My Kindle Oasis is the only reason I keep one handy. Another gripe we have is with the flap over the charging port that’s really hard to flip close.
The earbuds themselves fit snuggly in our ears and are reasonably comfortable to wear over a long duration and during workouts. There’s an IPX5 rating which is some assurance against sweat and mild splashes. Xiaomi bundles a few extra tips for adjustment as well.
The earbuds are made of polycarbonate and can cling together magnetically just so they don’t keep dangling around. The magnetic clasp doesn’t result in any play-pause action, though.
Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro Review: Set-up and Connectivity
Since these are ultra-affordable buds, the lack of a proprietary app or Google Fast pair isn’t any surprise. You can press and hold the power button to put these in pairing mode and then connect them manually.
Audio is transmitted over Bluetooth 5.0 using AAC or SBC codecs. Connectivity is pretty solid within the 10m Bluetooth range and we didn’t run into any related issue over the review period.
Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro Review: Battery and Calling
Battery backup for the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro is perfectly fine. The 150mAh battery could easily last between 14 and 18 hours of use. The exact mileage differs based on ANC usage, calling, and other parameters.
Calling is where neckband style earphones generally outperform TWS buds – in the under 5K affordable segment, that is. The Mi Neckband Buds Pro did not disappoint in this regard. The call quality wasn’t flawless (conversations with softspoken people lacked clarity) but we didn’t have to unpair and discard them even once during numerous calls we attended and made during the week – and that’s perhaps a first as far as our experience goes with affordable wireless earbuds.
Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro Review: Sound Quality and ANC
These earphones have 10mm drivers and can cancel up to 25db of noise. That’s not much to begin with but clubbed with passive noise cancelation of the buds, the overall noice cancellation was enough to make a noticeable difference over a metro commute. So, I guess ANC here is not just a gimmick but a value addition.
Most of the affordable Xiaomi earphones that we have tested have had bass-heavy signature and that’s exactly what we went expecting in this review, only to find that the Mi Neckband Pro take bass even more zealously.
The earphones can pick up low bass notes and are quite unrestrained with higher bass frequencies that often colors the mids. Well, we understand that Xiaomi is playing to galleries here and most consumers fishing for affordable headphones in India value bass over all else – and thus should be content with how these sound.
The sound stage isn’t very wide and these buds don’t do justice to treble. If you prefer a more well balanced audio signature, OPPO Enco M31, OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z or Realme Wireless Buds Pro should serve you better.
For latency we tested these while playing COD mobile and the performance was acceptable.
Also Read: Oppo Enco W51 Review
Xiaomi Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro review: Should you buy them?
With Xiaomi Mi Neckband BE Pro, what we expected is what we got. These are ultra affordable and offer decent value. You get functional design, reliable calling, long lasting battery and the ANC is an added bonus. However, the primary reason why anyone would consider buying them is their affordable price of INR 1799.
These are surely not meant for audiophiles or people who’d prefer nuanced audio. They sound a little too unrefined and bass-heavy for our individual taste, but that might just be acceptable for target consumers.
- Battery mileage
- Functional design
- ANC is an added bonus
- Reliable calling
- No Type-C port for charging
- a little too bass-heavy audio signature