Xiaomi Mi Headphones
The Mi Headphones came to us as a surprise, as Xiaomi is better known for telecommunication and mobile products. Nevertheless, the Chinese company offered up their very first attempt at personal audio, by giving it a classy, timeless look with a frame made almost entirely out of metal. The headband comes wrapped in a nice leatherette finish that doubles as a buffer for comfortable wear, and the foam and leatherette earcups feel like soft velvet, so there’s barely any wearing fatigue. Only the main earcups are made of plastic, with the rest of the frame, adjustable arms, and hinges made from various metals bolted together for a premium, classic look. It also adopts the traditional headphone design, and it’s clear it’s gunning for a market that’s twice its asking price.
You would think that a nonwireless headphone cannot do much for features, until you see the Mi Headphones with your own eyes. Right out of the box, the headset comes with an extra set of earcups at a smaller size, which is perfect for people who do not like the large cups it comes with (though that’s not likely). The 3.5mm audio cable is reinforced in cloth for extra durability and flexibility, and it is also detachable from the headphones – unlike the other models here, the Mi Headphones cable splits up into left and right audio, so you’ll have a dedicated 3.5mm audio cable attached on both ends of the cups. The earcups can tilt, which adds a little more comfort. With all these extras, the Mi Headphones comes with a bulky, semi-hard case for your accessories and headset.
The Mi Headphones’ audio performance is better than what the price indicates – so much that it’s almost on par with its peers in this shootout. The Mi Headphones has great depth – better than its peers, but it has trouble handling treble notes and higher frequencies with a mild tendency to crack.
It handles instruments well, thanks to its good soundstage. ‘Hotel California’ sounds bright and clear with instruments easily visualized. Tiesto’s ‘Element of Life’ showcased its solid bass, and it has a smooth gradient between different notes from the same synth. However, it cannot do Adele’s tracks easily, given how challenging her vocals are in the higher frequency range.