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Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro Review: Democratizing ANC For The Price-Conscious
The Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro comes across as a refreshing new audio product amidst the wave of budget true wireless earbuds. Priced at just Rs. 1,799, the successor to the 2019's Mi neckband earphones is powered by 10mm drivers and comes equipped with both ANC and ENC, a feature missing on affordable earphones. The budget neckband packs an IPX4 rated splash and sweatproof design, voice assistant support, and claims a playback time of up to 20-hours on a one-full charge.
- Powerful Audio Delivery
- Thumping Bass
- IPX5 Splash-Sweat Resistant Design
- Decent ANC On Budget
- Long Battery Life
- Bass Can Be Overwhelming
- Dated microUSB Charging Port
- ANC Could Have Been Implemented Better
The spec-sheet sheet seems quite alluring for sub-2K wireless neckband earphones but does it translate to good real-life performance? Let's find out.
Design And Fit- Basic Yet Functional
The Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro is designed with the low price-point in mind. The plastic build, low-quality rubber wires, and the overall look and feel aren't very inspiring; however, the design does not compromise on functionality. The soft textured rubber neckband sits comfortably on the neck and the lightweight of the earphones ensures a fatigue-less wearing experience. The earbuds have magnetic back panels that stick together when you are not using them.
IPX5 Rated For Splash-Water Resistance
The top portion of the base plastic that houses buttons and ports has a brushed metal sort of finish which adds a premium touch. The plastic buttons offer good tactile feedback and the overall design is IPX5 rated for splash and sweat resistance. You can wear this budget neckband while working out without worrying about any form of water damage. Xiaomi offers three pairs of silicone tips in the box to let you find the right fit according to your ear shape. The default ones offered a very comfortable wearing experience. The earbuds have an anti-blockage design to prevent tiny particles seep inside the speakers.
Controls- Decent Tactile Feedback
The right side of the neckband houses all controls and the left side has been kept empty. It houses volume controls, a power button, a microphone, and a microUSB charging port protected by a rubber flap. The microUSB charging port is quite dated in 2021 even at this budget price-point. Moving on, the inside of the right module also offers a dedicated button to enable/disable ANC.
As far as connectivity is concerned, the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro uses Bluetooth 5.0 and supports SBC and AAC codecs. We did not experience any connection drops or other connectivity-related issues during our testing period. The Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro offers a seamless and stable wireless connection.
Audio Performance And Voice Calls Experience
Similar to most budget wireless earphones, the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro has a bass-heavy sound signature. The sound profile has a warmer tone to it with thumping bass response, clear mids, and decent highs. These budget wireless earphones sound quite musical and offer an enjoyable listening experience with most popular genres; however, the booming bass can be overwhelming to serious audiophiles, especially if you are not a bass head.
In vocals-centric tracks with little focus on low-end frequencies, you could experience good details and clarity.
The audio gets fairly loud, thanks to bigger 10mm drivers. Switching on the ANC only slightly improves the audio delivery. The mediocre ANC only cancels out very low audible frequencies from the ambient noise. It only has a minor effect on the surrounding noise and mostly consumes battery life for no good value.
As far as voice call performance is concerned, the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro offer good microphone clarity that allows for clean voice call delivery. We did not experience any call-related issues on the budget neckband. In fact, these are some of the best budget wireless earphones for voice calls.
The Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro is powered by a 150mAh battery cell that lasted for a little more than 14-hours on one full charge with my usage type. We streamed music at 80-90% volume with ANC turned on. If you disable the ANC or stream music at 50-60% volume, the earphones can last for 18-20 hours on one full charge. There's no fast-charge support for these budget earphones and it takes around 90-minutes to charge the battery from flat to 100%.
The Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro is strictly for consumers who are tight on budget. This budget pair of wireless earphones offers wearing comfort, a long-lasting battery, and a crystal clear voice call experience. The mediocre ANC and bass-heavy music isn't the most ideal combination for serious music listeners, but that's quite understandable as Xiaomi isn't targeting true audiophiles at this price-point.
Overall, the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro is a decent deal in the sub-2K price bracket for the masses. If you are looking for slightly better overall performance, the Realme Buds Wireless Pro (Rs. 3,999) is worth considering.