If there’s one thing Xiaomi stands for, it’s value for money. Whatever happens, if you buy a Xiaomi device, you know that you get what you pay for and that the device will be simple to use and very functional.
This description also applies perfectly to the Mi Neckband Bluetooth headphones.
Retail at Rs 1,999 (Rs 1600 during the sales), the Mi Neckband Bluetooth headphones promise 8 hours of battery life from a 120mAh battery, 2 hours of charging time, Bluetooth 5.0, support for protocols like A2DP and a range of 10m.
The design is quite simple. You get a standard design on the collar with ear cups on flexible cords. Volume controls and on / off buttons are found on the main body, and there’s a microUSB port for charging. This port has a dust cover.
To be honest, I think the design needs some improvement. The collar bit is stiff and doesn’t sit as comfortably as, say, the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 set, and the buttons are a bit sticky and not responding properly. The earpiece magnets are also very weak and not very good at holding heads together.
While connectivity is good, note that the set doesn’t directly control your Android phone’s volume, and the tracks don’t automatically pause when you engage the earphone magnets. To do this, you need to press a separate button. It’s a bit of a pain on an iPhone because play / pause is unresponsive via the button.
For volume control, it is best to set your phone volume to maximum and then control the gain with the headphones.
But again this is a set that costs Rs 1,999 and I’m happy to live with those tradeoffs considering the sound quality.
Speaking of sound quality, I was pleasantly surprised by its quality.
The music is well balanced with a strong bass touch, and I think the sound is a bit flat overall as well. But that’s the opinion of someone listening on a dedicated home audio setup that includes a DAC and studio-grade headphones. For general listening, especially on a daily commute, I have no complaints. Passive isolation removes much of the ambient noise and there is nothing glaring about the sound signature. Picky listeners will have complaints, but they’re not going to spend the money on a low-budget wireless set to begin with.
For comparison, the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 do sound better, but they cost Rs 6,000 and they are certainly not three times better than the Mi Neckband set.
Verdict: they are worth it
The Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones are not a set that will blow your mind, but at Rs 1,999 what will? It’s a very reasonably priced set with a nice sound signature, and for the price, it’s more than you might reasonably expect.
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