Mpow X5 review
The Mpow X5 are noise cancelling earbuds. They are designed to be used with a games console, a mobile phone or an MP3 player. The manufacturer is Mpow. They are based in the USA and are a relatively new company which started in 2015, known for their affordable and high-quality products. They are also known for their excellent customer service.
The earbuds themselves are a little larger than others in this price range, but not so big that they get in the way. The casing is made of plastic with a rubberised texture to give a better grip. This is good because as the earbuds are angled, they can be a little slippery. The earbud itself is turned so that it fits in your ear canal.
There is a clip attached to the wire which can be used to attach the earbuds to your clothes, which is useful if you are using these outdoors. On the other side of the wire, there is a control pad which can be used to pause/play music and answer calls. The control pad has a light on it which flashes when you have a call or message, but it does not tell you who is calling or messaging you.
- ✓ Fit type: In-ear
- ✓ Connection: Wireless/Wired
- ✓ Colors: Black
- ✓ Excellent sound quality and noise cancelling.
The earbuds come with noise cancellation, which can be turned on using the control pad. There is a small microphone on one side of the earbud which picks up ambient noise and sends this to a built-in processor which cancels out the noise before sending it to your ears.
The noise cancellation can only be used when you have music playing; it does not work when you are on a call. There is also a sound tube in the wire which allows the sound of the music and the ambient noise to mix before reaching your ears; this is what gives the impression that you can hear things around you when you have music playing.
The benefit of this is that you do not need to turn off the noise cancellation to hear things around you. Still, it does mean that if you want to listen to music without outside interference, then turning off noise cancellation is probably better for you.
These earbuds come only in black. The Mpow X5 earbuds fit into your ears using a hook which goes behind your ear and gently presses your earlobe against the side of your head. The clips are made from silicon, so they tend to be quite soft and comfortable to wear for long periods.
One of the better design features of these earbuds is the range of ear tips supplied with them. They include a set of rubber foam pads, as well as silicone tips with multiple holes to allow air to flow through. The foam pads allow you to get a good seal in your ear canal, blocking out more external noise, whilst the silicone tips are great for a more comfortable fit and better sound quality.
Coming from Mpow, the earbuds are reasonably well built, and their design is rugged. They are clearly designed to be used in extreme conditions, and they do feel tough enough to survive most common accidents. They come with a range of accessories which include a charging cable, a shirt clip, a charging case and different ear tips. The charging case is particularly useful as it allows you to store the earbuds safely while they are not in use.
The earbuds are angled so that they fit snugly into your ears. I found that they were comfier than my previous earbuds; they do not leave any pressure points in my ears unless I have them in for many hours at a time.
They do not keep falling out of my ears, but I think this depends on how well they fit into your ears. If they do not fit properly, then it will be possible for them to fall out if you are moving around or doing something physical. These earbuds were designed with active people in mind, so they should be able to cope with most physical activities. They have been specifically designed so that sweat will not damage them or reduce their performance.
How do they sound?
The Mpow X5 have an excellent sound quality considering their price tag, as well as being fantastic quality for background noise cancellation and passive isolation (blocking out background noise).
You would expect the sound quality to suffer when using noise cancellation as there will be some “processing” going on before delivering sound to your ears, but this does not appear to be noticeable here.
These earbuds also have good bass response as well as clarity across all frequencies, which is excellent considering their price tag.
On top of this, you get very long battery life (upwards of 12 hours) which allows multiple charges between recharges so these earbuds can last for multiple days without needing a recharge when used moderately (or even longer if used more sparingly).
Overall these are excellent sounding earbuds that deliver an impressive sound quality at an affordable price tag.
Do they have a microphone?
These earbuds do have a microphone built-in so you can use them with mobile phones or games consoles to make phone calls. They come with an audio cable which allows you to plug them into an audio source such as an MP3 player, games console or PC without having to charge them first (they need charging once every 3-4 days).
The inline microphone works well when making calls on my mobile phone or using voice commands through Siri on my iPhone 6s plus using these headphones instead of my normal Apple Airpods or wired headphones.
It does not pick up much background noise while I am making calls (which is good because I live next to train tracks), but this may be due to me wearing them over-ear rather than inside my ears, although I did try both ways without any noticeable difference in call quality.
There was no noticeable difference between having these headphones connected by Bluetooth (rather than being connected by the audio cable) when making calls or using Siri either. Overall these headphones are very good at making phone calls, and it makes them extremely versatile because they work with games consoles too instead of just mobile phones like most Bluetooth earbuds.
What about wireless?
The Mpow X5 earbuds are Bluetooth 5.0 compatible. They are supposed to be connected by Bluetooth, but they do come with an audio cable to allow you to connect them to an audio source such as a games console or PC without having to charge them first.
The Bluetooth range is excellent, I was able to control my music from my iPhone 6s plus while the phone was in my pocket and around 10 feet away from me. There was no noticeable interference while I was using these earbuds, and it seems like they will work well for most Bluetooth use cases. Failing that you can connect them to a device via the audio cable if you do not want to use Bluetooth.
How good is the case?
The case that comes with the Mpow X5 is a soft-touch plastic case which will protect your earbuds from most knocks and drops as well as keeping them clean and dust-free. It has a small hole at the bottom so you can charge your earbuds while they are in the case and also a tiny hole on the top so you can hear music from the speaker on your phone or MP3 player through the case when you are not wearing your earbuds.
This means that you can listen to music without having your earbuds in if you want, but this does reduce battery life slightly. The case itself has a magnetic clasp which keeps it closed and strong enough to resist being opened by pets or small children (if it is set aside somewhere). Overall this case is excellent for keeping your earbuds safe and clean and frankly is a nice design.
What’s in the box?
The box comes with two earbuds, one USB to Micro USB charging cable, one small user manual, one soft-touch case and three pairs of ear tips. The earbuds come in a plastic tray inside the box, which is easy to open. In the plastic tray, there is a bit of foam padding underneath the earbuds so they won’t move around in transit and the charging cable is wrapped neatly around the foam padding. The foam padding also stops the case from moving around if it is included in the packaging.
Are they compatible with games consoles?
The Mpow X5 are compatible with most games consoles as they have a built-in microphone. Some consoles require an adapter, but the Mpow X5 come with an adaptor already packaged with them. The adaptor can be attached to either earbud and will result in clear calls and voice comms on your gaming headset. It has been tested with Xbox One, PS4 and mobile devices.
Should I buy them?
The Mpow X5 are excellent wireless Bluetooth 5.0 earbuds which produce great sound, have a remarkable battery life, come with a charging cable as well as a soft-touch case (which also allows you to listen to music through it when you don’t have your earbuds in).
They also come with built-in noise-cancelling technology to reduce ambient sounds.
The sound quality for music is excellent for such small earbuds as well as being very good for gaming headsets and phone calls (which are clearer than on most other earphones).
The noise-cancelling works well and reduces ambient noise, but it isn’t perfect so don’t expect it to block out all of the background noise when using them on public transport or walking down a busy street etc.
They are very comfortable to wear for long periods thanks to their lightweight and soft silicon tips which sit inside your ears without any discomfort or uneasiness.