Review: mpow Magneto bluetooth headphones

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by cmsj, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. cmsj macrumors regular

    cmsj

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    #1
    tl;dr - these are really surprisingly good, cheap headphones. Read on for more...

    Headphone cables are just the worst, they dangle all around and get caught on things and get all tangled and awful. Obviously the answer is to go wireless, but that can be a pretty expensive proposition, particularly if you go for a recognisable brand (which turns out to be no guarantee of anything in the audio world).

    I've used a number of different pairs of wireless headphones over the years, from the solid bands that run behind your head, to very expensive Jaybirds. My latest pair is the mpow Magneto, which they sent me to review. You can buy them from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014XM6HXE for somewhere in the $32 range.

    The presentation in the box is nice, when you open it you just see the headphones themselves, with everything else hidden away underneath. You get an excellent selection of sizes of the rubber ear tips and (if your ears need them, which my gigantic lugs do) soft wings to help secure the headphones.

    It's two identical/symmetrical rounded rectangular boxes, from which the ear buds protrude. They fit nicely in my ears, without being too heavy, or feeling cheap/breakable. The little rubber flap covering the micro USB charging port is easy enough to open, without feeling like it's going to fall apart within a few months.

    The short, goes-behind-your-neck, cable connecting the two units is very flat, which seems to work well, and it has the usual three button controller and microphone just below the right hand ear. You'd think that having the microphone round the side of your head would be a problem, but not so much, callers can head me very well.

    Battery life on anything this small is never going to be amazing, but I was able to get through a day of listening to music/podcasts all the time I was outside, without a problem, which is all I think is reasonable to ask of wireless headphones (remember kids, it's not a good idea to have headphones in or on your ears all day!)

    So, that's all of the physical aspects of the headphones covered, but what about the really important part - the sound?

    Put simply, I was surprised - I expected a $30 pair of headphones to sound cheap. As I write this, I'm listening to Thelonius Monk and I can hear every crisp tap on the high hat at the top end, and every thumping finger of the bass on the low end, with the trumpet sounding clear in the middle.

    Switching to a much quieter track - a song by Mazzy Star, accompanied only by a plucked acoustic guitar and a violin, the sound is also very vibrant and clear. There's a very slight background hiss which seems to be coming from the headphones themselves, something that you can only really notice when the music stops, but if you're moving or are outside, you won't notice it. Hopefully mpow can address that in the future anyway.

    For the big finale, something much louder and more raucous, I turn to Brant Bjork & The Low Desert Punk Band. This is pretty heavy stuff, but it still all sounds clear. The drums/cymbals sound as clear as they did with Monk, the distorted guitar sounds as gritty and grinding as it should, and the vocals soar above. Cranking the volume to levels that come close to uncomfortable reveals some inequality in the sound - the mids come to dominate, but dropping one or two levels to something far more reasonable, quickly restores the balance.

    Seriously, this is very impressive stuff. You can certainly buy better headphones, but they will be costing you 5x - 10x the price of these (which I think is a very serious case of diminishing returns). If you're someone who listens to music or spoken word on the move, I would very strongly encourage you to get wireless headphones, and I would recommend these as a much-more-than-adequate set to get you started. It's also right around the time to be buying this sort of thing as a Christmas gift!
     
  2. Rocko9999 macrumors regular

    Rocko9999

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Location:
    Death Valley ca.
    #2
    These are the updated version of the Mpow Swift which are a killer deal. Might check these out.
     
  3. eyeseeyou macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    #3
    I've learned that headphones with this design, at least for me, begin to tug on my ear because the controls are dangling off the side.

    Seen a lot of nice looking pairs though.
     
  4. pacorob macrumors 65816

    pacorob

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    Location:
    the Netherlands
    #4
    I've been using the Mpow Magneto since end of 2015 but I keep getting connection issues with my iPhone 5s and iPad mini2 both running iOS9.3.2.
    Sometimes it connects instantly but in a lot of cases I cannot connect although I see the Mpow mentioned in the bluetooth devices on my iDevices. My devices have been paired earlier so that can't be it.
    I decided to contact the company which sold it via Amazon (Germany) to either supply an alternative version. I do like the build of the remote/earbuds though although I don't like it that you can't hear your surrounding sounds when I'm on the bike from home to work.

    Does anyone has another great alternative (brand/type) with a remote to skip tracks/change volume can be both cord or bluetooth. I've tried quite a few throughout the last years but most of them fell apart after a few weeks unfortunately. I know 30/35 euro/dollar isn't much but you would think that they last for more then a few weeks.
     

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