Xiaomi’s attempt at the wireless earbuds segment, the Mi True Wireless Earphones pack a bunch of exciting features like splash and sweat resistance at an attractive price tag while employing a design very similar to that of the Apple AirPods, but bigger in size.
The Mi True Wireless Earphones come in a similar casing like the AirPods, except that it’s twice as thick a box compared to the latter. The front of the case houses a bright white LED light that blinks in different patterns to notify the user of different things like the pairing and battery status. The USB-C port for charging can be found at the bottom of the case, while the right side has a button that initiates device pairing.
The lid of the case that the wireless earphones come in snaps shut using a magnetic mechanism that keeps them snug – once closed the case won’t open on shaking or any or vigorous movement that doesn’t involve flipping it open. However, the lid is attached to a spring-loaded hinge that feels a bit too loose and might scare users that it’s about to fall off (though it doesn’t!).
Mi True Wireless Earphones have a sleek and tall-ish design compared to their apple counterpart and are more prominent in every dimension. The thick, long stalks of the earbuds house the electronics and radio modules for Bluetooth, while the main speaker units have the battery and the driver.
Xiaomi’s wireless earphones offer in-ear style design (unlike the AirPods) with silicon tips that come in three different sizes, like the traditional wired in-ear style earphones – they don’t really go all the way in like the regular ones, but more like halfway. The seal feel isn’t the most fitted, but they definitely don’t fall out, so you’ve got nothing to worry about in that department. The surface on the side of the earbuds is a touchpad, which means users can tap on that to perform various functions.
Mi True Wireless Earphones are quite comfortable to wear for long durations, so much so that sometimes you even forget that you have them on! Moreover, they come with an IPX4 certification – they are both sweat resistant, as well as splash resistant, making everyday usage a whole lot easier.
Controls and Software
The Mi True Wireless Earphones are smart and can automatically detect when you’ve put them on – you’ll know from the small tone that is played at the time. Also, they will automatically pause playing whatever you’re listening to as soon as you remove them – even if you remove one of the earbuds. However, the playback wouldn’t resume when you put them back on, that’s something you’ll have to do manually.
Coming to the touchpad on the side surface of the earphones and the controls present there – double tap to play or pause what’s playing, press and hold to activate or deactivate the active noise cancelling feature. Users can even activate their voice assistant with these earphones. Since these controls are small and not visible to the user when the earphones are in use, they can be easy to miss at times, but that’s really just more of a practice and familiarity issue than anything else.
One major drawback of the Mi True Wireless Earphones is that they have no separate application for your device that they can be linked to for helping users unlock additional features and customizations – this also means that there is no way to upgrade their software.
As we discussed earlier, the Mi True Wireless Earphones come with an active noise cancelling feature that can be activated or deactivated through the earbud touch panels. This feature is quite effective in low-frequency settings, and you’d genuinely be able to shut out the background noise in home and office settings. However, in crowded and public settings, it may not prove to be so useful.
Xiaomi’s latest wireless earphones offer decent sounding quality with a relatively full-bodied bass that can be enjoyed best in the mid-range space. Vocals are projected with more clarity, and that’s just perfect for podcasts and audiobooks. The low-end misses out a bit because of the not-so-firm seal from the silicone tips, this not owing much to the audio quality. The highs are decent but can sometimes be a tad bit muddy. The imaging performance is impressive with the Mi True Wireless Earphones, and the sound stage is right, too. While, in a few ways, they are definitely an improvement over the AirPods, but in some ways, they are also a regression.
One problem with these wireless earphones from Xiaomi is their latency. While listening to audio files is smooth with these, watching videos can be a pain due to the lag. The discrepancy with video and audio synchronization is so evident and annoying that it becomes quite a task to comprehend videos watched using these. Maybe it’s an issue in the earlier versions that Xiaomi will be able to fix in the newer models.
Mi True Wireless Earphones take up to an hour to charge entirely when completely discharged. On a full charge, they can deliver around 3 hours of continuous playback and up to 10 hours with the battery inside the case. This makes them great for activities like working out, given that they are sweat resistant as well.
Mi True Wireless Earphones are a great buy if you’re looking for wireless earphones in particular. Let’s not forget the fact that they are priced at almost half the amount one has to shell out for Apple Airpods, despite being better than them in a few aspects. Their build quality is actually good, and one can expect some genuinely incredible wireless earphone offerings from Xiaomi in the time to come, considering this is their first attempt at this style of audio accessories.