Ears on with the Xiaomi Piston Earphones


Xiaomi extended their range of products this year with the launch of the Xiaomi Piston earphones. Here are our impressions of these CNC alloy earbuds.

I love listening to music and feel my varied choice in musical genres gives me enough knowledge give my opinion on Xiaomi’s first home-brewed earphones. My ears aren’t tuned to the same degree as a true audiophile so I’m not going to give you the full in’s and outs, just my opinion on these affordable CNC earphones.

Whats in the box!

Xiaomi have employed the service of 1moredesign to create they packaging and (I believe) the look of the Piston earphones.

xiaomi piston earphones review

The plastic box consists of a clear removable lid and back plastic rear. There are studs moulded in to the rear where Xiaomi have included 3 paris of additional rubber tips. One set of tips are designed specifically for phone use, while the other 2 (3 including the pair already fitted) are for enjoying music.

xiaomi piston earphones review

When you open the lid of the box your will find your Piston Earphones wrapped around a specially designed rubber winder. The winder is available in different colours and even has it’s own set of instructions so you can safely remove and rewind the wires.

Design

The Piston Earphones are made of high-quality materials which should see them outlast much equally priced alternatives.

xiaomi piston earphones review

CNC alloy ear pieces are on the large size, but they are lightweight and comfortable to wear.

xiaomi piston earphones review

An machined alloy handle on the, gold-plated, headphone jack gives plenty of grip to price the earphones out even the most stubborn of 3.5mm headphone jacks. Actually the machining might actually be a little to abrasive, so watch you don’t slip while trying to pull them out!

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As well as machined alloy, Xiaomi have also gone for a Kevlar cord to protect the wires. This allows the cable to be much more flexible and freer moving than a tradition plastic wire, while also being a lot stronger and more resistant to being pulled or caught.

xiaomi piston earphones review

The cord features a machined alloy remote with 3 press buttons. 2 on one side which are used to adjust the volume, and one on the opposite side for other functions. Pressing this single button once while listening to music will move you on to the next track, while a long press on the home screen will active Google Now’s voice search (if you have it installed) allowing you to use voice commands via the built-in microphone.

Performance

The Piston earphones are really excellent. Sound quality is excellent and they offer a rich deep bass. My preferred musical choice since using the Pistons has been House music and Drum N Bass, and the pistons have sounded wonderful!

xiaomi piston earphones review

There is no sound leakage from the rubber tips from either side i.e music isn’t getting out and exterior sounds don’t manage to disturb the music so extra vigilance is needed if you are walking around busy streets!

I would have liked the remote to come with a built-in clip as the flexible Kevlar cable does tend to bounce around more than plastic, but this is hardly a deal breaker!

Conclusion

Like all of Xiaomi’s products, they have managed to create something which performs better than the competition, offer great materials and quality and costs a fraction of what the competition is asking!

Xiaomi Piston earphones are available directly from Xiaomi (in China) at just 99 yuan ($16)!

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86 Comments

  1. September 12, 2013

    much better looking tha apple..hope sound is better. A shootout between these 2 will be a good read..

  2. Lordx
    September 12, 2013

    With which earphones you can compete these? SoundMagic E10, aJays Two, Klipsch image S4/S3….? I am very interested about these ones!

    • September 12, 2013

      Judging by the cost, I’d say these would sound similar to the SoundMagic PL11’s

      • OPWar
        September 12, 2013

        It isn’t true, the quality of these earphones are very similar to new apple earphones who comes with the iphone 5. If you buy an Apple earphone that costs 99 dollars, very expensive
        Sorry for my english

        • Ace
          September 12, 2013

          Apple earphones are generally REALLY bad. Currently the sony XBA1 is on clearance and the XBA2 is around 50 bucks. There’s also a lot of other stuff and the black friday sale of logitech TF10 is coming up in a few months.

          • anony
            September 13, 2013

            Actually their dual driver BA IEM are respectable for the price.

  3. Jack
    September 12, 2013

    Hello! Just 2 questions… Different phones uses different polarities on the 3.5 jack, so will these earphones work on my new thl w8s? Are there online shop that sells them and ship worldwide? Thanks

    • September 12, 2013

      All Android phones use a standard set so you needn’t worry. If I’m not wrong they use the TSSR type. Assuming Xiaomi use the standard too

      • peppirù
        September 14, 2013

        unfortunately that’s not true…just try a sony headphone on samsung, or an lg to a sony and so on…they won’t work, you have to keep pressed the mic button all the time to hear good because different brands uses an inverted contact on the jack…same thing as iphones 🙁

  4. zgz
    September 12, 2013

    Kevlar? are you sure? bullet proof wire sleeve?

    • Joomba
      September 12, 2013

      If you know only this utilization of this branded material, you play way too much at video games.
      Maybe you should google it and read wikipedia 🙂

    • September 12, 2013

      Kevlar is quite common, it is used as the bead in bicycle tyres, on certain clothing etc. I doubt the weave on the earphones is bullet proof though.

    • September 12, 2013

      Counter Strike.

    • September 29, 2013

      kevlar is 2 times weaker than carbon, WHICH is 8 times stronger than steel. So kevlar is 4 times stronger than steel. All is calculated in the equality of masses.

      • October 9, 2013

        Cheers..!!! conversion lesion for you guys…!!!!

  5. September 12, 2013

    Can I use it on Zopo phone? I tried my samsung handsfree and it doesn’t work..

    • Robin
      September 12, 2013

      Did you order them directly from the website?

      • September 12, 2013

        I tried my Samsung handsfree on Zopo phone and it doesn’t work. I am wantering if someone used Xiaomi piston on ZOPO phone so I know before I order.

        BTW, they are available in several stores for below $30 shipped internationally

  6. hendrik
    September 12, 2013

    Where to buy them (genuine) with international shipping?

  7. RavenEffect
    September 12, 2013

    Hi Andy. Maybe you could bring up some facts and comparisons with other In Ear phones, possibly working with someone who is an expert in Audio tech.

    • September 12, 2013

      that would be nice, but I don’t know anyone…

      • September 12, 2013

        MP4nation, if they are near you 😀
        I think the guy running the business is American

  8. Simon
    September 12, 2013

    Andi were they included as part of your goodie bag from the Xiaomi launch event ?
    Which music player do you use on your Xiaomi ?

    • September 12, 2013

      No, I bought them. I use the MIUI music player

      • Simon
        September 12, 2013

        Ah ok fine.

  9. September 12, 2013

    Thanks Andi! I guess I know what to get when my stock ones go bad!

  10. Guest
    September 12, 2013

    much better looking tha apple..hope sound is better. A shootout between these 2 will be a good read..

  11. Zbyněk Polívka
    September 12, 2013

    With which earphones you can compete these? SoundMagic E10, aJays Two, Klipsch image S4/S3….? I am very interested about these ones!

    • Yash Garg
      September 12, 2013

      Judging by the cost, I’d say these would sound similar to the SoundMagic PL11’s

    • Guest
      September 13, 2013

      It isn’t true, the quality of these earphones are very similar to new apple earphones who comes with the iphone 5. If you buy an Apple earphone that costs 99 dollars, very expensive
      Sorry for my english

    • Guest
      September 13, 2013

      Apple earphones are generally REALLY bad. Currently the sony XBA1 is on clearance and the XBA2 is around 50 bucks. There’s also a lot of other stuff and the black friday sale of logitech TF10 is coming up in a few months.

    • Guest
      September 13, 2013

      Actually their dual driver BA IEM are respectable for the price.

  12. Guest
    September 12, 2013

    Hello! Just 2 questions… Different phones uses different polarities on the 3.5 jack, so will these earphones work on my new thl w8s? Are there online shop that sells them and ship worldwide? Thanks

    • Yash Garg
      September 12, 2013

      All Android phones use a standard set so you needn’t worry. If I’m not wrong they use the TSSR type. Assuming Xiaomi use the standard too

    • Guest
      September 14, 2013

      unfortunately that’s not true…just try a sony headphone on samsung, or an lg to a sony and so on…they won’t work, you have to keep pressed the mic button all the time to hear good because different brands uses an inverted contact on the jack…same thing as iphones 🙁

  13. Guest
    September 12, 2013

    Kevlar? are you sure? bullet proof wire sleeve?

    • Guest
      September 12, 2013

      If you know only this utilization of this branded material, you play way too much at video games.
      Maybe you should google it and read wikipedia 🙂

    • Guest
      September 12, 2013

      Kevlar is quite common, it is used as the bead in bicycle tyres, on certain clothing etc. I doubt the weave on the earphones is bullet proof though.

    • Yash Garg
      September 12, 2013

      Counter Strike.

    • Guest
      September 30, 2013

      kevlar is 2 times weaker than carbon, WHICH is 8 times stronger than steel. So kevlar is 4 times stronger than steel. All is calculated in the equality of masses.

    • Guest
      October 9, 2013

      Cheers..!!! conversion lesion for you guys…!!!!

  14. Guest
    September 12, 2013

    Can I use it on Zopo phone? I tried my samsung handsfree and it doesn’t work..

    • Guest
      September 12, 2013

      Did you order them directly from the website?

    • Guest
      September 12, 2013

      I tried my Samsung handsfree on Zopo phone and it doesn’t work. I am wantering if someone used Xiaomi piston on ZOPO phone so I know before I order.

      BTW, they are available in several stores for below $30 shipped internationally

  15. anony
    September 12, 2013

    Can you hear vocal (male and female) clearly? Or is it clouded by the bass? How about cymbals? Does it sounds right (tsss)?

  16. Guest
    September 12, 2013

    Where to buy them (genuine) with international shipping?

  17. ivo001
    September 12, 2013

    What is the best place to get them for international shipping?

    I recently bought Sennheiser CX 250, but for $16 i would like to but these Xiaomi Pistons as a backup.

    However the cheapest i can find is $26

    http://www.spemall.com/Original-Xiaomi-Piston-Earphone-Headphone-with-Remote-Mic-For-XIAOMI-MI2-MI2S-MI2A-Mi1S-M1-Phones_g.html

    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-shipping-xiaomi-XIAOMI-Piston-Earphone-Headphone-with-Remote-Mic-For-XIAOMI-MI2-MI2S-MI2A-Mi1S/1131104654.html

    Anyone found better/cheaper? Xiaomi site only ships to china

  18. Guest
    September 12, 2013

    Hi Andy. Maybe you could bring up some facts and comparisons with other In Ear phones, possibly working with someone who is an expert in Audio tech.

    • Guest
      September 12, 2013

      that would be nice, but I don’t know anyone…

    • Guest
      September 12, 2013

      MP4nation, if they are near you 😀
      I think the guy running the business is American

  19. Guest
    September 12, 2013

    Andi were they included as part of your goodie bag from the Xiaomi launch event ?
    Which music player do you use on your Xiaomi ?

    • Guest
      September 12, 2013

      No, I bought them. I use the MIUI music player

    • Guest
      September 12, 2013

      Ah ok fine.

  20. Yash Garg
    September 12, 2013

    Thanks Andi! I guess I know what to get when my stock ones go bad!

  21. Guest
    September 12, 2013

    Can you hear vocal (male and female) clearly? Or is it clouded by the bass? How about cymbals? Does it sounds right (tsss)?

  22. Guest
    September 12, 2013

    What is the best place to get them for international shipping?

    I recently bought Sennheiser CX 250, but for $16 i would like to but these Xiaomi Pistons as a backup.

    However the cheapest i can find is $26

    http://www.spemall.com/Original-Xiaomi-Piston-Earphone-Headphone-with-Remote-Mic-For-XIAOMI-MI2-MI2S-MI2A-Mi1S-M1-Phones_g.html

    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-shipping-xiaomi-XIAOMI-Piston-Earphone-Headphone-with-Remote-Mic-For-XIAOMI-MI2-MI2S-MI2A-Mi1S/1131104654.html

    Anyone found better/cheaper? Xiaomi site only ships to china

  23. hven
    September 13, 2013

    didn’t know you like drum and bass too!!!!

    • September 13, 2013

      Yep letting all my secrets out 😉

  24. Guest
    September 13, 2013

    didn’t know you like drum and bass too!!!!

    • Guest
      September 14, 2013

      Yep letting all my secrets out 😉

  25. Melo
    September 14, 2013

    Can I use it with the Jiayu g4?

    • OPWar
      September 14, 2013

      Of course, you can use it with all smartphones that have a 3.5 jack port
      http://i41.tinypic.com/insnl5.jpg

      • Giorgio
        September 16, 2013

        is it true? even with iPhones?

  26. Guest
    September 14, 2013

    Can I use it with the Jiayu g4?

    • Guest
      September 14, 2013

      Of course, you can use it with all smartphones that have a 3.5 jack port
      http://i41.tinypic.com/insnl5.jpg

    • Guest
      September 16, 2013

      is it true? even with iPhones?

  27. Eid
    September 16, 2013

    94dB ? this is pathetic.

  28. Guest
    September 16, 2013

    94dB ? this is pathetic.

  29. Daniel
    September 17, 2013

    Are they compatible with other smartphones?

    • September 17, 2013

      They don’t work on iPhone, they work on the FAEA F2

  30. Guest
    September 18, 2013

    Are they compatible with other smartphones?

    • Guest
      September 18, 2013

      They don’t work on iPhone, they work on the FAEA F2

  31. DJJitta
    September 21, 2013

    Are these only compatible witrh the MI2(s)/red rice or also MI3? Thinking of buying them with my next month buy of a MI2S/MI3 (still doubting which one to get, size, unibody/no removable battery) during visit to HKG.

  32. Guest
    September 22, 2013

    Are these only compatible witrh the MI2(s)/red rice or also MI3? Thinking of buying them with my next month buy of a MI2S/MI3 (still doubting which one to get, size, unibody/no removable battery) during visit to HKG.

  33. AddiB
    November 21, 2013

    Hey Andi did you get them directly from Xiaomi or did you buy them from a third party instead.
    I’m asking as your pistons got the same sticker on the back as mine, with the declaration of weight telling you that they are 11g. Xiaomi posted an article (http://bbs.xiaomi.cn/thread-8484817-1-1.html) on how to determine if your Pistons are fake or not.
    There they show a picture of the label of a counterfeit version which is labelled as 11g next to the label of a real one which is labelled as 96g.

    Do you now anything about this as I’m not really shure if we have bought counterfeit products or not.

    • November 22, 2013

      I bought them from the online Xiaomi store so they better had be real!

      • AddiB
        November 22, 2013

        Then probably someone at Xiaomi screwed up while taking the pictures!

        • AddiB
          November 22, 2013

          I just spoke to the fulcrumall support and they told me that they contacted the author of the article to change it, as Xiaomi changed the declaration of weight on newer batches.

  34. Guest
    November 21, 2013

    Hey Andi did you get them directly from Xiaomi or did you buy them from a third party instead.
    I’m asking as your pistons got the same sticker on the back as mine, with the declaration of weight telling you that they are 11g. Xiaomi posted an article (http://bbs.xiaomi.cn/thread-8484817-1-1.html) on how to determine if your Pistons are fake or not.
    There they show a picture of the label of a counterfeit version which is labelled as 11g next to the label of a real one which is labelled as 96g.

    Do you now anything about this as I’m not really shure if we have bought counterfeit products or not.

    • Andi Sykes
      November 22, 2013

      I bought them from the online Xiaomi store so they better had be real!

    • Guest
      November 22, 2013

      Then probably someone at Xiaomi screwed up while taking the pictures!

    • Guest
      November 22, 2013

      I just spoke to the fulcrumall support and they told me that they contacted the author of the article to change it, as Xiaomi changed the declaration of weight on newer batches.

  35. Shaunuss
    November 22, 2013

    Well I got a set of pistons and so far I’m annoyed because the music is all half muted and weird sounding unless I HOLD the lone button on the remote control thing. Now I need to find out a workaround, otherwise the earphones are all but useless.

    • Vince_vd
      December 4, 2013

      This problem occurs on phones who don’t support audio controls/all types of audio control. You should look for a trs to trrs adapter, google it 😉
      Or you could just put tape over the button so it stays pressed all the time, I did the same the first time I had this problem with earphones :p :p

  36. Guest
    November 22, 2013

    Well I got a set of pistons and so far I’m annoyed because the music is all half muted and weird sounding unless I HOLD the lone button on the remote control thing. Now I need to find out a workaround, otherwise the earphones are all but useless.

    • Guest
      December 4, 2013

      This problem occurs on phones who don’t support audio controls/all types of audio control. You should look for a trs to trrs adapter, google it 😉
      Or you could just put tape over the button so it stays pressed all the time, I did the same the first time I had this problem with earphones :p :p