Xiaomi’s version 3 of the piston range sees a complete redesign, higher weight and much more comfortable feel. Learn more in our ears on review.
Xiaomi have been making earphones for a few years now. They started with the all alloy Piston 1 then Piston 2 leading up to the new Piston 3 with an all new design.
Xiaomi Piston 3 Review: Design
At the ear end of things the Xiaomi Piston 3 are completely different in looks to the previous generation earphone, start at the other end though and we find some familiar features.
The 3.5mm headphone jack is all metal with a knurled machined finish on the headphone jack cover for better grip, and the plug itself is a 3.5mm gold plated model.
Leading from the plug are the wires to the remote and earphones. The wires get a Kevlar housing which is strong, flexible and is more tangle resistant than a regular plastic cover. My previous ver 1.0 Pistons suffered from broken wires under the Kevlar, these new versions have last a few months of poor maintenance without issue.
Around 3/4 along the cable the wire splits to two rubber coated wires that ultimately lead to the left and right earphone.
Further up on the right side we have a simple remote with 3 buttons for starting, stopping and skipping songs. The plastic bodied remote has the same knurled finish as the headphone jack and there is also a microphone built-in for hands free calling.
The earphones themselves are quite the departure from the original Pistons. They still feature an alloy rear, but are much more compact than the older CNC models. The Piston 3.0 are also much lighter and sit in place more securely than the older versions too.
Like most earphones the Piston 3.0 have a silicone tip, and a couple of different sizes are included in the package so you can get a nice comfortable feel.
Xiaomi Piston 3.0 review – Sound
Compared to the previous Piston, the Xiaomi Piston 3 are a more balanced earphone. They aren’t as bass happy as the originals, but they do handle mids and lows better than the previous generation.
Being a fan of Drum and Bass I thought the slightly subdued Bass might turn me off, but overall the sound quality, and clarity has been well beyond what I expected.
I do feel that the new compact design of the Piston 3 has taken a bit of the edge off the overall sound when compared to the Piston 2, but the trade-off is a better fitting and more comfortable earphone that I cast use while cycling and jogging.
I tested the earphones on the Xiaomi Mi Note and LeTV Le1 and was really stunned by the audio quality, but even on lower end models (Ulefone BeTouch) the audio is darn good too.
Another drawback of the new Piston 3.0 design is sound leakage. Previous Piston earphones never resulted in my wife hitting me over the head with a pillow and asking if I wanted to go deaf. Explaining that earphones with better sound isolation would cost hundreds of $s more than the Xiaomi Piston 3.0 soon put an end to that though.
Xiaomi Piston 3.0 review – Conclusion
The Xiaomi Piston 3 are a much better looking, and better fitting earphone than the previous generation Piston 2 and they retain their low price. While the older earphone might offer slightly richer sound, they are also more bulky and aren’t as secure when using in active situations, such as jogging and cycling.
Although bass is a little more subdued in the Piston 3.0 the overall audio quality cannot be denied. Overall a great looking and well-balanced earphone from Xiaomi at a wonderful price.
Thanks to Flosmall for sending the review pair over, and for offering a %50 discount to the first 10 customers buying the Piston 3 using the special code: gizpiston
- Design - 9/109/10
- Comfort - 10/1010/10
- Performance - 9/109/10
- Value for money - 10/1010/10