Xiaomi Mi Headphones Review


xiaomi mi headphone review

One of the few Xiaomi products that is open for official sale in Europe and the U.S are the Xiaomi Mi Headphones, at $80 – $100 are these headphones worth choosing over other flagship products?

So right off the bat I am calling the Xiaomi Mi Heaphones a ‘flagship’ product, why? Well compared to the rest of the Xiaomi audio range the Mi Headphone have the highest quality materials, the most features and the highest price tag. While they might be much cheaper than other brand ‘premium’ headphones, they are still the flagship for the Mi range. So are they any good?

Xiaomi Mi Headphones Review – in the box

xiaomi mi headphone review

The Xiaomi Mi Headphones come in a large white box, this is both exciting and worrying. It’s exciting because you know there are going to be some additional accessories, but it is worrying because you don’t know how customs are going to handle the package. In my case I had to pay 25 Euros customs charges on top of the high price tag making the Mi Headphone quite a costly piece of kit.

A sleeve fits over the main box and sliding it open will reveal a set of instructions. As my Xiaomi Mi Headphones came from China I received Chinese instructions, I am not sure if the international models get an English booklet.

xiaomi mi headphone review

Under the booklet is the first small package (3 in total). Inside this we have some larger, oval, over ear cushions which you can switch too to change the fit and feel of the headphone.

xiaomi mi headphone review

Lifting that first package out reveals a black headphone case (which has the Mi Headphone inside along with an adapter for use on airplanes and thicker 6.5mm plug, plus the Kevlar braided main cable which can be detached from the headphones).

xiaomi mi headphone review

Box 2 has some more on ear cushions. These are the same round shape and size as the factory installed ones, but with a foam cushion rather than PU coated.

xiaomi mi headphone review

The final box, box 3, contains a microfiber carry case which you can use as an alternative to the hard case and also doubles up as a nice screen cleaner.

Xiaomi Mi Headphone Review – Design

xiaomi mi headphone review

With a price tag of at least $80, Xiaomi have a hefty budget to build a set of headphones. In actual fact Xiaomi have handed the design of the headphones to 1More Design, the same team behind the excellent Pistons.

xiaomi mi headphone review

In photos of the Mi Headphones I was always drawn to the gold finish on the metal body and wire mesh grill and how it stands out against the black headband and ear cushions and wondered how this might look in real life. In the flesh the gold colour is much more subtle. This is perfect for me as I’m not a huge fan of gold, I’ve always thought it to be garish and tacky.

All the metal parts of the Mi Headphones get the same subtle gold finish. Anything that isn’t gold is covered with a leather-like black PU material. This is a very soft flexible material perfect for achieving a comfortable fit.

xiaomi mi headphone review

Across the head band the PU cover is stitched in to place with red stitching. With gold, black and red all in one place it sounds a little messy, and in all honesty I’m not 100% sure that 1More Design have managed to pull the design off.

xiaomi mi headphone review

The headband itself has hinges meaning that you can fold up the Mi Headphone for easy storage in the included hard-shell case or microfiber cloth bag.

Looking closer at the design you will notice that the main speakers are large 50mm drivers. The front side directing music in to your ears, with the backside under that gold mesh. The marketing makes it sound impressive but the design means that sounds leaks in and out of the headphones easily.

xiaomi mi headphone review

In the underside of the gold bodies are plugs for the headphone cable. the cable is removable meaning that if you managed to damage the wire you can just replace it rather than the whole headphone unit. The idea is great, but we don’t imagine it’s so easy to buy a spare Xiaomi Mi Headphones cable outside of China.

Read Also:  Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold gets a MIUI 13 closed beta update

The 1.4 meter cable itself is a thick Kevlar coated main cable, the Kevlar prevents tangles and also adds durability to the delicate wires inside.

xiaomi mi headphone review

As the cable exits the remote it splits in two separate non protected wires for left and right speakers. The remote is a simple single button unit that is compatible with most Android device and any iOS device running iOS 5 or above. Inside the remote is a Knowles MEMS microphone offering crystal clear hands free calls.

Xiaomi Mi Headphone Review – Audio Quality

On the Xiaomi Mi Headphones product page, Xiaomi state that the 50mm diaphragm on the headphones are 25% larger than standard and result in incredible sensitivity and exceptional bass.

xiaomi mi headphone review

Being someone who enjoys music and likes the feeling of being sucked in to the sound and having good experience with Xiaomi Piston earphones, I had great expectations for the Mi Headphone.

I tried the Mi Headphone on the OnePlus 2 to start with. As noted in my review of the OP2, audio isn’t a strong point on the phone, but I hoped the Mi Headphone might help to improve things. As usual I had issues with Maxx Audio seeing the headphones, but sound quality is good. The bass is nice, rich and deep, but I’d say that the sensitivity isn’t quite there and the bass can drown out some of the nice details hidden in the background of complex tracks.

Knowing how well the LeTV Le1 is for audio I moved to that phone hoping that the headphone would really see its potential. Again the sound quality is good and the headphones are amazing at around 1/2 volume, unfortunately that’s the volume my wife starts telling me the sound is too loud and can be easily heard by people around me.

xiaomi mi headphone review

Bass is rich and the 3D surround sound is really stunning, sometimes it can sound like you are in the studio right with the artist, but then a bump or bang from the environment around you will shatter that illusion, poor audio insulation really compromises an otherwise great product.

I found during my tests that the optimal level of volume is around 1/3 on the OnePlus 2 (a little less on the Le1). This gives you enough volume to enjoy bass and the nice hiss and crackle of an LP transferred to MP3, and means that people nearby can’t quite be annoyed by your choice in music. However, this volume level does mean you can hear everything going on around you so you need to find a nice quite place to really chill and enjoy.

During my test I listened to Royksopp – Melody AM, Roni Size – Take Kontrol, Various Q-Tip tracks, Audioslave, Fear Factory, Bjork, 4 Hero, and Nu Yorican Soul (Yup, I have varied musical tastes). It all sounds good from the Mi Headphones, and if you are someone who enjoys bass more than searching the track for each and every detail then you will enjoy them.

Xiaomi Mi Headphone Review – Gallery

Xiaomi Mi Headphone Review – Conclusion

I was looking forward to the Xioami Mi Headphone, I had wanted to treat myself to a nice pair of headphones for a while so I can chill in my free time and fully emerse myself in music, a movie or even the odd game, but I’ll have to keep looking.

xiaomi mi headphone review

From my musical tastes you can see that I like drum and bass, and the Mi Headphone does bass well, but it can’t do bass and offer a rich audio experience. I like to listen to my music and uncover details I’ve not heard before, but the Mi Headphone isn’t sensitive enough for that, and with that poor audio insulation the only time you can really let them off the hook is by yourself to not upset anyone around you.

Thanks to Pandawill for supplying us with the Xiaomi Mi Headphones for review.

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65 Comments

  1. A.R. Kolleman
    September 29, 2015

    Thanks!!! Great review. I tested the LeME from LeTV but the bass in (Drum and Bass music) will decrease the audio volume so you constantly need to change volume in between the bass moments haha! But besides that they are a nice set as well with nice audio quality and battery duration. Thanks again! I waited for this 😀

    • Adam Irvine
      September 29, 2015

      Yep, I’ve had a pair of the LeME for around a month and a half now and love them! The battery is unbelievable and the price is ridiculously cheap! So much so that at least 10 guys in work have ordered a pair too lol!

      • A.R. Kolleman
        September 30, 2015

        Yeah there nice indeed! I used them for a flight to the US without a problem. When I arrived I still had battery left haha! I ordered another one for a friend to 😉

  2. V.K
    September 29, 2015

    I think this is the point of open back headphones, not to isolate you from the surrounding environment, And give you the feeling of hearing music at a concert or at a recording studio.
    On the other hand the fact that others can hear the sound like the same as Bluetooth speakers is really anoying making them useless for public places

    • Dante
      September 29, 2015

      These Arent open back – the grill is for decor most lilkely – Bad isolation is A thing that depends on every factor

  3. Ivo001
    September 29, 2015

    ” Again the sound quality is good and the headphones are amazing at around 1/2 volume, unfortunately that’s the volume my wife starts telling me the sound is too loud and can be easily heard by people around me.”

    Is this with the on-ear or the over-ear cups?

    I see no need here to upgrade from my Piston v2 I guess.

    • Adam Irvine
      September 29, 2015

      Piston IIIs are better than the IIs though…

      • egis
        September 30, 2015

        I would’t say that mate – it depends on what you are prefering more – deeper bass (Piston II) or a more balanced sound (Piston III). Coz I have both of them I can confirm the opinion of this site:

        htt p://theheadphonelist.com/headphone_review/xiaomi-piston-3-in-ear-earphones-review/

    • September 29, 2015

      not much difference with the on-ear or over-ear to be honest in terms sound insulation.

      • Dante
        September 29, 2015

        Isolation not insulation -_-

  4. balcobomber25
    September 29, 2015

    The gold color is a little to flashy for me, but overall they don’t look bad. Problem is at this price point there are much better options available. I bought a pair of Sennheiser Momentum for just over $100 on Amazon, if you’re not picky on color you can get them as low as $80. The quality and value of the Mi’s won’t even come close to those of the Momentum.

    • Dante
      September 30, 2015

      sorry bro but one of the realms were i domimate is audio but still good choice – The momentums were made to compete with beats but still they feature a a lot of sparkle having a decent soundstage And great treble with A decent oomph in the bass – Still nothing touches the UE 6000 in the 100 dollar category but i guess a discontinued OeM with less than half a price doesnt count –

      • balcobomber25
        September 30, 2015

        What are you sorry for? None of what you typed helps me to believe the Mi headphones will come close to the quality or value of a good pair of Senn’s.

        • Dante
          October 1, 2015

          In last years Senns Got pretty rushed and dont seem to have that great value they had – Comparing some senns with beyers Nowadays in the same price category Is pretty overkill – There are a lot of bargain headphones nowadays (especially chinese/asian Iems) And a lot of rare gems ex. ttpod t2 (hybrid triple driver for 90 bucks) Which compares to Iems 4x the price

          • balcobomber25
            October 1, 2015

            The Senns I have used are still excellent especially compared to the crap from companies like Beats and Sol, and other mainstream brands.

            • Dante
              October 2, 2015

              Of course they are – But there are a lot of better value than Senns headsets – I see no point in buying senns that are cheaper than 300 dollars because most of their things cheaper have killer Oferrings from other brands

            • balcobomber25
              October 2, 2015

              Senns have never let me down, no reason to switch. Just like my choice of car, there are better cars than my Volvo S60, but I love my Volvo S60. To me it is the best value/performance. To you Senns may not be.

            • Dante
              October 2, 2015

              The Words “to you senns may not be ” are odd here i love hd800 but look at the cost

            • balcobomber25
              October 2, 2015

              So basically your just arguing to argue and this convo has no purpose?

            • Oz
              October 3, 2015

              I love Senn Headphones and Earphones. I own Senn HD800 (the best), HD650 and the ageless HD580. I also own IE8 and IE80. All these headphones/earphone are incredible sounding devises. All of them cost more than a decent mobile. The IE8 paired with One Plus sounds like heaven!

            • Dante
              October 5, 2015

              Mostly – lol

            • balcobomber25
              October 6, 2015

              No problems with that, we all do it here sometimes lol.

        • Lazar Prodanovic
          October 1, 2015

          Senn’s is not all that good especially build material quality in this price range.

          • balcobomber25
            October 1, 2015

            Excellent to me and that’s all that matters because I am the consumer.

      • Lazar Prodanovic
        October 1, 2015

        Will stick to AKG K451 as the best all around (for portable listening on ear) solution for the price they cost.
        Xiaomi will probably get close to it in a two more reworks, at least they needed that much with pistons.

  5. A.R. Kolleman
    September 29, 2015

    Thanks!!! Great review. I tested the LeME from LeTV but the bass in (Drum and Bass music) will decrease the audio volume so you constantly need to change volume in between the bass moments haha! But besides that they are a nice set as well with nice audio quality and battery duration. Thanks again! I waited for this 😀

    • Adam Irvine
      September 29, 2015

      Yep, I’ve had a pair of the LeME for around a month and a half now and love them! The battery is unbelievable and the price is ridiculously cheap! So much so that at least 10 guys in work have ordered a pair too lol!

    • A.R. Kolleman
      September 30, 2015

      Yeah there nice indeed! I used them for a flight to the US without a problem. When I arrived I still had battery left haha! I ordered another one for a friend to 😉

  6. V.K
    September 29, 2015

    I think this is the point of open back headphones, not to isolate you from the surrounding environment, And give you the feeling of hearing music at a concert or at a recording studio.
    On the other hand the fact that others can hear the sound like the same as Bluetooth speakers is really anoying making them useless for public places

    • Dante
      September 30, 2015

      These Arent open back – the grill is for decor most lilkely – Bad isolation is A thing that depends on every factor

  7. Ivo001
    September 29, 2015

    ” Again the sound quality is good and the headphones are amazing at around 1/2 volume, unfortunately that’s the volume my wife starts telling me the sound is too loud and can be easily heard by people around me.”

    Is this with the on-ear or the over-ear cups?

    I see no need here to upgrade from my Piston v2 I guess.

    • Adam Irvine
      September 29, 2015

      Piston IIIs are better than the IIs though…

    • Andi Sykes
      September 29, 2015

      not much difference with the on-ear or over-ear to be honest in terms sound insulation.

    • Dante
      September 30, 2015

      Isolation not insulation -_-

    • Guest
      September 30, 2015

      I would’t say that mate – it depends on what you are prefering more – deeper bass (Piston II) or a more balanced sound (Piston III). Coz I have both of them I can confirm the opinion of this site:

      htt p://theheadphonelist.com/headphone_review/xiaomi-piston-3-in-ear-earphones-review/

  8. balcobomber25
    September 29, 2015

    The gold color is a little to flashy for me, but overall they don’t look bad. Problem is at this price point there are much better options available. I bought a pair of Sennheiser Momentum for just over $100 on Amazon, if you’re not picky on color you can get them as low as $80. The quality and value of the Mi’s won’t even come close to those of the Momentum.

    • Dante
      September 30, 2015

      sorry bro but one of the realms were i domimate is audio but still good choice – The momentums were made to compete with beats but still they feature a a lot of sparkle having a decent soundstage And great treble with A decent oomph in the bass – Still nothing touches the UE 6000 in the 100 dollar category but i guess a discontinued OeM with less than half a price doesnt count –

    • balcobomber25
      September 30, 2015

      What are you sorry for? None of what you typed helps me to believe the Mi headphones will come close to the quality or value of a good pair of Senn’s.

    • Dante
      October 1, 2015

      In last years Senns Got pretty rushed and dont seem to have that great value they had – Comparing some senns with beyers Nowadays in the same price category Is pretty overkill – There are a lot of bargain headphones nowadays (especially chinese/asian Iems) And a lot of rare gems ex. ttpod t2 (hybrid triple driver for 90 bucks) Which compares to Iems 4x the price

    • Lazar Prodanovic
      October 1, 2015

      Will stick to AKG K451 as the best all around (for portable listening on ear) solution for the price they cost.
      Xiaomi will probably get close to it in a two more reworks, at least they needed that much with pistons.

    • Lazar Prodanovic
      October 1, 2015

      Senn’s is not all that good especially build material quality in this price range.

    • balcobomber25
      October 1, 2015

      Excellent to me and that’s all that matters because I am the consumer.

    • balcobomber25
      October 1, 2015

      The Senns I have used are still excellent especially compared to the crap from companies like Beats and Sol, and other mainstream brands.

    • Dante
      October 2, 2015

      Of course they are – But there are a lot of better value than Senns headsets – I see no point in buying senns that are cheaper than 300 dollars because most of their things cheaper have killer Oferrings from other brands

    • balcobomber25
      October 2, 2015

      Senns have never let me down, no reason to switch. Just like my choice of car, there are better cars than my Volvo S60, but I love my Volvo S60. To me it is the best value/performance. To you Senns may not be.

    • Dante
      October 2, 2015

      The Words “to you senns may not be ” are odd here i love hd800 but look at the cost

    • balcobomber25
      October 2, 2015

      So basically your just arguing to argue and this convo has no purpose?

    • Guest
      October 3, 2015

      I love Senn Headphones and Earphones. I own Senn HD800 (the best), HD650 and the ageless HD580. I also own IE8 and IE80. All these headphones/earphone are incredible sounding devises. All of them cost more than a decent mobile. The IE8 paired with One Plus sounds like heaven!

    • Dante
      October 5, 2015

      Mostly – lol

    • balcobomber25
      October 6, 2015

      No problems with that, we all do it here sometimes lol.

  9. September 29, 2015

    Cheap and really good headphones:
    Takstar Pro 80.
    Check them out Andi.

    • Maximilian Falkenström
      September 30, 2015

      I have the Takstar HI2050 and they’re incredible. Something that good for 45$ incl. shipping. Absolutely amazing sound in them and I’m going to order the Takstar Pro 80 soon I think.

      • September 30, 2015

        Yeah, although they are semi open. Looking at Andi’s music preference I was suggesting pro 80. Basically the same as hi2050 but closed. Better for electronic music:)

      • crappkid
        September 30, 2015

        +1 for Takstar HI2050

    • Roger
      October 5, 2015

      I’ve got a pair of Takstar HD6000s. Which are decent headphones for the price. I stopped using mine due to poor sound isolation letting too much outside noise in when I’m DJing.

  10. MUG3NHC
    September 29, 2015

    Cheap and really good headphones:
    Takstar Pro 80.
    Check them out Andi.

    • Maximilian Falkenström
      September 30, 2015

      I have the Takstar HI2050 and they’re incredible. Something that good for 45$ incl. shipping. Absolutely amazing sound in them and I’m going to order the Takstar Pro 80 soon I think.

    • MUG3NHC
      September 30, 2015

      Yeah, although they are semi open. Looking at Andi’s music preference I was suggesting pro 80. Basically the same as hi2050 but closed. Better for electronic music:)

    • afghanPower
      September 30, 2015

      +1 for Takstar HI2050

  11. Maciek Buczkowski
    October 1, 2015

    Oh. I just got rid of these as the sound quality simply was not as good as it should be. These are massive headphones, with great build quality. They look stunning but sound just mediocre. I would never give them 8 out of 10 for sound quality. Stage is really small, bass is overwhelming and sort of lazy and the highs are not so sharp. Besides there almost no isolation. Quite a dissapointmnent to be honest. I bought second hand Bowers and Wilkins P5 version 1 and they simply blew MI headphones out of the water. Check them out Andi.

  12. Cuerex
    October 1, 2015

    this review seems unqualified to me. wouldn’t buy it non the less, they should focus on closed cups

  13. boober
    October 1, 2015

    Oh. I just got rid of these as the sound quality simply was not as good as it should be. These are massive headphones, with great build quality. They look stunning but sound just mediocre. I would never give them 8 out of 10 for sound quality. Stage is really small, bass is overwhelming and sort of lazy and the highs are not so sharp. Besides there almost no isolation. Quite a dissapointmnent to be honest. I bought second hand Bowers and Wilkins P5 version 1 and they simply blew MI headphones out of the water. Check them out Andi.

  14. Cuerex
    October 1, 2015

    this review seems unqualified to me. wouldn’t buy it non the less, they should focus on closed cups

  15. William
    November 17, 2015

    Yeah, Xiaomi has seen many successes with its cheap headware, I bought a new Xiaomi headphone, the moving iron and coil offers much comfort for wearing http://www.tinydeal.com/original-px31q98-p-156864.html

  16. William
    November 17, 2015

    Yeah, Xiaomi has seen many successes with its cheap headware, I bought a new Xiaomi headphone, the moving iron and coil offers much comfort for wearing http://www.tinydeal.com/original-px31q98-p-156864.html