Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro review: ANC on a budget
The Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro offers an exceptionally clear sound quality with a tinge of bass, especially for a pair of earphones in its price range.
Audio technology has witnessed exponential changes in the past decade. Not only have the devices with strong audio performance become more accessible, but features like Bluetooth connectivity -- something that was limited to mid-budget devices -- too have become widely available in almost all price brackets. With the basics being taken care of, ANC is the next frontier to be democratised. And so, it comes as no surprise that Xiaomi -- the company that is known for making affordable devices -- would try to capture this space as well.
To capture this frontier, Xiaomi launched the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro in India at a price point of INR 1,799. What makes the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro impressive is its aggressive feature set which includes Active Noise Cancellation (and Environmental Noise Cancellation), IPX5 dust and water-resistant coating and voice assistant support to name a few.
At a price point of under 2K, the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro is surely one of the most affordable pairs of Bluetooth earphones with ANC in the market right now. The question is: is true good to be true or does it justify the claims that it is making? We will explore that and more about the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro in the review below. So, keep reading...
Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro: Design
Let's talk about the design first.
The Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro features a lacklustre design that is basic at best -- something we have already seen in neckbands in the past. It features a silicone body with plastic endings. These endings house all the controls. On the left side, you get the battery and on the right side, you get the volume rockers, the power button and an additional button to turn the ANC on or off.
Now, these endings are attached to wires that are in turn connected to the earpieces with a magnetic back. They will remind you of the OnePlus Bullet earbuds. But unlike them, the magnetic backs in case of the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro doesn't serve any real purpose other than keeping the earphones in place. Simply put, the audio won't stop playing if the two ends meet.
The Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro may not have an inspiring design but they sure are very practical to use. At 36 grams, they are the lightest earbuds that you will come across in the market. They are also extremely comfortable to use.
Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro: Performance
Now, the performance.
When opting for a pair of pocket-friendly earphones, expectations are set quite low, especially in terms of the sound quality. However, the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro overcomes all the biases that you might have by offering a clear and balanced sound.
Country classics like I Run To You by Lady A, Jesus, Take The Wheel by Carrie Underwood are a delight to hear as you can listen to every guitar strum, every beat on the drum clearly. The mids are balanced with slightly more emphasis on bass, which is not necessarily a bad thing. What I like about the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro is that it maintains its clarity even on high volume levels -- which is hard to find in earphones in this price range.
Elsewhere, the clarity does drop a little with acoustic numbers such as A Thousand Years by Christina Perri and pop hits like Rolling in the Deep by Adele, Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars and Livin' la Vida Loca by Ricky Martin. But that is to be expected from a pair of headphones in under 2K price range.
Coming to the call quality, the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro mostly maintains clarity during calls and I didn't face any issues in connectivity as well. What I feel is astounding is the quality of the ANC that the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro offers. ANC, as I mentioned before, can be turned on by pressing a simple button. It completely blocks all the sound indoors. I wasn't able to hear the sound of the air-purifier in my room at all. Outside, it filters out most of the noise, which is more than what can be expected from an earphone in the sub-2K price range.
Lastly, the battery. I got around 15-16 hours of run time and it took a little over an hour to charge the battery completely.
Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro: Conclusion
Now, the most important question of this review: should you buy the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro or not.
In one word: Yes. The Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro offers an exceptionally clear sound quality with a tinge of bass, especially for a pair of earphones in its price range. What's impressive about it is that it maintains its balance and clarity even on high volume levels, which is where a lot of low-budget audio devices fail. To top it off, the ANC feature filters out noise quite nicely. Simply put, the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro is one of the best ANC earphones in the budget segment.