MS301-Bluetooth Headphone Review

MS301-Bluetooth Headphone Review

June 26, 2017 by Mixcder


Mixcder recently contacted me and asked me if I would be interested in checking out their new MS301 model. I was intrigued when they mentioned that they had incorporated AptX LL into the headphones. I have various headphones such as the Plantronics Backbeat Pro, Jlab Flex Bluetooth etc and I was interested in seeing how these stacked up.

Accessories:

When I received the MS301's, I noted how light they were. Included with the MS301 were a 3.5mm audio cable and a micro usb cable for charging the headphones.

Build Quality\Comfort:

Here is a side view to show the metal hinge\headband.

While the MS301 feel fairly light, they seem to be built fairly well. The outside of the ear cups are made out what seems machined aluminum, the hinges to the ear pieces are also aluminum\metal. The headband is made of simulated leather that feels comfortable and looks well made. The ear cups swivel flat while the hinges allow the headphones to become compact for storage. The ear cups themselves have simulated leather on them, but they seem breathable enough that my ears did not get overly warm while using them. The cups were also large enough to completely cover my ears. Of course my ears are average size, so someone with larger ears might be different. The headphones have decent clamping force, that while tight enough to help keep out ambient noise, but not tight enough to say run or workout with. Of course I think headphones like these are too big for working out anyway, and they are not really built for that either.


A picture to illustrate part of the metal hinge.

Features\Controls:

Here is a closeup of some of the controls, for skipping tracks etc.


The MS301 come with 3 buttons, all located on the right ear cup. The top button controls power, pairing, play\pause. The power button also takes calls, redials, and rejects calls. The plus and minus buttons raise and lower volume, while also allowing to skip to the next track or go back to the previous one. Pretty standard stuff for Bluetooth headphones these days. The right cup also allows for you to use the included 3.5mm cable so you can use the headphones wired allowing you to use them when the battery is drained. On the left cup is the micro usb connection for charging the headphones. These headphones have a 30ft(10m) radius for Bluetooth, and allow for 20 hours of both phone\play time. Interestingly they also have a very long standby time of 2200 hours! I found it was very easy to pair these to my Samsung Galaxy 7. It was easy to move between tracks, change volume and pause my music. The controls are definitely not overly complicated. If the headphones seem quiet, remember that the volume is determined by both the phone and headphones. I usually have the phone set the lowest volume and raise the volume of the headphones. I do not listen to my music at loud levels.


Sound:

What they look like when being worn.


Another shot of them showing how they cover your ear.


A shot showing how the cups cover your ear.

Since Mixcder mentioned that these headphones not only had AptX, but the AptX LL variant, I was really interested in hearing how these would do with my Flac tracks. These days when I look at Bluetooth headphones, I always make sure they have AptX because it makes the music sound better. Bluetooth headphones cannot compete with nice wired headphones, but they are convenient and AptX does help them. AptX LL(low latency) reduces the latency of the Bluetooth signal to from the source(like a phone) to the headphones. It comes in handy not only for music but for watching videos and gaming, where a faster signal transmission is needed to reduce syncing issues. The latency is less than 40ms and also supports 48khz/16 LPCM audio data. For this review I used my Samsung Galaxy 7 and Teac's HR Player. I did not utilize any equalizer. I always play my music on shuffle with 128GB of storage. The first flac track I started listening to was Chris Cornell’s(R.I.P.) Circling. The track starts off with some nice acoustic guitar. The MS301's rendered the acoustic guitar accurately, the highs of the track were not overly harsh nor was the bass muddy and they had decent sound stage. The I am not a huge bass head, I do not listen to a lot of EDM. When I used these headphones wired, they of course sounded better the, the acoustic guitar of Skulldrain's Dissonance sounded great, the headphones sounded more lively with a wide sound stage. For something with more bass I tried The Prodigy Thunder and the bass hit hard and tight, it sounded pretty good wired. For comparison, I also tried it with bluetooth enabled and while not as good as wired it did sound pretty good although not as full sounding as when wired.


Calls:


I used the M301's for calls while at work, and I asked the callers about the call quality. The caller sounded fine to me and I was told that I sounded decent on their side.

Conclusion:

After having used these for over a week, I have found that I am grabbing them when going to work and leaving my other headphones at home. The AptX LL helps the music to sound fuller then headphones without the codec and the 20 hours of either play or talk time is more than enough for me. Overall I am please with them, they are comfortable and easy to use. I do wish they had come with a case, but at under $100 I imagine that is why Mixcder is able to sell them at that price. Of course there are several headphone case options on Amazon where you could buy a case for them.


Review source:Mixcder MS301 Bluetooth Headphone Review