These over ear headphones connect to the sound source over Bluetooth, which I’ve always avoided in the past for three reasons.
Firstly, Bluetooth can often be quite complicated to connect to the other device; secondly, the quality of the sound often suffers, and thirdly, there is sometimes a slight delay which make it annoying when watching something on your iPad or laptop and there are lip-synch problems. With the Mixcder MS301, the problems seem to have been addressed.
Firstly, the connection. This was very easy. I simply turned on the devices in the correct order (headphones first, then device) and the items paired with one another – first my phone, then my ipad and lastly my laptop. I found that returning to the iPad at a later date I occasionally had to ask the iPad to forget the headphones and then re-pair them, but that’s the iPad’s fault.
The headphones need to be charged, but then last for 20 hours after that. I was careful about fully charging them every few days but they never ran out. They have a high capacity, 500mAh battery which has a standby time of 2200 hours. If the battery does run out, there’s a 3.5mm audio cable audio wire supplied to plug into the device (admittedly, too short to be very useful). In fact, the battery never ran out, even when I used the headphones for the best part of 20 hours.
Secondly, the sound is good. These aren’t £300 headphones, of course, but I thought the sound was superb for the price (and for quite a bit more than the price). To quote the information supplied “Inside, the MS301’s are equipped with 40mm ultra large-aperture backed dynamic drivers with advanced APTX-LL and shock sound to deliver a unique sound performance, with an incredible booming bass, a detailed midrange, and extended treble.”
I used them for everything from choral music to BBC Radio 6 and watching Netflix and they were great for all of this, and very light, with a bulk which can be reduced because they easily fold.
I didn’t use the headphones for hands-free calls, though this is possible. The headphones are very well built, with an aluminium alloy shell with a smooth glossy metal finish on the outer ear cups and an adjustable headband made of stainless steel and a padded headband for extreme comfort.
Finally, there was no noticeable delay in the sound. The technical word is latency. The manufacturers say this has been addressed with “the latest Bluetooth 4.2 for fast pairing and strong capability and APTX-LL technology, the MS301’s provide lossless transmission and crystal clear, smooth sound without compression or interruptions.”
Finally the price makes them great value and there’s a 30-day money back guarantee by the manufacturer.
Any concerns? Well although they are very good for noise isolation, they spill an awful lot of noise themselves. Sitting next to someone wearing them you can hear a considerable amount of audio, so for a quiet environment, I don’t think you’d feel comfortable with that.
Verdict: Great value, and a lovely sound, just don’t sit next to anyone in a quiet place and listen to loud music.
Price: the MS301 wireless headphone is available from Amazon for £69.99.