There’s so many different IEMs, earbuds, earphones, whatever you want to call them out there it’s hard to keep track of. There’s big brands and small brands producing products in a variety of different price ranges. For this review we’ll stick to the more economical side of the block with the Xiaomi Mi Pro HD. These are a pair of earphones you might recognize browsing Amazon while looking for any pair of affordable earbuds that have a built-in microphone. Let’s see how these thirty dollar earbuds stack up.
What You Get
I was surprised to receive a nice presentation provided by the Mi Pro. Opening the box they sort of take on the appearance of true wireless earphones, but the cable is actually wrapped around the case. Removing this initial padding reveals three sets of silicone ear tips in extra small, small, and large. The medium tips will already be on the earbuds themselves. The only other accessory provided is a drawstring carrying pouch for easy transportation.
Look and Feel
For such a low-priced set of earbuds, they sure do pack some good materials, making for a much more sustainable build. Its housing is made from titanium and provides a lightweight shell for a sleek metallic finish. The earbuds are small and have a universal fit that anyone can enjoy. You get a standard cable that’s non-detachable with a 3.5mm termination. It doesn’t good job not being obtrusive, and it wraps nicely. Overall, this is a solid look for a thirty dollar pair of earphones. They provide enough comfort and aesthetic flourish to stand out.
There’s an impressive amount of construction going on under the hood of the Mi Pro. Surprisingly, the Mi Pro is a hybrid system that uses two dynamic drivers with two balanced armatures. The dynamic drivers handle the bass and mids, while the balanced armatures help relegate the high frequencies. It supports a graphene diaphragm that hopes to deliver much richer details and a more natural sound signature.
Although the Mi Pro contains some admirable qualities in its soundstage, it doesn’t stand out as anything special. It’s mostly an inoffensive output that puts all the sound elements in their right place, but you won’t find a ton of width or depth here. The best attribute the Mi Pro showcases is a good sense of separation, which helps give the sound signature better clarity and stereo cohesion without things devolving into a clumped up mess. My main issue with this stage is that the imaging doesn’t exactly have much scale. All of the sound elements come off as way too thin, never featuring much spatial qualities. This leaves the imaging to come off as weak.
The bass doesn’t have much punch to it, but the timbre here is still clean. There’s a little recession, but a subtle sub-bass presence helps sweeten the tonality just enough to make the timbre enjoyable. It sounds as if the bass is sitting out while the rest of the frequency response tries to make up for its loss. Therefore, the tone just doesn’t have much weight to it, adding to that thinness problem I had in the imaging.
You won’t find much more energy in the midrange compared to the lows, but the response avoids recession and fogginess. It’s not a tone that has anything near an expressive sound, full of textures and details. The frequencies remains mostly flat, providing a timbre that’s more functional over enjoyable. Vocal fidelity is well intact here, and showcases the Mi Pro’s best qualities. It’s the most clear sound element in the overall timbre, becoming the main ingredient that makes the M1 Pro stick out.
With the treble, the Mi Pro shows the most character. There’s a consistent layer of brightness over each track, and performs some of the most noticeable detail retrieval. At its best, the highs help elevate the timbre of the upper-mids from their more bland tonality. These frequency bands are doing a ton of the legwork keeping this sound signature alive.
If you don’t have the budget for anything above this price range, the Mi Pro HD does the bare minimum in order to be worth it. Its treble and separation are high spots, but the timbre just comes off as plain as their outside would have you assume. It would be a different story if there was no other competition, but something like the Strauss and Wagner EM205 can do better for the same price. There’s a more energetic bass presence and much better detail, all while giving you a mic-remote for phone calls. That being said, if you happen to be interested in the Mi Pro HD and its nifty “Hi-Res Audio” sticker you can’t complain much for the price. However, there’s options better worth investing in.
Pros and Cons
- Titanium shell
- High frequency detail
- Remote mic
- Thin soundstage
- Bland mids and bass
The Xiaomi Mi Pro HD is available on Amazon.