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The Mixcder E10 Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones has Active Noise Cancelling Technology, Bluetooth V5.0 with Apt-x-ll Low Latency, which also requires a Bluetooth Transmitter that has Apt-x-ll Low Latency for it to work, 40mm drivers, 30 hours playtime and Protein Leather Ear Cushions.
I am not going to go through all the specs and details of this headphone, as you can read them online or watch other reviewers talk about them.
What I will be discussing though, are key points about these headphones that are important to myself and for my type of use.
The reasons why I purchased a wireless Bluetooth headphone was that I needed something portable and light, with long playback time, a walk-around headphone that I could use when I travel, exercise, use around the house, and also for camera work.
I needed a wireless headphone system that uses Apt-x-ll Low Latency so that I do not have those annoying latency issues when monitoring someone on the headphones, while I’m recording them with the camera. I have already purchased an Apt-x-ll Low Latency transceiver, so I needed headphones to match, otherwise Apt-x-ll Low Latency will not work.
When I first received these headphones and opened the box, the first thing I noticed was the strong repulsive odour coming from the headphones.
It seems to originate from the protein leather or glue used in the ear cushions.
The headphones itself seems well built, with metal joints and earcup tops, but the plastic on the earcups body and controls, feels cheap. The stitching looks fine, and the protein leather around the ear cups and headband feels soft and seems like good quality, but only time will tell, as the cheaper pleather tends to peel or flake over time.
The headphones are noticeably heavy, and you can start to feel it after extended use, or when you try on other headphones of similar size immediately. The weight is most noticeable when you move your head around, or when you tilt your head.
These would not be ideal as a workout or activities headphones, as they tend to shift around when you are moving and slide off your head if you are lying down. These headphones are best used upright, as the weight really affects its stability and secureness on your head.
These headphones are more for listening while sitting at home on the couch, riding a bus, walking around, but running, you would need to be cautious. The E10 has slid many times from my head from day to day activities.
The earcups spins too easily on these headphones and the joints do not hold the weight of the headphones when held from the earcups, making these easy to swing around uncontrollably and bang on things around you. These require two hands for better control when handling, such as when inserting the headphones into the strap of the case, which can be challenging when you are in a rush.
It would have been better if there were some resistance on the turning of the earcups, and stronger locking mechanism on the joints for better control.
The headband clamping on the ears with those soft ear cushions are good, but due to the weight of these headphones, and because it is over the ear style, the pressure becomes noticeable over time and the ears can start feeling a little sore.
Sweat can accumulate around the earcups when exercising with these on.
The control buttons are easy to use once you are familiar with the function of each button.
The voice prompt is loud but tolerable and it would have been better if it were a tad lower or adjustable.
The headphones are easy to pair with other Bluetooth devices and works with Bluetooth 4.0 and 4.1 at Apt-x, and 4.2 at Apt-x-ll Low Latency. I noticed considerable dropouts, skipping, rollups and stuttering using these headphones. They occurred mostly, when I was moving, or the Bluetooth device was moving.
Apt-x-ll Low Latency works, and the delay is acceptable, sounding more like a chorus or doubler effect when monitoring through the headphones, while still listening to the actual voice of the person you are recording on the camera.
Opinions on sound quality can be subjective, and for the price of these headphones, the sound quality is acceptable, for my use.
I am basing the sound quality of these headphones, as it is, from the factory, without any EQ.
It sounds consistent with cheap sounding pair of headphones when you compare it to Studio Headphones such as the range from Audio Technica, Beyerdynamics or Fostex. You could listen to the E10 for long periods at moderate listening levels, and the listening experience would be OK. Once you start pushing these headphones louder, the sound quality will start to deteriorate, break apart or distort, most notably when ANC or Active Noise Cancellation is on.
The headphones can get loud if required, but at the expense of poor-quality listening experience and possibly hearing damage.
These headphones need more clarity, detail, or presence. There is some harshness in the midrange and muddiness in the lower mids. The bass is slightly boxy with some boominess to it, and not well defined. The soundstage is OK and sounds slightly forward.
With ANC or Active Noise Cancellation on, the sound quality changes dramatically. There is an obvious white noise when there is silence. The soundstage becomes more upfront and the sound becomes more muffled. The mids become prominent and muddier, with an obvious modulated filtering happening that can be heard in your audio, especially in music. The bass is less focused, and it starts to spread out like a stereo chorus has been added to it.
The outside noise it is trying to cancel out sounds like, the low mids to low frequencies, have been reduced but you can still hear the remaining frequency of the outside noise.
These headphones sound best with ANC off.
ANC is useful if you are listening to narratives and you have constant noises happening outside in the background. This would be useful if you are watching a movie or listening to an audio book and you want to reduce distractions from the outside, like machinery noise, air conditioners, traffic, etc.
If you are looking for a general-purpose headphone that can be used comfortably lying down, or for recreational activities, or for camera work, then I would look elsewhere. I would seek something lighter that secures more firmly on your head during movement and lying down, and has Apt-x-ll Low Latency technology.
The Apt-x-ll Low Latency is useful for camera work and can make it less distracting, and less confusing when working in the field.
The ANC, though can be useful in some circumstances, has not really been implemented that well in this headphone. The change in sound quality is a large sacrifice to have ANC on, especially when you are listening to music. ANC is not useful when you are filming, as you want to hear everything, including distractions when recording audio.
The sound quality is OK at this price point and would be acceptable enough for referencing out in the field. For example, to check if audio is coming through the camera, to check for distortion or clipping in the signal, identifying unwanted noises in a shoot, checking audio levels, etc.
Eventually more and more manufacturers will start adding Bluetooth 5.0 with Apt-x-ll Low Latency into their affordable range of headphones, and the selection will become greater. For the meantime, there are only a handful of products that have both Bluetooth 5.0 and Apt-x-ll Low Latency at this price range, and this includes the Mixcder E10 ANC Bluetooth Wireless Headphones.