Xiaomi started its journey in India with smartphones, but has slowly diversified its offerings, and now sells everything, from power banks to the Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier. The brand has become associated with good quality at reasonable prices. If you are in the market for a good set of earphones, you might have comes across Xiaomi in this market as well, since the Chinese giant has a couple of models at different price points to choose from.
Xiaomi has positioned the Mi In-Ear Headphones Pro HD as its top-of-the-line offering for in-ear headphones, and we put them through our tests to see whether Xiaomi lives up to its reputation.
The Xiaomi Mi In-Ear Headphones Pro HD is, as its name suggests, a pair of in-ear wired headphones. The frequency response range of 20Hz - 40,000Hz is quite good and should be able to translate into good audio performance. You get hybrid dual-dynamic and balanced armature drivers, with the dual-dynamic ones responsible for the bass and mids, while balanced armature ones deliver the high frequencies. Xiaomi has used graphene diaphragms which, it claims, deliver richer and fuller sound.
While the exact driver size is not known, the impedance rating is a little high at 32Ohms, which means you'll need a powerful source to drive these headphones to their fullest potential. The casings weigh 17 grams and are angled at 45 degrees so that they fit comfortably. Xiaomi ships the headphones in a solid plastic box with the extra ear tips placed inside. The design of this box clues us in to the fact that these headphones are made by 1More. You also get a soft pouch to store your headphones.
The cable has in-line controls and a microphone placed in an metal casing. You can long-press the centre button to trigger the voice assistant on your phone and to answer or reject calls. The other two buttons can be used to change volume but not skip tracks. Xiaomi uses stretchable matte wiring and claims that it is tangle-resistant, but in our experience it did get tangled quite often.
For testing the Xiaomi Mi In-Ear Headphones Pro HD, we used a OnePlus 5 and an Asus Xonar U7 external DAC. We chose a wide variety of mediums including Google Play Music streams and MP3s and FLAC files. We used Carry Me by Kygo, Locked out of Heaven by Bruno Mars, and Back in Black by AC/DC as our focus tracks.
We found that the Mi In-Ear Headphones Pro HD needed a bit of a burn-in before they started sounding good. We found four pairs of ear tips in the box but found them all to be flimsy, and had a hard time getting a proper seal even with the largest size. A direct result of this was a drop in the quality of the bass. When listening to Carry Me by Kygo, the bass pattern was hard to discern. Even at the highest volume, we found it to be too low for our liking. We plugged the headphones into the Xonar U7 expecting that the DAC would help with bass delivery, but that wasn't the case. It might be that these headphones are tuned to deliver mids and highs while holding back on the bass.
When listening to Locked out of Heaven and Back in Black, we were happy with the way the headphones delivered vocals. We found vocals clear, but at higher volumes the highs could get get a little fatiguing. These headphones do let you know the quality of the file you are playing, and FLAC versions of tracks had a perceptibly wider soundstage. It was also easier to distinguish between different instruments. The wide frequency range these headphones can reproduce might also have contributed to this.
We tried to use our own Comply foam eartips instead of the stock ones, there was a definite improvement in the output. These tips had a much better fit in our ears, and the improved seal helped the headphones deliver better bass performance as well as a marginal improvement in the mids.
Priced at Rs 1,999, the Xiaomi Mi In-Ear Headphones Pro HD is positioned as a pair of premium headphones for a superior audio experience. However, we found that the sound lacked bass even though mids and highs were delivered well. Using Comply eartips did improve the experience, but these will bump your budget up by a few hundred rupees, and it shouldn't be necessary to buy something else to make this product work. Instead we would recommend the OnePlus Bullets V2, which offer better bass and a fuller sound while saving you money.
Price (MRP): 1,999
Ratings (Out of 5)