Bluetooth headphones are popular because of the convenience they offer. Last year, we tested the Mivi Thunderbeats, a low-priced pair of Bluetooth headphones launched by the Hyderabad-based company. Now, it has launched another model, this time with a neckband design. The Mivi Collar is priced at Rs 2,999 and boasts of aptX support for high-quality Bluetooth streaming and the ability to maintain dual active device connections. Is this the best-sounding pair of wireless headphones for the price? We put it to the test.
The Mivi Collar is a neckband-style headset and is made primarily out of plastic. In terms of design, it looks somewhat similar to the LG Tone Pro headsets. This neckband is quite thin and has a rubber coating that makes it comfortable to wear. There are two plastic pods on either side. The right one has a multi-function button, an LED indicator, and a Micro-USB port secured from the elements by a rubber flap. The other side only has the volume buttons. The quality of plastic used is decent, considering the price.
We found that the thin neckband flexes easily, making the Mivi Collar easy to put on and take off. The plastic pods rest around your shoulders, and the whole thing weighs only 30g. You might not feel the device around your neck at all, and you could even forget that you're wearing it.
The audio drivers are housed in metal earpieces that have magnets to hold them in place when you don't have them in your ears. There are also clips on the neckband that let you adjust the length of the earpiece cables. These clips are easy to move but they did pop off when we tugged on the wires accidentally. You will need to be careful since these are quite tiny and are easy to lose.
In the box, you get multiple ear tips that you can swap out for a comfortable fit. You also get a Micro-USB cable to charge the device, and a quick start guide with details of all the Mivi Collar's features.
The Mivi Collar has an impedance rating of 16 Ohms and a frequency range of 20Hz-20KHz. The low impedance means that it does not need a lot of power to drive these headphones. The Mivi Collar supports Bluetooth 4.1 as well as Qualcomm's high-quality aptX codec.
Mivi has added a couple of features that require you to remember key combinations. For example, apart from the usual ability to answer or disconnect a call, you can long-press the multifunction button to reject an incoming call. Double-press it to switch between the headphones and the earpiece on your mobile phone. Pressing both volume buttons for three seconds will mute the ongoing call. Also, the Mivi Collar can trigger the assistant on your smartphone when you long-press either volume button for five seconds.
The Mivi Collar lets you pair two Bluetooth devices at once. The procedure isn't simple and requires you to press both volume buttons together (and wait for the LED to flash red and blue) before you can search for the headset on your second device. Once paired, you need to go back to the first device and tap on the Mivi Collar's name in the Bluetooth settings to re-establish its connection. Once that's done, you have the Mivi Collar connected to both devices. We tried connecting it to an Apple MacBook Air and a Google Pixel 2 XL (Review) and found that it could maintain active connections with both. The Collar also automatically switched to the smartphone when we had an incoming call.
Mivi says that you can connect the Collar to two smartphones and use the multifunction button to answer calls from either, and switch between them. A dual connection mode in a headset at this price is a neat feature.
Listen to music with the Mivi Collar and you will find that it has been tuned for a V-shaped sound signature. It produces boomy bass and bright highs, but the mids feel repressed. If you like listening to electronic dance music or rock then you might like what it delivers. On the other hand, it isn't suited to classical music or anything with an emphasis on vocals.
We used these headphones at 50-70 percent volume during our tests, and found that increasing it any further resulted in the bass overpowering the mids and the highs. The soundstage is narrow, and it can get hard at times to focus on a particular instrument in tracks such as Joker And The Thief by Wolfmother.
Just like the Mivi Thunderbeats, the Collar headphones can get really loud. We couldn't get ourselves to go past the 70 percent volume level for the fear of hearing loss. While playing audio at that level, we found that the battery lasted for 9 hours and 30 minutes with continuous playback. However, the Mivi Collar had an issue reporting the correct battery level when paired with an Android phone and would turn itself off even though it showed 30 percent remaining. It did not have any such issue when paired with an iPhone 6s Plus. Charging the device fully through its Micro-USB port takes around two hours.
We used the Mivi Collar for calls, and had no trouble hearing the other person. Mivi has placed the vibration alert motor in the right plastic pod, and so only the right side vibrates when you get a call. The microphone is also positioned on the right, but people we spoke to could hear us clearly.
The Collar is another product from Mivi that is primarily targeted at people looking for budget Bluetooth headsets. It's available for Rs 3,499 on Amazon India but is listed at Rs 2,999 on the company's website. It is among the very few headsets with support for Qualcomm's aptX codec and dual pairing at this price point. It isn't the best sounding option out there, but if you prefer a boomy bass over a balanced output, then you can give it a try.
Price: Rs. 2,999 (MOP)
Ratings (Out of 5)