When looking for a new pair of Bluetooth headphones, we’re often faced with a few choices. Do we want to spend more money for better audio quality? Does it need water resistance? How much do we care about looks?
While some audio companies are trying to compete on price alone and some are trying to compete on features alone, MPOW is trying to straddle the line of both of those segments to provide a pair of Bluetooth headphones that look great, sound great, and don’t cost an arm and a leg. Recently, MPOW sent over a pair of headphones, the MPOW M3 headphones for us to take a look at.
While doing research for this review, I came away honestly surprised that MPOW sent them over to us. Right now, the M3’s are listed at the #1 option on Amazon for Bluetooth Headphones. It seems like they’re doing pretty well on their own, but more credit to MPOW to send them over to use for a critical look anyway.
When unboxing the headphones, you’re greeted by plenty of accessories. We received a charging cable, a 3.5mm cable, and a carrying case as well. While the M3 is marketed as a budget Bluetooth headphone option, you can use it wired too. This is great if you run out of juice on a long car trip or on your way to work on the subway in the morning.
The M3’s have a hard plastic shell on the outside of a very soft plastic inside. Everything that touches your head, ears, or skin is a soft material, while the exterior of the headphones consists of hard plastics that will stand up to bumps, bruises, and being thrown into gym bags. The headphones also have a hinge on both sides so they can collapse down taking up less room in your bag.
The earcups are a soft material that honestly feels pretty decent after long (2+ hour) listening sessions. The cups are just big enough to encompass my entire earlobe which I appreciate. I’m not a big fan of on-ear headphones. I was also pleased by how tightly the headphones held onto my head and my earlobes. I did my fair share of trying to shake them off and only the most violent of shaking could dislodge them.
The second component of headphone quality is audio quality. Here, I was a little less impressed with the MPOW M3’s, but I still thought they were pretty quality. You definitely get a LOT of bass in these things. I wouldn’t say they’re quite Beats-level bassy, but they certainly provide more bass than your standard Bluetooth earbuds. But, all that shimmers isn’t gold. The bass is pretty muddy and not the most enjoyable of experiences. While I did get more used to it as time went on, the initial listening periods were pretty rough.
MPOW did much better in the mids and highs than it did in the lows. I was pleasantly surprised how good voices, guitars, and other instruments sounded. The soundstage isn’t huge (we are talking about $35 Bluetooth headphones here) but it does well regardless. I listened to several podcasts and had zero qualms about how the audio came across. If you’re looking for something to wear while listening to podcasts in your hammock on a lazy summer day, you can’t go wrong here.
Battery life is another strong point of the MPOW M3’s. MPOW rates the headphones at about 13 hours, but I got more along the lines of ten hours at higher volumes. Don’t get me wrong, ten hours is a really long time on battery and I was pretty pleased with that number. The M3’s took about 3.5 hours to recharge from the first low-battery warning so I’d assume that from completely dead you’re looking at 4 to 4.5 hours. That’s a pretty long time to recharge, but if you throw them on a charger overnight once a week, you’ll never have to worry about it.
I made five test calls with the headphones and four of the five said I sounded fine with one person saying I was a little quiet. These are perfectly serviceable headphones for taking calls while you’re on your run or commute, but I wouldn’t recommend setting up business conference calls or anything where the call quality is uber important. Stick to your business solutions for that.
All-in-all, I was pretty impressed with the MPOW M3’s. I can see why they’re the #1 seller on Amazon right now. While not perfect, they’re a great option for someone looking for half-decent sound and great build quality without breaking the bank. If you’d like to grab a pair, head on over to Amazon and pick a pair up.