Xiaomi makes some great budget earphones. It’s either that or their products generally shine with reproducing the EDM riddled tracks that the general Indian demographic seems to love. The Mi Dual-Driver earphones are Xiaomi’s answer to the wildly popular JBL C100SI (my personal daily-driver) and the surprisingly balanced Realme Buds. Market for wired earbuds is in decline in favor of more convenient Bluetooth buds and misleadingly fancy budget wireless-buds. Has Xiaomi done enough in the form of the Mi Dual Driver Earphones to stay afloat in a rather somber market? Let’s find out!
I AM BY NO MEANS A CONNOISSEUR OF BASS HEAVY CANS. I like my bass tight and non-muddy without destructively infringing on other aspects of my music. To give you some perspective I used to use the Audio Technica ATH-M20X for their flat sound signature and tight fidelity constraints. Recently I’ve moved to using the Sony WH-1000XM3 (a mouthful) which I thoroughly enjoy for their excellent noise cancellation and punchy sound delivery. Though they exaggerate the lows a tad bit, they’re enjoyable and WAY more comfortable and convenient. My go-to choice of earphones for day-to-day rough use (inside my pockets, come what may) are the JBL C100SIs for their no-nonsense balanced sound and their feather-lite comfort. Let’s get on with the review now, shall we?
- Breathable filtered buds
- Ample length for most scenarios
- Painful to use for long periods of time
- Concentrated pressure on the Anti-Tragus of ear
Despite having nailed the build quality of these buds, Xiaomi has clearly overlooked in-ear comfort. The metal-casing around the earphones though swanky in appearance, press against the anti-tragus with their sharp edges making extended periods of use rather painful (over 20 minutes). Credit where its due however, their in-ear feel by itself is quite pleasurable and their passive seal is quite remarkable. However, overall, comfort wise the JBL C100SIs have a significant lead over the Mi Dual Driver earphones.
Build And I/O
The Mi Dual Drivers are definitely built like a tank. With cool metal casing and a satisfying magnetic clasp for easy stow-away, there’s not much to fault with their industrial design. Braided cables and an angled 3.5mm connector come as standard thereby eradicating any concerns over long-term reliability. These can truly survive congested jaunts in your slim-fit pants and repeated in-hand balling; overall they’re built keeping accident prone users in mind.
Perhaps my only gripe would be the shoddily put-together button/microphone cluster which seem to be an afterthought. While the rest of these earphones seem to ooze a sort of premium quality with their matte black design language, this cluster is made from cheap glossy plastic with thin and poorly demarcated buttons. Finding the right button in a dark environment is quite a tough task and takes away from an otherwise great user-experience.
- Strong Metal Casing
- Braided Cabled
- Angled Gold Plated connector
- Shoddily made microphone cluster
- Absence of a carrying pouch (wishful thinking on my part)
The point of having twin drivers to push sound is to cover a wider range of frequencies in your music in a deft manner. These buds do manage to pull that off… for the most part anyway. Users who enjoy bass heavy music and synth driven instrumentals will have a field day with these dual-drivers. People who listen to 70’s rock and vocally strong music (*cough cough* me) won’t enjoy the murky highs and slightly overpowering lows. My 2 cents is to go for these if you primarily listen to popular Bollywood titles and/or copious amounts of pop, EDM, or dubstep. If you’re into listening to long soundtracks and Adele, the JBL C100SIs are still the gold standard in terms of versatility.
- Emphasis on tight bass
- Sharp mids
- Great separation
- Ideal sound-signature for movie watching
- Reach loud volumes
- Slightly overpowering bass
- Vocals and highs are murky
- Lack the versatility to handle diverse tracks
Call quality is great on the Mi Dual Driver earphones, with the in-line mic capable of achieving good wind-noise cancellation. People on the other end of the line seldom complained of bad call quality. Just don’t expect these to hold up on your jog (which is quite honestly asking too much for the price).
So, should you buy them?
Well, if you’re primarily looking for rugged earphones under 1000 rupees and you’re a bass-head of sorts, the Mi Dual Driver earphones are a perfect fit for you coming in at a hair shy of 800 rupees. But, if versatility and comfort is what you seek, the JBL C100SIs are still the wired earbuds to beat coming in at a meager 550 rupees for the sort of sound that they offer.
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