If there's one thing that Xiaomi stands for, it's value for money. No matter what happens, if you pick up a Xiaomi device, you know you're getting more than your money's worth, and that the device will be simple to use and very functional.
This description applies perfectly to the Mi Neckband Bluetooth earphones as well.
Retailing at Rs 1,999 (Rs 1,600 during sales), the Mi Neckband Bluetooth earphones promise 8 hrs of battery life from a 120 mAh battery, 2 hrs of charging time, Bluetooth 5.0, support for protocols like A2DP, and a range of 10 m.
The design is pretty simple. You get a standard, over-the-collar design with ear-buds on flexible chords. Volume controls and the power on/off buttons are on the main body, and there's a microUSB port for charging. This port has a dust cover.
To be honest, I think the design needs improving. The collar bit is stiff and doesn't sit as comfortably as, say, the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 set, and the buttons are a bit tacky and don't respond properly. The earpiece magnets are also very weak and aren't very good at holding the 'buds together.
While connectivity is fine, do note that the set doesn't directly control your Android phone's volume, and that tracks don't automatically pause when you engage the earbud magnets. You need to press a separate button to do this. This is a bit of a pain on an iPhone because play/pause doesn't respond via the button.
For volume control, it's best to set your phone's volume to maximum and then control gain with the earbuds.
But again, this a set that costs Rs 1,999 and I'm happy to live with these compromises given the sound quality.
Speaking of sound quality, I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was.
Music is well rounded with a touch of boomy bass thrown in, and I think the sound is also just a little bit flat overall. But that's an opinion coming from someone who listens on a dedicated home audio setup that includes a DAC and studio-quality headphones. For general listening, especially on a daily commute, I have no complaints. The passive isolation cuts out a lot of the ambient noise and there's nothing egregious about the sound signature. Picky listeners will have complaints, but they're not going to be spending any money on a budget wireless set to begin with.
Just as a point of comparison, the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 do indeed sound better, but they cost Rs 6,000 and they're definitely not three times better than the Mi Neckband set.
Verdict: They're worth it
The Mi Neckband Bluetooth earphones aren't a set that will blow your mind, but at Rs 1,999, what will? They're a very reasonably priced set with a pleasant sound signature, and for this price, that's more than one can reasonably expect.
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