I have been hunting for the best budget wireless earbuds for a while to replace my trusted Klipsch R6 earphones. I’m tired of fumbling earphone cables every morning but I didn’t want to give up too much on the sound quality.
Here are our 3 core expectations for wireless ear buds.
- Affordable: Under S$100
- Bluetooth 5.0: Hassle-free Connection
- Great Audio Quality: Supports AptX
After using the Mpow M5 wireless ear buds for a year, I was truly satisfied.
Aesthetics & Build Quality ★★★
The Mpow M5 (also known as T5) is a good looking pair of wireless earbuds.
It is covered with black quality faux leather which looks as good as new even after one year of usage. Both the ear buds and the charging case doesn’t feel cheap and have great build quality.
I have dropped both the ear buds and the case on a few occasions and it seemed to work perfectly.
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There is one instance that I dropped the charging case so hard that the bottom case cracked open, revealing its internal circuitry. I popped it back to the case and somehow it managed to survive without any problems.
However, one thing I didn’t really like is the size of the charging case. It is pretty thick and pops like a sore thumb when I put it in my pocket.
Other thing I dislike about the case design is that it uses a microusb port for charging which is extremely inconvenient for 2020.
Connection Quality ★★★
The Bluetooth connection was fantastic. Pairing was extremely easy, once I take the ear buds out from its case, I was able to find it almost immediately in my mobile phone’s Bluetooth list.
The Mpow M5 also connected automatically every time without fail when I took the ear buds out from the charging case. If you like to connect only for a single side, you can only use the right ear bud.
However, when I disable and re-enable my Bluetooth on my phone, the ear buds doesn’t automatically reconnect. I have to either pair it manually or reinsert and take out the ear buds from the charging case.
The Mpow M5 has good distance coverage as well.
I have tried wearing them on several occasions while playing basketball. The phone was positioned at the basketball post and I managed to have a consistent connection till I was near the 3 point line.
Despite labelled left and right, the earbuds are interchangeable for both ears. I couldn’t tell any difference when I accidentally wore with the wrong side.
The Mpow M5 has a closed earphone design and has one of the best isolation among all of my earphones including wireless ear buds and IEMs.
However, if you are a fan of open earphone design (sound leaking out for a more natural sounding audio), you may not like the Mpow M5.
Despite not having active noise cancellation, I almost couldn’t hear any ambient noise while listening to my music.
It is extremely comfortable even for small ears like mine. I can wear them easily for a couple of hours without any fatigue.
Audio Quality ★★★
If you enjoy listening to bass heavy music, you will love it.
The Mpow M5 has a warm immersive audio experience and delivers a solid punch in the bass department.
However, what I truly like about the Mpow M5 is its overall cohesive sound signature. While there is a higher priority in bass, it doesn’t reach to the point where mid tones and higher notes are totally overwhelmed.
While it has a great punchy bass, we would prefer to have a deeper sub bass to accentuate rumbles for drums.
The Mpow M5 has a rich mid range, providing great amount of details in vocals as well as instruments like drums and guitars. It has clean detailed notes with a pleasant natural tonality which is perfect for Youtube and podcast.
The Mpow M5 also has an amazingly wide soundstage especially considering its price tag. When we played the soundtrack “Letter” by Yosi Horikawa, we could literally hear the clear distinction of each sound effect such as the page flips, scribbling and thumping sounds moving in clockwise direction.
If there is one thing that is lacking, it has to be the slightly blunted treble, decreasing the overall detail you’ll hear in the higher frequency.
This prevents the overall audio experience from becoming too sharp or piercing. The details in the highs are still relatively decent , even without that little icing on the cake.
If you are using a Samsung S10 phone, you can rectify it using its in-built equalizer. You will be able to hear the sharp screeching sound of pencil scribbling sound effect clearly from the soundtrack above.
At this stage, we are nitpicking as it is a common issue even for ear buds at the price range of S$200.
Microphone Quality ★☆☆
To be honest, I haven’t seen much wireless ear buds offering good microphone quality.
This is to be expected due to the typical design of wireless ear buds. The microphone is too far from the source.
During phone calls, we can hear the voice of the other person clearly. However, we had to disable the Bluetooth on our phones 90% of the time as the other person couldn’t hear our voice.
It is even worse when we are in a noisy environment which makes it totally unusable.
Compared to Klipsch T5
Despite being a Klipsch fan for years, we feel that Mpow M5 delivers a stronger immerse music experience with clearer details and wider soundstage compared to the Klipsch T5.
Compared to QCY QS1/QS2
The QCY QS1/QS2 is marginally better in the higher frequency, providing better treble. However, Mpow M5 is leaps and bounds better in other departments.
Mpow M5 has perhaps one of the best (if not the best) quality-price ratio among all wireless ear buds even compared to the mid S$200 range.
It is the also main reason why I went back to the Mpow M5 after testing out several wireless earbuds.
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If you have a brand copy of the Mpow M5 and feel that the quality wasn’t as good, it could be due to some prior setting. We recommend doing a factory reset by holding the side button for more than 7 seconds.
We feel that the Mpow M5 is one of the best deals for budget wireless ear buds. What wireless ear buds do you use or do you have a better recommendation of wireless ear buds?
Share with us in the comment box below and we might do a test. 🙂