I’m not remotely a fan of phones ditching the headphone jack, but these are the sad times we live in. One of my biggest gripes with that decision is that the range of USB-C accessories isn’t great, particularly in the field of audio gear.
But I’m glad that Moshi’s gotten into the game with its new Mythro C earphones. They draw power from your phone to support the inbuilt digital-to-analog converter (DAC) chip to deliver better quality audio than other similarly priced buds, and I’m happy to report that they’re pretty darn good. If you’ve been fiddling with a dongle for your older earphones, this might just be the pair that lets you leave it at home.
Design and features
The Mythro C earphones look nice enough, with elegant aluminium casings, and color-coded buds that make it easy to tell ‘L’ and ‘R’ apart. The inline remote is a tad larger than most others I’ve tried, but that’s because it houses a DAC chip in addition to the standard mic for calls.
The DAC is meant to ensure better audio quality than most phones allow (more on that in a bit). And in addition to the controls for playback and volume on the remote, there’s also a DJ Boost button that engages a customizable EQ, which you can set up via a dead-simple app from Moshi. The button simply turns your chosen EQ preset on and off; you can add more presets and choose whichever you’d like the DJ Boost feature to default to.
The cable could’ve benefited from more durable construction with braiding or metal casing, but unfortunately it’s just your run-of-the-mill rubber exterior. These buds also don’t come with a case, and you’ll have to make do with the velcro loop to secure them when you’re not using them.
As a frequent commuter, I’ve used a ton of earphones over the past couple of years, and I found the Mythro C buds to offer truly remarkable sound among the bunch I’ve tried recently. With their balanced output, they work great with a wide range of genres, from metal to hip-hop to folk.
What sets these apart from others in this price range is the level of detail they can produce without tripping over themselves in the higher frequencies. Spencer Pangborn, Director of Product Marketing for Moshi attributes that to the dedicated DAC:
USB-C headphones with a built-in DAC will override the phone’s own DAC, which is generally lower spec. Mythro C’s DAC performs the usual digital-to-analog conversion, but a much shorter analog cable run is needed to reach the drivers. This greatly reduces the potential for signal degradation, and is the biggest advantage for USB-C headphones.
As for the DJ Boost, it’s a simple enough feature that works well enough for when you want to rock out – but in general, you can do without it. I enjoy turning it on for quieter tracks so I can hear the bass kick in – like on Inc. No World’s “5 Days” – or enjoy vocals standing out from a quiet soundscape – like on Juana Molina’s “A00 B01.” Oh, and if you dig well produced hip-hop like stuff by Run the Jewels, you’ll find yourself reaching for that boost button pretty darn often.
The buds made for a great seal in my ears, so it’s easy to really tune into your music and leave the world behind, about as far as passive noise cancelling gear will allow you. Between the DAC and the precise fit, I looked forward to listening to familiar albums on my way to work, so I could enjoy them more than I did with other buds.
Who are these earphones for?
If your phone doesn’t have a headphone jack, you should definitely consider these earphones. My other favorite USB-C buds are these from Xiaomi, which offer active noise cancellation – but they don’t sound half as good. They also work with laptops and other devices with USB-C ports.
For their asking price of $50, these earphones deliver significantly better audio quality than most other buds in this range. If you’ve been looking for a way to upgrade your listening experience on the cheap, Moshi’s Mythro C are a great way to go.
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Published April 4, 2019 — 13:11 UTC