Gadgets for humans

Xiaomi packs active noise cancellation into its $25 neckbuds

Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro-3

After marking its vast territory in the smartphone market in India,, Xiaomi has released plenty of affordable audio products in the country, including a smart speaker and truly wireless buds.

Today, the company announced a new 16W Bluetooth speaker and the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro — and I’m interested in the latter. Why, do you ask? The new neckbuds come at a modest price of ₹1,800 (roughly $25) and have active noise cancellation. You don’t often get ANC in audio devices at this price point, as a search on marketplaces like Amazon reveals.

I haven’t tried this pair yet, so I can’t pass a verdict on its performance. But its feature set seems commendable given the price. Apart from active noise cancellation, it offers 20 hours of playback time and a splash and sweatproof design, which might be good for workouts.

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Xiaomi says that you can enable active noise cancellation with one click, and it’ll reduce surrounding noise by 25dB. 

In terms of sound, it has a 10mm bass driver. So, it’ll have passable sound quality for casual music or podcast listening at best.

I like the neckband form factor as I can just hang them on my neck and forget about them even if I’m not using them. And when I get a call, I can quickly plug them in my ears without having to retrieve them from my pocket.

This is exactly why I use the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 regularly. They’re not the best neckbuds out there, but they’re comfortable and sturdy. 

I’m not expecting these to rival AirPods Pro or Sony’s trusted WH series in terms of noise cancellation. But this might be a budget backup I’d want to keep in my everyday carry bag, and use it for taking calls or working from a cafe.

I’ve ordered a pair, and once I’ll use them for a bit and tell you if it’s worth $25. You can buy them from Xiaomi’s site in India.

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Published February 22, 2021 — 08:52 UTC