A very decent looking pair of wireless headphones that perform as good as rivals twice the price. The MS301s are a fantastic choice at the budget end of the market – even if we can’t work out how to pronounce the brand name.
Mixcder MS301 wireless headphones review
Wireless headphones has fast become one of the most crowded and competitive markets with traditional headphone makers and new entries flooding the shops with options – making it increasingly difficult to stand out. Mixcder could easily become one of the many names that just pass you by, but on the evidence of the MS301s that would be a real shame.
The MS301 wireless headphones don’t just look the part but provide sound quality and overall performance way above their price tag. They’re not the greatest headphones in the world, but for under $100 they are superb.
Spending less than $100 often doesn’t guarantee you much in terms of sound quality but with the MS301 we were pleasantly surprised. They provide good depth of sound and clarity making it easy to pick out individual instruments even in complicated pieces. While they may be a little bass heavy, they aren’t badly balanced at all and are ideal for listening while on the move.
They aren’t the greatest headphones we’ve ever listened to by any means but the sound quality is on a par with rivals at least twice the price.
As well as a decent quality of sound the MS301 headphones include the latest aptX-LL technology for reducing latency. This won’t help if you’re just listening to music, but it goes a long way to reducing the delay between sound and images when watching videos or playing games.
Described as over the ear headphones, we found them to be a bit smaller and slightly in between the usual size you will find for over and on-ear headphones. The ear pads are generous and do a good job of blocking out exterior sounds, but these aren’t noise canceling headphones. The pads are made from a pleather that looks good quality, although it may start to show its age after extended use.
They are comfortable to wear and feel very well made – without knowing the cost beforehand you could easily mistake them for something significantly more expensive. The body of the earpieces themselves are metal and look, as well as feel, very premium.
The headphones come in a semi-soft case which could work as a travel case in a suitcase maybe but it’s too big for everyday use. It’s a shame the headphones don’t come with some sort of pouch for normal use.
Battery life is good with the headphones providing up to 20 hours of music playback, or 220 hours of standby time. This is more than enough to use not only for the commute but also the day of work (if you can listen to music while you work) without needing to charge halfway through.
The MS301s are charged using a regular microUSB power cable so you will likely already have a charger, although a USB charging cable is supplied with the headphones just in case.
Setup, Bluetooth and ease of use
Setup is standard for a Bluetooth device and it is supplied with simple instructions. The MS301s include Bluetooth 4.2 and we didn’t encounter any problems while using them. If you don’t want to use Bluetooth, or run out of battery, there is also a 3.5mm cable supplied to use the headphones like a regular pair.
The headphones have 3 buttons on the right earpiece: power on; volume up; and volume down. The power button is spaced well away to avoid any button confusion and a short press of this button doubles as a play/pause button for your music. The volume buttons can also be used to skip tracks forward or backward by holding them down for a couple of seconds.
A price under $100 makes the MS301 headphones very attractive, especially considering their quality. To get similar performance you would need to spend upwards of £200, although for that you will get a more recognizable name.
A very good pair of runabout headphones that still look premium and provide good sound quality without costing the Earth. They may not have the same brand cache as more expensive rivals and you want a style statement, but if all you want is decent sound they are a fantastic choice.