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Xiaomi’s Noise-canceling Earbuds are the Best USB-C Accessory

Xiaomi’s Noise-canceling Earbuds are the Best USB-C Accessory

Most people buying new Android phones in 2017 are left with just Bluetooth and a lone USB-C port to connect their , and there aren’t yet many decent wired options around.

Chinese gadget brand Xiaomi, which is steadily making inroads into Europe and the US after dominating in many countries in Asia, recently launched a pair of active noise canceling (ANC) earbuds that draw power from your phone’s USB-C port. That additional feature, and the low sticker price of $45, make them worth considering for most folks.

While these buds plug into any USB-C port, they only work with certain phones (including Xiaomi’s). The company explained that this is a constraint of USB Type-C, wherein some devices don’t deliver audio output over Type-C connections (while handling other things like power or video).

This video sheds more light on the situation:

Neither the OnePlus 5 or 5T support audio over USB-C, for example. As such, it’s worth trying other USB-C audio gear with your phone before buying this Xiaomi set to be sure that they’ll work properly.

Design: Xiaomi’s ANC earphones feature a simple, straightforward in-ear design with a glossy black finish. There’s an in-line remote control with three buttons for handling audio playback, calls, and volume, as well a switch to turn noise cancellation on and off.

The cable that extends from the remote to the USB-C plug is braided with Kevlar fiber to reduce accidental damage and tangling, but sadly, the ones connecting to the buds are not. Overall, these feel fairly well built and aren’t showing any signs of wear and tear even after being chucked into various pockets and backpacks over the past few weeks. The earphones come with a set of medium-sized buds already attached, along with three more pairs of interchangeable buds in varying sizes.

Noise cancellation performance: Let’s dive into the noise cancellation bit first: these buds are meant to tackle ambient noise that’s louder than above 25dB, and between 50 and 2,000 Hz. That means that there’s a fairly large range of high-frequency sound audible to the human ear that they can’t cancel out.

They work by listening for environmental noise with a mic and then playing an audio signal with an inverse polarity, so you don’t hear what’s around you. Toggle the ANC switch, and you’ll instantly notice most low-frequency sounds around you quieten down, from street traffic to whirring fans, and construction. You will, however, still be aware of higher-pitched sounds, like strains of music, people talking, and some vehicular engine noises.

Sound: Xiaomi’s ANC buds present a mostly neutral sound stage, which works fine for most genres. There’s a major emphasis on treble, which helps perk up pop, R&B and synth-heavy tracks; the bass is discernible and well-rounded, but only when there’s enough room for it in the mix.

The earphones fair poorly when it comes to separating instruments and giving them sufficient space to breathe. To be fair, that’s par for the course with cheaper in-ears, but it’d have been nice to hear these perform better when it comes to more involved genres like metal.

Credits: https://thenextweb.com/gadgets/2017/11/24/xiaomis-noise-canceling-earbuds-are-the-best-usb-c-accessory-under-50/

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SNR

Linux & Windows Geek, Blogger & System Administrator

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