Mpow H5-Best Budget Noise Cancelling Headphones

The Mpow H5 Active Noise Canceling is a discreet headphone with above-average sound for its low price. They are not quite as cheap as the Mpow Bluetooth Over-Ear 059, but they look and feel more first-rate and have better sound quality. They are also noise-canceling headphones, but unfortunately their ANC is not strong enough to suppress the ambient noise of most commuters and noisy environments. They are also a bit tight on the head, but on the top they have a decent battery life, a user-friendly control scheme, and a unique look that will work for some.

Design

The Mpow H5 has a decent and uncomplicated, wireless over-the-ear design with a unique ear cup backing that enhances it a bit more. They have an above average build quality that feels decently durable and looks better than the Mpow Bluetooth Over-Ear 059. They also have an easy-to-use control scheme and a fairly comfortable over-ear seat, even if they’re a bit tight-fitting. This makes them a bit sturdy enough for some physical activity, but they become a bit uncomfortable during long listening sessions and are not the ideal option for athletes. On the top they are more compact and have a nice portable bag that is beautiful.

Sound

The Mpow H5 is a neat-sounding earphone with a closed ear. They have a consistent, heavy and punchy bass, good and even medium sound and a decent balanced highs. However, their bass is somewhat booming, their midrange is noticeably muddy and submerged, and their highs are a bit uneven for S and T sounds. Overall, they are a good choice for fans of strong bass, but not the ideal headphones for vocal-oriented music like pop, jazz or even classical.

Isolation

The noise cancellation feature of the Mpow H5 is mediocre. It is capable of reducing some low frequency noise, such as the rumble of an engine in public transport or the humming of an AC unit in the office. Unfortunately, they do not isolate themselves well enough against ambient noise or high frequency sounds. So you are not the best option if you really want to be isolated from your environment. They are also leaky at higher volumes, making them audible to the people around you as you increase the volume of your music to mask more surrounding noise.

Microphone

The Mpow H5 has a sub-par microphone. In quiet environments, the voice recorded or transmitted with this microphone sounds muddy, muffled and incomplete. This has a negative effect on speech intelligibility. In noisy situations, they have difficulty separating speech from ambient noise, even in noisy places, such as a busy street.

Active Features

The Mpow H5 has a decent battery life, but no app support. In our battery test, they lasted a little longer with ANC and Bluetooth enabled for 12 hours of uninterrupted playtime. It should be enough to take a full day’s work, and you can extend the battery life slightly if you disable the noise reduction feature or use it wired. Unfortunately, they have no power management features like an auto power off timer and no app for additional customization options.

Connectivity

The Mpow H5 have a good wireless range and support the coupling of multiple devices with up to 2 Bluetooth sources. However, they have no NFC, and like most Bluetooth headphones, they have too long a latency for playing and watching movies. On the other hand, they also have a simple audio cable with no inline microphone that provides audio for consoles and PCs, but no support for chat or voice.

Conclusion

Mixed Usage

Decent for mixed use. They have a simple and easy-to-use over-ear design that’s decently well-built and feels first-rate than the Mpow 059. Also, they sound above-average on most tracks and have a decent battery life. Unfortunately, they are not very comfortable and their noise canceling function is quite inconspicuous, so they are not the best choice for commuters and travelers.

Critical Listening

Above average for critical listening. The H5 has a surprisingly good sound, which is decently balanced. They lack a bit of sub-bass, and their mid-range can sound a bit overblown as the bass extends into the mid-range. They also have a dip that pushes the instrumentals to the back of the mix, though they sound decently balanced overall and should sound good enough for most listeners. They are not the ideal choice for more critical listeners, as they do not have a very large soundstage and are not equipped with an EQ to optimize their sound, but on the upside, the standard sound should be good enough for most.

Commute/Travel

Average for commuting. The Mpow H5 are relatively easy to use and decent portable. Unfortunately, their noise cancellation is not strong enough for the noisy environments that occur when commuting. They are also a bit tight on the head, which is not so comfortable to wear for long trips.

Sports/Fitness

Average for sports. They are wireless with a user-friendly control scheme. Although they are quite tight on the head, they are not the most sturdy headphones for more demanding exercises and workout routines.

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