You get what you pay for these headphones including a deep bass that suffers at louder volumes
The Mixcder E9 are a cheap pair of headphones with the price tag coming in at just under $70 in the U.S.
At this price the E9 headphones are an ideal option for someone on a budget and especially when it comes to the wireless side of the market.
Yes, you can find even cheaper wireless headphones but the whole point here is that these are designed to be a little more premium than those options. The problem is these headphones are not premium enough to surpass the marker the price suggests - these are simply good $70 headphones.
Moving beyond the price and the two main selling points you are supposed to know about is the “deep bass” and the active noise cancelling (ANC).
We’ll start with that deep bass.
Bass is there, but lacking in punch
Yes, it is deep in the sense that the baseline is not shallow. You can hear the bass and that’s important to note. However, what you can’t hear is clarity and depth and this was particularly true at full volume resulting in what was ultimately a disappointing experience.
As this is an issue that’s more present at louder levels, the quality of the bass on offer here will largely be determined by whether you are comfortable having a volume limit artificially placed on the listening experience.
As long as you keep the volume low-ish, then the bass will be prominent and certainly better than some other headphones priced in this range. The moment you up the volume though, or when other frequencies also try to squeeze through along with the bass, the whole sound starts to fall apart.
For example, if you are just listening to only a bassline (think of the intro to a song) then they sound pretty good for the money. That changes when the rest of the track kicks in with the output suddenly struggling to account for everything that’s happening without going into shock.
Again, if you are someone who listens to predominantly bass-heavy tracks that don’t rely too much on other instruments, then these are likely to sound pretty good. If you have a more varied approach to your bass, then there are times when these just don’t live up to the expectation.
This is probably a point that can be extrapolated in general as these headphones seem to excel when there’s less going on. Overall, the more frequencies that turn up at the party at the same time, the more sudden the headphones enter what feels like a panic mode and output a very squeezed sound.
The tops are there, but flatter than expected and the same can be said for the mids which are more absent then present most of the time.
But, these are $70 headphones and at that price, coupled with the rest of what you are getting, they’re not comparably worse than what else you can buy at this price point. They just have their limitations and this is mostly noticeable when used at the loudest volume setting.
Keep it low, and you’ll have a decent output.
Expect a middle-of-the-road ANC when walking down the road
ANC is big business these days as every set of headphones seem to arrive claiming ANC benefits in some form or another. Therefore, the inclusion itself is not anything to write home about. What is more important is how the ANC performs.
Which is something that’s a little hard to convey. In a review sense you are looking -- well, listening -- out for the breach in ANC where sound is leaked through and that’s typically used to determine the ANC’s worth.
The issue with this approach is you are listening specifically for the ANC’s pitfalls and that’s not how most people will use the headphones.
If you want a short answer on the ANC, then yes, sound leaks. It does on all ANC headphones to a degree. However, when you are not trying that hard to hear the leakage, the leakage disappears.
Those hoping for an environmental sound-free listening experience will be disappointed as that won’t happen. Sounds are muffled but far from gone and the more you listen out for them, the more you will hear them.
This is irrespective of the volume as even at louder levels the outside noise can still be heard and this seemed to be the case both indoors and outside. In either situation the ANC did not feel noticeably better or worse.
Regardless of the outside noise, one of the benefits of Mixcder's approach to ANC is that the sound does get a boost when activated. That’s not necessarily to say it is a better quality sound, although it did sound better when ANC was on.
Of course, this will come at the detriment to battery life. Although the E9 headphones can be used in wired mode, they are also wireless headphones and the activation of ANC will help to drain the battery that little bit quicker.
As is always the case with ANC and the battery, you make your choice.
Officially, the company says the 500 mAh capacity battery offers up to 30 hours when the ANC is off. This drops down to 24 hours when the ANC is in use.
If used in wired mode along with ANC, then Mixcder reckons you can expect the battery to keep the ANC powered for up to 80 hours.
Wireless only gets you so far
In testing we had no major issues with the battery which seems more than sufficient for average daily use. However, the same was not always the case with the connectivity in general.
These headphones utilize Bluetooth 4.0 and although they were able to maintain a good-enough connection for the most part, they did seem to fall a little short when there was distance put between the headphones and the player.
Yes, they remained connected, but dropouts were more common than what would have been expected at this distance and when using this Bluetooth version.
This is unlikely to be an issue for those who rarely put distance between themselves and a streaming device, but when in the gym or just when away from the phone/player distance might start to become a factor.
What did prove to be more of a concern than the sound and the ANC was the design, as these do not feel like premium headphones at all. They do come with this brushed look which adds some sheen to the proceedings, but that's about it.
In reality these are very heavy on the plastic and if you don’t notice this when you first look at them, you certainly will when you pick them up.
They just feel cheap
Again, these is likely to be a symptom of their price tag as Mixcder has tried extremely hard to load up on the value by crowding in everything you need in a pair of headphones in 2019, and at this price point that when all things are considered is low. Due to this there’s going to be compromises somewhere along the line...and the design is just one of the most obvious examples.
This is not to say they are poorly-designed headphones - they’re not. It is just the immediate impression on picking up the headphones is they are not as premium as you might expect. That is, if you are expecting a premium set of wireless headphones with ANC for under $70 in the first place. You shouldn't be.
On the plus side, they are extremely light and surprisingly very comfortable when worn during longer listening sessions.
The latter of which is important as even far higher-priced headphones sometimes suffer when worn for extended periods.
The price is the selling point
Should you buy the Mixcder E9 wireless headphones? Sure. If you got $70 spare and you are not looking to spend any more than than on a pair of headphones then these aren’t a bad purchase.
The bass is decent and they perform reasonably well overall on sound quality and connectivity.
They do have their definitive limitations including volume, distance and a cheap-ish design feel, but these are not limitations that outright ruin the experience. These limitations are simply an inevitable result of the price - which should ultimately remain the main selling point to focus on.
To sum up as best as we can: You probably can find a better pair of headphones that check any one box, but you might be more hard-pressed to find a better pair of headphones that checks all of these boxes, at this price point.