When I put on a pair of headphones my number one concern is to block out all outside noise and to lose myself into whatever I am listening. And this is made possible only with a pair that offers active noise cancellation, a feature that was only found in premium brands, until recently that is. Fortunately, a good quality economical brand like MPOW now also offers active noise cancellation in its H5 model. But active noise cancellation isn’t its only draw. By the way, there are other several reasons as to why these are one of the best noise cancelling headphones under $50.
This is my MPOW H5 review based on the few weeks that I spent with it using it as my only pair of headphones.
Let’s start with something that you will notice right out of the box, it design. It is designed to be worn over the ears and has padded speakers. The pair can easily folded into a very compact form for easy carrying during travel. It does come with a hard carrying case for people who prefer keeping their headphones tucked away with in the luggage but I personally find the hard case to be an added accessory that I have to care for. If you are like me and enjoy traveling light, I would suggest that you leave the case at home and let the pair hang on your neck.
The ear cups are glossy and attract a lot of fingerprints. If that sort of thing bothers you like me, you will find yourself wiping them most of the time. The power and volume buttons are on the left speaker and so is the charging port, while the right speaker holds the control for noise cancellation. It is pretty comfortable to wear but takes a little getting used to.
The Quality of Sound
The sound quality isn’t anything extraordinary and can’t compare to the likes of Beats by Dre, Bose or Sony; but it justifies the price hands down. The bass output is really enjoyable and most vocals are clear and do not muzzle in the background.
The active noise cancellation technology does a decent job of suppressing most outside noise but it does not completely kill it. Again, considering the price these headphones come for, the noise cancellation that they deliver is too good. Do not compare the feature with the elite brands out there though.
MPOW H5 carries all the phone features of a standard Bluetooth headset like answering incoming phone calls or using the smartphone virtual assistant feature. The experience with calls wasn’t very good. The mic particularly isn’t suitable for long conversations as almost everyone I talked to using the pair complained about hearing too much windy sounds and background noises.
One thing that I should’ve mentioned earlier is that the foam padding can get really hot if you have the pair on for longer duration. So, you may want to remove them after every one or so hours to let your ears catch some air.
The Battery Life
Battery life is obviously your number one concern when you make a purchase like this. I mean, no one wants their headphones to die during their journey from point A to point B and MPOW H5 does a great job in delivering it. If you compare it to the Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones, the Mpow H5 has two times extra battery life. I managed to juice out about a little more than 11 hours on Bluetooth connectivity. I was, however, able to extend this to around 20 hours when I used the pair with the included aux cable.
In both scenarios I had noise cancellation active always. So, I believe the battery timings can be increased if noise cancellation is turned off. But since I did not try it myself, I cannot say this with surety. It takes a little over two hours to charge the thing with the included cable, which you can say is a bit more than what I expected.
My overall experience with pair was enjoyable. The output quality of sound is acceptable but I will avoid using it for calls or audio recording as I found the mic performance to be mediocre at best. Designwise, the pair is comfortable to wear but someone with a large head may find it a bit stuffy. Battery life is excellent and can last you through a long international flight without needing a recharge. I will conclude this MPOW H5 review by saying that if you are budget constrained and cannot afford a premium brand like Beats by Dre or Bose, the H5 can deliver you identical results with a lesser quality and at a lot lesser price.