As far as looks go, the Mi Headphones look really classy straight out of the box.
It has a slim, foldable design with machined aluminium grilles as well as accents in retro gold, a pretty bold design choice considering it’s the only colour option available and most brands tend to go the safe route by either sticking to the classic red, silver or black combo or the other extreme by having only chic and bright colours favoured by brands like Beats and Skullcandy.
The band is made of padded PU leather stitched with red and the cans are made of the same stuff, albeit the latter has perforations in it to, presumably make them cooler when worn, no pun intended. The folding design also makes it easy to store in the case, and the case itself has individual pockets for all the accessories should you decide to take them all with you.
Also, the headset features a 45 degree swivel to make for a more comfortable clamp, but watch out ladies, like many headsets that have these hinges, they have a habit for chomping off errant strands of long hair.
With such a slim profile, the headphones are surprisingly solid feeling though the outer grilles do look like they would get dinged or scratched easily but all that should be easily avoided as long as you’re not being overly rough with them. They’re nowhere near chunky either, we wore them for the whole day and thanks to the open design, our ears didn’t melt off with the Malaysian heat.
Under the hood
The most evident thing that sets the Xiaomi Mi Headphones apart from the rest is that it comes with a larger than average 50mm diaphragm with a 2 micron thick acoustic membrane. This is to give it better bass capabilities and sensitivity than the average headset, most of which have drivers at 40mm. However there’s no mention of the Mi Headphones possessing neodymium magnets in its drivers but that could be a factor in how they managed to make it cheap.
In terms of general specifications it shares a lot of similarities with Razer’s Adaro Stereo headset, with the major difference being the magnets and the lack of a microphone, as the Mi Headset appears to be targeted at people who are more casual audio enthusiasts who want something more premium.