The Mpow Mdots was released about a year ago, but it’s still a hot topic today. And for good reasons too. It’s a cheap, practical, and to-the-point earphone that quite frankly does more than it costs.
Is it still worth the consideration in currently? Well, I’ve been using one I snatched up on Amazon, and after three weeks, here’s what I think of the Mpow Mdots presented as a review.
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What’s in the box
Not that much. There’s just a USB 2.0 cable (not USB C), a carry case for the Mpow Mdots, the Mdots themselves, an extra set of ear inserts(tips), and a quick start manual. But what else would you want from a $19 earphone amiright?
The Mdots is your typical looking True Wireless Earbud with rounded edges and an overall nice build. I especially like its well-rounded form factor and bulgy but well placed physical button.
Build quality follows this same theme of not being exceptional but still well above the mark.
As with most Mpow earphones, I like that the Mdots is simple, or plain, if you like. It’s not trying to be what’s it’s not, and there’s none of that over compensatory design and build features you’d normally find in dirt-cheap wireless earphones.
It’s plastic with rubberized grips on its outer margin, and a physical control button placed centrally.
I got the blacked-out version, and I love that it comes with black typography as opposed to the white text on the better, pricier Mpow X3. It just seems to blend in better without being too ‘shouty.’
Fit and comfortability
The Mdots fit snuggly into the ear, almost too snuggly as a matter of fact – getting it out can be a little bit tricky in some instances. That’s all thanks to the rubberized grip on the sides of this earphone.
They poke into the upper part of your ear so that the Mdots sit firmly in place. You can pretty much go Bungee jumping with these without any care for them falling off.
Comfortability is a bit two-sided. The Mdots are lightweight, and while they securely fit in the ear without any wriggling, I’ve come to notice that usage over extended periods (say 9 hours) causes a little bit of discomfort. Of course, this is worse if you have small ears, so keep that in mind.
Generally though, and over shorter usage times, the Mdots are comfy and soft on the ears. It’s also nice that there’s no wiggling about, so you can twist, turn and shake on your bed as you watch your favorite movies without pausing to adjust your earbuds.
The spec package
There’s not much to comment on as it concerns the specs of the Mpow Mdots, but for what it’s worth, this earphone comes fitted with:
- Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
- Bluetooth 5.0
- physical control button
Active noise cancellation (ANC)
Active noise cancellation works as it should on the Mdots, although its effect is confined to the lower noise levels in the 45-decibel range. Sounds greater than this threshold beat the noise-canceling system, and I’ve also seen that wind noises tend to get amplified by the ANC system on the Mdots.
But that’s all in the extremes. In normal day-to-day use, the Mdots ANC system works well to cancel out background noise. That and the passive noise cancellation brought on by the Mdots’ secure fit mean you don’t have to worry about background noises when using these. In fact, it’s so good at noise canceling that I have to pull them out to get in on conversations.
Controlling the Mdots is via a large and somewhat fiddly, and centrally placed control button. Sure, it doesn’t look (or sound) half as cool as a touch control pad – what you’ll find on the Mpow X3 – but physical buttons are nice because they:
- Are well defined. So, you don’t go about fiddling your earphone when all you want to do is change the next track.
- Provide feedback on pressing. So, you know exactly what you’re doing with each press.
I’ll go on to say I prefer the physical controls on the Mdots to the soft-touch controls on the X3. Both work great, but I’ve found the Mdot system easier and more practical to use.
- One-click pauses currently playing item.
- Two clicks skip to the next item on the playlist
- Long press increased the volume
- One-click pauses the current item on the playlist
- Two clicks skip to the previous item on the playlist
- Long press reduces the volume
Sound quality on the Mpow Mdots
As usual, I won’t bore you with cumbersome details. Here’s what’s important:
- Bass is punchy and well elaborated. It’s there in full, but it’s not the main sound component, unlike most other full-ear earbuds. In other words, it’s not overemphasized.
- Mid tones sound pure. So virtually all instrument sounds come out true and detailed.
- Vocals are smooth. Just as was the case with mid-tones, vocals come out clear sounding.
Surround sound is also decent. It’s not as pronounced as the Mpow X3, but it’s defined enough for you to get that 3D sound effect. And because this blocks out practically all background noise, there’s extra amplification of the 3D sound effect.
Overall, and as is commonplace with MPow earphones, the sound is natural and smooth. Punchy but moderated bass on the Mdots allows for full appreciation of all tones – including the upper-mids, instrumentals, vocals, and surround.
Noise cancellation is among the best I’ve experienced so far on a true wireless earbud, and that’s partly because the Mdots combines both active and passing noise cancellation.
Putting these on pretty much blocks out all the background noises, and it does it better than the QCY T12. Even better, it doesn’t produce any of that swishing wind noise that comes with wearing some TWS in windy weather or when riding a bike.
Calling and media playback
Bluetooth 5.0 on the Mdots means there’s pretty much no latency on calls and media playback. You’ve got two dedicated microphones, so everyone’s gonna hear you loud and clear on the other end. In watching videos on YouTube and everywhere else, voice synchronized perfectly with picture.
And as I mentioned earlier, these fit securely in your ears, so you can turn, twist and toss about without ever worrying that they’d fall out. The same cannot be said for many other earphones on the market.
Battery life on Mdots is not that excellent, especially when you’ve got ANC on. BUT, it’s good enough for the price. I get almost four hours of active usage – standby is well over 24 hours.
The carry case also houses an extra 380mAh battery that can take the Mdots through about three additional full charging cycles.
Surprisingly the Mdots comes with a USB 2.0 charging port, not USB C, so that’s something to consider, although Mpow does include a compatible charging cord in the box.
Connectivity and range
The Mdots connect to your device via Bluetooth 5.0. Connection is snappy and maintained per my experience. Once you take out the Mdots from the carry case, they immediately enter pairing mode, and provided Bluetooth on your device is on, they connect immediately.
The advertised range is about 10 meters, but I’ve found it lower than that in using the Mdots. Effective range is about 5 meters, and unlike the Mpow X3, the Mdots doesn’t seem to handle solid walls that well.
Again, again it’s not that bad, but the X3 is noticeably better here. In normal day-to-day use, the Mdots worked pretty well, and provided I was in the same room as my paired device, I didn’t notice any connection drops.
Should you buy the Mpow Mdots
What are you looking for? A VERY CHEAP earbud that sounds pure and natural? You should if that’s you. The downsides of the Mdots are pretty limited to the fact that it’s not the coolest looking earbud out there and that it surprisingly ships with a USB 2.0 charging port.
But for just $19, those are drawbacks I’d forgive in haste. I recommend them to anyone wanting an earbud with ANC that actually works and a sound profile that comes off as natural and pure.