With most budget true wireless earphones, it’s usually a game of pick your devil – I’m going to give away this to get that, or manage a bit of this for more of that. On the Mpow Mdots, for instance, you get superb audio performance but miss out on the fluid and seamless connecting ability of the Mpow X3. On the X3, there’s good audio, excellent Bluetooth connection but somewhat fidgety controls.
If you’re done with sacrifices and wanted a budget earphone that for once does all the basics right, let me introduce you to the Mpow Mods. I’ve had mine for a little more than a week, and I can say it’s an excellent True Wireless earphone without any significant cutback, but let’s get a bit more detailed.
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What’s in the box
You get a USB C charging cable (no charger included), two extra sets of ear tips, a nicely styled carry case, a quick start guide, and of course, the Mods themselves. It’s the typical basic packaging you get from most TWS earphones at this price range.
Design and build
Consistent with what’d you see on most other true wireless earphones from Mpow, the Mpow Mpods is simple and minimalist. No overly exaggerated design cues or colors, and like I noted in my review of the Mpow Mdots, this works.
The Mpods are fairly large, but if you understood the technology being wireless earbuds, you’d realize that this is probably good. Smaller earphones usually cut down on hardware, so many of them have drawbacks either in sound performance or battery life.
Build quality is excellent, and the quality of materials used speaks for itself. You get glossed-out plastic that looks like it’ll hold its place over time and ear tips that are made out of quality rubber (unlike most other earphones out there). It’s pliable and soft but resilient as well. Look into the earphone, and you’d see a metal separator, the first time I’m seeing that on any budget earphone. There’s a notification light at its topmost edge that’s only visible when it blinks, which is also a cool touch.
Fit and comfortability
The Mpods spot an ergonomic shape that contours nicely around your ear to provide a perfect fit. Remember the soft and pliable ear tips I talked about earlier? Yeah, those fit nicely into your ear canals and hold their place. While the fit is not as secure as the Mpow Mdots, which can hold their place even if you go bungee jumping, the MPow Mpods is still secure enough to stay in place in your ears as you go about routine daily stuff like walking, exercise, cycling or even running.
Comfortability is also top-notch. Despite being fairly large, the MPods are feather-light, so they sit in your ears like they’re not even there. The ergonomic design and the nicely crafted ear tips contribute further to comfortability, so in-ear, the Mpods more or less feel like they’re floating. Like I noted earlier, you get two additional pairs of ear tips, and one of them should be your size.
The spec sheet
On paper, the Mpods come with three standout features
- Active noise cancellation
- Soft-touch controls
- Voice through technology
- Six microphones
Active noise cancellation (ANC)
If you’ve never heard out about it before, active noise cancellation (ANC) is the technology that enables your earphones to block out ambient or background noise for a purer listening experience. On the Mpow Mpods, they work great to a certain noise threshold of 28 decibels. Anything above that, and the Mpods wouldn’t be able to cancel out the noise.
Soft touch controls
Soft-touch controls are pretty much standard on the Mpow true wireless earbud line-up. However, I can confidently say that this is the best implementation of soft-touch control on an Mpow TWS yet. It’s sensitive and will pick up every viable touch input, but not overly sensitive, so non-viable inputs like your arms brushing over the earphones are ignored very much, unlike the very sensitive setup on the Haylou GT3. Response to touch input is swift as well, so there’s little lag between inputting a command and registering the effect of that command.
- Single tap ear increases the volume
- Double-tap pauses the current item on the playlist
- Triple tap skips to the next item on the playlist
- Long press launch assistant
- Single tap reduces the volume
- Double ta pause the current item on the playlist
- Triple tap skips to the previous item on the playlist
- Long press launch assistant
- Long press while off turn on
- Long press while on turn off
Voice through technology
When I first started using the Mpods, I noticed it was easier to engage in conversations with the earphones on compared to the Mdots, which practically isolated me from the world outside. It was only later I realized that this was down to the voice-through technology of the earphone. What it basically does is transmit sounds, especially from conversations through, rather than block everything out with active and passive ANC. It’s a cool feature that can pan out to be very useful depending on where and how you intend on using the Mods. I use the Mods in school where I’m having to listen to teachers and talk to colleagues, so huge fan.
Six microphones on a budget earphone is sort of a big deal, and it’s part of the reason the Mpods can pull off neat tricks like voice-through and active noise cancellation. More importantly, it’s the reason the Mpods has an outstanding calling quality but more on that later.
Sound quality on the Mpow Mpods
Mpow true wireless earphones are famous for their throughput elaboration of all sound levels – not just bass, which is what you’ll find with many budget earphones. That theme is repeated on the Mpods.
You’ll love the Mpow Mpods for its:
- Pure and punchy bass
- Upscaled mid-tones, so instrumentals and vocals come out clear-cut
- A wide dynamic range, allowing the earphone to faultlessly transition between all sound levels and tones without lags. The Mpods pushes out smooth, rolling, and clear sounds through its optimally tuned speakers.
- The airy 3-D surround effect
Overall, when it comes to sound quality, the MPods is the complete package, at least when pictured from the perspective of a budget true wireless earphone. It sounds great. Listening to my favorite songs through this earphone has been nothing short of remarkable.
Calling and media playback
Without mincing words, the Mpods has the best all round call quality in any budget true wireless earphone I’ve reviewed to date. For all calls I made with the Mpods, call voice quality was crystal clear both in listening to the other party and in them listening to me.
Bluetooth 5.0 support also means there’s no latency or audio lag when using this earphone to watch Youtube videos or for any other form of media playback, for that matter. The ergonomic design also meant that I could put this on and binge-watch my favorite Netflix series without worrying about comfort or them falling off.
On a full charge, the Mpods can steady churn out your favorite tunes for well over 6 hours non-stop. That’s not a bad number, and additionally, the carry case houses an extra battery that can take the Mpods through another extra three full charge cycles. So, overall you get about 24 hours of active on-time battery life with these earphones.
Standby times are much longer – on the days when I took just calls with the Mpods, I easily got two days of on time. With the extra power provided by the carry case that could easily extend to six days of on time.
Charging is via a USB C connector on the carry case. Mpow supplies a USB C cable inbox, but you’ll have to connect this to your PC or phone charging brick. The charging process itself takes no more than two hours to get to 100%.
Connectivity and range
One other area where the Mpow Mpods wins in the budget earphone wars is in the range department. This wireless earphone can hold a connection for the advertised 10 meters without so much as stuttering. It’s also one of the very few earphones that doesn’t flicker with the presence of walls. With my phone in my bedroom, I can freely walk to all parts of my home – even my far-off kitchen store without losing connection.
That’s thanks to a superior implementation of Bluetooth 5.0 on the Mpods. It’s so good that it doesn’t just hold the connection but ensures there’s no lag in sound production or reduced effectiveness of the touch-sensitive controls.
Should you buy the Mpow Mods
If you wanted the full package in a budget True Wireless Earphone, there are very few competing options that provide as much value as the MPods for the price. This earphone produces top-notch sounds, looks and feels great, hosts some pretty impressive tech, and most importantly, costs just $33. It’s the ultimate bargain buy.