Mixcder E9 BT Headphones$69.95
Audio Quality (Bass)9.0/10
Audio Quality (Mid)7.0/10
Audio Quality (Treble)6.0/10
Active Noise Cancelling7.0/10
- Excellent battery life
- Deep bass
- Relatively clear mids and treble
- Comfortable padding
- Tight fit
- Lovely included hard case
- ANC cuts out deeper tones quite well
- Average plasticy build quality
- ANC could be more effective
- Very hot to wear while exercising
- Only uses SBC codec
At the $70 price point there are a ton of options for Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones, and even if not class-leading, the Mixcder E9s offer a well-rounded package with decent performance overall. Compared to the likes of high end active noise cancelling headphones like Bose or Sony, the Mixcder’s ANC is not as effective, but Bose and Sony are also five times the price so that is to be expected. Of the 5 sets of Chinese ANC headphones I have tried, the E9’s are my favorite, and so long as expectations are reasonably set then I think most people will be happy with these.
Design and Build Quality
The design of these headphones can be summed up in one word: plastic. Pretty much everything about them is plastic except for some metal reinforcement in the headband. The plastic is fairly solid although I am not personally a fan of glossy plastic around the edges. The buttons have a nice click to them and they are solid in their case. The construction is solid without any creaks or rattles when I shake them. The only area of concern for me is in the folding mechanism, where it is made of plastic instead of a stronger material. This is a common point of failure on many budget headphones.
The good news is that these headphones are pretty comfortable, especially if you like headphones that tightly hug your head. There’s a nice thick padding around the headband cushioning the top of the head. They fit tightly around my ears, blocking out a lot of external noise, which helps the Active Noise Cancelling.
These headphones have bass heavy sound, pushing towards a warm, low tone rich audio profile that those who listen to heavily processed electronic, pop or rap in particular will appreciate. The good news is that even with the emphasized bass there is still enough detail in the midrange, and the treble is pretty clear. While not exactly audiophile grade, these headphones will be suitable for most people in terms of audio quality, but I will say that I can definitely tell the difference between these and my high end headphones which have a more neutral, treble emphasized profile and higher clarity. But for bluetooth headphones these are good enough. Out and about audio quality does not matter as much to me, with all the noises of the city drowning everything out, so that comes up to one of the most important things about these headphones, the Active Noise Cancelling.
Active Noise Cancelling
Enable Active Noise Cancellation and the difference is noticeable. It cuts out about half of background noise and is particularly good at cutting out lower steady pitches such as engine noises, fans and airplane noises but not as good at cutting out the higher pitches that accompany those sounds like tires on the roadway. With the ANC on, I can have the window in my bedroom open without getting annoyed by road noise, and it also cuts out the loud fan of my air conditioner. However on a bus or an airplane I can still hear the engine, even if the sound is reduced. The headphones are above average for sub hundred-dollar ANC, but they are definitely no Sony or Bose.
A better comparison would be my Bluedio F2 headphones, which are the same price as the Mixder. I like the build quality of the Bluedio a bit better because of the metal headband and USB-C for charging. Audio quality with ANC off is very similar, but turn the ANC on and the Bluedio audio goes to hell. All the bass is lost, like someone unplugged the subwoofer. The ANC on the Bluedio tends to overreact to high pitched noises, amplifying them and causing the headphones to occasionally emit high pitched squeals. Needless to say, I never use ANC on the Bluedio. The Mixcder E9 on the other hand maintains similar audio quality with ANC turned on compared to it turned off. Fantastic! If anything the audio feels a bit more open with the ANC turned on, slightly higher volume and a bit more treble, and the same emphasized bass.
Bluetooth and Wireless Performance
There is very little lag when watching movies and TV on both my Android box and my Windows PC. Call quality is reasonable as well (as far as BT headphones go, at least)
Where to Buy
The thing with budget headphones is you seem to get one or the other – excellent audio quality like the New Bee NB-9, great build quality like the Bluedio Faith 2 or fantastic Active Noise Cancelling. The Mixder E9 may not get top marks in any of those brackets but it certainly does hit the mark for good enough, and I think that most people would be fine with headphones like these. In terms of budget headphones, the E9 sound pretty good albeit bass heavy, the build quality is plastic but it doesn’t have any creaks or squeaks, and the active noise cancelling does not cut out everything but it is surprisingly good for sub one hundred dollar headphones. I think if these headphoens were at $50 or $60 they would be far more worth it. And as a quick hint, these headphones regularly go for $55 on AliExpress, so if you want to get a better value, buy them there instead.