Mobvoi Earbuds ANC Review: Does Decent Sound Quality Under $60 Even Exist?

Mobvoi headphones and case in black
Courtesy of Mobvoi

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Choosing between wireless earbuds can be challenging based on the number of available options. And if you are looking for a pair of earbuds that are more “budget-friendly” but still worthy of your hard-earned dollar, well, then your choices become even slimmer.

However, that doesn’t mean you frugal audiophiles are out of luck. I had the chance to use the Mobvoi Earbuds ANC as my daily driver to see if they’re a worthy pair of budget-friendly wireless earbuds.

But be warned: I will make a lot of comparisons to Apple AirPods Pro, as those are generally my regular earbuds, even though they aren’t in the same price range. Cool? Cool. Now let’s see how the Mobvoi Earbuds ANC fared.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 19.6 x 24.6 x 43.1
  • Weight: 5 grams
  • Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 5.0
  • Eartips: 3 pairs of eartips (S,M,L)
  • Battery Life: 4.5 hours with ANC (Quiet Mode) and 21 hours with charging case
  • Charging Time: 1.5 hours
  

Design

mobvoi earbuds ANC contents of box Jonathan Knoder | SPY

The matte-black case is slim and lightweight — certainly small enough to easily slide in and out of your pocket or in any laptop bag. It’s slightly taller than the AirPods Pro case but about as thick. The matte finish of Mobvoi does make the case feel a little bit slick, and with such smooth edges, I see the potential of it slipping out of someone’s hands.

The earbuds themselves are lightweight, so having them in all day didn’t make my ears achy or tired. However, the stem is rather long, reminding me of a Bluetooth headset. Personally, I wasn’t digging how long the stems were, but it didn’t play a role in making them uncomfortable.

The touch controls are located toward the top of the stem, and you press either the left or right earbud to use them. You can play and pause music, skip songs, change the volume and switch between active noise cancelation (ANC) called quiet mode, passthrough mode (lets you hear your surroundings and your voice while ANC is on), and ANC off.

I felt the touch controls were responsive as I didn’t have any trouble with the earbuds doing something I didn’t intend with the touch controls.

  

Sound quality

spy team member listening to Mobvoi Earbuds ANC Jonathan Knoder | SPY

These sound rather good for a pair of “budget-friendly” earbuds.

Compared to my AirPods Pro, I noticed that the Mobvoi Earbuds ANC tends to overemphasize the high-end of music. They are less balanced and brighter but don’t mistake that for tinny — there is still a good share of bass. (More on that in a moment).

For instance, when listening to Kingston by Faye Webster, everything sounds pushed forward in the mix — the vocals, guitars, snare — yet the overtones of the kickdrum are overemphasized, making the song sound a little more … “reverby.” (I just made “reverby” a word.)

Speaking of too much reverb, House of Cards by Radiohead already has a lot of reverb on essentially every vocal track and instrument. With Mobvoi’s sound profile wanting to boost everything in the mix, the song sounded more out-of-balance than my AirPods Pro.

But when I listened to songs like F Slo by Brain (Lil Dicky) or Got it Boomin by Oren Major, the bass sounds rich and complete, and the added emphasis on all of the high end is welcome.

So, if you’re into more bass-heavy jams, this sound profile fits right in your bag.

  

Features

Finding ANC that works well at this price point can be difficult, but both the ANC and the passthrough work great.

The battery life is about 4.5 hours with ANC, which isn’t great, but it’s on par with the AirPods Pro. By comparison, the similarly priced, if not slightly more expensive, Jabra Elite 75t earbuds sport a 7-hour battery life, so I do wish the Mobvoi battery life was better.

One unique feature I liked is the quick-commands. Instead of fumbling around with touch controls, you can say “skip song” or “pause music,” and they do. The instructions stated you need to use the wake-up phrase, how you would with Apple and “Hey Siri” or Amazon and “Alexa” before saying your command.

Mobvoi uses “Hey Tico” as its wake-up phrase, but the quick command alone worked without any additional wake-up. Maybe I’m just special. Regardless, the quick commands were a welcome and helpful feature.

  

So Should You Buy It?

Yes, for the average consumer looking for a good pair of cheap earbuds, these are a viable option. I think they’re a great set of budget earbuds for workouts in particular, especially if you listen to a lot of bass-driven music, such as rap, hip-hop and electronic. If you want ANC that actually works without spending too much money, that should make your choice even easier.

Pros

  • ANC with passthrough
  • Quick commands
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Long stem
  • Lackluster battery life
  • Bright sound profile

Score: 7/10

mobvoi headphones Courtesy of Mobvoi

  

What Are Some of the Alternatives?

After reading this review, if you’re still not entirely convinced the Mobvoi Earbuds ANC are for you, here are a few alternatives that may be better suited for all your wireless earbud wants and needs.

 

Anker Soundcore Earbuds

Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Courtesy of Amazon

  

Jabra Elite 75t Earbuds

jabra 75t Courtesy of Amazon

  

Sony WF-1000XM4 Earbuds

Sony XM4 earbuds, best Christmas gifts Courtesy of Amazon

  

Apple AirPods Pro

New Apple AirPods Pro Courtesy of Amazon

  

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