After Xiaomi successfully sold its smartphones in India with barebones box which included just a USB cable and adapter, the Chinese startup was quick to launch its earphones. At first, the name confused many buyers as it ranged from Piston to Piston 2 or 2.1, Flipkart, however, is selling it with the name- Mi in-ear headphone (piston design). I used the Mi earphones for a month and here is my take.
Features: Kevlar Cord, Beryllium alloy diaphragm, Impedance: 16 ohms, Frequency: 20-20,000Hz, Wattage: 5mW.
Price: Rs 799
Several online blogs have reported that they have ended up buying a fake version of the Piston 2 from online stores. It is very difficult to spot the differences.
There are several things to note. Original Piston 2 earphones will have the following:
Chocolate smell from the box.
A white colour tag on the wire with orange coloured Chinese text on one side. Tried Google translate to identify text. The result was “special carving” and “preparation reserved”. On the other a QR code was present.
The left and right ear bud is marked with same orange coloured ‘L’ and ‘R’ text with no protrusion.
Also, check the specification on the box.
Design: Xiaomi has taken extra while designing the Mi earphones. Made with metal and Kevlar, the Piston 2 is built to last. The gold finishing adds a premium feel to it. The Kevlar cord does a good job to keep the pair tangle free and also adds strength. The earphones come along with a good protective casing, three additional ear plugs in small, medium and large sizes and a clip. I loved the smell of chocolate on opening the box. Overall, the design and packaging impressed me.
Performance: These earphones delivered good sound quality from the first day. All those who believe in burning or cranking their earphones before using, I feel it will not be of much use, as it did not create much of a difference for me. Overall, the sound quality is good. The bass could have been better, however, it will please most users.
The noise-cancellation is pretty decent. I used the earphones in almost every situation- noisy roads, under construction buildings, peak traffic, loud political rallies, inside Delhi Metro- the Mi earphones worked pretty well to keep me focused on the music only.
The in-line controllers come pretty handy. I tested it on Android smartphone only and it worked fine. I was not happy with the in-line mic as it captured a lot of background noise and the person on the other side of the call complained about it.
The earphones could have been more comfortable. My ears started to ache after listening to music for over an hour. Apart from the sound quality, the other thing that I liked the most is that I never had to waste anytime in untangling the earphones.
Verdict: At a price of Rs 799, the Mi Piston earphones delivers good sound, noise cancellation, superb design and good value. Go ahead if you are looking for a cheap pair of earbuds for regular use. However, be sure to buy the original version.
Are you using it? Please share your experience in the comment section below.