Mpow

Mpow Cheetah Bluetooth Sport Headphones Review

The Mpow Cheetah is a sporty set of in-ear Bluetooth headphones featuring Bluetooth 4.1 and integrated controls. How good are they? Read my Mpow Cheetah review to find out.

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Mpow Seals Airflow Review : The Best Sports Bluetooth Headphones?

The Mpow Seals are a set of sporty Bluetooth headphones from the company. Boasting Bluetooth 4.0, IPX4 certification and memory wire to keep the earbuds in place, are the Mpow Seals Airflow the perfect Bluetooth sports headphones? Read my Mpow Seals Airflow review to find out.

I want to say thanks to Mpow for sending me a set to review.

Check Price at Amazon

What’s In The Box?

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Inside the box, you get:

  • Mpow Seals Airflow Bluetooth headphones
  • MicroUSB Charging Cable
  • 2 Sets of Ear Plugs
  • English Instruction Manual

Mpow Seals Airflow Review: Design

The Mpow Seals look like an oversized set of in ear headphones, each earpiece sporting a bulky chrome and black frame. They definitely look like a decent set of headphones and don’t feel cheap.

The actual drivers have a gentle curve to them, allowing them to angle into your ears for a good fit. There’s actually 3 sets of rubber tips so you should find something that fits your ears well, though I found the medium set that was installed out of the box to fit me perfectly.

The wire near the ear pieces is made of memory wire, allowing you to bend it around your ear to keep the earbuds in place.

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There’s also controls located in the right earbud’s wire. You’ve got volume control, power button and power LED. There’s also a small microphone too for using the handsfree function.

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The side of the controls also house a micro USB port for charging.

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The remainder of the headphones’ wire is soft rubber that sits behind your neck when worn.

The unit is IPX4 certified so it’ll be able to handle drops of water or sweat just fine, making it a great gym partner. It’s not waterproof however so don’t try and take it swimming.

Mpow Seals Airflow Review: Using It

After charging up the internal battery for around an hour, the headphones were ready to go.

Connecting them up is a case of holding down the power button for a few seconds then selecting the “Mpow Seals” from your phone’s Bluetooth menu. You can actually pair the Seals to two phones at the same time which is handy if you carry around multiple phones like I do. I found the headphones reconnected quickly once paired which is great.

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Music control is via your phone or the onboard controls. Aside from the volume controls, you can press the power button to play or pause the current track. Holding down the volume up or down buttons will skip tracks forwards or backwards respectively.

Given that the controls sit behind your ears, they’re not the easiest to get to. However, I’m glad they are there and found them far quicker to use than fetching my phone out of my pocket.

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Comfort

The headphones fit well into my ears, with the angled design getting the audio exactly where it needs to go. The Mpow Seals take their namesake seriously. Noise isolation is excellent, with the headphones blocking all but the loudest ambient noise. I also found the headphones comfortable to wear for long periods.

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The memory wire does a good job keeping the headphones in place. They even staying in place after a few brutal headbanging sessions so they should be fine for the runners out there.

Battery Life

Battery life is reasonable for such a small unit. I only saw a 10% drop after around 2 hours of use. After a full day, I was only down to 40% so you may be able to get 2 days of use depending on how much you use them in a day. Just keep a micro USB cable handy just in case.

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Audio Quality

I was pretty impressed with the audio quality of the Mpow Seals. Mids and highs sounds great and there’s plenty of bass on offer. They are closer to “fun” sounding than reference which probably suits for most listeners.

Volume is also great. Pushing my iPhone 6 volume to half put the headphone volume at my threshold of comfortable listening so those who love to prematurely deafen themselves will be well looked after.

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The microphone that’s used for the hands-free is ok but given its placement (it’s behind your ear), it made it pretty hard for the other party to hear me during calls sometimes, particularly if there’s lots of background noise. I’m glad the feature is there but the microphone’s location really needs to be closer to your mouth.

Verdict

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I was impressed by the Mpow Seals Airflows. Bluetooth headphones tend to show compromises compared to their tethered counterparts but these were great.

Though the controls are a little difficult to use, the audio quality, design and fit are excellent.

If you’re wanting a set of Bluetooth headphones, particularly for the gym or running, the Mpow Seals Airflow are fantastic.

Getting One

The Mpow Seals Airflow are available from Amazon, Mpow, GearBest and eBay.

Check Price at Amazon

Mpow AquaPro Bluetooth Speaker Review: Waterproof Wonder?

The Mpow AquaPro is a rugged IPX7-rated Bluetooth speaker. This means that you should be able to submerge it to 3ft for 30 minutes without any issues – making it the perfect beach companion.

I want to say thanks to Mpow for sending me a sample to review.

Check Price at Amazon

What’s In The Box?

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Mpow have included a good set of inclusions in the box:

  • 1x Mpow AquaPro Bluetooth speaker
  • 1x micro USB charging cable
  • 1x 3.5mm-to-3.5mm audio cable
  • 1x English Instruction Manual

There’s no power adapter in the box, but the Mpow AquaPro charges via micro USB so pretty much any USB charger should do the job.

Mpow AquaPro Review: Design

The Mpow AquaPro is a surprisingly compact Bluetooth speaker. At around 100x100mm and being reasonably lightweight, it’s the ideal size to chuck into your bag to take around with you.

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The unit’s square design is dominated by its large speaker grill, its grey contrasting with the bright green casing. The grills and rear plates feature panel detail and fake screws adding to the rugged aesthetic.

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Pretty much everything is hard plastic though so it does feel a little on the cheap side.

The top of the unit houses the  device’s four buttons: power, play/pause and skip tracks. To keep the unit waterproof, the buttons are embossed in the plastic frame. This gives the buttons a cheap feel but it’s an understandable design decision.

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A rubber flap on the right side hides the unit’s micro USB and Aux in ports. There’s also an SOS button which activates an incredibly loud alarm if you need it.

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On terms of build quality, the Mpow AquaPro feels well made though its heavy reliance on plastic does cheapen its feel. It’s designed to be waterproof not ultra-rugged like the Mpow Armor Plus so I can’t image it’ll stand too much physical abuse.

Mpow AquaPro Review: Using It

Charging the internal 800mAh battery via micro USB takes around a couple of hours.

After powering up the unit by holding down the power button, it’s ready to pair. Just select Mpow AquaPro from your smartphone’s Bluetooth menu. The speaker will reconnect automatically to the last paired device quickly.

Music playback is controlled via your smartphone or the onboard controls. The volume buttons also pull double-duty. Holding them down skips tracks.

Aux in works as expected. Just plug the included 3.5mm cable into the speaker and your phone and you can play your favorite tracks from devices that don’t support Bluetooth.

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The SOS function is impressively loud, sounding a siren after holding down the button for a few seconds. However, it can only be triggered when the speaker is switched on which is frustrating. If you were in an emergency situation, I hardly doubt you’d want to both power up the speaker and trigger the SOS function when needed.

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The Mpow AquaPro is waterproof, capable of being submerged under 1m of water for up to 30 minutes. It’ll also float so it’s also easy to fetch if it falls into a swimming pool or river. That’s an impressive feat that makes the AquaPro an excellent candidate for those with an adventurer streak.

The in-built 800mAh battery should be good for around 8 hours of usage according to Mpow. After a week of regular usage, this seems to be about right.

Mpow AquaPro Review: Sound Quality

The Mpow AquaPro’s audio quality is impressive, particularly when you take into account its waterproof status.

At low to moderate volumes, the speaker sounds fantastic. Audio is nice and clear with good mids and highs, though bass may be a little light for some users. I personally liked how it sounded as I prefer more balanced audio than drowning my tracks in bass.

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When you hit maximum volume though, the bass can’t quite keep up, with audio sounding harsher due to dominant mids and highs. Overall clarity is maintained however and I didn’t experience any distortion at all.

It’s important to note that audiophiles aren’t the target audience though, so the waterproofing will be worth the audio quality tradeoff.

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The Mpow AquaPro’s volume is independent from your smartphone’s volume. By maxing out both your phone’s and the speaker’s volume, you can output an impressive amount of sound from the unit’s 3W speaker. It’ll be plenty for a small to medium sized room.

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Mpow AquaPro Review: Microphone Quality

The Mpow AquaPro also features a built-in microphone. The function is a “nice to have” but the tiny microphone isn’t sensitive enough so the person on the other end tended to have difficulty hearing me. Audio quality when receiving a call was excellent though.

Verdict

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The Mpow AquaPro is a great little Bluetooth speaker. It’s compact, well-made and sounds great. Couple that with it’s waterproof design and SOS features, it’s a solid package if you need the extra durability it affords.

Though the plastic feels a little cheap, the Mpow AquaPro is great value and the perfect speaker to accompany you on your adventures.

Getting One

The Mpow AquaPro is available from Amazon.

Check Price at Amazon

Mpow Armor Plus Bluetooth Speaker Review: Battle Ready?

The Mpow Armor Plus is an incredibly rugged Bluetooth speaker packing dual 8W drivers, a subwoofer and aux in. It certainly looks the part, but how does it sound? Read our Mpow Armor Plus review to find out!

I want to say thanks to Mpow for sending me a sample to review.

Check Price at Amazon

What’s In The Box?

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Mpow have included an good set of inclusions in the box:

  • 1x Mpow Armor Plus Bluetooth speaker
  • 1x micro USB charging cable
  • 1x 3.5mm-to-3.5mm audio cable
  • 1x Carry Bag
  • 1x English Instruction Manual

There’s no power adapter in the box, but the Mpow Armor Plus charges via micro USB so pretty much any USB charger should do the job.

Mpow Armor Plus Review: Design

Taking the Mpow Armor Plus out of the box, you’re struck by just how militaristic this speaker is. The whole unit’s a stylish gun-metal grey, with strong geometric features. From its chunky style to dark colour scheme to geometric angles and exposed screws, this unit looks ready for battle. I love it.

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The whole body of the unit is covered in thick silicone to protect the unit, including the buttons. The buttons are embossed into the rubber, protecting the electronics from dust and water. There’s all the key buttons here, including power, skip tracks, volume controls and a button to answer phone calls.

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The unit is dominated by the massive metal speaker grills on the front and rear and surrounded by a chunky plastic frame. There’s a massive Mpow logo on the front of the unit. A rubber flap on the right side hides the unit’s micro USB and aux in ports.

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The unit’s heavy, weighing in at a hefty 1.3kg, though that’s not surprising given the large battery and rugged design. It’s not the most portable Bluetooth speaker but that’s not what it’s designed for. It’s designed to be placed somewhere and be ready to take a beating, like on in the outdoors or on a building site.

The unit feels well-made and, whilst I wasn’t willing to try to beat it to the edge of death, it had no issues surviving a few waist high drops with only minor scratches.

Mpow Armor Plus Review: Using It

The massive 5200mAh battery takes a good few hours to charge.

Holding down the power button for a few seconds boots the speaker into pairing mode. Simply pick the Mpow Armor Plus from your smartphones Bluetooth menu and you’re ready  to go. The speaker will reconnect automatically to the last paired device quickly.

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Speaking of pairing, there’s handy spoken cues for turning on the unit and pairing. However, the “Power On” cue always starts a fraction of a second into the sound clip. It doesn’t affect usage at all but it sounds odd and is a disappointing oversight.

Music playback can be controlled via your smartphone or the onboard controls, allowing you to pause or skip tracks easily.

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Audio volume on the speaker is separate from that on the phone so by maxing out the phone and speaker volume, you can achieve some serious volume thanks to the unit’s dual 8W drivers.

Behind the thick rubber flap is the 5V 2.1A USB port that can be used for charging your gadgets. Whilst I replace a dedicated power bank with the Mpow Armor Plus, the feature is definitely handy if you’re away from a power outlet – like out camping.

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The Mpow Armor Plus is water resistant but not waterproof. It’ll handle splashes fine but don’t submerge it unless you want a dead speaker.

Battery life was good. I was easily able to get around a week of regular use so Mpow’s 22 hour estimate seems about right.

Mpow Armor Plus Review: Sound Quality

Sound quality is a mixed bag. When I initially tested out the speaker, I thought it sounded pretty average.  However, later found out there’s actually two audio modes, indoor and outdoor, that sound drastically different.

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The speakers outdoor mode (seemingly the default mode out of the box) prioritises bass over everything else. Music sounds muddy, with subtle elements drowned out by the units surprisingly powerful lows.

This seems to cause an odd fluctuating volume effect, with treble -centric passages appearing louder than those demanding more bass.

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Thankfully, pressing the phone button toggles  the unit into indoor mode. There’s no way to tell which mode you’ve changed to, as a genetic thunk only alerts you that you’ve changed modes.

Indoor mode causes music to sound far more balanced, with treble getting a welcomed boost. The weird volume fluctuations also disappeared too.

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Thankfully, there appears to be a memory mode so it’ll stay in the same audio mode when you turn on the speaker next time.

In terms of volume, the Mpow Armor Plus it’s capable of some serious volume, easily filling a medium to large room with music.

I didn’t notice any clipping or distortion during testing, even at maximum volume which is a massive plus.

Mpow Armor Plus Review: Microphone Quality

I wouldn’t recommend using the Mpow Armor Plus as a handsfree device, despite it’s built in microphone. Audio quality is fine for recieving a call, with the audio being loud and clear enough.

However, trying to speak to the person on the other end is terrible. The microphone is simply not sensitive enough so the person on the end can’t hear you at all.

Should You Get One?

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The Mpow Armor Plus has me conflicted. From an purely audiophile perspective, it’s pretty average – not amazing but not terrible. However, the Mpow Armor Plus is a decent speaker that definitely handles the “Armor” part of its namesake well.

If you’re wanting a speaker that you can throw around and can pump out plenty of volume and bass, the Mpow Armor Plus is a respectable option. Those looking for a solution for listening to music around the house should consider other alternatives.

Getting One

The Mpow Armor Plus is available from Amazon.

Check Price at Amazon

Alternatively, it’s also available directly from Mpow.

Mpow Armor Review: Rugged Bluetooth Speaker with Bite!

The Mpow Armor is a tough little Bluetooth speaker. Packing a single 5W driver and dedicated subwoofer into its ruggedized case, is this the ultimate travel speaker? Read our Mpow Armor review to find out!

I want to say thanks to Mpow for sending me a sample to review.

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Mpow Armor Technical Specifications

  • Speaker Power: 5W
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 (A2DP, AVRCP)
  • Range: Approx. 10m
  • Battery: 1000mAh
  • Power: micro USB port for charging
  • Size: 98.5×68.5x53mm
  • Weight: 220g
  • Other Features: Device charging via fullsize USB port

What’s Inside the Box?

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Mpow have given you given a solid set of inclusions. Inside the box, you’ll get:

  • 1 x Mpow Armor Bluetooth Speaker
  • 1 x 3.5mm Audio Cable
  • 1 x Charging Cable
  • 1 x Instruction Manual

Mpow Armor Review: Design

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The Armor’s available in two colors, orange and blue. The Blue variant is bright, drawing attention. It definitely won’t blend in at all. Then again, given the speaker’s rugged pedigree, you won’t lose the speaker when you’re out and about so the garish color scheme makes sense.

The Mpow Armor screams durable. From it’s chunky geometric design to the black details, the Bluetooth speaker definitely seems to match its namesake. The black detail is actually thick rubber which act as both shock absorbers and grips to stop the speaker sliding around.

The unit feels rugged so there’s no concerns about it falling apart.

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To help protect the speaker’s ports from the elements, the Armor’s ports are protected by rubber flaps. Mpow states that it’s IPX65 rated so it should be splashproof, shockproof and dustproof. Just don’t submerge it underwater.

After a few tumbles to the ground and light rain, the Mpow Armor was unscathed though I’m not sure just how much punishment it can take.

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One flap hides the USB charging port that allows you to charge your smartphone using the speaker’s battery whilst the larger flap hides the micro USB charging port and 3.5mm audio input.

The top of the unit features 3 buttons for power and volume control. However, they also double up as media controls but more on that later.

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The speaker grills are technically the front and rear of the unit, with Mpow’s “M” logo prominently displayed. The rear speaker grill houses the subwoofer.

Mpow Armor Review: Using It

Charging the speaker’s 1000mAh battery via micro USB takes a few hours.

Holding down the power button for a few seconds boots it up, with the power LED flashing blue and red when it’s in pairing mode. Pairing is as simple as choosing “mpow armor” on your phone’s Bluetooth menu.

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There’s a horrible screech when the its paired. How Mpow decided it was a good pairing sound is beyond me. Thankfully, once it’s paired, you’ll never hear it again!

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The buttons are actually on the top of the unit, though it’s not clear until the unit’s actually playing back music. Make sure you’ve got it set up correctly, as it has a major impact on sound quality. Having it face up or face down blocks one of the speaker grills, negatively affecting sound quality.

Speaking of buttons, volume is controlled via the +/- buttons on the unit. Interestingly, these control the device’s volume rather than your smartphone’s. Thus, turning your smartphone and speaker’s volume to max allows for some impressively loud music from such a tiny package.

Music playback can be controlled using the on-board buttons, with the volume and power buttons pulling double duty. Holding down the volume buttons will skip tracks whilst pushing the power button will play or pause the current track.

If you don’t have a device that supports Bluetooth, you can connect your music player via the 3.5mm input. The speaker’s smart enough that it’ll automatically cut over to the wired connection which is handy.

When using the direct cable, audio quality isn’t affected at all. However, music can’t be controlled using the unit’s buttons – but that’s expected.

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Battery life was solid. Mpow claims that the Armor should be good for around 10 hours and that seems about right. After around 5-7 hours of music playback, the batteries down to around 50% (according to the iPhone’s battery widget).

Speaking of batteries, that fullsize USB port can be used to charge your device. It’s only 1A (not to mention the battery is only 1000mAh) so it’s not going to replace a powerbank but its a handy feature.

Mpow Armor Review: Sound Quality

For such a compact speaker, I was impressed with the Mpow Armor’s sound quality. Music on the Mpow Armor sounds great. Highs and mids are slightly higher than the lows. However, the dedicated subwoofer ensures that the sound doesn’t suffer the “tinniness” of other portable Bluetooth speakers. Jumping up to maximum volume does cause the highs to pull further ahead a little bit though it always sounds good.

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Distortion was non-existent during my testing. Regardless of how hard I pushed the speaker, it never distorted which is excellent.

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Speaking of volume, the Mpow Armor blew me away. I’ve dealt with some loud Bluetooth speakers but the volume this tiny unit outputs is amazing. It has no issues filling a medium to large room with music. It’s not going to replace a proper sound system but it’s a solid unit to have on hand.

Should You Buy It?

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I was really impressed by the Mpow Armor. It’s well-made, durable and has the sound quality to match. Those wanting a rugged speaker with plenty of power won’t regret buying the Mpow Armor.

Getting One

The Mpow Armor is available from Mpow’s official store.

Check Price

Alternatively, it’s available from Amazon and Gearbest.