Krzysztof is a lifelong future tech junkie investigating the latest stories from companies like Apple, Samsung, Google, and Amazon.
Mpow X3 Gifts Everyone ANC With Affordable TWS Earbuds
The Mpow X3 TWS Earbuds bring active noise cancellation (ANC) to everyone in a tiny magnetic charging case.
These long stem, black headphones remind me of the original Apple AirPods except these actually deliver on ANC and affordability. At less than $60 (price varies) these buds are significantly cheaper than other ANC headphones yet they still deliver on performance.
The earbuds feature 10mm fiber optic drivers and SBC/AAC audio decoding for enhanced deep bass, trebles, and mids as well as 4 mics with beamforming technology for crystal clear calls.
And all this fancy tech actually works; I've had a fantastic experience so far using these earbuds, and they may rank in my top 5 after all is said and done.
This product has a lot going for it including functional add-ons like IPX8 waterproofing, Bluetooth 5.0, smart touch controls, custom ear tips, and a Type-C quick charge case that delivers 30+ hours of battery life.
All that plus more make these worthy of buying; even audiophiles will be impressed.
Mpow Product Information
$59.99 w/$10 off coupon on Amazon (varies)
4.13 x 4.13 x 2.2"
Active Noise Cancelling (ANC)
Yes - Up to -28dB - Click & hold R earbud for 2 seconds to turn ANC on/off - ANC only available in twin mode
7/20hrs (ANC Off) - 6/18hrs (ANC On)
Total Battery Life
30hrs (ANC Off) - 26hrs (ANC On)
10mm Fiber Optic Driver - SBC/AAC audio decoding - frequency range: 20-20khz - Enhanced Deep Bass
Smart Touch Controls
Yes - Sensors on L & R earbud
Yes - Uses 4 mics and beamforming technology for clear calls - Tap once on L or R earbud to answer - Tap twice on L or R earbud to hang up - Hold L or R earbud for 2 seconds to reject
Mono/Twin Mode Operation
Yes - Only R earbud used for mono
Voice Assistant Activation
Yes - Google/Siri w/2 second hold on left earbud
Music Playback Controls
Yes - Click R earbud once to increase volume single level - Click L earbud once to decrease volume one level - Double tap L or R earbud to play/pause - Triple tap L earbud for previous track - Triple tap R earbud for next track
Wireless Case Charging
Mpow TWS Earbuds - USB-C Charging Case - 3x Extra Soft Ear Tips - 3x Normal Ear Tips - USB A/C Charging Cable - Quick Guide - User Manual - VIP Card
Top 5 Mpow X3 Features That Delivered
As stated the Mpow X3's are packed with a multitude of old & newer features that you wouldn't believe given the price, however there are five prominent characteristics worth noting.
Best X3 Features
- Magnetic Case Design
- Earbud Aesthetics & Ergonomics
- Deep Bass
- IPX8 Waterproofing
- ANC Levels for Under $100 Headphones
Magnetic Case Design
The design of the X3's case is one of my favorites. I love the shape, size, color, and the magnetic snap of this case. It's very reminiscent of the Apple AirPods yet it has its own stylistic elements like the side grills.
And the way the earbuds fall into place along with the location of the LED charging indicators and/or USB-C port is also fantastic. I have a wireless charging stand with a vertical Type-C port and I love being able to just set this case on top of it.
They absolutely nailed the look of this case.
Earbud Aesthetics & Ergonomics
The earbuds are a great mix of the 1st Gen AirPods and current AirPod Pros.
The extended stems can be a bit jarring if you own smaller tipped buds but it's nothing we haven't seen before; the black color helps in this aspect as it tends to make the buds appear smaller than they are.
However the real prize is the comfort level.
The buds use default medium sized ear tips, which fit well and are comfortable to use, but they come with 5 additional pairs of regular and extra soft tips of varying sizes (small/medium/large). That's a lot of options and much needed after I tested two pairs of earbuds with zero custom tips.
I had no trouble wearing these for extended periods, I never felt they were going to fall out, and they were just as comfortable as the Galaxy Buds (1st Gen).
The combo of 10mm optic drivers, SBC/AAC audio decoding, extra thin elastic diaphragm, and stereo design create a fulfilling enhanced deep bass experience while listening to music.
I was very impressed with how much bass comes in and even the trebles and mids sounded very clear and natural. I only wish Mpow had a dedicated app to control each attribute like Samsung has.
Regardless it still delivers on sound quality and loudness, but keep in mind the volume and sound will change slightly when using ANC. For example, it's not as loud when ANC is turned on.
ANC headphones with IPX7 and IPX8 waterproofing is uncommon, so I was surprised these were rated so high.
Note: The Amazon product page gives mixed signals whether it's rated IPX7 and IPX8 but I was able to clarify that these earbuds are indeed IPX8.
With IPX8 you can literally put them under a faucet and they'll be fine though I don't recommend it. What I would recommend is using them for moderate to intense workouts, cardio, cycling, and other types of strenuous activities.
The buds use nano coating so don't worry about that extra sweat going in. Mpow earbuds have always been my go-to for workouts and there's def no need to abandon them now.
ANC Levels for Less Than $100 Headphones
My thoughts on the ANC levels were initially mixed, but considering the value of these earbuds, I felt that I was being too critical.
These do have a -28dB reduction in noise levels over wide frequencies, which is more than you'll get with $50 to $60 headphones. I also like how easy it is to turn on/off the ANC; just hold the R earbud for 2 seconds and you're in.
Just note that ANC will only work when both earbuds are being used a la twin mode.
The noise cancelling does an adequate job at blocking out air flow from fans/vents, road traffic, excess crowd murmurs and voices, and office activities like typing.
Do they contain the most advanced ANC on the market, of course not, but is it sufficient for less than $100 headphones, absolutely!
6 Things That Could Be Improved
Disregarding obvious technical limitations when selling budget TWS headphones, there remain several elements that could be improved upon without inflating the price.
And here's a few that I found:
Six Ways to Improve Mpow X3
- Fix the signal interference
- Include app or ways to adjust bass/treble/mids
- Improve volume when using ANC
- Call quality fixes (sounds too low on other end)
- Shorten earbud stems
- Mono mode on both earbuds
Out of all these I had the biggest issue with signal interference. When I was using my microwave (10 feet away) the sound kept breaking up, which I'll admit happens with my Galaxy Buds but never to this extent.
I'm not sure why there's so much interference but it's troublesome if I ever take these buds to the city or something.
Point #2-3 I've already talked about and I'd consider them minor inconveniences however the next point isn't so slight. I don't think the mics do a bad job with calls but they're not as loud or crisp as I would've liked, and that only worsens when you're near crowds.
Point #5 is very insignificant and mostly geared towards those who prefer more discrete earbuds, but again I don't think you'll get as many looks as you might've gotten several years ago.
And finally point #6 is to simply allow mono mode to work with both L and R earbuds. Currently they only work with the right side, which is a bit limiting.
Mpow X3 True Wireless ANC Earbuds: Final Review
The Mpow brand has been around for a long time and constantly gets high ratings on Amazon, and it's easy to see why. They understand what consumers are looking for and deliver the most they can in a cost-savings package.
I will give the Mpow X3 TWS ANC Earbuds 4.5 out of 5 stars.
As much as I was fond of the active noise cancellation feature, I didn't think it was the standout here. There's other things I liked more including the IPX8 waterproofing, the comfortable earbuds & highly customized ear tips, and the magnetic case.
The sound was also very good with a particular emphasis on the deep bass, which sounded about as good as anything you'd find on $200 headphones.
I did have issues with the signal interference and call quality, but I have faith that they'll address this in their next version. And if they want to make the buds look even more like the AirPod Pros then more power to them.
Despite some flaws I would still highly recommend these headphones to anyone looking for affordable ANC TWS earbuds because you honestly won't find anything as good as these for the price.
The Mpow X3 TWS Active Noise Cancellation Earbuds are an excellent pair of headphones that you will not regret buying; just ask the 1000's of happy Amazon customers.
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on August 14, 2020:
Thanks for this review. It is very enlightening. I like the price.