bluetooth

MixCDer ShareMe 5 Bluetooh Headphones Review

Unboxing and Packaging

The ShareMe 5 arrived in a box that looks similar to the ShareMe Pro, but thicker. The packing inside is slightly nicer looking. The plastic container holding the headphones is still made from very thin cheap white plastic. I wished they would use something else that looks a bit higher end, because the headphones themselves look very nice.

 

The headphones come with a USB charging cable, as well as a 3.5 audio cable to use the headphones in wired mode. It is always nice to have that option — if this is the only pair of headphone around, and the battery just ran out — provided you do not have the audio jack-less iPhone 7 !

 

Build Quality

 

Mixcder has a winner here. Comparing this with the ShareMe Pro, the ShareMe 5 has a much more premium look and feel. Except for the headband, which has a strip of steel inside, the rest of the body is completely plastic. The metal looking ear cups look good, with just a small bit of shiny metallic plastic, the rest being matte metallic color.

 

The ear cups on the ShareMe 5 folds up into the headband area. As far as I can tell, the hinges are metal mated with plastic. The hinge does not feel very solid, and I hope that it will hold up with use.

The best part about the ShareMe 5 compare to the ShareMe Pro is that the ear cups is free to rotate vertically for about 15 degrees. The movement is small, but it makes all the difference. They fit onto my ears much better. My son and I keep swapping between the ShareMe 5 and the ShareMe Pro, and we both concluded that the 5 is much more comfortable. I also think that because of this flexible fit, the sound quality improved as well.

 

The ear cups and headband are covered in soft leatherette over foam. It is of the same quality as my Jabra Move. My guess is that in a year or two of daily use, they will wear out. But for the price it is a nice setup.

 

Comfort

 

Because of the swiveling ear cups, and the large ear cups, the ShareMe 5 is very comfortable. The clamp force is average — light enough that I can use it for over an hour with no fatigue. For me the ear cup completely goes over my ear making a good seal. The foam pads press against my glasses slightly, but the pads are soft enough that it is not an issue.

 

Controls

 

I am so happy that the controls on the ShareMe 5 is different from the ShareMe Pro. The 5 has a sensible layout — where on the right ear cup, there are up and down volume toggles, and a separate power button. There is no more confusion as to how to turn up or down the volume. The separate power button does double, or is it triple, duty as the play/pause/answer button.

 

Bluetooth and Battery

 

Just like the other MixCder headphones, the bluetooth connection is solid. Comparing to my new Bose QC30, the ShareMe 5, the MixCder has a much better range. It easily goes 30 feet line of sight before dropping the connection. Like most newer bluetooth device, when the connection is dropped, the sound is muted. So you will not get a blast of static.

 

The battery life on the ShareMe 5 is impressive. Again I have problem doing a run down test because after leaving the headphone playing overnight, I still cannot drain the battery. For practical purposes, the battery is good enough for normal use.

One slightly annoying issue with the battery — there is no way to find out the battery level. The power LED will change from blue to flashing red when the battery is low, but I want to know what is the level beforehand.

I noted in my ShareMe Pro review that I experienced a audio delay when I am watching video with the ShareMe Pro. For some reason, it appears to me that the delay in the ShareMe 5 is gone. I watched an entire TV show on Hulu without issue. I don’t know if they have actually updated the bluetooth implementation, or if the perceived difference is purely psychological, but these new ShareMe 5 works fine with video.

Share Me Feature

Since I already have a ShareMe Pro, I paired them together to test out the sharing feature. The two paired up easily (remember, pair them out of range of other bluetooth devices) and they play in the sharing mode without problems.

Sound quality

 

The sound signature of the ShareMe 5 is similar to the ShareMe Pro, but slightly better to my ears. The overall sound is still compressed, vocals are slightly veiled. The bass is punchy which is good for rock and pop. Compare to a high end setup, the sound are not terribly detailed. Listening to Coldplay’s Viva la Vida, where the instruments are increasingly layered onto the tracks, some of the details are lost.

 

$55.99 $65.00

When the music is less complex, for example Happy Theme Song by Grace Kelly, her Sax comes through warmly. The accompanying bass, piano and drums can be heard clearly. On Sting’s A Thousand years, the rumbling deep bass shows off the bass heavy sound.

Overall, the sound is enjoyable for a US $ 60 pair of headphones. It compares favorably to the Jabra Move.

Conclusion

The ShareMe 5 is a good pair of value bluetooth, over the ear, headphones. Sonically it is good enough. It looks much more expensive than it is built. It is comfortable. My only hope is that the folding hinge holds up over time. Otherwise it is a nice pair of value headphones on it’s own. And if you want the sharing feature, I would recommend getting a pair of ShareMe 5 instead of the ShareMe Pro.

Note: I was given this pair of headphones free of charge for a honest review.

Jabra MOVE wireless headphones review

Jabra MOVE Wireless Headphones Review

I have been using the new wireless headset from Jabra, the MOVE, for the last few days. If you are looking for a pair of wireless headset for use in the office or go walking while taking phone calls, listening to podcast or music, I recommend it.

Packaging

The MOVE came with a black box with a magnetically closed front flap. Openning the flap shows the headphones stored in a foam cutout underneath a taped down plastic cover. The packaging is simple and good looking. The only downside is that the small instruction booklet and the charging and optional cables are simply taped to the bottom of the box underneath a sheet of foam.

For some strange reason, the user manual for the MOVE is not included in the packaging. You can easily download it from the Jabra website. 

Look and Feel

When I picked up the headphones, I was pleasantly surprised by the built quality. The headband is metal, with a lightly padded cover in nylon. Mine is black and grey. The earcups are covered with a very soft and well padded leather like materials. I like that the headphone is not too heavy,150g according to the specifications but 160.5g according to my own digital scale. The clamping force is light. I wore it for several hours at a time for testing, and it was comfortable. Sound leakage is very low -- if you use it in a quiet office your office mates will not hear what you are playing. The sound isolation is fair. You will hear muffled chatter around you, which I personally think is a good thing. When you have to have noise cancellation, go with the Bose QC20i.

Sound Quality


To give some context: my other pair of headphone I use in my home office is the Grado RS1, handmade in Brooklyn NY, powered by a DAC + Headphone amp. The entire setup costs 10x of the Jabra MOVE. Does the MOVE sound 10x worst? Not at all. I played jazz vocals, pop, rock and classical pieces on my Macbook Pro using iTunes and lossless (ALAC) files ripped from my own CDs. With the bluetooth connection, it is perfectly adequate. The lows are slightly muddled. The soundstage is not as wide as the Grado. But it is still respectible, especially for a pair of closed back headphones. When I plugged the MOVE directly into the Macbook Pro using the supplied cable, the sound quality improves slightly.

Bluetooth Connection

For me, this is the most surprised thing about the MOVE. The bluetooth range is amazing. I am used to my bluetooth headset I used for my iPhone to cut out when I move to the other side of my open planned first floor. The MOVE not only stayed connected throughtout the entire first floor of my 800 s.q. first floor, it retained the connection when I was up on the third floor!

The paring process is super easy. There is no "code". Once placed in the pairing mode, by sliding the on/off/pair button to the top and hold it there for 3 seconds, it is easily discovered by both my iPhone and my Macbook Pro. The MOVE can be connected to both devices at the same time. I have not quite figure out how it decided to take priority between the two devices. I have music playing from the Macbook Pro, and when I use my iPhone, the iPhone audio takes over.

Battery Life

After charging the headphones for about two hours to reach a "green light", I used the headphone non stop for the whole day hoping to run down the charge. Instead after about 8 hours, the headphones still report "battery level full". I had to leave it on for a full 24 hours to get "battery level low" from it.

It seems like the MOVE will not auto power off on its own. I guess that is the preferred behavior, especially if you want to use it to take and make calls on a phone. So do not forget to switch it off at the end of the day.

Siri and Phone Use

The MOVE does work with Siri. When I hold down the center of the volume rocker, Siri comes on from my iPhone 5s. In fact the MOVE is smart enough that, I can be playing music from my Macbook Pro connection, and a long press will still invoke Siri on my iPhone.

For phone calls, I can hear the other party as well as a pair of wired headset. They can hear my fine without any complains. Add to the range of the bluetooth this makes the MOVE a very nice headset for phone calls. There seems to be just a single microphone on the bottom of the right ear cup. So I do not think there are any active noise cancellation.

 

Conclusion

I have used the MOVE in the office when I want to listen to music and podcast and do not want to disturb my co-workers. I have used it on my excercise walks. The sound quality is good. The light weight and being wireless really won me over. I was eyeing the Sennheiser MM 450-X at one point but that costs three times as much. At this price point I think it is a good pair of headphones. It will be interesting to see if there are more competitors come on the scene.

Disclaimer: Jabra provided me with this pair of Jabra MOVE for review, but the opinions are entirely my own, without bias.