Tag Archives: earphones

Mpow Cheetah wireless earphones review – bargain sports earphones?


Minimalistic packaging is something I always like to see – easily recyclable and no cut-yourself-when-you-open-it nightmares here!


  • Nice fit to the head, even if it takes a little while to get used to
  • Handy functions such as phone number readout
  • Minimalist easy-to-open recyclable packaging
  • Available in a variety of colours
  • Bluetooth 4.1 spec


  • Audio quality a little lacking, poor treble and bass in my view
  • Dimwitted mapping of buttons

Rating: ★★★★☆

Price at review: £16 – buy from Amazon

Over the past few years I’ve tried and tested a number of wireless earphones and headphones. Many of them are very much the same – great idea, but poor design and average audio quality. I picked up a set of the Mpow Cheetah wireless earphones last week with the hope that these might be slightly different. Their design very much interested me because if you ask most sports earphone users, their number one complaint is that they fall out of the ears. Here are my thoughts.

The earphones arrive in firm but simplistic packaging which is nice to see – no annoying and wasteful plastic inserts or anything like that. Inside you’ll find the earphones, together with two extra sets of earbuds bring a total of three wearable sizes (small, medium, large), a micro-USB charging cable and some basic instructions and warranty information.

Setting up the earphones is very easy. Simply switch them on by keeping you’re finger pressed on the multifunction button – keep the button pressed until they beep to confirm they’re in pairing mode. Then grab your phone or other bluetooth device and pair the two devices up. Once that’s done, you’ll get a nice audible confirmation from the headset and you’re ready to go.

In terms of functionality, I was impressed with the wide range of functions that the headset can perform. As well as being able to play music through the headset, you’re also able to skip tracks, adjust volume, and even take phone calls with the device’s built in microphone.

There are one or two fundamental flaws though. First of all, the microphone that’s built in is nothing to shout about. The microphone just isn’t in the right place to catch your voice effectively enough to use as a long term handsfree device – it’s not really the device’s fault as no comparable wireless headset would be able to put the microphone close enough to your mouth that you’d get good feedback. It’s OK for the odd phone call here and there, but I wouldn’t use it all the time for that task. On the other hand, the device will read you the number of the person that’s calling when your phone rings which is a handy extra feature.

The second flaw I’ve found is a little more dimwitted. You can skip tracks and adjust volume by using the forward and back buttons on the right earpiece. You tap the buttons to adjust the volume up and down or hold the buttons to skip forward or back. However, those two functions are alternately placed on the device – so the button that turns the volume up is the same button that skips back a track – you’d think it would make sense that the volume up button would skip forward and vice versa. Small niggle but it’s irritating nonetheless.

I did really like one little feature though. As the device uses a recent Bluetooth specification, it can do things like tell your phone the device’s current battery charge level. A small feature, but useful nonetheless.


The device can report battery charge level to your phone’s notification icon area – see the top right of this image.

In terms of sound quality, I found it wasn’t much to shout about. There are a number of reviews (particularly on Amazon) which give mixed feedback about the audio quality and I, for one, can’t help but feel it’s a little disappointing. Fair enough, if you’re going to use the device for it’s intended purpose (running, most likely), it’s probably not going to hugely bother you whether they sound amazing. However, when using them in a less active environment, I found that the audio quality was fairly flat and that both the bass and treble were lacking. For a £16 pair of wireless earphones, don’t expect the world, but I still couldn’t help but feel I’d tried £10 wired earphones with better audio quality.

Overall, they are a decent set of earphones with a reasonably good fit to the head (it takes a little getting used to but does result in a good fit) with handy functions, but leaving a little to be desired in terms of audio quality. A good buy for £16, but I’d spend a little more if you’ve got the budget available.

Buy from Amazon

Review: Exspect In-Ear Earphones

I went out today and actually bought my second pair of the Exspect In-Ear earphones. I know, you’re thinking who the hell are Exspect? To be honest, I don’t really know – but I do know that their bargain earphones are fantastic.

They sell in HMV for £6 and to be honest most people – including myself – would think that they are £6 and therefore are probably god-awful. Absolutely not the case.

When I bought them the first time, I was amazed at how amazing the earphones sounded. The sound is extremely crisp, the bass is very well balanced and they are also (importantly) very comfortable. From a set of earphones this cheap, you’d expect a tinny sound with a lack of bass but I have to say I was astonished to find they are much better than you can expect at this price.

I also love the great 3D effect you get from the earphones. Listen to a song like Pink Floyd – On the Run and you’ll see what I mean. It’s as if the music is playing in your head, not your ears.

They are available in two colours – black and white – and having owned both I prefer the black – but that’s just my own preference.

In summary – a definite must if you’re on a budget. There are better earphones around – but there’s no point in buying cheap, tinny earphones when you can get these.

Are in-ear earphones worth it?

Sorry I’ve been away for ages. Been on holiday and really haven’t had much time for GEEK! in the last week or so. But have no fear, I’m back and all will resume from now on! 🙂

Anyway, while I was on holiday, I bought some brand new in-ear earphones, mainly because I needed a new pair of earphones and they were only £9.99 at HMV. I thought “what they hey it’s only a tenner” and bought them – I was pleasantly surprised.

I’m actually really pleased with them – they sound brilliant and for £10 they are the best value earphones I’ve ever had!

However, the main reason I’m so happy with them is that they don’t need to be half as loud as my normal earphones. I’m amazed at how low I can have the volume on my iPod with my in-ear earphones and still be able to hear my music very clearly.

In addition, the earphones don’t fall out of my ears all the time, because the earphones are directly in your ear. It used to really bug me when my old earphones constantly fell out of my ears, but I don’t have that problem anymore.

So yes, if you want my opinion, go and upgrade. For what you’ll pay compared to what you get, it is very much worth it! They are more convenient than headphones but less fiddly than standard earphones – perfect!