Mifo S review: Almost perfect tiny earbuds for sleeping
DESIGN, COMFORT AND BATTERY LIFE
RIDE A BIKE. DUMBBELLS. ROPE SKIPPING. YOGA. DANCE MUSIC. And then the main text: SPORT & OUTDO. Shouldn’t that have been OUTDOOR? Anyway: the Mifo S charging case shouts its intentions at you: these are wireless earbuds for sport purposes. On the packaging and online product pages, the S is advertised for sleeping as well – but you won’t read it back on the case.
While the text is a bit corny, the case is quite awesome. It draws attention, the material and print have great quality, and the case feels hefty in a good way. Real sturdy, including a button to sling the lid open. Inside are three LED lights to indicate the remaining case battery and behold: its unique earbuds.
The Mifo S are the tiniest wireless earbuds reviewed on Scarbir.com so far, after testing 280 models. The core part of the earphones is incredibly compact and round, not much bigger than the rubber ear tip attached to it. To make sure the earbuds stay in your ears and it’s doable to take them out again, there’s a big fin-shape on top. These buds disappear in your ears entirely and are ultra-comfortable to sleep with, even when you’re lying on one side without a hand supporting your head. They’re so light, you barely feel that you’re wearing them.
For sports purposes, the IPX7 waterproof rating is a gift – it means the Mifo S can withstand sweat and heavy rain – and you can even take it under the shower without problems.
However, while Mifo presents this TWS as great for sleeping, the battery life falls short for this purpose. The battery life lasts from 4 to 6 hours on a single charge, dependent on whether you use ANC or not. If you sleep with them while using the noise cancelling, you’ll get a spoken battery life warning somewhere during the night – a bummer. If earbuds with a shape like this would make it through the night with ANC on (and music off), it would instantly be a nearly unbeatable pair of sleeping earbuds.
CONTROLS AND CONNECTIVITY
Despite their tiny size, it’s still possible to take the earbuds out of your ears without accidentally activating functions. The touch panel is limited to the center round part of the buds and responds quickly to your input:
- Double-tap L or R to play/pause music
- Tap R to increase the volume
- Tap L to decrease volume
- Triple-tap R to skip to the next track
- Triple-tap L to return a song
- Hold L or R to switch between ANC, Transparency Mode, and ‘Mild noise cancelling’
- Tap L or R five times to (de)activate the low latency gaming mode
It’s impossible to activate the voice assistant from the earbuds, even though there’s no touch command for tapping four times.
Connectivity on the Mifo S is solid: earbuds pair and connect quickly after you open the case, and the Bluetooth signal remains stable up to 8-9 meters away from your device. Like 99% of wireless earbuds, the Mifo S doesn’t support multipoint connectivity – you can’t connect to multiple devices simultaneously.
CALLS, MOVIES AND GAMES
Even though the earbuds reside so deep in your ears, the Mifo S has very acceptable call quality. Wind noise is a threat as always, although it’s presented as if someone grabs in a bag of crisps. Other than that, your voice is clear with plenty of volume, and surrounding noises like trains, nearby chatter, and accelerating vehicles, are very well reduced in the call. Sadly, in both phone and video calls, the other people can sound a little soft to you – prepare to open up the volume all the way.
Watching videos with the Mifo S is easy, with proper synchronization between audio and video on iPhone and Android.
With the low-latency mode, there’s only a very small delay in sound effects when you’re playing games. It’s easy to follow the action in Call of Duty mobile, and even to localize footsteps and gunshots around you.
ANC NOISE CANCELLING REVIEW OF MIFO S
The Mifo S has three ANC settings: ‘strong noise cancelling’, a transparency mode, and ‘mild noise cancelling’, which seems to be the name of ANC turned off. It’s understandable that Mifo uses this description, as the earbuds still block some noise due to their snug shape.
ANC Quality: Switch to the ‘strong noise cancelling’, and the Mifo reduces the volume of your surroundings. The darkest and brighter tones are dampened most, which can just be enough to remove some annoying sounds when you try to fall asleep – precisely why it’s so sad the Mifo S doesn’t have more than 4 hours of battery life with the function turned on.
Other than soft bedroom sounds, most sounds are still (somewhat) audible with the ANC on, no matter if it’s chatter, distant traffic, or background radio. You may want to put on some music to silence your surroundings completely. Happily, the ANC mode doesn’t come with very audible white noise.
Transparency mode quality: Surprisingly, things barely change when you switch to the Transparency/ Ambient mode. Yes, it makes the earbuds pick up brighter sounds around you, like the ticking on your keyboard or nearby conversations – but it’s insufficient to hear what others are saying. The same goes for traffic: you can hear (background) traffic with the mode activated, but it’s still hard to locate where these cars around you are – effectively making this Transparency mode useless, even without playing music.
Wind noise reduction: As the Mifo S buds sink so deep in your ears, you can barely hear wind noise picked up by the earbuds – even when using ANC or Transparency mode.
SOUND QUALITY OF MIFO S
The Mifo S has a sound you’d expect from earbuds focusing on sports: it’s dynamic and energetic, in both the bass and the highs.
The Mifo S has a solid mid-bass thump, which punches happily in modern genres like pop, dance, techno, or hip-hop. Acoustic drums also have some impact, and if a song doesn’t have a fierce bassline of itself, the S doesn’t mind picking up one of the lower-sounding instruments to give it a light thump. The sub-bass [darkest bass tones you can feel as much as hear] can rumble, but it does so loosely. While the bass provides plenty of power, its strikes last fairly long. It could be more precise and textured.
Treble is handled well by the S. The Mifo presents vocals forward and gives enough presence to brighter instruments like violins and cymbals – always keeping it bearable. Apart from the highest volumes, female vocal outbursts are never too sharp, and you won’t find harsh volume peaks either. Female and higher-pitched male vocals can occasionally sound metallic, but overall, upper-mids and highs are engagingly forward and controlled.
Helped by slightly boosted lower-mid tones – making drums and darker electronic sounds sound juicy, there’s a bit of thickness in the Mifo S sound. It’s very pleasant to watch videos with them, listen to podcasts, or for instance, singer-songwriter songs. They sound full, with a nice and subtle warm undertone. The tiny size of the Mifo S does meet its limit in heavy rock or very crowded musical pieces when it can be a bit grainy, and instruments and frequencies feel a bit too close to each other.