Mifo S Sport & Outdo review: Tiny earbuds for sports and… sleeping?
The Mifo S Sport are ANC earbuds designed primarily for sports and sleeping. Each individual earbud only weighs about 3.5 grams and is tiny enough to almost disappear in your ears as you wear them. Since the in-ear bluetooth headphones received an almost perfect AliExpress rating of 4.8 stars, we had to try them out! But can they hold up in our extensive NextPit review?
Design & fit: Magically disappeared
The Mifo S earbuds are designed to be used for sports and while sleeping. That’s the reason the earbuds are particularly tiny and ultra-light weighing in at only 3.5 grams. The charging-case is quite the opposite as it’s somewhat bulky. Sport & Outdo decided not only to build it out of metal, but to integrate a clever folding mechanism – Why? Because it’s fun – that’s why!
Let’s be honest: Personally, I don’t really fancy the design of the Mifo S. From a purely functional perspective however, the tiny earbuds are really great for sports. Each earbud fits comfortably and almost flush into your ear – and they don’t tend to fall out while exercising. At the same time, they are not uncomfortable even while wearing them for a long time. According to the manufacturer, they are comfortable enough to stay in your ear while sleeping.
After using the Mifo S for some time, I can only partly agree on this. Yes, you can sleep on your back wearing the headphones. If you sleep on your side, you’ll have to live with an unpleasant suction-effect despite the narrow profile, which is rather uncomfortable. You can also wear the headphones while swimming as they’re protected with an IPX7-rating. Though they can withstand permanent submersion, the touch-sensitive surfaces on each side are activated when they come into contact with water – a well-known problem of waterproof headsets.
While the Earbuds are ultra-light at 3.5 grams, the charging-case is noticeably heavy with a weight of 71 grams. This is due to the metal finish, which hardly flexes even under strong pressure from my hands. Although this makes the headphones feel a bit more “high-quality”, the high weight can be really annoying. The metal-case wobbles back and forth while running – I preferred to leave it at home after being annoyed on the first jog.
Like a jewelry box, the charging-case pops open once you press the button on the front. This allows you to remove the Earbuds only to snap the case shut again with an easy motion. That’s fun, despite the flap getting stuck in the middle sometimes.
Sound & ANC
According to the manufacturer, the Mifo S drivers cover a frequency range of 20 to 20,000 Hertz – that’s pretty much standard for cheaper headphones. Although Sport & Outdo integrates a low-latency mode, the headphones rely solely on SBC and AAC in terms of bluetooth-codecs. A contradiction, since both codecs are not capable of lowering audio-latency. Anyway, let’s have a listen.
Up to this point in my review, the Mifo S can be summarized as not particularly pretty, but quite comfortable in-ear-headphones for sports and recreation. Unfortunately, I was less convinced by the sound and the active noise cancellation.
The ANC is based on six microphones and definitely manages to suppress ambient noise. While testing, I could not detect any noise or interference, which would be typical for lower prized ANC-earbuds. The ANC-modes “Strong / weak ANC / Transparency mode” don’t give you much control while wearing the headphones. Many alternatives allow you to control the ANC-effectivity in several easy steps, mixing the ANC and the transparency mode in the process. This is a practical and important feature, especially while cycling or running through dangerous vehicular environments like Berlin.
While the ANC is okay overall, the sound is below the standard other headphones priced at around $150 establish. It is too bass-heavy, mushy and cannot be adjusted via equalizer. If you expect maximum audio-quality, you’d have to look at other alternatives. Our contact at Sport & Outdo explained that the R&D had to find a compromise in audio-quality in order to make the earbuds smaller, lighter and to integrate the IPX7-rating. The main-focus is to change the background noise during workouts to your favorite podcast or artist – and this does work sufficiently with the Mifo S.
However, the headphones could have benefited from higher-quality Bluetooth codecs, since they only support SBC and AAC. Thus, you are bound to a technically very limited codec, at least in combination with Android-devices.
Battery & charging
The Mifo S offer a run-time of six hours with activated ANC. Afterwards, the headphones can be recharged almost five times via the included charging-case. This allows you to use the headphones independently from power-outlets for up to 40 hours. However, you will have to live without quick-charging or wireless-charging.
I’m confidently able to confirm the manufacturer’s claims in regards to battery-life. This means six hours of active music playback. Compared to other models, this is nothing special – but the Mifo S are particularly small. The battery life is correspondingly impressive, especially when you recharge them via the charging-case. The combined total runtime of 40 hours is top-notch and should even be enough for longer weekend trips.
Again, I must complain about a lack of features. Most headphones in 2022 offer fast-charging for example. Wireless charging is also missing, so you will always have to rely on a USB-C cable for juicing up your Mifo S. Excluding both functions was intentionally, as Sound&outdo told us and would cause problems with the longevity of the headphones. Wireless-charging on the other hand is missing because of the metal charging-case.
In summary, the Mifo S are very exciting True Wireless headphones. Though there are many earbuds that offer much better sound at a price-point of just over $150, they are also much more noticeable in everyday life, especially during workouts.
With a weight of only 3.5 grams and really tiny dimensions, the Mifo S on the other hand almost disappear in your ears during activities. And that’s pretty much the idea behind the Mifo S. They’re supposed to be an unobtrusive and reliable way to listen to music and podcasts while exercising. However, there’s still valid criticism if we concentrate on this particular scenario.
For example, there’s an easy way for Sport & Outdo to improve audio-quality without any technical changes. A companion-app with an integrated equalizer is something I always wished for using the Mifo S during my testing. At the same time, the app would be handy for controlling ANC-functions. An app for the Mifo S will be launched only in a few months.
While Sport&outdo designs the Earbuds to be ultra-light, the charging-case is noticeably heavy. Carrying it in your pants pocket while jogging is annoying, as it jangles around a lot in airy sports-pants.
The Mifo S also lacks a few comfort features in 2022. Similarly priced models offer much more, i.e. wearing-detection, location-controlled ANC or sound profiles via equalizers.