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Xiaomi launches OnePlus Bullets Wireless rival with ANC for under $30

Xiaomi also launched a new portable Bluetooth speaker, packing a water-resistant design and up to 13 hours of juice.
February 22, 2021
Xiaomi Mi Neckband Earphones Pro supplied
Supplied by Xiaomi
  • Xiaomi has launched the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro in India.
  • The headset offers IPX5 support and active noise cancellation.
  • Xiaomi also launched a new portable Bluetooth speaker.

Neckband earphones have played second fiddle to true wireless earphones and premium over-ear headphones in recent times, but they still deliver a great balance of price and battery life. Xiaomi previously launched its Mi Neckband Bluetooth headset last year, but it’s upping the ante in a big way with a newly announced Pro model.

Xiaomi India has revealed the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro, and it features a number of improvements over last year’s product. For starters, the Pro variant delivers active noise cancellation (ANC), with the company saying its solution is able to reduce noise by 25 decibels.

The Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro also packs an IPX5 rating, making it splash and sweat proof. This was missing from last year’s model, so there’s some peace of mind here if you find yourself caught in the rain or exercising.

What else should you expect?

The new headset also touts up to 20 hours of playback compared to the standard model rated for up to eight hours of endurance. It’s worth noting though that the Pro variant’s endurance is based on volume being at 50%, while the standard model’s rated playback was based on volume being at 80%. There’s also no word on the Pro model’s playback time with ANC enabled. Furthermore, the new headset has a slightly bigger battery versus the old one (150mAh versus 140mAh).

Other notable features include voice assistant support via your phone’s assistant, low latency audio, and a 10mm bass driver. Another noteworthy feature (albeit not in a good way) is microUSB charging, which is a little disappointing in 2021. Thankfully, the price makes up for the choice of charging port.

Expect to pay Rs 1,799 (~$25) for the Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones Pro. This puts it below the OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z, although the two devices share a similar claimed battery life and the same IP rating. Xiaomi’s device does serve up ANC though, which the OnePlus earphones lack. Meanwhile, the OnePlus gadget delivers fast charging (ten minutes of charging gives you ten hours of playback), while the Xiaomi accessory takes up to 1.5 hours to fully charge.

Mi Portable Bluetooth Speaker official
Xiaomi India

This isn’t the only product Xiaomi announced today, as the company also revealed the Mi Portable Bluetooth Speaker (seen above). This gadget packs 16W audio, the ability to pair two of these speakers together for stereo sound, and voice assistant support via your phone’s assistant.

The speaker also delivers an IPX7 water-resistant rating, allowing it to be immersed in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. And you’re getting up to 13 hours of endurance on paper, with charging taking place via a USB-C port.

The Mi Portable Bluetooth Speaker retails for Rs 2,499 (~$35) and will be available in Black and Blue color options.

How important is active noise cancellation to you in a Bluetooth headset? Let us know by taking the poll below!

How important is active noise cancellation to you?

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