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Mpow CH9 Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Nov 04, 2020 at 08:21 am
Mpow CH9 Wireless Picture
6.2
Mixed Usage
6.3
Neutral Sound
6.3
Commute/Travel
6.7
Sports/Fitness
6.0
Office
4.8
Wireless Gaming
6.5
Wired Gaming
6.5
Phone Calls
Type On-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Mpow CH9 are brightly-colored kids headphones with a switch that lets you limit their max volume to either 85dB or 95dB. They can be used wirelessly or with a 1/8" TRS audio cable. Their bass-heavy sound profile adds an extra boom and punch to audio. They're lightweight, but their ear cups don't have a wide range of motion, so they may not be comfortable for kids with larger heads. Also, they don't block out a lot of background noise, so they may not be suitable to use in noisier environments. However, they come in lots of bright color variants that are well-suited for young listeners.

Our Verdict

6.2 Mixed Usage

The Mpow CH9 are mediocre for mixed usage. These kids headphones have a bass-heavy sound profile that adds extra boom and punch to audio. They can be used wirelessly or with a wired connection. However, they don't block out a lot of background noise, so they may not be the best choice for bus or airplane travel.

Pros
  • Decently stable.
  • 16.5-hour continuous battery life.
Cons
  • Disappointing noise isolation performance.
  • No sound customization features.
6.3 Neutral Sound

The Mpow CH9 are unremarkable for neutral sound. They have a bass-heavy sound profile and they lack some detail in the treble range, resulting in a muddy sound that may be overwhelming for some listeners. They don't have any sound customization features, either.

Pros
  • Consistent sound across different users.
Cons
  • No sound customization features.
6.3 Commute/Travel

The Mpow CH9 are passable for commute and travel. They have a long continuous battery life that can last through bus rides to school or long international flights. However, they have a bulky design, and they may not be comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Also, they don't really block out background noises like bus and plane engines.

Pros
  • 16.5-hour continuous battery life.
Cons
  • Disappointing noise isolation performance.
6.7 Sports/Fitness

The Mpow CH9 aren't bad for sports and fitness, though they aren't designed for this use. They're stable enough to stay on the listener's head during casual listening sessions, but they may fall off during more intense exercises. They have a bulky design, and they may not be comfortable for all listeners.

Pros
  • Decently stable.
Cons
  • Bulky design.
6.0 Office

The Mpow CH9 are mediocre for office use, though they likely won't be used for this purpose since they're designed for kids. Their 16.5-hour continuous battery life should be enough to get through a work or school day, however, they may not be comfortable to wear for long periods. They also don't block out a lot of background noise, so listeners may hear chatter from people working nearby.

Pros
  • 16.5-hour continuous battery life.
Cons
  • Disappointing noise isolation performance.
4.8 Wireless Gaming

The Mpow CH9 are compatible with Bluetooth-enabled PCs, but their latency is likely too high to be suitable for wireless gaming. They can't be used wirelessly with PS4 or Xbox One consoles.

6.5 Wired Gaming

The Mpow CH9 are acceptable for wired gaming. They can be plugged directly into Xbox One or PS4 controllers using their 1/8" TRS cable; however, they can only receive audio and listeners can't use their microphone. Their ear cups aren't adjustable, so they may not be comfortable for longer gaming sessions. On the upside, they have very low latency over their wired connection.

Pros
  • Low latency.
Cons
  • No microphone compatibility over wired connection.
6.5 Phone Calls

The Mpow CH9 are fair for phone calls. Their integrated microphone has a passable recording quality, so voices are understandable but a bit thin and muffled. The mic performs well in noisy environments, too. However, they don't block out a lot of background noise, which may be distracting during calls.

Pros
  • Very good noise handling.
Cons
  • Disappointing noise isolation performance.
  • 6.2 Mixed Usage
  • 6.3 Neutral Sound
  • 6.3 Commute/Travel
  • 6.7 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.0 Office
  • 4.8 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.5 Wired Gaming
  • 6.5 Phone Calls

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Mpow CH9 are colorful headphones designed for kids. They have small ear cups that are suitable for young listeners, and they come in several different color schemes.

6.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.39 lbs
Clamping Force
1.1 lbs

The Mpow CH9 are passably comfortable. They're lightweight and don't clamp the head too tightly. However, their silicone headband can be uncomfortable for long listening sessions, and the ear cups aren't adjustable, either.

6.1
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Mediocre
Feedback Okay
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls Volume Limiter

These headphones have passable controls. There's a power on/off switch, volume control, LED button control, and music/call control. There's also a switch that lets you limit the volume to either 95db or 85db, which is designed to help protect kids' hearing. Unfortunately, the volume limiter and the on/off switch feel the same, which can be confusing. Also, you can't use the controls (including the volume limiter) when listening to audio over a wired connection.

6.1
Design
Portability
L 4.9 "
W 6.7 "
H 2.8 "
Volume 92.9 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

The Mpow CH9 have mediocre portability. The ear cups fold in to make them easier to store, but like most on-ears, they're still a bit bulky.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A

These headphones don't have a case or a pouch.

6.0
Design
Build Quality

The Mpow CH9 have an acceptable build quality. They're made of plastic, with faux leather ear cups and silicone padding on the headband. However, the hinges are a potential weak point, and they make a clicking noise when folded inwards.

7.0
Design
Stability

These headphones are decently stable. They should stay on the listener's ears during casual listening sessions, but they likely fall off during high-intensity workouts.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Mpow CH9 headphones
  • Micro-USB charging cable
  • 1/8" TRS audio cable
  • User guide

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
4.19 db
Treble Amount
-3.0 db

The Mpow CH9 have a bass-heavy sound profile. The overemphasis in the bass range adds extra boom and punch to audio, making them ideal for listening to bass-heavy genres like hip-hop. However, the underemphasis in the treble range can hurt the clarity of some vocals and lead instruments.

8.2
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.35 dB

These headphones have impressive frequency response consistency. Unlike the Mpow CH1, their audio delivery shouldn't vary, regardless of their fit, seal, and positioning on the listener's head.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
6.1
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.42 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
12.07 Hz
Low-Bass
4.0 dB
Mid-Bass
6.05 dB
High-Bass
7.21 dB

These headphones have acceptable bass accuracy. The entire range is overemphasized, resulting in boomy, punchy bass response. However, it may be overwhelming for listeners who prefer a neutral sound.

7.8
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.94 dB
Low-Mid
1.69 dB
Mid-Mid
1.39 dB
High-Mid
-2.41 dB

These headphones have very good mid accuracy. The range is pretty balanced and even, so vocals and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix. However, the underemphasis in the high-mid can make vocals sound a bit weak and distant.

4.1
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
7.87 dB
Low-Treble
-9.22 dB
Mid-Treble
3.03 dB
High-Treble
-2.94 dB

These headphones have poor treble accuracy. The low-treble is underemphasized, which hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments. The overemphasis in the mid-treble can make sibilants like cymbals sound piercing and painful.

6.0
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.44 db
Dips
2.98 db

These headphones have passable peaks and dips performance. The peak in the high-bass adds a boomy, muddy quality to the mix, while the dip in the low-mids can thin out vocals and lead instruments. The peak in the mid-mids can make some of those instruments sound forward and boxy. The dip in the low-treble hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments, while the peak in the mid-treble makes sibilants like S and T sounds piercing and painful.

7.9
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.44
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.51
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.29
Weighted Phase Mismatch
3.99

These headphones have very good imaging performance. Their weighted group delay falls mostly below the audibility threshold, resulting in tight bass and transparent treble. The L/R drivers are well-matched in amplitude and phase response, but there's a bit of mismatch in frequency response. As a result, some objects like voices and instruments may not be accurately placed within the stereo image. These results are only valid for our test unit, and yours may perform differently.

4.4
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.1 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
2.53 dB
PRTF Distance
5.03 dB
Openness
4.6
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.5

The Mpow CH9 have a poor passive soundstage. The soundstage is small and unnatural, and audio seems like it's coming from inside the listener's head, rather than all around them.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App

These headphones don't have any virtual soundstage features.

7.1
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.281
WHD @ 100
0.457

These headphones have a decent weighted harmonic distortion performance. Aside from a peak in the treble range, most of the frequency spectrum falls within good limits, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction.

Note:They have a 95dB max volume limiter meant to protect young listeners' hearing, so this test was conducted at 95dB and 85dB rather than the conventional 100dB and 90dB.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
Unknown
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
SBC, 16-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings we used to test these headphones. They have a volume limiter that prevents them from exceeding 95db, which had an impact on tests where the volume is normally set to 100dB and 90dB. Our WHD test was conducted at 95db and 85db instead of 100db and 90db. Our results are only valid using this configuration.

Isolation
5.3
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-12.45 dB
Bass
-0.61 dB
Mid
-12.53 dB
Treble
-25.38 dB

The Mpow CH9 have a disappointing noise isolation performance. They barely block out any sounds in the bass range, like bus and plane engines, and they struggle to block out mid-range sounds like voices. On the upside, they do a better job blocking out higher-frequency noises like AC units.

6.9
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
40.02 dB

These headphones have adequate leakage performance. At high volumes, they leak a bit of noise. Due to their 95dB volume limit, we tested them at 95dB instead of 100dB, which may have had an impact on leakage performance.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No

The Mpow CH9 have an integrated microphone.

6.2
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
276.97 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.92 dB
HFE
2280.7 Hz
Weighted THD
0.069
Gain
4.48 dB

The microphone has a mediocre recording quality. Speech sounds thin and muffled, but it should still be understandable.

7.9
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
27.44 dB

The mic has a very good noise handling performance. Whoever's on the other end of the line should be able to understand the caller, even if they're calling from a noisy environment.

Active Features
7.0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
16.5 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
16.5 hrs
Charge Time
3.3 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port micro-USB

The Mpow CH9 have a decent battery performance. They last around 16.5 hours on a single charge, which is great for long days on the go. However, they take over three hours to charge, and you can't listen to them while they charge, which is a bit inconvenient.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

These headphones don't have a companion app.

Connectivity
7.1
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
317 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
201 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
89 ms
Android Latency
99 ms

These headphones have decent Bluetooth connectivity. They support Bluetooth 5.0, but not NFC or multi-device pairing. Their latency on PCs is likely too high to be suitable for wireless gaming, but they perform better with iOS and Android devices. However, some apps compensate for latency, so a real-world experience can vary.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A

The Mpow CH9 only support Bluetooth wireless connections.

9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 3.9 ft
Connection 1/8" TRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0.0 ms

The Mpow CH9 come with a 1/8" TRS cable, as well as a micro-USB cable for charging.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones can connect wirelessly to Bluetooth-enabled PCs for full audio and microphone compatibility. However, when they're plugged into a PS4 controller, they can only receive audio.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No

The Mpow CH9 can only receive audio when plugged into an Xbox One controller.

0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

These headphones don't have a base or dock.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Mpow CH9 come in three different color variants: Blue/Black, Pink, and Blue/Green. We tested the Blue/Black variant, and you can see the label for the model we tested here. We expect the other color variants to perform similarly.

If you come across another variant of these headphones, let us know in the discussions and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Mpow CH9 are wireless on-ear headphones designed for kids. Like many kids' headphones, they have an adjustable volume limiter that lets you set the maximum volume at either 85dB or 95dB. They have a bass-heavy sound profile and a more consistent audio delivery than many other on-ear headphones for kids. If you're looking for other headphones, check out our recommendations for the best on-ear wireless headphones, the best on-ear headphones, and the best wireless Bluetooth headphones.

Mpow CH6

The Mpow CH9 Wireless are better kids' headphones than the Mpow CH6. The CH9 can be used wirelessly, unlike the CH6. They have a bass-heavy sound profile, and their microphone has a better performance. That said, the CH6 are better-built, and they leak less noise.

iClever BTH02 Wireless

The Mpow CH9 Wireless are better on-ear headphones for kids than the iClever BTH02 Wireless. The Mpow have a more stable fit and a more consistent audio delivery. Also, their microphone has a better overall performance. That said, the iClever are better-built, and they have longer continuous battery life.

JBL JR300BT Wireless

The Mpow CH9 Wireless are slightly better on-ear headphones for kids than the JBL JR300BT Wireless. The Mpow have a more stable fit, a longer continuous battery life, and a more consistent audio delivery. Also, their integrated microphone performs better than the JBL's mic. However, the JBL have a more neutral sound profile compared to the bass-heavy Mpow, and they're also more comfortable.

Mpow CH1

The Mpow CH9 Wireless are better headphones for kids than the Mpow CH1. The CH9 are better-built, and they have a more stable fit. They also delivery audio more consistently. Unlike the CH1, you can use them wirelessly, and they come with a microphone.

Puro JuniorJams Wireless

The Puro JuniorJams Wireless and the Mpow CH9 Wireless are similarly-performing on-ear headphones for kids. The Puro are better-built and leak less noise. They have an excited sound profile, while the Mpow have a more bass-heavy sound. However, the Mpow are better-suited for phone calls as their microphone has a better performance, and they have a more stable on-ear fit.

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