Reviewed on Sep 19, 2018

Mpow H5 Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
6.7
Mixed Usage
7.3
Critical Listening
6.5
Commute/Travel
6.8
Sports/Fitness
6.7
Office
6.0
TV
5.8
Gaming
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Mpow H5 Active Noise Cancelling are decent mixed usage headphones with an above-average sound for their budget price tag. They are not quite as budget as the Mpow Bluetooth Over-Ear 059, but they look and feel more premium and have better sound quality. They're also noise canceling headphones but unfortunately, their ANC is not strong enough for canceling the ambient noise of most commutes and noisy environments. They're also a bit tight on the head, but on the upside, they have decent battery life, an easy-to-use control scheme and a unique look that will work for some.

Test Results
Design 6.9
Sound 7.4
Isolation 5.9
Microphone 5.8
Active Features 6.1
Connectivity 6.0
Pros
  • Above-average sound quality.
  • Easy to use.
Cons
  • Below-average microphone.
  • Subpar noise canceling.
  • Tight fit.

Check Price

6.9

Design

The Mpow H5 have decent and straightforward wireless over-ear design with unique ear cup backplates that make them stand out a bit more. They have an above average build quality that feels decently durable and looks more premium than the Mpow Bluetooth Over-Ear 059. They also have an easy to use control scheme and a decently comfortable over-ear fit although they can be a bit tight on the head. This makes them somewhat stable enough for some physical activities but they may get a bit uncomfortable during long listening sessions and they won't be the ideal option for sports. On the upside, they fold to be more compact and come with a pretty portable carrying case which is nice.

Style

The Mpow H5 are simple over-ears with a unique backplate design for their ear cups. The headband is relatively wide and low profile once on your head, and the cups are fairly small and do not protrude like some of the other over-ears we've tested. The plastic used in their build quality looks fairly well-made and decently high-end for their price. However, the unique backplate, which might work for some, is glossy and somewhat clashes with the rest of the design. It makes the headphones feel a bit cheap overall which would have looked much more premium if it was a matte coating like the headband and hinges. Overall, they look decently well made and feel a lot more expensive than the Mpow 059.

7.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.5 lbs
Clamping Force
:
1.2 lbs

The Mpow H5 are decently comfortable over-ears but they're a bit tight on the head. They're lightweight and decently well-padded especially the headband. The earpads are a bit stiff but not enough to be uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the cups themselves are not very spacious and the headband is a little too tight on the head for some. The tight fit may loosen over time, with regular use, but out-of-the-box they won't be as comfortable as some of the other over-ears we've tested. The newer model H10 is slightly more comfortable than the H5.

7.3 Controls
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Decent
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : No
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : Yes
Talk-Through
:
No
Additional Buttons : No

The control scheme of the Mpow H5 is simple and efficient. It provides all the necessary functions for a Bluetooth headphone; track-skipping, volume control, and a multi-purpose power/Bluetooth and call/music management button. There's also an ANC switch on left ear cup to enable and disable the noise cancellation feature. The buttons all deliver decent feedback but they are slightly cramped on the bottom of the right ear cup but do not take long to get used to.

6.5 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 5.6 C

The Mpow H5 are not very breathable headphones. They create a fairly good seal around your ears and have a closed back around the ear design that prevents a lot of airflow. They will make you sweat a bit more than average if you use them while working out and your ears will get warm after a couple of hours of critical listening. They are not much worse than other closed back over-ears with nonporous pads, but they won't be ideal for more intense exercises. If you are looking for budget over-ear headphones for working out, they're a decent option though.

6.3 Portability
L : 4.8 "
W : 6 "
H : 2.6 "
Volume : 75 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

The Mpow H5 fold into a more compact format that's decently portable. They won't be the easiest headphones to carry around on your person, but they will easily fit into a gym bag or backpack.

8.0 Case
Type : Hard case
L : 4.9 "
W : 6.2 "
H : 3.4 "
Volume : 108 Cu. Inches

The Mpow H5 come with a good hard case that will protect the headphone from scratches impacts and drops as well as minor water damage. The case is a little bulky but should be portable enough to easily carry around in a backpack.

7.0 Build Quality

The Mpow H5 have a decent build quality that feels more high-end and durable than the Mpow 059. The headband is a relatively wide and well-padded plastic and metal build that should be durable enough for most use cases. The ear cups are also decently dense, and even the back plates feel sturdy although they do look a bit cheap and will accumulate scratches over time which won't be ideal for long-term use. Unfortunately, the hinges and yokes are a little thin and look like the most susceptible place where the headphones would get damaged.

7.0 Stability

These headphones are decently stable thanks to their tight fit and relatively low profile. They do not move much during casual activities and are stable enough for the occasional jog and even for some exercises at the gym. However, they are not sports headphones so during more intense work out sessions they will slip off your ears from time to time especially when tilting your head a lot or while lying down. The headband will slide, and you may have to adjust the fit, but on the upside, they are wireless so they won't get yanked off your head because the audio cable got hooked on something.

Cable
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.1 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS

These headphones come with 1/8" TRS audio cable and a micro USB charging cable.

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Headshots 1
Headshots 2
7.4

Sound

The Mpow H5 is a decent sounding pair of closed-back over-ear headphones. They have a consistent, heavy, and punchy bass, a good and even mid-range, and a decently balanced treble. However, their bass is a bit boomy, their mid-range is noticeably muddy and recessed, and their treble is a little uneven on S and T sounds. Overall, they are a decent choice for fans of heavy bass, but not the ideal headphones for vocals-centric music like pop, jazz, or even classical.

8.0 Bass
Std. Err.
:
2.85 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
25.57 Hz
Low-Bass
:
-2.41 dB
Mid-Bass
:
1.73 dB
High-Bass
:
4.34 dB

The bass is very good. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 26Hz, which is very good. Low-bass, responsible for the thump and rumble common to bass heavy music and sound effects is lacking by about 2.5dB. This won't be very noticeable but means that the H5 lacks a bit of sub-bass. Mid-bass, responsible for the body of bass guitars and the punch of kick drums is hyped by about 2dB. High-bass, responsible for warmth, is overemphasized by more than 4dB. Overall, the bass of the Mpow is heavy and decently balanced, but a bit boomy and muddy sounding.

7.5 Mid
Std. Err.
:
3.38 dB
Low-Mid
:
3.42 dB
Mid-Mid
:
-3.24 dB
High-Mid
:
-1.41 dB

The mid-range is good. The overall response is decently balanced and even. However, low-mid is overemphasized by about 4dB, making vocals and lead instruments a bit thick sounding, and the overall mix a little muddy. The dip centered around 900Hz nudges vocals and lead towards the back of the mix and gives more emphasis to the lower frequencies.

7.7 Treble
Std. Err.
:
3.74 dB
Low-Treble
:
-0.38 dB
Mid-Treble
:
-0.31 dB
High-Treble
:
-0.33 dB

The Mpow H5 have a good treble response. Low-treble is quite even and flat and within 0.4dB of our neutral target. However, mid-treble, responsible for sibilances (S and T sounds) is uneven resulting in the overemphasis of some sibilances and the underemphasis of some others.

7.3 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.54 dB

The frequency response consistency is above-average. Similar to the Sony WH-1000XM3 and QuietComfort 35 II, the H5 seem to be using its noise cancelling system to check for bass consistency. Therefore, in the bass range, they perform very consistently across our five human subjects. Their treble delivery is also quite consistent, but not as much as the bass range, showing more than 6dB of deviation below 10KHz.

8.3 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.4
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.63
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.55
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
8.64

The Mpow H5 have great imaging. Their weighted group delay is 0.4, which is very good. The graph also shows that except for the sub-bass region the group delay is below our audibility threshold. This makes their bass a little slow, but won't be very noticeable, but their treble will be transparent. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were well-matched in amplitude, frequency, and phase response, which is important for the accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, video games effects) in the stereo image.

6.1 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
3.97 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
6.32 dB
PRTF Distance
:
11.8 dB
Openness
:
4.3
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
4.0
Correlated Crosstalk
:
0.0 dB

The soundstage of the H5 is mediocre. The PRTF graph shows some degree of pinna interaction and activation, but the response is not very accurate. Also, there's not a notch present at the 10KHz region. This, and their closed-back design, results in a soundstage that may be perceived as unnatural and located inside the listener's head.

6.5 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
10.026
Weighted THD @ 100
:
12.955

The harmonic distortion performance is average. The amount of THD produced in the bass and treble ranges is within decent limits without a significant rise at higher SPLs. The mid-range however, shows elevated amounts of THD which could make the sound of that region a bit harsh and impure.

5.9

Isolation

The noise canceling feature of the Mpow H5 is mediocre-at-best (see our recommendations for the best noise cancelling headphones under $100). It's able to reduce some low-frequency sounds, like the rumble of an engine on public transit or the buzz of an AC unit at the office. But unfortunately, they do not isolate well enough against ambient chatter or high-frequency sounds, so they won't be the best option if you really want to be isolated from your environment. They're also a bit leaky at higher volumes so they might be audible to the people around you if you turn up the volume of your music to further mask more ambient noise.

5.6 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-16.36 dB
Bass
:
-10.39 dB
Mid
:
-10.25 dB
Treble
:
-28.14 dB
Self-Noise
:
23.97 dB

The active noise cancellation performance is sub-par unlike some of the other headsets within the same price range like the Anker SoundCore Space NC or the Cowin E7 Pro. You can also take a look at the newer model H10, or the TaoTronics TT-BH060, for better noise isolation performance. With their ANC enabled, they achieve about 10dB of isolation in the bass range. This means they will do an average job in reducing the rumble of airplane and bus engines. In the mid-range, important for canceling out speech, they provide 10dB of isolation, which is also average. In the treble range, occupied by sharp sounds like S and Ts, they reduce outside noise by more than 28dB, which is above-average.

6.6 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
42.2 dB

The leakage performance is about average. The significant portion of the leakage is spread between 400Hz and 4KHz, which is a relatively broad range. However, the overall level of the leakage is not very loud. With the music at 100db SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 42dB SPL and peaks at 60dB SPL, which is noticeably above the noise floor of an average office.

5.8

Microphone

Integrated
:
Yes
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A

The Mpow H5 have a sub-par microphone. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic sounds muddy, muffled, and lacking in detail. This will negatively affect the intelligibility of speech. In noisy situations, they struggle to separate speech from ambient noise even in moderately loud places, like a busy street.

5.7 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
153.22 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
7.13 dB
HFE
:
2673.34 Hz
Weighted THD
:
13.339
Gain
:
31.16 dB

The recording quality of the H5's integrated microphone is sub-par. With our test signal, this mic captures excessive amounts of bass and mid-range, making the sound muddy and prone to pops and rumbling noises. The HFE (high-frequency extension) of 2.6KHz results in a recorded/transmitted speech that is noticeably muffled and lacking in detail.

6.0 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
10.75 dB

The microphone of the Mpow H5 is mediocre at noise handling. In our SpNR test, it achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 11dB SPL, indicating that this mic is best suited for quiet environments as it may struggle to fully separate speech from ambient noise even in moderately loud places.

6.1

Active Features

The Mpow H5 have a decent battery life but no app support. They lasted a bit longer in our battery test at 12 hours of continuous playtime with ANC and Bluetooth enabled. It should be enough to last you a full workday of heavy use and you can squeeze out a bit more battery life if you disable the noise canceling feature or use them wired. Unfortunately, they do not have any power saving features, like an auto-off timer, and do not come with an app for added customization options. 

6.8 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
:
12 hrs
Charge Time
:
2.3 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
No
Audio while charging
:
Yes
Passive Playback
:
Yes

The Mpow H5 have a decent battery life. We measured up to 12 hours of continuous play time with ANC and Bluetooth enabled although they were marketed as 9 hours of battery life (when ANC and BT enabled) and 15 when used wired with ANC. It's within the ballpark, and your performance will vary depending on the volume at which you listen. They have a fast charge time of 2.3 which is pretty decent for an over-ear but do not have any power saving features which is slightly disappointing. On the upside, you can use them completely passively when the battery dies.

0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

These headphones do not come with an app for added customization options.

6.0

Connectivity

The Mpow H5 have a decent wireless range and support multi-device pairing with up to 2 Bluetooth sources. They do not have NFC however, and like most Bluetooth headphones they have a bit too much latency for gaming and watching movies. On the upside, they also come with a simple audio cable with no in-line mic that will provide audio for consoles and PCs but no chat or voice support. 

6.8 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
4.1
Multi-Device Pairing
:
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
:
No

These Bluetooth headphones support multi-device pairing but not NFC.

7.2 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
PS4 Compatible
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Compatible
:
Audio Only
PC Compatible
:
Audio Only

The Mpow H5 come with an audio cable with no in-line microphone or USB adapter. This means they do not have mic support on consoles and PCs.

0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A

These headphones do not have a base/dock. If you want a versatile headset with a base that you can also use wired, check out the Arctis 7 by SteelSeries.

7.6 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
35 ft
Line of Sight Range
:
104 ft

The Mpow H5 have an above average wireless range. They reached up to 35ft when the Bluetooth source was obstructed and 104 ft in direct line of sight. This makes them better than the average headphone to use at home or at the office.

5.1 Latency
Default Latency
:
130 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

These headphones do not support any additional codecs. This means their base SBC latency is 130ms which is fine for streaming music but maybe become an issue when watching videos or gaming. The slight sync issues are even more prominent on high frame rate content.

In the box

  • Mpow H5 Headset Headphones
  • Carrying case
  • Audio cable
  • USB cable
  • Manual

 

Compared to other Headphones

The Mpow H5 are decent mixed usage headset with an above average sound and build quality. They have a cool looking design that feels more premium than the Mpow 059 Bluetooth Over-Ear, however, the glossy backplates may not be ideal for everyone. They also have a decent battery life, good controls, and a somewhat comfortable design although they are bit tight on some heads. Unfortunately, their build quality is not quite as good as some of the budget headphones compared below and their noise canceling is mediocre-at-best, only capable of reducing some sounds but not a lot of ambient chatter or high frequencies. See our recommendations for the best over-ear headphones under $50, the best over-ear headphones under $100, and the best wireless headphones.

Mpow H10 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Mpow H10 are better versatile headphones than the similar Mpow H5 model. The overall design of the H10 is better and more comfortable, and their ANC feature blocks more ambient noise than the H5. While both headphones feel fairly plasticky, the overall feel of the H5 is slightly better and they don’t make a breaking sound when folding them. Sound-wise, the H10 are slightly more balanced, especially in the bass range. They also have a way better battery life, but you can connect the H5 to two devices, which you can’t do with the H10.

Cowin E7 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Mpow H5 are better budget noise cancelling headphone than the Cowin E7. The Cowins have a better noise cancelling performance and a longer battery life. They also have a lightly clearer mic and a better isolation performance overall, since they also leak a little less. On the other hand, the H5 look and feel a bit more premium, have better and less confusing controls, and also have a more comfortable fit even if they're a little tight on the head. The Mpows also have much better sound.

TaoTronics TT-BH060 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The TaoTronics TT-BH060 have a better noise cancelling feature than the Mpow H5 Wireless and they are slightly better-built as well. They have noticeably better battery life and also feel more comfortable. However, our unit had mismatched drivers, so the Mpow H5 are the better-sounding option. They also have very low latency for Bluetooth headphones and offer good value.

Mpow 059 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Mpow H5 are better headphones overall when compared to the Mpow Bluetooth Over-Ear. The H5 have a more premium look, a better-balanced sound quality, and a more compact form factor. They're also noise cancelling headphones, but their ANC is not very strong. On the other hand, the Mpow Bluetooth Over-Ear have a more comfortable fit that's not as tight on the head. They also have a longer battery life on average and do not leak as much as the H5 since they create a better seal around your ears. They're also a better value for your money at their current price point.

Bose QuietComfort 35/QC35 Wireless 2016
SEE PRICE
B&H

The Bose QuietComfort 35 are a much better noise canceling headphone than the Mpow H5. The Bose have a better, more comfortable over-ear fit. They also isolate a lot better in noisy environments, with a much more efficient noise cancelling feature. They're easier to use, last longer on a single charge, and have a better-balanced sound that packs a lot of bass without sounding as boomy as the Mpows. On the other hand, the Mpows are a better value on a budget. They also have a more compact design and a unique shape for the backplates that some may prefer.

Sony WH-CH500 Wireless
SEE PRICE
B&H

The Mpow H5 are better headphones than the Sony WH-CH500. They have a more stable fit thanks to the over-ear design, and they also block more ambient noise with their ANC feature, making them a better choice for commuting and office work. Their build quality is decent and a bit more high-end than their price suggests, and they can also be used wired. They also have better sound quality. On the other hand, the Sonys have better battery life, wireless range, and a better microphone for calls.

Bluedio T4 Turbine Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Mpow H5 are a better headset overall compared to the Bluedio T4. The Bluedio have a better build quality that's surprising for their price range. They also have a deeper, more powerful bass range that some may prefer, and a stronger isolation performance for commuting. On the other hand, the Mpow H5 have a more compact design that fits better on most people even if they are a little tight. They also have a better-balanced sound and easier to use controls. Their latency is also much better than the T4, although they will still not be the best option for watching movies and gaming.

Cowin SE7 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Mpow H5 are better-sounding headphones than the Cowin SE7 and can also be connected simultaneously to two devices, which can be useful. Other than that, the two headphones are fairly similar in terms of controls and noise isolation. However, the Cowin seem to be a bit more comfortable, thanks to their soft padding. Their build quality seems a bit more durable, which explains their slightly more expensive price point. If sound is your biggest criteria, get the Mpow H5, but if durability and comfort are most important, the Cowin would still please most users, especially fans of bass-heavy music.

Sony WH-CH400 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Mpow H5 Wireless are better headphones than the Sony WH-CH400. These over-ears offer great value thanks to their ANC feature. They are more comfortable than the Sony on-ears and will also have a decent sound quality, on top of being noticeably better-built. Their design is more stable due to larger cups, and their latency is fairly low for Bluetooth headphones. On the other hand, the WH-CH400 support NFC for quicker and easier pairing, and they have better sound quality as well. However, you can’t use them wired like you can do with the Mpow H5, which may be a deal-breaker for some.

+ Show more

Conclusion

6.7 Mixed Usage

Decent for mixed usage. They have simple and easy to use over-ear design that's decently well built and feels more premium than the Mpow 059. They also sound above-average with most tracks and have decent battery life. Unfortunately, they are not the most comfortable and their noise canceling feature is fairly lackluster so they won't be the best choice for commute and travel.

7.3 Critical Listening

Above-average for critical listening. The H5 have a surprisingly good sound that's decently balanced. They lack a bit of sub-bass and their mid-range can sound a bit boomy since the bass over-extends into the mid-range. They also have a dip that pushes instrumentals to the back of the mix although overall they sound decently well balanced and should sound good enough for most listeners. They won't be the ideal choice for more critical listeners since they do not have a very spacious soundstage and do not come with an EQ to tweak their sound but on the upside, their default sound should be good enough for most.

6.5 Commute/Travel

Average for commuting. The Mpow H5 are fairly easy to use and decently portable. Unfortunately, their noise cancellation is not strong enough for the noisy environments involved in commuting. They're also a bit tight on the head which may not be as comfortable to wear for long trips.

6.8 Sports/Fitness

Average for sports. They're wireless with an easy to use control scheme. However, despite being fairly tight on the head they are not the most stable headphones for more demanding exercises and workout routines.

6.7 Office

Average for office-use. They sound decent and have an efficient and easy to use control scheme. However, they won't block the noise of a particularly lively office since their noise cancellation is fairly weak. They're also not the most comfortable headphones to wear for long listening sessions.

6.0 TV

Mediocre-at-best for home theater use. These headphones have lower than average latency for a Bluetooth headset. They also have a decent sound that should cater well to most movies. Unfortunately, their latency performance is still a bit too high for watching a lot of video content, and although they come with a cable, it's is fairly short and won't have the range for most home theater setups, unless you have an extension cord or watch your movies on a tablet or PC.

5.8 Gaming

Subpar for gaming. The Mpow H5 have a bit too much latency, they're not compatible with consoles via Bluetooth and cannot be customized to the extent of other gaming headphones. They also have a below average integrated microphone.

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