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Reviewed on Jul 25, 2017

Mpow Jaws 4.1 Wireless
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2
6.4
Mixed Usage
5.8
Critical Listening
6.9
Commute/Travel
7.3
Sports/Fitness
7.0
Office
5.3
TV
5.1
Gaming
Type : In-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Mpow Jaws are versatile and budget headphones with a lackluster sound quality. They're portable, stable and have a more comfortable fit than typical in-ears. They isolate well in loud environments and barely leak which makes them above average for commuting and a good option for the office. Unfortunately, their sound may be a deal breaker for most, and they look and feel a bit cheap.

Test Results
Design 6.8
Sound 5.5
Isolation 8.4
Microphone 6.0
Active Features 5.9
Connectivity 3.1
Pros
  • Good noise isolation.
  • Minimal leakage.
Cons
  • Subpar sound quality.
  • Cheap and flimsy build.
Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
Update 9/28/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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6.8

Design

The Mpow Jaws look and feel a little cheap but have a comfortable in-ear fit. They do not put too much pressure once in the ear canal so you can wear them for longer. They're also relatively lightweight and decently portable. You can carry them around by letting them rest on your neck or by folding them and putting them in your pocket. Unfortunately, they're a bit flimsy and do not have the best build quality. 

Style

The Mpow Jaws have an odd-looking around-the-neck design. They have two plastic casings on the tips of the neckband that house all the electronics and a thin wire frame, covered in a loose rubber coating. Unfortunately, the plastic and rubber used feel low-grade, and the overall build quality is flimsy and looks a bit cheap. On the upside, they have a cool, magnetic slot for the earbuds which prevents them from dangling and getting tangled.

7.5 Comfort
Weight : 0.08 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0 lbs

The Jaws are comfortable in-ear headphones as long as you don't mind the around-the-neck design. The earbuds are relatively small, and the default tips do not exert too much pressure within the ear canal. This makes them more comfortable than typical in-ear headphones but the parts of the neckband that house most of the electronics is quite large compared to other around-the-neck designs. It doesn't reduce their comfort level by much, but the neckband is a bit more noticeable on the Jaws than on other similar models (see our recommendations for the best earbuds under $50).

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

The Mpow Jaws have an efficient control scheme. They provide call/music, track skipping, and volume controls. The buttons are easy-to-use and deliver good tactile feedback. The layout, however, is not the most intuitive but it's straightforward enough that it shouldn't take too long to get used to. The headphones also vibrate when powered on or when pairing which is good feedback but the vibrations can be unusually long.

9.2 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 0.8 C
7.0 Portability
L : 6.7 "
W : 5.7 "
H : 0.9 "
Volume : 35 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

These headphones are moderately portable. They're a lot larger than typical in-ear headphones because of the neckband design. On the upside, they are not as cumbersome to carry around on your person. They easily rest around the neck and can be tucked under your shirt or outfit. The neckband is also flexible enough that you fold the headphones and put them in your pocket. Unfortunately, they don't come with a case.

0 Case
Type : No case
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A
6.0 Build Quality

The Mpow Jaws feel a bit cheap and plasticky. The neckband is flexible enough that they won't get damaged if you fold them often to carry them in your pocket. They're also lightweight and can easily survive a couple of drops. However, the plastic used for the earbuds and the tips of the neckband feels low grade and may crack relatively easily under enough physical force. They also have exposed audio cables leading to the earbuds that are non-replaceable, feel flimsy and highly susceptible to wear and tear.

7.5 Stability

The around-the-neck design of these headphones makes them considerably stable. They won't fall from your neck if you run or jog with them but depending on how well the in-ear design fits you, the earbuds may get a little loose during strenuous exercise. Also, the neckband is quite large and if placed under your outfit, the audio cables can get hooked or tangled and pull the earbuds out of your ears.

Cable
Detachable : No
Length : N/A
Connection : N/A

Comes with a USB charging cable.

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Headshots 1
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5.5

Sound

The Mpow Jaws are a poor sounding pair of in-ear headphones. They have a well-extended and consistent Bass, and an average Imaging and Distortion performance. However, their Bass is overpowering and boomy, their Mid Range makes mixes muddy and cluttered, and their Treble lacks clarity and presence. Also, like most other closed-back in-ear headphones, they don't have an open and spacious Soundstage.

6.4 Bass
Std. Err.
:
5.37 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
:
3.88 dB
Mid-Bass
:
5.12 dB
High-Bass
:
7.87 dB

Mediocre Bass Range performance. The response is extended down to 10Hz, which is great. However, low-bass and bass are over our target by more than 4dB, and high-bass is overemphasized by about 8dB. This makes the Bass Range of these headphones quite overpowering and boomy.

7.5 Mid
Std. Err.
:
3.31 dB
Low-Mid
:
5.1 dB
Mid-Mid
:
0.37 dB
High-Mid
:
-1.35 dB

Decent Mid Range performance. Low-mid shows 5dB of overemphasis, which is the continuation of the high-bass bump. This makes the sound of these headphones noticeably muddy and cluttered. However, mid and high-mid are virtually flat and well-balanced.

4.2 Treble
Std. Err.
:
6.69 dB
Low-Treble
:
-5.85 dB
Mid-Treble
:
-6.82 dB
High-Treble
:
-9.04 dB

Poor Treble Range performance. The response is relatively inconsistent and under our target. Low-treble, which is responsible for clarity and detail is underemphasised by more than 5dB. Also, treble which is responsible for brightness and presence is lacking by more than 6dB.

9.4 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.12 dB

Excellent frequency response consistency. Like most other in-ear headphones, if the user is able to achieve a proper seal/fit, then their experience of the headphones should be very consistent.

8.8 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.1
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
1.08
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.6
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
1.16
1.0 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
N/A
PRTF Distance
:
N/A
Openness
:
2.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
0
Correlated Crosstalk
:
0.0 dB
6.6 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
:
3.567
Weighted THD @ 100
:
27.357

Average Harmonic Distortion performance. The overall level of distortion is elevated throughout the range, especially around 1KHz. This could make the sound of these headphones a bit harsh in the Treble Range. Also, the right driver of our test unit consistently shows more distortion than the left driver.

8.4

Isolation

The Mpow jaws have a good isolation performance. They barely leak thanks to their closed-back in-ear design that creates a good seal and blocks a lot of noise. This makes the Jaws a decent option for commuting and for office use since they block enough noise for loud environments and don't leak in quieter settings, so they won't be distracting to those around you.

7.6 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-23.04 dB
Bass
:
-7.46 dB
Mid
:
-19.39 dB
Treble
:
-43.25 dB
Self-Noise
:
15.54 dB

Good Isolation performance. Although the Jaws isolate only passively, they achieve more than 7dB of reduction in the Bass Range which is above average. In the Mid and Treble Ranges, they achieve 19dB and 43dB of isolation respectively, both values being good.

10 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
20.58 dB

Excellent Leakage performance. The significant portion of the leakage is between 700Hz and 2KHz which is a narrow range. However, the overall level of leakage is extremely low and barely audible.

6.0

Microphone

Integrated
:
Yes
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A
5.5 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
285.09 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
3.08 dB
HFE
:
1758.66 Hz
Weighted THD
:
1.947
Gain
:
29.46 dB
6.6 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
17.72 dB
5.9

Active Features

The Jaws have a decent wireless range and battery life but a sub-par latency performance. They won't be the ideal headphones for watching movies, and they may not last you all day, but they're a decent option for casual use especially if you only listen to music. Their latency is about average for most Bluetooth headphones, but it's still going to be noticeably out of sync.

6.5 Battery
Battery Type
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
:
10 hrs
Charge Time
:
1.7 hrs
Power Saving Feature
:
No
Audio while charging
:
No
Passive Playback
:
No

The Jaws have decent 10-hour battery life. It's a bit shorter than average, but it should be enough to get you through a day of casual listening. They also charge relatively fast at 1.7 hours, but they have no power saving features so unless you actively remember to turn off your headphones the battery will continue to drain over time.

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

No compatible app.

3.1

Connectivity

6.0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
4.1
Multi-Device Pairing
:
No
NFC Pairing
:
No
0 Wired
OS Compatibility
:
N/A
Analog Audio
:
N/A
USB Audio
:
N/A
PS4 Compatible
:
N/A
Xbox One Compatible
:
N/A
PC Compatible
:
N/A
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
7.1 Wireless Range
Obstructed Range
:
27 ft
Line of Sight Range
:
115 ft

The Jaws reached just above 25ft before any major connection drops when the Bluetooth source was obstructed, and about 115ft in direct-line of-sight. This is about average for most Bluetooth headphones, but unfortunately, the Jaws have a slightly complicated pairing procedure. There's no NFC, and you have to hold the multi-function button while powering the headphones on for them to enter the pairing procedure. On the upside, they automatically connect to the most recent sync device.

3.9 Latency
Default Latency
:
159 ms
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

Sub-par latency. The Jaws have about 159ms of latency which is about average for most Bluetooth headphones but not ideal for watching movies. Above 150ms the sync issues between video and audio is noticeable enough to lessen your viewing experience.

In the box

  • Mpow Jaws Headphones
  • Audio cable
  • USB cable
  • Manual

Compared to other Headphones

See our recommendations for the best noise cancelling earbuds, the best cheap earbuds, and the best earbuds with a mic.

Anker SoundBuds Life Wireless

The Anker SoundBuds Life are a better neckband headset than the Mpow Jaws. The Ankers have a much better build quality that looks and feels more premium, although their cables are still pretty thin and fragile. The Ankers also have a much better-balanced sound and a longer lasting battery life. On the other hand, the Mpow Jaws are cheaper and have slightly better cable management. They also isolate better in noisy conditions, and their in-ear fit is a bit more comfortable to wear for long listening sessions than the Ankers, although not by much.

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

6.4 Mixed Usage
The Jaws are above-average for most use cases except critical listening. They block a lot of noise so they're a decent option for loud environments and they also barely leak which makes them good headphones to use at the office. They have a stable around-the-neck design, and they're quite comfortable for an in-ear model. Unfortunately, they do not have the best sound, and their build quality feels cheap and plasticky.
5.8 Critical Listening
Sub-par for critical listening. They have a dark and bass-heavy sound that's muddy and a little boomy. The bass and Mid-Range are overemphasized drowning most instruments and vocals which also lack clarity due to the recessed Treble Range. That and the poor Soundstage caused by their small closed in-ear design makes the sound of the Jaws a bit disappointing for most users but especially for critical listeners.
6.9 Commute/Travel
Above-average for commuting. They're portable headphones that block a good amount of noise and barely leak. They also have a decent control scheme.
7.3 Sports/Fitness
Above-average for sports use. They have an around-the-neck design that's stable when running or jogging. They're lightweight, portable and wireless. However, the in-ear tips do slide a little in the ear canal during strenuous activity, which may not be ideal for all sports.
7.0 Office
Good for office use. They block a good amount of office chatter and barely leak at high volumes, so they won't bother your colleagues.
5.3 TV
Mediocre for home theater. They have a comfortable fit that you can wear for longer than typical in-ear designs, but they have a lot of latency which won't be ideal for watching movies and videos.

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