Review: Mpow M3 Headphones – Good Sound, Great Price

I love music and I love headphones, but I don’t like dropping tons of cash when I don’t need to. That leaves me in a weird spot. Is it possible to find decent headphones at a decent price? Today, I am checking out the MPow M3 Bluetooth over-ear headphones, but can they compete with the more expensive competition?

Overview

The M3 Headphones ($35.99 on Amazon) are the latest offering from accessory maker Mpow. The company’s focus is on building quality consumer electronics and accessories, often at a much better price than their big-name competitors.

The most obvious thing to look at with the M3s is their style, and they look very nice. The glossy black and bright pops of red looks great together, and the silver highlights and buttons on the ears fit in perfectly as well, with the whole setup reminding me of the Beats Studios.

As far as the actual important matter – sound – goes, the M3s were pretty surprising. I wouldn’t consider myself an audiophile by any means, but I do know how I like my music to sound, and the M3s offered that. Music had a well rounded sound, without overpowering the lows or distorting the highs and stayed very clear and crisp at any volume.

The ear cushions also offer passive noise isolation to help keep unwanted noise out, and while using these at the gym or while mowing, they blocked outside sounds pretty well. Note that this isn’t actual active noise cancellation, but rather quality padding that simply attenuates the outside world.

Like most other Bluetooth over-ear headphones, the M3s can also be used with the included 3.5mm cable if the battery runs low or you don’t have Bluetooth available. Audio quality is slightly different when plugged in, and seemed slightly louder than with Bluetooth, but not definitively enough that I felt like I was missing out.

When you are using Bluetooth, the M3s can easily last 10-15 hours, but it is worth noting that when the battery drops below 30%, a low battery alert chimes in quite frequently, essentially forcing you to plug-in and recharge. Even at that, though, you can expect a solid 8+ hours of uninterrupted playback.

M3 Headphone controls

The one major drawback I found with the M3s is in their handling of volume controls. While some Bluetooth headphones will adjust the volume output of your device, the M3s utilize an independent volume controls, meaning your device and the headphones each have separate volumes. It’s a small thing, but proved to be a huge frustration in practice.

Verdict

Rating: 4

I was very impressed with the Mpow M3 over-ear headphones. They were comfortable, offered clean sound, and looked cool (in my opinion). They fold up to fit comfortably in most backpacks and laptop bags, and provided plenty of power to get me through a full day of listening.

Pros:

  • Clear sound
  • Great price
  • Solid build quality
  • Well styled

Cons:

  • Volume control is independent of device

Ultimately, for under $40, it’s hard to expect perfection, and while these may not be perfect, they’re definitely a great option. Pick up a pair of the Mpow M3 headphones for $35.99 on Amazon, today!

from Ian Fuchs – MacTrast

Interface: 52. The Background Music of Your Life

http://interface.fm/52

Some people take tens of photos every month. Other people take thousands. With the immediacy and accessibility of photography in the modern world, is a photograph as meaningful or valuable as it was when you paid for film? And what do we do with out 10,000 photos once we’ve collected them?

via IFTTT

Kickstarter: Rigiet – A Stabilizer for your Smartphones

The iPhone is one of the most popular cameras in the world, so there is no shortage of ways to make it more versatile. With a new Kickstarter campaign, the Rigiet is looking to make shooting video smoother.

Shooting video by hand works great if you’re standing still, but when you start moving, video quickly gets shaky, and even nauseating. The Rigiet – a new Kickstarter project – is designed to take out the shake of your moving video, and enable you to shoot smoother video much more affordably than the competition.

What is Rigiet?

The Rigiet is a stabilizer – or Gimbal – for your iPhone, Smartphone, or GoPro (with adapter), using a combination of weight and small motors to balance your device and keep it level while you shooting videos or photos. Additionally, it offers a simple joystick for controlling the pan and tilt of the camera.

Rigiet supports a smartphone in landscape orientation, which really is the only acceptable way to shoot video. Rigiet also works in portrait mode, which works for Facetime or live streaming, if that’s your thing. Unlike many other gimbals on the market, Rigiet can also be used in the “underslung” position, without needing to stop recording.

rigiet-normal to underslung gif

The Rigiet device also offers Bluetooth to pair with their app, which enables mode switching (photo, video, slow mo, time lapse, and panorama), as well as a record button to start and stop video in the app, and a toggle for front/rear camera selection.

With that, Rigiet does require power. The pre-production model I received had 2 batteries in the box – but the device only requires one. The battery is non-standard, but can be charged via the device over microUSB. In my testing, a charge of one battery easily covered me for a few hours of shooting. A second microUSB port near the head of the gimbal also allows for pass-through power and charging of your smartphone, enabling you to recharge your device as you shoot.

How does it work?

First things first. You’ll need to charge the batteries – or at least I did –  since the included batteries were dead when it arrived. Second, either download the Rigiet app or get ready to fire up your favorite video app.

Once the Rigiet is charged, you’re ready to get setup. Open the mount, slide your iPhone in, and close the mount. Using a little trial and error, get the phone and counterweight in balance. Once this is done, make sure the clamp is secure.

As a note, balancing the Rigiet required me to tape a couple nickels to compensate for the iPhone 7 Plus weight. If you’re using a lighter weight device, you shouldn’t need to do this, but for me, it was the only way to balance the device before getting started. It did work without the weights, but had a very slight tilt without the added nickels.

Once things are balance, press and hold the power/shutter button to power on device. When the motors engage, you’ll see and feel a little bump as things lock in place. From here, you can fire up the Rigiet app or another video app, and you’re ready.

man holding rigiet in air

It’s a pretty cool tool. Video while walking was noticeably smoother, going down stairs appears as a glide, and pans and tilts were smoother and consistent. In my testing, the record button only worked with the Rigiet app, which is fine because there are some bonus features in there, anyway.

Within the app, there are modes for motion time lapse (affix the Rigiet device to a tripod, set start and end points, and watch it move automatically), multi-shot panorama (again, tripod required), and the standard time-lapse, slow motion, video, photo, and traditional panorama modes.

All-in-all, the Rigiet is a pretty cool device, and for the price, it’s a solid option for aspiring videographers. Check out their Kickstarter, and let me know what you think in the comments section.

from Ian Fuchs – MacTrast