Modified from product page and Pixabay These long stem, black headphones remind me of the original Apple AirPods except these actually deliver on ANC and affordability. At less than $60 (price varies) these buds are significantly cheaper than other ANC headphones yet they still deliver on performance. The earbuds feature 10mm fiber optic drivers and SBC/AAC audio decoding for enhanced deep bass, trebles, and mids as well as 4 mics with beamforming technology for crystal clear calls. And all this fancy tech actually works; I’ve had a fantastic experience so far using these earbuds, and they may rank in my top 5 after all is said and done. This product has a lot going for it including functional add-ons like IPX8 waterproofing, Bluetooth 5.0, smart touch controls, custom ear tips, and a Type-C quick charge case that delivers 30+ hours of battery life. All that plus more make these worthy of buying; even audiophiles will be impressed.

Mpow Product Information

Top 5 Mpow X3 Features That Delivered

As stated the Mpow X3’s are packed with a multitude of old & newer features that you wouldn’t believe given the price, however there are five prominent characteristics worth noting.

Best X3 Features

Magnetic Case Design

Earbud Aesthetics & Ergonomics

Deep Bass

IPX8 Waterproofing

ANC Levels for Under $100 Headphones

Magnetic Case Design

The design of the X3’s case is one of my favorites. I love the shape, size, color, and the magnetic snap of this case. It’s very reminiscent of the Apple AirPods yet it has its own stylistic elements like the side grills. And the way the earbuds fall into place along with the location of the LED charging indicators and/or USB-C port is also fantastic. I have a wireless charging stand with a vertical Type-C port and I love being able to just set this case on top of it. They absolutely nailed the look of this case.

Earbud Aesthetics & Ergonomics

The earbuds are a great mix of the 1st Gen AirPods and current AirPod Pros. The extended stems can be a bit jarring if you own smaller tipped buds but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before; the black color helps in this aspect as it tends to make the buds appear smaller than they are. However the real prize is the comfort level. The buds use default medium sized ear tips, which fit well and are comfortable to use, but they come with 5 additional pairs of regular and extra soft tips of varying sizes (small/medium/large). That’s a lot of options and much needed after I tested two pairs of earbuds with zero custom tips. I had no trouble wearing these for extended periods, I never felt they were going to fall out, and they were just as comfortable as the Galaxy Buds (1st Gen).

Deep Bass

The combo of 10mm optic drivers, SBC/AAC audio decoding, extra thin elastic diaphragm, and stereo design create a fulfilling enhanced deep bass experience while listening to music. I was very impressed with how much bass comes in and even the trebles and mids sounded very clear and natural. I only wish Mpow had a dedicated app to control each attribute like Samsung has. Regardless it still delivers on sound quality and loudness, but keep in mind the volume and sound will change slightly when using ANC. For example, it’s not as loud when ANC is turned on.

IPX8 Waterproofing

ANC headphones with IPX7 and IPX8 waterproofing is uncommon, so I was surprised these were rated so high. With IPX8 you can literally put them under a faucet and they’ll be fine though I don’t recommend it. What I would recommend is using them for moderate to intense workouts, cardio, cycling, and other types of strenuous activities. The buds use nano coating so don’t worry about that extra sweat going in. Mpow earbuds have always been my go-to for workouts and there’s def no need to abandon them now.

ANC Levels for Less Than $100 Headphones

My thoughts on the ANC levels were initially mixed, but considering the value of these earbuds, I felt that I was being too critical. These do have a -28dB reduction in noise levels over wide frequencies, which is more than you’ll get with $50 to $60 headphones. I also like how easy it is to turn on/off the ANC; just hold the R earbud for 2 seconds and you’re in. Just note that ANC will only work when both earbuds are being used a la twin mode. The noise cancelling does an adequate job at blocking out air flow from fans/vents, road traffic, excess crowd murmurs and voices, and office activities like typing. Do they contain the most advanced ANC on the market, of course not, but is it sufficient for less than $100 headphones, absolutely!

6 Things That Could Be Improved

Disregarding obvious technical limitations when selling budget TWS headphones, there remain several elements that could be improved upon without inflating the price. And here’s a few that I found:

Six Ways to Improve Mpow X3

Out of all these I had the biggest issue with signal interference. When I was using my microwave (10 feet away) the sound kept breaking up, which I’ll admit happens with my Galaxy Buds but never to this extent. I’m not sure why there’s so much interference but it’s troublesome if I ever take these buds to the city or something. Point #2-3 I’ve already talked about and I’d consider them minor inconveniences however the next point isn’t so slight. I don’t think the mics do a bad job with calls but they’re not as loud or crisp as I would’ve liked, and that only worsens when you’re near crowds. Point #5 is very insignificant and mostly geared towards those who prefer more discrete earbuds, but again I don’t think you’ll get as many looks as you might’ve gotten several years ago. And finally point #6 is to simply allow mono mode to work with both L and R earbuds. Currently they only work with the right side, which is a bit limiting.

Mpow X3 True Wireless ANC Earbuds: Final Review

My Own I will give the Mpow X3 TWS ANC Earbuds 4.5 out of 5 stars. As much as I was fond of the active noise cancellation feature, I didn’t think it was the standout here. There’s other things I liked more including the IPX8 waterproofing, the comfortable earbuds & highly customized ear tips, and the magnetic case. The sound was also very good with a particular emphasis on the deep bass, which sounded about as good as anything you’d find on $200 headphones. I did have issues with the signal interference and call quality, but I have faith that they’ll address this in their next version. And if they want to make the buds look even more like the AirPod Pros then more power to them. Despite some flaws I would still highly recommend these headphones to anyone looking for affordable ANC TWS earbuds because you honestly won’t find anything as good as these for the price.

Your Thoughts


Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on August 14, 2020: Thanks for this review. It is very enlightening. I like the price.

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