It’s not often that I get to review active-noise-canceling tech. However, after hearing about the Mixcder ANC-G5, an earphone with noise canceling technology, I needed to check it out to see what all the hype is about.
You can purchase the Mixcder ANC-G5 for $60 from Amazon here.
Disclaimer: This review is based upon a sample unit provided to me by a manufacturer in exchange for my honest opinion and un-edited words. I do not profit in any way from the writing of the review. I would like to thank Grace for providing me with this unit.
Preference and Bias: Before reading a review, it is worth mentioning that there is no way for a reviewer to objectively pass judgment on the enjoy-ability of a product: such a thing is inherently subjective. Therefore, I find it necessary for you to read and understand what I take a natural liking to and how that might affect my rating of a product.
My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, bass. The mids should be slightly less pronounced than the treble, but still ahead of the bass. I prefer a more bright upper range.
Source: The ANC-G5 was powered off of a Nexus 6P -> Creative Sound Blaster E3. All music was served as FLAC, ALAC, or as 320Kbps Mp3. I found the standard DAC/Amp inside my phone and PC to be adequate to drive the X1 at near-peak levels of quality, but I’ve chosen to use the E3 for consistency's sake.
Speaker diameter: Ø14.3±0.02mm
Frequency response: 20Hz-22KHz
S.P.L at 1KHz
Rated power: 50mW
That’s all I could find, which isn’t too helpful. The above specs were taken directly from the Mixcder official website.
I did not notice any significant change is sound signature when Active Noise Cancellation was enabled. All test were done with Active Noise Cancellation ON.
Treble sounds a bit metallic and sparkly. This is very apparent in songs which use a lot of electronic effects and make use of high-hats. It really makes it hard to describe the ANC-G5 as Hi-Fi.
Vocals sound a little thin, and mids in general are hushed. Consequently, songs which make heavy use of the mid-range sound flat and unappealing.
The ANC-G5 sounds like it has a V-shaped sound signature, with some bass-boosting. However, the boost is limited to the mid-bass, as the Mixcder G5 has very mediocre extension both upwards and downwards. I heard almost nothing in the 100Hz-20Hz region.
In terms on clarity, the ANC-G5 still scores in mediocrity. I detected distortion during my favorite test song, Throne, and generally found the sound to be unappealing.
Both male and female vocals sound thin, and slightly veiled. This is likely due to the receded mids.
Sound staging, as with most other aspects of the sound signature, mediocre. It shallow and narrow.
Packaging / Unboxing
The ANC-G5 seems to be built pretty well. The cable is covered in a cloth from the 3.5mm jack up to the Y-splitter. The Y-splitter, controls, and driver housings are built from aluminum and have a semi-smooth finish to them. I was impressed with how good the controls looked on a $60 earphone like this.
The weird things start at the driver nozzle. It’s not a circle. It’s an oval with pointed ends, which makes it incredibly difficult to find eartips that fit it, as the ones which are included are, again, mediocre. Even if you do find a pair that “fits”, good luck actually fitting onto the nozzle. It took me over ten minutes to get the official eartips on.
The active noise cancellation does a good job removing constant sounds from the background, but ultimately fails to create a total silence, as the ANC-G5 will. Not. Seal. No matter what I tried, I could not create good isolation in my ear, making the active noise cancellation, the selling point of the ANC-G5, completely useless. I can still hear my fans, and I can still hear my keyboard, which isn’t the case on even the Penon IEM! An earphone that costs $10 (and often less)!
As I mentioned earlier, the ANC-G5 does come with some extra eartips. Two extra sets, medium and large in size, are included, but are incredibly mediocre, failing to create any kind of seal in my ear, regardless of what I’ve tried.
The Mixcder ANC-G5 is an earphone that was compromised on far too much to bring active noise cancellation. Having mediocre sound, mediocre eartips (and a non-standard nozzle), and ineffective noise cancellation, I do not recommend the ANC-G5. You would be better off saving up for a full-sized headphone with the technology, or buying an IEM with good passive noise cancellation.