Around the behemoths of the market, are there (much) cheaper active noise canceling wireless headphones that are worth a shot? This is what we will see in this complete test of the Mpow H19 IPO sold for less than fifty euros.
The Mpow H19 IPO wireless headset promises to bring active noise reduction for a fairly affordable price compared to the competition. One might wonder where the scam is, but this is one of the features it embeds, not to mention Bluetooth 5.0 and a few others.
Is it effective? Is it a good investment to spend 50 euros on this helmet? Can you regret your purchase after a few days of use? So many questions that we will try to answer in this test.
Mpow H19 IPO technical sheet
This test was carried out with a helmet purchased by the editorial staff.
Quick little unboxing
Before we start, let’s take a look at the owner. The Mpow H19 IPO arrives in a small box with everything you need inside, despite the low price of this wireless headset. The latter is accompanied by a 3.5 mm jack cable, a micro-USB to USB cable and a user manual in French.
There is also a bag to store it so that it does not collect dust when not in use, for example. However, this one will not protect the helmet during a displacement, because in simple fabric.
Classic, but comfortable
The Mpow H19 IPO wireless headphones don’t splurge on their design. We find an all-black plastic frame for the model in our test, but it also exists in black-red and pink-white if you prefer a little more extravagance in the colors. The finishes are good overall, where only the seams of the pads are not the most precise. We also note the presence of certain buttons to control the headphones (ANC, volume and power) as well as two ports on each end: micro-USB and 3.5 mm jack.
Mpow’s helmet chooses a format circum-aural to completely encompass your ears, with well padded and rather soft ear cushions. It must be said that it is comfortable even when you have the helmet on your head all day. At no time was any discomfort whatsoever noted, especially since it is light (only 240 grams) and a foam reinforcement on the hoop softens the weight on the head.
The Mpow H19 IPO is a foldable helmet, the length of the headband is adjustable and the ear cups rotate to best adapt to your morphology. From a distance, it could (almost) very briefly think of a QC 35 II. The manufacturer even took over the interior of the headset with huge Ls (for Left, left) and R (for Right, right), where the hatch design is simply reversed compared to Bose.
A rather balanced sound
The Mpow H19 IPO wireless headset does not work miracles, but it offers a very satisfactory copy for its contained price. Stereo sound is powerful enough thanks to its 40mm drivers, with little distortion when the sound is pushed to its maximum. It is not the most suitable for listening to a Beethoven concerto or a Mozart opera, but it will do very well for any other type of music. It has the particularity of being balanced enough between treble, midrange and bass to provide a decent sound experience in most other situations. Only SBC and AAC codecs answer the call, but that’s more than enough to enjoy your favorite playlists on Spotify, Deezer, or YouTube Music.
If you switch from a classic pair of headphones to this wireless headset, you will clearly hear a big difference. You will even really appreciate the Mpow headphones as the difference in sound is obvious. The coating of your ears is bound to have something to do with it and any other headphones of the same size could obviously produce the same effect. However, if you’ve ever had a Bose Headphones 700 or Sony WH-1000XM4 on your head, you won’t be won over by the sound quality of the H19 IPO which can seem a bit messy after tasting excellence.
The downside on the audio side comes from calls, or more particularly from the microphone. In this period when teleworking is becoming the norm, it is essential to communicate well with your colleagues and the Mpow H19 IPO is unfortunately not suitable for this use. You will hear your interlocutors well and vice versa, but only temporarily. This wireless headset has the annoying habit of muting the microphone after about 5 minutes of conversation. This issue has been seen when the headset is connected to a computer or smartphone through a chat on Google Meet or Slack, for example. A defect that brings less versatility, a shame therefore. No problem over the phone anyway.
A surprising reduction for the price
We now come to one of the most important subjects: the ANC, or Active Noise Cancellation (in French active noise reduction). To set things straight from the start, we should obviously not expect the result that a headset can get over 300 euros, it would even be ridiculous to compare the Mpow H19 IPO to models that cost five times or even the six-fold, of its price.
But when you reduce your requirement to a helmet worth neither more nor less 50 euros, the result is quite simply surprising. There is only one level of noise reduction, which is triggered manually via a button on the left ear cup of the headset. We immediately feel the difference with the ANC activated, where the sound will be less dissipated in the ear to finally improve the overall quality. It is not, however, a pure and simple cancellation of noise, but more of a feeling of suffocation for outside parasites. You will no longer discern the words of someone speaking to you, but you will still hear, in a deafening way, certain more impactful noises around you.
We don’t do magic at this price. Mpow’s wireless headphones are not here to impress everyone, but to bring the beginnings of this technology to as many people as possible.
Bluetooth 5.0 is here
With its Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility, the Mpow H19 IPO offers a sound experience without frequent disconnection. It’s generally stable and it is even possible to walk around at home – with the exception of those who live in a castle – without suffering too much from the effect of music that cuts and / or sizzles when ‘we move away from his device. The signal is still good when going down a floor or being on the landing of the front door, so with one foot outside. However, there is no app available for this wireless headset. Pairing is done quite simply via the Bluetooth settings of your smartphone, tablet, computer or TV.
Note also that the headset can only connect to a Bluetooth source at the same time. It therefore does not manage multipoint Bluetooth like its very high-end competitors.
The helmet is also quickly taken in hand and you can easily spot the different buttons using your thumb. On the left side, you can reach the button to activate the noise reduction and, on the right side, the volume and ON / OFF buttons are aligned. This allows you to play / pause in music or call your favorite assistant via two consecutive presses. It is also possible to skip to the next or previous track by holding the volume buttons for two seconds.
Endurance worthy of the greatest
If there’s one thing the Mpow H19 IPO doesn’t have to envy to wireless headsets that cost 5-6 times its price, it’s battery life. With a 500 mAh battery, the manufacturer announces an endurance of 35 hours when noise reduction is not activated. In fact, it is more around 32 hours of use and it is already a quite acceptable score. Concretely, a day from 9:30 am until 6:30 pm (deducting the lunch break) makes him lose just a little more than 20%.
With the ANC, you can take ten hours off the meter. These results therefore place it at the same level as a Bose QC 35 II, for example. However, we regret its somewhat aging micro-USB connection, where a full charge takes a little less than 3 hours. It’s a long time, especially in 2020.
Note that it is also possible to use Mpow’s headphones in wired mode via the 3.5mm jack cable to enjoy unlimited endurance. However, you will no longer be able to use the volume controls or play / pause your music via the power button, nor activate active noise reduction.
Mpow H19 IPO price and availability
The Mpow H19 IPO wireless headset is sold at a price of 49.99 euros, but it regularly benefits from promotion on Amazon for example.