Xiaomi piston 5

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MSRP: 99 RMB (approx. $16) (manufacturer’s page) Current Price: $16 from geekbuying.com; $15 from gearbest.comSpecs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 32Ω | Sens: 98 dB | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 4.1′ I-plug w/mic và 3-button Android remoteNozzle Size: 4.5mm | Preferred tips: Stock single-flangesWear Style: Straight down

Accessories (3/5) – Single-flange silicone tips (4 sizes); plastic box doubles as storage case with integrated cable wrapBuild Quality (3.5/5) – The Piston 3 uses more plastic in its construction than the Piston 2 but still feels very solid and boasts various small usability improvements such as easier-to-see L/R markings & lower driver flex. The cable is similar lớn that of the older Mã Sản Phẩm – rubbery above sầu the y-split & sheathed in nylon below to lớn provide some resistance khổng lồ tangling. The new remote is nice-looking but the narrow buttons are actually bit harder lớn use without looking compared lớn the previous version’sIsolation (2.5/5) – Isolation is average thanks to the shallow fit of the earphonesMicrophonics (3.5/5) – Audible, but not bothersome when music is playingComfort (4.5/5) – The Piston 3 is a large step forward in ergonomics over the older mã sản phẩm, moving to a compact angled-nozzle kiến thiết with strain reliefs that fully clear the outer ear, leading to a very comfortable fit

Sound (8.2/10) – The Xiaomi Piston 2 quickly became one of my favorite budget in-ears thanks to lớn its ability to lớn deliver good clarity, soundstaging, and overall refinement despite its plentiful bass. Combined with an extensive feature mix (especially for Android users) và a very low price, this made the previous-gene Piston an unbeatable value.

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The jump in sound quality from the original Piston to lớn the Piston 2 was sizable – the first-ren mã sản phẩm was bassier và had significantly poorer fidelity. Though the gap in overall sound quality between the 2nd và 3rd-gen Pistons is not as great, the new mã sản phẩm maintains the trover toward a more balanced, less consumer-oriented sound. You will notice that aside from the Piston 2, the sets I compare the Piston 3 with are mostly in the $50-100 range – a fact that is itself a testament lớn the performance of the Xiaomày in-ears.

The bass of the Piston 3, while less enhanced than that of the Piston 2, remains quite punchy. Mid-bass impact is slightly lower than with some of the other not-quite-reference-flat earphones such as the VSonic VSD3S & Ostry KC06, but enhanced compared khổng lồ flatter-sounding sets lượt thích the HiFiMan RE-400 and Etymotic MC5. Bass depth is pretty good as well, though sub-bass reach and presence lag a bit behind the VSD3S & VSonic’s higher-kết thúc GR07.

Like the previous Mã Sản Phẩm, the 3rd-gen Piston is tuned for a v-shaped sound. However, thanks lớn the tighter, less bloated bass, its mids are clearer despite not being very forward. With that said, they are still somewhat recessed & a touch muffled compared khổng lồ higher-end, less v-shaped sets such as the KC06, RE-400, và GR07.

The Piston 3 picks up presence in the upper midrange & lower treble, giving it a cooler tone. It is a little less bright than the KC06, but more so than the RE-400, which tends lớn be very smooth and laid-baông chồng. Harshness and sibilance are generally not a problem – the Piston 3 is not as forgiving as the warmer-sounding models that preceded it, but it’s not as sibilant as any of the popular VSonic earphones, either.

The spaciousness of the Piston 2 is also preserved, though the lower bass quantity và cleaner, brighter sound of the Piston 3 makes its capable & precise presentation less surprising.

Mini Comparisons

Xiaomày Piston 2 ($20)

The Piston 3 offers a more balanced, less consumer-oriented sound than the Mã Sản Phẩm it supersedes. Its bass is significantly less enhanced & much tighter. In comparison, the bass of the Piston 2 is deeper và has more rumble and slam, but also sounds boomier. Cleaner bass with almost no bloat is actually the Piston 3’s biggest asmix, though with the loss of bass quantity it also sacrifices some of the Piston 2’s appeal khổng lồ the average listener.

On the whole, the sound of the Piston 3 is less colored than that of the older Model. The upper midrange và treble are smoother. Clarity is better due to the tighter, less bloated bass, though it is still limited by the not-too-forward midrange positioning. The Piston 3 is also less sensitive sầu than the older mã sản phẩm, which fits with its less consumer-oriented sound because a non-audiophile listener is more prone khổng lồ put value in both emphasized bass & the ability reach higher volumes more easily.

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Technically, the Piston 3 is the better earphone – it is clearer, tighter, & more neutral. The Piston 2 is warmer và boasts bass that is deeper and more powerful which, admittedly, also helps it sound very dynamic and delivers a “wow” factor. As a result, it’s hard lớn call the Piston 3 a straight nâng cấp from the Piston 2 – it’s a more Hi-Fi earphone for sure, but I will still be recommending the Piston 2 in many situations và for certain genres. There are parallels here lớn the DUNU DN-1000 / DN-2000 situation, albeit with a greater magnitude of difference. There, the older DN-1000 Mã Sản Phẩm also provides a bassier sound và in many cases remains recommendable over the more expensive DN-2000.

Zipbuds PRO ($35)

The Zipbuds PRO are a surprisingly capable consumer-class earphone with a v-shaped sound protệp tin. The main thing they vì chưng well is balance high bass quantity and good overall clarity. Indeed, the Piston 3 has significantly less bass but doesn’t gain any clarity over the Zipbuds. Its bass is tighter, however, và its highs are less bright and more smooth, making the Zipbuds appear overly harsh in comparison. On the whole, the Piston 3 is the more balanced and accurate-sounding earphone.

SteelSeries Flux In-Ear ($50)

The Flux In-Ear is the closest match I could find for the Piston 3 when balancing sound chất lượng and sound signature. The SteelSeries unit is warmer và has smoother treble & a slightly wider presentation. It’s more sensitive, too. The Piston 3 is a bit more v-shaped và has a cooler, brighter tonal character. It sounds thinner, but also a little clearer. It’s hard to say one outperforms the other, but that in itself is a big win for the Xiaomi – only two years ago the Flux was one of the absolute best in-ears one could get for $50. Now, the Piston 3 offers the same màn chơi of performance – albeit with a slightly brighter tonal tilt – for 1/3 of that, with better build quality and a 3-button remote to boot.

Havi B3 Pro I ($60)

The dual-driver B3 Pro I is notable for having an even less consumer-friendly sound signature than the Piston 3, with lower bass impact & much lower sensitivity. The overall sound of the B3 is more balanced compared to lớn the v-shaped Piston 3. The Piston is bassier, but the low over of the B3 is tighter & cleaner. The midrange of the Havi is clearer and more prominent while its upper midrange và treble are a bit more forgiving. The presentation is a bit more well-rounded on the B3 as well. Especially for those in tìm kiếm of balanced sound, the Havi is better than the Piston 3, but its low sensitivity và laông xã of bass enhancement limit its appeal in the mainstream.

Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear ($100)

The Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear is one the few earphones with 3-button Android remotes on the market besides the Piston line. It is also fairly similar khổng lồ the Piston in how it fits in the ear, albeit with a slimmer profile và longer nozzles providing slightly better noise isolation. In terms of sound, the Momentum has a more colored, arguably more “fun” tuning than the Piston 3 but isn’t too far ahead in technical ability.

Both earphones have sầu sound signatures on the v-shaped side of “flat” but the Momentum In-Ear unit offers up a warmer tone with better bass. Its bass delivers more depth và resolution while also making the Piston 3 seem a touch boomier in comparison. The mids of the Sennheiser unit are slightly clearer but it is a little more prone to lớn sibilance và less forgiving on the whole. The Momentum’s presentation is slightly wider và more spacious.

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Value (10/10) – The lademo evolution of Xiaomi’s venerable Piston line once again succeeds in delivering outstanding sound quality with a solid construction và 3-button Android remote, all at a very low price. The biggest improvement this time around is in ergonomics – the new model is significantly more comfortable & unobtrusive than the previous Pistons.

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Xiaomi has come a very long way since the original piston in terms of fidelity, too – while not a direct tăng cấp from the Piston 2 due to how different the tuning of the two earphones is, the Piston 3 provides a clearer, tighter, more balanced audio experience for those willing khổng lồ trade away some of the previous model’s warmth & bass power. Going forward I can see myself recommending either of the two Piston variants, depending on the situation.

Pros: Very comfortable fit; fantastic sound chất lượng for the price; 3-button Android remoteCons: Remote is a bit less user-friendly than previous generation; mediocre noise isolation


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