Mifo FiiTii HiFiPods review: A deep sensation
DESIGN, COMFORT AND BATTERY LIFE
Oh my – look at that charging case of the FiiTii HifiPods. Mifo has had some great designs in the past, and the first outing of their new hifi-oriented subbrand is no exception. While the case is big and round, hefty and bulky, it’s also one of the most stylized TWS cases to date. It is completely made from metal and combines subtle blue-gray brushed steel with metallic edges around the lid and the button to open it.
You’ll see three LED lights directly underneath to indicate the remaining case battery. It’s easy to pick the earbuds out.
The earbuds themselves are… well… an acquired taste. Perhaps in the same way tiger-print leggings are. The shiny black-copper outside finish and dark-grey steel look on the inside don’t really match well with the green LED light on them. Happily though, the light stays off when you’re playing music and in idle mode.
While the earbuds are bigger than average, they’re extremely comfortable. The mold has a small bump in the top end of your ear, becomes bigger down below, and while the middle part is quite broad – the earbuds fit very snugly and are comfortable to wear for hours in average-sized ears. The IP67 waterproof ratings make them withstand rain, dust, and sweat as well – tested and approved.
The battery life lasts up to 5 hours on a single charge with ANC or Transparency mode on and up to 7 hours in the default ANC off setting – which are respectable scores to get you through the day. The case justifies its weight and size – it can top up the earbuds ten times fully before needing new power via USB-C itself.
CONTROLS AND CONNECTIVITY
The entire center of the HiFiPods is touch-sensitive to your input and give you quite a bit of control options:
- Double-tap L or R to play/pause music
- Hold L or R to switch between Transparency mode/ ANC on/ ANC off (‘mild noise cancelling’)
- Tap R to increase the volume
- Tap L to decrease volume
- Triple-tap R to skip to the next song
- Triple-tap L to return a song
- Tap L or R 5 times to (de)activate low-latency gaming mode
It’s a bit weird that there’s an action attached to five taps and not four, and it’s not possible to activate the voice assistant on your phone. You also can’t change the controls, as the HiFiPods doesn’t have app support.
Connectivity on the HiFiPods is good, with quick pairing and connecting when you take the earbuds out of the case. The Bluetooth connection holds strong up to 9-10 meters away from your device, and you can always switch between using two or one side – for example, if you want to recharge the other bud.
The FiiTii doesn’t support multipoint connectivity. Like 99% of all wireless earphones, you can only be connected to one device at a time.
CALLS, MOVIES AND GAMES
In phone calls, your voice is loud and clear enough but does appear nasal – as if you’re a bit ill. Both lighter and darker background noises are audible in calls: darker sounds like accelerating trucks are processed into something else, lighter sounds like scooters and chatter are still recognizable. Both types of background sounds are still identifiable as background sounds, though: your voice is louder.
Wind noise, however, is an enormous threat to calls. Even a light breeze can make you hard to hear. Video calling goes so-so: your voice sounds full and background sounds are reduced well in Microsoft Teams or Zoom meetings, but your voice is also quite soft – and a tad muffled.
The HiFiPods has a low-latency mode to speed up the sound effects when you’re gaming, but there’s still a tiny delay between what you see on screen and what you hear. The sound has decent spatiality, so expect to hear some action coming from your sides in Call of Duty Mobile. Watching videos isn’t a problem – it works flawlessly on Android and iPhone.
ANC NOISE CANCELLING TEST OF FIITII HIFIPODS
ANC Quality: The HiFiPods has ‘two modes’ of noise cancelling. The default setting on which the buds activate is called ‘mild noise cancelling‘, but that’s just a fancy name for ANC turned off – you will get some passive isolation because of the large earbuds. It reduces the volume of some sounds but doesn’t block any noise actively.
The ‘strong noise cancelling’ setting does block some additional noise, however. It draws most constant and darker and mid-tones out from your surroundings. Background radio play, electronic humming, distant traffic: they’re all much softer – without countering them with too much white noise. Chatter, nearby and at moderate distance, still comes through, and so do sudden sounds like claps and door slams. That said – the strong ANC setting can make the difference between completely following a conversation and just hearing some notes of it. It does bring rest to your head.
Transparency mode quality: The Transparency mode doesn’t do much to let you hear traffic or chatter on moments you need it. When activated, it lets in some lighter sounds but not necessarily the brighter sounds you need. If you want to have a conversation with someone, you should still take the earbud out. The effect is lost entirely when you also play music.
Wind noise reduction: Due to the earbuds’ snug fit, the Mifo HiFiPods doesn’t pick up a lot of wind. Wind noise is even completely left out in the default ‘Mild noise cancelling’/ ANC off setting. In the ANC on and Transparency mode, the earbuds pick up a moderate amount of wind noise.
SOUND QUALITY OF FIITII HIFIPODS
The sound signature of the Mifo FiiTii HifiPods could be the smoothest and deepest of all currently 277 wireless earbuds reviewed on Scarbir.com.
You won’t find many highs on the HifiPods. You won’t even find many upper mid-tones on them. Björk, one of the world’s brightest and screechiest high female vocalists? She sounds smooth. Cymbals sound smooth. Violins sound smooth. Trumpets sound smooth. Brighter male vocals sound smooth.
Basically, the HifiPods cuts off higher treble before it becomes treble.
Jump to other earphones with a warmer-than-average sound character, and it’s evident just how little emphasis the HifiPods has on the highs. The Sennheiser CX, Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+, and Edifier NeoBuds Pro sound mid-centric in comparison; the recently reviewed Lypertek Z5 sounds open on a whole different level. Music on the HifiPods sounds a bit different.
But mind you: this FiiTii doesn’t sound bad.
It wears its character with pride.
It shows depth in its darkness. You can throw the most challenging basses to the HiFiPods, and it will handle them with control, clarity, and separation. The sub-bass dives and sounds deep; its notes can either be bulbous or gently stab you. The test case rumble in James Blake’s Limit to Your Love is explosive AND controlled and lacks the higher edge that so many subs show. On the other hand, the mid-bass walks a fine line between too light and too heavy. The mid-bass pulsates with a slight thump, but doesn’t punch heavily – it doesn’t dominate or characterize the music.
It’s the lower mid-tones that do. Those are way elevated. Both acoustic and electronic drums sound full, and darker electronic tones are louder than average and last long. What’s more, is the HiFiPods drag the mid-tones along with them. Even the brightest vocals and instruments sound warm, and that’s for this reason. Mid-instruments like guitars and piano play all lean toward the lower-mids and up until the highest active listening volumes; vocals aren’t very forward. They are positioned centrally between instruments and always smooth, without ever becoming sharp. Still, the moderate forwardness can result in some mismatches: in the wonderful Solomun Remux of Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker, the lower instruments almost drown Cohen’s fantastic dark voice.
Another thing to point are the rather curious volume steps. Up to 60 percent of the volume slider in your phone is the HifiPods offering babysteps up in moderate volume, after which the volume makes big jumps – so that one setting can be a little too soft to have a party in your ears, and the other a tad too loud.
Most of the time, though, there’s just something to the sound. The earbuds have outstanding separation within their limited range; challenging compositions are handled with ease and sound expansive, and music even has an airy feel, strengthened by drums and details coming from your left and right. With these qualities, the combination of warmth, depth, and utter smoothness thanks to cut-off treble, works. Its thick sound relaxes on lower volumes and immerses on higher ones.
The FiiTii HifiPods by Mifo isn’t for anyone, but its nightly deep sound is so well-executed it’s a sensation on its own.