Xiaomi Piston 3 Quick Review
Thanks to GearBest for the sample.
Brief: 3rd times the charm.
Price: US$15 or £10 (roughly)
Specification: Connectivity : Wired, Connecting interface : 3.5mm, Application : Portable Media Player, Computer, Mobile Phone, Plug interface: Full-sized, Cable length : 1.25m, Frequency response : 20~20KHz, Impedance : 32ohms, Sensitivity : 98 dB, Output power: 5mW
Accessories: 4 pairs of tips. Plus the case and cable wrap thing if you wish to count them.
Build Quality: Par excellence. As good a quality as you’d find on things ten times the price.
Isolation: Meh. It’s passable but I’d worry about being that guy on the bus blasting music out. Sure it’s an IEM so it’s vastly better than buds but it’s not a big isolator. Obviously it’s more than enough to get yourself run over if you don’t use your eyes though.
Comfort/Fit: Great. Wore them up mostly and had zero issues. As they are well vented that wasn’t a surprise. Plus I slapped olives on them, which I love.
Aesthetics: A little plain. The 2 was in some colours so blingy, this feels much more mature looking, maybe a bit more sophisticated. Mostly it’s not very eye catching.
Sound: I’m a bit lost for words. Sure it’s bassy, too bassy for me but not crazily so. Its mids are good, god they really are good, the instrument separation here is a bit of a jaw dropper. They have a bit of a W shaped sound (slanted to the bass obv.) but there is no mid/bass bleeding together. Vocals are so cleanly separate and distinct. The sound staging is just superb. Real scale and space for things to be displayed before you. The vocals so centre place and unencumbered. Gosh, vocal centric, soft bassy lingering bass lines and vocals cling on to the very end. It’s a bit over sumptuous and dark but god, for a tenner, bugger me! Laura Michelle Kelly’s “The Storm Inside” album is a stunner, showy, achingly longing and lingering, draped over a chaise longue. She’s no world class vocalist, very musical theatre and a touch hammy but the Piston 3’s make her a wondrously captivating listen. Flicking to popy bass centric stuff and the bass comes rip roaringly out to play. That scale and space, the sound staging throws so much air movement at you. The bass is in strict terms big but not stupidly so however the air moment means your ears are as much feeling as “hearing” it. So they have so much more convincing bass to those not used to IEM’s. There is a master tuner behind these.
Value: I have had to check the price a few times because I thought there must be a mistake. I don’t know how these can be paid for and shipped for a tenner (£10) I just don’t. Oh btw that’s US$15. Is Xiaomi selling these things as a loss leader for their phones?
Pro’s: Bass is epically scaled. Mids are luscious. Sound staging is amazing.
Con’s: Bass moves so much air it wears me out. Treble is kinda so so in comparison.