Xmate, popular for accessories launched the Mana, the company’s new Neckband wireless headphones recently. It is affordable, has magnetic neckband and promises up to 7hours of playback. After using it for couple of weeks, here is the review of the Bluetooth headset.
- Xmate Mana headphones in Black color
- Different set of eartips (Small, Medium and Large)
- Micro USB Cable
- User manual
The headset has a simple design that is similar to most other neckband wireless headsets. The in-ear buds have angled tips that perfectly fits in your ears, and there is an ear hook as well to fit inside the ear grooves so it doesn’t fall out easily even when you are running. There is a small wire connecting earbuds and the neck band. The back of the earbuds with xmate logo is magnetic that snap together when not in use.
The band that you wear around the neck is flexible, lightweight and has a smooth finish. The bottom housing also offers a smooth rubbery finish. On the left side there is a micro USB charging port under the flap, which has xmate branding, while the right side features the noise branding.
The right part has all the buttons that includes a power / multi-function button in the center and the volume adjustment buttons on either sides. You can also use the power button to play or pause and answer or reject a call. Similarly, the volume buttons can be used to switch to previous or next tracks. There is also an LED indicator that glows in Red and Blue colors. Next to it is the microphone. This also houses the 180mAh battery. Since it comes with IP6X ratings, it can withstand sweat and light rain, but you can’t immerse it in water or take it for swimming.
Coming to the audio quality, these headphones offers fairly good audio quality with good amount of bass with the 14.2mm drivers, but some might find it too punchy. Volume was good as well. The earbuds offer decent amount of noise isolation, thanks to the angled ear tips. Similar to most earphones in the prices range, packs the Subband Coding (SBC) that is capable of bit rates up to 328 kbps for listening to 320-bit MP3s. This is common in Bluetooth devices with Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP). Difference between audio quality in SBC and aptX is minimal, but the latency is normally over 100ms with SBC. We did not face any such latency issues during music or video playback.
The headset has a tiny microphone which is decent in most cases, however when you are in a crowded, noisy environment, it doesn’t pick up your voice clearly. This is common in most Bluetooth headsets since the tiny microphone doesn’t catch your voice clearly.
Connectivity, Pairing and AI assistant
The Bluetooth headset supports Bluetooth 4.2, so you can connect it to Android, iOS devices along with MP3 players with Bluetooth support. It pairs to your phone quickly just by holding the power button for few seconds to enter the pairing mode. You just have to select the Xmate Mana to pair the headphones. You get voice feedback when it enters pairing mode and when it connects successfully. LED light blinks red and blue when it’s pairing, and blue LED glows when the pairing is complete. This doesn’t have multi point support, so you can’t connect the earbuds to two devices at a time.
The headset doesn’t have a companion app, but you can launch Siri on iOS and Google Assistant on Android devices when you quickly press the power button twice when no music is playing.
With the 180mAh battery on the headset, the company promises about 6-7 hours of battery life, and we managed to get about 6 to 6.5hours of battery life on a single charge, which is good. It promises 100 hours of standby time. The headset automatically turns off when it’s not in use. If you have Android phones running Android 8.1 or later, you can see battery life of the Bluetooth headset. I’ve used it for over 3 hours, and it still shows 100%, which could be a bug. It gives audio prompts to charge the headset when the battery is low. Charging the headset from 0 to 100% takes about 2 hours over micro USB.
Overall, the Xmate Mana is a good affordable Bluetooth neckband headset at a price of Rs. 1299. It has a lightweight design, offers good audio experience with punchy bass and the battery life is good as well. It is available from Amazon.in, but during offer period you can get it for as low as Rs. 949.