Xiaomi Mi Air 2 Pro TWS in review: Premium true wireless earbuds with ANC for under 100 Euros?
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Despite the low price of the equivalent of 90 Euros (~$108) in China, the Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds have active noise cancellation and good technical features. Xiaomi also uses 12-millimeter drivers and an LCP liquid crystal composite membrane for its true wireless in-ear headphones; this sounds promising, but it doesn't necessarily speak for a very good sound quality and neither does the audio fine-tuning by the four-time Grammy winner Luca Bignardi.
Those who are interested in the Xiaomi Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds in Germany can't currently get around an import and a price surcharge of about 20 Euros (~$24), since the TWS are not (yet) available on the European market. However, the Chinese manufacturer has not yet stated anything about a possible availability in Europe.
|Speakers||12 mm drivers, dynamic, 20 - 20,000 Hz|
|Audio codecs||SBC, AAC, LHDC|
|Battery capacity (earbuds)||55 mAh|
|Battery capacity (charging case)||500 mAh|
|Weight (per earbud)||6.5 g|
|Weight (charging case)||60 g|
|Microphones||3 microphones per earbud|
|In the box||Headphones, charging case, silicon ear tips (S, M, L, XL), documentation|
|Price (MSRP)||90 Euros (~$108) (Import: 110 Euros (~$132))|
Workmanship and ergonomics - Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds with high-quality feel
The selection of the Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds is currently limited to only one color option, namely black. The design with the matte black finish and a glossy, touch-sensitive ceramic surface for controlling playback on the outside is attractive. The workmanship and quality of the Xiaomi headphones, which are made of plastic, is very good.
The Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds weigh 6.5 grams each and are, therefore, pleasantly light. The true wireless headphones are not annoying to wear in everyday use, even for prolonged periods of time. We can't confirm if the housing construction of the TWS is waterproof, since the manufacturer (in our opinion) doesn't provide any information about this on its Chinese website. However, since the predecessor was already certified according to the IPX4 standard, we assume that rain or sweat will not be a problem for the current flagship TWS from Xiaomi.
The individual fit of the headphones can be optimized with the four different tips included in the box. We opted for the size M, which makes the earphones fit very well. In our opinion, the ergonomic design also makes the Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds fit comfortably into the auricle and the external ear canal.
The charging case of the Xiaomi TWS is also made of matte plastic and weighs about 60 g together with the headphones, and it feels high-quality in the hand. There's a lightning symbol on the back that reminds the user that wireless charging is supported. The charging case itself can also be powered via the USB-C port.
The case's build quality is also good, and a magnet keeps the lid securely closed. Similarly, the TWS themselves are magnetically locked to the charging contacts, so tight in fact that removing the headphones with dry hands is somewhat difficult.
Connectivity and handling - Xiaomi Mi Air 2 Pro with ANC
The Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds offer active noise cancellation and a transparency mode that amplifies ambient noise on demand. No app is needed to switch between the different modes; instead, the glossy ceramic surface on the outside can be touched. However, switching via the headphones is a bit tedious - for example, to activate ANC during transparency mode, you have to keep your fingers on the Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds for a minimum of 10 seconds.
The XiaoAi application makes it faster, but it only supports the Chinese language - certainly anything but optimal, but in times of Google Translate & Co, the app can definitely be used without a good knowledge of Chinese. Receiving feedback from the in-ears is also only possible in Chinese and, therefore, not really helpful without language skills. Besides some settings options, the Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds are also provided with the latest drivers via the Xiaomi app. What the XiaoAi app does not offer, however, is an equalizer.
Wear detection that automatically stops music or movie playback when the Xiaomi TWS are removed from the ear is present on the Mi Air 2 Pro headphones. Thanks to the built-in infrared sensor, the earbuds quickly detect when they are removed in everyday use. Our review of the Nokia TWS shows that not every true wireless in-ear headphone in the price range of about 100 Euros (~$120) implements this function well in everyday use. The controls via the touch-sensitive sensor surfaces of the Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds also work very well in the test.
When the Mi Air 2 Pro headphones are removed from the case, they turn on automatically. Pairing them with an external device, such as a smartphone, is done via Bluetooth 5.0. Besides SBC and AAC, the high-resolution LHDC Bluetooth codec is also supported (theoretically). The case's charging status is indicated by a single-colored status LED.
Voice quality - Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds convince with clear voice transmission
In addition to playing music or video content, true wireless headphones can also be used as a headset for making calls or skyping. In our test calls, the three microphones of each earpiece provide good voice output. In the Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds, these are used to reduce ambient noise in addition to transmitting voice. Together with an ANC chipset, which reverses sound waves, and a speaker in the auricle, outside noise is reduced by neutralizing sound waves. As a result, users on a call with the Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds can be easily understood even in the presence of monotonous background noise or foreign voices in the surroundings.
Overall, the Xiaomi TWS convince with an appealing and neutral voice reproduction. The maximum volume is also sufficient. Those we spoke with found the voice reproduction to be clear and very comprehensible.
Sound - Xiaomi Mi Air 2 Pro with good sound
We use a OnePlus 8 Pro as playback device in our test, which unfortunately doesn't support the LHDC codec. Therefore, we use the AAC standard in the test, which, however, offers considerably less bandwidth for the transmission of audio data with a higher latency, which is especially important for movies and games. However, users who listen to music via streaming services will hardly notice any differences between AAC and the higher-quality LHDC codec. We installed the latest 126.96.36.199 firmware on our Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds, but this version reportedly does not have the LHDC protocol enabled yet.
Thanks to the 12 mm dynamic drivers, Xiaomi's premium TWS offer present and clearly perceptible bass without being bass-heavy. The sound output is clear, and trebles and mids are rendered in a well-differentiated manner. We never fully exploited the maximum volume either and still had some leeway as a result.
Thanks to the noise-canceling technology, monotonous noise that isn't too loud is well blocked out - Xiaomi itself states a volume of up to 35 decibels that can be filtered out. However, the Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds can't handle too much wind, because wind noise is clearly perceptible despite ANC as well as the ANC-typical noise during a quiet playback. We like the transparency mode better. It amplifies background noise, such as traffic while cycling, very well.
Besides playing music, we also used the true wireless in-ears for playing video content. However, the AAC codec has a somewhat negative effect here. Sound reproduction is always a bit ahead of the visual output, but the Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds shouldn't show any asynchronous sound or image with LHDC. The latter is supposed to achieve a very low latency of just 100 milliseconds thanks to the V3 protocol. However, we were not able to test this. The synchronization during transmission is okay with Xiaomi's headphones even with AAC, though.
Battery life - Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds last a long time
The technical specifications are not clearly defined by Xiaomi. According to reports, the Mi Air 2 Pro have a 55 mAh battery each. The charging case of the TWS headphones is said to have a capacity of 500 mAh and signals the battery's charging status with a single-colored LED. In everyday use, a full charge of the Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds requires about 40% of the case's battery, so that would translate to about 2.5 charge cycles.
This would also be consistent with the Chinese manufacturer's stated runtimes. According to Xiaomi, the TWS earbuds last for about 28 hours with the help of the case's integrated battery. In everyday use, we achieve a very good runtime of 9 to 9.5 hours without ANC and about 7 to 7.5 hours using active noise cancellation in the Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds. Users get a tonal feedback when the battery level drops below 20%.
The Mi Air 2 Pro headphones are recharged after resting in the case for about 40 minutes when they are fully discharged. The charging case itself takes a bit longer with just under 60 minutes.
Xiaomi Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds verdict - Also recommendable without local availability
The premium TWS earbuds from Xiaomi prove to be very good true wireless in-ear headphones with active noise cancellation for a current import price of about 110 Euros (~$132). Since the Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds are available in China for the equivalent of 90 Euros (~$108), the price should also still fall below the 100-Euro (~$120) mark through importers if the TWS are available.
Buyers will certainly have to "get a bit used to" the Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds, since neither the output of the in-ears nor the dedicated app offer an optional language other than Chinese. However, the language problems aren't really a problem in everyday use after a bit of practice, but the TWS available in Germany are more user-friendly for sure.
If you decide to import the Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds, you will get very good-sounding TWS with long battery life, solid ANC, good build quality, and an appealing design. We somewhat missed a colored status LED in the case, and the impeccably functioning controls via tap gestures could have been expanded with swipe commands.
Price and availability of the Mi Air 2 Pro earbuds
The warranty of the Xiaomi TWS is 12 months. In addition to the manufacturer's warranty, our loaner TradingShenzhen offers the option to send the Mi Air 2 Pro to a German shipping address in case of a warranty claim. A time-consuming shipping to China would no longer be necessary. The prices at TradingShenzhen start at 117 Euros (~$141) at the time of testing.