I run around 6 days a week, and often listen to music when out for my morning runs. I usually run with an iPod shuffle and a set of wired Apple headphones. Although I can get by with the average sound quality on the Apple headphones, they simply are not designed for sports use, and frequently fall out of my ears. This proved to be a frustrating affair for some months, after which I moved over to some Sony wired headphones. Luck would have it that after a year or so these broke, so I was back to my Apple buds again. Being in the market for a few months now, I tried a few headphones, but could not find anything suitable for my needs. In the end, I simply gave up listening to music whilst on my training runs. Fortunately, I was contacted by Mpow and asked if I would like to try out their new Sport Bluetooth 4.1 Cheetah headphones and write a review for them. They kindly sent me a pair and I took delivery of these on the 18th of April. Having tried them out now for around 10 days, here are my thoughts.
The item is well packaged and comes in a nicely presented box, so would make for a nice gift. Included are the headphones, a usb to mini-usb charging cable, replacement buds of varying sizes (small, medium and large) and a set of instructions. The headphones are bluetooth powered, so there are no fiddly cables to be dealing with. The first thing I noticed about the headphones was the overall finish, which seems to be manufactured to a high standard. They easily wrap around my ears and the back of my head with the flexible wire, as shown in the pictures.
There is a main power button which must be held for around 3 seconds to power on or off the headphones. This is great, as it means you won’t risk accidentally powering on or off. I really appreciated the audio feedback of “power on” and power off” when turning the headphones on and off, respectively. There are also volume up and down buttons on the headset, which double-up as track forward/back buttons with a long press. The headphones work by bluetooth and need to be charged. I have charged the headset when I first got them, and have used them for around 7 hours in total, and still have ~50% of charge left. The charge is conveniently shown on my iPhone. Pairing with my iPhone was quick and easy, requiring no pass-codes to overcome. As these headphones are bluetooth enabled, I must have my iPhone with my during training runs/workouts, which mean they can only be used (in my case) when I am out running with a hydration vest (which will hold my phone, too) or whilst at the gym. Unfortunately, wearing an armband with an iPhone 6 Plus is a little too cumbersome for me!
UPDATE!- I have now ditched the iPod shuffle purchased a 7th gen iPod nano, which contains bluetooth. These headphones are still going strong and connect flawlessly to the nano. No need for me to carry my iPhone/hydration vest if I want to use these headphones.
Being fairly lightweight, I was concerned that the sound quality may be less than average. However, I was pleasantly surprised. I am no audiophile, but do appreciate good quality sounds. Bass and treble were both fine and my music all sounded perfect, even when out on the road. Being cautious when out running, I do keep the volume quite low, to be aware of my surroundings, and it was great to be able to hear my music whilst still being able to hear what was going on around me. Overall sound quality works for me, and is very good for the price-point of these headphones. Volume can be maxed out without distortion, too.
Overall, I am very impressed with the Mpow Cheetah headphones. I ran home from work with them yesterday (~12km) and not once did they slip off, feeling very comfortable throughout. When you first put them on you are aware of their presence, however, after a few minutes you will not even notice that they are on. I would definitely recommend these to other runners, particularly if you run with a bluetooth gadget on your person. 5/5