Xiaomi Mi Piston Air
| Dynamic Driver |
? Xiaomi Mi Piston Air, sometimes also called Xiaomi Mi Capsule, a very uniquely designed in-ear headphone.
We are almost sure that you know Xiaomi and probably you also know their in-ear headphones, as they created some fantastic models so far. We have reviewed a large amount of Xiaomi earphones and have found some incredible gems like the:
- Xiaomi Mi Noise Cancelling Earphones – Superior model with triple hybrid drivers, impressive sound quality and an Active Noise Cancelling efficiency competing head-to-head with the BOSE QuietComfort20 but priced 4 to 5 times less
- Xiaomi Mi Pro HD – Another triple driver model with excellent sound quality
- Xiaomi Mi In-Ear Headphones Pro – The first hybrid model from Xiaomi with stellar performance
- Xiaomi Mi Sports Bluetooth Headphones – A wireless model with solid construction and excellent comfort
- Xiaomi Mi Piston Fresh Edition – A super budget friendly model with great sound
The Xiaomi Mi Piston Air features a single dynamic driver inside a pretty special housings design. The shape of the earpieces has some resemblance to the 1MORE Capsule (1MORE C1002) but Xiaomi went a step further and made the Piston Air even more special with a curved fixed eartip design that makes them a sort of “half-in-ear” headphone, giving the comfort level of an earphone but with a seal similar to an earbud. The general looks of this model shouts: “premium” but we will see after our Xiaomi Mi Piston Air soundtests in this review if the sound quality matches their looks.
The cable is rounded and very rubberized and holds an inline mic/remote with 3 buttons, 2 of them are dedicated volume buttons and the middle one is used to play/pause music and answer/reject calls. The mic/remote, cable bifurcation and 3.5 mm mini stereo jack section (straight plug) are all constructed in plastic, with the last 2 being rubberized.
The Xiaomi Mi Piston Air should be compatible with most modern Android and Apple devices (with a 3.5 mm jack).
You can buy the Xiaomi Mi Piston Air in:
- Xiaomi Mi Piston Air black & sivler
- Xiaomi Mi Piston Air white & gold
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Accessories & Packaging
The Xiaomi Mi Piston Air unboxing results in a very poor surprise, no single accessory is included inside the small cardboard packaging (packaging similar to many other models like the Xiaomi Mi Piston Fresh, Xiaomi Mi Piston Basic, Xiaomi Mi Pro HD)
Bass & Sub Bass
The Xiaomi Mi Piston Air bass sounds thin and empty, mid-bass has no punch and sub-bass is absent. To give you an idea, get an earbud and you will receive way more bass then with these. Their lower frequencies are not balanced or conservative, they are simply badly resolved.
Applying an EQ, mid-bass gains a bit of punch and sub-bass gets muted.
During our extreme bass tests the Xiaomi Mi Piston Air were able to handle 40% of the maximum power of a Fiio E12 amplifier (bass boost on, high gain, basshead EQ). The results were a mid-bass able to produce as much punch as an unamped bassy IEM and sub-bass became a space of distorted sound. Do not even dream about getting any type of rumble or impact from them and, of course, not even close to the KZ ATE, Xiaomi Mi Pro HD or the SOUL K-POP, Monoprice 8320, Vots QT100, Elecom EHP-CA3580, Xiaomi Mi In-Ear Headphones Pro or the KZ ZS1.
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Mids & Vocals
The Xiaomi Mi Piston Air mids are boxy and tinny with also muddy lower mids but do not suffer from mid-bass bleed. Sound quality is horrible like an unbranded scarce earbud. The only positive aspect of their mids, they are never harsh.
With an EQ things get even worse; think of a 1980’s phone call, these earphones emulate it quite well.
Highs & Treble
The Xiaomi Mi Piston Air highs are very dark with almost no detail, extremely recessed but by any means piercing nor sibilant.
An EQ makes their highs a bit brighter with also some extra detail but still overall quality is pretty bad.
The sound that leaks out of these Xiaomi headphones is slightly less than on most average earphones, you can crank the volume a bit more without fearing to disturb nearby people.
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The half-in-ear design does not isolate too much from noises, expect a mild reduction of surrounding sounds but nothing else unless you are willing to set the volume to the top.
Their unique design, unfortunately, resulted in many flaws regarding sound quality but there is nothing to complain about their comfort and fit. On this area Xiaomi did an excellent job; their fit flush with the ears allowing them to be used while wearing helmets or while resting the head on your hand with no type of discomfort. Moreover, they can be worn for hours without worries of in-ear pain.
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Response to Equalization
The baseline of their sound quality was horrid and the intervention of EQs, still, did not fix much of their issues.
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- Accessories - 3/103/10
- Design - 9/109/10
- Bass - 2/102/10
- Mids - 2/102/10
- Highs - 3.5/103.5/10
- Sound Leak - 7.25/107.3/10
- Sound Isolation - 5/105/10
- Comfort - 9.5/109.5/10
- Response to EQ - 2/102/10
- Value for Money - 3.5/103.5/10
- ✅ Premium looks & Unique design
✅ 3 button mic/remote
✅ Super comfortable
✅ Flush fit
- ❌ Atrocious sound quality
❌ Null sub-bass, powerless mid-bass
❌ Very muddy, tinny, recessed and thin mids
❌ Very dark and recessed highs
❌ No EQ could aid to fix their low sound quality
❌ Noise isolation is substantially lower than an average earphone
❌ Not a single additional accessory included
- The Xiaomi Mi Piston Air has an overall design that is pretty innovative, no doubt about that, but seems that they went a bit too far and their design compromised the performance in the sound quality department.
Due to their outstanding comfort and flush fit they could have entered our Most Comfortable Earphones Chart or the Best Earphones for Helmets or also in our Best Designed Earphones for their unique design, but they are not classifying because of their very inferior sound quality and inefficient design. If it weren't for the Comfort and Design scores, the final averaged score of the Piston Air would have been one of the lowest in our database.
Almost every other Xiaomi earphone reviewed by our team was exceptional, it had to happen at least once that Xiaomi created a bad in-ear headphone, they did with this Mi Piston Air and hopefully they learned the lesson.
As you may imagine by now, we cannot find any valid reason to recommend them to anybody.
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Xiaomi Mi Piston Air / Xiaomi Mi Capsule Frequency Response
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Xiaomi Mi Piston Air / Xiaomi Mi Capsule
|Cord||Y-type, round cord|
|Plug||Stereo mini plug|
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