The quick take
Meizu's EP51 earbuds are surprisingly well-built and well-balanced, and are priced just right. They may be difficult to find, but they're worth tracking down.
- Design and build quality
- Balanced sound
- Fits nicely
- Impressive carrying case
- Middling microphone quality
- Average battery life
In the Box
- Meizu EP51
- Carrying case
- MicroUSB charging cable
- Silicone tips
Meizu EP51 Technical Specifications
|16 x 23 x 25mm
|20Hz – 20KHz
|60mAh | Standby time: 400 hours | Charging Time: 2 hours
The impressive design of the EP51 isn't surprising. I quite like the design and build quality of Meizu smartphones, and the headset carries on the tradition. For its price point, it is nicely constructed, with aircraft-grade aluminum, and weighs a light 15 grams. It's solid and looks slick, with subtle Meizu branding.
The wing tips on the silicone ear buds are designed to fit snugly and they don't fall out even when walking quickly or running. The aluminum ends of the earbuds house magnets which keep the earbuds locked together when stored or when worn around the neck to avoid them sliding and dropping to the ground. They also sport a water resistant coating that protects the headset against sweat, but the company doesn't recommend using them in the rain — and neither do I.
The red cable is pretty good, but I would have preferred a thicker braided one, but you're not going to find that embellishment at this price point. The cable houses the independent volume control buttons, the built-in microphone, and the Micro-USB charging port. My only gripe is the rubber cover on the charging port doesn't fit flush on the port, which got worse over the course of my testing. It might be an isolated issue, but it's a shame to see on an otherwise nicely-built headset.
Overall, the Meizu EP51 is well-designed and stylish, and can easily compete with many of the more expensive earbuds in the market.
The sound quality on the Meizu EP51 is amazing considering its price, and it even provides decent noise isolation. The sound is balanced, although you won't get booming bass from these small drivers. Even at maximum volume, there is no crackling or distortion of sound, and at 16 Ohms they're not difficult to power from even the most paltry of phone amplifiers.
The call quality is mediocre — the company saved some money by including a low-quality microphone — although that's the case with most budget and mid-range headphones. The wireless reception is great, matching the usual Bluetooth 4.0 range of 10 meters before the signal starts to fade out.
At 60 mAh, EP51 packs in a tiny battery that's a tad underwhelming. Meizu claims six hours of music time, and while the battery life is dependent on volume, I was able to get 6 hours easily on a regular basis. It's good, but I would have preferred a little more. According to Meizu, it takes 2 hours to fully charge the EP51 from a dead state, but often, it took a little less than that.
The Bottom Line
For its price (which ranges from $28 to $42 at the time of writing, depending on the retailer), the Meizu EP51 is a very good pair of Bluetooth wireless earbuds, offering great value for the price. It sounds really good, and the buds fit well, but the highlight is that it looks very modern. If you're looking for a mid-range wireless headset, the Meizu EP51 is a great option that I'd highly recommend. It's not perfect, but it packs a punch and is more premium than what you pay for it.
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