Microlab T1 Review

👤by Tony Le Bourne Comments 📅07-05-14
Performance Testing

Setup, Design & Observations
I decided to leave the T1 charging for a few hours to see how it runs from full charge, this was simplified by the micro-USB connection which has become synonymous with contemporary technology. Once charged, to power up, you hold the play button for several seconds until a red LED comes on, then to pair with your phone or another Bluetooth device you hold the two volume buttons to activate pairing mode which is indicated by a flashing white/red LED, once paired, it will intermittently flash white. Volume controls, play/pause and skip track functions worked well using VLC player on my Samsung Galaxy S2. There were times when there was a noticeable amount of lag behind button presses as well as times when certain features didn't respond, as well as some drops, however, it seemed like it was dependent on what the my old phone was doing/processing at the time rather than fault to the headset. Calls were easy to answer and hang up by using the play button on the right hand side too. The buttons feel firm with a tactile click so it was easy to know when you had pressed them or not. I tested the range by leaving my phone playing in my room and roaming the house and cooked some tea. I was surprised by how well the range held up (stated to be 10m). After letting the T1 play its guts out at max volume all day, I ended up running out of time to really judge how long the battery would really last for getting close to around 10 hours + preliminary testing of a few hours, but it is still chugging away!! (At lower volumes you could possibly get over 12 hours?)

The T1 was surprisingly comfortable and though the earcups didn't perfectly surround my ears, they were soft and forgiving easily fitting to the shape of my head, even when wearing glasses they remained comfortable. I found that, being a warm day, I did get a little sweaty but once I had cooled down things were fine again. I also noticed that when spreading the headset open to wear there was a slight plasticky creak, and noticed that small area of the headband padding did unstick a little, however on close inspection to the design this is not likely to cause any issue should this happen. There is a substantial amount of metal parts used on this product, from the folding joints, to the adjustable strap and the fixings for the headband. Regardless of their actual strength or worth over plastic, it certainly does make a change and gives confidence to the robustness of this product.

The overall aesthetic is well defined yet simple, giving an attractive minimalistic edge that can either be discrete with the black or white versions or stand out with its attractive design should you prefer the bolder colours.

Listening through my playlist of music via the SoundCloud app, it became clear that the T1 has quite a muddy sound. The bass was prominent, lacking in definition and muddied the middle and treble. Running a frequency swoop of 20-10,000Hz there was a significant drop at around 2000-4000Hz, this could cause a huge lack in definition in those ranges. Turning the volume up, the T1 could certainly reach a loudness that was uncomfortable for me, so those who enjoy louder playback will be happy to hear (or not) that they can make themselves go deaf with these (not that I would recommend it).

Plugging the T1 into the PC via USB resulted in improved clarity over using a phone but the same trend of muddy bass, weak mids and highs remained, testing through the 3.5mm jack was similar in performance. Generally speaking, considering this type of product and the price, the audio quality is fairly reasonable and is much more suited to mainstream dance, pop and hip-hop so there is a fair bit of enjoyment to be had from the T1. However it is most certainly aimed more at those looking for a deep bass, rather than those looking for balance.

Answering a phone call using the T1 was simple and worked well, the microphone quality was reasonable and was described as 'normal, clear' on the receiving end. Using the USB cable to connect to the PC, the microphone was fairly poor and tinny but was adequate to communicate.

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