Today we are going to be checking out the Mixcder ShareMe Pro, a Bluetooth headphone created with the aim of bringing listeners together.
I was first introduced to Mixcder through the ANC-G5, active noise canceling earphones. They greatly impressed me by offering up good sound quality, a nice design, solid material and build quality, and great low-frequency noise reduction. When Grace updated the ANC-G5 reviewer thread noting they were looking for people to cover the ShareMe Pro, I jumped at the opportunity.
The ShareMe Pro at first seems like a pretty basic budget headset, but with a few notable strengths; Bluetooth 4.1, and after only 2 hours of charging, 20 hours of play time. Conspicuously absent is aptX support. As we will find out later on, that doesn’t really hurt as much as you might expect.
I would like to thank Grace and Mixcder for providing the ShareMe Pro in exchange for a fair and impartial review. I am not receiving any financial compensation for this review and all comments and views within are my honest opinions. They are not representative of Mixcder or any other entity.
The ShareMe Pro is currently retailing for 45.99 USD on Amazon.com at the time of this review. Check it out here.
A Little About Me:
Over the last couple years I decided to dive head first into the world of portable audio. After reading pretty much the entirety of IjokerI’s multi-earphone review thread and being greatly inspired, I took a chance and started writing my own reviews. Fast forward a couple years and I’ve had the opportunity to write about some great products for wonderful companies like RHA, Havi, FiiO, NarMoo, Brainwavz, and Meze. I don’t do it for money or free stuff, but because I enjoy it. If my reviews can help guide someone to an earphone that makes them happy, I’ll consider that a job well done.
I intended to use my HTC One M8 as my primary device for testing but that didn’t work out so well. As a result, my truly old Nexus S made a return to form and saved the day. Some wired testing was done with an XDuoo X3, but the majority of my listening was conducted via Bluetooth. I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. When it comes to signature preference I tend to lean towards aggressive and energetic, but I try not to limit myself to one signature only. I also tend to listen at lower than average volumes.
Enough preamble. Let us dive into the good stuff shall we?
Packaging and Accessories:
The ShareMe Pro arrived in some very basic packaging designed to be environmentally friendly. How do I know this? The “Environmental Protection Design” statement with a wonderfully stylized tree printed on the top flap is a dead giveaway.
This basic packaging consists of a straightforward cardboard box with limited coloring and printing. The front contains the Mixcder brand logo, the ShareMe logo, and notification that inside you will be receiving the ShareMe Pro model. The sides display the Mixcder logo and Shareme logos once again. Moving to the back you find the product specification printed in seven languages (English, German, Russian, French, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese). There are three icons printed above the specs that point out the Pro has rotating ear cups, 2,000 hours of standby time, and comfortable leather (they’re not) earmuffs.
The package opens from the top to reveal a plastic tray which holds the ShareMe Pro. Underneath is an instruction booklet, basic audio cable terminated in standard 3.5mm jacks at either end, and a micro USB cable for charging. The audio cable is pretty standard and somewhat thin, clearly not meant to be used on the regular. The USB cable is of good quality, if not particularly noteworthy. The instruction manual is fairly comprehensive, covering everything from the packages contents to notification of Mixcder’s one year warranty, details of which are here on their website.
Overall the Pro’s packaging and presentation is very simple and straightforward. Unlike the ANC-G5’s package which has a more premium feel, the Pro’s package does only what it needs to do; protect the product and nothing more.
Build, Comfort, Isolation, Usability:
The ShareMe Pro’s light 250 gram shell is made almost entirely of plastic, but they still exude a feeling of quality and durability. The primary surface of the cups and lower portion of the headband are presented in a clean, semi-matte finish. The outer facing portion of the ear cup is a shiny slab of plastic with the ShareMe logo and a printed design. Fit and finish is excellent with a complete absence of sharp edges or poorly fitting parts.
Within the generously padded and exceptionally comfortable headband is a very flexible band of steel. This is not a headband you will ever have to worry about breaking.
The pleather ear pads are surprisingly nice for something in this price range. They are very soft and plush, if a touch shallow. Mixcder attempts to address this issue by gluing some padding to the inner portion of the cup. This doesn’t necessarily help out the sound quality any, but it does make the Pro more comfortable since your ears press against soft foam instead of hard plastic.
Isolation on the ShareMe Pro is limited at best. Pretty much all outside noise bleeds in without much opposition. The Pro doesn’t offer a firm clamp and depending on your head size and/or shape, might not seal fully around the bottom of the cup due to the limited vertical pivot of the ear cups. Should you find the clamping force too light, the band can be carefully bent to permit a more firm grip on your head.
The media controls on the ShareMe Pro are not the most user friendly. It can be a difficult to select the right button due to the way they are clustered, and as a result I found myself pausing when wanting to skip songs, or prompting a phone call when trying to adjust volume. A simple solution to this problem would be to slide the power button a few millimeters forward on the ear cup so that it is more distinctly placed and separate from the volume controls as it is on the ShareMe 7. On the flipside, the forward/reverse buttons could be paired, and the play/pause button moved forward on the housing mirroring the new placement of the power button. It would also be nice if the 3.5mm input was angled downwards so as not to put so much strain on the cable if you choose to use them wired. That or include a cable with a 90 degree jack instead.
Battery life is awesome, easily hitting the claimed 20 hours. I probably got a little more out of it due to the low volumes at which I usually listen. The two hour charge time is also spot on.
Overall the ShareMe Pro is a very well built, comfortable earphone that doesn’t do much to isolate outside noise. Battery life is outstanding. Button placement could definitely be improved and I know Mixcder can do it. Just look back to their older ShareMe 7 model.
Connection Quality and ShareMe Feature;
The ShareMe Pro features Bluetooth 4.1 and a rock solid connection, but not the greatest range I’ve experienced. They were fine for walking around my apartment, but beyond that things would get spotty real quick. As long as you don’t venture too far from the source, the Pro will treat you well. It doesn’t skip or drop connection, and the sound quality remains consistent. Some additional range would be nice, but for the majority of users it will be more than enough.
The ShareMe feature is the primary reason to buy these earphones, or at least that’s what I would expect given their name; ShareMe Pro. How did this feature work? Great, on some devices.
It is extremely easy to pair two units. Just hold the power button on each until they both turn on. Keep holding until the indicator LED on the earcup starts cycling between red and blue, then let go. The units will locate each other and automatically connect. One earphone will be selected as the primary and announced as the left channel. The other will be chosen as a secondary and announced as the right channel. I don’t know what determines which earphone will be the primary, but I sure couldn’t figure it out and the instruction manual didn’t help. Sometimes my pair would be selected as the left channel, other times (usually) my fiancee’s pair would be selected. It was extremely inconsistent. I would try turning on one pair slightly earlier, but that didn’t seem to do anything. Luckily the media controls on both earphones will work to control the device so in the end I guess it doesn’t really matter which earphone is selected as the primary channel.
Once connected, I found that the primary earphone would work as expected. Great connection, full media controls; no issues whatsoever. The secondary earphone? On some devices it would work quite well. On others, forget about it. Frequent connection loss was the name of the game when using my HTC One M8, and it happened enough to make the feature unusable. Through my 1st Gen Motorola Moto G, they worked well but the secondary earphone would drop it’s connection every once in a while. To my surprise, my ancient Samsung Nexus S worked the best, by far. It output the cleanest sound and provided the most stable connection. In fact, it is the only device that has yet to drop connection once throughout weeks of use. Not bad.
When push comes to shove the ShareMe Pro works very well as an entry level, standalone Bluetooth headphone. The ShareMe feature is awesome in concept and when it works it is pretty cool, but that’s the problem; when it works. Since two of the three sources I used failed to work consistently, I suspect the quality of your ShareMe experience will be overly dependent on the source,
Wired vs. Wireless: I didn’t find there was much of a drop in sound quality when going from wired to wireless, which was somewhat surprising given the lack of aptX support. There was a VERY MINUTE amount of static in the background when running the Pro wirelessly, but this was completely overshadowed when you had music playing at anything but the lowest possible volume. Wired, of course there was no static and they seemed slightly cleaner sounding. Bass had a bit more kick, and the midrange had a touch more presence. Any changes heard were fairly minor and in the end, mostly inconsequential.
The ShareMe Pro has it’s share of positives (build quality, comfort, connection strength) and negatives (ShareMe feature inconsistency, media control placement), but in the end sound quality is almost always the deciding factor on whether or not a product is worth your time.
While the ShareMe Pro’s signature isn’t going to be for everyone I find it’s warm, bass-heavy sound to be very engaging and pleasant, easily deserving of their 45.99 USD price tag. They don’t have a massive soundstage and they’re not detail monsters with absolute clarity. What they are is a bassy pair of cans that your average bass-loving consumer would be happy to own. I think this picture from Mixcder’s websites sums up the ShareMe Pro quite well;
Courtesy of Mixcder.com
Mid-bass is a bit excessive, but for the most part keeps out of the midrange. It’s punchy and has the right sort of presentation for hip hop, EDM, and top 20 pop music. When the bass drops it lingers for just the right length of time and if serious subbass is needed, the ShareMe Pro can bring the goods. Their 40mm drivers can move enough air to give you a fairly visceral experience.
Their midrange is good and gets the job done, but it’s not what you buy these for. It’s slightly dialed back but not to the point where you have issues hearing lyrics. They are slightly veiled so you won’t be hearing every little nuance and detail. I found both female and male vocals to sound fairly natural and neither stood out. On tracks like Bang Bang featuring Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, who all have their own unique sound, none of the three stood out more or sounded cleaner than the others. The duo of Aseop Rock and Rob Sonic was the same throughout their Hail Mary Mallon collaborations. Both sounded fine, neither standing out.
Treble is smooth and relaxed, a little too much of both for my preferences. Still, this ensures the ShareMe Pro is entirely inoffensive and plays well with even the most poorly mastered tracks, or low quality files. As noted earlier, the Pro is not a detail monster. Their treble presentation isn’t going to convince you otherwise.
The Pro’s soundstage is typical of a closed back headphone. It’s not large, and the relaxed treble ensure this is known. Imaging is done fairly well given the limited space your music has to play within, but these isn’t much going on here that’s noteworthy, either in a positive or negative way. I guess overall that’s a good thing.
The ShareMe Pro offers up a fun sound that works well in the real world. In the quiet of your home the overly boosted mid-bass can intrude and hinder your enjoyment. In the Pro’s ideal environment, such as a mall or busy downtown street, their signature works well. The limited isolation and boosted midbass cancel each other out presenting you with a fun, bassy set of cans that present you with a smooth, fatigue free sound.
Vs. Mixcder ShareMe 7 (35.99 USD)
The ShareMe 7 is one of Mixcder’s other earphones featuring the ShareMe tech, the third being the ShareMe 5 which I have yet to try. While I feel the Pro overall is a step up from the 7, that statement does not apply to every aspect. Let’s start with the improvements.
Build quality and comfort goes to the Pro, hands down. The ShareMe 7, especially in the white/blue combination, looks and feels like the budget set it is. It’s not anywhere as solid and durable as the Pro with creaks and snaps popping up as you move them about. The headband’s padding is nice and cushy, but the earpads are somewhat stiff and hard to describe as comfortable. The earcups only pivot vertically with no horizontal twisting so it’s a challenge to seat them comfortably. Not an issue whatsoever on the Pro.
The ShareMe Pro’s controls also work with more urgency. Increasing the volume on the 7 is a lesson in tedium and patience. Press the button, wait a second, press the button, wait a second, rinse and repeat until you get the volume you want. Hit the button to pause your music, and nearly two seconds later it pauses. Not cool. It’s quicker to just pull out your phone. The Pro’s controls are noticeably more responsive across the board, though their placement isn’t ideal given how easy it is to hit the wrong button.
Where I think the ShareMe Pro truly took a slight step back, or at least to the side, is in sound quality. The ShareMe 7 is still a bassy earphone, but it better balances mid- and sub-bass, has improved treble extension and presence, and lacks the same level of midrange veil. The only issue with the ShareMe 7 is they have a slightly hollow sound, probably due to the quality of plastic used on the earcups.
Everything else I found to be comparable. Battery life, connection quality, and the ShareMe experience were all mirrored.
In the end I feel the vastly improved build quality and comfort of the Pro more than makes up for the slightly more balanced sound quality of the 7. Since the Pro shares a housing that is nearly identical to Ausdom’s M05 model, I’m sure many of the mods used to improve those headphones can be applied to further improve the Pro’s performance.
While I found the ShareMe Pro’s namesake feature to be somewhat underwhelming due to how poorly it worked across a variety of sources, everything else about them was great. They are exceptionally well built, their Bluetooth connection was rock solid, they are very comfortable, and while they don’t sound amazing, their signature is entertaining. I would love to see Mixcder work to improve the ShareMe feature because when it’s stable it is very useful, especially if traveling with a friend or significant other or watching a movie.
What it all comes down to is this. If you’re interested in the Pro primarily for it’s ShareMe function, based on my experiences and the inconsistent performance I ran into, I have a hard time recommending them. You will have a great time if the Pro plays nicely with your device, as it did with my Nexus S, or, you could have a horrible time as I did when pairing them with the HTC One M8. If the ShareMe feature is of primary interest maybe give the ShareMe 7 a try first, then upgrade if they work well with your device(s).
If you simply want a good Bluetooth headphone, enjoy a bassy signature, and the ShareMe feature doesn’t factor into your purchasing decision, the Mixcder ShareMe Pro is easily worth your time and money.
Thanks again to Grace and Mixcder for the opportunity to review the ShareMe Pro, and thank you for reading!