Mixcder ShareMe 5: Top of the ShareMe Line
Today we are going to be checking out the flagship unit in Mixder’s ShareMe lineup of Bluetooth headphones, the 5.
The primary draw of these headphones is strongly hinted at by the lineup’s name; ShareMe. This feature allows you to connect two ShareMe enabled headphones to each other. One headphone is denoted the primary, or left channel, and connects to your Bluetooth enabled device. Whatever is being broadcasted to the primary headphone is shared with the secondary headphone, or right channel. This is great for watching movies with a spouse or partner, listening to music with a friend while on the bus, or any number of other scenarios that involve sharing your music or media with others.
The entry level ShareMe 7 is a great introduction to the lineup featuring an interesting design and solid sound quality, but build quality was lacking. The ShareMe Pro did an amazing job of improving on build quality and durability, but didn’t offer any improvement in regards to sound. As the flagship of the lineup, how does the ShareMe 5 perform? Let’s find out.
I would like to thank Grace and Mixcder for providing the ShareMe 5 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.
At the time of this review the ShareMe 5 is retailing for 55.99 USD on Amazon.com. It is also being sold on a number of other Amazon regional sites.
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.
Some wired testing was done with an XDuoo X3, but the majority of my listening was conducted via Bluetooth with my HTC One M8. 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:
Like with the rest of the products in this lineup, the ShareMe 5 arrived in some very basic, environmentally friendly packaging.
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 5 model. The sides display a simplified image of the 5’s earcups, highlighting some basic design cues. Moving to the back you find the product’s specifications printed in seven languages (English, German, Russian, French, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese). There are five icons printed above the specs that point out the 5 folds up, has a 40mm driver, last call redialing, can work with a 3.5mm audio cable, and sports 14 hours of talking with 2,000 hours of standby time.
The package opens from the top after flipping out two tabs, revealing a sky-blue cardboard cover. Underneath is a plastic tray holding the 5. Lift out the plastic tray and you will find 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 package’s contents to notification of Mixcder’s one year warranty.
Overall the 5’s packaging and presentation is very simple and straightforward. Unlike the ANC-G5’s package which has a more premium feel, the 5’s package does only what it needs to do; protect the product and not much more.
Build, Design, Comfort, and Isolation:
The ShareMe 5 is a good looking headphone with a sleek, modern design. As with the rest of the ShareMe lineup, plastic is heavily featured as the material of choice with aluminum strategically placed for both structural and aesthetic purposes. The aluminum backing on the ear cups, along with chrome edging, brings with it a premium aura lacking on the Pro and 7. The aluminum plates on the inside of the headband add some welcome rigidity to the folding hinges.
The pivot point that attaches the earcup to the headband is an area to watch, as it uses a simple, fairly thin cylinder of plastic that doesn’t come across as overly robust. Given my colder, northern climate, the headband is another area I’m cautious of. Plastic headbands on inexpensive headphones always seem to get extremely brittle in cold weather and snap without warning. The cups also had a tendency to rub against the arms when pivoting, but that was never an issue when the headphones were in use.
Media controls were easy to use, but I missed the dedicated track skip buttons from the Pro. Locating them was simple and their tactile feel was direct and confident. There was a bit of a delay when trying to skip songs or change volume, but it wasn’t unbearable.
I found the 5 to be a very comfortable headphone. Lighter than I expected as well. I thought the Pro was pretty dainty at 250 grams, but the 5 weighs in at only 170 grams. While some may find the cups a tad small, they entirely covered my ears with the angled driver ensuring they weren’t pressing on the inside of the earcup anywhere. The headband’s padding was ample enough to ensure there were no uncomfortable hotspots on the top of my head. The only qualm I have is that the 5 is just a tad too large for my head, fitting best when wearing a hat, an issue I have with many headphones.
Passive isolation is not a strong point on the Pro or 7 as those models hardly isolate at all. The 5 on the other hand actually isolates pretty well which was a welcome surprise. They don’t fully silence your surroundings, but its enough to avoid the need to turn up the volume to drown out all but the most invasive outside noise.
Overall the ShareMe 5 is an attractive headphone that gives off a much more expensive air than it’s ShareMe stablemates. I would without question take the Pro if durability was a primary selling point or concern for you. In every other way however, the 5 is superior.
Battery and Charging:
Despite their battery being the same size as that used on the Pro and 7, the 5 gets only 14 hours of play time versus 20 with the others. It has a ridiculous 2,000 hours of standby time. While I can verify the 14 hours of play time is about right, I won’t be testing the 2,000 hours of standby anytime soon. Sorry. The claimed “about two hours” charge time is also accurate, as each charge I put into the 5 took just under two hours to complete.
While I would like the 5 to share 20 hours of play time with it’s cousins, 14 hours turned out to be plenty and I didn’t find myself missing the extra hours.
Connection Quality and ShareMe Feature:
While the ShareMe 5 is a great performer wired, that’s probably not why you’re interested in them. Rest assured prospective buyer, the 5 offers up strong Bluetooth performance and a much more pleasant ShareMe experience then what I had with either the Pro or 7.
Setting up a Bluetooth connection is as easy as you would expect from a modern Bluetooth device. Hold down the power button to turn them on and keep holding it to access pairing mode. On your Bluetooth enabled device, select the ShareMe 5. Congratulations! You paired your ShareMe 5 via Bluetooth.
Looking at the ShareMe feature, well that was easy to use too. Just hold the power button until both units turn on, keep holding until the indicator LED on the earcup starts cycling between red and blue, and 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. A nice touch is that media controls on each headphone could be used to control your device. My wife likes her music a lot louder than I do so independent volume control was nice to have.
The ShareMe feature didn’t work perfectly and I experienced occasional connection loss in the right channel. Still, it was a way better experience than I had with the Pro and 7 which dropped their connections too often for the feature to be usable.
As a simple Bluetooth headphone the 5 is quite nice and worth consideration. If looking at any earphone in the lineup primarily for their namesake ShareMe feature, the 5 is the only one that worked well for me and gets a hearty recommendation. That’s not a bad thing as they’re also the best sounding of the bunch.
Wired vs. Wireless: Just as with the 7 and Pro, I didn’t find the 5 wholly different when listened to wirelessly or wired. They were somewhat sharper and more refined when used wired, but it wasn’t so much of a difference that I was loathing or dreading wireless use when out and about. Once again, kudos to Mixcder for great wireless sound quality, especially since the entire ShareMe lineup lacks any aptX support.
My very first listen with the 5 confirmed expectations that they would share a v-shaped signature with the rest of the ShareMe lineup. What made it stand out was an airiness often lacking in closed back, budget headphones, and some additional treble emphasis and refinement. These differences highlighted the 5’s improved technical competence. While I find it the most v-shaped model in the ShareMe lineup, it’s also the best sounding.
The additional treble energy puts some bounce in their step and some air in their presentation that the other ShareMe models do not have. The 5’s treble just edges into sounding lean or thin which I feel aides in giving them some additional sparkle. It’s very polite though, and even at volumes I’m not comfortable with doesn’t break up and distort or become harsh.
The 5’s midrange is quite pleasant but pulled back a little more than is ideal. It’s slightly warm, well weighted, reasonably detailed, and comes across pretty natural. Despite being the least emphasized aspect of the 5’s sound, it’s relatively unimpeded by the bass or treble. I found it best when watching movies or videos, as actors/commentators remained clear and precise regardless of what was going on in the background.
Strong bass is a ShareMe staple, and the 5 is no different. What really impressed me was the extension and emphasis placed on sub-bass. These 5 gives you a nice visceral experience that the other two models lack. Beats hit with a fairly authoritative and defined punch, whereas the 7 and Pro are thumpy and less precise.
A noted earlier, I thought the 5 was way more airy sounding than the other ShareMe models. Imaging, layering, separation, and placement are better than I was expecting and definitely a step up over the Pro and 7, but they still fall short of other portables like the Sony MRD-ZX600, mind you those are wired and cost nearly twice as much.
The ShareMe 5 brings to the table a well-tuned v-shaped sound. They’re easy to listen to and non-fatiguing, though the midrange could use a slight boost and additional presence.
Mixcder’s ShareMe lineup ends with the 5. Were it not for the ruggedness of the Pro, it would be pretty easy to argue the ShareMe lineup could begin with it too.
Subjectively, the 5 features the most mature and attractive design with the highest quality materials. It is the most comfortable and the best isolating. It was the only one of the three that gave me a good ShareMe experience while still offering up the excellent solo Bluetooth performance of the other models. On top of that it’s price is within striking distance of the other two and as a result it’s easily the best value of the bunch.
Mixcder’s ShareMe 5 is a great product and one I would not only recommend to other, but would proudly buy for myself and my wife if I didn’t already have two of them, and gift to friends and family. I hope Mixcder continues to grow, developing their sound and technology, and expand the ShareMe lineup with similarly great headphones. Maybe one day they can even introduce a ShareMe in-ear into the mix? Here’s hoping!
Thanks for reading.
***** ***** ***** ***** *****
Gramatik – The Age of Reason
Incubus – Movement of the Odyssey Parts 2/3/4
Infected Mushroom – The Legend of the Black Shawarma
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Skindred – Roots Rock Riot
Massive Attack – Mezzanine
The Crystal Method – Tweekend
Aesop Rock – None Shall Pass
The Prodigy – The Day is My Enemy
Culprate – Deliverance
Alan Parson’s Project – I Robot
Various drum and bass mixes from SubSil3nt and Going Quantum Podcast