Moshi Mythro C full review
The headphone jack's departure from the smartphone space has given rise to a flood of new names offering AirPod-style true wireless Bluetooth buds, but despite the convenience of a wire-free existence, there are some things a cable just does better. Cue Moshi's Mythro C USB-C earphones.
Moshi might be a name you more immediately associate with power banks and other mobile accessories but the company actually covers a far wider gamut of solutions for your mobile maladies than you might realise, and better still, they all aren't half bad.
The Mythro C buds serve as the company's go-to USB-C-laden in-ears and hold plenty of promise on first inspection. Now we find out if they're truly worth picking up.
Price and Availability
Moshi kicked off the year by launching a duo of USB-C audio offerings: the £220 Avanti C headphones, which didn't fare too badly in our review, and the Mythro C earphones, which come in at a markedly more approachable £49.95.
They're available direct from Moshi, as well as a host of other retailers, including Amazon, in both Jet Silver and Gunmetal Grey (which we have been testing).
Design and Comfort
The buds themselves are hewn from a mix of plastic and aluminium, the latter of which gives the casing a cool touch, premium feel and reassuring resilience, great for daily use. Moshi has included three sizes of translucent silicone ear tips in the box too, that pop on and off (with a little persuasion).
Each pair of ear tips also comes with a colour-coded accent, so you can quickly glance at the buds and know which goes in which ear (white for left and red for right) - a simple yet considered design choice that we wholly appreciate.
The back face of each bud is angled at about 45° so that when you put the Mythro C in, they sit flush against your ears with the sound outlet aimed directly at your ear canal.
As for fit, despite their weight in the hand, once they're in, the buds sit unobtrusively and comfortably. The silicone shouldn't cause irritation, even after long periods of wear, and although they did occasionally start to loosen, a quick but gentle nudge should ensure they sit pretty once again for up to hours at a time, even when working out.
Once in and forming a seal, the Mythro C definitely create a pressure differential that can sometimes feel a little uncomfortable against your eardrums, especially if you're a little too zealous when putting them in.
While an innocuous hole on the underside of each bud might have been designed with the intention of alleviating this problem, a more deliberate solution might be required for future iterations.
Generally, these earphones seldom tangle, despite forgoing flat ribbon wiring, however, a question mark does loom over their long-term resilience, with the wires that split off to each bud concerningly thin and potentially fragile.
Another innocuous inclusion is the adjustable slider that bridges the wires attached to each bud. You might miss it at first glance but this little piece of plastic earns its keep in a number of ways.
For one, it mitigates some of the risk of damage should you catch the Mythro C's wiring, secondly it helps when untwisting or untangling the buds, just by sliding it down the length of the wire. Thirdly, it helps prevent entanglement between the wires attached to each bud when in your pocket or bag.
The left and right wires converge on an in-line remote, that although in-keeping with the styling of the buds themselves, doesn't feel quite as premium - namely as a result of its all-plastic design.
The body of this long pill-shaped attachment is comprised of lightly textured black plastic (or white on the Jet Silver model) with four tactile buttons, finished in a dark chrome or textured silver - depending on the finish of Mythro C you opt for.
Despite being separate elements, the way the top three buttons follows a continuous topography is pleasing to look at and under-finger, while there's a fourth disparate button, which we'll get to later. With the middle of the three-button elements featuring a peaked front, it's easy to operate the Mythro C's remote without having to look at it.
Along with the expected volume up, down, pause and play, you can skip forwards or backwards between tracks and even summon the Google Assistant, when connected to compatible Android phones. Taking calls is also accessible with a single button-press.
Moving on from the remote, a single black lead (reassuringly thicker than the leads attached to the buds) terminates at a Moshi-branded USB-C connection. The connector is longer than we'd like, seemingly increasing the risk of bending or breaking when in a tight trouser pocket, but in practice, it's proved perfectly resilient so far.
Moshi has also reinforced the join between the lead and the connector for additional peace of mind, while the male USB-C connection itself seems solid and well-made, fitting without issue into a myriad of devices, either way around.
At 1.2 metres, the lead is just long enough to avoid getting pulled taught when your phone is in your pocket but a length of 1.5 metres probably would have been better to reduce the risk of this even further.
Sound quality and Features
On a technical level, the listening experience is defined by two key elements. The first being the combination of an integrated DAC (digital-to-analogue converter) with support for 24-bit/96kHz high definition audio, a class G amplifier and the use of the company's own DR8 neodymium drivers. The second being Moshi's Digital Audio app.
By pressing the standalone DJ Boost button on the remote, you gain the ability to toggle custom EQ settings on and off. Using this companion Android app, you have the option to modify two preset EQ profiles ('music' and gaming') and add in a further three completely new profiles.
The user experience is simple and easy-to-use, with five on-screen sliders letting you adjust within select frequency ranges, and that's about it. It's unquestionably barebones, though, and sometimes it's unclear when saving and switching between profiles.
With the DJ Boost feature disabled, the natural sound profile of the Mythro C should put a smile on most people's faces.
There's a definite bias towards the fringes of the frequency range, making these buds ideal of bass-lovers, as well as fans of string or brass-led tunes. This does also mean that, without tinkering with the EQ, the mids seem comparatively flat and a little less exciting. A minor shortcoming that's easily remedied, provided you're listening on a device that supports Moshi's EQ app, though.
The Mythro C are better suited to the trumpet/alto saxophone duelling of Cannonball Adderly's Bohemia After Dark or the weighty rumble of Mala's Changes, rather than the guitar work on show within the Foo Fighters' The Pretender, as an example.
Expect, rich, warm tones that you can immerse yourself in at the expense of some of the finer details and know that spoken word media - such as podcasts - may also benefit for a little EQ touch-up before you get stuck in.
For all the audio prowess the Mythro C are able to put out, audio-in is a little less impressive. The single MEMS microphone set into the back of the inline remote works well enough that the Google Assistant can parse your queries, provided you're not facing into a strong breeze, but call quality leaves something to be desired.
Perhaps down to the remote's placement along the length of the wiring or the fact that the microphone naturally sits against your body, those on the receiving end of a phone call often remarked as to how quiet voices sounded, or that they were muffled or distorted in some way.
In testing, it quickly became clear that only by pulling the remote up to your mouth in still enough surroundings, is the integrated microphone worth using. Otherwise, it's better to save yourself the hassle and simply unplug the Mythro C to rely on your phone's own mouthpiece instead.
Most will find the audio experience that the Moshi Mythro C delivers to be more than impressive for the price. Paired with good passive noise cancellation and a rich sound profile, there's enough flexibility in these buds to appeal to a wide range of users and musical tastes.
For the money, the addition of the app experience and the robust inline remote also sweeten the deal beyond what you might expect. Not to mention, the premium styling and comfortable fit.
The microphone's failings didn't come as all that much of a surprise, and some might fault the absence of an included carry-case but it seems Moshi placed its focus on the audio experience and in our eyes that was the right call.
Moshi Mythro C: Specs
- Frequency response: 15 - 20,000Hz (-10dB @ 1kHz)
- In-line control: Four buttons + MEMS microphone
- Ear-coupling type: Canal-fit silicone in-ear
- Noise isolation (passive): Up to 23dB
- Sensitivity: 100 +/- 3dB @ 1kHz
- 8mm neodymium drivers
- Connection: USB-C
- Aluminium housing
- Cable length: 1.2m
- Weight: 18g