Big thank you to Barry over at Mifo for sending the S&O to review!
Full disclosure: This is a paid review but I made it clear to them that I do not guarantee positive reviews or recommendations – I make in-depth, honest evaluations based on my impressions and the ultimate value that the product may or may not provide. My goal is to help companies improve their products, not shill them.
Greetings mate and Welcome aboard! Stuart Charles here, HomesStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions leading to a beautiful audio experience that will make you fall in love with music (NOT gear) all over again, so…
Mifo S S&O
In The Box
Mifo S S&O Earbuds
Type-A to Type-C Cable
4 Sets of Tips
The build of the S&O isn’t bad at all.
In fact, it’s very good, but I’m still not entirely sold on the case.
As mentioned in my 15 Bluetooth Headphones & IEMs ranked from Worst To First article, it looks like something you’d find in the Lancome section of your local mall.
All it needs is a Lil mirror and I’d be set for life!
Jokes aside, it’s a little feminine looking but hey, I’m in touch with my feminine side 😉
No really, it looks exactly like makeup but the flip-open lid feels pretty flimsy as well.
In other words,
I’m not too sure it’s going to hold up well over time, but I will update this article to reflect any changes as I get more mileage with the earbuds.
Upon opening it, there’s no mirror but you’re instead greeted with some instructions on a sticker:
Open the cover, 3S later, take out the earphones.
“When earphones no sound, put them into the charging case and close the cover for 3S. Then take them out.”
Seems simple enough.
There are 3 LED lights between the buds that indicate charge status which I thought was a nice touch.
In addition to that,
there are small R and L indicators on each side but you likely won’t need them as the indentations where the buds go kind of give it away.
The buds themselves feel pretty good if a bit light, but it’s not really a dealbreaker as far as I’m concerned.
Functionality & Ease of Use
Pairing these is a breeze, and the button functions are pretty decent as well.
To pair, open the charging box and hit search on your phone’s Bluetooth settings.
The buds should appear as “Mifo S.” Click to connect.
- Double-tap: Answer/End Call or Play/Pause Music
- Hold 1 second: Mild Noise Cancelling, Transparency Mode, Or Strong Noise Cancelling.
- Tap 5 Times: On/Off Low Latency mode.
- Tap 1x (left side): Volume down.
- Tap 1x (right side): Volume up.
- Triple tap (left side): Previous track.
- Triple tap (right side): Next track
- Triple tap (both sides simultaneously): On/Off Sleep mode.
Note: The Mifo S will automatically shut off if not connected to a device for 10 minutes.
Speaking of, the battery life here seems very good.
It’s still on 2 lights (out of 3) and I haven’t had to juice them in 2 weeks (on and off use, mostly in the gym).
I will update this to reflect the total time spent before having to charge.
Place the earbuds into the charging case and the LED light will turn on.
3x press the lid button to reset the earbuds.
LED charging case lights
The battery indicator will turn on for 3 seconds when the buds are inserted into the case.
- 3 Lights – Full.
- 2 Lights – 70% remaining.
- 1 Light – 30% remaining.
- Half Light – Needs charge.
This is probably the best aspect of these.
They feel great in your ears, but more importantly, they don’t fall out in the gym.
This has been a huge issue for me and a common trend I’m noticing in both headphones and IEMs.
They never want to stay in!
the S&O finds a nice seat in your ears and this is in part thanks to its shape – one that conforms to the natural contours of your ears in a way that ensures they don’t move around much while you’re wearing them.
Unfortunately, that’s where the positives stop, as the sound has a number of issues.
First off, these are much too bassy, but it goes beyond that.
In all honesty, they sound cheap.
The mid-bass sounds bloomy, bloaty, and artificial. It attempts to strike with authority but ends up coming across as rather sheepish.
Imagine hitting a balloon with a drumstick and you’ll get an idea of how these sound.
As with most products that overemphasize the mid-bass, there’s a layer of hum that drapes itself over the rest of the frequencies, in effect rendering them mostly useless.
the lyrics in most songs end up sounding underneath everything, as the mids are absolutely pushed back in the majority of cases.
these fall flat for the most part and lack dynamics, with poor transient response and an overall muddy character.
The treble doesn’t bite or sound hissy, but it lacks sparkle and liveliness.
The buds would probably sound OK if not for the bass issue, but your first impressions are always the most accurate, and the S&O doesn’t impress.
Still, it’s not all bad.
Blvck Svm’s “Gristle” sounds pretty decent out of these, but the bass tries to take center stage which kind of ruins the vibe.
The best way to describe these is that they sound bloated, and I really wish companies would stop overemphasizing the mid-bass.
It’s an issue I’ve word vomited about ad nausea, but I find it very irritating because it’s not something that makes the product sound better.
it’s counterintuitive to everything we know about frequency response.
Packaging & Accessories
The packaging here is just fine, and they even come with 3 sets of extra tips in addition to the ones already fitted on the buds themselves.
- Large – There are 2 sets of these in total; One fitted on the earbuds and an extra set in the small Ziploc-type bag.
- Medium – 1 set. Seems to result in a slightly better sound with less mid-bass emphasis.
- Small – 1 set. Somewhat tinnier, and thinner overall sound.
You also receive a lime green Type-A to Type-C charging cable, and an instruction manual.
Even despite the medium tips resulting in a bit less bass flamboyance (if you will) the overall sound is still muddy and won’t be ideal for the majority of users.
In other words,
the drivers here need a boost in addition to better tuning.
The good news is that I think if the tuning were better, these may be worth a look.
As it stands now, they don’t sound very good + they’re overpriced at around $139 and I’m sure most would agree.
In my mind, these are $40 buds and no more.
The clarity and resolution are just not there for the price you’re paying.
on this song “//fuckitdoeweout” by RSNZ, the sound is actually hurting my ears, as in, I feel like I’m traveling up a mountain on my way to a ski resort.
You know that feeling when your ears pop?
Before we give a final verdict, let’s go over some things I liked as well as what can be improved in the future.
What I liked:
- The packaging is good and I appreciate the 3 sets of extra tips.
- The instruction booklet, even despite being a foldout, is super easy to read and clutter free and I like that you can page-flip it like a book as well.
- The buds are very comfortable and stay in my ears just fine – even in the midst of an intense gym session. I can’t say that about many other products.
What can be improved:
- Sound. These need major improvement before I’m to recommend them. The bass mud + lack of clarity and overall dynamics really holds them back. Transient response is also poor in addition to the subpar tuning and less-than-stellar drivers.
- Price. In addition to that, they’re way overpriced for the quality you’re getting. Again, shave $100 or so off the asking price and you’ll get a decent idea of how much these are actually worth.
- The build seems okay but I can almost guarantee the case is going to break down over time. Again, I will update you as I get more time with them.
The Mifo S S&O is a comfortable, but ultimately overpriced IEM that suffers from a sub-par sound and questionable build.
The accessories included are nice, but I think you can do better in 2023.
Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Mifo S S&O Amp/DAC Review & Setup, and came away with some valuable insight.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!
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What are your experiences with IEMs? I would love to hear your thoughts. Until next time…
All the best and God bless,