[REVIEW] Xiaomi Piston V2 vs JBL E1+

  1. laanrobe
    Honeycomb Dec 3, 2014

    laanrobe , Dec 3, 2014 :
    These seem to be some of the more popular ear phones for the OPO. Since I have both now for several weeks I thought I would share my experiences with them.

    I ordered the Pistons first after positive reviews in this forum. I followed a recommended link in one of the postings to the Amazon listing and ordered from there. Regrettably this still resulted in a non-original set of Pistons... I believe Amazon automatically links you to the same listing of other sellers if the original seller is out of stock. Obviously the seller of the fake Pistons made sure his listing description was identical. However, it was a seller located in China and it took some four weeks for delivery. It was almost immediately obvious to me that the set I received was fake: scratches on the metal housings, poor sound, no QR code attached to the cable, etc. I immediately ordered another set from an Amazon seller that sells the original ones: Kev Electronics. I received this set in two days (Amazon Prime). I managed to get a full refund from the seller that sold me the fake Pistons. Another clear difference between the original and the fake Pistons is the weight: the original Pistons weight about 100 grams, the fakes 80 grams (including box and packaging). The seller of the fake Pistons told me I could keep the set as a 'gift', regrettably the sound quality is so bad that they will probably end up in the bin...

    The E1+ I ordered almost immediately when they became available in the OnePlus Store. Due to the issue of the fake Pistons I actually received the E1+ before the original Pistons. The E1+ arrived in two business days, very fast.

    Sound and Operation
    Regarding sound quality I did not notice much difference initially between the Pistons and the E1+. They both sound decent with enough (not too much) bass and reasonably balanced. Certainly no audiophile level performance, but that is to be expected in this price range ($20-40). I did notice though that after a while - a few hours of listening - the Pistons started sounding better. The sound is now more 'open' and dynamic than the E1+ and I have a slight preference now for the Pistons with regard to sound.

    Both have cylindrical control units for volume and pause/answer. Both sets are compatible with the OPO for these controls. The plastic control unit of the E1+ sits higher, closer to your left ear which can be a bit awkward to operate. This is a matter of getting used to though, after a while it was easy to change volume or pause the music. The E1+ has a flat side on the control unit, so you can easily feel where the different buttons are. The metal control unit of the Pistons do not have this and I find myself pressing the wrong button with the Pistons more often, but I guess this will get better once you get used to it.

    Fit and Finish
    Both earphones fit well for me with the standard sized caps. Both had additional (smaller and bigger) caps in the packaging. The Pistons also came with a clip (missing from the fake Pistons) that allows you to clip the cable to your shirt. I have used both for running and they do not fall out easily for me. The are very light and I can wear them for hours without any discomfort.

    Although the finish of the Pistons looks better (subjective) with the nice metal housing and the cloth covered cord, the E1+ appears to me to be more practical and more durable (time will tell). The tangle free flat cables of the E1+ are excellent, no more time lost trying to untangle cables. Despite the cloth covered cables of the Pistons I still find myself having to untangle them frequently, also since the cables from the control unit to the ear phones are not cloth covered but plastic.

    I understand the criticism expressed by other reviewers regarding the 'cheap' plastic finish of the E1+. I do prefer the t shaped jack of the E1+ as opposed to the straight jack of the Pistons. My experience with ear phones is that straight jack connections are much more susceptible to damage over time due to the increased strain on the cable-jack connection.

    Both are decent ear phones in my opinion, although the E1+ are probably about $15 too expensive for what you get. I have decided to use the Pistons for at home and fitness, while the E1+ will be the ear phones I travel with, since they are more practical and - I expect - more durable.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2014

  2. shivkaranshah
    Ice Cream Sandwich Dec 3, 2014

    shivkaranshah , Dec 3, 2014 :
    Nice review :) pictures of E1+ will be appreciated.
    In the meantime, checkout my review on the pistons v2 ;) The thread goes by the name Pistons V2 India Edition.

  3. williamhaven
    Ice Cream Sandwich Dec 3, 2014

  4. Spartoz
    Eclair Dec 3, 2014

  5. Gershy13
    Cupcake Dec 26, 2014

    Gershy13 , Dec 26, 2014 :
    OK! Thanks i am going to go with the Piston because they are cheaper and i prefer the design... (other than the flat cable of the E1+)

  6. guideme101
    Jelly Bean Dec 26, 2014

  7. amitvig22
    Ice Cream Sandwich Jan 1, 2015

  8. kos195
    Honeycomb Feb 18, 2015

  9. SeveranExp
    Gingerbread Feb 18, 2015

    SeveranExp , Feb 18, 2015 :
    Can you elaborate on the use of both earphones when taking photos? Are the piston compatible? (Taking pictures with the remote control on the earphones)