Review: MPOW Flamingo (Elk) Bluetooth 4.1 Headset

What is it?

MPOW has continued to send along some review samples. Next up is the MPOW Flamingo (Elk) Bluetooth 4.1 Headset.

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What's in the box?

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Inside the box you presented with:

     The headset (obviously), with medium sized ear tips installed.

A user guide, which outlines the procedure for pairing

A micro USB cable for charging

Small and Large replacement ear tips

Packaging quality is slightly more minimal than recent MPOW products I have seen, but the packaging is small, with little waste, and outlines the specs of the device at a high level. You can't really ask for more and it is nice to see a company continue to use little waste with their packaging.

One thing of note, which as of this review, MPOW has yet to clarify, the listing of this product is the "MPOW Flamingo". However, the package lists them as the "MPOW Elk". I reached out for clarification, but have yet to hear back. When searching the MPOW Flamingo on Amazon.com a product that is similar to the popular JayBird design is all that is found, while MPOW Elk yields no results.

Why would you want it?

Ditch the wires and go wireless for running, exercising or any other activity.

Target audience?

With the secure ear hook design, this is targeted mostly towards runners or others who are constantly moving. The hooks will aide in keeping them in place and not falling out when jostled. Their light weight will also lend itself well to physical activities.

Specs

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  • BT 4.1 LE
  • Advanced CSR chip with A2DP tech to deliver higher quality sound
  • Sound Enhance Tech to ensure or strong signal no matter where on your body your connected device is. Designed to reduce signal droppage found on most Bluetooth headsets
  • Ear hooks, to keep a snug and secure fit no matter what the activity.
  • Built in mic on right ear piece to enable voice calls
  • Extended battery life - 7 hrs talk, 6 hrs music, and 160 hrs standby time.

Build Quality

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Extremely lightweight, which has its benefits, but overall fit and finish feels cheap and fragile compared to several other MPOW offerings.

Buttons were tactile and responsive.

Performance/Testing/Experience Results

Overall audio quality was great with no issues and voice callers reported little distortion compared to using the phone alone without the headset. Wind stoppage was not the greatest however.

Battery life is in line with what MPOW states, I found that audio playback was in the 5 hr range. Your mileage will vary.

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Length of the wire connecting the ear pieces, as is the case with almost all Bluetooth headsets is too long and was consistently getting pulled or caught when in use. However, the snug fit provided by the ear hooks stopped them from being torn from my ears. Something I have experienced with ever Bluetooth headset I have used to date.

As mentioned the buttons were tactile and responsive, however the placement of the main control button, for calls and audio is poorly placed. When pressing with a single finger you are forced to press the ear tip further into your ear. Something which was not very comfortable. A minor thing, but something to be aware of, especially trying to pause music or answer a call while on a run.

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Conclusion

Despite the less than desirable build quality, the lightweight design and the addition of proper ear hooks, vs "fins" found on many other designs, I was very pleased with this headset and would recommend it as an affordable option for the budget minded person seeking an active type design. In future versions I would like to see some adjust-ability added to the ear hooks and a slightly more sturdy housing on the ear pieces. It would also be useful, given the target audience, to include the ability to adjust the length of the wire used, which would provide an even more snug fit when being used.

The MPOW Flamingo/Elk headset can be found on Amazon.