Disclaimer: Simgot kindly sent the EM2 and MTW5 for review. I have no financial interest in Simgot, nor are my words here influenced by any outside concern. If you are interested in Simgot products, please check here for more details or visit their amazon store to purchase.
Unboxing / Packaging:
The MTW5 is Simgot’s latest Bluetooth in-ear and comes packed in a small press-board box with photo of the buds on the front along with model number and basic information and full details of the product on the reverse. Inside the box, the charging case rests on a plastic shelf with the charging cable, tips, and warranty cards hiding underneath.
Earpieces are mid-sized but are thick due to the presence of battery and BT circuit board in addition to the 5.8mm titanium coated dynamic driver. Shells are plastic with a large control button on the faceplate with the MT logo on each. Unlike some, buttons are present on both earpieces and control different functions (discussed later). An LED at the top of the shell blinks when powered on and blinks rapidly when in pairing mode. On the inner surface of the shell two charging contacts sit over the nozzle with a single vent immediately above that. Nozzles have a pronounced lip and will take standard tips, but due to seating deeply the provided tips are smaller than average and if tip rolling, a size smaller than typical may be needed. Comfort was good, and I found I could wear the MTW5 until the battery alerted it needed a charge without discomfort. I found no tendency to move during exercise and the MTW5 is IPX5 certified (water spray resistant, not submersible) so sweat shouldn’t bother it but avoid taking them in the pool with you.
The provided battery case has a micro-usb port at the rear to charge the case which when fully charged allows the earpieces to recharge 3 times before needing to recharge the case. I found the battery did fully charge the earpieces twice and provided a partial 3rd charge that lasted roughly 2/3rds as long. In playback, the earpieces lasted between 2.5 and 3 hours per charge which is better than average for an earbud this size. The case uses magnetic closures to hold the earpieces in proper alignment to charge and a series of 3 LEDs on the front lip of the case show charge status. The case lid also uses a magnetic closure to prevent accidental loss of the buds when not in use.
I found pairing to be very straight forward with both Apple and Android phones as well as with the Cayin N3. Getting the MTW5 to pair with the ifi Xcan was a bit more finicky but still not particularly involved. Once connected, I found the CSR8645 Bluetooth did a good job of defeating barriers and found it took multiple interior walls between the source and the earbuds to cause cutouts. In open space, I was able to get 50 meters from the source before cutouts became an issue. This is nice for working around the yard etc as the phone can sit on the porch and not risk falling from a pocket or getting damaged. Another nice feature of the MTW5 is stereo calling. If you are used to using Bluetooth earbuds, you’ll have likely run into systems that drop to left ear only for phone calls and sometimes struggle to return to music in both ears after taking a call. I found no such problems here as moving between music to a call and back to music operated seamlessly. Both earpieces are also mic’d to give the best possible call quality.
Functions differ between earpieces with some being the same for either earbud and others being dependant on which ear you use. During music playback, a single push of either button is play/pause. A double click is forward reverse, with clicking the left moving back and the right moving foward. Volume adjustment works much the same way as forward back and is enabled by a single long press of the button. Using the left earpiece decreases volume while using the right increases it. During a phone call, a single click of either side is answer/hangup, and volume control works exactly the same as during music playback.
A word of caution on this plot. Having not dealt with Bluetooth very much with my measurement system, I cannot guarantee that the sound card was calibrated correctly as the method normally used to do so is not applicable (cant test voltage) on a bluetooth connection. I did the best I could and used a couple that have the option to use a wire to test wired vs bluetooth to make sure the calibration was as close as i could come but it a best estimate and not an absolute.
Big mid-bass without a lot of sub-bass presence is the first thing you notice on the MTW5. Mid-bass bleed is quite prominent to the point of obscuring some of the mids. I found that a -3dB EQ of frequencies between 200Hz and 500Hz helped considerably in reducing the mid-bass bloom and exposing more of the mids.
As mentioned above, mids are somewhat recessed and tend to be overshadowed by the mid-bass without the use of EQ to tame the bass a bit. Details in the mid-range are about average for models in this price range once the mid-bass is removed from the equation.
Treble is polite and roll-off is fairly steep leaving the MTW5 with less air and sparkle than preferable. I found that a +2dB of the 4-6kHz range opened up the signature quite a bit and added back some life. Pushing the 4-6 range a bit forward made cymbals and snare sound much more realistic than without the EQ and keeps the MTW5 from feeling closed in.
Soundstage / Imaging:
Soundstage is wider than deep and no dimension is very large which gives the MTW5 an intimate presentation that can get a little congested as tracks get busier. Instrument separation is impacted by the mid-bass bloom and at times imaging suffers as a result. Again this can be tamed to a degree and I have to remind myself this is a sub-$30 product as in the overall for rock and other simple genres it does well. As ensembles get larger, the MTW5 becomes less adept at placing individual components and starts to feel a bit enclosed.
Thoughts / Conclusion:
If I were selecting a Bluetooth in-ear and used it primarily for phone calls or took a lot of calls during my day, the MTW5 would be at the top of my list as its stereo calling and dual mic features make it a standout when used for phone use. For sport or outdoor use, I also think the MTW5 gets high marks for its sweatproof design and ergonomics. I had no trouble wearing them for extended periods with either comfort or retention. Musically speaking, the MTW5 does well for its price range ($29 on Amazon store) and competes well against some wired models at the price point. With a bit of judicious EQ, the signature can be quite enjoyable but for those that do not want to EQ, they will find it a bit flat and lifeless at times.
Pros: Good battery life, good call quality, stereo calling, great price.
Cons: Signature needs a bit of EQ