Review of Mu6 3D Recording Headphones
Audio is commonly, and sometimes unknowingly, the missing piece a video needs to create an immersive and realistic experience. Subtle sounds in the background, well-mixed dialogue, and directional sound add to a story in ways you may not even notice until they aren’t there.
For the past few months, I’ve been using Mu6 recording earphones to record stereo binaural audio in my day-to-day life, and my smartphone videos and mobile audio recordings have never been this great. The headset — which is part binaural recorder, part headphones — was an exciting product to me because I work in the field of audio, and I love to record stereo soundscapes.
Our Review of Mu6 Dummy Head Recording Earphone
VERGE SCORE: 7OUT OF 10
Binaural microphone you can put in your pocket
Multipurpose for listening to music and noise canceling
Clear and defined audio recordings
Hardware is only compatible with the iPhone right now
A good enough listening experience for $160 earphones
It’s usually a hassle to casually record binaural audio, but I’ve been able to take this headset out of my pocket anywhere because of how portable it is. The Mu6 headset just looks like a pair of in-ear headphones, but it also has two omnidirectional microphones on each “ear.” It enables you to record a 360-degree soundscape of your surroundings — almost exactly the way you hear it if it were outside of your head — just by plugging right into an iPhone via the Lightning port. You can offload these stereo recordings to anywhere you’d like and listen exactly the way it was recorded.
The audio quality on the Mu6 Smart Headset is surprisingly good. I’ve used binaural earphones before, and the audio quality has not been any better than a regular headset mic. These were clearly designed to grab realistic sounds so the audio is crisp and defined, and they have a reasonably low noise floor (the unwanted sounds from interference or buzzing in the audio signal that sacrifice the dynamic range of your recording). That’s good, considering you’re using two omnidirectional mics, and you’re never really in a place with no sound. Although it’s hard to distinguish audio quality when everything sounds like it’s outside your head, the definition and clarity are enough to fool you into thinking you’re listening to the real world.
As an audio engineer who likes to travel light, desires some noise cancellation, needs to pause audio frequently, and loves recording and archiving ambient soundscapes, the Mu6 Smart Headset is a great all-in-one gadget — at least while it worked. Who else would it be good for? I’m not exactly sure. Maybe “3D audio” will be that missing piece people will start looking for in vlogs. I haven’t been in too many situations where this was the best way to grab audio for my job, but knowing that I have something to record stereo audio with me whenever I go out is a good feeling.
Considering some expensive recording equipment, $160 for a pair of binaural microphone/ earphones you plug into an iPhone is great for that niche market of audio enthusiasts or YouTubers who are into ASMR. They don’t make sense for a lot of people, but it’s a step in the right direction for people to start thinking more about how they both record and consume audio.
Note: the best way to listen to binaural recordings is with headphones.