When it comes to completely wireless earbuds, I’m sceptical. I had bad experiences before and despite the technological progress I look at earbuds with reservation. It took some gentle convincing by a media person from gearvita.com to spend my time with Xiaomi Haylou GT1. It’s new cooperation, new protocol (Bluetooth 5.0) and a brand I tend to trust (Xiaomi) what could possibly go wrong.
Xiaomi Haylou GT1 wireless earbuds
Looking at the price ($22) and holding a very lightweight charging box I set my expectations rather low. Spoiled by the quality of Soul Emotion which I reviewed before, I had uncomfortable thoughts settling in over my first cooperation with a new brand.
Since this is my first cooperation with gearvita.com (and I like being transparent with my readers) I’d like to introduce you to that brand. I hold the account with them, and in terms of the shopping experience, the page is on par with other leading gadget merchants. So far the contact and shipping experience (11 days) has been great, so I don’t mind sending you my dear reader, their way.
Out of the box…
Back to the earbuds… My first impressions weren’t great. The lightweight box feels a little bit cheap, the charging light is hidden at the back for some reason and the hinge could use a better spring. With that said, the box is much smaller than Soul’s Emotion and I think I like the shape better too.
Inside, two black earbuds completely void of any brand markings. I paired the headset and put my favourite playlist on. This is where my experience started to get better and better.
There is no annoying pairing sounds, just pleasant series of beeps acknowledging the power on, connection status and sync between the buds. Considering how often you get to hear these, I find it important to get it right. The Xiaomi Haylou GT1 pair with your phone as soon as you pop them out from the box.
Gentle to the touch… interface
Touch controls are also spot on. Without any physical interface, Xiaomi Haylou GT1 comes with a reasonable set of controls, with 3 taps to bring the assistant prompt on, and tapping on each bud twice to skip and rewind (I love this method ). There are no volume controls, but you can set the volume with your Google Assistant. I’m absolutely fine with that.
It’s time to talk about the important part. The sound! I know how cheap headphones should sound. These do not sound cheap. I’m not sure if this is a great driver design, or the Bluetooth 5.0 does its magic, but the Xiaomi Haylou GT1 sound really good. Not a single connection drop-out yet, which is very impressive!
Considering how tiny the earbuds are, Xiaomi did a fantastic job cramming all the tech to bring the sound to this level. I didn’t need to tweak EQ to enjoy “My Shot” from Hamilton, “Night Call” by Kavinsky, or chill to an album by Jack Johnson. In all cases, the low tones were complimenting the experience with a pleasant beat and very clear higher tones let the vocals and percussion feel close and present.
But can they cycle…
Oh yes, Xiaomi Haylou GT1 can! The earbud design basically disappears in your ear, so there is no additional wind noise in your ear caused by drag. This, in turn, means that you can listen to the music at lower volume levels preserving the battery even further.
I had a really great time with these, with the only concern being 3.5h battery life. Unfortunately for Xiaomi Haylou GT, I can cycle for much longer than that, and I would love the version with a 5h battery. After an hour of cycling, the battery dropped to 70%. Thanks to the 310mAh case, you should be able to charge the buds several times over.
Run baby, run…
The second test I put my headphones through is the 3-5km run. IPX5 rated, Xiaomi Haylou GT1 can be taken for a run in the rain without any worries. The bud sits in the ear firmly, and not once I had the need for adjusting it.
In my opinion, they are better suited or the running than cycling due to battery life, but if you are the person who loves to have a 20 min coffee break during your biking adventures, the charging case should keep you topped up.
I may have started this review harshly, but I quickly changed my mind about the Xiaomi Haylou GT1 earbuds. A complete wireless experience at a bargain price is hard to find. During my tests the earbuds not once lost the range – something I’m impressed with. If you have any questions, you can use this Reddit thread.