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review

Mu6 Ring Open-Ear Wireless Air Conduction Sports Headphones

2
£63.77

VERDICT:

2
10
Adequate off the bike, but do not work with the majority of helmets or cycling glasses
Reasonably priced
Decent for spoken words
Don't fit under many helmets
Don't accommodate many styles of glasses
Difficult to turn off
Weight: 
32g
Contact: 

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Mu6 Ring Open-Ear Wireless Air Conduction Sports Headphones are fairly good at reproducing sound, but they're too bulky to work comfortably with most helmets, and while your glasses are supposed to sit beneath them many designs just don't fit. If you cycle without a helmet or glasses they may be worth a look.

In recent years, bone conducting headphones have become increasingly popular – the benefit being there's nothing in your ears to block the sounds around you – and while the Mu6 Rings look similar, they don't vibrate your skull.

Instead they're 'air conduction,' just as regular headphones are, but instead of covering your ears their small speakers sit in front of them.

> Buy these online here

They have a single button that does everything. It works okay – once on I can easily turn the volume up and down, skip, pause and restart without any issues. The challenge I have is turning them off afterwards – the apparently three-second press is unpredictable, and doesn't work more often than it does.

2021 Mu6 Ring Open-air Wireless Air Conduction Sports Headphone - power and volume button.jpg

When I'm cycling I only ever listen to podcasts or audiobooks, which these are perfectly adequate for. For music they lack much punch or bass, so if top-notch sound quality matter to you, look elsewhere.

While the Ring handles phone calls pretty effectively when walking, the windnoise while riding made me inaudible to the person on the other end.

2021 Mu6 Ring Open-air Wireless Air Conduction Sports Headphone - inside.jpg

Pairing these with other devices is fairly simple, and I managed to connect to my phone, my wife's phone and my laptop without any issues or dropped connections.

The battery life is also good, with Mu6's claimed nine hours of run time and 200 hours of standby time being roughly what I found. Charging is via micro-USB port, which is protected behind a dust cover.

2021 Mu6 Ring Open-air Wireless Air Conduction Sports Headphone - charging port.jpg

What really lets the Mu6 Ring headphones down is the shape and size – they're just too big to be easily usable for cyclists.

2021 Mu6 Ring Open-air Wireless Air Conduction Sports Headphone - worn front 2.jpg

I tried them with four helmets (a POC Octal, Lazer Z1, Giro Syntax and a Spiuk Korben), and only one (the POC) left enough space above my ears to fit these in. Even then, the Octal sits higher than any helmet I have recently used, so I'm confident these will not work with the majority of modern helmets.

> road.cc's Best Cycling Gadgets and Accessories of the Year 2019/20

I also tested these with pairs of Oakley Jawbreakers, Oakley Racing Jackets, Rudy Project Defenders, Roka CP-1Xs and Koo Spectro glasses. Of these five, only one (the Jawbreakers) had arms thin enough to work with the channel inside the Ring. The rest either did not fit at all, pushed the headphones up, or made the glasses sit too awkwardly to be usable.

2021 Mu6 Ring Open-air Wireless Air Conduction Sports Headphone - worn 2.jpg

If you wear neither helmets nor glasses, they work just fine, but still aren't the most comfortable on the ears – mainly due to the plastic, rather than rubber finish. Arguably, if you're not worried about wearing helmets or glasses, you're probably not worried about putting regular earphones in either.

Either way, it's best not to adjust these while they're on, as the hinge can pinch the top of your ears or trap your hair.

2021 Mu6 Ring Open-air Wireless Air Conduction Sports Headphone - folded flat.jpg

Value

At £63.77 the price is reasonable if you want them for jogging or similar, and at the time of writing Mu6 is discounting them to £56.61. The only really comparable headphones we've tested are the Aftershokz OpenMove Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones which prove comfortable and don't interfere with glasses or helmets. Even though they're £79.95, they represent far better value for cyclists.

Overall

While the Mu6 Ring headphones sound fine for spoken word, and should work fine for sports that don't use helmets or glasses, they're bulky, awkward and very poorly designed for keen cyclists. They simply did not work with the majority of helmets and glasses I tried – and are unlikely to work well with yours.

Verdict

Adequate off the bike, but do not work with the majority of helmets or cycling glasses

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Mu6 Ring Open-Ear Wireless Air Conduction Sports Headphones

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Mu6 says: "Our open-ear design powered by air conduction technology allows for total awareness of surroundings and bud-free, comfortable listening."

Broadly this is accurate.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

- Open Ear

- 9hr Battery Life

- Bluetooth 5.0

- Built in Microphone

- Lightweight and secure fit

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10

They seem relatively well made and likely to survive being dropped a few times.

Rate the product for performance:
 
2/10

Only work with a limited number of helmets and glasses.

Rate the product for durability:
 
5/10

They claim to be waterproof, but there is no certification anywhere on the headphones or in the documentation. They cope with sweat without any issue.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
1/10

They are not comfortable unless you have glasses with very thin arms, and a helmet that sits high above your ears.

Rate the product for value:
 
2/10

They are not expensive, but cannot be easily used for cycling.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

They are sold as suitable for cycling, but they cannot fit under the majority of helmets, and do not work with the majority of cycling glasses.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Using these off the bike for podcasts was fine.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

They are not fit for purpose for cycling.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

The only really comparable headphones we've looked at are the Aftershokz OpenMove Wireless Bone Conduction Headphones, which are much smaller over the ear and do not have much impact on glasses. Even though they're £79.95, they represent far better value.

Did you enjoy using the product? No

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? No

Use this box to explain your overall score

These headphones should not be marketed towards cyclists, because they cannot be used with the safety equipment the vast majority of cyclists use every time they get on a bike.

They may be adequate for other sports, but I cannot recommend these for cyclists.

Overall rating: 2/10

About the tester

Age: 32  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: CAAD13  My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

George spends his days helping companies deal with their cycling commuting challenges with his company Cycling for Work. He has been writing for Road.cc since 2014. 

When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects. 

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