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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.
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.
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.
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.
What really lets the Mu6 Ring headphones down is the shape and size – they're just too big to be easily usable for cyclists.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
They seem relatively well made and likely to survive being dropped a few times.
Only work with a limited number of helmets and glasses.
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.
They are not comfortable unless you have glasses with very thin arms, and a helmet that sits high above your ears.
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.
About the tester
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 is the host of the road.cc podcast and has been writing for road.cc since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between.
Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.