Mix-Style inner headphones review

These striking buds have a huge cult following in Japan, and we can see why Tested at £30

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Punchy, controlled and balanced, these ear-borne fashion statements are a great proposition


  • +

    Great looks

  • +

    loads of colour options

  • +

    fast, attacking midrange

  • +

    fine, rich balance across the frequency range


  • -

    Not the last word in detail

  • -

    bass can get a tad overblown at high volume

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Already boasting a huge cult following in Japan, these chunky green Mix-Style ’buds are another first for our testing rooms – and if it’s a style statement you’re after, it’s a straight slug-out between these (which come in 16 different finishes) and the Nixon The Wires (which come in an equally mind-boggling 15).

Straight in with a blast of Van Halen’s Amsterdam, we’re met with a fast, attacking midrange – snare drums crack like they ought to, and the bass is tight and speedy at civilised volume levels.

The higher frequencies can get a little splashy in extremis, but they Mix-Styles have to be pushed for this to become a real problem. Switch gears to Jarle Bernhoft’s C’mon Talk and they bounce along rhythmically, lending a rich quality to vocals and handling the fast, start-stop dynamics well.

Punch is abundant, remaining controlled where midrange takes over from bass, and that quality continues evenly up into the treble; nothing really sticks out as with many of the other rivals we've tested.

Negatives? That treble coarseness when provoked is a downer, of course, and they could be more detailed when it comes to solo vocals (Ani DiFranco’s Not A Pretty Girl lacked the tinge of gritted-teeth frustration uncovered by the best here), but other than that there isn’t a lot wrong with the Mix-Styles. Four stars it is.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test