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Lifewire / Jeffrey Daniel Chadwick
Small form factor
Affordable for anyone
Subpar touch controls
The MYMAHDI M350 MP3 Player’s imperfections are tempered by its low price and compact design. It’s a decent affordable option for runners or those on a strict budget.
The MYMAHDI M350 is a budget MP3 player that has some great benefits but also a long list of foibles. We liked it for its minimalist design, expandable storage, and ability to get you away from your smartphone. But it comes up short in key areas including its touch control interface, frustrating navigation, and antiquated method of loading music. But that’s the tradeoff you make when you get an inexpensive MP3 player.
When we tested the M350, it took over regular audio responsibilities usually handled by an iPhone. This had a peculiar influence on the way we consumed media. It essentially broke the tether we had to our smartphone. We could feel comfortable leaving the iPhone in other rooms and even venture out into the world without it. We found that when we were disconnected from the constant distractions a smartphone generates, we were able to focus more on the music and the world around us.
This is a simply designed MP3 player. It’s candy bar shaped, measuring 3.5 inches long,1.57 inches wide, and just 0.39 inches deep. It’s also quite light, weighing in at just 1.1 ounces. It fits perfectly in the coin pocket of men’s jeans, which is particularly nice if you want as few things in your pant’s pockets as possible.
Our test unit was silver-colored. You can also get it in black, gold, red, and white. However, no matter what color you choose, the included earbuds will be white. Its small form factor means you don’t get much of a screen—just two inches. That doesn’t give it much use beyond checking which song is playing. You can load and view pictures on the device, but the low resolution often results in pixelation and distortion. Video is even worse, straining the eye when watched too long.
Additionally, you can’t see the display very well in the sunlight. And if you’re wearing sunglasses, you’ll be required to take them off because the backlight just isn’t bright enough. During testing, we had to seek out shade to see the menu clearly when outdoors.
While the touch-sensitive interface gives it a more sophisticated look and feel, this is the type of MP3 player that would benefit from more traditional buttons.
Navigating the menu is somewhat frustrating at first because of the counter-intuitive physical controls. While the touch-sensitive interface gives it a more sophisticated look and feel, this is the type of MP3 player that would benefit from more traditional buttons. The chief example of this is the lack of physical controls for volume. You have to tap the volume button for a digital display of the sound level to come up and then use the touch controls to adjust the volume. This works, but it takes a while longer than it ought to.
On top of that, there’s no volume control on the included earbuds. If you need faster volume control (you do), we recommend getting a pair of headphones or earbuds that have physical volume controls that operate independently of what they’re connected to.
MYMAHDI sells another version of the M350 that has them included. It has identical specs and features to the model we reviewed. We didn’t test it, but based on our experience with the M350, we expect that its performance would be similar.
Outside of playing audio, this MP3 player has some simple abilities that you may find occasionally useful. The audio recorder is convenient if you happen to need one. The recordings are listenable, but just okay quality-wise. It also has an alarm clock and a stopwatch, which work exactly how you’d expect.
One thing this budget MP3 player has that garden-variety smartphones don’t is FM Radio.
There are a few extra features on this MP3 player that you probably won’t ever use. They include the eBook reader, which is torturous on the eyes. The calendar, which is almost useless since you have to manually input everything with no automatic updates. There’s also a rather aggravating version of Tetris that the device merely refers to as “The Game.”
One thing this budget MP3 player has that garden-variety smartphones don’t is FM Radio. This is a nice touch since it’s a chore (sometimes impossible) to get timely local news and traffic reports from podcasts and other digital media. It also delivers just the right amount of nostalgia for a time when FM radio was the only place you could find new music and listen to the hits you haven’t bought the albums for.
Probably the most disappointing thing about the M350 is its lack of wireless capabilities, which isn’t surprising. You can’t expect a device at this price to sync your music via Wi-Fi or a cellular connection. However, the addition of Bluetooth would certainly be possible and increase its usefulness.
The earbuds included with the M350 are the most basic we’ve seen in a long time. The buds are made entirely of plastic, but they do fit well in your ear. You could use them long term without chafing. However, it’s a fair bet that you can get higher quality and more comfortable earbuds for less than $10 at the grocery store checkout line.
Getting music and other onto this MP3 player was a bit of a blast from the past. Instead of syncing with programs like iTunes and Spotify, you have to manually copy your songs onto the player. Which involves connecting it to a computer and mounting it as an external hard drive, then navigating the proper folders (Music, Video, etc) and dragging in the media files you want.
This is how things were done 15 years ago. And a lot of people probably don’t remember how to do this - or never knew at all. And the user manual is only marginally helpful with its instructions.
The MYMAHDI MP3 player comes with 8GB of onboard storage, comparable to an entry-level smartphone. But since there are no apps or other storage-hog features, you can get a great deal of music on there. When we filled up our MP3 player to capacity, we got about 1,000 songs and three audiobooks into it. However, that number was greatly diminished when we started loading video and image files onto the hard drive.
When we filled up our MP3 player to capacity, we got about 1,000 songs and three audiobooks into it.
If 8GB isn’t enough for you, the M350 device has an expandable storage slot on the side. You can load microSD cards with up to 120GB storage capacity, potentially allowing you to fit your entire music library onto the device.
The only claim about battery life that we found online was from the Amazon product description, which says the M350 will last about 40 hours. To test this, we used a male-to-male aux cable to connect the MP3 player to the JBL Charge 4 and let it play continuously play until the battery died. We started on a Monday morning and it played until late Tuesday evening, which more or less lives up to the Amazon description.
Throughout our testing phase, we never ran out of power unless we deliberately drained the battery.
After we drained the battery, we timed how long it took to achieve a full charge. This came out to about 80 minutes. It should be noted that throughout the rest of our testing, we never ran out of power unless we deliberately drained the battery.
The sound produced by this MP3 player is entirely dependent on what you use to listen to it. Again, the earbuds are just okay for casual listening, but a far cry from what audiophiles demand. They simply lack the ability to produce the rich, deep sound that you’d get from higher-quality earbuds.
After a day or so of using the device with its own earbuds, we dug out some old Apple EarPods with the old-style 3.5mm connector and used those for the remainder of the testing period. The difference was dramatically better. If you have a male-to-male aux cord, you can also connect it to any speaker with that audio-in port. When we hooked it up to the JBL Charge 4, we experienced solid, high-quality sound that was on par to using the speaker with the iPhone X via Bluetooth.
In theory, you don’t need to have earbuds, headphones or speakers at all to listen to this MP3 player. It has an in-built speaker, but the sound it makes is an assault on the senses—when you can hear it.
We used a sound meter to see exactly how loud the built-in speaker can get. At its loudest, it only got up to 85 decibels in a quiet room. That’s fine when you’re indoors and near the device, but step outdoors or into a room with ambient sound, and you won’t hear it from more than a few feet away.
You can pick the M350 up for about $23. This is inexpensive and sounds about right for what you get.
We tested the MYHADI M350 alongside the Sony NWE395 Walkman. The big difference is the price. The Walkman’s 16GB model is priced almost four times higher than the M350. However, the Walkman lacks an expandable storage slot, a voice recorder, and an external speaker. Upsides to the Walkman include its physical controls, more intuitive navigation, and brighter screen.
If a bargain basement price is what you’re after, the M350 is the clear choice. The only compelling reason to choose the Walkman is if you want the nostalgic feeling the brand name brings with it.
A decent MP3 player for the price.
Despite its flaws, the MYHADI M350 MP3 Player is a solid buy. Once you get used to its quirks, you’ll find it a convenient companion when you want to get out of the house and leave the world of digital distractions behind.