Wednesday 11 September 2013

First impression of MINIX NT-1

When I got the Neo X5, I did not know MINIX, nor was I interested to find out more. Afterall there were plenty of similar products then, with same hardware specs, and little differentiation.
I was pleasantly surprised soon, after using the device for some time, and more importantly I was impressed with the support channels available (from a smaller scale company).

I won't call myself a fan just yet, but few months after owning X5, I found myself getting another 3 MINIX products. That say a lot about building good reputation, especially for startup companies, to retain customers.

Now, I was more excited to explore NT-1, rather than X7, simply because I had X5, and know what I will be expecting.

I got the products from MINIX TM store on Taobao, and the packages traveled a few places, before reaching me in Singapore. I was glad that they were still in good shape when it reached my door step.

I like the packaging of NT-1. It is simple, yet shows that MINIX mean business. The box is mainly duotone with blue and white, and the "NT-1" printed in silver. The two sides are transparent to show off the headphone.

After removing the outer box, you will see a smaller box holding the headphone itself. And inside the inner box, there's a micro usb cable for charging, and a manual.

Design & Build Quality
I wasn't disappointed when I saw the headphone itself, on the other hand, I was not wowed neither. There is nothing special about the headphone design, in fact you may find it rather similar to other headphones. That may not be a bad thing, at least not to me. I like its low profile, both in design and its size. It is not big for a headphone, definitely smaller than say a Beats headphone. **Edited** So similar, when I showed it to my friend, he said it was a Beats wannabe; Obviously, I wasn't very pleased. Other than the non-originality of the design, **Edited end** if there were something I could change, that would be to remove the "NT-1", and the oh-so-geeky bluetooth logo labels.

The build is good for what you pay for. The outer layer including the buttons are glossy plastic, and the inner layer comprised of matte hard plastic at the sides, and soft rubber on top. 

The headphones can be extended for about 2-3 inches at each side. There is a layer of aluminium (?) on the extensions.

Experience and Sound Quality
At around 50-60 USD, you are not going to get a NFC bluetooth headphone from a mainstream brand; NFC headphone in the first place are not common yet at the moment. I like the idea of dropping the wires, and have been using bluetooth earphones for some time. I am curious how NFC can help making life even easier.

Before I could test that, I needed to charge up the headphone. Connecting it to power cord is easy - it uses micro usb, which is very common especially for non Apple users. When you power it, there will be a red light indicating it is being charged. The light turn blue, when it is ready to be used.

Okay, I am ready to try out the headphone. Now, we need to pair it.... wait, this is a NFC headphone right? ** tapping my Galaxy S4 to where the NFC icon is on NT-1 ** the headphone switched on and connected to my phone effortlessly. Tapping my phone again to NT-1 disconnect the pairing, and the headphone goes to sleep after being left idle for a few minutes.

I can totally see how it will make my life easier, especially when I commute. No pairing is required, no need to dig into setting to switch on bluetooth on your phone nor on the headphone, and no need to repeat the reversal process. Just tap, and tap again.


I considered my head to be quite big (often find it hard to find a suitable hat). I needed to fully extend the headphone, and it fit onto my head just nice. The headphone is also quite light, I am fine leaving it on my neck when not using it.

As of sound... I don't think I can provide an in-depth review yet. All I can say is first impression was good. It is loud, and can be very loud. The bass is there, and does stand out. I enjoyed listening to several pop musics I threw to it on NT-1.

That's it for now. I will add more on my experience when I spend enough time with it.


  1. Is the head band padded and comfortable?

    1. Hi Dave, it is padded with soft rubber, though I would have loved it to be thicker, which would make it more solid, and more comfortable to wear. Sad to say, my NT-1 head band broke into half. You can see it from my post on Sugru.