|Battery config.||External 4*21700 battery pack|
|Review date||November 2020|
I thought I was familiar with just about every flashlight brand and manufacturer out there. However, up until a couple of months ago, I had never heard of Magicshine. They are most known for making bicycle headlights and only recently started producing flashlights such as the MTL160 thrower. Turns out Magicshine also makes headlamps like the MOH35, which Peter reviewed and found to be a great performer. When I was asked to review their most powerful headlamp, I was all in! Enter the MOH55 Pro. Magicshine calls it the Aquila, which is Latin for eagle. Sporting two Cree XHP50.2 LEDs, 4000 Lumen turbo output, and a massive 10,000 mAh battery pack that doubles as a power bank with USB power delivery, could this be the greatest headlamp out there? Let’s see!
The MOH55 Pro arrived in a really nice retail box. Overall the graphics and design of the packaging really show Magicshine’s focus on bicycle accessories. The matte finish with the glossy accents is a nice touch. The back of the box has some specifications and features, but not much else. The top of the box lifts off to reveal microcell foam padding with cutouts holding the battery pack and headlamp.
The rest of the accessories are contained under the foam beneath a cardboard spacer. What do you get? Everything except the kitchen sink, it seems because it’s one of the most comprehensive assortments of accessories I’ve ever seen.
The accessories that come with the kit are also available separately from Magicshine if you ever need spares or replacements, which is nice. Something to note is all the accessories seem to be of really good quality. Major kudos to Magicshine since this is where I find that companies cheap out to save money. I found that the only thing missing from all this is a USB type C to type C cable, and you need one to use the battery’s power delivery feature.
I was expecting the MOH55 to be on the heavy side, but I was pleasantly surprised by how lightweight it is. The headband was really comfortable to wear and came apart easily for cleaning. I liked the addition of the reflective Magicshine logo on the sides for visibility. These little touches really show attention to detail. The headband and top strap are easy to adjust, and I had no issues getting it to fit my head. The top strap keeps the headlamp from wanting to slide down over your face.
There is a single e-switch mounted on top of the headlamp housing that has a silicone rubber cover with the Magicshine logo on it. There’s an LED backlight that doubles as a battery indicator underneath that illuminates green when you push the switch to find it in the dark and shows the battery condition. It’s easy to find by feel as well but takes some force to press.
The headlamp body has a removable quick-detach mount on the bottom that fits into a receptacle on the headband and helmet mount. I strapped it to a bike helmet with the included strap and it worked great. Installing is easy-set the headlamp assembly on the mount, line up the cutouts and turn it to lock into place. Rotate it 90 degrees in the opposite direction to detach it.
The head and helmet mounts adjust downward at a 60 to 100-degree angle and the adjustment has a captured nut with a thumbscrew to lock it in place. One concern I had initially was the battery, mainly where to put such a huge battery pack? Thankfully Magicshine thought of that since the battery has two slots in the housing that work with the included straps for mounting to your belt or somewhere else. This is where the 1-meter long extension for the power cable is very handy. The underside of the battery pack has a soft rubber pad that is slightly concave so it would fit snug against a bicycle frame.
Make no mistake, the MOH55 is a high-end headlamp. They give you a 24-month warranty on it for workmanship and defects. As expected, the machining and finishing on the aluminum housing are flawless, with no burrs, and sharp edges are kept to a minimum. The body is covered in fins for heat sinking on the back and sides.
Magicshine doesn’t specify the type of anodizing, but it looks to be type III HA. The finish is flawless with no blemishes or thin areas. All the parts fit together perfectly with no obvious gaps, and the LEDs are perfectly centered in the optics. Top-notch all around.
The straps are all very good quality and should last a long time. Magicshine even put some silicone traction in a tire track pattern on the Velcro-backed straps to simulate bicycle tire tracks. The only issue I found is a spelling error: “output” is missing the “t” on the USB input/out connector label.
The barrel connectors on the power cords are really beefy and fit together with a good seal. I’m glad to see they didn’t use cheap parts for the mounts and elastic headbands. The cables are a soft thermoplastic and I would have liked them to be a little more flexible since they are a bit stiff and tend to twist up.
The MOH55 is rated for IPX6 water resistance, so it’s fine with rainstorms or temporary immersion. The access points on the battery are very well sealed with silicone rubber covers, and the connector for the power lead is sealed with a very thin o-ring and didn’t seem to have any lubrication on it (or just very little). The cover for the charging port is attached to the battery housing, and you can check the battery level without opening it. One issue I found: the plug that seals the port for the main power cable is not captured, so hang on to it or it may go missing
The Magicshine MOH55 features two Cree XHP50.2 LEDs behind a dual TIR (total internal reflection) optic. Magicshine doesn’t list the tint of the LEDs, but they look to be 6000k or so. I compared the MOH55 to a light with a 6500k XHP50.2 and they looked similar. Even though I like warmer tints, I actually think the tint is perfectly suited to the headlamp and not intrusive at all.
The optic itself is an interesting design. The inner part of the optics are textured almost like a reflector for a COB (chip on board) LED. This is meant to soften the beam and increase flood, and boy is it floody with tons of light. There is a hotspot, but it’s very diffuse. I compared it to my D10 headlamp with a shallow OP reflector and SST40 LED, and the MOH55 is much more floody. What about the infamous Cree rainbow we get on present-gen Cree LEDs? I’m happy to say it is nearly gone thanks to the optics, only slightly visible on a white wall, but not visible outdoors. This would be amazing for caving, hiking, or riding your bicycle at night. Indoors on high, it’s almost too bright, and on turbo, it’s blinding.
I was kind of bummed that there’s no glass lens protecting the optic, especially on a light in this price range. I didn’t handle the light roughly, but still managed to put some noticeable dings on the front of the optic.
The Magicshine MOH55 headlamp itself is impressively small and lightweight, weighing less than 6 ounces (with the non-removable power cord). Even with the battery pack it’s relatively lightweight. In total you’re looking at around 1.25 pounds for the battery, headlamp, and power cord.
Battery Pack Dimensions
MOH55 compared (left to right) to a D10-style headlamp, a standard C8 flashlight, and a Sofirn SP10S EDC flashlight. MOH55 Pro battery pack compared to an AA and 18650 battery.
I was delighted Magicshine used a simple UI on the MOH55. It’s 5 modes and a single SOS blinky mode. No menus, no configuration needed, and no multi mode blinkies here. To turn the light on, press, and hold the power button for 0.5 seconds. Repeat to turn it off. There is mode memory, and it turns on in the last mode. Turbo is memorized, but SOS is not.
The mode spacing looks wonky on paper with low at 100 Lumens, medium, 600 Lumens, high 1500 Lumens, and turbo at 4000 Lumens, but in real life the brightness between low through high is okay. The jump from high to turbo was dramatic, and in an enclosed area your eyes will complain a bit. It definitely has a ‘wow’ factor to it.
I’d love to have a look under the hood at the driver, but alas, it’s sealed tight and there’s no way to crack the headlamp open without breaking it.
Low voltage warning:
Add additional info: I think it’s awesome that turbo is memorized. Some might see this as a possible negative, but I’ve found when you really need turbo, you really need turbo! I would have liked to see a lower mode thrown in, but I digress, the UI is great. There’s no electronic lockout, but you can unplug the power cord to keep it from turning on unintentionally.
Here’s what puts the ‘Pro’ in the MOH55 Pro. The standard model has a 7200 mAh battery, but the Pro model includes Magicshine’s MJ-6118 battery pack. Containing 4*21700 lithium ion cells, it’s rated at 10,000 mAh and 7.2V for a total energy of 72 Wh. The battery can do double-duty as a power bank and it’s capable of USB power delivery (PD) for both charging and output up to 5V 3A, 9V 2A, and 12V 1.5A.
PD charging is an especially nice feature when you consider the size of the battery. Even if charged at 2 amps, it would take well over 8 hours to fully charge, so having the option to fast charge it on a PD power source is a huge time-saver. At 12V 1.5A the charge time is around 4 hours. There’s a power button to turn the power bank on or off, and 3 indicator lights for battery status. The indicator is visible under the cover.
Sadly, Magicshine didn’t include a USB type C to type C cable, which you need for the power bank function. They did include a USB A to C cable for charging though I tested charging the battery and got 12V 1.5A and 5V 3A on my PD power adapter. In my testing, I was able to run the headlamp on turbo while charging my tablet. It did quick-charge my cell phone as well at 9V 1.8A.
My favorite part of the test! Magicshine says the MOH55 can put up some big output numbers and I know the runtime will be impressive. From the MOH35 review, Magicshine’s advertised output figures seem pretty honest.
Unfortunately, since the battery pack and headlamp are both sealed tight, there was no (non destructive) way to get to a spot where I could measure the current.
I kept it to 2 modes-turbo and high and each was done with a fully charged battery. I used my 30 cm integrating sphere calibrated with known lights using the Digi-Sense 20250-00 data logging luxmeter. I measured temperatures with my Ames Instruments infrared thermometer.
Turbo stepped down after about 30 seconds to around 1800 Lumens and slowly decreased output over the next minute to around 800 Lumens, eventually dropping to around 500 Lumens where it stayed for a solid 17 hours before stepping down to about 23 Lumens. It lingered for another 3 hours before I stopped the test. Total time was over 21 hours and the battery still had enough left to activate turbo mode, but only for several seconds before the battery indicator started blinking red and LVP kicked in and dropped the output very low.
Temps started rising after a few seconds after start up to a max of 49 C, and stayed very consistent throughout the test. I checked the temps every minute for the first 30 minutes and never saw over 49.1 C. The brightness also stayed very consistent throughout the runtime test with no huge rollercoaster increases or decreases in brightness as the light regulated the output. Only minor blips as the temperature regulation throttled the brightness.
I included a graph of the first 5 minutes of the test showing the first step down from turbo.
During the high runtime test, the light stayed at the same brightness for about 12 hours. My lux to lumen calculation put the average brightness at about 600 Lumens before I stopped the test. Total test time was 14 hours and the output was really stable with some fluctuations as the driver thermally regulated the output. Like turbo, the temperature stayed consistent throughout the test, generally staying around 48.5 C.
Lumen measurements (for each mode)
Lumen measurements were taken using my homemade 30 cm integrating sphere using the Digi-Sense 20250-00 data logging luxmeter. All readings were taken from the fully-charged battery at 30 seconds. I did not measure SOS mode. Since turbo mode dropped the output so fast, I’m including the reading at turn-on. My numbers are on the left, and Magicshine’s advertised figures are in the far right. At turn-on, I got 3915 Lumens for turbo and 1417.50 for high, so I think Magicshine’s numbers are pretty trustworthy.
|Low||118.26 Lumens||100 Lumens|
|Medium||553.5 Lumens||600 Lumens|
|High||1350 Lumens||1500 Lumens|
|Turbo||1822.5 Lumens (3915 @ turn-on)||4000 Lumens|
I measured the throw indoors at 5 meters with my DigiSense 20250-00 data logging luxmeter taken at 30 seconds. The battery was fully charged for the test. Since the turbo mode drops its output so fast, I had to scurry back to the luxmeter to get the reading!
Magicshine does not list throw numbers in the manual or on the website, other than 10,000 cd and 200 meters. I’m guessing that’s on turbo, but 10,000 cd at 5 meters is 400 lux, and my best at 30 seconds was 228 lux.
|Low||275 cd = 33.1 meters|
|Medium||1500 cd = 77.4 meters|
|High||3655 cd = 120.9 meters|
|Turbo||5700 cd = 150.99 meters|
The MOH55 throws out a lot of light, but it’s not a thrower and should be good out to only 200 meters or so. The beam pattern is like a blob of nice white light on the wall and the tint is nice for XHP50.2’s! The outdoor shots show low, medium, high, and turbo compared to the D10 with 5000k SST40. The D10 throws farther, but the MOH55 is a flood monster, perfect for lighting up large areas. It easily reaches the ladder 50 meters away and lights up the neighbors yard across the fence for another 50 meters.
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost, by Magicshine. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
The verdict: Magicshine designed the MOH55 Aquila around 3 principles: Reliability, high performance, and lightweight. I think they nailed all of those and produced a fantastic headlamp. It does what it’s supposed to do, and I couldn’t really find anything wrong with it without nitpicking. Tons of light on demand, a full complement of quality accessories, comfortable headband, and the option to mount it on virtually any headgear. The battery system is amazing with huge capacity and PD capability that actually works! Now, I can’t forgive Magicshine for not including a $5 USB C to USB C cable because you need it for the PD side of the power bank, and I would have liked a lower mode and more flexible power cables. Yes, the turbo dropoff is fast, but that’s because the output is so high in a small host, so I can’t knock it too hard. In lieu of that, I still give it 4.5 stars. It’s an amazing headlamp and probably the best all-around performer in this category for performance and versatility.