While I’ve had a great experience with many affordable Bluetooth earbuds in the past, they often have a similar problem after a year of usage and that is the battery problem.
See, when I got the Havit TW19 back in 2020, nearly 9 months later, the master earbud had a battery problem so the slave earbud became useless since the master earbud drains almost immediately when it’s pulled out of its charging case.
Then the Edifier WBT800 Plus had a similar problem whereby the device just outright stopped working due to a battery issue.
Why am I saying all this? The reality is that expensive earbuds can sometimes be a rare gem that many aren’t paying attention to.
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While they’re quite expensive to purchase at first, they might be worth it at the end of the day if you consider the amount you’ve been spending on cheaper TWS earbuds.
My newest try is the QCY T13 which has earned itself a good reputation for being one of the best affordable Bluetooth earbuds out there.
And yeah, it definitely lived up to that expectation in many ways. Apart from the fact that you can configure the actions of the device’s touch functionalities to suit yourself via its mobile app… Yeah, mobile app, you’re also going to be getting a monstrous battery life that lasts for over 6 hours.
I’m not saying the QCY T13 has the longest battery life for an affordable earbud (check the Edifier TWS1 Pro.)
But the point I’m trying to make is that despite the affordable price of this device, it’ll be a serious crime not to get one honestly.
The QCY T13 earbuds come in three color options: Black, White, and somehow Pinkish option.
The charging case has a glossy finish but you can upgrade it using a third-party TPU case to add some aesthetics to it.
The case has some premium weight which makes it feel like it’s going to last long enough compared to most affordable earbuds cases which often feel cheap and extremely plastic.
My complaint about the case is you can’t auto-connect to your phone after pairing by just opening the case.
I know you might say “but it’s a cheap earbud…” yeah, but I got a fake Apple Airpods Pro for that same price and it had all the exact features you’d get on the original Airpods Pro (except for Active Noise Cancelation).
But even while that might seem like a disappointment, once you pull any of the earbuds out of the charging case, it automatically connects which is very fair.
There is also a connection button on the charging case that can be pressed for a couple of seconds before auto-connecting to your smartphone.
The earbuds themselves have some premium feel especially their weight. It’s not heavy, but it feels like it’s expensive. It has a short stem that doesn’t go overboard and it produces a great audio output that can also be customized.
In fact, this thing has a “Game mode” even though I’ve never really seen any difference while playing Call of Duty Mobile with the feature turned on.
The Tl; Dr of this post is that the QCY T13 is a great value for the money. And I’m not saying that lightly. It’s a great device with valuable experience.
But my question or concern is whether it will be able to withstand the test of time like other premium products or if it will just be subjected to the exact fate of other affordable TWS earbuds out there. (One exception though has been my Swzyor A2 that I got back in 2020 and it’s still working very fine.)
Design, comfort, and battery life
- Glossy finish
- Comes in multiple color options
- Has multiple silicone ear-tip and short stem
- Has a long-lasting battery life of over 6 hours after a single charge.
When you unbox the QCY T13, you’ll immediately be welcomed by the tiny charging case of the earbuds which is one of the most fascinating things about this device.
The charging case while strong enough to charge the earbuds three times from 0% to 100% has a number of functionalities itself such as being used to auto-connect to your computer via a special button right on the case.
It comes with an LED indicator to signify the battery percentage (Green for full, Blue for Half, and Red for low). The USB-C charging port of the case can be found on one side of the device.
The glossy finish extends to the earbuds themselves. The case is quite flat and can fit right well into your pocket or bag without taking up too much space.
The earbuds come in three major color options namely: black, white, and pink and all three colors are glossy.
I like the fact that the design has support for ear-tips which allows for good noise isolation even though the device itself doesn’t have the Active Noise Cancelation system in it.
I’ve literally tried the device in many situations to see how well it can isolate noise due to the presence of its silicone ear tips and it worked well.
Also, the fact that it protrudes into your ear canal means it produces a good audio output with great instrument separation.
Being an avid earbud user myself, I found this to be quite pleasing to the ear when worn. Although I must confess, I do have some issues due to sweat and ear waxes, the device might slip out.
Or even when you open your mouth too wide sometimes, the position might be missed and you’d need to manually readjust the device with your hand.
If you’re using a headphone, you’ll never face such a problem.
For comfort, they included two extra silicone ear tips just in case the default medium-size ear tips aren’t the right size for you.
Because the device is touch-control, I do experience some accidental touches whenever I’m trying to readjust the position of the earbud.
That is exactly why you can set the device’s control to suit your need.
By default, touching any of the earbuds once won’t cause any action. So if you’re readjusting and you accidentally touch the earbud, you wouldn’t have any problem.
And as for the battery life, this is a big win for the QCY T13 TWS earbud because, despite its tiny size, it comes with a crazy battery life which is amazing.
Although there is another one from Edifier that swiftly beats the QCY in the battery monstrosity race, I’d still credit the fact that you can make use of the device for over 6 hours to 8 hours depending on what you’re doing such as enabling the Game mode, the volume of the device, and how active you used it.
If it’s just in your ears on standby, it can last you for about 12 hours. But if for media consumption such as music, watching videos, or playing games, you can expect between 6 and 8 hours of continuous usage.
Charging either of the earbuds takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes or less. And you can always track the battery percentage via the application’s user interface.
As for the charging case, it can charge the earbuds about three times before needing to be recharged. It takes about 2 hours to charge it from 0% to 100% during my test.
Overall, my experience with the device has been great in all the aforementioned scenarios.
Connectivity and controls
- Can reach 10M distance
- Ability to configure the control functionalities of the earbuds
When you first take the earbuds out of their charging case, you’ll need to manually turn them on by long-pressing both earbuds for a couple of seconds before they blink a blue LED.
Then you can search for the earbuds in your smartphone and connect.
If you look at the earbuds’ charging pin, it’s sealed with an orange paper sticker that says “peel off”. That sticker needs to be peeled off so that the charging pin can connect with the charging case so that the auto-connect feature or charging can be easy.
In the control department, you can do a number of things such as summon Google or whatever AI assistant you use on your phone, you can skip a music track, increase media volume (up and down), you can play or pause media, you can also activate Game Mode.
There’s of course no Active Noise Cancelation. All of the aforementioned controls can be configured to match your need. For example, by default, to activate the game mode, you need to tap the right earbud three times while doing the same to the left earbud summons Google Assistant.
You can also long-press the right earbud to skip a track forward or backward by long-pressing the left earbud.
Mind you, the earbuds are touch control. So you don’t need to over-press them. Another thing is that both earbuds work independently (even though they pair together to work in a unison), either can work as a master on its own if you decide to charge the other.
That is one of the many premium features of the device that I find interesting.
Calling and video playback on QCY T13
- Clear audio call
- Low latency for media consumption
I’ve tried the QCY T13 with many media players and video players and it’s been working fine. Especially, the latency is extremely low and nearly unnoticeable. Watching videos on YouTube, TikTok, Netflix, Facebook, Instagram, and even my local video player, the result has been amazing which really commendable.
As for calls, there are just two microphones on both earbuds and that’s very understandable because of the absence of an ANC feature.
However, this doesn’t hamper the audio quality when making a phone call or even doing voice recordings using earbuds.
One thing though is that you may have to speak louder due to the position of the microphone and the fact that there is just one earbud.
While I wouldn’t rate the audio quality very high, I think the other person can hear everything I’m saying well but not as ultra-bright as those from other expensive earbuds out there.
The sound quality of QCY T13
- Customizable equalizer
- Loud audio output
One of the great things about this device is its audio output quality. The default audio is well-balanced with a great music instrument separation from the lead vocals.
I tried the earbuds out with a number of songs from different genres such as hip-hop, R&B, Rock, and Reggae, and all sounded great.
While there are specialized equalizers for each of these genres, I think the default setting would be great for many. However, those who would want to make tweaks can do so via the earbud’s mobile app apart from the default setups.
Phone call outputs are also crystal clear and well-balanced on both ears. Gone are the days when only one earbud works for phone calls while the other serves as a generic microphone.
The QCY T13 is also great for gaming. As I mentioned earlier, gaming on the device was very amazing and thanks to its low latency, you can expect an immediate correlation between audio and motion pictures.
Because it can work as a stereo, this gives you the. If advantage while gaming. For example, in Call of Duty Mobile, you’ll be able to hear footsteps from the actual direction of an enemy.
If an enemy is approaching from the left, you’ll hear their footsteps from the left earbud. And so for the right earbud as well.
The audio quality sounds almost like a Dolby surround sound. Although this feature is enabled by default on my Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus, you may not necessarily have that same experience on a device that doesn’t have the Dolby Sound feature baked into the smartphone software.
Overall, I’d say the QCY T13 offers a great audio output as you’d expect. Even at its affordable price point, it still manages to produce a premium-grade audio output which is really commendable.
Should you buy the QCY T13?
YES! If you’re in the market for extra earbuds to compensate for your headphone.
I have an Edifier W800BT Plus and I think the QCY T13 is a great backup. Being an extreme headphone user, the Edifier headphone itself has a crazy 40-hour battery life but I can’t use it on every occasion. That’s where a smaller earbud comes in.
Also, you should buy the QCY T13 if you’re on the market for an affordable earbud that has all the cool features you’d expect from premium earbuds such as total control customization, solid build quality, and great design, long-lasting battery life, and quick connection.
The affordable price point of the QCY T13 also means anyone can get it and that makes it a good buy for 2023.
While there is no active noise cancelation feature on board, the design of the earbud makes it possible to isolate environmental noise around you with minimal effort thanks to its silicone ear tips.