QCY T2C

disclaimer:  I was approached by QCY via Facebook asking if I would review the T2C. I accepted and the review sample arrived 10/1. I have no financial interest or affiliation with QCY, its subsidiaries, or vendors. If you have an interest in purchasing the T2C, it was not on Amazon at the time of this writing but was on Aliexpress at several stores. The QCY official store can be found here.

 

Unboxing / Packaging:

The T2C comes packaged in a box with a clear plastic front revealing the ear pieces and case in a plastic surround.  A small box at the bottom hides the charging cable, manual, and extra tips that round out the kit.  The reverse of the box has the specs listed in both English and Chinese.  Its a fairly spartan packaging for sure but we have to remember, this is a sub-$20 item.

 

Build/Fit:

The T2C build is pretty stereotypical (pun intended) of inexpensive Bluetooth in-ears with an abbreviated capsule shape with nozzles on the lead edge, and charging connectors at the rear.  The bulk of the face plate is a single large button with QCY emblazoned on the front and a small LED at the leading edge.   microphones are mounted at the front of the outer shells in a small capsule shaped cut in the housing.   Nozzles have a moderate forward and upward rake with a pronounced lip to hold tips on and provide for fairly deep insertion.  One oddity to the build is the nozzle which isn’t built into the shell but instead is a separate part that sits in the shell and actually shows an air gap between the nozzle itself and the wall of the shell.  (This can be seen in the last picture below).   Fit is reasonably comfortable but they are on the thick side and may be a problem for those with small ears.   I found my limit was roughly the time it took to discharge the battery after which I needed a break or physical fatigue began to set in.

 

Internals:

Details about the internals are scarce but I have managed to find a few.  First, the driver is a single 6mm dynamic driver.  Beyond that, I have not been able to surface any details about diaphragm type etc…   The Bluetooth chipset is made by Realtek and supports the 5.0 standard but is limited to SBC only as Apt-X is not listed as being supported.   The documentation does specifically state that the T2C is designed for low latency for use with games and movies, but none of the documentation elaborates on how this is implemented.

 

Connectivity:

The earpieces automatically go into pairing mode upon removal from the case and pairing was simple and straight forward.  The earpieces immediately re-paired to the device on subsequent removals.  This was a nice touch and the QCY actually did a better job of reconnecting to a host device after being charged then several higher priced models.

I found connectivity to be fairly good in open space but fairly easily defeated by interior walls and other hard objects.  Putting my phone in a metal desk drawer was enough to cause drops occasionally, and a couple cubicle walls (even 4 foot height ones) was enough to completely defeat it.    Latency is reasonable with button clicks being fairly quickly transmitted to the device albeit nowhere near instantaneous.

Case/Battery:

I found the earpieces themselves gave a little over 3 hours playback time so the rated 4 hours is not unrealistic as it will vary some with volume and paired device.   From completely discharged, the earpieces take about 90 minutes to recharge in the case so actually perform slightly better than spec.  The case itself holds about 4 full charges and a partial charge for the earpieces so one could go nearly a full 24 hours of listening before needing to plug the case in.   The case itself  houses an 800mAh battery with a micro-USB port on the back for charging and two indicator LEDs on the front to show charge state.  The Two LEDs show solid green when charged and blinking green while charging so when between 0 and 50% the left light blinks, when between 50 and 100% the left light is solid green and the right blinks.    The standby time listed on the packaging is for the earpieces when rested in the case as I found the earpieces to last roughly 7 hours when left on connected without signal to mimic the state of waiting for a phone call.

 

Call Quality:

The T2C allows for use of a single earpiece or both when using as a phone headset.   In order to take advantage of the active noise cancelling, both earpieces must be in use as the technology uses 1 mic to sort out the ambient noise and the other for vocals.       I found the call quality was acceptable using either a single earpiece or both but also found the noise cancelling/ mic was better when both were in use as it did reduce but not eliminate noise.  Wind noise is still an issue but I have yet to find an earphone where it isn’t.

Answering / hanging up calls works as expected with the push of the faceplate and latency is reasonable but not exceptional.   Call controls worked equally well with Siri with roughly 1 second latency between touch and answer by the digital assistant.

 

Sound:

I found the T2C to be extremely fit and tip dependent.  If you put these in and have nothing below about 1kHz, check the tips and try another set as I found that even with what seemed like a good seal, certain combinations just did not work for me.  I ended up using the NiceHCK rounded foams available here for my testing.

 

Bass:

Sub-bass is minimally present with very little rumble even on tracks like “for whom the bell tolls” that should really showcase it.   Mid-bass is more forward in the mix with roll-off being notable below about the 100Hz mark.   Because of the relatively high roll-off point and the push of the bass forward immediately above that, the area around 200Hz becomes dominant in the signature and gives the T2C  a bit of bloat in that region.   Mid-bass can get loose at times and muddies up a bit when tracks get complex.

 

Mids:  

Lower mids are subject to some mid-bass bleed and are probably the weakest point in the T2C’s presentation.   Male vocals can sound distant because of the recess and sound a bit thin as well.  Female vocals are pushed further forward and stand a full step and a times two steps forward of their male counterparts.   Details are average for the sub-$25 market, but well below what can be found at higher price points.   Guitars are also pushed forward and have a bit more energy than needed at times giving them an unnatural timbre.   Speed is good with attack being slightly faster than decay so some warmth lingers.

 

Treble:

Lower treble follows from upper-mids and is significantly lifted forward.  These two in combination with the raised mid-bass define the signature.   Roll-off is fairly early which gives the T2C a polite treble, but limits air at the top end and keeps cymbals from sounding entirely natural.   Snare rattle also falls a bit short of being as crisp and defined as it should be.   Sparkle is not present due to the early cutoff, but on the flip side, neither is any tendency to get strident or harsh.     Details are passable, but only average for class.

 

Soundstage / Imaging:

Soundstage is average with more width than depth and limited height.   Instrument separation is very dependent on the pitch of the instrument as lower voiced instruments tend to feel a bit more crowded than their higher pitched counterparts and imaging can suffer as a result.   Layering is only average.

 

Thoughts / Conclusion:

First off, the sound notes on the T2C make it sound less than good and as an audiophile in-ear, it isn’t great. Having said that, it was never intended to be an audiophile in-ear. It was targeted at the budget wireless space and for approximately $20, it does a good job of that.   Battery life is good, controls are easy to use and well placed, call quality is good, connectivity is on par with other models in its price class, and sound is certainly acceptable for casual listening.    Those looking for an inexpensive in-ear would do well to take a look at the T2C.  The one caveat for recommending these for kids is they are not waterproof (or even close ipx4) and probably won’t survive long if soaked.  The good news is for $20, they are still cheaper than most TWS available, and perform admirably.

 

QCY T2C

5.4

Packaging

5.0/10

Build Quality

5.0/10

Accessories

5.0/10

Sound Quality

5.4/10

Connectivity

6.5/10
  • 6/10
    Bass - 6/10
  • 5/10
    Mids - 5/10
  • 6/10
    Treble - 6/10
  • 5/10
    Soundstage - 5/10
  • 5/10
    Imaging - 5/10

Summary

Pros: Easy pairing, inexpensive,  good battery life.

Cons: Size may cause problems for some, big loose bass, not waterproof.