The QCY T2C (T1S) are a pair of true wireless earbuds which are part of the entry-level TWC series released by the Chinese manufacturer, promising to offer a decent sound quality via Bluetooth and a comfortable wearing experience, all that at an affordable price.
It was Apple that pushed the Bluetooth headphones into the mainstream after it removed the 3.5mm jack from its iPhones and ‘forced’ the consumers to migrate towards wireless devices and unsurprisingly, a lot of manufacturers have followed suit. But again, it was Apple that brought the truly wireless earbuds into the mainstream after it released the AirPods and soon after, the market was pretty much flooded by lots of true wireless earbuds of different shapes and sizes, catering to any type of budget.
This means that it’s a bit difficult to stand out from the crowd, especially on the overcrowded entry-level market where you do need to keep an accessible price to remain relevant and QCY tries its luck by offering support for Siri / Google Assistant and it seems that it also comes with some noise isolation technology for clearer calls which, if properly implemented could push the earbuds way ahead its competitors. Besides the T2C, the TWC series also includes the T1C (which come with an open case) and the AirPods-like T3, but, similarly to the true wireless earbuds series from BlitzWolf, these devices are not successive generations, instead they seem to be released almost at the same time to offer more design options to the users.
Built Quality and DesignMost people associate the wireless earbuds with the gym or outdoor sports since these were the initial applications, allowing the people to freely move around while also listening to their favorite tunes. But, while the initial Bluetooth earbuds still had a wire running from one earpiece to the other, the new generation of devices have removed completely any cables and moved all the hardware inside the earpieces themselves (that’s why the manufacturers refer to them as true or truly wireless earbuds).
But this also meant that the days of the small and light earbuds could have be over, so the new challenge was how to insert everything (drivers, Bluetooth antenna and battery) inside a small case while also maintaining a comfortable shape and a light weight. To accomplish this, the material of choice is plastic and that’s also the case of the QCY T2C earbuds which are made of a soft plastic covered by a black matte finish, each earpiece having a small hole for the microphone and two metallic connectors (they’re magnetic and are used to recharge the earbuds relying the case).
Unlike the AirPods, the manufacturer moved everything on the bulge towards the upper side, so the weight is not really that well distributed, but, fortunately, the QCY T2C doesn’t weigh that much (only 0.15 ounces per earpiece). Towards the bottom side of the earbuds, there’s the neck (the elongated piece of plastic which ends where you connect the silicone tip) which is a bit longer than I usually like – it’s not as long as on the BlitzWolf BW-FYE3 which I didn’t find comfortable, but not on the level of the ultra-compact BW-FYE5 which I consider the most comfortable wireless earbuds that I have tested until now.
The QCY T2C earbuds rely on a couple of physical button (one on each earpiece) for enabling certain functions: when the music is playing, press once on the button from any earpiece to Pause/Resume Playing, double tap on the button from the left earbud to skip the track backwards and double tap it on the right earbud to skip the track forward; to enable the Voice Assistant, hold the button for 1 second while the earbuds are in stand-by. Furthermore, in case there’s an incoming call, you can answer it by tapping on any of the two buttons and you can also reject a call by pressing and holding the button – unfortunately, there is no volume control, but that is a function that’s not that common on the entry-level earbuds.
Left: QCY T2C; Right: BlitzWolf BW-FYE5
Embedded within the plastic of each button, there is a small LED which will cycle through red and white while the earbuds are waiting to be paired and, once they’re connected to a mobile device via Bluetooth, the LED will turn solid white. Just like all other true wireless earbuds, the QCY T2C are dependent on the charging case to provide more hours of battery life, so you will have to carry it along with you while traveling. This means that the case has to be compact and, ideally, should easily fit in the pocket of your jeans. The charging case for the QCY T2C earbuds is indeed reasonably compact, measuring 3.15 x 1.77 x 1.18 inches, so you should have no trouble carrying it around.
Just like with the BlitzWolf true wireless earbuds, the T2C earpieces attach magnetically to the case (which has two designated areas for each unit) and the top cover also closes and open magnetically. Since the charging case is a bit tall, I assumed that it may also act as a powerbank, but, unfortunately, QCY didn’t add this function and you’ll only find the micro-USB on the back for recharging the battery (there is a variant of the case called the T2S which can recharge wirelessly). On the front, the manufacturer has added two LEDs, the left lighting up green to show that there is 50% of battery left (or less) and the other will light up green to show that there is more than 50% of battery life left (not really the most intuitive system, but it does its job) – the top cover is also transparent, allowing you to easily see the LEDs from the earbuds.
Similarly to the BW-FYE1, the QCY T2C are IPX4-rated, so the earbuds come with protection against direct water splashes and should do fine while it’s raining or when you’re working out (they’re sweat-proof), but I wouldn’t use them while showering, since the powerful jets of water may be able to harm the units. How comfortable are the QCY T2C and are they suitable for jogging? If I would wear them while I was on a long train ride or while I was on my computer, I found the T2C decently comfortable, but the longer earbuds neck can make it a bit difficult to immediately find the right position and this may irritate the ear canal; furthermore, if you press the buttons multiple times, it will push the earbud deeper into the ear canal, again causing some discomfort, but, overall, I would say that I could wear the earbuds for about an hour and a half (or up to two hours) before needing a break. As for joggers, I never recommend earbuds without hooks-type silicone tips since only those can ensure that the devices won’t fall off your ear.
Connectivity and Sound QualityInside each of the two QCY T2C earbuds, there’s a Realtek chipset which is Bluetooth 5.0 certified and should offer a better overall performance than its predecessor: increased throughput which now goes up to 2 Mbps and a better range, but the latter is very close related to the way it is implemented, since I saw a Bluetooth v4.2 device (the Sony WH-1000XM3) having the same or even better range than the Bluetooth v5 wireless earbuds that I have tested so far. Furthermore, the QCY T2C feature a 6mm dynamic driver unit which is pretty much the norm for these type of devices and should be able to deliver some good volume levels and some decent bass.
The Bluetooth pairing process is simple and painless, all you have to do is take the earbuds out of the case (make sure that they’re charged) and the LED on the right earbud should start flashing red and white. At this point, turn on Bluetooth on your mobile device and search for QCY-T2C_R; once you see it, connect to it and a message saying how much battery has remained should appear towards the bottom of the window (at least that’s the case on a Pixel 2 XL running Android Pie).The earbuds should automatically pair to your mobile device every time you take them out of the box and will turn off every time you put them back in the charging case, but at some point, I did notice that only the left earbud has paired to my smartphone, while the right one remained idle. In this case, it’s better to put both earbuds back in the charging box, wait a minute and take them out again or simply re-pair them again to the mobile device (press and hold the button on both earbuds to put them in pairing mode).
There is another method that worked where I pushed and held the button on the right earbud which made it connect to the smartphone in mono mode and afterwards, I turned off and on the left earbud which then automatically paired to the right earbud. As expected, there is no Bluetooth multipoint implemented, so you need to unpair and pair them to a new device. After I connected the QCY T2C earbuds to my smartphone, I could go as far as 30 feet (with a wall in between the earbuds and phone, and with the door open), but anything further resulted in disconnects and the earbuds would struggle to keep the song playing. What I did like was that there were no disconnections between the two earpieces and even after I went further than 30 feet, the earbuds would disconnect from the source at the same time.
To test the sound quality of the QCY T2C true wireless earbuds, I once again relied on some of the tips from the audiocheck.net guide and I noticed that the mids and highs are slightly boosted, while the bass is left behind (it sounds a bit distant); the volume levels were alright, similar to what the BlitzWolf true wireless earbuds have to offer, but significantly behind the xFyro xS2 which could go very high without distorting the sound in a significant way – additionally, I also noticed that the sound is a bit tiny (lacks that fullness that you get from devices with a higher price tag). Regarding the frequency response, I could hear the sound when it went as low as 17Hz (more like felt it, since the human ear has a limit at 20Hz) and as for the treble, I could hear the sound going up to 17kHz which is nothing extraordinary, but enough for most users. As for the clarity test, the sound was surprisingly clear with only a very small amount of buzz and when I ran the driver matching test, the sound was properly centered.
QCY claims that the Bluetooth chipset of the T2C earbuds also comes with support for noise isolation thanks to the cVc 6.0 technology which should help clear your voice from the background noise, so, while you won’t hear a difference in call quality, the person on the other end of the call should hear you clearer. This should not be mistaken for the active noise canceling tech which relies on some powerful microphones to cancel out the external noise, so you can hear better your music (still, if you got the proper ear tip size, then the QCY T2C will do a decent job at blocking the outside noise).
Both earpieces come equipped with a microphone (so you can use either of them in mono mode to make calls) and, during a call, I could clearly and loudly hear the other person, but, unfortunately, my voice was echoed (like I would be speaking from a greater distance in a large studio), so I’m not entirely sure if the cVc tech was working correctly or if it was properly implemented.Each of the two earbuds are equipped with a 45mAh battery which should ensure up to 4 hours of continuous use and, along with the charging case, they should be able to offer up to 32 hours of music playback: while I was using them, the earbuds would indeed regularly go over 3 hours and a half.
ConclusionThe entry-level true wireless earbuds market is filled with ambitious devices, so it’s not that surprising to find some real gems despite the affordable price tag, but have the QCY T2C been able to truly differentiate themselves from the rest of its competitors? The earbuds offers a decent sound quality (it’s far from audiophile level, but should be on the majority of users taste), the charging case is portable and the Bluetooth connection was solid for the entire time I was testing the device. But for me, the cVc 6.0 noise isolation tech didn’t seem to truly improve the calling experience and I’m not really a fan of the the shape of the QCY T2C (which is a purely subjective experience – you may find them perfectly comfortable).