The recent TWS (true wireless stereo) technology has kept our attention this year. What started with the Apple AirPods has reached the Chinese lands and as a result, we see fake AirPods earphones and other alternatives making a name for themself, almost 4x lesser the price. Such are the QCY T5 earbuds which grabbed my attention for a price of $16 ($18 – $2 coupon) on Aliexpress QCY official store. However, the question of the day is: Are cheap Chinese TWS earphones durable? We will find that in this QCY T5 Earbuds review:
Note: I’m doing this review after using the QCY T5 earphones for 2 months. I’ll be adding some updates on this earphone as time pass. So, do check this post after some time to see how well these earbuds performed.
Case: 10.00 x 6.00 x 3.00 cm
Charging time: 2 hrs
Battery Life: 4 to 5 hrs (single charge)
Starting the QCY T5 earbuds review with the unboxing. The package arrived at me was fine (not crumpled) as I usually get most product packaging from Aliexpress.
On the front, we have the QCY T5 illustrated with its name written ‘T5’. It’s a white-colored box.
On one side, three icons (Bluetooth, lightning, and microphone) are illustrated and on the other side, the text ‘Just Enjoy it’ is written (we’ll see that).
Meanwhile, the specs details are provided both in Chinese and English at the back. There’s the QR code for the QCY website. It’s good to see that QCY has provided an original product detection label that you can scratch out and reveal some numbers. You can type those numbers in the QCY official website to find if those earphones are original or not. It’s somewhat frightening to know that even the Chinese brands get copied by other Chinese manufacturers.
Opening the box, we see the case of T5 resting with the protective sheet on it. Below there’s the compartment for the accessories.
The accessories which come with the earbuds besides the charging case are:
Moving to this aesthetic section of the QCY T5 earbuds review, the QCY T5 earbuds are partially in-ear TWS earphones or half in-ear. I said partially since they aren’t completely inserted in the ears but the stalk part extends from the ear much like the AirPods.
These earphones are made of plastic, with a slightly glossy appearance. Thus if you are looking for a premium feel, like the cold metal chassis, these earphones are not recommended to you. This is cheap plastic which is reasonable for the price tag (under $20).
In terms of appearance, QCY T3 earphones don’t resemble the Airpods Gen 1 or Gen 2 or the Pro version. So if you are looking for a fake AirPods alternatives, you might love the I TWS series. The QCY T5 is for those who are looking for TWS earphones with a unique appearance.
Also Read: i9000 TWS vs i90000 Pro vs i90000 Max vs Apple AirPods 2 Comparison Review
I really love the minimalistic design here. On the earbud, I see nothing extra, just the plain black texture with the R or L engraved, the charging terminals in mid, and the multi-colored LED found at the end of the stalk which only blinks while charging or while in pairing mode. At the bottom is the microphone opening for each earbud. When both earphones are paired, the dual microphones work together.
I have discussed the LED lights and what it means on QCY T5 earbuds later in this review.
Here’s the summary of this section:
Design & Appearance: 8 out of 10
Since the casing is plastic, the earbuds are extremely light. QCY provides three silicone ear tips (S, M, L) which are suitable for almost every ear size. However, I do love the foam ones which are much comfortable that’s why I ordered them separately (they are super cheap priced around 0.8 to 1.6 USD). Anyways, the provided ear tips are super fine and allow a firm hold of the earphone in the ear.
Yet, only a perfect fit would achieve noise isolation. So, do try those ear tips or order some more variety with the foam ones. Since it isn’t active noise canceling, the background noise can be heard after wearing them (I do get some weird noise from the earbud as well after connecting). They do decrease a bit but don’t hold any high expectations. After the music has been played, the outside noise is completely gone.
I tried jogging while wearing them and they didn’t fall out. However, the stalk is somewhat annoying at the start. I said this because sometimes while you are running and want to change the song, you accidentally press the stalk too forcefully that it comes out and drops. Again the selection of the ear tip is the priority here. Moreover, I don’t recommend these if you are buying TWS earphones for sports activity, since these aren’t waterproof or even splashproof. I would recommend IP68 certified earphones if you do any water-sports.
Also Read: Xiaomi Redmi AirDots S True Wireless Bluetooth Headset | Price & Specs
I do sweat a lot while doing cardio. Because of short hairs, sweat keeps dripping any earphones I wear. I tried cardio while wearing QCY T5 many times, but they were working super fine. I guess they are sweatproof and the manufacturer does say that they are IPX4 certified (Splashproof and sweatproof).
Comfort and Wearing Experience: 7 out of 10
Similar to the earbuds color, the charging case is also black in color and is made of plastic.
Here are the things I like about the charging case:
What more I expected or what things made me a bit disappointed:
So, the first question regarding QCY T5. Does QCY T5 have a Qualcomm chip inside it? No chance. It’s impossible to see a Qualcomm audio chip inside a TWS earphone this cheap. Just for guidance, the Qualcomm audio chips are featured in TWS earphones priced $30 and above. Qualcomm chips are known for providing one of the best connectivity experiences in the TWS category.
In fact, GreenRadio™ audio chip used inside the QCY T5. I don’t know about these chips but the connectivity is pretty fast.
One of the greatest highlights is the master switch added on each earbud. This means that either of the earbuds will serve as the main earbud and will carry the functions of the main earbud (play, pause, call, forward, etc.). This is a useful approach. If one loses an earbud or one of the earbuds gets faulty, one can easily use another earbud as a mono earphone with the same functionality.
Hardware & Performance rating: 7 out of 10 (no Qualcomm)
Now moving to the sound quality, the QCY T5 Earbuds have nice sound quality. The volume is high and the sound doesn’t get distorted even at 100% volume. Bass is responsible for the distortion in most cheap earphones. However, I did find that the earphones lack bass. The bass is still there but one can’t expect the ‘hum’ sound, instead of a controlled one. The users who prefer bass must not buy QCY T5 earphones. Apart from this, I know that TWS earphones don’t have that level of sound quality as a wired or IEM earphone would have. The sound quality is the best you can get under $20 for TWS. The high and mid are clear, the low still struggle as in previous QCY earphones.
The thing to note: Most of the users complained about the annoying sound it has when it’s not playing anything (after connecting to phone) . I had ordered two units, in which one of them had this problem. I have done everything and this sound doesn’t go away. My ears are not sensitive to such sound so I can bear this, but I would advise people with sensitive ears not to choose these earphones. Even if the problem is in a few QCY T5 units, but you can’t tell that you will be getting the right one. This has made a bad impression of the QCY brand in my mind.
The reviews on Aliexpress also complain about this noise and it’s only present in a few of the units.
So, I have summed up this section in the following points for the readers:
Sound quality rating: 6.25
From my experience, you won’t get a superb calling experience from a cheap Chinese earphone, and these are TWS (more compromises on such features). The call experience on this earphone is normal, not too bad, not too good. It’s suitable for indoor calling and the sound is clear (HD).
As you go outside, the background noise starts picking up in the call. This earphone does have CVC to reduce such background noise, but I don’t think it’s working that good. While on a bike or on a windy day, the T5 isn’t recommended at all.
Call rating: 5 out of 10 (picks background noise)
Moving to the connectivity aspect of the QCY T5 review, since we have Bluetooth 5.0 module, the connectivity of the earphones is damn quick. As soon as I open the case and take the earphones out, the QCY T5 automatically connects to my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 within 1 to 2 seconds (of course after I have paired them first).
The connectivity range is around 10 meters. I have still heard music on them if my phone is in one room and I’m in another room. The distance between both rooms is around 12 meters (have a tv lounge between them) and we should forget about the interception by the two walls as well. In short, the connection is strong and longer than expected.
Since there’s no Qualcomm chip inside T5, the latency (without gaming mode) is pretty high. First, I didn’t know that this thing had a gaming mode (I thought that the advertised latency was there by default). I started playing games like PUBG Mobile and it really messed my gameplay. I would hear my own gunshot sound after a delay of nearly 500 ms. It wasn’t there when I was watching on Youtube or Netflix. So after a half a month of use, I found this gaming mode while I was looking in the manual (I know I’m silly for not looking in the manual before).
With the gaming mode turned on, the latency improved incredibly, similar to the wired headphones. I know they advertise the latency to be around 63 ms, and that’s hard to check. In short, I can say that there was no delay in the sound now.
Connectivity Score: 7 out of 10 ( 3 points reduce because of high latency without gaming mode)
Now let’s discuss the functions and features of the QCY T5 earbuds in this review. Starting with the functions, each earbud can:
That’s all. (I’ll explain these in the manual section). I do miss the volume slider option though but that’s fine for this much price.
The features the company brag about are:
So, nothing special here apart from the gaming mode, touch control, and AAC support. I really hate that clicking sound made from a button or when you are unable to find the button without looking at it. However, I know that most TWS earphones have better latency even if they don’t have a gaming phone, but none are under $20. For this price, the ordinary features and functions turn out to be excellent.
Functions rating: 8 out of 10 (2 points reduced because of not slider option)
Features rating: 8 out of 10 (2 points reduced due to the absence of ANC)
Moving to the battery part of this QCY T5 earbuds review, QCY T5 has a battery capacity of 380mAh while each earbud has a 40mAh battery and comes with a micro-USB cable to charge it. The charging time for the case to charge 100% is 2 hours. I prefer the Type-C port for TWS earbuds since my phone and other gadgets have a Type-C interface. Anyway’s it’s fine for this much price.
At first use, they already came fully charged. I tried them and here are the statistics:
That’s all. I think it can survive an extra hour. Making it 5 hours.
I think the earphones can survive 1.5 hours more.
Notice how the gaming mode consumes more battery.
The battery low prompt started hearing in the earbuds after that. So on a single charge of the earbuds, one can use them for 4 to 5 hours. The volume was around 70%.
Warning: Don’t charge these earphones with a quick charging or fast charging charger. Just use a standard charger (10W).
Combined with the charging case, it can charge the earbuds 4 times on a full charge. I really hate how these manufacturers play with words when it comes to TWS earphones, saying that it has 20 to 25 hours of battery which means that 25 hours are only provided when you charge the earbuds 4 times with the case. What’s the point if you have to charge earbuds every time? More
A personal suggestion: If you need more battery timings I would suggest buying a headphone instead of these TWS or and other Bluetooth earbuds. I have a Bluedio T3 which I brought 2 years back and it easily provides a battery up to a day on a single charge (though it’s condition is really bad but it’s still going on) 🙂
So, comparing the battery life (on a single charge) with other TWS earphones, it’s actually good for the price as expensive earbuds also provide the same battery life, and maybe T5 has an extra 1 hour to it as well. However, at the end of the day, the battery life also depends on certain factors like the app being used, gaming mode turned on or off, and the volume of the sound. So here’s the rating:
Battery Life: 8 out of 10
So, I purchased these in May and received them in June. The shipping took almost 15 days on Aliexpress standard shipping. It’s been almost 2 months since I’m using these earphones. So, how durable they turn out to be?
Remember that I said that I have two units. The one unit which was having the weird sound problem turns out to be a nightmare for me. A total waste of $16 I spent. What happened was that one of the earphones (left one) stopped working suddenly after almost 1 and half months of use. I checked it by placing it on the original and the other unit’s charging case (just to know if the charging case was a fault or not). The earphone wasn’t charging at all while the charging case was working all fine. 🙁
It looks like that the cheap thrill I got from one of the QCY T5 ended really soon. I hit the Aliexpress QCY official store and checked the T5 product page. Some of the reviews said that they had one of the earphones stopped working. Since it’s Aliexpress, one can’t do anything now since the money-back guarantee is only limited to a short time. QCY does offer free replacement of faulty units, however, I don’t think I want to spend 2x or 3x the amount on sending the product back. I’ll try to fix it on my own and let you guys know.
If you are buying these from Amazon (not in my country 🙁 ), then it’s fine since Amazon has a better refund policy and warranty claims than Aliexpress. You can give it a shot on these earphones from Amazon but not Aliexpress.
A tip here: Always see the 3 and 4 stars review, they are the perfect ones most of the time.
Oh, one more thing, the case is really prone to scratches. Here’s the condition of my T5 charging case:
So do buy a pouch for keeping these earbuds and the case.
Durability Score: 6 out of 10 (added 4 points after the left earbud started working on its own, will add more if it keeps working)
Here’s how to operate QCY T5:
In both cases, the LED will start blinking green and red, indicating that QCY T5 is in pairing mode.
Step 1: First turn off both earphones.
Step 2: Keeping pressing the bar for 10 seconds when they are turned off.
During the course, only one LED light will blink at first and then both of them will start blinking in red and green three times.
Double touch bar on any earbud which is paired.
Press the bar for 2 seconds on any earbud.
Triple touch the left earbud bar.
Triple touch the right earbud bar to turn on or off gaming mode. (only active while playing games)
Double touch any earbud bar to pause. Double touch it again to play.
Long press the right bar to forward, long-press left bar to backward.
Summing this long QCY T5 earbuds review and bearing with me, I would say that these earbuds are pretty decent in most aspects (the battery life, the comfort, the connectivity, and the ease of use)…but as long as they are working. LOL. I think those $16 were worth these 2 months I have spent with these earbuds.
Few things could have been improved like the lack of bass and missing some details. The improved latency should have been by default as most TWS have that by default and there’s no need for that gaming mode. Anyways, such small downsides can be ignored under the price tag.
I wouldn’t recommend these if you are looking for TWS earbuds for long-term use. Most of you will get the normal unit of these earphones, and a few like me will get a faulty one with transmission noise and unusable earbud after two months or even quicker. It’s fine to take the risk on Amazon, but not on Aliexpress.
It was all fun while QCY T5 lasted 2 months but after that it was a disappointment. I believe I used them for the paid price. But all might not have this level of positivity. LMAO
Update: like said, I think I got the reward of my positivity, the left earbud started working now on its own. I will keep you guys updated.
You can grab these earbuds from Aliexpress and Amazon. Here is the link to the official stores of each platform:
I hope you loved this QCY T5 earbuds review. If you want to ask anything about it or leave your thought about these earphones, do let us know in the comment box below.
How to charge QCY T5? Simply use the micro-USB cable provided in the packaging, attach it to a USB port of a laptop, power bank, or a standard charger. Place the earbuds inside the gaming. The earbuds will have red LED light on both and will turn to green once fully charged.Are QCY T5 waterproof? No, they aren't. They have IPX4 certification making it resistant to splashes and sweat.What's the sound quality of QCY T5? The sound is clear, has good high frequency and low-frequency response, and has good tremble. However, it struggles at low frequency, lack of bass and the details are mediocre.Does QCY T5 have aPTX audio support? No, QCY T5 doesn't have aPTX audio support. This is because it doesn't have a Qualcomm audio chip inside it.
Simply use the micro-USB cable provided in the packaging, attach it to a USB port of a laptop, power bank, or a standard charger. Place the earbuds inside the gaming. The earbuds will have red LED light on both and will turn to green once fully charged.
No, they aren't. They have IPX4 certification making it resistant to splashes and sweat.
The sound is clear, has good high frequency and low-frequency response, and has good tremble. However, it struggles at low frequency, lack of bass and the details are mediocre.
No, QCY T5 doesn't have aPTX audio support. This is because it doesn't have a Qualcomm audio chip inside it.