QCY T11S – a little bit better than the T11

feature image for QCY T11S review

I recently reviewed the QCY T11, and for a $27 TWS earbud, that earphone was sublime. The T11S is an upgrade of the T11. It comes equipped with a few more features and better audio technology, well, at least according to QCY. It’s also more expensive. But is the extra $10 QCY is charging worth it?

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What’s in the box

picture of what's in the box of the QCY T11S
You get a USB C charging cable, an extra set of ear tips, a quick start manual, the carry case and the T11S

The packaging of the T11S is practically the same as that of the T11. In it, you’ll find:

  • A USB C charging cable
  • An extra set of ear tips
  • A quick start manual
  • The carry case and
  • The T11S themselves

Design

Image showing the front view of the QCY T11S
The QCY T11 looks a lot like the normal T11 bar the proximity sensor on it’s underbelly

The similarities between the T11S and the older T11 extend to design. Both earphones look so alike that it’s hard to tell the difference – the proximity sensor on the T11S is a dead giveaway, though.

Like the T11, the form factor of the T11S is sleek, streamlined, and minimalist. This is a popular theme with budget TWS earphones, and it works for most of them I’ve reviewed. It certainly works on the T11S. This earphone’s subtle but well-rounded edges and its very portable look give off a faux premium feel.

image showing the back view of the QCY T11S
The build quality on the T11S is top notch with quality materials and a proper finishing all through

Build quality is top-notch, again, just as it was on the QCY T11. Mine’s white with a two-tone glossy-matte finish on it. It’s one of the lightest budget TWS earphones on the market, and that’s despite the assortment of tech features it packs. The only noticeable issue with build on the T11S is its carry case which frankly feels cheap and whimsical. It’s certainly not on par with what you’d find on something like the QCY HT01 or the Haylou GT5.

Fit and comfortability

Image showing the ear tips of the QCY T11S
Soft ear tips and a streamlined, lightweight build makes the QCY T11S comfy in-ear

The T11S’s pebble-shaped body fits seamlessly into your ear. It’s almost as if they were precisely molded for mine. One thing to note, though; through the time I’ve used this, I’ve had issues with grip, such that these tended to ‘slip’ from my ear. That’s an issue because to get the most out of the T11S sound wise you really need it to fit into your ear, but more on that later.

Comfort with these earphones is excellent, thanks to the lightweight build and well-rounded edges. I’ve gone hours jamming to my favorite tunes without any aches. They’ll fit comfortably into both small and large ears.

The spec sheet

What are the standout features of the QCY T11S?

  • Apt X codec support
  • Active noise cancellation
  • Proximity sensing
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Active noise cancellation

Active noise cancellation (ANC) blocks out background noises for a smother and purer listening experience, and on the QCY T11S, it’s a feature that works perfectly. Of course, there’s a limit to how much noise these will block out – in a crowded marketplace, for instance, ANC on the T11S will do little to no good. However, indoors and in low noise outdoor situations, they’re great!

Apt-X codec support

Apt-X audio technology on the QCY T11S ensures that these push out some of the highest fidelity audio on the market. Note, however, that your device must support aptX codec technology to take full advantage of this feature. If you have a recent Android phone with a Qualcomm processor, then it most likely does.

Proximity sensor

Image showing the proximity sensors of the QCY T11S
The two black dots are the proximity sensors on the QCY T11S

Proximity sensing is something of a niche feature on budget TWS earphones, although you’ll find it as standard on more premium TWS earbuds. You get it on the T11S and what it does is accurately sense when the T11S is in-ear or not. If it detects the T11S out of your ear, it immediately pauses your playlist to resume it when you place them back in-ear.

Sound quality

Overall, I’d say the sound quality fn the QCY T11S is okayish. It’s certainly not as sublime as the Haylou GT5 or as ‘rich as the QCY HT01 but for what it’s worth, these are a pair of earphones that sound nice.

Three things stand out from the sound profile of the T11S:

  • The deemphasized bass
  • The excellent surround sound
  • The clarity of mid and high-frequency tones – vocals and instrumentals

Bass on the T11S is not as pronounced as what you’d get from the HT01 or the T11, for that matter. While you might assume that that’s a bad thing, it’s not necessarily bad. For one, deemphasized bass on any TWS earphone allows for a full demonstration of other sound frequencies – so everything is not subdued by pumping bass. Then there’s the fact that with subdued bass comes better sound clarity which is a standout feature of the QCY T11S sound profile.

But don’t get me wrong, I certainly would’ve loved for more bass on this earphone. However, for anyone who’s not a bass junkie, I think the bass output of the T11S is just enough to make for a decent-sounding earphone.

Surround sound on the T11S is absolutely surreal. It’s one of the best I’ve seen on a budget TWS earphone, and I think it’s something you’d love if you’re the type who appreciates the small details and 3D sound effects.

Call and media playback quality

What’s a TWS earphone if it sounds like heaven but fails at the most basic task of answering calls amiright? Thankfully the QCY T11S doesn’t disappoint when it comes to making and answering calls. Sound output was excellent, and the T11S’s two microphones did an excellent job of capturing my voice in-call.

If you’re planning on using this for YouTube videos or binging through your favorite series on Netflix, then you’re in luck. Through the time I used the T11S, I didn’t experience any connection or latency issues while watching (and listening) to multimedia.

Battery life

Image showing charging port of QCY T11S
Charging on the QCY T11S is via a USB charging port

On a full charge, the T11S can stay powered on for about five hours if you’re actively listening to music. When it’s on standby, that number rises up to 24 hours. This is similar to what you’d get on the QCY T11 and other QCY earphones.

Charging is via the USB port on the carrycase. The carrycase itself houses an impressive 600mAh battery that provide four extra full charges to the QCY T11S.

Connectivity and range

The QCY T11S connects to your phone or via Bluetooth 5.2. Bluetooth 5.2 is the range-topping Bluetooth technology available for TWS earphones right now. It’s one of the reasons the QCY T11S has extremely low latency rates that allow for seamless audio streaming.

Range on the QCY T11S is excellent as well. In my walk-to-all-other-rooms-of-my-house test, it managed to hold the connection, and not just hold, but hold without breaking.

Should you buy the QCY T11S

Image showing overall build of the QCY T11S
The QCY is essentially the T11 with a proximity sensor, aptX codec support and a $10 extra bill

Now it gets dicey. On its own, the T11S is not a bad TWS earphone. In fact, I’d say it does what it does excellently. However, just like the T11S, the QCY T11 and a personal favorite of mine, the QCY HT01, also perform excellently at what they do. Those earphones, particularly the QCY T11, are way cheaper than the T11S.

Are the feature upgrades of the QCY T11S (aptX codex, proximity sensing) worth the extra money QCY is charging. I don’t think so. All are nice features, but if you just wanted a TWS earphone that sounded awesome and feels well built, you’re better off picking the T11 or the HT01. When you do that, you can at least pocket an extra $10 in change.

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Or on AliExpress by clicking here

If you need help with shopping on AliExpress checkout my guide here

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