Ever since the QCY HT01 sort of won my heart, I’ve been a huge fan of QCY earphones. They’re affordable, trendy, and like the HT01 showed perfect-sounding in-ear.
Naturally, I was super stoked to get my hands on one of their new releases – the QCY T13. This is a TWS earbud that looks a lot like the older QCY T11 and T11S. QCY is calling it an upgrade of the former two.
In this review, I double down on the QCY T13. I check what it’s good at, assess its flaws, and see whether it’s a good deal of a budget TWS earbud. In the end, I give a verdict of whether you should get this or not. Stick with me as we go right through it.
What’s in the box
QCY is not known for stylish packages (except, of course, you consider the package of the HT01. That one was stylish and on point), so for the QCY T13, it’s the same bland-looking yellow box that contains;
- The T13 earbud
- A carry case
- A USB C charging cable
- An extra set of ear tips
Okay, I’ll say it from the start design-wise, this is just another QCY T11, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you’ve read my review of the QCY T11, you’d know I really did like the design of that earbud. The QCY T13 is practically the same and what that means is you get a streamlined, somewhat curvy earbud that is more minimalist than it is bold.
The T13 is not trying to catch any attention with its design. The best way I can describe it visually is to say it looks plain, and with budget TWS earbuds, plain is good. Unlike what you’d find on the Haylou W1, for instance, there’s no brand lettering.
The color finish is pure white without the accents you’d get on, say the HT01, and again everything just feels generic. But I love it. The T13 will sit in your ear without drawing attention to itself. People will look at it and go, oh, just another TWS earbud.
Don’t, however, mistake the simple design of the T13 for a simple build. The build quality of this earbud is anything but simple- it’s robust and durable. From when you take this out of the package, you’re greeted by a solid-feeling (and nice-looking) carry case, unlike what you get with the QCY T11s.
Open it up, and you see the T13 in all its shiny glory. The finish is glossy. It looks like it was built to last, and I’m definitely impressed by the overall feel.
The QCY T13 is only available in white as far as I know, and really I wouldn’t want to get it in any other color. It’s immaculate.
Fit and comfortability
Like its predecessors, the QCY T13 slides in-ear without any hassle. I will, however, say that the fit is not as secure as would be something like the Mpow Mdots or the Haylou W1. One reason for this is the glossy finish on the T13. Believe it or not, it sort of makes it slippery so that over time they tend to slip out of position when you have them in-ear.
Obviously, this puts a limit on what kind of physical activity you could use the T13 for. I’ve found them just okay for walking and routing jogging, but if you’re going to be doing intensive workouts or running laps, you might want to consider the Haylou W1 or even the QCY HT01; both have better grip in-ear than the QCY T13.
Comfortable is, however, top-notch on the QCY T13. When you have these on, it’s almost as if they’re not there. That’s in part down to just how light the T13 is. It’s arguably one of the lightest TWS earbuds I’ve reviewed, and it’s certainly lighter than the other alternatives I just mentioned.
The T13 also has a very streamlined form factor. I talked about this earlier but what it does is allow this earbud fit to the contours of your ear such that it doesn’t push on any ear structure and thus doesn’t cause any discomfort. I’ve gone hours with the QCY T13 in-ear without having to worry the slightest bit about uncomfortable. !00% recommended these earbuds if you need something you could use to binge-watch your favorite series a whole weekend.
The spec sheet
The QCY T13 is a sub $30 earbud that’s not trying to be anything special, so out of the box, you get the typical feature lineup you’d get from virtually every other budget TWS earbud on the market, including
- Active noise cancellation
- Bluetooth 5.0 support
- Soft-touch controls
- Fast charge technology
Active noise cancellation
The QCY T13 does active noise cancellation using four dedicated microphones. If you don’t know what active noise cancellation is, it’s basically a system that allows your earbud to block out background noises while they’re in-ear. On the QCY T13, the feature works quite well. It will block out low to mid-level background noise to provide a richer audio listening experience.
Bluetooth 5.0 is not the top-of-the-line Bluetooth tech available today (the Haylou W1, for instance, ships with Bluetooth 5.2), but I’ll say it’s good enough for the QCY T13. It still provides the same ten-meter range you’d find on the Haylou W1, and although latency doesn’t match that of the W1, I’ve used the T13 for weeks now without having any problems with audio latency.
Like any other QCY TWS earbud, the T13 comes with a side-mounted soft-touch panel that allows you to control what you’re listening to from the earbud itself. It works fine. It’s not too sensitive, so it ignores false touches, but it will respond to actual touches when you need it to.
Here’s how to use the soft-touch control on the QCY T13
Fast charge technology
The QCY T13 comes equipped with a fast charge technology that allows the earbud to draw about an hour of usage time from just five minutes of charging. I’ve tested this feature, and it works as advertised.
Sound quality on QCY earbuds is usually top-notch, and it’s the same case with the QCY T13. The best way to describe the T13’s sound profile is to call it balanced. This is an earbud with a very large sound stage (it’s comparable to what you’ll find on the QCY HT01), and in practice, this means you get to hear practically all sound levels and frequencies with depth and clarity.
Bass is punchy. Trebles sound good enough. Vocals come off with a pop, and surprisingly for a sub $30, earbud instrumentals shoot out with so much detail it’s insane. I’ve had this on for well over two weeks now, and everything I’ve played through it sounds absolutely amazing. And that’s saying a lot cause my music playlist is littered with songs from every genre imaginable.
One other area where the T13 punches far above its weight in terms of sound quality is the level of surround sound it puts out. As was the case with instrumentals, the T13 manages to catch and play out all the subtle but ‘eargasmic’ surround detailing. Listening to hi-fi music on this earbud is nothing short of immersive and engaging.
The only noticeable downside with the T13 sound profile is its somewhat lower volume threshold. This earbud doesn’t go as high as, say, the Mpow Mdots when it comes to loudness, but I guess that’s the price to pay for just how well the T13 preserves sound detail and clarity across all frequency levels. Don’t get me wrong, though; it is loud enough, just not as loud as some other earbuds. If anything, I’ve never gone past the 70% volume level when using this earbud.
Call and media playback quality
The T13 comes with four microphones; I already mentioned that. They work to deliver what is an excellent call performance on this earbud. Making and answering calls on the T13 is nothing short of awesome. Everyone on the other end of the call will hear your voice in a warm and soft sound profile.
Conversely, the T13 amplifies the voice of the other party to deliver a similar warm, soft and clear speech to your ears.
If you plan on using this for binge-watching your favorite movie or series, you’ll have no regrets whatsoever. Even though this doesn’t pack the range-topping Bluetooth 5.2 technology, audio latency is almost non-existent.
You’re not going to notice any lag while streaming video on Youtube on Netflix with the QCY T13. It’s the same case for gaming; the QCY T13 is a decent gaming earbud, and because latency is so low, there’s practically no lag when you use this to speak to teammates.
Battery life on the QCY T13 is more than decent. On a full charge, the T13 will last at least five hours if you’re actively listening to music. If it’s just in-ear for occasional calls and music listening, it can go a whole 30 hours without needing a refill.
Those are strong numbers for any TWS earbud, and the fact that this is an extra affordable TWS makes it all the more impressive.
The carry case packs an additional 400mAh battery that can charge take the T13 through another three extra full charges. This means the T13 can go a combined fifteen hours of active listening and another ninety hours (approx. four days) of passive usage if you factor in the carry case.
Connectivity and range
I’ve already gone over how the QCY T13 connects to your phone using Bluetooth 5.0 and the low-latency advantages it brings to the table. Another thing to note is that interruptions or stutters are almost none existent with the QCY T13.
It’s an issue I’ve seen with some other ultra-cheap earbuds (looking at you Mpow Mdots), but somehow, it’s not a problem on the QCY T13.
Range on the QCY T13 is the standard ten meters. Of course, in the presence of walls and other solid barriers, this drops (to about six meters), but I’ll have to say the T13 still manages to handle obstruction quite well – even better than some pricier TWS earbuds. I’ve had my connected device stay in the living room and pretty walked to other parts of my apartment without losing connection.
Should you buy the QCY T13
When I first got the QCY T13, I was like, oh wow, another older earbud repackaged as something new to push sales. The similarity in design and specifications of the T13 to the T11 and the T11S further fueled my suspicions. Halfway through unboxing this thing, and I had already summed up a verdict in my head – don’t buy this, just go with the good ol’ T11.
That was the same verdict I passed on the T11s, which was frankly a T11 with a proximity sensor and an almost $20 markup in price.
My opinion, however, changed when I listened to some songs with the QCY T13. Sound-wise, this is a significant upgrade to the T11, and considering that both cost about the same price, I’ll say you’re getting a great deal if you bought the T13. It’s a nicer sounding QCY T11, and that for me is enough reason to go with this earbud
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