The QCY HT03 is one of the best cheap wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation and great sound quality. on paper, the earbuds come with Bluetooth 5.1 and 40dB active noise cancellation. It has AAC and SBC codecs for producing higher sound quality. The earbud has ambient mode and it also comes with a companion app that can be used to customize the earbud. Welcome to the QCY HT03 review where we break down all there is to know about the ANC earbuds.
It comes in at a price of $40 and every now and then you can get discounts if you check AliExpress. The buds are currently competing with the Mpow X3 in terms of how affordable a pair of ANC earbuds can be. QCY has a lot of affordable earbuds and the HT03 is no different. It has an amazing battery life that lasts for 6 hours on a single charge. The charging case can be used to charge the earbuds four times when its low. We are going to explore everything right here starting with the unboxing of the earbud.
- 2x pair of wireless earbuds
- 1x pair of the Charging case
- USB Type-C charging cable
- 3x Silicon ear tips
QCY HT03 Review – Best Cheap Earbuds with ANC
The most important aspect of any earbud is the sound it comes first before any other feature. it has a 10mm driver that delivers that punchy bass. The buds try to let the lower and mid tones shine all the time. There are times when it gets a bit muddy. If you are used to using high-end earbuds then you will quickly discover the weakness in the sound quality. don’t get me wrong for the price of $40 it is difficult to beat what the QCY HT03 offers in terms of sound quality.
There are times when vocals tend to struggle when you are listening to country, rock, or blues. Sound quality is mostly better with the active noise cancellation turned off. You get more clarity and the mids become more open. Sound quality is not over the top but it’s decent. the ANC is one of the major reasons why you are considering this earbud in the first place more details about that in a bit. The sound stage is big and the buds keep you in the middle while listening to music.
While streaming content there is minimal latency and the buds are good for watching movies too. You need to get the right seals for your ear to get the best sound quality. they come with four mics and making calls are okay as well.
QCY HT03 Review – Design and Ergonomics
Looking at the case you know it looks cheap to some extent but it is very well designed. The case has some sparkles to it and it’s not the normal glossy case we are used to. It will fit easily into your bag or pocket without any stress. The lid of the case is not firm and can close itself if not held. It looks like the generic cases you can find on some cheap earbuds but it the finish is premium.
There is a tiny LED light inside the case that indicates when the buds are charging. we also have another one outside that notifies you about the state of the charging case. the button at the back is used to check the battery percentage.
The QCY logo is on top of the lid and the case has a type C charging port at the bottom. It looks like the case of the Realme buds if you are familiar with that. With the case, you can recharge the buds four times from zero to a hundred when they are low. The case holds the buds firmly and they don’t wobble while resting inside.
We have a stem-style earbud that is lightweight and fits perfectly in the ear. in terms of design the buds somehow resemble the Haylou W1 that we reviewed earlier. It has a sleek finish and a smart design by the QCY team. There are tiny microphones on the buds that lets you get clear calls from the microphone. The buds have touch controls and the stem on both buds has a specific area designed for that. Design is okay and even if you put them on for long periods your ears won’t be tired.
QCY HT03 Review – Connectivity and Touch Controls
Connectivity is great the buds use Bluetooth 5.1 and the moment you open the lids you get a pop-up if you have the app. It can be used within 10 meters away from your phone which is standard for most Earbuds. Connectivity is fast and latency is quite minimal it has a gaming mode that helps with latency. It has AAC and SBC codecs that help with high-quality audio.
In terms of touch controls, you just have to pinch the lower part of the stem gently to command the buds. It’s kind of like what we have on the Airpods Pro by apple but it’s a bit different.
QCY HT03 Touch Controls
- Pinch the left/right buds two times to play or pause music
- For ANC, pinch the right buds for 1.5 seconds, the same thing applies to turning the ANC off.
- Pinch the left earbud for 1.5 seconds to activate low latency gaming mode, the same thing applies to turning it off.
- To skip to the next track, pinch the right earbud three times
- Pinch the left earbud three times to summon google assistant
The controls can be changed using the QCY app by adding single pinches. You can decide to add volume controls on the buds which is something I personally enjoy using on a pair of wireless earbuds. the app gives you the freedom to play around with the touch controls.
Active Noise Cancellation
Given the price of the QCY HT03, it’s surprising to see the quality of active noise cancellation, it comes with. The active noise cancellation shuts down external noise from afar and lets you focus on work or music. It is natural which is something I really appreciate and it’s not forced in any way. The buds don’t completely cut out loud sounds but people talking or soft sounds are blocked completely.
They manage to shine in an area where even premium buds struggle. Wind noise does come in, especially with transparency mode turned on. Transparency mode lets you know about your surrounding while still listening to music. The mode on the QCY HT03 is not the best but you can use it if you want to play music and talk to people.
QCY HT03 review – the app and battery life
The QCY HT03 is supported by an app just like all other QCY buds support the app. It is available on Android and iPhone to download for free. using the app, you will be able to monitor the battery status of the buds, update firmware, and switch between ANC and transparency mode. With the app, you can activate gaming mode, and create your own custom EQ. I find the app helpful and interesting to use it improves the overall experience while using the buds.
Battery life is great with ANC turned on you get 5 hours of listening time without ANC you get 6 hours of music playback time. Charging takes up to two hours because the charging case lacks a fast charging feature.
QCY HT03 Price and Availability
The QCY HT03 buds come in at a starting price of $39.99 on AliExpress you can buy them HERE. As far as noise-canceling earbuds go they are some of the cheapest you can find in the market right now. they have amazing features and customization that make it fun to use.
The QCY HT03 is easy to recommend for those that want ANC on an earbud and don’t want to spend much. It has sweet features especially the companion app and how it fits in the ear. the sound might not be its strongest point but it is still very acceptable to me.
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