Super Comfy and Bassy – Review Geek

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18


Rating:
8/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 – Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 – Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 – Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 – Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 – Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $36

The UGREEN HiTune T3 earbuds on a white table next to two succulent plants and a small notebook
Kevin Bonnett

There are A TON of earbuds on the market right now, and it’s especially tough for mid-range and less expensive buds to stand out. But that isn’t the case for the UGREEN HiTune T3s. With their bass-forward frequency tuning and feature-rich design, they’re an affordable force to be reckoned with.

Here’s What We Like

  • All-day comfortable
  • Super bassy & loud
  • Responsive touch controls

And What We Don’t

  • ANC could be stronger
  • Treble is sacrificed for bass
  • No companion mobile app
  • No wireless charging

I am pretty impressed by these true wireless earbuds, and given what they offer at their sub-$40 cost, I’m doubly impressed. The HiTune T3s absolutely roar, and they’re packed with features you wouldn’t usually see at this price point. That said, they have a few shortcomings that are frustrating—like overpowered bass and lackluster active noise cancelation—so they’re still far from perfect. Still, though, I like them. Like really like them.

Specs

  • Drivers: 10mm PU + wool composite dynamic
  • Frequency Range: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Active Noise Cancelation: Yes, up to 25dB
  • Solo Bud Mode: Yes
  • Bluetooth Version: 5.2
  • Supported Codecs: AAB, SBC
  • Battery Life: 7 hours for the buds, 24 hours with the charging case
  • Charging: USB-C, No wireless
  • IP Rating: IPX5
  • Earbud Weight: 5.1g
  • Case Weight: 33.5g
  • Ear Tips: 4 sizes total (extra small, small, medium, large)

Case & Earbud Design

For the HiTune T3s, UGREEN opted to go with a design reminiscent of Apple’s AirPods for buds and the (seemingly) ubiquitous vertical charging case. Both have an ultra-glossy finish that looks amazing … until you get dust or a fingerprint on them, then not so much. While it’s not the most gorgeous earbud case I’ve ever seen, the shiny plastic design is still somewhat aesthetically pleasing.

The case for the UGREEN HiTune T3s sitting in its original packaging, next to three additional sets of included gel earbud tips.
Kevin Bonnett

It’s easy to get the earbuds out of the case (which you’d think wouldn’t be a noteworthy feat, but trust us, it is). The stems slot into the middle of the case, with the ear tips facing outwards, to accommodate the case’s slightly oval design. That design also makes it impossible to stand the case upright, though that isn’t a huge deal.

The case sports three LED lights on its front, which indicate how much battery it has left at a glance. There is also a tiny button on the bottom of the case about the size of a hole punch cutout, and you’ll use this to change which devices the earbuds are paired with. Overall, the design is smart and efficient; my only gripe about the case is that it has a slight bit of give under a firm squeeze, and I worry about its long-term durability.

The Fit

Before I used the HiTune T3s for the first time, I was skeptical about how well they’d fit and worried they wouldn’t be comfortable because they are so inexpensive. I was wrong. Not only are these super comfortable, they provide a good seal, which goes a long way to improving the overall audio experience.

The buds can be a teeny bit finicky to get into place the first few times you use them, but if you wiggle them around a little, you’ll figure out pretty quickly how to get them placed comfortably. They also come with four sizes of gel ear tips (extra small, small, medium, and large), so you can swap out the default size for one that fits you better if needed.

Person wearing the UGREEN HiTune T3s and looking at their paired smartphone in front of a defocused bokeh background of garden with blossoming trees in sunny day, backdrop, summer time
UGREEN, ampcool/Shutterstock.com

I never felt like the T3s were going to fall out at any point during testing, whether I was walking, doing yoga, or moving and grooving while cleaning my house. The buds sport an IPX5 rating, so they’ll stand up to some rain and sweat (but don’t go nuts with these on).

Battery Life & Charging

I’m pleased by how much juice these earbuds (and their case) have. They will last for about 7 hours on a single charge, and the included case gives you up to 24 hours. That’s enough to get you through two or three days at work, or a little less if you wear them on your commute, before you need to charge ’em again.

As I mentioned above, the case has three white LED lights on its front, indicating how much battery it has left. All three lights solid means the case is at 100%; two solid lights and one blinking means anywhere from 65-100%; one solid light, one blinking, and one off means 30-65%, and one blinking means there’s less than 30% battery left. You can also press the button on the bottom of the case to view the battery level for a few seconds.

The case charges via USB-C, with a port located on the bottom of the case, but unfortunately, there’s no support for wireless charging. It takes about an hour and a half to recharge the earbuds fully and approximately two hours to recharge the case. While there is no dedicated fast charge option, that’s still decently fast; you can plug ’em in while getting ready for work in the morning or over lunch and get a little more juice for the rest of your day. It’s nice to see such decent battery life from a pair of budget-friendly buds (and their companion charging case).

Sound Quality

UGREEN definitely made some interesting choices sound-wise with the T3s. Usually, budget buds tend to nix the bass in favor of keeping the highs, but the treble is pretty much wholly sacrificed here for the sake of the bass. In fact, it feels like there’s almost too much bass. They remind me of old Beats headphones or the overpowered “Bass Boost” feature that (seemingly) all the cheap portable CD players offered back in the day.

The UGREEN HiTune T3 earbuds laying on a table next to a notebook and fake plant
Kevin Bonnett

As a result, the sound doesn’t feel balanced. The bass feels muddy, and the buds struggled to properly enunciate individual bass notes (for example, on Massive Attack’s Girl I Love You). At the same time, they also don’t do much with mids and highs (definitely don’t listen to punk or anything techno-ish with these). This lack of balance is kind of a shame, as bass and treble go together like peanut butter and jelly. In this regard, the T3s are a slight miss.

That said, if you prefer bassy vibes, you’ll probably like these earbuds; they also do a decent job of reproducing audio for TV shows, podcasts, and phone calls. The T3s are also loud, even at lower volumes, which is great if you love loud music or plan to wear them in loud environments.

I was disappointed, however, to learn that there is no companion mobile app. That means there is no way to tweak the EQ or adjust any other settings to offset the default frequency tuning, and you’ll have to deal with that sound profile as-is.

User Experience

Overall, the T3s are simple earbuds that are easy to use. From the battery life indicator LEDs on the front of the case to the lack of a companion mobile app, you won’t have to spend much time fussing with these buds.

They automatically turn on when you pull them out of their case and automatically turn off when you pop ’em back in. Heck, they even support solo bud mode, so they’ll keep playing your audio when you’re only using one (either) at a time. Instead of physical buttons, they use touch controls, but beware—the touch control area is incredibly sensitive, so be careful if you’re brushing your hair back or putting on a hoodie or something.

The T3s offer a limited range of touch controls. One tap on either bud lets you play or pause audio, and a double-tap on the right bud skips to the next track while doing the same on the left bud takes you to the previous track. You can also take calls with these; double-tapping either bud lets you answer or end a call, while pressing and holding either for two seconds lets you decline a call (that’s another time you’ll wanna be super precise with the touch controls).

You can activate your voice assistant by long pressing the left earbud for two seconds, as well. Want to toggle active noise cancelation (ANC), ambient sound mode, or normal mode? Long press the right earbud for two seconds a pop to cycle through those options. The one control I use most isn’t present here, however: volume adjustment. You’ll still have to get your phone out of your pocket and manually adjust the volume.

Limited touch controls are relatively common for budget buds but always a bummer,especially when they sport higher-end features, like ANC. Speaking of which, I felt like the buds’ ANC could have been more effective. I didn’t expect it to be outstanding at this price point, of course, but it did not by any means block out all the sound in a room. While ANC mode toggled, I could still faintly hear the clicks of my keyboard as I typed and other everyday noises. Still, they blocked out enough noise, which is better than nothing.

Kevin Bonnett

I also really like that the buds provide the perfect amount of feedback for any touch control actions you take—they play a brief medium-pitched dull tone. Many budget earbuds (and even some that are pricier) don’t bother offering any feedback in this instance, but I always appreciate having some.

My only complaint here, as far as user experience goes, is the process of pairing them with a new device. Many earbuds have you long-press one or both buds for about three to five seconds, and they’ll enter pairing mode. For these, you’ll open the lid to the case with the earbuds still inside, then press and hold the reset button for three seconds until the first and third LEDs blink three times. From there, you’ll open your phone’s Bluetooth settings, select “UGREEN HiTune T3,” and complete the pairing. This method isn’t bad or uncommon, though, and it likely avoids the hassle of getting both individual buds in pairing mode; it just isn’t my personal preference.


Final Thoughts

Overall, I found UGREEN’S HiTune T3s to be some genuinely interesting earbuds. They didn’t exactly knock it out of the park in regards to the default sound profile or the frequency tuning and were far too bassy for my liking. However, the buds still offer fair audio quality for podcasts, movies, and phone or video calls.

I love their large battery capacity, comfortable design, and straightforward touch controls. While I wish the T3s had better ANC, a companion app for adjusting settings and EQ, and a more balanced sound profile, I’m still largely impressed by how well-rounded and robust this pair of sub-$50 earbuds is. And if you’re cool with some extra bass, you might like them, too.

Here’s What We Like

  • All-day comfortable
  • Super bassy & loud
  • Responsive touch controls

And What We Don’t

  • ANC could be stronger
  • Treble is sacrificed for bass
  • No companion mobile app
  • No wireless charging





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