The true wireless earphones market has seen some tremendous progress in recent years. In fact, one might say it’s been a race to the bottom, but in a good way – that is, with earphones getting cheaper and cheaper, while at the same time providing better and better quality and features.
The UGREEN HiTune T3 earbuds are a good example of this trend: They cost less than £40, yet they offer most of the features one expects these days: Decent Active Noise Cancelling, touch controls, acceptable (if somewhat low) battery times, and sound quality that won’t win any awards – but is pretty good for the price – especially if you’re a bass lover.
Of course, at this price point, some sacrifices had to be made. So in this review, I’ll take a closer look at what you’re getting for your hard-earned pounds – and who these earphones are great for.
Quick Look – UGREEN HiTune T3
What are they: True wireless Bluetooth earbuds for audio and phone calls, with ANC, at a low price point.
Value for Money
- Surprisingly deep bass levels
- ANC helps filter outside disturbances
- Very lightweight (4.3g)
- Quite cheap
- Music sounds a bit muffled
- No volume control buttons
- Look and feel very plasticky
Features and Specs
- Driver unit: 10mm Wool Dynamic
- Battery Playing Time: 7 hours
- Additional Battery Time on Case: 17 Hours (Up to 24 in total)
- Full charging time: 1.5 hours (For earbuds)
- Case charging port: USB-C (No wireless charging)
- Codecs: Bluetooth 5.2, AAC, SBC
- Water Resistance: IPX5
- Extra Features: Touch controls, Ambient Mode
At this price level, the sound quality and noise cancellation are better than expected, making this pair an excellent bargain for casual music listeners. That being said, if you’re willing to spend an extra £20-30, there are better options out there.
Table of Contents
Who Are The UGREEN HiTune T3 For?
Recently, UGREEN decided to step into the budget earphones market – and HiTune T3 is their newest release.
The budget/cheap/value-for-money focused true wireless earphones market is quite hot these days, with various companies releasing models that compete on features, sound quality – and a cheap price.
That’s generally good for the consumer – but having so many models and price levels out there means that it’s hard to give star-based ratings.
Case in point: The HiTune T3s. They have most of the features one expects from a pair of earbuds these days, including surprisingly good active noise cancellation.
Why surprising? Because up until a couple of years ago, it was impossible to get this level at this price. But there’s a but – you can’t possibly compare the ANC level here – which is decent – to that of earphones that cost £150 and up.
And the same goes for the audio quality: it’s great for casual listening, and bass lovers, in particular, will find a lot to like here. But the sound quality isn’t meant for audiophiles by any means – it’s meant for people who want to pay less than £40.
So keep that in mind, as we dig in deeper…
Using The UGREEN HiTune T3
Size and Comfort
As is common these days, you’ll quickly notice that the T3s look a lot like Apple’s Airpods, with longish stems.
The visual resemblance ends there, however, since the holding/charging case is… unapologetically plastic. Some budget earphones try to hide that fact – but here, the case embraces its plastic origins with a case so light and shiny it’s a fingerprint magnet.
The earbuds slide into the case in a unique way, with a deep hole that houses the stems. And it’s all quite small and very light – you’ll hardly notice the case in your pocket, or the earbuds in your ears.
In the box, you get four different silicone ear tip sizes, a USB-C cable for charging (there’s no wireless charging support), and the instructions manual.
The touch control surface is on the back of each stem, but because the stems are pretty long, you can easily handle them without accidentally touching the “buttons”.
The earbuds are comfortable to wear, and don’t go too deep into your ear – but still manage to create a good seal, which is good for the passive noise cancellation and the deep bass levels.
The earbuds are IPX5 water-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about light splashes or even heavy rain – but you shouldn’t submerge them in water, so deep puddles are your enemy. The charging case is not water-resistant at all, so be careful with it.
Pairing And Controlling The HiTune T3
The T3 support Bluetooth 5.2, so they’re quick to pair with your phone, and they stay connected – having used them for a couple of weeks, I haven’t had any connection issues or Bluetooth-inspired crackles that sometimes occur when you’re next to a lot of people (and their devices).
The touch controls are quite responsive, and you can use them with single taps, double taps and long taps, to play/pause, skip forward/back and switch between the ANC modes.
Disappointingly, you can’t control the volume directly, so you’ll have to fish for your phone every time you want to change the volume. And since there’s no smartphone app, you won’t be able to change the default control scheme.
HiTune T3 Audio Quality
While remembering the price point – the sound quality here is pretty good. The passive seal and the active noise cancellation work well together to create a rich soundscape, and the bass is surprisingly good.
My main issue with the music is that it sounds a bit muffled for some reason – as if there’s a filter between your ears and the buds. That, and the high frequencies which don’t sound very impressive.
It’s also worth noting that there are no high-end audio codecs here, such as aptX – which is expected at this price range.
Listening to About Damn Time by Lizzo, the bass is beefy and the vocals lack some shine, but are nevertheless clear and not distorted.
There’s a surprisingly good low-frequency performance, complemented by the noise cancellation.
This disco-grooved song demonstrates the earphones’ ability to handle both bass and mid, with the high section of the soundscape lagging behind (but not in a deal-breaker way).
Moving on to Madonna’s Papa Don’t Preach, this eternal 80’s super hit sounds great, with its thumping synth bass and drum machine galore.
The overall sound is pleasing, even when pushed to higher volume levels. Again, the energetic vocals and cheeky synth phrases sound nice and crispy, though I wouldn’t have minded some enhancement on the high spectrum.
The Active Noise Cancelling is pretty good. As is often the case at these price levels, it shines with ongoing low-frequency rumbles, so the humming of a train, an aeroplane, or even cars driving past you.
It doesn’t excel with sharp, loud sounds – so you will definitely still hear a kid screaming next to you, or a car honking its horn. Keyboard typing sounds also managed to push through, so don’t count on these for a crowded office environment.
It also can’t handle wind very well (which is a common problem) – so if you’re walking outside in a strong wind, you’ll find it quite hard to hear your music/podcast.
But again, this is still better than I would have expected just two years ago – the fact you can get any decent active noise cancelling for such a low price is a marvellous feat.
The “Ambient” mode does the opposite of ANC – it picks up sounds around you and amplifies them. So it’s useful if you’re walking near a dangerous road, or just want to be aware of your surroundings while still listening to music.
Phone calls sound well, if a bit muffled again – the other side could usually hear me well, except, again, when I was walking through strong winds.
HiTune T3 Battery Times
When fully charged, you can use the T3 for up to 7 hours, or up to 24 hours when you use the case to recharge them.
Actual use times are hard to measure, however, since they depend on the volume levels you’re using, and on whether ANC is turned on or not. If you use ANC all the time, you will get less than 7 hours.
These battery times aren’t too bad – but there are other earphones out there that can outlast these, even with the ANC turned on.
Bottom Line: Are The HiTune T3 Earphones Worth It?
This is not a case of looking for the best true wireless earphones out there – this is a case of deciding what you’re willing to spend first.
If your budget hovers around the £40 mark, these are a good choice – for that price level. The active noise cancellation is on par with earphones that cost twich as much, and the battery times are decent.
The music quality is not bad – but it’s where you’ll notice the biggest difference if you’re willing to spend just an extra £20 or £30 on your earphones (and of course, I won’t even try to compare these to models that cost £200).
All in all, if value-for-money is the focus – you’re certainly getting a lot of value for less than £40.
Note: The earphones were supplied by the manufacturer for this review. As always, this did not influence my unbiased opinion of the product.