January 13, 2020 at 4:08am
By Jason Stettner

These are a pair of wireless earbuds from TCL that provide a more affordable price point with a number of features to them. I was handed these at CES 2020, and thought I’d give them a whirl during that week, along with sometime after the event wrapped up.

These do fit comfortably within the ear, and offer three tiers of little gel cups that should fit each ear type. They’re not too large, but honestly they could have been a bit smaller. You definitely can’t sleep with these on, and that’s a metric of consideration that I keep in mind. That being said, regular wear is comfortable and I don’t mind having these in during physical situations.

They keep in the ear well, that’s what the latter note of the previous sentence means. Size wise they can be concealed by your hair depending on the length, but they do stick out a bit from your head so keep that in mind if you’re looking for some elements of stealth in regards to using them.
TCL SOCL500TWS Review Screenshot
There’s great noise cancelling, at half volume with use on my iPhone XS I missed people entering rooms and missed a number of external sounds. That’s nice when you just want to focus on something, and listen to music. These earbuds also have control options, but you need to click them into your ear to use them which is very uncomfortable and honestly hurts to do.

I wouldn’t suggest that, just use your phone or audio playing device instead. That being said, if you can handle the pressing there are many options. Change songs, adjust volume and more from the style of hold you use. Keep in mind that these do allow for taking voice calls with a microphone integrated. You can also summon your favorite voice assistant from them, so that’s a nice touch.

The speaker drivers are 5.8mm and are IPX4 rated if you want to sweat or let the rain fall down upon them. They do come in a number of colors which could provide some more fun whereas I got received one of the more blander ones when it comes to the design vibrancy. It still has some alright aesthetic feel, but isn’t as fun as some of the other ones might have been.

This is connected with Bluetooth 5.0 true wireless with a reception of ten meters. I didn’t have any issues using these around the house while leaving my phone in the basement. I found that impressive, didn’t face any signal losses either, despite being far away from the music source of my phone. This is charged through a USB Type-C cord that’s smaller than I would have hoped for. It’s alright, but it could have been longer for more USB charging situations. It’s also a really ugly sort of plain gray color, the charging cord I mean. The case itself is ok, feels a bit cheap quite honestly. It does hold the earbuds comfortably and is light at twelve grams so it’s easy to carry around.

The case also matches the earbuds which is a nice choice. So with that you’ll get a total of fifty-five hours per charge with a music play time of 6.5 hours. So with the case you get three charges for a total of twenty-six total music hours. There’s a fast charge time of fifteen minutes for one hour of play and you’ll get a low battery warning. Obviously music quality is important, and I listened to a wide range of songs when working on these. I’m actually listening to them while writing this.

You do get some quality audio, that being said the treble could have been better. They sound good, but sort of lack some of the smaller tings I like to hear with audio. I’m perhaps being a tad hard on them, they sound fine and you’ll enjoy countless musical hours with these and they’re fine for a variety of song options. The volume is also excellent, they can get loud if they need to. Be careful with your ears of course, but that’s up to you to watch for of course.

The Conclusion

The TCL SOCL500TWS earbuds are a fine option for music, calls and regular usage throughout the day. They deliver quality sound, decent calling integration and an option to summon your favorite voice assistant. The IPX4 rating is appreciated for more intensive usage and the range of the Bluetooth was impressive.

I could easily leave my phone in one room and walk around the house freely on either level. I find these to be mostly aesthetically pleasing, I wish I had one of the more colorful pairs however. Again, these won’t be something you can sleep with which is disappointing to me. The battery life is excellent, the charging case is alright. It does feel a bit cheap, but delivers on what it’s supposed to.

These were generally good for listening to music, the on-earbud controls weren’t comfortable to use as they would press into the ear and I ignored them after some tries. If you’re looking at these, they’re good and offer a wide variety of features that are desired for this type of device.

Read our TCL SOCL300 Review
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TCL SOCL500TWS Review product provided by TCL tested with Video and Music.

Rating Overall: 7.4

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner