The HiTune T3 benefits include a large battery capacity, comfortable design, and simple touch controls, however, their sonic and mic performance are far from satisfactory.
Where to Buy
There has been significant development in the true wireless stereo (TWS) earbuds market in recent years. There is something of a race to the bottom, but in a good way – that is, the price of TWS earbuds has steadily decreased. While they are cheaper, at the same time, quality and features have improved.
The Ugreen HiTune T3 earbuds are an excellent example of this trend – they cost less than USD$40, yet they have many of the features one would expect nowadays, such as excellent active noise cancellation (ANC), touch controls, and decent battery life.
There are, of course, some sacrifices that must be made at this price point. We will take a close look at what you get for your hard-earned dollars and check out if the sacrifices are too significant.
- Battery Life: 17 hours
- Connector: USB Type-C
- Wireless Charging: No
- Battery Capacity: Not stated
I am impressed with the generous 17 hours of battery life the case provides to the earbuds. The battery capacity is sufficient to last two or three days at work, or a bit less if you wear them during your commute, before you need to recharge.
Charging is done via USB Type-C, which is accessible from the bottom of the case. Unfortunately, there is no support for wireless charging. A full recharge of the case takes approximately two hours.
- Can be open easily with one hand: Yes
- Pass the shake test: Yes
- Light Indicators: Display case battery level
There is no difficulty removing the earpieces from the case. On the surface, this feature might not seem interesting to users, but I promise it is very handy, especially if you want to take them out during a crowded commute.
The stems of the earbuds can be inserted into the center of the case, with the ear tips facing outwards to fit the slightly oval shape of the case. As a consequence, it is also impossible to stand the case upright, although this is not a major problem.
There are three LED lights on the case’s front, which indicate how much battery is left at a glance. Additionally, the bottom of the case features a small button that is about the size of a hole punch hole. You can press the button on the case’s bottom for a few seconds to view the battery level.
My only complaint is that the case gives slightly when squeezed, and I am unsure about its long-term durability.
- Shape of the case: Oval
- Material: Shiny plastic
- Build Quality: Average
In designing the HiTune HiTune T3, Ugreen opted for a design that was reminiscent of Apple’s AirPods for earbuds, as well as the apparently ubiquitous vertical charging case. They both have an ultra-glossy finish that looks fabulous. That is until you get dust or fingerprints on them.
- Weight: Not stated
- Volume: 5.0 x 6.0 x 2.0 = 60cm cu (~3.66 in cu)
- Portability: Good
The size of the case is similar to my 3rd gen AirPods case. It can be easily stored in a bag, or even a pocket without difficulty.
- Battery Life: 7 hrs
- Charge Time (15mins): 70 mins playback time
The earbuds can last for 7 hours of continuous playback. It takes around 1.5 hours to fully charge the earbuds using the case.
- Control Mechanism: Touch
- Touch Accuracy: Good
- Control Symmetry on both earbuds: Yes
- Mono Use: Yes (both sides)
- There are no volume controls
- ANC mode can be toggled on the earbuds
As soon as you remove the HiTune T3 from their case, they automatically turn on, and off when they are placed back in the case. They even support mono mode, which means that they will continue to play your audio even if you are only using one of the earbuds at a time.
There are no physical buttons on the device; instead, they use touch controls. Be aware, however, that the touch controls are extremely sensitive, so be careful if you are combing your hair back or putting on a jacket.
With one tap on either earbud, you can play or pause audio, while a double-tap on the right earbud advances you to the next track, while a tap on the left earbud advances you to the previous track.
It is also possible to make calls – double-tapping either bud enables one to answer or end the call while pressing and holding for two seconds enables the other to decline the call (another instance where you will have to be extremely precise with the touch controls).
By holding down the left earbud for two seconds, you can activate your phone’s voice assistant. Want to switch between active noise cancellation (ANC), ambient sound mode, and normal mode? You can cycle through these options by long-pressing the right earbud for two seconds.
- Profile: Medium
- Material: Plastic
- Comfort: Good
- Fit: Good
When I tried the HiTune T3 for the first time, I was skeptical about how well they would fit and I worried that they would not be comfortable due to their form factor. The opposite proved true. Besides being extremely comfortable, they also provide a good seal.
The first few times you use them, you may have some difficulty getting them into place. However, if you wiggle them around a bit, you should soon be able to get them seated quite comfortably. Additionally, they include four sizes of silicone ear tips, so you can change the size if necessary.
- Noise Cancellation: Good
- Voice Pick-up: Substandard
The environmental noise cancellation is the first dealbreaker.
The environmental noise cancellation on the T3 is too strong, to the extent that my voice is suppressed. This observation is even more severe when the surrounding environment is noisy, like on a crowded train. I have no confidence in using them for calls or meetings.
- Driver: 10mm PU + wool composite dynamic
- Sound Signature: Bassy
- Sub-bass: Substandard
- Bass: Substandard
- Mids: Very Poor
- Treble: Very Poor
- Sound Detail: Very Poor
Active noise cancellation (ANC)
I am not satisfied with the effectiveness of the ANC of the buds. I did not expect it to be exceptional at this price point, of course, but it did not completely block out the sound in any room.
Despite the ANC mode being toggled on, I can still hear the clicking of my keyboard and other everyday sounds.
Overall sound quality
As far as sound is concerned, Ugreen went with an unusual tuning for the HiTune T3. On budget headphones, bass and treble are typically boosted to keep the performance fun and attractive. Unfortunately, on the T3, the treble becomes nearly wholly sacrificed for the sake of the bass.
There is too much bass.
These headphones remind me of old Beats headphones or the overpowering “Bass Boost” feature that was offered by a significant number of cheap portable CD players.
As a result, the sound is not balanced. There is a muddy bass response and they struggle to properly enunciate individual bass notes. In addition, they do not make much use of mids or highs.
If you enjoy bassy tones, you might like these earbuds. And, although they reproduce audio fairly well for TV shows, podcasts, and phone calls, their high latency renders this strength fairly useless for video watching.
The lack of a companion mobile app disappoints me. As a result, there is no way to change the EQ or other settings in order to offset the default tuning. The sound profile as-is will have to be used.
- Audio Codec: SBC and AAC
- Bluetooth Version: 5.2
- Bluetooth Chip: BES2500
- Auto-connect when: Case cover is opened
- Average drop-outs in an hour: 1 – 2 times
- Multi-point connection: No
With the implementation of Bluetooth V5.2, the connection between the Ugreen HiTune T3 to my phone is stable. They support AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs, which are the two most commonly found in smartphones. As noted, despite using AAC, I find the latency to be too high, making these earbuds unsuitable for movie or video playback.
At this price point, I do not expect a multipoint connection. The earbuds will auto-connect to the last paired device when the case is opened.
- IP Rating: IPX5
An IPX5 rating means that the earbuds are resistant to rain and sweat. With their comfortable and secure fit, I find them to be useful when exercising.
With the price of USD$39.99, the Ugreen HiTune T3 serve their purpose as a pair of TWS with stable connectivity. They also provide additional features like ANC. However, there are too many compromises in the sonic quality and microphone performance, making them a pair of TWS that can merely produce sound.
In the current competitive market, Ugreen will need to continue to focus on the main factors that users are concerned about. I can live with a pair of TWS that do not have great ANC but poor sound quality will always break the deal.