08:42 13th Feb, 2020
Ticpods Free review: Better late than never
In late 2019, the company introduced these buds in the Indian market along with its smartwatches at a price of Rs. 8499.
Off late, the true wireless earbuds market is flooded with a variety of products and some even boasting features unique to them. Most of them though borrow a design ‘inspiration’ from the Apple AirPods.
However, back in 2018,Mobvoi the company behind the WearOS powered Ticwatches introduced Ticpods Free through a crowd funding platform. The unique design andintuitive features made it one of the highest backed campaigns of its time.
In late 2019, the company introduced these buds in the Indian market along with its smartwatches at a price of Rs. 8499. I got an opportunity to use the TicPods Free for some time so make sure that you read this detailed review before you plan to buy one.
Mobvoi Ticpods Free review
The moment I unboxed the buds, I was impressed by the vibrant orange colour with a matte finish used on both the buds and the charging case making them look premium and fancy. Usage of a shiny and glossy material would’ve made them look shabby and cheap AirPod clones.There are two more colour options Blue and White, again in a matte finish.
The buds come with in-ear style design and have a stem, like the AirPods, that houses the battery, mic and touch controls. They fit snugly in your ear and the silicone tip help in seal the outside noise efficiently. During my regular jogs or brisk walks, I never felt them falling out or any need to readjust them.
The buds are IPX5 rated for water and dust resistance hence even wearing them during a workout or a light drizzle won't cause any harm.
The setup process was quite easy. I was able to connect with the Bluetooth on my phone in one go and the in-ear detection is up to the mark. Once paired, these buds automatically connect with a familiar device as soon as you wear them. During my regular usage, I got roughly 3.5 hours of battery life from the buds and additional 3 charge cycles from the case. The backup from the buds alone is not the best when you compare it with some of its competitors, but you generally don’t need to charge them every other day anyways.
The case takes just over 1.5 hours to charge fully and charging the buds for 15-20 minutes in the case gives you close to 2 hours of juice easily. Presence of a micro USB charging port was ok in 2018 or probably 2019, but in 2020 it’s criminal. When the world is moving towards a unified charging solution, the presence of this dated charging port looks like going against the trend. Though to its credit, the company has bundled a multi-pin charging cable that has both micro USB and a type C port.
Coming back to one of the most important part, the performance of Ticpods Free and its gesture controls. The stem houses a touch-sensitive volume rocker. Just slide up or down to control the volume. A quick double-tap to skip the track or answer the call. You can even summon your favourite digital assistant by tapping on the stem with a long press.
Coming to the business end of the review where we will talk about the audio performance. Ticpods produce crisp audio quality during calls and while listening to music. The audio clarity was surprisingly good. Even during the calls, the person on the other end could hear me perfectly fine. This is aided by the presence of noise cancellation. Calls are relayed through both the buds which is another plus.
Music output has a bias towards the bass, which the most Indians prefer. While the lows and mids are pretty clear too, I was at times left wanting for more volume. As a pure audiophile, you might be slightly disappointed at higher volumes where strings do not sound as clear as they should be. Overall the audio quality is much better compared to the cheaper buds and in some cases better than the ones priced much higher as well. There is no app-based equalizer to tweak the audio according to your taste. In fact, the Mobvoi Android app detects the buds but that’s all. Strangely, It doesn’t do anything beyond that.
The Ticpods Free is released pretty late in India, yet they are one of the best mid-budget wireless earbuds available in the market. For the price-sensitive crowd there are a ton of options available but people who prefer a better build quality, better audio performance can still go for the TicPods Free. Though these are definitely not the AirPods pro alternates but at a price of Rs. 8499 in India, these are surely a worthy option.
- In-ear detection
- Call quality
- Micro USB charging slot
- Not the best ANC performance
- Bluetooth 4.2 supports limited high-quality codecs
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