QCY QY8 Bluetooth Headphones Review
What I Like:
- Excellent overall audio quality, with balanced low, mids and highs
- Buttons feel good to use
- Acceptable build quality
- Handsome design
- Comfortable fit
- Decent battery life
- Consistent signal
What I Don’t Like:
- Included rubber tips do not feel very good quality
- The part that holds the headphones to the ears is not very strong
Summary: These headphones sound far better than they should given the price, and even outperform my previous favorite headphones audio quality wise. They improve on the audio balance, providing a more even mix of treble and bass. The only thing I don’t like about them is the little rubber bits that grip onto my ears: they’re made a thin and cheaper material and don’t do much. I ended up stealing the ones from my Mpow Swift and constructing what would be (to me) the best Bluetooth headphones I have ever found. Pictured above is the QCY headphones with the Swift ear inserts (I forgot to take them off before snapping the pics, sorry!). Even with the cheap rubber pieces they do stay in ear fine. I would recommend these headphones for those who like balanced audio with a good mix of bass and treble.
Where to Buy
Build Quality & Appearance
Appearance wise these headphones look good. They are black, with silver accents and blend in nicely. There isn’t any colour selections so you’re stuck with this – but they look pretty great as is. I’ve seen some resellers with a black-on-black model which looks fine too. The build quality of the headphones themselves is surprisingly good. All the buttons have a nice click to them and the cables feel strong enough that they won’t break. While they’re clearly not $100 headphones, the build feels like it’ll stand up to modest abuse, which is necessary when excercising. Pulling on the cables resulted in no flex or damage and after mashing the buttons they still work.
Audio quality is where these headphones kick butt. It’s worth noting that audio quality is subjective: to some people these headphones will sound tinny, as they have a more balanced and neutral sound profile than most of the BT headphones on the market today. To me they remind me of studio monitor/reference headphones, and this is a good thing. Because the bass is a little more subdued, I am able to hear more detail in the mids and treble. The bass tones that are present are rich and, especially at higher volumes, can pack quite a punch. The tonal range of these headphones seem higher too, but that may just be because of how their equalizer is tweaked. I find myself enjoying all genres of music with these headphones. When I first tried them I was doing chores, and I actually had to sit down and listen for a bit – I found myself noticing things in the music that I couldn’t otherwise hear with different sets of Bluetooth headphones. There is a little bit of fuzz in the high treble, especially with MP3 files, but I did not notice this issue with FLAC. Like my high-end headsets, I found myself noticing flaws in the music files, and preferring to listen to lossless music. Needless to say I’m absolutely satisfied with the audio quality, and this is the first set of headphones I have reviewed that sounds better than my reference pair, the Mpow Swift, and even better than many wired pairs I have reviewed.
The battery life of these headphones is average for wireless earbuds. I didn’t time it exactly, but I exercise about 1 hour a day and this pair lasted 5 days from full charge. Unfortunately, like every other pair of BT headphones I have used, when this headset dies it is fairly sudden. Only 10 minutes happen between the initial battery low warning and the headphones powering off. Thankfully they do transmit battery life information to the phone, but I’ve found that it can be inaccurate. Expect to charge them 1 – 2 times per week, depending on how much you use them.
Comfort & Fit
The headphones are comfortable out of the box. The earbuds themselves a bit on the large side, so they do stick out of the ears, but their design does not interfere much with standard helmet straps and they stay in the ears pretty well. The little included rubber nibs do almost nothing, and after a few days use I found myself replacing them with a pair from another headset. It’s the one thing I’m disappointed about with these earbuds: if they had the stronger pieces to hold them in ear, I would be recommending them without hesitation to friends and family. For most people the weaker nibs will be a moot point as the headset does stay in ear pretty well, but I found while wearing a helmet occasionally the straps would pull on the headphones and using the stronger nibs from my other headphones helped keep them in place. Those who don’t wear helmets (and perhaps have shorter hair) will find they stay in better than those who may be doing things that pull at the headphones.
Connectivity & Signal
Not much to say here: this headset uses a higher quality Bluetooth chipset and it shows. Connectivity is find and the music comes in strong and clear, with no interference or drops in signal.
Overall, these headphones are great. After the tweak of the rubber ear pieces, they are even better. Out of the box they do stay in the ears but not as well as they would with better rubber pieces. The audio quality is fantastic for those who like more balanced sound and the fit is good. I’ll be keeping these ones.