TCL launches AirPods Pro rival with noise cancelling — for a lot less

TCL MoveAudio S600
(Image credit: TCL)

TCL has unveiled the MoveAudio S600, a set of true wireless earbuds that offer active noise cancellation (ANC) and a transparency mode for less cash than the similarly-equipped AirPods Pro.

At €149 (about $180), the MoveAudio S600 aren’t full-on budget earbuds, but they’re comfortably cheaper than the in-ear members of our best noise-cancelling headphones list, which could make them a contender when they release in February.

Besides ANC, there are plenty of other premium features as well. The MoveAudio S600 meet the IP54 standard for dust and water resistance, which is enough for full sweatproofing, and each bud contains three onboard microphones instead of just one. These are used for ANC, naturally, though they also support environmental noise cancellation (ENC) for clearer voice calls that don’t pick up as much background noise.

Battery life is also drastically improved from the MoveAudio S200, which launched in September last year: those could only manage 3.5 hours per charge, but the MoveAudio S600 are rated for 5 hours with ANC and 7 hours without. These figures are bumped up to 20 hours and 28 hours, respectively, by the charging case.

They’ll connect over Bluetooth 5.0 and don’t support the high-quality aptX codec, only SBC and AAC, but getting set up should be made easier by fast pairing. The MoveAudio S600 also have ear detection, so can automatically start and pause playback when they’re inserted into or removed from your ears.

All in all that’s a fairly extensive length of features; hopefully the MoveAudio S600’s 10mm drivers can back them up with some good sound quality. As CES 2021 is all-digital we haven’t tried them for ourselves, but will keep an eye out closer to launch and will update this story with U.S. availability once it becomes known.

TCL has had a very busy CES in general: in addition to its mini-LED TVs and Dolby Atmos soundbars, we’ve also just seen the TCL Nxtpaper, an 8.88-inch Android tablet that shows off the company’s high-contrast, low-power Nxtpaper display tech.

James Archer

James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.