QCY T5S review: Shockingly good wireless earbuds for $25

The QCY T5S wireless earbuds offer good sound and long battery life for a low price

QCY T5S review
(Image: © QCY)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The QCY T5S is a solid wireless earbud option for music and occasional calls, with a comfortable design and reliable Bluetooth connectivity.


  • +


  • +

    Accompanying app

  • +

    Comfy and snug

  • +

    Strong Bluetooth connection


  • -

    Touch controls are too sensitive

  • -

    Lacks bass

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QCY T5S: Specs

Price: $24
Colors: Black, White
Battery life (rated): Stereo play time up to 6 hours; mono play time up to 12 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 3.0 and 4.0 down-level compatibility
Size: 1.6 x 0.3 x 0.2 inches (charging case)
Weight: 0.1 ounces (per bud)

The QCY T5S is a follow-up to the QCY T5 a longtime member of our best fake AirPods list, providing an upgraded option with additional features while keeping a similarly affordable price. The T5S is an affordable pair of wireless earbuds that offer a surprisingly good battery life and average sound quality. These water-resistant earbuds function via touch controls and fit well in the ear. 

While they may not hold up well enough for intense workouts, they’re also pretty decent for making phone calls or drowning out background chatter — and if you’re looking for a pair of gaming earbuds, the T5S works well too. Keep reading our full QCY T5S review to find out just how multitalented this set can be.

QCY T5S review: Price and availability 

At $24, the QC5 is incredibly cheap for a pair of true wireless earbuds, though you don’t have much of a choice in retailers. We originally found the QC5 on Amazon, but it’s since disappeared, leaving Walmart as your best bet.

You at least get to choose between Black or White as the color scheme, the latter in particular making the QC5 resemble the much pricier Apple AirPods.

QCY T5S review: Design and comfort 

The QCY T5s earbuds are comfortable and snug in the ear. They come with three tip sizes (small, medium, large) so you can choose which one is best for you. During high intensity exercise or anything that jostles the head, the earbuds do tend to come loose, although they don’t fully fall out of the ear. 

QCY T5S review

(Image credit: QCY)

These earbuds are water-resistant and sweat-proof, with an IPX5 rating to prove it. The lack of a firm, secure fit means that this isn’t as good a pair of workout earbuds as that level of protection would normally allow, but it’s good to have protection even if it’s just against drain or accidental drinks spillages.

QCY T5S review: Controls and digital assistant

You work the QCY T5S controls by touching the bar of the earbuds. You can power the earbuds on or off; answer, end, or ignore a phone call; activate voice assistant; turn on gaming mode; and play, pause, or skip a track of music. 

QCY T5S review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

However, the earbuds are missing one basic control: volume. There isn’t a way to wirelessly adjust the volume of your music, video, or phone call. And the controls are a little too sensitive — every time I adjusted an earbud in my ear, I accidentally paused my music, which definitely got annoying. 

QCY T5S review: Sound quality

The sound quality of the QCY T5S doesn’t compare to more expensive, high-end earbuds. But for a relatively cheap pair of wireless earbuds, the T5S sound quality is pretty impressive. The sound is crisp and high-quality. Although the bass level definitely isn’t up to par, I was impressed overall with the T5S handled music playback.

QCY T5S review: App and special features

These earbuds come with an accompanying QCY app. Scan the barcode on the user manual with your phone to launch the app before starting up the earbuds. Once you download the app, you can use it for a surprisingly wide array of customization, like adjusting the earbuds’ sound and the button functions. The app can also be used to view how much the earbuds are charged. 

One additional special feature of the QCY T5S is single-side talk mode. You can use this setting to answer a phone call using only one earbud. While I didn’t necessarily have a need for the single-side talk mode, it was still nice to have. 

Just like the QCY T5, the T5S also offers a gaming mode that reduces audio lag while the user is playing video games; just tap the right earbud three times to activate game mode.

QCY T5S review: Battery life

The QCY T5S has a similar battery life to its predecessor the T5. QCY promises up to 6 hours of playback per charge, though in practice this is more like 405 hours, which is middling. 

QCY T5S review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The charging case powers the headphones for up to 35 hours. The LED lights on the earbuds glow different colors to indicate the battery level. Snap the earbuds into the magnetic charging case to give them a charge. The case itself is small, sleek, and highly portable — just the right size to easily carry around without it getting lost. 

QCY T5S review: Call quality and connectivity

The call quality of the T5S is neither poor nor excellent. As I sat outside and spoke to my brother on the phone, he could hear my voice loud and clear — but he could hear the background noise clearly, too. For earbuds of this price, the sound quality on calls is probably about what you would expect: It’s functional, but it’s nothing to write home about. The Bluetooth connection is stable, however, with no dropouts.

QCY T5S review: Verdict 

With its overly sensitive touch controls and loose fit, the QCY T5S earbuds aren’t perfect. But if you’re on a budget, the T5S remains a great option that offers good-quality sound and a level of comfort that’s well-suited to casual listening.