Bluetooth technology, design aesthetic and finally Chinese origin. It seems that nearly all consumer technology products being released have these three commonalities. I’m sure, like a semi-famous quote dictates, almost anything is improved with Bluetooth, but the same can not be said of Chinese manufactured products in the past. Thankfully we don’t live in the past; it’s a dusty place and I keep all my skeletons there. Instead the future is rosy for Chinese imports and the Bluedio T2S Bluetooth Headphones are one such example. I took these and field tested them in a Villa in the Algarve, Portugal to see if they were up to scratch. It was a dirty job, but somebody had to do it! These are my first impressions.
In the box you get:
- The headphones of course.
- A micro USB charging cable which connects to the right ear cup.
- A relatively long 3.5mm audio cable to allow the headphone to be used even without any charge, which connects to the left ear cup.
Design & Fit
Most of my products are chosen for functionality over form, however I’ve started to look for a nice combination of both. I never liked the actual style of Beats by Dre headphones, and I certainly didn’t like the price tag, however I did like the single colour design element, which is why I opted for the Bluedio T2S Bluetooth headphones. I chose the White version, however they are available in 3 other colours (Blue, Red and Black).
On the right ear cup there lies controls for volume up/down, a power/pair button, along with a seek/play/pause rocker, micro USB charging port and a pinhole microphone. On the left ear cup there is only the 3.5mm audio jack.
The Bluedio T2S has some branding on the head band which is subtle enough as well as some call outs on the plastic ear cups. It’s predecessor, the HT (Shooting Brake) was criticised heavily for the headband strength, or lack thereof, and as such the T2S has strengthened this particular area. It doesn’t feel as sturdy as pricier options, but I certainly had no issues during my week of usage. In fact the metal head band has a nice selection of adjustment grooves to cater for larger head sizes as well as adequate padding with ventilation holes also.
The fold-able design of this unit is what was the deciding factor however. I needed something portable enough for a carry on bag, but equally big enough to give some decent sound through its drivers and the Bluedio T2S seemed to deliver. The folding mechanism is nice and tight which shows no sign of loosening and when compact, they really are quite small. The only shame here is that no carry bag is included.
The ear cup coverings on the Bluedio T2S headphones are called out as leather, however they feel distinctly ‘pleather’ during use, causing some sweating after an hour or so of listening. Furthermore they are somewhat on the small side. I don’t have particularly large ears, but they didn’t fit over my ears as such as covering my ear canal by resting on the outer parts of my ear. With larger padding this may have been sufficient, however they became uncomfortable during some listening sessions after an hour or two and forced me to have a break. This might be due to the slightly odd profile they have. It’s a sort of elbow which allows the collapse of the unit, but then extends to allow listening. It’s not “bad” it just takes some getting used to.
Use & Performance
This needs a somewhat large caveat. Firstly, I had 1 week away with the Bluedio T2S bluetooth headphones so this is not a review, these are just my first impressions. We’ll leave the review to our resident audiophile Mark to pass judgement. Secondly, I’m not an audiophile like Mark. I can detect tight mids from muddy, but that’s about as far as it goes. My musical taste is relatively diverse. Hip-Hop, to Pop, to Rock, and beyond, however during my trip, I was mostly using these cans to listen to Hip-Hop and catching up on Podcasts so I should be able to give some small insight in to both the lows and highs.
The unit itself seemed to give decent lows and acceptable highs from it’s 2.24″ drivers during my usage. Messing with my phone’s EQ I could achieve better listening quality, however at a flat EQ setting they were still acceptable. Max volume again was okay, but distortion did occur when I pushed my phone’s volume up high. These headphones at 16 ohm impedance and I wouldn’t push them too high on anything other than a phone or tablet to keep sound quality at an acceptable level. Listening to Podcasts was a similar story. treble seemed relatively even and voices were clear and not tinged with the lows some cheap devices usually bleed.
Having the volume controls on the ear cup as well as play/pause and skip options that actually work with the paired device was something I was not used to at this price point. I made one phone call on the Bluedio T2S (only to voicemail to check the operation I might add) and it seemed to work fine. I’m yet to understand how I sound to others when speaking through the pinhole microphone included however.
Finally, the battery is perhaps the most impressive part of this package. Bluedio call out up to 40 hours of continuous music playback, 45 hours of talk time, and a whopping 1625 hours of standby on a single charge, which takes just 2 hours. Well, I’m assuming this came pre-charged out of the box as I didn’t charge it once and it got me through 2-3 hours of music per day (that’s about 20+ hours of music during the week). Impressive.
To describe my first impression of the Bluedio T2S bluetooth headphones, I think I’ll use the term I’ve written probably more than any; acceptable. At a price point of just £24.99 from Amazon UK (all colour variants) I’m not sure you can go wrong both in performance or expectation. I wasn’t expecting stellar performance, in fact I was expecting to get the sort of bass heavy sound that seemingly all cheaper headphones come with now. I’m pleased to say the Bluedio T2S surprised me to that end.
I was after something cheap and cheerful to see me through a Holiday or two during those long relaxing days by the pool and the odd zombified walk to the nearest watering hole. This delivered in that, but I’m sure a more seasoned ear could critique the sound produced more eloquently than I.
Stay tuned for the full review. Over to you Mark…