In the first part of our cheap TWS headphones series, we bought all the TWS headphones we could find on Shopee for under RM50. We unboxed them, realised that a lot of them were terribly packaged, and that we had our work cut out for us. But, after a few weeks of testing, we have our final verdict.
We split the 9 headphones into 3 categories. First, is the one you shouldn’t bother with, second is the one you maybe could consider, and the final one is the one you could actually buy and get a pretty good experience. But, in our opinion, there is one, undisputed winner.
Reviewing 9 pairs of headphones in a week was not an easy task. Especially with these headphones which had a lot more problems to them than just whether or not they sounded good. But we tried our best, and we categorised them into three different categories.
The first is the one we’d actually recommend. Like you could go and buy them, and I think most of you would be happy, considering the price. But, even here, there is one clear winner, and it’s the only one that we would buy. Then, we have the second category which is the “ehh I guess you could get them if you really wanted to”, but I don’t see why you would when there are clearly better options. Finally, we’ve got the “don’t bother” category which is like, if you spent money on this, you should call the police because you just got robbed.
With that out of the way, let’s start. Which category do you want to start with? Should we go from worst to best? OK let’s go.
The “Don’t bother” category
The headphones in this category are just terrible. They may have like one redeeming feature, but other than that, don’t even bother.
Like the Remax TWS-21, for example. These actually sound OK, but everything else about it is just a disaster. You can’t put it into a backpack because then the headphones would just fly everywhere. And, the charging solution is just terrible. There’s no locking mechanism so it’s very difficult to plug into a port, and obviously you can’t use a cable either so it’s just a hassle to use.
Then, we have the Minions Pro 12. The best thing about it is, it’s cute, but they’re also very uncomfortable and they sound really bad. Plus we had a bunch of connection issues so only one side would work, which is a disaster.
Finally, there’s the Remax RB-T20 which is just…I don’t even know if you can call them headphones. They are not comfortable, they do not sound good, and they only come with one side. Plus, everyone around you can hear what you’re listening to, so that’s a big no no.
The “I guess you could get them” category
The headphones in this category are functional. They’re definitely better than the ones in the “Don’t Bother” category, but there are very big drawbacks that prevent us from really recommending them.
The OliveBebe F9, for example, looked like a compelling package. The case can double as a power bank and flashlight, and it has a nice big screen which shows battery and also some cheesy text. But, they don’t sound great, are very uncomfortable and we had a bunch of connection issues where we couldn’t get both sides to work.
This means we were often only able to get audio in from either the left or the right channel, but not both. Plus, the build is terrible. Everything feels flimsy, and the headphones themselves don’t really fit well in the case. When we put them into the case, they wouldn’t charge because the contact points weren’t touching or something.
Next, we’ve got the Inpods Pro 4, and I think the biggest pro here is the fact that they look like AirPods and they charge with a Lightning cable. You can even get the cool pairing graphic you get with AirPods when you connect them to your iPhone, but this only showed up for us when it was already paired. But, they don’t sound very good, they’ve got a shoddy build quality, and they’re quite uncomfortable to use.
That said, they are very cheap, usually under RM20, and they’re very portable.
Finally, there’s the OliveBebe T13. It’s got a display, it is very easy to pair and we didn’t have any connection issues. But it doesn’t sound very good, not even by hard-tipped headphones standards. Also, it has very questionable build quality, but at least it can charge.
The “Recommended” category
Now, the first entry in this category is a bit of a contested choice. It’s the Vantinee C1 and Ray doesn’t really like it. And I completely understand why.
The build quality isn’t great, and our particular unit has a case that doesn’t close or fit properly. Like you can rotate the whole thing around which makes me doubt how long it will last down the line. The microphone also doesn’t work on our unit, and it also charges via micro USB, which means you’ll probably have to bring a spare cable since most smartphones have already switched to USB-C.
But there are a couple of reasons why I wanted to include it here. For starters, they sound OK. Like they’re not the best-in-class, but they’re also not the worst. They’re very mid, and considering their sub RM30 price tag, I think that’s OK.
They are also more comfortable than most of the headphones we tested, and they didn’t have any connection issues. It was really easy to pair and we weren’t forced to listen to just one side at any given time. Also, they’re the only ones on this list with IPX7 water resistance. Plus, they come in a bunch of different pastel colours, which is always nice. I’d like to think that we got a lemon unit, considering the poor fitting case and broken microphone, but poor QC is also not a good thing.
Next up, we have the QCY T5. I’ve actually seen this a couple of times whenever someone talks about cheap headphones. And it was also recommended by one of our members in RKMD.
But, it is one of the most expensive headphones here, and we actually paid more than RM50 for it. Still, they do sound pretty good, and have one of the best build qualities of all the headphones in this list. They are also comfortable, which is a big plus.
However, our unit suffers from connection issues. Except the one time during our first video where we got it paired properly, we haven’t been able to get both sides working since. Even after resetting the headphones multiple times, switching devices and repairing, it was always the left or the right, and never both. That’s a pretty big problem to have when it comes to headphones, and it was a big source of frustration for the both of us.
Still, we’re willing to chalk this down as a bug with our unit because I didn’t see anyone else having this issue.
Now though, it’s time for our undisputed champion. What is in our opinion, the best pair of TWS headphones for under RM50. They are the Baseus WM-01.
Honestly, there’s not a lot to hate about these headphones for under RM50. They sound the best, among all of these that we tested. They also have the best build quality, and they were really easy to pair. We had zero connection issues with these headphones On top of that, I think they look the best, and they also come in a whole bunch of colours for you to choose from.
The only real issue we had with these headphones was that you didn’t get extra eartips in different sizes. This made it so it didn’t really fit our ears with the stock tips on, but you can always buy larger or smaller ones on Shopee for between RM2 to RM5.
One thing we haven’t talked about is the microphone quality on these TWS headphones. And we actually found out that most of them don’t sound really good. Some of them were even broken. But, if all you want from a pair of headphones is a decent mic, then you can consider the Remax TWS 21, the QCY T5, the Minions Pro 12, and the Baseus WM01.
But we think the Baseus has the best mic overall.
Here’s the full microphone test.
You can buy all of these headphones on Shopee: