TicPods ANC Active Noise Cancelling headphones
The TicPods ANC Active Noise Cancelling headphones are the third model we've now tested from Mobvoi - and it's safe to say they are their best shot at taking Apple's crown so far.
While the TicPods Free offered fantastic value for money, and the TicPods 2 Pro bring performance at a slightly higher price at the slight lack of comfort the TicPods ANC offer both the best value and the most comfort while delivering top-tier audio performance.
The buds come, unsurprisingly, in their own charging case. Whereas the previous two sets of phones we tested stored them horizontally the TicPods ANC are vertical - not that it makes any real difference. The case has its own battery to ensure as long between wired charges as possible. Each bud has a rubber in-ear insert that makes then instantly more comfortable than the TicPods 2 Pro and also ensures good grip ensuring they don't dislodge during a jog or run. They're also sweat and water resistant so even the most invigorating exercise won't be a problem!
Unfortunately one thing we don't get this time around is touch-based volume control - although more often than not I found myself reaching for my phone to adjust the volume on other buds anyway so that's not a great problem. The big selling point of the TicPods ANC - as the name might suggest - is the Active Noise Cancelling that has a stab at reducing ambient noise to allow you to focus more closely on what you're listening to. It works but isn't hugely effective - there is a noticeable difference when ANC is on full, but it's not as effective as we'd have liked with plenty of distractions breaking in to your headspace. You'll definitely hear the odd passing vehicle or noisy children!
In terms of performance - there's just enough sound quality here to make them noteworthy. Sometimes the audio can be a little harsh or lacking in depth but the sound placement spot on and makes up for any shortcomings in overall range. The soundstage is impressively wide - you'll never believe you're in a concert, but for a budget set of wireless ear buds there it would be churlish to expect premium perfomance.
For the money there isn't a better option on the market.
One other thing of note is the Bluetooth connectivity seems far more forgiving than their previous headphones - I've had no trouble with multiple devices pairing without the need to disconnect and unpair between sessions and this alone makes them a big step up from the TicPods Free for me and at their current price level they really are a steal.
- Great sound stage
- Good battery life
- Very comfortable
- Slightly underwhelming ANC
- No volume control
- Slight lack of depth to the sound