After chasing the unmistakable style of Apple's AirPods, many solutions arrive on the market that are appreciated not only for their design but also for a series of unique features of their kind, such as the new TicPods 2 Pro of Mobvoi, which promise excellent quality in listening to music and calls and which differ in the adoption of a proprietary technology, which made them so loved by my fellow reviewers. Will they have won my heart, pardòn, ear? Let's find out in this full review.
We start as usual from the contents of the package, which promises to be decidedly premium, inside which we find an illustrated quick guide, a multilingual user manual, including the Italian and the USB Type-C charging cable as well as of course the recharge our TWS headphones.
The bussolotto has a weight with inserted earphones of only 37,8 grams, which makes it practically the transport of the same ultra comfortable considering the ultra reduced measures of the entire audio product. The cover has a knurled surface that allows immediate recognition of the opening side in addition to the small recess on the front of the case, where we also find two small LEDs spaced from the word TicPods, which attest to the state of charge of the case itself, when it is open the lid: RED color to communicate the energy requirement, GREEN color to proceed without fear of use.
Specularly we find the Type-C input for charging the compass, which integrates a 390 mAh battery, which is recharged in about 2 hours and 20 minutes allowing a charge of the integrated headphones for about 4,5 times, effectively obtaining a daily use of more than 16 hours, considering the tiny battery integrated in the 30 mAh earphones, allowing instead a duration of 3 hours and 45 minutes with audio set at about 80% of the real range. Finally, a charge of just 5 minutes provides up to 1 hour of playback
By opening the cover at the bottom of the same we find two small silicone inserts, which serve to push the earphones against the magnets placed in place, avoiding that during transport the micro movements can create movements that could interrupt the progress of the charge. Then we find a button, which will be used only for the first pairing with the smartphone, necessarily via companion app and then of course we find our TicPods 2 Pro, whose positions are marked by the letter L (left) and R (right).
I found two defects: the first related to the lid, which although it has a very firm magnetic closure, unfortunately the hinge is not reinforced which therefore leaves the lid "free" from involuntary movements, therefore when opening you will always have to turn the case with the top towards you otherwise the lid will close on itself. Another defect I found is related to the position of the earphones, as to bring the correct driver to the ear we would have to rotate it, thus making it unnatural and poco I practice movement. In any case, the release takes place in a simple way, as well as the magnets are very powerful, firmly anchoring the headphones, even if subject to strong jolts.
The TicPods 2 Pro are shown with the classic stick design but with NON-in-ear drivers, just like the AirPods, but in this case the finishes are left a little to chance, as the conjunction of the plastics is clearly visible used. In any case, we find on both the sticks in the upper front part a microphone while in the internal part, there are 3 pogo-pins for charging. Another microphone is positioned in the lower part of the stick, while on the main driver we find the letter R / L, the metal net to protect the case and the optical proximity sensor that will allow you to put the multimedia content on Play / Pause, without going through the touch controls enjoyed by these TicPods 2 Pro.
General comfort is guaranteed not only by the shape inspired by Apple's proposal, but also by a weight of only 4,4 grams, which therefore allows it to be worn for several hours without ever causing discomfort. In addition, the driver has a rather full shape, thus effectively filling the space available, stabilizing the earphones inside our duct, making their positioning firm even in particular conditions such as running, etc.
Obviously this is a personal consideration, so some buyers of the TicPods 2 Pro may have a divergent opinion on the comfort of these headphones. Moreover, it is difficult to create a product that fits everyone perfectly given the uniqueness of the subjects. The IPX4 certification completes the specifications.
The company claims that the TicPods 2 Pro earphones allow you to channel audio directly into your ear, while dual microphone noise canceling makes it easier for others to hear your voice by isolating external ambient noise. To put it briefly, the Mobvoi solution offers good microphones that allow us to capture our voice with good quality, isolating it from the context that surrounds us, although this is not entirely excluded from the final rendering. Therefore in particularly noisy conditions, our interlocutor will hear our voice well but at the same time could be annoyed by the background noise of the environment in which we find ourselves.
As for listening to music and / or video, the TicPods 2 Pro are an excellence, giving a sound characterized by all the nuances of the sound spectrum made available, without reaching out into particular imbalances towards medium / high and low tones. Moreover, through the companion app we can adjust the sound according to certain scenarios, thus optimizing the quality in genres such as jazz, pop, rock etc .. Zero lag is also guaranteed for streaming content thanks to the presence of a Qualcomm QCC5121 Bluetooth 5.0 chip with range in open field over 10 meters, which also gives our headphones the quality of the aptX and AAC audio codec.
Among the functions made available by these TWS headphones we find the possibility to control the music tracks via the touch surface that resides in the stem below the driver. The Play / Pause as already anticipated is guaranteed simply by removing or wearing the headset (function can be deactivated from the app), while with a double touch we can ski forward (you can decide to ski back through the app but you cannot set the FWW / REW on both headsets) or answer incoming calls. In call always with two touches the conversation will end. It is also possible to adjust the volume with a swipe downwards or upwards and finally holding down the touch surface for about 2 seconds will activate the voice assistant of your phone. Unfortunately, in my opinion very serious, the TicPods 2 Pro cannot be used independently, without a master headset, as the SX headset will be the primary and therefore wearing only the DX one you will not have any feedback.
As said at the beginning of the review, the TicPods 2 Pro are characterized by the adoption of two proprietary technologies, such as TicHear and TicMotion. The first should ensure perfect integration through voice commands. In fact, the microphones of our headphones are always listening and if necessary giving the right command, we can control the multimedia contents (Play, Pause, Forward and Back of a track but also answer or end a call). Too bad that the commands are recognized only in English, but above all they must be equipped with a certain tone of voice and pronunciation, making this feature almost unusable, considering that often the commanded are not recognized as well as we often find ourselves screaming for give the command. Mobovoi, why didn't you give the possibility to set the command according to our voice, as for example happens with Hey Google?
Another function associated with TicHear technology is to call up the smartphone's voice assistant with the phrase HEY TICO. Perhaps useful function with iOS devices, on which Siri must be called by necessarily passing from the smartphone unless the new generation Airpods are used, but in the case of Android it is possible to call the Google Assistant both with the use of earphones and without . Therefore also this function for the vast majority of users is ridiculous and useless.
At this point you will think that TicMotion technology has impressed my fellow reviewers and instead I spoil you already that even in this case we are dealing with a malfunctioning and useless feature. TiMotion allows us on paper to answer calls by making the YES sign with the head while you can reject the call simply by making the NO sign with your head. Given that I only managed to take advantage of the NO gesture, but can you imagine yourself walking in the middle of the street, starting to shake your head to answer or reject a call? Passersby will probably think that you are deranged, when the same functions can be achieved with a more elegant and discreet touch on the headset.
Someone asserted that the function becomes useful, for example if we are behind the wheel to be able to respond avoiding distractions, but in reality we will be even more portraits considering that we look away from the road to make the appropriate gesture.
From the Mobvoi application, we can go to manage all the appropriate settings and activate / deactivate what has been reported so far. From here you can also enable the AptX codec for better audio quality, as well as manage the music equalizer, and set or not the sound warnings related to connection / disconnection, low battery etc .. When starting the application we are shown, in perfect Apple style, also a summary pop up regarding the charging status of the headphones and the charging box. Furthermore, another function made available is the possibility of making translations. Guess what? We also have problems in this area: in fact, by setting the Italian language as the starting point, the translation will not start, returning a network error, therefore better use the good old and free Google Translate. The only utility is that we listen to what we have to translate with the left earphone and receive the translation on the right earphone, so that we can afford to give the headset to the foreign person with whom we want to talk.
Can I recommend them with my eyes closed? The TicPods 2 Pro in my opinion are excellent TWS headphones for what concerns the traditional listening to music as well as in the quality in call, but for the innovations included in the product, which raise the price, they are certainly rejected. They are therefore also good for the compact size, for the excellent wearability, for the possibility of using the touch controls and the general autonomy but at the price they are offered both on Amazon and on the official store, the high-level competition is really great. , such as Huawei's FreeBuds.