TWS TRUE WIRELESS EARPHONES - UNDER $50
FIVE STARS - If you don't mind a generic look and feel of your wireless earphones, the Alien Secret Predator QCC010 offers a lot for only 30 dollars: great battery life, video playback, and sound quality.
Specs of the Alien Secret ‘Predator’ QCC010:
Bluetooth 5.0 with AptX codec
IPX5 water proof (sweat and rain resistant)
7 hours listening on a full charge
Charging case can charge earpieces fully 9 times
Comes with 6 sets of ear tips and USB-C cable
The QCC010 has different names. it's called Alien Secret QCC010. On the box, it says Predator QCC010. I'll use both names in this review.
DESIGN, COMFORT AND BATTERY LIFE
The Alien Secret 'Predator' is just a 30 dollars product, but it looks like it's even cheaper. Both the charging case and the earpieces themselves lack branding and look as if they're one of AliExpress many, many 15 dollar sets of wireless earbuds. Happily, that's also the worst thing to say about the design.
The charging case is a whopping 1000mAh - about twice the size average for the price - and keeps its battery a very long time. On the front, four LED-lights show the current battery status. It can recharge the earpieces up to 9 times fully (!) - giving the earpieces around 7 hours of playtime each charge. It supports USB-C and wireless charging as well. Still, the case is quite pocketable and not too heavy. It's only the height (around 4 centimeters) that you can consider bulky.
The earpieces, too, are not the most compact in the world - but still have a pleasant size. On the outside, they look a bit generic in grey, with a center button with brushed steel effect, and a visibly positioned microphone. Around the buttons, you find a led light that doesn't blink when you're listening to them - phew! The in-your-ears-side of the earbuds is the best part, however. The Predators are round, with a slight bump in the middle. It makes for a very comfortable and relaxing yet tight fit, suited for most ears. It blocks out a fair amount of noise from your surroundings.
To complete the fit, the QCC010 comes with different kinds of ear tips. That's a standard procedure for any pair of wireless earphones, but this time, you get long and short ones. That's great, considering the standard tip is quite small and may not get you the best amount of bass. Try them all.
Its looks may not be top-notch; the battery life and comfort of the Alien Secret Predator QCC010 are.
CONNECTIVITY AND CONTROLS
The Predator QCC010 wireless earbuds come with actual buttons on the sides, where more manufacturers keep making the jump to touch controls. The buttons, the brushed steel part, respond well to your touches and don't make you press the earpieces too deep in your ears.
With a single press, you either play or pause the music. Pressing twice on the right side, makes you advance a song. Doing so on the left side, makes you go back a track. Press three times to activate the voice assistant on your phone. Unfortunately, it's not possible to change the volume on the earpieces.
The connectivity of the Alien Secret QCC010 is reliable. Its Bluetooth 5.0 signal keeps stable up to ten meters and holds steady as well when you're in areas more crowded with wireless signals. Sadly, it's not possible to switch fast between one and two earpieces.
CALLING AND WATCHING MOVIES WITH QCC010
Watching videos with the Predator QCC010 is a joy. The audio syncs perfectly with footage on the screen, on both Android and iPhone - including the YouTube app. The sound on shows and podcasts is wonderful: detailed and spacious with a medium bass, although it can be a bit sharp on some occasions.
Contrary the promo texts, there is very noticeable audio lag when you play games.
Calling isn't the strongest suit of the Predator. It's doable to have a phone call indoors, without too much noise surrounding you, although your voice may sound a bit metallic at times. When you're outside, your voice is challenged by traffic and wind noise. How good it fares depends heavily on those two factors.
SOUND QUALITY OF ALIEN SECRET QCC010
The Predator QCC010 TWS has a sweet bass, delivering plenty of power in dance, hip-hop, techno, and other more modern genres. Still, it doesn't deliver the ear-pounding thump a competitor like the Tronsmart Spunky Beat or the Whizzer B6 can achieve.
Its slam is a bit more subtle, which makes for a perfect match for more acoustic and classic genres - yet still striking hard enough in Billie Eilish' Bury a Friend. The same goes for the sub-bass. In challenging songs like James Blake's Limit to Your Love, the bass sounds deep, yet rumbles gently. A delicate balance between too little bass and relentlessly shaking up your ears - great work.
One of the strongest parts of the Predator QCC010 TWS sound is the spaciousness (or airiness, if you prefer) in it. Music sounds around you, rather than directly in your ears. The soundstage is impressive, and instruments and sounds effects are separated well and can even be placed precisely. It's detailed as well. Take the intro of The Doors Riders on the Storm: the rain and thunder are clearly audible, sound natural, and yet sound distant from you.
The Predator QCC010, elevates its upper-mids, giving room to vocals. Especially female vocalists can take a central position in songs, coming from 'inside' your head, or right in front of you. Still, the upper-mids aren't emphasized too much. They keep the overall sound of the QCC010 warm - they're not so far extended they make music sound harsh or (too) bright. The lower-mids are comparable to the bass: there's plenty of it, but the Predator doesn't have the 'thickness' of more bass-tuned models like the Mpow M5, SoundPEATS TrueEngine and even the less bass-focused Tronsmart Spunky Beat. Is that bad? No - not necessarily - it makes more acoustic, classical genres sound natural, while still maintaining a warm sound.
The Predator QCC010 walks a fine line between a bassy and warm sound signature, and a more analytical, bright sound. Combined with appealing spaciousness, the Predator offers a downright appealing sound.