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UGREEN HiTune TWS Earbuds Review: aptX for the Masses

A new standard for budget earphones?

Verdict:  The UGREEN HiTune manages to pack aptX, a premium feature that’s usually found in more expensive earbuds in a package that’s less than Php 2K, along with USB-C connectivity and better-than-average battery life. And while it focuses more on the mids and loses audio fidelity beyond 80% volume, the HiTune is priced fairly for its general soundstage.

The HiTune is priced at Php 1,899 at UGREEN’s official Lazada store and Php 1,999 at their official Shopee store. For a limited time until the end of October, you can get it at  Php 1,499/1,599 with a Lazada voucher or Shopee code UGREHITUN (?400 OFF ) at UGREEN’s official Lazada store and official Shopee store.

 

When it comes to Bluetooth audio codecs, Qualcomm’s aptX is one of the best out there for Android phones. Initially available as a feature on more expensive wireless headphones, the first-generation aptX codec is slowly trickling down to budget wireless options.

One of those budget options is the HiTune, made by Gadget accessory brand UGREEN. Armed with a sub-Php 2k price, is the HiTune the best deal you can get if you want to experience seamless wireless audio quality with aptX?

Pros:

  • aptX on a sub-Php 2k pair
  • Great battery life

Cons:

  • Slight delay with touch controls
  • Audio quality gets distorted when you go beyond 80% volume

Design and build

UGREEN keeps the HiTune’s design simple with a rectangle-shaped case that is devoid of any buttons. The front has three LED lights to indicate the charging case’s battery capacity, while you get a USB-C port at the back for charging. Unlike with most budget TWS earbuds, UGREEN opted to go for a matte finish for the case, making it more resistant to fingerprints and smudges.

Popping the case open reveals the earbuds themselves, which have a form factor similar to the Galaxy Buds. The buds have a chunky body housing the 5.8mm dynamic drivers. The matte finish where you have UGREEN’s logo is the buds’ touch controls, and you have LED lights on the glossy section of the buds. These light up blue when they are ready for pairing and white when they are in use.

User Interface and fit

Despite having a rather chunky body, the HiTune earbuds fit comfortably on my ears. The body may be protruding away from my ears, but I can wear them for over an hour without experiencing any form of discomfort. The pre-installed silicone tips fit well on the first try, and you have two other sets with the packaging in case you want a better fit.

Pairing them is straightforward: instead of a pairing button, all you need to do is remove the buds out of the case. They will automatically engage in pairing mode, and you simply just need to look for them in your device’s Bluetooth settings.

As for the controls, the HiTune makes use of touch controls for managing music, calls, and voice assistant. While the touch response is accurate, I’ve noticed that there’s a slight delay in responding to the touch commands. It is pretty much expected on a pair of budget earbuds, which is why I personally prefer TWS earbuds that use physical buttons.

Audio Quality and battery life

Compared to conventional TWS earbuds that use AAC or SBC codecs, the HiTune’s use of aptX gives a more detailed sound quality while keeping the wireless connection stable with Bluetooth 5.0. For the sound stage, the HiTune’s bass is not as deep as other TWS earbuds that use silicone ear tips. The mids shine better on the HiTune, making them ideal for listening to alternative tracks and not bass-heavy ones. Since it uses aptX and not the newer iteration aptX adaptive, you can utilize this audio codec on more devices.

One issue I encountered with the HiTune is that the sound quality gets distorted if you go beyond 80% volume. I recommend keeping the volume at around 70-75% to get the most out of its audio quality. While they do not have active noise cancellation, the HiTune makes use of Qualcomm’s cVc 8.0 noise-canceling tech for improved sound quality, especially with calls.

While it has a typical battery size at 60mAh per bud, the HiTune’s use of a Qualcomm QCC3020 chip makes it power efficient, lasting longer than your typical TWS earbuds. As my daily driver, I managed to clock in over 8 hours before I have to put them back on the charging case.

The charging case is rated to give around two full charges to the buds, so you get around 24 hours of playback time—which is not far from UGREEN’s advertised 27 hours total playback time. Charging is done via USB-C, and it takes around two hours to fully top up the charging case.

The HiTune is priced at Php 1,899 at UGREEN’s official Lazada store and Php 1,999 at their official Shopee store. For a limited time until the end of October, you can get it at  Php 1,499/1,599 with a Lazada voucher or Shopee code UGREHITUN (?400 OFF ) at UGREEN’s official Lazada store and official Shopee store.

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