TWS true wireless earphones - under $25
TWO STARS - The XG-12 may the most generic cheap true wireless earphones you can buy on AliExpress. They don't sound too bad, but they have some problems.
Specs of the XG-12 TWS ‘Sports Headphones’:
Design, charging and comfort
The packaging of the XG-12 does nothing to convince you, you could have a quality product at hand. That impressions still holds when you meet the charging case. It's a butterscotch cookie-like shaped square, with a lid that doesn't close on the case a hundred precent. The hinge on the lid may not break instantly, but it certainly feels vulnerable. The case isn't the most powerful either - it's 350mAh should be able to charge the earpieces fully for just 2,5 times. The case does offer four light indicators to show it's own battery.
The earpieces also feel generic on the XG12 TWS. They resemble the shape of the QCY QS1, yet are somewhat more round, like the ones on the Anomoibuds Capsule. The XG-12 ones aren't as deep though - these stick less out of your ear. The earphone offers a friendly fit for many medium and larger sized ears - and with the three delivered ear tips, it's easy to get them to stick in your ears.
Connectivity and controls
The XG12 TWS has physical buttons on the earpieces. You don't have to press them too hard or too painful to control them, but the sound sometimes drops once you put your finger near a button - or one of the earpieces at all.
Happily, controls are easy. Press once for play/ pause and taking a call. Press twice for forwarding (right) or returning (left) a song. Activating your voice assistant (like Siri or Google) is only possible when not playing music, by holding a button for a second.
The connectivity is a less refined part of the XG-12. After turning them both on by getting them out of the case, the left earpieces takes a second longer to join the sound. The Bluetooth 5.0 signal struggles to keep stable at around 7 meters and when you move a finger near one of the earpieces, chances are they'll loose connection between them a second. What's worse, is the connection has a hard time to put trough any sound at all in an area crowded with WiFi and other connection signals.
Calling and watching movies
The call quality on the XG12 is horrible. Due to their compact, bean-shaped size of the earphones, the microphone can't pick up signals from your mouth at all, resulting in a muffled, even inaudible sound coming from you. It's bad when just talking, it's even worse while you're moving.
Watching movies goes with noticeable delay in the YouTube app on iPhone. As it the case with almost all wireless earphones, it seems to do fine on Android.
Sound: it's tricky
Who thinks that buying generic, brandless earphones on AliExpress will always get you a muddy, bassy sound: think again. The XG12 sounds surprisingly mid-centric.
To get the most out of the sound, it's important to twist the XG-12 real tight in your ear. ‘Just’ putting them in doesn't gain the best seal yet, providing a weak bass, and unbalanced harsh mids and highs. With the right seal, it gets better however.
Instruments like guitars, piano's and also (male) vocals, do have some room to breathe. They offer detail, nuance and can even be placed in less crowded musical compositions.
That's where the praise stops. The XG-12 has difficulties coping with more crowded songs, and it's tonality is off. Vocals can sound tinny, and the bass drags the lower mids (such as bass guitars) completely in them, generating a muddy sound.
The amount of bass in special, is very dependent on the seal in your ear, like with the QCY QS1. Playing with the earpieces a bit can mean the difference between a supportive bass and a more heavy one - but even with the perfect fit, the XG-12 isn't very refined.
A tacky charging case, unstable Bluetooth connection and a muddy-tinny sound. It's best to save up a few dollar more and skip the XG-12.
TWO STARS - DISAPPOINTING
Buy the XG-12 TWS ‘Sports Headphones’
/ check current price:
Buy XG-12 on Amazon Europe (Germany)
I bought the XG-12 TWS Sports Headphones for my own listening and review purposes. I test and review all audio products equally honest - read about it here.
Consider buying this earphone? I'd really appreciate it if you use the links in this article. It won't cost you extra, yet it will financially support me a bit in my ongoing quest for great affordable audio. <3