When dealing with relatively unknown brand names, it’s understandable to set your expectations pretty low. I did this for the QCY Q26. The “Super Mini Bluetooth earbud,” as the company calls it, isn’t revolutionary by any means, but it’s small, cheap, and has surprisingly good sound quality.
The QCY Q26 is a single earbud — not a pair — meaning you’re not going to be fully immersed in whatever you’re listening to. This small Bluetooth 4.1 earbud is just under 5 grams and is 23mm at its thickest measurement. While in your ear, it’ll be no more attention-grabbing than your average set of wired earbuds. It is also IPX2 rated, so you won’t have to worry about sweat messing with it. The earbud touts 70 hours of standby time, with 3 hours of music playback. Charge time is less than 2 hours, so you won’t have to wait too long to listen to music or make a phone call with the earbud. Aesthetically, there are four color options: blue, black, white, and green.
The QCY Q26 has one port for charging and one button that handles a few different tasks. With a single long press, the Q26 powers on (or off). Just like pairing any other Bluetooth audio device, it’s quick and simple. Hold the button for another 5 seconds to enter pairing mode. The lone LED with flash, alternating between red and blue. Find the earbud in your device’s Bluetooth menu, and connect. While listening to music, press once to pause your music and once again to resume. While in a call, a single press will end the call (and the earbud’s “voice” will notify you). Whether you’re listening to music or not, you can quickly press the button twice to redial the last number you’ve called. To access Siri or Google Now, simply hold the button for one second.
As mentioned earlier, the QCY Q26 has wonderful sound quality. The earbud’s quality is comparable to my $30 wired Sony earbuds, and at almost half the price. Granted, you’re only getting one earbud. and you can’t purchase a second to complement it. However, if you want an earbud that’ll deliver clear phone calls and music playback, it can handle those tasks with ease.
At $15.99 (QCY’s listed price), the QCY Q26 Bluetooth earbud is pretty darn good. However, only getting half a pair of earbuds might deter most customers. If you’re okay with a single earpiece Bluetooth headset like “the good ol’ days,” then this earbud is for you. You can grab it on Amazon for $13.49.