“SOUND WITH SUBSTANCE.”
The Dudios Tic Touch Control TWS Earbuds arrived in a 3 9/16 inches wide by 4 1/16 inches tall by 1 1/2 inches thick retail package. The cover and front flap had a wrap-around mustard green sticker, which provided most of the information for the user. The cover sticker provided the Dudios name along the top left, the product name just beneath this section, “Bluetooth 5.0V Auto Pairing,” and then an oblique image of the black earbuds/case. Along the front flap, you will find “Sound with Substance,” numerous product manufacturing labels, the www.dudios.com website, and then their Shenzhen, China address. The back panel had a small SKU label, as did the back panel. The only other information that I could find was “Wireless Earbuds wit…Phone Samsung Android.” Having reviewed products from companies like 1MORE, I would have liked a more involved product packaging experience. Alas, the large mustard sticker was all that we got.
I removed the outer plastic, lifted the front flap, and then opened up the box. I first noticed the 3 11/16 inches wide by 1 5/16 inches tall by 3/4 inches thick accessory box and then a black foam pad layer. Using the thumb hole, I lifted the accessory box out of the main compartment and removed the included power cable and small/large ear tips. Even though I was pleased with the ability to customize the ear tips, I was a little let down to find a USB-micro instead of a USB-C because modern devices are moving toward the newer charging technology. I am thankful that they included the cable, but the 7 1/2 inch length felt a bit too short. Returning to the main packaging, I removed the black foam spacer and then pulled out the 2 13/16 inches long by 1 5/16 inches wide by 1 inches thick charging case. The matte black 1.41 oz earbud/case combo provided the DUDIOS name along the top flip panel and had the micro-USB charging port along the back. I lifted the magnetic lid and was impressed with the matte black 0.1-ounce (each) earbuds resting within their respective ports. The inner surface of the flap provided the same product manufacturing labels as the cover panel.
Before you throw away the packaging, make sure that you remove the included multilingual instruction manual and the black Dudios manual. The Dudios manual contained Warranty (firstname.lastname@example.org), Influencer (Four QR codes linking to the website, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube), and multilingual charging tip information (To charge safely, please make sure that current is no greater than 5V/1A). I plugged the USB-A cable into a 5V/1A cube and then the USB-micro end into the earbud case. While charging, I turned to the multilingual instruction manual (English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, and two characters languages). The first panel detailed the product includsionsk while the second panel displayed an incredibly useful specification table: Bluetooth 5.0, Maximum Range 10M, Working Time bout 4.5 hours, Earbuds charging time about 2 hours, charging case charging time about 2 hours, charging case recharge earbuds “4times,” and product dimensions. The second panel showed a side view of each of the earbuds and the remote control sequence. A double press of either earbud promised to play/pause music, or to answer/hangup a call. A triple press of the right earbud activated/deactivated Game Mode, and a triple press of the left earbud activated Siri. Holding the right button for 2 seconds will allow you to change to the next track, while holding the left earbud will allow you to return to the previous track. The third panel showed how to install the earbuds into the ears and how to angle them for optimal listening/microphone use. The fourth panel detailed how to pair the earbuds with your smartphone and the ability to pair just the left earbud, if desired. The fifth panel discussed the Game Mode, charging the device/headset, and how to factory reset the earbuds. I found the Game Mode to be interesting, as it was supposed to decrease the latency between audio/visual information. If this mode greatly reduced the delay in the earphones, why would this not simply be a default? Why would anyone want that feature to be deactivated? The last panel detailed how to charge the case, provided contact information, and a QR code.
I let the earbuds charge for two hours and noted that the front green LED indicators extinguished. I lifted the lid of the case, removed the right then the left earbud, and placed them into my ears. The medium tips fit my ear canals reasonably well, but the fit of the smaller tips proved to be superior. Unlike other earbuds, the Dudios Tic earbuds did not utilize verbal instructions. Instead, you will hear a double beep, alerting you to the “ready to pair” status. To pair, simply navigate to Settings, Bluetooth, and then select Dudios Tic L from the list. To fully test the earbuds, I took them on my weekend RV camping trip in the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois. For my initial tests, I visited the audiocheck.net website and utilized their “Audio Tests.” I started with the Low-Frequency Response and Subwoofer Audio Test (10-200 Hz), and both felt and heard the rumble of the bass at 20Hz. Using the High-Frequency Response and Hearing Audio Test (22-8 kHz), I was able to hear sounds once the tone reached 15kHz, my upper range of limit of hearing. To test the Left/Right/Center programming, I used the Left/Right (Stereo) Sound Test and my favorite test, “The Real Thing,” Stereo Perception and Sound Localization Test. I was quite pleased with the frequency range, with the L/R/C programming and with the fit of the earbuds, but I found the lack of volume control to be quite odd. Even though I am rarely more than a few feet from my iPhone 11 Pro Max at any given moment, the omission seemed rather frustrating.
Using Amazon Music Unlimited, Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube, I turned to my typical test tracks. With the volume of my phone set at 50%, I fired up “Train Song” by Holly Cole and listened to the bounding bass line and her sultry lyrics. I then tuned in to the city sounds of “Bright Lights Bigger City” by CeeLo Green, and then satisfied my inner nerd with “Far Over The Misty Mountains Cold” from The Hobbit. To get a deeper feeling of the bass, I listened to Tim Faust’s final note of Home Free “Ring of Fire,” and then finished my evaluation of the bass with The Dark Knight Rises Joker Theme “Why So Serious.” The song continues to build to my favorite section from the 3:00 to 4:00 minute point. At that point, the song has a neat call/response, which feels like you are caught in a helicopter rotor wash. Giving the earbuds an 8-8.5/10 in bass, I moved to my mid/high test tracks. I listened to “Turn Your Lights Down Low” by Bob Marley and the Wailers, and then the instrument heavy Robin Hood Prince of Thieves Soundtrack, Far and Away Soundtrack, and Braveheart soundtracks. To satisfy my Pop sweet tooth, I listened to a few selections from Megan Trainor, “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson, several songs from Alabama, and CCR. To test the overall sound blend/staging, I regularly utilize ” Radiohead “The National Anthem,” “Caribbean Blue” by Enya, and “Bubbles” from Yosi Horikawa. The earbuds did not disappoint; I would rate the overall sound 9/10. I have recently started listening to binaural recordings and 7D/8D Audio. If you have not heard these, I welcome you to listen to Disturbed “Sound of Silence 8D,” Pentatonix “Hallelujah 8D,” and Queen “Bohemia’s Rhapsody 8D.” Similar to the “Real Thing” knocking experience above, the “Sound Of Silence (3D Binaural Audio)- Simon and Garfunkel Cover-Jarvis Brothers (Ear to Ear) will provide a little thrill before their binaural musical cover.
On my recent trip to the Shawnee Forrest, we planned horseback riding, canoeing, and to enjoy the wonders of nature. Each day, I arose around seven am, stuck the earbuds into my ears and listened to music for about an hour, while cooking breakfast. I would then remove them, eat with my family/friends, and then we would go about the day. During this time, I returned the earbuds to their charger. Around lunch time, I repeated this process. On one of the camping days, I hung out in a folding chair for a while, and another we decided to go out onto the lake with paddle boats. The earbuds were comfortable, fit my ear canals well, and caused minimal fatigue. I found that the setup lasted the entire weekend without needing to charge, which was quite convenient. I used just the left earbud while playing with my daughter at the park, and then used both while out on a walk on the trail. Whether I was listening to music, watching movies, or enjoying Audible books, the earbuds proved to be quite comfortable and the sounds were well balanced. After my family went to bed, I watched Birds of Prey and Justice League Apokolips War. I tried changing between Game Mode and non game mode and found no difference for Amazon Video, Movies Anywhere, Hulu, or Vudu. For YouTube videos, I did note a small improvement with the Game Mode over the Non Game Mode. At times the bass could have been deeper, and at times the sounds could have benefited from higher/mid sounds. An equalizer may have helped that a little.
To summarize my experience, the Dudios earbuds fulfilled my testing criteria. Unless you require top-of-the-line audiophile-grade gear, they should fulfill the needs of a vast majority of people as well. If I was going to design the Tic 2.0 Bluetooth system, I would focus more on the outer packaging, I would add volume control, and would change the charging setup to USB-C. I loved that the product was portable, lightweight, comfortable, and that they provided two additional ear tip sizes. Overall, I would rate the Dudios Earbuds at 9/10 for sound, 9/10 for comfort, 9/10 for battery life, 8/10 for accessories, 8/10 for charging capabilities, and 8/10 for packaging. If you are looking for a sub $30 pair of earphones, you will be hard-pressed to find a better option.