It feels like ever since Apple released Airpods onto the market, other electronics manufacturers have been scrambling to release their own sets of truly wireless (TWS) headphones – Bluetooth headphones without any cables connecting them.
Haylou, a Xiaomi-affiliated company, have released the Haylou GT1 – a sub-$25 pair of TWS Bluetooth 5.0 headphones that boast a IPX5 rating, touch controls and a compact charging case. Are they worth it? Let’s take a look.
Table of Contents
Haylou GT1 Specifications
|Frequency Response:||20 – 20000Hz|
|Battery Life (Headphones):||3.5 Hours|
|Battery Life (Case):||12 Hours|
What’s Inside the Box?
Inside the box, you’ll get:
- Magnetic charging case
- Micro USB cable
- 3 pairs of eartips
- User Manual
Haylou GT1 Review: Hardware
Unboxing the Haylou headphones gives the feeling that this is a polished product.
The charging case is impressively small, with a lid that snaps solidly in place with magnets. I wasn’t worried about the case opening in my pocket or bag which was great.
It’s entirely plastic which keeps its weight down, with rounded corners that make it comfortable to slide into your pocket. Thanks to its compact size, the Haylou GT1s were my go to headphones whenever I wanted to travel light.
A micro USB port around the back is used to charge the case’s built-in 310mAh battery. A full charge takes around 1.5 hours and is able to charge the earbuds a few times.
The case constantly recharges the earbuds when they’re put in. Each earbud automatically snaps into position and starts charging, with red charging LEDs.
Unfortunately, there’s no battery indicator on either the case or the headphones themselves which is frustrating. Whilst my Samsung S10e provided a battery indicator for the headphones themselves (something not all smartphones will do), there’s no way to know if the case is running low so you’ll need to keep plugging in just in case.
The earbuds themselves are pretty minimalist. There’s no buttons (thanks to the unit’s touch functionality), just the driver, a small notification LED and the charging pins.
They’re IPX5 rated (which covers being sprayed with a water jet) so sweat won’t be an issue. Those looking for a set of TWS buds for exercise are safe.
Haylou GT1 Review Review: Using It
Once you’ve paired up the headphones with your smartphone, using them is dead simple.
The headphones automatically re-pair with your smartphone as soon as you take them out of the case with a tone notifying its connected. However, the right earbud is the one that pairs to your phone. I was impressed with how quickly they reconnected – a few seconds and I was listening to my favorite tunes.
Haylou have included 3 different sizes of rubber earbuds in the box, though I found the medium sized ones that were already installed to provide a good fit.
Speaking of comfort, the Haylou GT1s are pretty comfortable, as long as you’ve got them in properly inserted. If you don’t have them in far enough, they’ll fall out which puts them at risk of losing them or getting damaged in a fall.
If you’re only wanting a single earbud, you can use just the right earbud – but those who prefer the left side are out of luck.
The headphones are pretty compact which doesn’t leave much room for a battery so battery life is predictably average. You can get around 3-4 hours of listening on a single charge, needing to rely on the charging case to top up during the day for longer listening.Whilst I found the 3-4 hour timeframe fine for travelling to work or casual listening, I wouldn’t recommend the Haylou’s for an international flight.
The touch functionality is interesting but I found it to be more of an issue than a benefit. Whilst you can answer calls or play/pause your music with a tap, I found it tended to get in the way more often than not.
Whenever I had to readjust the earbuds in my ear, I found myself accidentally pausing my music.
The unit’s Bluetooth 5.0 connection was rock solid during my testing. Even when out and about with my phone in my pocket, I didn’t experience any dropouts or interference. Haylou claim a 10m wireless range and that seems pretty accurate. I easily got 7-8 meters through walls so I’m not concerned about hitting the 10m quoted.
Haylou GT1 Review: Sound Quality
Having tested a few truly wireless headphones (TWS), I came into this not expecting much in the sound quality department. Thankfully, I was more than impressed with what I heard.
The Haylou GT1s provide a reasonably balanced sound signature that will serve most users well. There’s good clarity without any muddy bass – perfect for listening to everything from classical music to heavy metal. Bass heads might be a little disappointed that there isn’t more in the low end but I wasn’t disappointed with my electronic tracks.
The built-microphone was decent during calls, with the other party not having any issues hearing me when I was out and about.
Should You Buy The Haylou GT1?
The Haylou GT1s are an impressive set of TWS earbuds – and even more impressive once you take into account their budget price.
Whilst the touch controls do feel like a gimmick, the headphones sound and look great making them an excellent choice for anyone wanting to dip their toes into TWS headphones.
I’d recommend the Haylou GT1 if you’re looking for the following features:
- Truly Wireless Headphones: The Haylou GT1’s wirefree design means there’s nothing to get tangled on
- Great Sound Quality: With a balanced sound signiture, they’re great for a wide variety of music and video genres
- Wallet-Friendly Price: At under $30, they offer excellent value for money