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TCL takes on Apple and Samsung with new true wireless headphones at IFA 2019

There’s no shortage of affordable noise-canceling and true wireless headphones on the market, but that hasn’t stopped TCL from adding to the list at IFA 2019 with the ACTV500TWS, SOCL500TWS, and MTRO200NC.

Announced in Berlin, Germany on September 5, the SOCL500TWS is a bit of a mix between the Apple AirPods and Samsung Galaxy Buds, fusing a case à la the former with an earphone design that’s similar to that of the latter.

It’s clear that the headphone was designed for the budget market, with the semi-transparent casing and housing appealing to those wanting something vibrant to stand out from the crowd, bolstered by IPX4 splash-proofing.

The SOCL500TWS wasn’t designed to be a high-end earbud; it’s aimed at people wanting a cheap true wireless headphone to stuff in their ears while they’re on the move or to hand to their children to keep them entertained.

It certainly has the power it needs to do both, lasting for an impressive 6.5 hours on a single charge (an hour and a half longer than the AirPods), with the charging case bundling a reserve for an additional 19.5 hours of use.

The ACTV500TWS is a more rugged take on the SOCL500TWS, trading the semi-transparent neon blend for a cleaner two-tone metallic finish, extending the 19.5 reserve to 26.5 hours, and introducing wireless charging.

While the SOCL500TWS can be used for working out, the ACTV500TWS  has been developed for that sole purpose, coming equipped with a karabiner (for attaching them to a gym bag) and IPx7 sweat- and water-resistance.

The MTRO200NC, on the other hand, is a wireless over-ear headphone that utilizes noise-canceling to block out surrounding sound, like the hustle and bustle of a street, the whir of an aircraft, or the screeching of a train.

Where the MTRO200NC excels is in the battery department — it’s said to last for up to 17 hours on a single charge (with noise-canceling enabled) and can claw back enough charge for four hours of use from a 15 minute charge.

Unfortunately, TCL didn’t shed light on when and where the ACTV500TWS, SOCL500TWS, and MTRO200NC will launch, and how much they’ll cost when they do, but it’s safe to assume all three are headed to the U.S.

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Josh Levenson
Having spent half a decade writing about the latest AV, mobile and social news for some of the world’s largest…
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