These $35 wireless earbuds have no business being this good

Close-up of the Ugreen HiTune T3 earbuds and their charging case

Taylor Clemons/ZDNET

Dearly beloved readers, we are gathered here today to celebrate the life of the Ugreen HiTune T3 wireless earbuds. They came to me in the summer of 2022, and after more than a year full of surprises, joy, and disappointments, they are being laid to rest.

I used the HiTune T3 earbuds nearly every day, sometimes for four, six, or eight hours. I used them under proper ear protection while mowing the lawn, on my morning and afternoon walks with the dog, on hikes through the Cleveland Metroparks, and helping out on my parents’ farm. I even slept with them on. As long as the batteries were sufficiently charged and my phone was relatively close by, I never had any issues with pairing or connectivity.  

Also: Earbuds with neckbands are back in style, and I’m not mad about it

So, what happened? I can’t say for sure what finally did the HiTune T3 buds in, but I suspect that sweat worked its way into the earbuds and mucked up the electronics. The T3 do not have any sort of moisture or dust resistance rating, so I wasn’t expecting them to last as long as they did, being exposed to so much sweat, dirt, debris, pet hair…you get the idea. The point is that even though this pair is done and dusted, I’d buy another pair again, and again, and again. Here’s why.

Close-up of the Ugreen HiTune T3 earbuds and their charging case


UGreen HiTune T3

These AirPods Pro lookalikes are just $35 while still offering active noise cancellation, a transparency mode, and up to 24 hours of battery life.

First, the Ugreen HiTune T3 offer some impressive active noise cancellation, which is activated with a long press to either bud once in-ear. I live very, very close to a major highway. And while the highway department has promised a sound barrier wall within the next few years, the traffic noise is still a huge bother when I try to do anything in my backyard. Enter these $35 earbuds that somehow have ANC.

Also: Cheap noise-canceling earbuds are getting good. This $60 pair proves it

While the ANC mode doesn’t eliminate all of the traffic noise, it does at least reduce it to a dull, tolerable level which lets me enjoy my music, podcasts, and video while I’m having morning coffee on the deck, reading in the hammock, or mowing the lawn.

Ugreen claims that the HiTune T3 earbuds can get up to 7 hours of use on a full charge, and up to 24 hours with the included charging case. And with just 10 minutes of charging, you can get up to an hour of use, which is perfect for when you forget to charge overnight but still want to listen to something on your way to work or school, or while taking care of things around the house.

Also: These $26 earbuds sound better than I expected, and I’m an audiophile

I found that I could get closer to 8 hours with lower volume and ANC turned off, which was great for doing chores inside the house. But if you need the ANC function on or at higher volumes, you’ll get less battery life. 

The case for the HiTune T3 is nice and compact, which makes it easy to slip into your front jeans pocket or inside a small clutch. However, I do wish it had a flat bottom so it could stand upright while charging or just when not in use. 

Close-up of someone taking a HiTune T3 earbud out of its charging case

The buds sit snuggly in the charging case.

Taylor Clemons/ZDNET

The Ugreen HiTune T3 earbuds are also some of the most affordable true-wireless earbuds I’ve ever used; they retail for just $35, a small fraction of the cost of Apple’s latest AirPods Pro. Yet they have a very similar battery life to the AirPods Pro (24 hours total compared to Apple’s 30 total hours), as well as their own version of Transparency Mode, so you can stay aware of your surroundings as you have them on.

ZDNET’s buying advice

The only real complaints I have about the HiTune T3 are that they aren’t super comfortable for sleeping in if you’re a side or stomach sleeper and that the touch controls can be a bit finicky at times. There were times I would go to adjust an earbud before it could fall out, and it would pause whatever I was listening to or skip to the next track/video. But these are very minor issues, and more about my personal preferences than any real flaws with the product. 

Because for just $35, the Ugreen HiTune T3 are some of the best ANC earbuds you can find. They sound amazing and look great, and I can assure you that they can stand up to just about anything your daily routine can throw at them. 

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