noise cancellation is getting cheaper

Active noise cancellation, also known as ANC, is the hot new feature. Everyone wants to have it and it is not always easy to know in which devices it is worth it or is simply named after marketing.

Sometimes it is easy to get confused with noise cancellation, as there are two technologies with the same name, and one of the two is much more expensive than the other. Fortunately, the noise cancellation you want is becoming more affordable, and products like the new ANC Ticpods help make it more affordable. We have spent several weeks testing these headphones, and we share our experience with you.

Technical characteristics

  • Headphone Features:
    • Φ13mm internal speaker.
    • Sensitivity: 100dB ± 2dB.
    • Impedance: 32Ω / TYP.
  • Battery:
    • Listening time in normal mode: 5 hours.
    • Listening time in ANC mode: 4.5 hours.
    • Headphone full charge time: 1.5 hours.
    • Additional charges for the case: 2 extra charges.
    • Charging time of the case: 1.5 hours.
  • Measurements:
    • Each earphone: 19.6 × 24.6 × 43.1mm.
    • Case: 26.1 × 60 × 62.2 mm.
  • Weight:
    • Each earphone: 5 grams.
    • Case: 42 grams.

Ticpods ANC, Mobvoi’s noise canceling headphones

Mobvoi is one of the best manufacturers of watches with Wear OS, a manufacturer that we have stood out for excellent watches such as the Ticwatch Pro or the Ticwatch C2. In addition to watches, this manufacturer was among the first to bet on TWS headphones, with the Ticpods Free that we could test a while ago.

Ticpods 2.

After taking out the Ticpods 2, the manufacturer has presented a more affordable model that stands out for integrating active noise cancellation, which are these ANC Ticpods that we are testing in recent weeks.

On an aesthetic level, the ANC Ticpods have a certain resemblance to the Airpods, with a slightly larger case. This case is bright white in color and is constructed of polycarbonate.

The design is very clean, and we only appreciate the name in the central part.

And the USB C charging port at the bottom of the device, as well as a led that lights up when we are charging the headphones.

Inside the case we appreciate another LED light, headphones and product information.

Like the case, the earbuds also resemble Airpods (although only similar, not an exact copy) with straighter lines on the ear sticks.

By including active noise cancellation, we also have a rubber that will act to help isolate our ears from ambient noise.

The headphones are comfortable for short sessions of use, although when we have been with them for more than an hour they begin to be somewhat annoying. This appreciation may be more of a personal nature, as not all headphones fit each ear the same, but it is important to keep this in mind.

Sound quality, connection and battery

The ANC TicPods offer HiFi sound that at a good quality level without much surprise, and although they sound good, they are below similarly priced alternatives such as the Creative Outlier Air or the Cambridge Audio Melomania, headphones much more specialized in music than without. However, they lack the smart features of the TicPods.

Although the sound quality is good, pairing it on two devices at the same time is difficult.

In voice and video calls, I have not had any kind of problem, and my interlocutors have always listened to me perfectly, so in that sense the ANC TicPods comply perfectly.

Regarding the Bluetooth connection, they are able to pair with a device and the method to connect to a new device is to delete the connection on the current device or disconnect it from the Bluetooth range. There is no alternative to easily pair to another device, one of the most improvable aspects.

Its 4 and a half hours of autonomy with active noise cancellation are somewhat optimistic, and in practice we have been between about 3 and a half hours of use and 4 hours.

Active noise cancellation

The flagship feature of the ANC TicPods is active noise cancellation. This technology uses external microphones to pick up ambient noise and generate a reverse waveform that cancels out external noise.

According to Mobvoi, its technology is capable of canceling external sound by up to 35 dB, but requires that the headphones are well placed and their rubber isolates the sound. Once everything is well configured, we can begin to perceive the tranquility.

To activate the ANC mode we must press and hold any of the touch panels of the headphones for 2 seconds, and it will indicate that we have just activated Quiet mode.

By itself this mode is capable of canceling out sounds such as air conditioning or fans, as well as slight sounds from the street. Its capacity improves when we put music, and that is that we can perfectly isolate ourselves from the world with music at medium volume and the ANC activated just as well as if we put the music to the maximum. With the important difference that we will not destroy our precious eardrums.

Combining these two technologies I have been able to make train trips with complete peace of mind and they have become my private silent car. When activating the ANC mode we have not perceived loss in audio quality, something that I have suffered in cheaper and worse ANC headphones.

If we press the touch panel again for another two seconds we will have Ambient mode, which does the opposite of ANC mode. In this case, the microphones pass the ambient sound directly to our ears, allowing us to listen to music but also to the outside.

I really like this mode, especially to go to the street and to be able to listen if a car is coming to talk sporadically with a friend without removing my headphones.

If we press another two seconds we will return to standard mode.

More touch panel features

  • Music:
    • Double tap: stop or play music.
    • Triple tap on right earphone: next song.
  • Calls:
    • Double tap to answer call.
    • Long press to cancel or reject call.
  • Assistant:
    • Triple tap to call assistant.

An ANC headset that pays off

The TicPods ANC are excellent headphones that offer decent autonomy, good sound quality and active noise cancellation that works surprisingly well, plus a touchpad with several smart functions and USB C charging port.

These headphones don’t stand out in any particular respect, but they do offer an excellent balance of all the features you might expect at a competitive price of $ 90. There are those with better quality, battery, or noise cancellation, but they are either worse overall or cost more money.

The only reason not to want these headphones is if you want to easily connect them to multiple devices, which we consider to be their biggest weak point. Otherwise they are very good.

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