QCY, which is an interesting acronym for quality, creative, and youth, is a a lesser known audio company but they’ve been around for a while, and their parent company, Hele Electronics, has collaborated with a lot of big names in audio on the manufacturing side.
QCY themselves have released a variety of earbuds, some of which like the T13 have become quite popular in the audio community. The T17 is lesser known, but is definitely a sleeper pick in the “cheap as possible” category. So how does the T17 compare to the popular T13? Is one better than the other? I have fully reviewed them both and will answer those questions in this comparison article.
QCY T13 vs T17 Side by Side at a Glance
What Are the Main Differences Between the QCY T13 and T17?
The T13 and T17 are mostly similar. They came out around the same time, they have the same Bluetooth v5.1 and codec, they look like they have the same single dynamic driver design, and they have the same control schematic that lacks onboard volume control. I really have no idea why QCY doesn’t include this basic function that all true wireless earbuds essentially have at this point.
Here are their differences:
Design Style – the main difference between the T13 and T17 models is that the former is stemmed with small noncontoured housing while the latter doesn’t have stems and has a bigger housing (but also non contoured) that sits flush with outer ear canal like a traditional in ear monitor. Stemmed vs non stemmed earbuds are largely a matter of personal preference, but in my experience stemmed earbuds have fit issues more often.
Battery Life – the T17 buds purportedly hold a single charge (7.5h) that’s almost as much as the T13 buds purportedly hold (8h), but the T13 case gives significantly more purported recharging than the T17 case does, for grand totals of 40h and 26h respectively. 26 hours of battery life for even budget true wireless earbuds in 2023 is not that great.
Case Compactness – the T17 case has a nice slim pill like shape with rounded edges that’s very pocket friendly, whereas the T13 case is relatively large and bulky.
Isolation – the T17’s design style and resultant fit type gives the T17 noticeably more natural isolation than the T13 does. The T13 isolation is not that great.
Does the QCY T13 or the T17 Have Better Fit and Comfort?
The T17 earbuds, despite not having a contoured shape, have nicely long nozzles and housing that leads into them, and the T17 tips are also long and feel really nice. The T17 has a very secure and firm but still comfortable fit that is really good.
The T13 has shallower tips, shorter nozzles, and a smaller housing as I already said. The fit is lighter and shallower, like most stemmed earbuds tend to be. The T13 seal broke slightly with a bit of bass suck out if I smiled wide enough while the T17 seal didn’t compromise at all. The T13 does have a comfortable and relatively decent fit for stemmed earbuds though, and I think some people would prefer this fit style over that of the T17.
Does the QCY T13 or the T17 Sound Better?
When I again listened to each of these back and forth, I was once again very impressed with the T17’s overall sound quality, echoing what I thought and said in my full review (linked below). The T17 has great balance, great accuracy, and decent clarity for its minimal price.
The T13 has a distinctly different sound style that’s bassyer and warmer – a style that’s not so common with budget earbuds but is nonetheless sought after by some for easy casual listening with minimal fatigue. It’s not quite so crisp as the T17 is, and the forward bass loses some of that clarity and detail.
Overall I think the T17 does sound marginally better than the T13 does.
Which Should You Choose Between the QCY T13 or T17?
I think the T17 is the better choice overall – it sounds on the whole better than the T13 does, and it also has that really nice firm and deep fit that I like. I’d rather have those than the marginally longer battery life that the T13 has.
That said, I think the T13 has a distinct goal that isn’t so common among budget earbuds: a warmer sound coupled with an easy fit that’s really good for extended casual listening. I think some people are after this, and the T13 is definitely a great product in that regard, and that’s a totally valid reason to choose it over the T17.
Get the QCY T13 wireless earbuds on Amazon (affiliate link)
Get the QCY T17 wireless earbuds on Amazon (affiliate link)