Four distinct lines of wired and Bluetooth headphones.
Though TCL is typically known for making TVs, along with BlackBerry and Alcatel devices, the company just announced its entry into the audio space at a press conference at CES 2019 with a wide selection of headphones. Ranging from wired headphones to Bluetooth over-the-ear cans, TCL is offering a wide variety of options to appeal to various markets.
TCL’s headphones are being divided into four different product lines: SOCL, MTRO, ACTV, and ELIT. The SOCL line is, in TCL’s words, "designed for consumers who want to have a fun, different and unique style." There are six different SOCL models, including three wired earbuds and three Bluetooth variants, all with in-line controls. The SOCL300BT features a neckband design, similar to LG’s Tones line.
The MTRO line, designed for "urban consumers who want to be themselves without standing out," consists of the MTRO100 earbuds and the MTRO200 over-the-ear headphones that both prioritize powerful bass frequencies. Both are available in wired or Bluetooth configurations, as well as in multiple colors. The MTRO100 feature a flat cable to prevent tangling, while the MTRO200’s standout feature is its 32mm drivers and folding design for compact travel.
If you’re after the highest quality audio, TCL’s ELIT series consists of three wired models — the ELIT100, ELIT200, and ELIT300 — which feature 8.6mm, 12.2mm, and 12.8mm drivers, respectively. Each model features Hi-Res audio, along with in-line controls and TCL’s Comfort Fit earcaps.
Finally, the ACTV series includes wired and Bluetooth versions of the ACTV100, available in either black and yellow or red and white. The ACTV100 features an adjustable cable length system, and the headphones are IPX4 waterproof to protect against damage from sweat and rain. The ACTV100’s hooked shape wraps around your ears to prevent the headphones from falling out during workouts, and the Bluetooth model is rated to last up to 12 hours on a single charge.
Curiously, there are no USB-C headphones in the lineup; all of TCL’s wired headphones use the tried and true 3.5mm auxiliary jack. That makes sense for the devices TCL manufactures, since all BlackBerry and Alcatel phones still have headphones jacks, but if you have a recent phone that relies on digital audio instead, you may want to consider one of TCL’s Bluetooth headphones instead.
At the moment, there’s no pricing information for any of these new headphones, but TCL says its wired headphones will be available February 1st, with wireless models shipping by summer.
January 7, 2019 at 10:11AM