The market is now flooded with true wireless earphones, and I'm surprised to see the number of new models launching every month. This seems to be a category in which every manufacturer, regardless of size, wants to be. When we recently reviewed the Oppo Enco W51 earphones, I was surprised to see features such as active noise cancellation trickle down to the sub-Rs. 5,000 price segment. It seems that you can now get a pair of true wireless earphones no matter your budget, and today I am testing the PlayGo T44 True Wireless Earbuds, priced at Rs. 2,999. This product promises good audio quality, but does it deliver? Let's find out.
The PlayGo T44 seems to take inspiration from the Apple AirPods, but it isn't a complete ripoff. The earpieces have a half-in-ear design just like Apple's popular earphones, but the stems are flattened rather than cylindrical. The earpieces have contact points on the inner sides which line up with pins in the case for charging. There are mics at the tip of each stem.
While the earpieces seem to be inspired by the AirPods, the case looks a lot like the one you get with the Samsung Galaxy Buds. In fact, I had to read the label on the top to avoid confusing the two. The PlayGo T44 case has magnets that keep the lid shut. There's a small recess for you to open it, but I found this to be a bit too shallow, which made opening the case difficult at times. On the inside, there are the slots for the two earpieces and a status LED along with a button that can be used to re-pair the earphones or reset them if needed.
I wish the status LED had been located on the outside, as that would have saved me the effort of opening the case every time I wanted to check the battery level. There's a USB Type-C port at the back, which made it super convenient to charge these earbuds along with my smartphone. You also get a small USB Type-C charging cable in the box. The case has a 500mAh battery while each earpiece has a 35mAh battery.
The earpieces are quite light, and the AirPods-like design fit well in my ears. I wouldn't go out for a run with these earphones as they are likely to pop out. The earpieces are IPX4 splash-resistant and should be able to withstand workouts. Each one has a “Play” logo and a touch-sensitive area on the stem.
You can double-tap on either earpiece to play/pause music. Long-pressing on the left one switches to the previous song, while the same action on the right one skips to the next song. Either earpiece can be doubled-tapped to answer an incoming call, and long-pressing on either will disconnect it. Triple-tapping either earbud summons the voice assistant on your paired smartphone. There is no way to adjust volume directly from the earbuds. The touch controls weren't very accurate, and at times I had to perform gestures again to get the PlayGo T44 to respond.
The PlayGo T44 earphones have 10mm drivers, with a frequency range of 20Hz to 20,000Hz and an impedance of 32Ohms. They use Bluetooth 5, and you can pair the PlayGo T44 earpeices together or use them individually in mono mode. Each one weighs 3.5g.
While using these earphones, I could get about 4 hours of continuous playback time. I could recharge the earbuds completely 4 times using the case and there was still some power left for another partial charge. This means you can get roughly 18 hours of playback time per charge cycle.
The PlayGo T44 fit well in my ears but it doesn't provide a proper seal, given its half-in-ear design. I could hear ambient sound when not playing music on these headphones. I found these headphones to be loud enough but they also leak a lot. There's a typical V-shaped sound signature but you won't really hear the bass if the earpieces don't fit snugly in your ears. Increasing the volume made the highs sound a little shrill on a few tracks. These earphones can stream music using the AAC codec, which is good given the price.
Blinding Lights by The Weeknd on Spotify sounded very good, but if these earphones don't fit snugly, you will miss out on the punch of the drums at the start. I then switched to the slightly faster track Hocus Pocus by Focus to see how these earphones can handle fast-paced music, and they offered good stereo separation. The sound staging is not as wide as I would have liked. With Wake Me Up by Avicii, the highs sounded a bit shrill at higher volumes, which I also noticed with a few other EDM tracks. If you listen to EDM often, you might not like the performance of the PlayGo T44 at high volume.
Since the mids and highs are strong on these earphones, calls were not an issue. I did also like watching sitcoms with the PlayGo T44 since I could hear dialogue clearly. I did make a few calls as well, and they sounded crisp. Callers didn't really complain, but did mention that some ambient noise was creeping in.
The PlayGo T44 is a decent pair of true wireless earphones, and offers good audio quality for the price. You also get decent battery life, and the IPX4 rating does make it sweat proof. While the touch controls are a little moody, the USB Type-C port is a neat touch which makes charging easier if you phone has the same port. The design causes sound to leak at higher volumes, and the earpieces might not fit every ear size properly. As an alternative to the PlayGo T44, you can take a look at the Realme Buds Q or the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2, which sell for around the same price. If you are open to spending a little more, do consider checking out our guide for the best true wireless headphones in the market.