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These true wireless earbuds are only $14. Can they possibly be any good?

Here's what you can expect from the impossibly cheap Dudios Tic.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

One of the cheapest true-wireless earbuds to date. And they actually sound decent!


To say that AirPod-like earbuds have reached commodity status is a massive understatement. I've written about more no-brand products than I can remember, many of them decent, a few excellent. Mostly it's the pricing that amazes me. (Read, for example, David Carnoy's roundup of four true wireless earbuds under $40 worth buying.)

But $14? Anything priced that low must sound like AM radio played in a tin can underwater, right? Amazingly, no, though you'll want to read on to learn what you do sacrifice at that price. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Amazon seller SoundPARA Audio has the Dudios Tic true wireless earbuds for $14 when you clip the on-page 20%-off coupon and then apply promo code 30QICKYG at checkout. 

The Tic earbuds employ a "pipe" design similar to Apple's AirPods, with noise-isolating ear tips similar to the  AirPods Pro . I found them surprisingly comfortable right out of the box, but your mileage may vary (meaning you might need to try the different ear-tip sizes that are included).

I'll cut to the chase. These things sound pretty good. Like, curiously good. How?! How can $14 earbuds not be terrible? I don't know, but I'd gladly reach for these when I want to listen to music while working, play a podcast while walking or whatever.

Now for the bad news: The Tic earbuds are bad for phone calls. Although I could hear the caller just fine, I was told that my voice came through a metallic, echo-filled mess. I guess a crummy microphone is the price you pay for $14 earbuds.

What's more, the touch controls -- double-tap to play or pause, press and hold to skip tracks and so on -- have a very small target area. Unless your finger lands on just the right spot, you won't get the desired function. This got frustrating pretty quickly, though with practice I did get better at hitting that spot.

If you don't care about calls or controls, the Dudios Tic is a pretty amazing buy at this price. Is it worth paying more for features like a wireless charging case or ear detection? That's for you to decide.

First published last year. Updated to reflect new price and availability. Removed expired bonus deal.

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