Edifier TWS NB Earphone Review
Wireless earphones are everywhere but what about wireless noise-cancelling earphones? Sure, there are a few, including the Airpod Pros that were released last October but they appear to be few and far between. That being said, we have a new pair with us right now.
While at this years CES, I went over to see the guys and girls at the Edifier stand and they introduced me to two new products from them, a pair of headphones (ill get to those later) and the TWS NB, a pair of noise-cancelling earphones. Now earphones generally offer a level on noise-cancelling as they sit within your ear and that rubber tip isolates the external sound somewhat. But the TWS NB has active noise cancelling, so you’re getting the usual passive isolation and then some. Let’s open the box and try these out.
The earphones come complete in a padded cardboard box, so everything is well protected. Within the box are the earphones, charging case, a USB C cable, instructions and a variety of different sizes rubber tips & arms.
Looking at the earphones first, my initial thought is that they are quite large for earphones and slightly remind me of those old school Bluetooth headsets every taxi or father used to have while driving, with that tear drop-like shape. They come in a dusty silver/grey finish and includes a small amount of branding to the front. Behind the part you see, is the ear tip that gets inserted in your ear and there is an additional rubber arm/hook for added support. There is a single LED indicator light to the front of each earphone which changes blue or red depending on the situation. There is just a single push button on the top which is used to control controller.
The charging case, handheld and lightweight, follows the same colour scheme as the earphones. It includes etched branding to the top, a USB C port to the rear, with four battery indicator lights next to it. Open the case and the earphones sit nicely within it and are held in place with a small clip. Where some brands use magnets, Edifier has gone for the clip in option, which ensures the connection between earphone and case is accurate and consistent. There are two small foam sections to the top of the magnetic lid, ensuring the top of the earphones is protected during transit. The earbuds themselves are also scratch-resistant with the aluminium case having anodization processed fade-resistant coating.
I appreciate the design (there’s a lot of tech in these tiny earphones) and like how the case and earphones work together but I’m not convinced on the colour and finish. It’s a little dated for me when others are doing black or white, glossy finishes but I’m more about audio quality than appearance.
Set Up and Controls
Once fully charged (four blue lights shown on the back), it’s just a matter of taking the earphones out the case to turn them on and then pairing them with your smartphone. If they do no appear at first, hold down both buttons together and then they will. As long as the Bluetooth remains turned on, on your smart device and within distance, the earphones will automatically connect to your device every time they leave the case. It’s seamless and fully connected before I even had them in my ears. Unlike some, the music will continue to play if you take them out your ears but will stop once in the case.
As for controls, these are all covered via the buttons on each earphone. Play/pause is a single click on either earbud, press and hold the left for previous track, right for next track. To accept or end a call, it’s a single click on either earbud, press and hold to decline a call and do the same to active voice assistant during a call. There are also three options for noise cancellation, double click to turn it on, double click again to activate the ambient option and double click a third time to turn it off altogether.
The controls are very basic and easy to use. Note there is no option for volume control, which is disappointing and will need to be controlled via your smart device only.
Each earphone includes a Φ13mm large graphene diaphragm. Graphene, known as one of the strongest materials in the world with high conductivity and flexibility, graphene offers an unbelievable strength-to-weight ratio. Along with Bluetooth 5.0 (Qualcomm® aptX™ Technology) and ANC technology, each earbud packs a punch and it works. The audio quality produced is great and easily the best sounding pair of earphones from the brand. The sound profile is fairly well balanced, the low end is prominent but not overpowering and the highs are crisp. If anything, the mid-range could come through a little clearer this wouldn’t be an issue for the average consumer. I listened to a variety of tracks, some Tyler, The Creator through to some new band called Wolf & Bear I’ve just got into and it was great. No distractions, just some great music delivered how it’s meant to.
As for the noise-cancelling, it’s easily noticeable and defiantly an asset to these earphones. That being said, the difference between ANC and the ambient option (allows you to monitor your surroundings) was not overly clear and I get confused at times as to which setting was active. The difference between ANC off and on was more noticeable. During office hours, it was nice to block out the background chit chat but it didn’t really challenge the ANC. Take a walk along a busy street in London and you get a better understanding of how nice it is to have ANC enabled.
Battery life was and it lastest me all week during my daily commute and random periods throughout the day. Edifier state you get up to 5-hour ANC playback and 15 hours with the charging case. With ANC off, 33-hour playtime is available in total between battery charges. A full charge took me about an hour I believe.
I don’t always get on with earphones and 50% of the time, they don’t stay in, I keep having to put them in, I get frustrated and stop using them. I’m glad to say that didn’t happen once with the TWS NB. They were very comfortable to wear for prolonged times (upto 2 hours for me in one go), they didn’t fall out, nor need adjusting and there were times I forgot I had them in. The rubber arm or wing is great and helps a lot. I should also add these are IPX4, which means they are sweat resistant.
The RRP on these is $119 at launch, probably £99, which is a great price point and very competitive. Although well constructed, I wasn’t overly blown away with the design and finish of these but the audio performance shone through and these are now my go-to earphones and will be hard to beat at the price point I feel.
It’s unclear when these will be available in the UK but head over to the Edifier US website for more info.