It’s true wireless time at Soundphile Review! I admit I’m heavily biased against this whole “true wireless” craze, as I haven’t been able to find many good-sounding pairs out there and that puts me off as an audiophile. I’m all for trying new things, though, so I cherish every opportunity of finding out that I am wrong about things – including “true wireless” earphones. I recently got the HiFiMAN TWS 600 (at CanJam London 2019) and the Whizzer TP1 to try so I’ll give them a spin in the coming weeks.
HiFiMAN TWS 600
The HiFiMAN TWS 600 are not the first true wireless earphones HiFiMAN produces and they surely won’t be the last either. They have a very nice plastic cradle/dock which is small and easily pocketable, with a magnet holding it closed and a battery indicator inside. Both the cradle/dock and the earphones are made entirely out of plastic of different colours.
The earpieces are rather large and have a somewhat cyberpunk look, with their spiral-like lighting. The brown-grey colour is not exactly attractive or stylish, but it’s elegant. They use a physical button for interaction and alas it’s a bit hard to press, so comfort-wise it could be better.
They come with a host of accessories in the form of different eartips: there are ten different pairs! They include two pairs of large white silicone tips, three sizes of black silicone tips (of which two with the same inner boring diameter and one with a larger boring diameter), two sizes of double-flanged black silicone tips, one pair of triple-flanged tips and one pair of odd double-flanged tips which are basically two large tips stacked on top of each other.
In terms of sound they seem to have a large spike in the upper midrange, but I have yet to experiment with all the tips so this may well be an issue with the wrong tips being used. Bass seems rather nice for true wireless earphones, and treble is decent.
The first batch also includes a free RE 600 unit, though I was told there is a very limited availability of this offer. The TWS 600 retail for $199.
The odd thing about the Whizzer TP1 is that I was contacted by someone over at Tripowin, not Whizzer. It seems like the two companies may be connected somehow, if not because Tripowin is a branch of Whizzer or they are an OEM/ODM for them, at least because they sell their products for some reason. It’s difficult to keep track of the landscape in the Chi-Fi world… Now, the Whizzer TP1 have the same styling as the Whizzer Kylin A-HE03, with a mix of blue and gold/copper colours that make them appear rather interesting and sophisticated. They come with a case that’s rounded and is really nice both in appearance and to touch, as it is covered in soft-touch plastic. I noticed right away that the case is not ideal in terms of usability, as the lid is difficult to open and keeps on closing by itself by design. The earphones inside are also placed so that the left earpiece is on the right and viceversa, so it’s not really intuitive. Being rounded, the case can’t also stand. There’s an indicator for battery charge, but for some reason it’s on the back and not inside where one can see it when opening the lid.
Design issues with the cradle aside, the earpieces are actually pretty good-looking. They have that “stick protruding out of your ear” look first popularised by AirPods, but they’re otherwise original and even attractive. They offer touch interactions, though they’re a bit too sensitive and they offer no feedback when they detect a touch. Moving your hair may result in music stopping abruptly (and with a delay of a couple of seconds, too, so it caught me off guard the first time it happened).
In the brief time I had to listen to them, they seemed to be decent sounding, as in “I could not hear any clear imbalances” and with decent bass extension and presence.
The Whizzer TP1 retail for $65, which is frankly a great price if they sound as good as they seem they do on first listen.
There’s loads of interesting stuff coming in the next weeks. I have the Burson Audio Playmate review coming up in the next few days, followed by reviews of a couple of network players and other interesting stuff – stay tuned!