I’ve long fancied trading in my wired earbuds for a wireless pair, and have had my eye on Apple Airpods for some time, but their hefty price tag is a somewhat prohibitive for your average student budget. Therefore I was delighted to be invited to try out Edifier’s TWS5 buds, so here’s my review…
The TWS5 earbuds come neatly presented with sleek black internal packaging that complements the matt and gloss black finish of the buds and the matt black magnetic charging case. Also included is a micro-USB charging cable and three earbud ‘muffs’ (small, medium and large) to help ensure a perfect fit. So far, so good… but as with all earbuds, it’s all about their performance.
First thing’s first, they have to be paired to your device of choice, which I found to be a mercifully painless task. The buds power on automatically when taken out of their charging case, and the first time you remove them they enter pairing mode. (For subsequent pairings, you simply have to press and hold the ‘multi-function button’ (MFB) on the side of a bud to enter a pairing state, indicated by the red and blue lights on the buds flashing.) You simply have to find and select the TWS5 buds on your device’s bluetooth list and you’re ready to roll. It’s also possible to use the buds separately if you want to, with both left and right earpieces capable of connecting independently to your device.
Edifier claim that the TWS5 bluetooth connection is good for up to ten metres, and I certainly didn’t encounter any problems with it dropping out during my test-drive. I was able to take a call and wander around a decent sized room, happily chatting away with my phone sitting on a table, so would conclude that they offer a solid bluetooth connection.
The buds came already charged so were good to go from the outset, but once they and the case have been fully charged, you get up to 32 hours of playback on the go. This impressive feat is achieved by eight hours of use of the buds per charge (which I found to be the case), complemented by the ability to then charge them a three further times using the in-built battery in the charging case before the need to reach for the micro-USB cable again.
The TWS5s are quite chunky, so the charge case isn’t small (it’s about the size of a matchbox, with a little more depth), but is ergonomically pleasing with its rounded corners. The magnetic lid snaps down nicely when closed and the buds also snap into place with a reassuring click. There are three green LEDs on the front of the case to help you track how much juice has been added – when all three are lit, the charging case can charge the buds three times, and I certainly found this to be the case. A full charge of the case and buds from empty takes around 90 minutes.
There are also LEDs on the headphones to show their charging status – while they’re docked in the case, a red light showing indicates they’re charging, while no light shows they’re fully charged. A flashing red light on the buds while you’re using them means their charge is running low, but make sure they’re fully charged before you head out and you’ll never have to go without your playlist for your workout or journey to uni.
The bottom line is what are they like to wear, and how do they sound, and from me it’s a big thumbs up on both counts.
The TWS5s really deliver on the sound front, offering plenty of bass and great clarity in the vocals in the playlists I chose. For someone who’s used to the ‘common or garden’ headphones that come with an iPhone, I was impressed by the depth and warmth of the audio, and for the price (£59.99 from Amazon.co.uk at the time of writing), it seems like a very worthwhile upgrade. Admittedly, I’m clearly not a headphone connoisseur, and I expect there are earbuds out there offering an even higher quality output (for at least double the cost), but for my money and audio needs, these certainly fit the bill.
You can control the tracks you’re listening to by simply tapping the MFB on the end of each bud – double click the left bud for the previous track or the right one for the next track, a single click of either to pause or restart the music (or take or end a call), or click and hold to decline a call. This is intuitive and while it took a while to get used to adjusting them in my ears without pausing the track, it soon became intuitive to hold the buds by the edge.
The clarity of calls was excellent, and the receiver could hear me loud and clear too. I’ve heard that latency of the sound when gaming using bluetooth headphones can be an issue, but for me there was no noticeable lag when playing Tennis Clash on my iPhone, my stand-in for playing actual tennis during lockdown which has since become something of an addiction I’m looking to kick.
The TWS5s are chunky headphones – their design reminds me a little of a curling stone – but I found them really comfortable and lightweight to wear, especially with the medium size tips in place. They are also water-resistant with an IPX5 splash-proof shell, making them perfect for jogging in the rain or wearing them while sunning yourself pool-side.
I really enjoyed being free of the hassle of dealing with wires, and enjoying a fuller range of motion while listening to my favourite podcasts and playlists, so am definitely a convert to using wireless earbuds from now on. I was really impressed by the sound produced by the TWS5 buds, the comfortable, ergonomic design and extensive battery life that allows you to head out with confidence that one charge will see you through the day (or longer if you take the case with you). Overall, I’d highly recommend them for offering an excellent audio experience that blows my old wired headphones – and quite possibly similarly priced earbuds too – out of the water.
- Cost: £59.99 from Amazon.co.uk (price shown is as of 10 August 2020 and includes reduction from £20 off voucher, which is valid until 30 September 2020)
- Drivers: 6mm dynamic bio-cellulose drivers
- Sensitivity: 104dB
- Impedance: 16 Ω
- Effective distance: 10m
- Playback time: Up to 8 hours playback per charge, with three full charges available from charging case when fully charged
- Charging time: 90 minutes from empty for full charge
- Bluetooth version: 5.0 with Qualcomm aptX
- Bluetooth profile: HSP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP
- Frequency response: 20Hz~20KHz
- Input: DC 5.0V 60mA (earbuds) & DC5.0V 500 mA (charging case)