April 05, 2019
Edifier joins the true wireless earphone trend with one of the more affordable pairs we’ve tested lately. At $79.99, the Edifier TWS2 earphones ring in well below most of the contenders in the cable-free in-ear department. Booming bass lovers will be disappointed, but those seeking a balanced, somewhat accurate sound signature should be pleased. Other than audio performance, the TWS2 have little to offer in the features department, however. Generally speaking, there are more compelling options, but for the price, this is a solid buy.
Like all true wireless options, Edifier includes two earpieces and a charging case that docks the earpieces magnetically. The earpieces themselves, available in black, red, or white eggshell-like plastic, are marked on the outer panel with the Edifier logo. The lightweight earpieces fit securely and comfortably over long listening periods, and ship with a total of three eartip pairs in small, medium, and large. Internally, each earpiece houses an 8mm magnetic driver, delivering a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz.
The earphones are rated IPX4, which means they can withstand a light spray or misting, but don’t dunk them underwater or expose them to water pressure. (And the IP rating doesn’t extend to the charging case, so never put them in the case wet.) If you’re on the hunt for gym-friendly true wireless options, you can find a far higher IP rating than this.
The case itself is among the smaller models we’ve seen. It has a flip-top lid and a micro USB port on the back for the included charging cable. Like the earpieces, it has an eggshell sheen.
Unlike much of the competition, there’s no app of any kind for setup, which means there’s also no app for EQ or any potential extra features. For the price, this isn’t a shock.
The earphones get about 3 hours of battery life per charge, and the case holds an extra 9 hours of battery life. These numbers aren’t great, but they’re not far from the middle of the road for this category.
On tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the earphones deliver laudable low frequency response—nothing over the top, but certainly full and rich. At top, unwise listening levels, the bass doesn’t distort, and at more moderate levels, the lows are still powerful and well balanced with the highs.
Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives us a better sense of the TWS2’s general sound signature. The drums on this track can sound overly thunderous on some bass-forward in-ears, but here, they get a solid low-end thump without ever sounding too boosted. Callahan’s baritone vocals get plenty of treble edge to give some added definition to their rich presence in the mix, and the acoustic guitars strums have a lovely brightness to them. Generally speaking, this is a well balanced sound signature, sculpted to a degree, but never boosted too much in any one area of the frequency range. There’s richness, brightness, and balance—it will appeal to audiophiles on a budget far more so than those seeking a booming bass experience.
On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” the kick drum loop receives plenty of high-mid presence, allowing its attack to retain its punchiness, while the vinyl crackle and hiss that is usually relegated to background status moves forward in the mix slightly. The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat are delivered with excellent bass depth—we hear the full potential of the deep lows, but it isn’t really exaggerated. The vocals on this track are delivered with excellent clarity; there is perhaps the slightest hint of added sibilance, but nothing that is distracting.
Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene from John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary, are delivered with a focus on the high-mids and highs, allowing the higher register brass, strings, and vocals to retain their prominent place in the mix. The lower register instrumentation gets a lovely richness here that sounds natural and avoids sounding too thin or too boosted. Balance, again, is ideal here.
The built-in mic offers weak intelligibility. Using the Voice Memos app on an iPhone 8, we could barely hear the recordings we made. The audio was more or less clear, but the mic level was quite low, to the point that it sounds like it’s dropping out at times. When you can hear the audio, the mic delivers a typical Bluetooth true wireless mic experience—clear enough to be understood, but not excellent.
The Edifier TWS2 earphones will appeal to those looking for true wireless in-ears that deliver a somewhat accurate sound, instead of the bass-boosted, gym-focused audio we hear in most true wireless models. Even for the fairly low price, things are a bit unexciting, however—nothing truly stands out in a bad way or good way. Still, below $100, solid true wireless options are few and far between. Consider the Altec Lansing True Evo as an alternative to these, though they are also somewhat spartan in the features department. If you’re willing to spend more, there are several quality models like the JBL UA True Wireless Flash, Jaybird Run XT, and Jabra Elite Active 65t.
Bottom Line: The no-frills Edifier TWS2 earphones offer sub-$100 true wireless audio that is more accurate and less bass-heavy than much of the competition.
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