- Sleek and slender Finish
- Balanced Armature Driver is interesting to see in a True Wireless Earbuds
- Impressive sound Clarity and staging thanks to the Driver
- The battery Life is decent and USB-C + Wireless Charging is a welcoming addition
- Competitively priced at RM 449
- Not the True Wireless Earbuds for Bassheads
- Not a fan of Glossy finish and its prone to scratches
- The contact points to charge could be a little better with the Fintips
This year, we have taken a look at quite the number of true wireless earbuds and Edifier is a brand we are no strangers to like the TWS5 and X3. This time, Edifier sent their TWS6 – which is considered to be the flagship True Wireless among the TWS series the brand has. Here’s the interesting bit about TWS6: Unlike the rest we have seen from them, this one uses a premium driver that you don’t get to see in this price tier from other manufacturer – A Balance Armature Driver. After using it for a while, we have come to our final verdict – and here’s what we have to say about it.
Look and Feel
We have to talk about the unboxing experience here because it’s a little premium than the TWS5 or any other True Wireless we have unboxed from Edifier. The TWS6 box open sideways and gives you access to the content of the box. On the left, you have the earbuds – both in memory foam and rubber tip – and I love a brand that includes both, followed by a box that consist of a USB-C Cable, User Guide and Fin tips. On the right side, you have the True Wireless earbuds itself.
It does look like a bigger version of the X3 and a lot sleeker. But it doesn’t have the matte like finish as the TWS5 which does bum me a lot as the glossy finish is really prone to scratches but I can see that Edifier wanted to give it a little Cupertino look and its very noticeable at the hinge and the slit on the front. Although the design is very minimalistic with the Edifier logo on the lid and you get some engraving on the bottom of the earbuds. Once you open, you’ll notice the earbuds have a matte finish.
As for the build quality, it is nice and small to just slide it in your pocket without adding extra bulk. The lid is held by magnets, so opening and closing the earbuds feel good and once you store the earbuds back into the case – you don’t have to worry about them falling off as they are pretty much held in place with magnets too. There are slight flaws in the design department. Once you add the fin tip to the earbuds, it doesn’t sit well onto the contact point to charge. So, either you will have to remove it or make sure to readjust to charge it. Also, the earbuds alone sometimes do have issues connecting to the contact point properly. So, after using it, do make sure to put it back and see if the orange indicator lights up on both the earbuds to know if they are charging.
In terms of specification, the Edifier TWS6 offers quite the decent features going on to cover every kind of users. This is something I experienced with the TWS5 and X3, and now you get whatever those two offers plus some extra features as well:
- Knowles Balanced Armature Drivers
- Bluetooth 5.0 Connectivity with Qualcomm aptX
- 8 Hours + 24 hours playback time (Earbuds and Case)
- USB-C Charging and Wireless Charging Capabilities
- Touch Based controls
- IPX5 Sweat Resistance and Waterproof Certification
The USB-C Charging port is a welcoming change as the other TWS in this lineup has only offered MicroUSB. Not just that, the TWS6 also supports wireless charging – so, you could either charge it on a Qi Charging pad or use your Reverse Charging capable phone to charge them up. The touch controls on this is underwhelming as it takes a long while to recognize a tap. So, I ended up taking my phone out or control my Spotify with my Fitbit Charge 4. With all of this out of the way, let’s get into the TWS6 earbuds listening experience.
What is Balanced Armature?
Balanced Armature isn’t a new driver, in fact, they have been present in the market for a while. It’s just that these drivers are expensive. But the question is, why is that? Let’s start with a normal Dynamic driver.
In a normal driver which we see on every in-ear headphone or TWS for that matter has a dome driver – Dynamic Drivers. Now a Dynamic Driver something like the speakers you have on the table with a dome, the in-ear headphones you use everyday has that. They are designed in a way to cover a complete frequency range to offer a good listening experience. These drivers – when you look at their construction, it has the Diaphragm, a voice coil and the magnets that helps to move the drivers to produce sound. Since it also relies heavily on air, the bass on a normal Dynamic Drivers tend to have that oomph factor – which means it has good bass staging.
Balanced Armature on the other hand, work a little different – they have a specifically tuned frequency to the driver to make sure it sound right. Their construction is different too – they have a coil wrapped around an armature and that coil is suspended between two magnets. When there’s a change in current – it causes an attraction between the coil and magnets. The reason why the word “Balanced” is in front is because they have no net force to begin with. Since they don’t need air to generate the sound – the drivers are ridiculously smaller than a Dynamic Driver. Which also means that the bass staging on armature is inferior but what the Balanced Armature does excel in is: Amazing detail, faster response, and impressive treble. This is what you get with the TWS6.
As rare it is to come across a Balanced Armature driver on a True Wireless Earbuds – Edifier collaborated with one of the leading manufacturers in the market, Knowles to make this happen. That said, right after we charged the TWS6, we began our listening experience. We listened to 3-4 different songs to see how it holds up.
Starting off with a classic Favorite: Killing me Softly by Roberta Flack. Immediately you can pickup the grainy sound which is usually lost in a normal Dynamic driver. The instruments slowly come in from different directions and present with amazing staging in a directional stereo setting of sorts. Roberta’s vocal has a lovely warm presence and when it gets to the chorus, the echo adds a lot more character to the song and bringing it alive too. The song does have bass. Not the intense kind but the subtle kind. I love every instrument is so distinctive with almost no loss to the clarity. The best part is how you can notice the beginning and the end to the song as it gradually moves you into the song and ends gradually. The finer details are present too.
Next, I went for a little more modern – Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis. There isn’t bass here, but the drums and the synth are something worth noticing. You can tell the number of beats and the pitch in the xylophone-like synth in the song – which is really nice if you ask me. When the piano/keyboard kicks in, you can hear the chords, which is prominent. The bass present at the part she sings “I don’t care what you say…” is not heavy and extremely subtle. Her vocals have a nice treble and it isn’t those screeching highs but the nice ones that you do know that she’s singing in higher pitch.
To drive a little more bass, we tried an EDM and turned to TroyBoi’s Snobby. We tried this song just to see how intense the bass is. You can tell that the bass is present in the song, but it’s held back due to the limited frequency and the lack of the air-based diaphragm. As for the rest of the element in the song, they are detailed, clear, and nice to hear – in fact, the crackling sound in the music was so crisp and clear. So, if you are planning to listen to crispy clear EDM – which isn’t what EDM listeners want ha-ha, but you can definitely get that with the TWS6.
Don’t take us in the wrong way by the way. We are not saying the bass is bad or there isn’t no presence at all. What we are saying is – the bass is present, but it isn’t as strong as a Dynamic Driver – we tried 6 Inch by Beyoncé feat. The Weeknd to see (again) if the bass is limited – to which it does prove that point really well. If you like the subtle bass, then you will like the TWS6 but it isn’t a bass heavy earbuds – for that you could turn your heads to the Sony EXTRA BASS WF-XB700 which we reviewed here.
I am impressed by the whole sound quality with the TWS6 because it has a very distinctive sound staging, clear vocal and a nice treble that isn’t sharp. If you are an audiophile and enjoy songs like Stevie Wonders, Roberta Flack and maybe Michael Jackson – or songs in general that carries the rich instrument and vocal – the TWS6 excels in that department really well. This paired with the long battery life is quite impressive. There isn’t ANC but the sound isolation is good enough for you to not hear your outside noise.
Although I do feel like, the TWS6 could show its true colors with an Edifier Connect app – which is available but only for very selected headphones as of right now. The fit tips are not really my favorites and most of the time I just ended up using the earbuds without one paired with the memory foam tip – which in my opinion is a great inclusion.
After reading all that, you might be wondering who is this TWS6 for. Now let me tell you something: As an audiophile myself, I find it surprising that the TWS6 has a Balanced Armature driver for real – as I am well aware that this isn’t an affordable driver and the last one I personally used was the Sony XBA Series which is a wired Balanced Armature In-ear Earphones.
I was a little skeptical on how the TWS6 would translate given how its now a wireless earbuds with that driver and obviously, it wasn’t the same as a wired earphones but the characteristics of the Balanced Armature Drivers were present with the TWS6 – which was surprising. That said – if you are a user who’s looking for the bass factor to be intense, the Edifier TWS6 is not for you. But if you are fine with the subtle bass but what matters the most is the clarity and the ability to listen to the subtle nuances a particular song or a symphony has to offer, the TWS6 is right up at your alley at a very impressive price.
Still surprised to try a True Wireless Balanced Armature Driver earphone and impressed that it delivered quite well. Definitely gets a thumbs up from me.
Huge thanks to Edifier Malaysia | Inter Asia for sending us the Edifier TWS6 to review. Special thanks to our friend Bryan for loaning his Nikon D610 for us to shoot the product images for this review.