If you haven’t heard of Chinese audio manufacturer HifiMAN, then don’t beat yourself up. Although the company is behind some of the best-sounding, audiophile-grade headphones, the brand yet to penetrate the Indian market with its offerings. However, that could soon change with the company’s latest concoction – the TWS600 earphones, which are a pair of truly wireless earbuds. I’ve been testing the pair for a little over a week and here’s what I make of them.
Design and Comfort
Let’s not beat around the bush, shall we? The HifiMAN TWS600 will not be winning the Red Dot Design award any time soon. Firstly, the pair ships in a chunky, semi-metallic case which I can only imagine was inspired by eggshells and a prop from a Star Wars movie. Making matters worse, the case is as practical as it is good looking. For one, it’s quite difficult to open the case as there aren’t any depressions or dints on the surface of the unit. God forbid if you have oily fingers and want to listen to music. Moreover, the LED indicators have been positioned inside the case, which makes very little sense to me as I had to pry it open every time I wanted to get a gauge on the unit’s battery life.
The design of the earbuds isn’t all that bad, however, if you were looking for something subtle, then the TWS600 clearly won’t cut it. Although the earbuds don’t protrude outwards as much as the Bose Sound Sport Free I auditioned a while ago, they’re still fairly chunky. That being said, the earbuds are supremely comfortable to wear over long hours thanks to their plastic-y build, which keeps the weight of the set down to a minimum.
While the TWS600 ships with a polarizing design, the company has offered a bunch of features that will be to everyone’s liking. Firstly, the buds come with IPX4 certification and therefore, you can sweat it out in the gym without worrying about damaging the earphones. Then, there’s the case, which comes with a USB Type-C port, thereby ensuring that you don’t have to carry an extra cable in your bag. Lastly, the TWS600 features a multi-function button on either bud, which comes in handy for sifting through your music library, pausing a song or toggling the voice assistant of your choice.
Now, these features aren’t unique to the HiFiMan TWS600 earphones but it’s evident that the company has put some thought into implementing them. Take, for instance, the buttons on the buds, which don’t push the earphones too far into my ears when I press them.
With that out of the way, here’s a quick guide to connect the earbuds to your phone – simply take them out of their docking case and you should see a blue and red LED indicator strobe on the left earpiece. If you don’t see the LED light up, you’ll need to push the buttons on both the earpieces at the same time to put the set in pairing mode. The pairing process is relatively easy, so no complaints here.
Sound Quality and Battery life
It’s quite difficult to pitch an audiophile a pair of Bluetooth earphones, let alone truly wireless earbuds. However, if I were to make a case for a pair of wire-free buds to a discerning listener, the HiFiMan TWS600 would be the front and center of my sales pitch.
For one, the sound signature is as balanced as it is fun to listen to. Therefore, the earphones preserve all the fine intricacies of a track without sounding too fatiguing at the same time. Furthermore, barring the Samsung Galaxy Buds, the TWS600 are quite possibly the only other truly wireless earphones that do justice to songs from the rock genre. To that note, the riffs from an electric guitar sound clean, and there’s little to no muddiness even when there are several different instruments playing at the same time. In other words, the TWS600 boasts exceptional instrumentation and frankly, can even rival most wired earphones in the same price range.
Now, if you consider yourself a bass-head, then you might be somewhat disappointed with the earphones’ low-end output. However, what the buds lack in sheer volume, they more than make up for by offering minimal decay and extremely tight beats.
All said and done, the HiFiMan TWS600 sounds incredibly good. But, so did the RHA TruConnect and yet, I found it extremely difficult to recommend the pair. You see, in order to provide buyers with impeccable listening experience, it’s pivotal for a Bluetooth headset to offer solid connectivity over Bluetooth. On that note, the HiFiMan TWS600 pairs to compatible devices via Bluetooth v5.0 and the earbuds rarely ever dropped the connection, which is great.
Coming to the battery life, the earphones offer five hours of playtime off a single charge, which is on par with the competition. However, the docking case adds an additional 39 hours of juice, allowing you to go without charging the earphones for a good number of days.
So, should you buy the HiFiMan TWS600? Well, for its asking price of Rs 12,999, the pair does make for compelling option, especially when you factor in the unit’s excellent sound output. What’s more, the earbuds are quite comfortable to wear over long listening sessions and ship with IPX4 certification too. The battery life has been solid for the most part as well, however, buyers might have a hard time looking past the TWS600’s unorthodox design. Therefore, provided you have the budget and don’t care much about the earphones’ aesthetics, the HiFiMAN TWS600 should be on the top of your Christmas wishlist. Else, you can take a look at Samsung’s Galaxy Buds, which offer a similarly good (if different) sound signature, and look much, much nicer.