Edifier TWS NB2 ANC Wireless Earbuds - Reviews
Edifier's secret sauce produces another quality headset
Pros: Good call quality in non-complex scenes, ultra low latency, solid frequency response, ergonomic case, looks
Cons: Controls, SBC only, mic over-compresses in complex scenes
I paid for these headphones, as with every set I review, and receive nothing in return from the manufacturer.

How I review:

Sound Quality

What I measure here is the subjective and objective. I listen to a few key tracks, some FLAC, some bad quality mp3's, streaming services, audio books and tracks I know have been so badly produced they will probably clip the top or the bottom end. Usually I listen to one album in particular on FLAC, which I know very well, and also Bolero, which again I also know inside out.

I then test a few key variables such as FR and Spectral Flatness using an acoustic mic setup. Some others too, but I won't go into detail unless it's necessary.

I do this just for confirmation of what I'm hearing. I'm not Scarbir, I'm not The Sound Guys. I have a demanding day job, study, and have three kids, so no long essays in these reviews.

I test using:

Stock tips
Spinfit Silicones
INAIRS foam tips
ikko i-planet foam tips

Microphone Quality

I conduct a few different tests, as follows:

Indoor, static, silence
Indoor, static, ambient noise 40-60 dB-A
Indoor, static, high frequency ambient noise
Indoor, static, low frequency ambient noise

All of the above but moving
All of the above moving away from the receiver

Outdoor, static, ambient noise 40-80db
Outdoor, moving, ambient noise 40-80db
Outdoor, under a nearby railway bridge where lorries pass through
Outdoor, in the wind and rain when possible

On Zoom or Microsoft Teams
On IOS (Iphone 8)
On Android (POCO X3)
On Windows 10

All are recorded for 1-3 minutes for future comparisons. I look for voice clarity, voice clarity among noise and glitches, suppression, naturalness and consistency.

Where possible, I ask my kids to also test to see what sounds the CvC or compression method is really trying to stifle and whether it succeeds

ANC (where applicable)

As per the call quality tests, I usually test the ANC at the same time, looking for low and high frequency performance as well as my pet peeve, induced vertigo and jawache. PNI is also attributed and scored where applicable. Ambient mode is also tested, and particularly important for earbuds designed for exercise.

Comfort

I use earbuds in four activities - calls, exercise, commute and relaxing. All three are taken into consideration to try to find the use-case, as finding the perfect earbud is, lets face it, never going to happen. For fitness I am looking for the ability to stay in the ear, for calls they would need good all-day comfort, and for comfort they need to pass the pillow test and stay in overnight.

Connectivity

I find most perform almost identically, but do the usual walk test, especially around congested 2,4ghz wifi areas. I leave a router on 40MHz just in case it messes with it, why the hell not?! When possible I would take them out and see how they perform in the pocket.

Other Features

Wireless charging, long battery life, a feature rich app, intuitive controls, good codec support, dual-mode and latency modes are amongst the attributes that get the high scores.


Ok, so onto the review:

Model: Edifier TWS-NB2

Price: £59

Vendor: Aliexpress

Link: https://bit.ly/3beWTOT

Manufacturer Blurb:

Features

  • Gaming mode creates low latency gaming experience: 80ms.
  • Ambient sound mode allows you to monitor your surroundings while listening to music.
  • Improved Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) from AMS.
  • 9+23 Hours for normal Playtime
  • 7+18 Hours for Noise Cancelling Playtime.
  • Φ10mm large graphene diaphragm delivers powerful and punchy bass.
  • LDS laser-carving antenna offers an ultra-reliable connection with incredibly low latency time.
  • Edifier Connect App for fast multiple controls.
  • IP54 Splash and Dust resistance to keep your TWS NB2 safe
Other Specifications:

Brand: Edifier
Model: TWS NB2
Full Charge: Who knows. Not specified anywhere
Single Charge Playtime: 7 hours (ANC on) 9 hours (ANC off)
Playtime with Charge Case: Up to 23 hours
Driver: 10mm composite diaphragm
Codecs: SBC only!
Environmental Rating: IP54
Technology: BT 5, A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP
Impedance: 24 ohm
Operating Range: 10m
Noise Cancellation: Hybrid
ANC: Yes, sound pressure level 94±3Dbspl(A)
Microphone: Dual-mic cancellation
Latency: 80ms in gaming mode
App: Yes - EDIFIER CONNECT

What's In The Box?:

TWS NB2 Earbuds
Charging Case
Silicon Eartip x 3 Pair
USB Type-C Cable
User Manual
Carry Bag

Real Life Experience

The Unboxing - 9/10


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If you've ever bought a Tissot watch...well this kinda feels like the same experience. Not quite a Rolex, or even an Omega, but they've made an effort.

The faux leather box is nice. Opening it up reveals a solid foam casing in which a grey cardboard box contains the cables, tips, manuals and bag, and the case and buds sit below.

The Case - 8.5/10

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The same faux-leather finish as the box. Embossed logo, premium feel. USB-C - don't think it supports wireless charging.

The nice thing about the case is it has a slight gradient that makes it super-portable.

The Ergonomics - 8/10

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Against the Aukey TP25 and Tronsmart Apollo Bold

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(Middle) vs the Boltune BT-BH024 and Omthing Airfree.

For stem earbuds these are nice. They are bulbous, like many others, in order to maximise passive noise cancellation. It doesn't detract from the comfort - they fit nicely, although the stock tips are visibly better quality than the other supplied sizes, which is a shame.

I actually ended up using the Tronsmart Apollo Bold tips with them in the end, which gave better comfort.

Sound Quality - 8/10

It is always a difficult balance reviewing raw sound quality against intermediate sound quality (i.e. sound quality against price).

Subjective tests were good. They immediately jump out as having a broad, well constructed sound stage. Everything is clear throughout. Bass is unquestionably enhanced compared with the NB1, but not offensively so. Subbass has no nasty surprises. Vocals and instruments separate beautifully. The sound is more refined than something like the Apollo Bold, but less rich at the same time. I find the Apollo's better on low volume, whereas these require you to edge it up a notch to hear everything.

Gaming mode takes latency to just 80ms. This is the best I've tested so far - bear in mind aptx is around 200ms this is out of this world - but there's a catch.

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Only SBC is supported. No AAC, no AptX. Regardless, the frequency response revealed no problems. Spectral flatness is nicely linear. Edifier know how to tune within the constraints of Bluetooth - no problems here.

Call Quality - Indoors - 8/10, Outdoors - 6.5/10

On the day I tested the worst earbuds for calls (the Aukey EP-T25) I found the best so far (apart from the Galaxy Buds and Apple Airpods Pro). I'd heard some iffy reviews of these, but initial impressions were extremely good.

Most frequencies are cancelled to a market leading quality, despite using a proprietary noise cancellation methodology (no CvC or MEMS) and your own voice is exceptionally clear in all environments. This was one of the best features of the earbuds, it really does shine here. The one blot on the copybook is it can sound a touch robotic at times compared with some headsets, but this isn't frequent and is a small price to pay for outstanding clarity.

Fast forward a few months on and the cracks start to show. Outdoors the TWS NB2 over-compresses sound in harsh or complex environments. Out in the wind and rain with traffic, unlike most cheaper earbuds that try and amplify your voice over a loud backdrop, the Edifier just compress the hell out of everything, making you sound muffled and indistinguishable from your surroundings.

I guess this is why they have had such mixed reviews. Something usually has to give, and here it is harsh conditions. These are without doubt fair-weather performers, that would be ok in a reasonably busy office and a quiet commute in countries in good weather, but deviate from that and you're going to see, or rather the person on the other end is going to hear, the flaws.

ANC - 7.5/10

Not quite as good as I expected. Certainly not as good as the Tronsmart Apollo. It's...ok. I suspect with a better seal it could be improved. And sure enough, a month later, by angling the buds slightly further anti-clockwise I am getting better results - not in the league of the Apollo Bold - they seems better at cancelling out more distant sounds than close by - but not so bad that I was about to send them back thinking they were faulty, which I did when they first arrived. Even so, it's debatable whether it is that much more effective than the passive isolation on the Whizzer E3 or Fiil T1XS.

There are 3 modes, off, on and ambient. Ambient has a percentage bar within the app, which is a nice touch. When using with windows, noise reduction and normal mode show little difference. Ambient is very apparent.

ANC is activated by double tapping the left bud. Even on iphone, where it seems to perform better for some reason, there is often little noticeable difference when you activate it, both to sound quality and the ambient sound in silence, which gives the feeling it could be better.

Deeper evaluation revealed noise cancellation is far better on these at low frequencies. With the fan on a low setting in bed this morning, it cut out all of the rumble, and the switch from off to on was much more noticeable.

Without music, ambient chatter and TV sounds are still audible with ANC on, but it dulls your keyboard taps and traffic if you're sat near a window . This will be music to the ears of home office users.

As usual, Edifier are doing things their own way. The ANC is certainly not a major disappointment, but it's also not a stand-out feature of the buds either, from what I've heard so far.

Connectivity, Controls and Other Features - 7.5/10

Connectivity is as expected and as advertised. These performed identical to others in their field. I haven't been able to test in a busy metropolis given the current climate, but interference kicks in internally at around 8-10m. Outdoors, no pocket issues. Over time, it seems to be getting a little weaker. I'm getting similar ranges to my other bluetooth earbuds, whereas it was very strong in the early days.

Pairing was immediate with the first device. The second device required the button to be pressed inside the case for 3 seconds. This obviates the need to touch the buds when pairing. Only one option shows (single bud use isn't through the pairing, which is good). Auto-connect is flawless. It is one of the few sets of earbuds I never have any problems with in this respect.

Controls are reasonably straightforward - double tap left tip for ANC mode, right tip for pause/play and answer/end call. It seems to also answer calls if you double left tap by mistake. Tap left 3 times for gaming mode, right 3 times for next song.

No volume control and a small surface area to get the right connection can cause problems here until you get used to them. The Apollo Bold and Aukey EP-T25 for example are designed for finger sized taps. These aren't, so you sometimes have to feel your way around the top before making contact. This can result in errors. The right / left delineation takes some getting used to. You are told most of the time what you've selected, which is handy as many don't (or default to Chinese like the FIIL!).

Single earbud use is possible. I don't like using earbuds in this way, but these worked fine when tested. Because of the delineation in button control, you're better off using the right bud.

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Connection to the Edifier Connect App was very straightforward, and it gives some good options. The front page allows you to turn ANC on and off, turn ambient mode on or off, and a slider bar allows you to define how much ambient noise is allowed through - a really nice touch. It also shows the current battery level of each bud, and you can play and pause here too.

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The settings area gives you a bit more to work with such as how the buds behave as pictured. You can control volume in here as well as shutting the device down and setting a timed shutdown. I could see this being useful on bed friendly buds. These aren't bed friendly. The user manual is here too.

Music pauses when the buds are removed from your ear, and its possible to toggle this in the app.

Button sensitivity is also configurable. This was using app version 6.1.

Battery Life - 9/10

Battery Life is a strong feature. With ANC on you still get a good 5-7 hours. The charge case gives you around 22-25 hours with ANC on, and even more with it switched off. This puts it towards the top of the league - real-life testing revealed they do not cut corners on the specification sheets. Contrast this to Anker, whose claims are wildly inaccurate and have an asterix with on 50% volume next to it in the small print!

The Edifier, for their flaws, remain my go to for work. They last all day, and whilst your voice will not sound as natural as even budget sets such as the Boltune BT-BH024 or Omthing Airfree, they are solid performers that keep going.

Final Comments

Despite only supporting SBC, Edifier have knocked it out the ball park with an overall high quality headset that comes with most of the features you would need (bar wireless charging). They are probably aimed at gamers and those working from home, sat on Zoom or Teams, given the low latency, reasonably good microphone and limited codec support. They would also be great for commuters who have to take calls, listen to a mixture of podcasts, audiobooks and music, and want to change to something fresh in their ears when working out - which these are definitely unsuited to - for those living in countries or climates where the noisy ambient surroundings don't pose a problem.

ANC is 'ok' - nothing outstanding, but it is acceptable at this price point. I see 'seansays' has rated it higher than the Apollo Bold - in my opinion it definitely isn't close, at low or high frequencies - it is very subtle, but good enough.

Sound quality is good. Soundstage is really nice, low mids and vocals are clear and uncluttered.

Aesthetics are also pretty good, the charge case is portable, and the app is 'oven-ready' and works well.

At £60 these are mid-tier buds with some good features and some notable absentees, but it is unquestionable they are worthy additions to the armory and I'll definitely be keeping them, and testing with some alternative tips to see if I can get more out of the ANC.

Price Weighted Score: 86%

Raw Score: 80%
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regancipher
regancipher
@Tzadka I've reviewed probably over 50 earbuds this summer. The sound delivered via SBC even with a bitpool of 52 is better than almost every other AAC/Apt-X earbud I've tried. I have the Taotronics SoundLiberty 79 in my ears right now using AAC. They're a pale shadow of the TWS NB2.

all my reviews are here: https://www.head-fi.org/members/regancipher.535074/#showcase-reviews

They are also on instagram under the moniker regancipher
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magogo
magogo
Between the Tronsmart Apollo, the FIIL TX1, the Mpow M5/T5 and the Edifier TWS NB 2, which one would you pick? My preference is: 1 - sound quality (hip hop, house music), 2 - battery, 3 - being able to lift weights with them (not worryiing they will fall out of my ears). Many thanks! PD: I've got a pair ot Mpows T5/M5 but the right piece stopped pairing.
regancipher
regancipher
I would pick the T1 Pro but wear with the long tips. Edifier is great for working from home and commuting but not ideal for exercise
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