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HIFIMAN TWS 600

Rating:
3.875/5,
  • Earphones

    Size: 25mm x 17.4mm x 26mm
    Weight: 5.9g/earpiece
    Battery Capacity: 55mAH/earpiece
    Charge Time: 1hr
    Effective Voltage: 3.3V-4.2V
    Standby: 110hr
    Music Play Time: 5-6hr
    Talk time: 4-5hr
    Bluetooth Version: 5.0
    Pf Transmission Power: Class 2
    Transmission Distance: >10m, up to 50 (depending on the environment)
    Codec Support: CVSD, mSBC, SBC, AAC
    SNR: >95dB

    Charge Case

    Size: 44mm x 80mm x 33mm
    Weight: 55g
    Charge Port: Type-C USB
    Charge Time: 1.5hr
    Extra Usage: 33hr

Recent Reviews

  1. GunnerXL
    Hifiman TWS 600, A different TWS
    Written by GunnerXL
    Published Nov 4, 2019
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Different design, Portability, Fitment, Vocal friendly Mids
    Cons - Bass shy, Mids might be too forward for some, Sound tuning might takes time for the user to adjust
    Hifiman TWS 600 True Wireless Stereo Headphone

    Disclaimer : The review unit is provided by Stars Picker Audio Library and will be returned and pass to another reviewer for review purposes. The package included TWS600 and extra eartips for tip rolling.

    Introduction : This is my first TWS earphone I've ever tested and reviewed. All I've using are wired headphones (Modded Hifiman HE4XX, Modded Beyerdynamic DT880 250ohm 2003 ver., Alessandro MS1...) and IEMs (Campfire Nova Custom, Sony MH-755, Tin T2, Final Audio Design Heaven 2 DIY Ver...).

    Source : Sony NW-A45, Sony Xperia XZ Premium

    Apps : foobar2000, HiByMusic

    Song Genre : Rock & Roll, Vocal/Jazz, some Pop and Hip-Hop

    I am listening mostly Rock & Roll and Vocals, some Hip-Hop and Pop, so I am very leaning towards V & U-shape, fun sound signature. I am not a basshead by all means, but I like deep and full-bodied bass. For highs, I am not terribly sensitive to sibilance, but I still like them rolled off just enough not to cause a needle city in my ears.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I will splitting the review in seperate sections:

    1) Packaging
    2) Design
    3) Accessories(Eartips)
    4) Usage and Charging
    5) Connectivity
    6) Sound
    7) Tip Rolling
    8) Comparison with Haylou GT1


    = Packaging =
    It comes with a standard cardbox box, felt sturdy and premium, but looks generic for the product this price. Upon opening the box, you will be greeted with earphones(Left & Right) and Charging Case.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    The charging cable, warranty cards and instruction manual(English, Chinese) are included inside the box.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    *Side Note* On the instruction manual and info, Hifiman insisted that there should be a 10~20 hours of break-in/burn-in period, which I believed is properly done by previous users(5 days of testing and review by 5~6 users before me).


    = Design =
    The TWS600 are small, fits snugly in my ears and I have no problem fitting them. But I wish they have some textured surface as they might slipped through my hands when I removing them from my ears.

    As the design choice, they look like beans and the swirling design on the face is not my taste. But at least they looked different from other generic TWS earphone on the market.

    The button is placed in the middle of the earphone. Clicking either one of them once will play/pause the music. Double click on the right side will increase the volume and on the left will do the opposite. Triple click on the right side will skip the song forward and the left will do the opposite too. But the problem is when you clcik the button, it will push further into your ear canal, which might cause some discomfort. Your mileage may vary due to ear canal size and fitment. If they decided to put touch function to replace the button, it would be a good option as well.

    The charging case, it looks slick and slim, with the Hifiman plaque on top. The charging case uses the USB-C charging port and sits on the rear left side. It is recessed and sits nicely inside.


    = Tips =
    The original package includes 9 pairs of eartips:

    - 1 pair of triple flanges eartip
    - 3 pair of double flanges eartip
    [​IMG]

    - 5 pair of silicon eartip ->3 narrow bore and 2 wide bore
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Extra eartips are provided for tip rolling. These include:

    - Acoustune AET-08,
    [​IMG]
    -SpinFit CP-500,
    [​IMG]
    -Sony EP-TC50.
    [​IMG]
    All these eartips are available in S,M,L sizes.

    *Side Note* I will be using most of the tips in M and L size. I will discuss how the eartips affect the sound in the later chapter.


    = Usage & Charging =
    The charging of the TWS is easy, just slide the earphone into the left and right slot respectively, and it will sits nicely.

    The button on the left and right will play/pause, increase/decrease volume, skip tracks forward and backward. But the present of physical button means you will have to press the button and eventually it will push into your ears. If it using touch sensitve surface instead of button, it might improve on the experience of the user. But it is just my nitpicking on this tiny earphone here.

    The charging case was around 40~50% when I received the unit. Charging the case to full power by laptop is quite fast, less than 2 hour and it is fully charged.
    [​IMG]

    The claim from Hifiman is that the earphone will last 5.5 hours and extra 33 hours from the charging case.

    I tried it on my office hours, which lasted for around 3~4 hours of playing time and it is still going strong(playing FLAC and some DSD files).


    = Connectivity =
    Out of the box, it is recommended to activate both side of the TWS earphone and put it back to the case, and it will pair the left and right unit together.

    But in reality for first time user, it was finnicky to connect sometimes. It will sometime connect just to one side and you will need to put them back to case in order to pair the earphones together.

    After leaving inactive for 10~15 minutes, it will shut down and you will need to switch it on again.

    While wearing the TWS and walking around to different rooms with music on(the player stays on the table 10~15m away), the connection stays pretty well and without any disconnection. Althought on some room with hallways and bends, the music will stutter. But it is expected as that specific room is bad for wifi and cell reception.

    While playing musics, it will sometimes buffer or stutter, but it will resumes just fine after half a second or so. It does not occurs too often but sometimes breaks your enjoyment of music. I have encounter some other problem with it's connection with laptop. It connects just fine but there is a lot of hissing and noise even with no music playing. The noise is audible and the music also stutters when it is connected to PC. I have no idea what is affecting the music to stutter.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    For calling, the sound is crystal clear, no delays or any buffering during call. The person on the other side of the phone call can listen to my voice loud and clear. Very nicely done on this part.


    = Sound =
    For sound, it's a mixed feeling for me. For the general sound signature, it's like n-shape or A-shape, a really mid-centric type of earphone.
    [​IMG]

    The bass does not have body nor extension. For the bass presence, it's there, but it is just like rock skipping through water and without any significant impact or 'Oomph'. In the live version of Hotel California by Eagles, the bass at the beginning should felt deep impact. But in this earphone, it just feel like what I've said earlier, it just like the bass just skimming through the song. Also from other Hip-Hop and beat heavy songs, the bass is just merely a presence in the flow of the song, no "Oomph" when the beats drop.

    The mids, it felt decent and excels relatively well on vocal centric song. The female vocal might not be as lush as other dedicated IEMs, but it is decent. But for some male vocal, it does present some peaks here and there, but does not sound wonky or weird.

    The high/treble, I did not felt too much sparkle nor presence. It felt somewhat lackluster and leave me disappointed just a bit.

    For the details, it is decent, with musics' detail to be presented to the listener, but never to-your-face type.

    For the soundstage, it is narrow and just stuck to both side of your ears, barely gets any further from there. The sound felt compressed and congested on the mids with the stock tips on(Narrow bore, L size). Tip rolling is suggested and will be discussed next.


    = Tip Rolling =
    With Acoustune AET-08 eartips, the sound loosen up a bit and felt more airy, but the bass and highs are still missing albeit being improved just a bit. Overall, much more enjoyable than the stock one.

    With SpinFit CP500, it felt similar to the Acoustune tips. It does move the mid a little further away, but still peaky.

    With Sony EP-TC50, it makes the sound more towards V-shape, improving the bass response a little, but it still not getting anywhere near thumping nor jaw vibrating. Overall, it makes it more warmer sounding.


    = Comparison =
    I grab my colleague's Haylou GT1 for a quick comparison with Hifiman TWS 600 and it presented something quite interesting.
    [​IMG]
    For Haylou GT1, it's almost 10x cheaper than Hifiman and it is your typical V-shape sound signature, but it is less resolving and a even slightly smaller soundstage than Hifiman. Both of these TWS are only connected via SBC. Haylou is more engaging and fun, but it might wears your ear out faster in complex tracks. It's mids is way more recessed than Hifiman which is almost a complete opposite of TWS 600. If Hifiman can bump up the bass and it's quantity and quality, slightly tone down the mids, I would chose the Hifiman more.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Conclusion, for the price of ~159 USD (RM629) for the time of writing this review, I feel like it falls a little bit short in terms of sound quality and price point. Awkward button placement on the shell means you will need to push the earphone further into your ear to push the button. Bass shy and recessed highs, but it might excels in vocal heavy tracks.

    If you wanted to try something different, you can consider this TWS and try it yourself. Also I would strongly suggest tip rolling to experiment with the sound by yourself. For me, Acoustune and Sony tips are the best for this. For functionality, it works perfectly fine albeit with it's quirk(except my laptop which I couldn't figure out why), and phone call quality is all crystal clear and crisp.

    Thanks for reading!
  2. audioblog18
    Hifiman TWS600 Review – Tune it Differently
    Written by audioblog18
    Published Sep 16, 2019
    4.5/5,
    Pros - - Not dark tonality
    - Long battery life
    - Roughly an hour of charging
    - Lots of ear tips
    - Sleek case
    - Fits really well
    - Bluetooth 5.0
    - Water resistance
    - Range (50 m)
    Cons - - Very Rare disconnection
    - No aptX or LDAC for the price
    - The midrange may be too forward for some
    Thank you Mr. Paul of HIFIMAN Electronics for letting us give our honest take towards the HIFIMAN TWS600. Given that the review unit is from them and is free of charge, it doesn’t affect the honesty and integrity of this review.

    Shop Links:

    Hifiman Shop:

    https://store.hifiman.com/index.php/tws600.html

    ebay:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/HIFIMAN-TWS600-True-Wireless-Hi-Fi-Sweatproof-Noise-Isolated-Sports-Earphones/254278524165?pageci=a8e039d8-f608-4188-bfc8-4df8afb6e7ca

    Amazon:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TR4C9L2?ref=myi_title_dp

    The Company

    [​IMG]

    HIFIMAN has been one if not the best headphone maker out there, they specialized in producing headphones with unconventional drivers, they used Planar Magnetic drivers as the owner, Dr. Fang actually has researches regarding the technology behind Planar Magnetic drivers. Up until now they are very popular in the audiophile realm with several awards and positive feedback. HIFIMAN ANANDA and SUNDARA are few of their new lineups and it is quite popular in audiophile groups. HIFIMAN continues to be one of the top brands in headphone class and it is my personal favorite.

    The Hifiman TWS600

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The Hifiman TWS600 came with a medium sized red box, company, product name and the product itself are all printed above the box. Turning it and looking the bottom of the box, the features are listed some of those are IPX4 and Bluetooth 5.0 capabilites. To be honest for a device at this price range, I’m expecting a larger box with more premium feeling, I mean the Sabbat E12 has a good looking packaging. Diving inside the box, there’s 8 various pairs of eartips which feels premium to me especially the transparent silicone tip which gave me the best sound and fit. There’s also a type C cable and some paperworks. For me the packaging experience should’ve been better, I mean for a price like this I’m expecting more like a carrying pouch for longevity of the charging case, well maybe the small box is for it to be less space consuming when it is shipped to other countries but for 7,500 Php (149 USD) TWS IEM and for me it’s forgivable given that they are relatively one of the biggest name in Audiophile world. The battery life is good though, the IEM can go up to 5 hours on my usage and the charging case can charge it up to 6 times which is note worthy.

    Technical Specifications:

    [​IMG]

    Connectivity
    [​IMG]

    I’ve tested it with devices which only has Bluetooth 4.2 but all of them supports aptX and LDAC which the Hifiman TWS600 lacks. It is easy to connect, the moment I turn on the Bluetooth and pair it, it took less than a minute before the TWS600 connected to my sources. The connection is pretty stable as well, both earpiece doesn’t have latency issues, even when watching videos there’s no lag or delay which is commendable. Distance wise, I tried leaving it at our second floor and I went down to cook some breakfast and it didn’t disconnect therefore the connection of the TWS600 is great.

    Sound
    I love gears with midcentric to flat sound signature as I really love listening to vocals rather than instruments. My genre ranges from heavy rock, alternative rock, pop rock, acoustic, pop, jazz and folk. Majority of my test tracks are in 16 bit – 44 khz and 24 bit – 48 khz FLAC file and here is the list of my commom test tracks.

    1. Reese Lansangan – For the Fickle (background, female vocals and upper mids)
    2. Foo Fighters – Bridge Burning (Imaging, Layering, Coherence, Sub bass and Mid bass, Mids, Treble)
    3. Jensen and the Flips – Come Closer (Mid Bass, Mids)
    4. Ed Sheeran – Dive (Mid bass, Lower Mids)
    5. Norah Jones – Don’t Know Why (Upper Mids and Instruments)
    6. Paramore – Hard Times (Imaging, Layering, Coherence, Sub bass and Mid bass, Mids, Treble)
    7. Utada Hikaru ft. Skrillex – Face My Fears (Imaging Layering, Bass, Mids, Treble, Coherence, Quickness)
    8. Passenger – Coins in a Fountain (Mid bass, Layering, Imaging, Instruments, Lower mids, Treble)
    9. Tori Kelly – Hollow (Background, Upper mids)
    10. Ariana Grande – Raindrops (Background, Upper mids)
    Bass

    Unlike all of the TWS devices that I’ve tried, this is something different, something unique in a good way. It doesn’t have that monstrous bass, it has decent extension everything below 100 Hz sounds faint, texture is above average and it is placed quite linear. Mid bass sounds modest as well, it doesnt punch hard and has subtle weight on it. Luckily it is tight enough and well controlled, texture is decent as it leans toward smooth sounding pair. Bass speed is definitely note worthy, most TWS that I’ve tried lacks attack and decay speed resulting to congested staging when subjected to complex tracks.

    Midrange

    [​IMG]

    Another interesting part is the midrange, it’s forward and is presented in a lush manner. Lower mids sounds full and has moderate body, male vocals sounds satisfying and far from being thin nor hollow. Upper midrange has a bit too much thickness resulting to lack of sweetness and high pitch emphasis especially on female vocals. It has moderate amount of details and is really smooth, very good tuning for a TWS because it is made to be used casually and not for analytical usage.

    Treble

    Again, the treble is quite smooth just like the bass and midrange. The amount of air just enough, sparkle somewhat lacking but that’s a good point for someone who will use the device for four straight hours listening to metal and rock music full of splashes. Decay speed is quite snappy and it doesn’t congest the staging, the positioning is almost the same with the bass making the sound signature slightly inverted U shaped. Extension isn’t something stellar but definitely forgivable, there’s no signs of sibilance nor harshness due to peaks, a very smooth and relaxing companion for long hours of casual listening.

    Sound stage and Resolution

    As expected, it won’t excel that much in this area, due to the forwardness of the midrange there’s slight congestion especially with complex tracks. It has enough height and width but it lacks depth. Layering and imaging is good enough, I can easily pin point the placement for as long as the track isn’t complex by nature. Resolution is decent, it is quite smooth and soft in comparison to wired IEMs at this price but of course they’re like apples and oranges, for a TWS device and for casual listening it is detailed enough maybe close to resolution of sub 5000-6000 Php wired IEMs.

    Sound Signature and Synergy

    Sound signature of the TWS600 is leaning to mid-centric with velvety smooth presentation. I liked this one because mid-centric gears are not so popular and quite rare in this hobby thus, listening to the TWS600 with my female dominated library has been very enjoyable. Pairing this one with warm source is much recommended because for me it slightly lacks bass impact and weight, so adding a bit of warmth would be really great.

    Huawei P20 and Mate 10

    [​IMG]

    I wasn’t able to turn on the aptX of both these phone because it is locked with the current EMUI version but as per comments in some forums it will automatically choose aptX when the device used is aptX compatible, sadly the TWS600 doesn’t have it.

    Both smartphone lacks Bluetooth 5.0 so I’m stucked with Bluetooth 4.2 which still performs nicely. I can literally use it when I’m cooking while my phone is charging at our second floor, there’s no latency issue too, I expected some kind of delay when watching movies but there’s none.

    Sound wise, both phones almost share the same sound signature on bluetooth, they’re a bit warm compared to my Shanling M3s (high quality enabled) and has less treble presence. The TWS600 sounded nice with these two, slightly boosting the bass and retaining the midrange that I love. Detail wise it’s far from exceptional but again, it is more than decent for your casual listening. Sound stage isn’t that spacious and accurate but definitely forgivable because it performs better than any TWS that I’ve tried so far.

    Shanling M3s

    [​IMG]

    It sounds a lot cleaner and more detailed with the M3s. The M3s also have a Bluetooth 4.0 and I can use it within 10 m range and that’s more than enough, afterall you’ll not go somewhere further than that without bringing your source. Bass sounds lighter but more detailed, midrange sounds less thick and has better transparency, treble has better extension and sparkle. Sound stage sounds more spacious than Smartphones that I’ve used but the depth is still lacking. Layering and imaging is on point especially with less complicated tracks while overall resolution is above decent.

    Comparison

    Advanced Model X

    Advanced model X sounds different it has more sub bass and mid bass but it sounds smoother in comparison. Lower midrange to upper midrange sounds recessed on the model X which is the exact opposite of the TWS600, the TWS600 sounds more natural and has better resolution too. Lastly the treble of model X is more prominent and forward compared to the TWS600, both has good enough sparkle and extension with TWS600 being slightly airer. Soundstage seems to be slightly more spacious with the model X but it feels less accurate in terms of imaging and layering. Resolution goes to the TWS600 though the difference isn’t that far.

    Feature-wise, they almost have the same functions but the TWS600 is click-operated while the model X is touch operated. Both TWS is rated at 4-5 hours per charge but the TWS600 has slightly more juice in the case (around 3 to 5 hours more). The TWS600 has the better fit, it has very strong suction making it almost impossible to fall from your ears, it has also a type C port which is an edge over the model X. Lastly both doesnt have LDAC or aptX support since it isn’t listed on their site, despite having bluetooth 5.0, its max operating range is just 10m in comparison to the TWS600 that is 50m.

    Conclusion

    [​IMG]

    The tuning of TWS600 is something that isn’t common, most of TWS that I’ve tried has big bass and slightly recessed midrange. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it is very good for jazz and acoustic genre, but it may not please someone who listen with classical and EDM because they aren’t bass or treble cannon. It has a very good battery life, nice fit, sleek housing and excellent connection, I never had any latency issues even when watching videos at any quality. Overall the sound signature is lovable (for me), it has a forward midrange and both ends has decent extension and quantity, it is ergonomic and has nifty control features if you want a premium TWS device that has excellent connection and fit then the TWS600 is one to consider the only downside is the lack of aptX or LDAC which is present with cheaper product but if I have to choose between this and Advanced Model X which is just 50 USD cheaper, I’d take the TWS600 in a heartbeat.
  3. Watermelon Boi
    HIFIMAN TWS600 Review: Brewing time
    Written by Watermelon Boi
    Published Aug 22, 2019
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Stable connection and short latency
    -Hifiman Topology drivers
    -Snappy auto-pairing
    -Comfortable, mid-centric sound ideal for voice
    Cons - Lack musicality and texture
    -Case is a bit vulnerable to scratches
    DSC_0978.jpg

    HIFIMAN TWS600 Review: Brewing time

    Well, well, well, turns out HIFIMAN also decided to join the intense TWS competition. I was mildly surprised to see a highly Hi-Fi focused brand like Hifiman to come up with a TWS earphone.

    Of course, big Hi-Fi brands like Sennheiser already came up with their Momentum TWS but they've been producing Bluetooth products for a while now. I guess it could be considered foolish for not joining this trend since TWS is what most consumers are nowadays looking for.


    Though I was quite skeptical of how Hifiman is going to manage with this because even before we talk about TWS, Hifiman isn't so familiar with Bluetooth from the first place.

    Well, but I'm certain that Hifiman hasn't come up with the TWS600 in a rush but spent enough time doing research and developments. Will this one live up to the expectations? Let's take a look at the TWS600 and see how Hifiman did with their TWS.




    DSC_1013.jpg DSC_1014.jpg

    Packaging

    The packaging for the TWS600 looks more sporty and somewhat less "geeky". Nothing standing out from the packaging but it's a familiar look. Other than the earpieces, it includes a dedicated case, a charging cable, a good amount of silicone and foam tips, and some paperwork. Doesn't feel to be including much accessories if I call them out like this, but it includes all the essentials with a variety of eartips.




    DSC_0979.jpg

    Earpieces - Specs and features

    TWS600 sports an 8.5mm Topology dynamic driver. There's a good reason why this one has a numbering of 600 - it uses the same driver from the good old RE600 but with the new Topology technology. Let me talk about the Topology tech after going through the technical specs.

    • Bluetooth 5.0, IPX4 resistance
    • Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz
    • Weight: 5.9g per earpiece
    • Earpiece playtime: 5.5 hours
    • Charging case capacity: Extra 33 hours
    • Full-charge: 1 hour for the earpieces / 1.5 hours for the case
    • Transmission distance: Max. 150m (490ft)
    • Earpiece features: play/pause, volume control, next/previous, built-in microphone, single-channel option

    Topology diaphragm

    I've previously addressed this before, though Topology diaphragm refers to a driver coated with a unique nano-coating which is distributed in a specific geometric pattern or thickness.

    Hifiman claims that varying the shape, pattern, and thickness of this geometric coating will manipulate the sound signature and characteristics, making them able to achieve the very specific sound they’re looking for. Hifiman began applying this technology starting from the release of RE2000 / RE800 variations and this is their third model to be applied with it.




    DSC_0983.jpg

    Design and comfort

    The looks on the TWS600 is very different from formal Hifiman products, having that unique, asymmetrical appearance. This is likely done to provide a better fit and it actually does snug into my ears comfortably.

    The faceplates have that Terminator-looking design with the center button lighting up as red during booting or charging. The color of the light changes to purple during pairing mode as well as blue when it's fully charged. The earpieces stay nicely secured even during intense workouts or running and don't cause any pain or fatigue.




    DSC_0999.jpg

    Playtime and connectivity

    I'm actually amazed by the technical performance these have. First of all, the playtime. I'm not much of an expert when it comes to TWS, though 5.5 hours was more than good enough to use without having concerns with battery life.

    Most people, including me, don't actively use earphones for more than 5 hours at once and I haven't encountered a situation where the battery ran out in use. If you use more than 5 hours straight.. you probably shouldn't for the ears' sake.


    Second, the range. Hifiman released testing footages where they've mark 150m (490ft) distance away from the device and still not having a problem with the connection.

    This was done on an obstacle-free environment so you probably won't get the same numbers in your daily life, but I was able to get a seamless connection while keeping a distance of 3~3.5 meters with doors and obstacles.




    DSC_1009.jpg

    Charging and latency

    This case is a cute one. Round, small, and relatively light. It has magnets strong enough to stay clamped and secure and a battery capacity to provide TWS600 with an extra 33 hours of playtime. It uses a type-c charging cable and gets fully charged within 1.5 hours.

    I also like that they've added a rubber padding on the bottom to prevent it from rolling around on the surface. The case feels solid but slightly vulnerable to scratches.


    The stability is also what I've found to be outstanding. I honestly don't think I ever had a connection lost while hanging around in crowded places or in metros while my Whizzer TP1 and Soul X-Shock did on some occasions. I've been spending quite a long time with the TWS600 now and I don't remember having a connection lost at any point in time.


    The earpieces would pair with saved devices extremely fast and ready to be played even before I stick them into my ears. The latency wasn't an issue either. The sound stays very well synced and closely intact with the video speed. The lips from the video match with the sound without a problem.




    DSC_1003.jpg

    Sound signature: Lows / Mids

    Hifiman suggests having more than 10-20 hours of burn-in time before making claims about the sound, so I've spent some good amount of time before writing my impressions. TWS600 has a rather flat, mid-centric sound signature.

    Bass feels calm and fast, not leaving much reverbs or rumbles. It rather lacks depth and extension on the lower side. The dynamics also seem to be too weakened to provide enough musical details.


    The vocals feel materially soft, so it doesn't feel spikey or harsh in the ears, however lacks texture details. The imaging feels to be very slightly faded out, which I don't mean it's blurry, but enough to detect the mids to feel a bit somewhat "far". It's close to a feeling of a 3D sound field being applied.

    It's appreciable since this isn't so excessive and doesn't harm the naturality too much, but the lacking depth just makes the overall sound signature to be missing something.




    DSC_1007.jpg

    Sound signature: Highs / etc.

    Maybe if they removed or lowered the 3D-ish effect and rather pulled the mid-range imaging forward? That actually could have resulted in really neat and beautiful sounding vocals actually. It's overall okay (mediocre), but for Hifiman? It could have been better.


    While I've been saying this from an audiophile perspective who would be listening to music, I could probably pitch this up to the very top if we're talking about listening to voices.

    Mids keep a good distance without getting veiled or overwhelmed by the bass, so it provides a very comfortable listening experience. The vocals are quite thin in thickness and work better with female vocals. There are lots of air and openness, making the sound refreshing without getting the ears fatigued. There are no sibilance and overall sounds very comfortable and flat.


    Highs are recessed and have a similar quantity to the lows. The details are clearly displayed, but a bit far distance as well as that "3D effect" making the striking force pretty weak. The extension and extensions are okay though.

    The soundstage is slightly better than mediocre and the 3D effect I've been saying highlights more on the spatial perspective, leaving a possibility for some to feel this to be artificial.




    DSC_0977.jpg

    Verdicts

    Solely paying attention to the drivers, I could detect right away that these drivers have huge potential. Those lush tonality and texture unique to the topology divers I felt from RE2000 and RE800, they're definitely there.


    Unlike wired ones, software tuning is a crucial part of tuning a TWS IEMs. The technical parts were nailed hard and all ready-to-go, though I think TWS600 needed a bit more brewing time on tuning the software before hitting the market.

    For the current price, TWS600 is still a good choice to make just for its technical performance, but I believe the hurdles need to be set higher if it's from "the" Hifiman.


    There would be doubts if you are looking for an outdoor replacement for your serious audiophile gears, but for watching or listening talk shows, typical YouTube videos, and exercise music?

    I'd still be confident enough to recommend in these cases. I'm happy using these as my EDC, but I'll still be keeping my fingers crossed and wait for a real, proper "audiophile-grade" TWS IEM from them.







    Thanks to Hifiman for providing TWS600 in exchange for an honest impression/feedback.

    I am not affiliated with Hifiman and none of my words were modded or asked to be changed.
      B9Scrambler likes this.
  4. B9Scrambler
    HIFIMAN TWS 600: Finally, Something Different
    Written by B9Scrambler
    Published Aug 14, 2019
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Amazing battery life – Great ear tip selection – Ergonomics – Low latency – Receptive to EQ
    Cons - Odd sound signature ootb – Random disconnects – Charge case could benefit from some design tweaks
    Greetings!

    Today we're checking out HIFIMAN's TWS 600, their first entry into the booming truly wireless earphone market.

    Bluetooth products have become commonplace within the last few years thanks to improvements in sound quality, connection reliability, and us consumers being somewhat forced into them thanks to major manufacturers opting to remove headphone jacks from their products. Annoying, but so is the world we live in. Truly wireless earphones are still in their relative infancy with worthy products only hitting the market quite recently. By worthy, I mean those that offer up acceptable sound quality and stable connections, along with natural ergonomics and long term comfort.

    The TWS 600 is the first truly wireless product from HIFIMAN, a brand that is probably best known for their high end, full-sized planar magnetic headphones. Along with Bluetooth 5.0 and an IPX4 water/dust resistance rating, this new earphone incorporates tech from HIFIMAN's high end earphones, that being their topology diaphragm technology which was previously only found in the RE800 and RE2000 (and their Silver counterparts).

    Along with some impressive specs, the TWS 600 offers up a sound signature I have not heard in this segment, but is that enough to warrant consideration? Let's find out.

    Disclaimer:

    Thanks to HIFIMAN for arranging a sample of the TWS 600 for the purposes of review. The thoughts within are my own subjective opinions based on time using the product (50+ hours). They do not represent HIFIMAN or any other entity. At the time of writing the TWS 600 retailed for 199 USD.

    https://store.hifiman.com/index.php/TWS 600.html

    Personal Preference:

    I listen primarily to various EDM sub-genres (liquid drum and bass, breakbeat, drumstep, etc.), hip hop, and classic rock. My preferences for earphone tuning are quite relaxed and as such their is no one signature I look for. The HiFiMAN RE800, Brainwavz B400, and Massdrop x MeeAudio Planamic are examples of earphones with wildly varied signatures that are enjoyable for different reasons. I generally listen at very low volumes, so keep this in mind when perusing my thoughts on how an earphone sounds.

    Specifications:

    Earphones
    • Size: 25mm x 17.4mm x 26mm
    • Weight: 5.9g/earpiece
    • Battery Capacity: 55mAH/earpiece
    • Charge Time: 1hr
    • Effective Voltage: 3.3V-4.2V
    • Standby: 110hr
    • Music Play Time: 5-6hr
    • Talk time: 4-5hr
    • Bluetooth Version: 5.0
    • Pf Transmission Power: Class 2
    • Transmission Distance: >10m, up to 50 (depending on the environment)
    • Codec Support: CVSD, mSBC, SBC, AAC
    • SNR: >95dB
    Charge Case
    • Size: 44mm x 80mm x 33mm
    • Weight: 55g
    • Charge Port: Type-C USB
    • Charge Time: 1.5hr
    • Extra Usage: 33hr
    IMG_4709.jpg IMG_4717.JPG IMG_4745.JPG

    Packaging and Accessories:

    The TWS 600 arrives in a fair-sized black and red cardboard box with a retail ready hanger protruding top the top. On the front of the package is an image of the TWS 600's earpieces along with the usual branding and model information. A few product highlights can be found within a red band; a combined battery life of 38.5 hours, Bluetooth 5.0 support, and fast charging. On the rear of the box you find contact information for HIFIMAN Support along with additional product highlights; stable connectivity from 10-50m, IPX4 sweat and dirt resistance, an ergonomic design, call and music playback up to 38.5 hours, and voice assistance support with most phones. They also highlight battery indicator support with some phones and operating systems.

    Lifting the lid you're greeted by a small card thanking you for your order. On the back there is a reminder to register your TWS 600 within the one year warranty period. Why? They'll give you an extra three months support. Very nice of you HIFIMAN. Beneath the card the interior is dominated by a dense foam insert in which the earpieces and charge case are safely nestled. Beneath the foam insert you find the included tips, a usb-C cable, and some documentation. In all you get:
    • TWS 600 earphones
    • Charge case
    • usb-C cable
    • 9 pairs of silicone tips
    • Instruction manual
    • Warranty card
    Overall a pretty standard unboxing, except for one thing; the tip selection. HIFIMAN has one upped the competition here by offering a ton of different tips that you can use to find the best possible fit for your ear. Most offer a simple s/m/l selection of basic single flange tips. Now, I have seen some complaints about tips not fitting in the charge case. Since I like to consider myself reasonably thorough, I put this to the test.

    Of the nine different pairs HIFIMAN includes, only two do not fit. Those were the extra long bi- and tri-flange pairs. Looking into third party options, similarly extra long multi-flange tips do not fit, nor do large foam tips (unless you compress them first). One of my preferred set of tips, the broad triple flange set that came with the classic Xiaomi Piston 2, actually worked p;erfectly which I was surprised about.

    Let's compare cases and tip compatibility with the Nuforce BeFREE8, SoundPEATS TrueFree+ and Q26, Astrotec S60 and S60 5.0, and the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless (MTW). Most of these are designed to accommodate at most the preinstalled medium sized single flange tips. Few can take the stock large. None but the MTW can accommodate the chunky Xiaomi tips that work fine with the HIFIMAN case. None but the MTW can take standard medium foams (Comply or otherwise) without compressing them first. None work with the insanely long double or triple flange tips HIFIMAN provides with the TWS 600, will nor do other third party options fit, though the MTW will accept some shorter bi-flange options. HIFIMAN comes out way ahead of all but the MTW with a case that is much more flexible when it comes to charging the ear pieces with a variety of different tips attached. Also in Sennheiser's favour, their case has a hollow lid allowing you to carry your detached tips with the earphones, should they not fit.

    Personally, I think the case/tip concerns are overblown and that most customers won't have any problems. But what if you do!? Remove the tips and toss them in your pocket or set them beside the case while charging. I've had to do it in the past with the BeFREE8 and Q26. It's not that inconvenient, and other brands handle this far, far worse. Yes, HIFIMAN could improve this with a future revision or complete product replacement, but as is this is still one of the better cases out there (and the best I've come across) for tip accommodation when charging.

    Build, Comfort, and Isolation:

    The TWS 600 earpieces seem to take inspiration from General Motors interiors during the 90s. By that I mean they are plastic-fantastic, bulbous, and bubbly. Unlike GM in the 90s, HIFIMAN didn't do it poorly. The plastics feel very dense and tough and all the component parts fit together with very tight seams, something that probably helped the TWS 600 achieve it's IPX4 sweat and dirt resistance rating. Still, the seams are clearly visible, as are lines from the molding process. This plus the odd shape makes them look cheaper than they are, and feel. The HIFIMAN logo and L/R markers are printed onto the bodies of each ear piece. I fully expect them to wear off over time as they interact with the oils of your skin. Fortunately, the ear pieces are clearly designed to be worn only one way. The case also has redundant L/R markings, so it shouldn't lead to much confusion when/if the print begins to wear off.

    On the face of each ear piece is a deceptively small multifunction button which depresses with a fairly satisfying 'snick'. It is pleasantly damped and as such isn't obnoxiously loud when the TWS 600 is in your ear and the button is pressed. Giving the TWS 600 an even more unique look are the transparent spiralling tendrils that emanate outwards from the multi-function button, lighting up bright blue or red to show device functions. Overall the build of the earpieces is just fine. Nothing comes across overly premium, and while the slightly arguably goofy design might look somewhat low rent, it doesn't feel that way.

    The charge case is also mostly plastic and carries on with a somewhat obscure, egg-shaped design of it's own. Offset to the right on the lid is a HIFIMAN logo made from what appears to be aluminum or an alloy of some sort. Those that like everything mirrored are probably going to be infinitely annoyed by the placement of the logo, and probably the usb-C port too. That can be found on the back to the left of the hinge. On the bottom is a ovular anti-slip rubber ring on which the case rests. The lid is held securely shut via a strong magnet and isn't likely to open by accident. Opening the lid requires separating a small tab on the front of the case by lifting the two halves away from each other. HIFIMAN has pressed small arrows into the case so you know which tab goes in which direction. Once you've got the case open, there are spacious, magnetic openings to accommodate the earpieces. Large padded cutouts can be found in the lid to ensure everything is held securely in place. Found in between where the ear pieces rest is a battery icon with four small LED lights. This indicator tells you how much battery life remains in the case. For the most part I find the case very well constructed. While it doesn't look particularly premium, it feels tough. My only main complaint is levied at the hinge design. It feels plenty durable, but let's the lid flip so far back the top and bottom halves of the case bind. When that happens, closing the lid results in an uncomfortable snapping sound as the two halves bind. HIFIMAN did mould in a ridge with a small indent to seemingly get around this, but it doesn't work.

    Despite it's size and bulbous shape, the TWS 600 is actually quite ergonomic and very comfortable. The shell is more or less divided into two segments. The main body and a compact wart on which the nozzle resides. This wart is around 15mm in diameter and smoothly rounded to rest lightly against your outer ear. It causes zero discomfort and provides adequate support in dispersing what little weight is present across it's surface. The rest of the body is just as well-rounded so it too avoids interacting with the ear in a way that would cause hot spots or other forms of discomfort. The nozzle is a pretty average 5mm at it's widest, and around 7mm long, protruding at a ~45 degree angle. It all feels quite natural once inserted. The standard nozzle width combined with a prominent lip also allows you to roll through a wide variety of tips to find the one that works best for your ear, should none of the stock pairs do the trick.

    Isolation is about average with silicone tips, no music playing. Using the stock medium wide bore pair, sitting at my computer, typing results in only the snappiest part of the keystroke being clearly audible. Mouse clicks are audible too. Cars passing by on the road outside my window can be heard but what is normally a cacophony of noise is reduced to a mellow rumble. Taking the TWS 600 for a test drive at my local coffee shop you can still hear voices but they are muffled. Following a conversation would be pretty challenging. Toss on foam tips or some multi-flange silicone tips and expect isolation performance to improve to slightly above average. While the TWS 600's isolation is pretty good, I would have liked it to be even better so what little bass there is isn't almost completely drown out by your environment.

    IMG_4734.JPG IMG_4736.JPG IMG_4737.JPG

    Sources and Connection:

    The TWS 600 was tested with a number of devices; LG G5, LG G6, Shanling M0, Shanling M1 and an ASUS FX53V laptop. Connecting to a device is very easy. Simply remove the primary (left) ear piece from the case and it will automatically power up and enter pairing mode. You'll know because the LED will flash red and blue, and a voice will announce that you've entered pairing mode. Turn your source's Bluetooth function on and search for a device. The TWS 600 will show in the list of available devices as “TWS 600”. Select it and you're connected. If you remove the right earpiece from the case, it will automatically search for and pair with the left to enter stereo mode. You'll know the two sides are connected because it will be announced.

    Connection strength was for the most part fairly strong and reliable. Though, seemingly at random, every once in a while the right earpiece would drop connection with the left, or they would both disconnect from each other and the source device. Connections will always re-establish themselves quickly and without missing much of a beat, but it still happens. Doesn't matter if I'm right beside the source, or meters away. One aspect of the TWS 600 that stands above is it's low latency. Should you choose to use these for video, you'll find the audio syncs up very well with what it is you are watching. If there is a delay, it is imperceptible to me.

    The TWS 600 is rated for 10-50m, dependent on the environment. In my apartment, the TWS 600 doesn't perform any better than your average truly wireless product with cutouts happening once a few obstacles are in the way. This means the TWS 600 falls behind recent budget oriented products I've covered, those being the Astrotec S60 5.0 and SoundPEATS TrueFree+, which will retain a connection almost anywhere in my apartment.

    Overall I find the connection quality to be quite average. Given the somewhat premium price point of the TWS 600, I was expecting it to be among the top echelon of truly wireless products I've tested, but that has not been my experience. On the positive side, latency is wonderfully low so watching video with the TWS 600 makes for a positive experience.

    Battery Performance:

    The battery life of the TWS 600 is outstanding. Rated for 5 to 6 hours of music play time, I had no issues reaching it. With the TWS 600's volume maxed out and the volume set at 4 of 15 on my LG G6, I managed 6 hours and 21 minutes on one charge. I can't imagine I got any lower than that on other listening sessions given I was listening on only 2 out of 15 on the G6 for all those sessions. This thing is extremely loud.

    Controls:

    The TWS 600 doesn't rewrite the single multi-function control book, featuring actions that are easy to pull off and reasonably common/intuitive.

    Using either the left or right ear piece, you can press once to pause/play, or accept/end a call.

    A 2 second press will decline an incoming call. If no call is incoming, a 2 second press will open your phone's voice control feature.

    Double pressing the left button will reduce the volume. Double pressing the right button will raise the volume.

    Triple pressing the left button will skip to the next track. Triple pressing the right button will return to the previous track. Note that a triple press and hold will not allow you to scrub through a track.

    While I find these controls work fine, I would prefer some slight alterations. Instead of triple pressing to skip back and forth through tracks, move that function to a double press and have volume function on a single or double press + hold action. A single quick press can be used to decline an incoming call, and a triple press on either side would do to bring up voice control. In my experience, fewer misclicks happen under that control scheme. Of course, this is all personal preference and again, the existing controls are perfectly functional.

    DSC_1057.JPG IMG_4739.JPG IMG_4744.JPG

    Sound Quality:

    Tips: With the exception of foams, which muffled the sound, I didn't find the TWS 600 particularly susceptible to changes when swapping tips. As such I selected them based on comfort and isolation. The stock medium wide bore set was the most comfortable for my ears, and provided the least isolation. They were good for listening at home. Xiaomi triple flange were my go to for the outdoors because they were still quite comfortable and provided better isolation. Sony Isolation Hybrids were a good alternative to the Xiaomi's but didn't provide as reliable a seal.

    The TWS 600 is unlike any other truly wireless earphone I've heard to date. It has a bass light, mid-forward sound that is the anti-thesis to the usual v-shaped, bass bombastic products that are the norm at basically every price point. Good on HIFIMAN for doing something different, even if it doesn't always work out.

    The TWS 600's mid-range is front and centre thanks to a ~2k peak that draws nearly all of your attention. Great for mid-heads. I found both male and female vocals fairly equally represented with neither sounding better or more suited to the presentation. This applies to everything from GUNSHIP's “Fly For Your Life”, to Big Grams' “Run For Your Life”, to Paul Williams on Daft Punk's “Touch”. Unfortunately, while a forward, coherent mid-range is nice, being so forward results in it taking on a hollow, unnatural presentation that takes away from things somewhat. It also doesn't help that the TWS 600 is somewhat lacking clarity in the mids, so those wonderful voices and instruments come across slightly muffled as well.

    The mid peak would be countered somewhat if the treble was well extended with reasonable emphasis in both brilliance and presence regions, but that is not the case. The treble here is detailed, non-fatiguing, well-controlled, and very inoffensive, but also dry and lacking sparkle and shimmer leaving tracks falling somewhat flat. Cymbals and chimes on King Crimson's “Night Watch” show this off. They lack prominence and fade into the background leaving the guitars and vocals to carry the track.

    I actually quite enjoy the low end presentation of the TWS 600. It very much plays second fiddle to the midrange and most of the time putters along with little to no impact. However, when needed I found it pulled it's weight just fine. Now the TWS 600 would not be my first pick for my preferred genre, that being liquid drum and bass (I can hear the audiophiles closing the page, if they even made it this far...see ya, my reviews aren't for you anyway), but it still handles it well enough for me to not be left wanting too badly. On Calyx & Teebee's “Intravenous”, the warbling bassline that underlies the track is present and carries the overlaying tunes. Sub-bass presence is minimal leaving the TWS 600's mid-bass bias to lead the charge. While in general the TWS 600's bass is quite polite, it's at least quality stuff being that it is quick, well controlled, full of texture, and generally satisfying, as long as you're okay with low bass quantities.

    Unlike others, I find the TWS 600's sound stage outstanding. It feels wide and open regardless of the track being played. Effects and instruments sit way off in the distance, though not always in the most realistic way. Vocals are a centre-point anchor with everything else trailing off behind it in a wide v. This means that imaging isn't super accurate, but separation and layering are just fine, effectively keeping tracks from melding together. It's not immune to congestion though, as noticed during the chaotic final few minutes of King Crimson's “Starless and Bible Black”.

    Overall I find the TWS 600 to be a decent listen, just not very versatile. For me, this earphone is not something I choose when I want to sit and listen to music exclusively. It's tune is too mid-focused and not a fit for my preferred genres. Instead, it's perfect for when I want background music for whatever I happen to be doing that day; getting groceries, doing laundry, working on my car, etc. At low volumes in particular, the TWS 600's signature lets music fade into the background and provide a sound track to my life. I know it's there and when I focus on it, it is pleasant enough, but it's better as a complimentary element. Unless of course you decide to dip into the modern portable audiophile's most hated tool; equalization.

    The TWS 600 loves to be EQ'd and is very receptive to it. That ~2k peak can easily be removed and some extra emphasis dialed into the presence region to improve detail through the midrange. While most of my sources don't have extensive EQ'ing options available, the Shanling M0 provides enough to tailor the TWS 600 to my needs. Dropping 1k by 3dB, 2k by 5db, and a 2db raise at 4k results in a product that is more balanced with just a little kick in the treble that I enjoy. With these changes applied the TWS 600 becomes a product I'll pull out when I want to listen to music.

    Final Thoughts:

    HIFIMAN's first go at the ever-growing truly wireless earphone market isn't quite a slam dunk, but I don't find it disappointing either. You get a plethora of tips to personalize fit, a well built and comfortable design, and decent connection quality. Battery life is amazing and the carrying case is one of the best I've come across thanks to it's pocketable nature and the extra 33 hours of use it provides. While I don't find it an issue, others have expressed concerns with the fact that not all included tip styles fit into the case during charging, so keep that in mind.

    The TWS 600 is the only option I'm currently aware of which clearly attempts to cater to the neutral-loving crowd. If you're not opposed to equalization, you can turn that dream of a neutral truly wireless product into reality. But alas, I don't review modded/EQ'd products, so as good as you can make the TWS 600 with a mite of effort, that's not what you get out of the box.

    Overall, I enjoyed my time with the TWS 600. As it currently stands I think a slightly lower price point would be beneficial, as would a tweak to that upper mid-range. However, if someone is looking for a mid-focused or neutral (with EQ) truly wireless product at this price point the TWS 600 is the one to get. Those looking for a more generic v-shaped earphone and/or something that sticks closer to the Harman curve, well, the rest of the industry has you covered.

    Thanks for reading!

    - B9Scrambler

    ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

    Some Test Tunes:

    Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid (Album)
    Hail Mary Mallon – Are You Going to Eat That? (Album)
    King Crimson – Lark’s Tongues in Aspic (Album)
    King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black (Track)
    Supertramp – Crime of the Century (Album)
    Infected Mushroom – Legend of the Black Shawarma (Album)
    Gorillaz – Plastic Beach (Album)
    Massive Attack – Mezzanine (Album)
    Fleetwood Mac – Rumors (Album)
    Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels (Album)
    The Prodigy – The Day is My Enemy (Album)
    Tobacco – F****d Up Friends (Album)
    Felt – Felt 2 (A Tribute to Lisa Bonet) (Album)
    Michael Jackson – Thriller (Album)
    The Crystal Method – Grace (feat. LeAnn Rimes) (Track)
    Jidenna – Long Live the Chief (Track)
    Skrillex – Ragga Bomb (Track)
    Big Grams – Run for Your Life (Track)
    Funkadelic – Maggot Brain (Track)
    Aesop Rock – Fishtales (Track)
      NymPHONOmaniac, ciber, iBo0m and 2 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. iBo0m
      iBo0m, Aug 19, 2019
      B9Scrambler likes this.
    3. B9Scrambler
      Cool! Never seen that model before.
      B9Scrambler, Aug 19, 2019
      iBo0m likes this.
    4. iBo0m
      Well, actually, it's quite old :D I had to sent an Indonesian Sony websites because in Europe it's no longer available :D Anyway, you made a good impression of TWS600 to me, so I'll be considering it even more!
      iBo0m, Aug 19, 2019
      B9Scrambler likes this.

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