HIFIMAN TWS 600

General Information

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

Latest reviews

Pros: + Battery Life, 35 Hours of tested battery life
+ Price is now very good, just 80 USD
+ Makes Running and Jogging a real pleasure
+ Comfortable fit
+ Very detailed and revealing sound for a TWS IEM
+ Good selection of Eartips included
+ Bluetooth 5.0 and Type-C connections
+ Neutral sound with good treble sparkle
Cons: - Only has AAC and SBC
- Needs some EQ if you want more bass
- Cannot be stored in the case with the large tips installed
- Sound can be really odd at first
- Sound needs EQ to sound its best
- Sound can bee too forward
Light Spring Audio - HIFIMAN TWS 600 Bluetooth 5.0 Earphones Review






HIFIMAN TWS600 is the latest earphone from HIFIMAN, and it is the bluetooth version of their well-known RE-600 series, having been launched at 200 USD, but now being found at 70-80 USD in most stores. In this review, I will be comparing them with Lypertek Tevi, 1More Stylish TWS IEMs, Master & Dynamic MW07, Jays M-Six, and RHA True Connect. With a Neutral sound, and good connectivity, comfort, and with lots of headroom for EQ, TWS600 promises to be the audiophile TWS IEM to get if you're tired of those that are too thick or muddy.






Introduction


HIFIMAN is one of the greatest audio companies in the world at the moment of making this review, and no joking, they have a huge selection of products on the market, and from their HE6SE Headphones, which are now legendary, all the way to Arya, which became one of the best sold Planars in the world, and all the way to the Sundara, and more recently, Deva, they always strived to offer the best price / performance ratio possible, and in the past they sometimes went with more industrial and spartan designs, that would be awesome, if you weren't a fashion aficionado. Nowadays, they have even the aesthetics nailed down, and HIFIMAN products in general are the ones I can recommend the most to anyone looking for reliable build and warranty, great comfort and awesome overall sonic abilities.


It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with HIFIMAN, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. I'd like to thank HIFIMAN for providing the sample for this review. This review reflects my personal experience with HIFIMAN TWS600. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in HIFIMAN TWS600 find their next music companion.




About me


https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/p/about.html




Packaging



First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:


















The package is not quite that complex this time around, but you still have everything you need. From the first product I reviewed from HIFIMAN, the package has always been a hit-and-miss, and for anyone who remembers RE2000, the golden IEM, the package was as awesome as they come, but it lacked some essentials, like the Spinfit tips I always used with them.


Then, there was Sundara, which was just perfect, but then Arya was also great, and did not lack a thing. HE6SE also had a beautiful large case. So, back to TWS 600, when HIFIMAN decided to make a TWS Earphone, they actually included a large number of tips with it, and the only thing that may be missing is the Spinfit, which, one again may have been useful. Also, you may want to get some foamies, even if they are not your favourite, because they really help with the sound of TWS600 and make it more balanced.


This being said, if you're concerned about the fit, eight pairs of tips should be enough for most people. The other thing I love is the Type-C cable included with TWS 600.




What to look for when purchasing a high-end In-Ear Monitor


https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/p/what-to-lookl.html




Shop Page: http://store.hifiman.com/index.php/tws600.html




Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort



There's not quite that much fluff about the build quality, the TWS 600 is a pretty normal-looking TWS earphone, although if anything really makes it remarked when you're wearing them, it is the fun LED lights, and they way they are designed to look like they're out of a terminator movie. Since at the point at which I'm writing this review I already tested and am working on the reviews for over 10 different TWS Earphones, I can tell you that the case for the TWS 600 is actually pretty awesome. It doesn't have quite that strong magnets to keep the IEMs inside, so if you're the type that may open it in an odd position, you should take care not to drop the IEMs from the case. On the other hand, the IEMs themselves have a unique gamer flair to them, and I enjoy gaming products, being quite into gaming, so I love the retro-modern, with touches of gaming looks of TWS 600.






The case may not have enough space for the IEMs, if you're using larger tips, but it should be okay with either medium or small tips. With the sonics of TWS 600, you're most likely to use some foam tips, like Comply. There's a power / battery indicator on the case, right between the earphones, and it has multiple LED lights, showing how much battery the case still has.


The Earphones also show their own battery and how much they still have while they are connected to your smartphone. You may not have expected this, but HIFIMAN has been one of the first companies to jump on new tech, and they always do it nicely. They did back when releasing the Ananda Bluetooth, and included Type-C connectors, and now with TWS600, they included both Bluetooth 5.0 and Type-C, both of which are great features to have on a newly released product.






The Buds are IPX-4 rated, so both dust and water resistant, so you can safely take them for a jog. This doesn't mean they will resist being submerged in water, so from all the sports you could use them for, just don't take them swimming or canoeing. The microphone is okay, not the best, not the worst, it is about where most TWS earphones are, but you should know that it works well if you're in a silent area, but noise around you will drown out your voice quickly, as the ambient noise increases.


At the center of the earphones, there are physical buttons for controlling them, and I love this from the bottom of my heart, since the touch based earphones are sometimes really prone to accidental touches and can be annoying, especially if you're doing something that has sport in it, and you don't want to keep touching your ears every ten seconds with sweaty hands.


One serious drawback is that they only have AAC and SBC codecs, so you won't be able to use the TWS-600 with anything like the mighty codecs, like LDAC, HWA, aptX or aptX HD. Since they are an entry-level audiophile earphone, the main reason I can see for them having only SBC or AAC is that those codecs, paired with a power transmitter that has lower power, will have a secured connection more than having LDAC and other fancy codecs. Since HIFIMAN made the sound of TWS 600 match the codecs and optimised the sound, it won't be an issue, and should in theory be good for sport, mobility, and for keeping a secure connection even in pretty hard conditions.


It pays off, because the IEMs have a HUGE battery life, of about 35 hours of tested battery life, of mixed usage, mostly at high volumes. This is more than excellent, and the connection is also rock stable, even when doing sprinting, and especially for an IEM priced at 80 USD it makes sense that HIFIMAN would prioritise the battery life and connection stability, for our sporty friends. As a little bonus, they even have fast charging, and take very little to charge.




Sound Quality


Where most TWS IEMs of this moment go for either warm signatures, that are smooth and where the bass bleeds a bit in the midrange, or V-Shaped signatures that create a nice balance and engagement, HIFIMAN decided to focus on those fans who really love some good clean mids, that are really forward so the TWS600 is a neutral - to mid centric IEM, with a good clarity, and a forward treble, with good extension, but thanks to a wet character, doesn't cause any fatigue by being harsh.





Starting with the bass, this is the least interesting part of TWS 600, as it is not their highlight or focus, they are made for the mids and the treble, so the bass being neutral doesn't make itself noticed in any way, unless it is really called for. It rolls off quite early, and needs EQ for more serious listening. On songs like Black Eyed Peas - My Humps, you can hear the bass, and it has fair extension, but it lacks quantity, especially if you're not a diehard neutral or midcentric signatures fan. Happily, HIFIMAN used high-quality drivers in TWS600, and there's enough headroom for you to EQ some bass in and make their sound stronger and impact deeper.


The midrange is the central element of TWS600's sound, and it is a clear, clean, and pretty wide mid. On songs like Dance Gavin Dance - Young Robot, you hear all those sweet guitar notes, paired with the forward, yet clean voice. There's a good amount of action going in the background as well, where you can hear the fine cymbal and percussion works. There's a peak around 1.5-2.5kHz, and there's also some sparkle in the treble, but this leads to an excellent overall resolution, making TWS600 sound clearer, cleaner and having more detail than some TWS Earphones that have the aptX and LDAC codecs, but which aren't as resolute.


The treble is really well-extended, and those who love Japanese Pop, K-Pop, or music that relies a lot on highs to sound the right way, like Rock and Metal, will love TWS600. The treble has a smoother texture, so despite the forward presence, and the good extension, they never sound harsh or fatiguing. In songs like Ylvis - The Fox, you get a nice treble going on, but without sounding harsh, and it actually compliments the midrange quite well.


The soundstage is large, and the instrument separation is surprisingly good. This being said, there's always some hiss going on in the IEMs, due to the amplifiers that are built inside, so when listening to music, it tends to be quite below the music level. This being said, if you listen to a lot of songs with a really quiet background, you may notice it. REOL - LUVATORRRRRY is a good song to showcase both the wide stage, and the instrument separation. This being said, most of the songs I've used so far will require some bass to fully appreciate, so I figured that I can EQ TWS600 quite a bit so it sounds good.





Portable Usage & EQ


Since TWS600 is a portable TWS IEM and won't have a pairings part in this review (it doesn't really matter what you pair it with), I wanted to approach the EQ option, from a portable APP. Most people don't pair bluetooth TWS IEMs with DAPs like FiiO M11, iBasso DX160, or Hiby R6. Instead, most people use a smartphone, so I used a free app that is easy to use, to configure an EQ profile to get the most I could out of TWS600. I picked Hiby, since it fits all criteria, but any app should work just fine.



Since they have a pretty loud maximum volume, you can enjoy them even if you decide to EQ them, you won't lose any engagement or joy, but you can greatly increase the overall impact, depth, and make the sound more balanced and complete.

This is the EQ profile I've been using for them:












To transcribe it, I did the following:

AMP - -8

31 Hz - +7 dB
62 Hz - +5 dB
125 Hz - +1 dB
250 Hz - 0 dB
500 Hz - 0 dB
1 kHz - -1 dB
2 kHz - -3 dB
4 kHz - -3 dB
8 kHz - +2 dB
16 kHz - 0 dB


This should provide a clean, crisp sound that has both impact, and it will take some of the forward mids out, if you want a more traditional / Balanced signature. You can even rely on this EQ if you just want to add some bass, by applying only the first three sliders. I tried adding more thickness to the sound by using the mid and upper bass sliders, but in the end, it just sounds the best this way. The bass has a dry character, you can dial in some impact and depth, but adding thickness reveals the dry character of the bass a bit too much.

Almost any source can use the Hiby app, and it is free, and works on their own Hiby R6 DAP, as well as other DAPs.

You may want to use foam tips, if you wanted better comfort, as well as better sound. Foam tips tend to make the sound even more laid back, and it increases the bass perception as well. Plus, it offers better overall comfort, and if you were getting driver flex with TWS 600, you won't be getting anymore, since Foam tips can help dynamic drivers escape the dreadful driver flex just fine.



Youtube Video

HIFIMAN TWS 600 IEMs Youtube Video Review:


Comparisons


The comparison list includes Lypertek Tevi, 1More Stylish TWS IEMs, Master & Dynamic MW07, Jays M-Six, and RHA TrueConnect. The comparison list covers a wide range of signatures and prices, so you get the best idea where TWS 600 fits in today's market, and if any of the others is a better fit for your tastes, you'll be able to make a purchase that maybe fits your tastes more. Don't forget to click on the names of each of the competitors, for an in-depth article about them, if you become curious.




HIFIMAN TWS 600 vs Lypertek Tevi (80 USD vs 100 USD) - Starting with the big and bad boy from this list, Lypertek Tevi has what most would call a really dynamic and engaging sound, and they are mostly a V-Shaped signature. This kind of sig works well for outdoors usage, and while the treble quantity is similar to TWS600, the midrange are considerably recessed on Tevi by comparison. TWS600 has a recessed bass, lower in amount and overall impact, compared to Tevi, but that can be solved via EQ. Tevi has that Linkin Park logo going on, which I liked, but I prefer the Terminator - Gaming aesthetics of TWS600. Tevi has aptX, and they have a longer battery life, with 10 hours per IEM, and with up to 70 Hours in total, in average being a double of TWS600. If you want a more general IEM that's good for almost everything, Tevi is easy to recommend, but TWS600 has more of an audiophile sound, with a wider soundstage, and more resolution.


HIFIMAN TWS 600 vs Master & Dynamic MW07 (80 USD vs 200 USD) - Master & Dynamic MW07 is much more expensive than TWS600, but TWS600 was initially launched at the same price, and although it is now almost a third of the price, TWS600 still can compete with MW07 in your purchase list. The first aspect you'll notice when comparing the two is the different fit and ergonomics of MW07, which sits better in your ears, thanks to a different fit model. The case is also much more stylish on MW07, but the battery life is almost three times better on TWS600. The connectivity is better on MW07, as they have aptX, and I also like the controls on MW07 a bit more. The sound is very different and if you are a basshead, you will enjoy MW07, and if you want an audiophile sound, you will enjoy TWS600 way more. The sound has much better clarity, resolution, and detail on TWS600, where on Mw07, you have better depth, better impact, and more substance to music. Both allow for some EQ, and both can be EQ'ed to sound a bit more balanced.


HIFIMAN TWS 600 vs Jays M-Six (80 USD vs 100 USD) - The Jays M-Six is priced at 100 USD, or at least this was the latest price I could find, and for that price, they were interesting, although they aren't exactly a TWS IEM, but rather one of those that goes around the neck. In terms of sonics, the Jays M-Six lacked resolution and detail, but had a smooth, easygoing sound that was quite enjoyable, and if you just wanted to pump some beats for a workout, it worked great. It has a marginally better fit than TWS600, but the battery life is way better on TWS600. Jays M-Six has aptX, but TWS600 with its SBC and AAC codecs is worlds ahead in terms of resolution and clarity, which makes it clear that HIFIMAN went with AAC and SBC for TWS600 for the connection stability and low power consumption rather than being lazy. As long as they managed to optimise squeezing every last bit of detail from the drivers of TWS 600, I personally don't care that much what codec it is, as long as it works alright.


HIFIMAN TWS 600 vs RHA TrueConnect (80 USD vs 170 USD) - The RHA True Connect is another TWS Earbud that has only AAC and SBC codecs, but it is more expensive, although it has a considerably more fancy carrying case and design. Since the treble and the upper midrange is recessed and rolled off for TrueConnect, it is easy for TWS600 to win in terms of clarity and detail. Resolution is also much better on TWS600, but the bass is considerably deeper, has more impact, and it is resolved better, with a more natural character on RHA True Connect. The soundstage is wide on TWS600, and intimate on True Connect, and the overall sound is smooth and warm on True Connect, which makes it easy to recommend for those looking for an easy sound. In the meanwhile, TWS600 reveals everything, so poorly recorded music will sound pretty poorly recorded. The comfort is marginally better on the True Connect, but this is just because TWS 600 also has an awesome comfort, so here's more of a situation where both are great.

HIFIMAN TWS 600 vs 1More Stylish TWS IEMs (80 USD vs 100 USD) - This one was also a pretty big favorite of mine, and although it isn't mentioned everywhere, it is one that is close to my heart, and an IEM that I will remember for a long time. The total battery life is better on TWS 600, and so is the control since the 1More is based on a touch control that makes it really hard to control them without accidentally touching something you didn't mean to. On the other hand, 1More implemented aptX in their Stylish IEMs, and they also have a better call quality, their microphone being better at rejecting the outside noise. Both TWS600 and Stylish IEMs come with Bluetooth 5.0, but there are considerably more colors for 1More, and as I noted in my Youtube Video review of them, their fit works well for sportive figures as well. The actual sound is much thicker, warmer and smoother for 1More, so TWS 600 wins in terms of resolution, midrange presence, clarity and detail. 1More wins in terms of bass, but you can EQ both quite a bit, as both rely on dynamic drivers and have some headroom, if you want to tweak their sound. TWS600 has a wider soundstage, where 1More is rather intimate, being the type of thick and warm intimate experience you'd want from romantic music, where TWS600 is an audiophile experience.



Value and Conclusion

The value for TWS600 is strong especially now, as they are priced at 80 USD at the moment of writing this review. They are a great deal, have a nice carrying / charging case, and are comfy. In fact, although they don't impress everyone, those of you who like a slightly more gaming-oriented aesthetic will love the TWS-600.




The build quality is as good as it gets. They are made of plastic, like virtually every TWS IEM in this world, since they all need to be as light as possible, but they are also made of one of those high-quality plastics, and they fit incredibly well. At least, if you have smaller ears, because if you have larger ears, they don't fit quite as well. This is because although the IEMs will fit in your ears, they won't fit back in the case quite as well.


The connectivity is exceptional, and I didn't manage to break the connection even once, but I did manage to torture the battery, and HIFIMAN qas quite honest about the battery life, they lived to up to 35 hours in total, which is as good as it gets for a TWS IEM, this is over a week of usage without a single charge. Since the case charges quickly, and it relies on a Type-C USB port, they are going to be alive for many years to come.



The sound is neutral, and bright, and the midrange is that kind of clear, crisp mid that you'd really enjoy, especially if you were looking for a sweeter and wider IEM, with a good instrument separation, great imaging, and with a good resolution. If you feel the bass is lacking a bit, you can always EQ them following the curve I have attached above, and you'll be able to give more substance and depth to the sound. Furthermore, with TWS600, you could even pull the midrange back a bit, and get a balanced sound if you really wanted to



At the end of the day, this is a fair IEM, with a really good price. Great comfort, exceptionally stable connection, amazing battery life, and great mid-forward, bright sound, with good resolution, instrument separation, and layering, TWS 600 is what I could call a good overall deal in every way, if you wanted a more audiophile-sounding TWS IEM.

Shop Page: http://store.hifiman.com/index.php/tws600.html


Full Playlist used for this review



While we listened to considerably more songs than those named in this playlist, those are excellent for identifying certain aspects of the sound, like PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you're searching for new most, most of them being rather catchy.

Youtube Playlist


Tidal Playlist

https://listen.tidal.com/playlist/64555551-ec3c-4279-ae44-248fdfcf6c4b

Song List

Bats - Gamma Ray Burst: Second Date
Eskimo Callboy - Frances
Incubus - Summer Romance
Electric Six - Dager! High Voltage
Kishida Cult - High School Of The Dead
Dimmu Borgir - Dimmu Borgir
Breaking Benjamin - I Will Not Bow
Thousand Foot Krutch - The Flame In All Of Us
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
Infected Mushroom - Song Pong
Attack Attack - Kissed A Girl
Doctor P - Bulletproof
Maximum The Hormone - Rock n Roll Chainsaw
Rob Zombie - Werewolf, Baby!
Escape The Fate - Gorgeous Nightmare
SOAD - Chop Suey
Ken Ashcorp - Absolute Territory
Machinae Supremacy - Need For Steve
Ozzy Osbourne - I Don't Wanna Stop
Crow'sclaw - Loudness War
Eminem - Rap God
Stromae - Humain À L'eau
Sonata Arctica - My Selene
Justin Timberlake - Sexy Back
Metallica - Fuel
Veil Of Maya - Unbreakable
Masa Works - Golden Japang
REOL - Luvoratorrrrry
Dope - Addiction
Korn - Word Up!
Papa Roach - ... To be Loved
Fever The Ghost - Source
Fall Out Boy - Immortals
Green Day - Know The Enemy
Mindless Self Indulgence - London Bridge
A static Lullaby - Toxic
Royal Republic - Addictive
Astronautalis - The River, The Woods
We Came As Romans - My Love
Skillet - What I Believe
Man With A Mission - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Yasuda Rei - Mirror
Mojo Juju - Must Be Desire
Falling Up - Falling In Love
Manafest - Retro Love
Rodrigo Y Grabriela - Paris
Zomboy - Lights Out
Muse - Resistance
T.A.T.U & Rammstein - Mosaku
Grey Daze - Anything, Anything
Katy Perry - Who Am I Living For
Maroon 5 - Lucky Strike
Machinae Supremacy - Killer Instinct
Pendulum - Propane Nightmares
Sirenia - Lithium And A Lover
Saving Abel - Addicted
Hollywood Undead - Levitate
The Offspring - Special Delivery
Escape The Fate - Smooth
Samsara Blues Experiment - One With The Universe
Dope - Rebel Yell
Crazy Town - Butterfly
Silverstein - My Heroine
Memphis May Fire - Not Over Yet

I hope my review is helpful to you!


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Pros: Running is a pleasure, not a chore, with these on
They are reduced to $79 from $199
Battery life of 38.5 hours
Cons: Inevitable bluetooth dropouts happen occasionally
They stick out of the ears, the wind likes that and throws everything it can at their shiny shells
Out of the box sound is a no go area. They need working on to make them worthy
The fit needs working on to make them worthy
Be ready to put in the necessary legwork to achieve the greatness(i.e watch my video)
HiFiMan TWS 600 - the ugly duckling which can be turned into a beautiful swan

Screenshot 2020-03-07 at 20.40.11.jpg


This is a brief description of the first 6 months with my first TWS earbuds. HiFiMan sent me these for my opinion. In the true nature of headfiers to headfiers, there has been no influence on what I write here; good or bad.


Introduction

The TWS market has really started to spring into life. As we all must realise by now, wireless is the future of the audio industry. Consumers are more than happy to not be trailing wires and stacking components on top of each other to listen to music. Most of which is now being streamed, of course. Headfiers don't yet, in the main, fall into that category. Many of us have enough cables to open our own stores. The question is- in 5 years time, will cables cease to exist?
The manufacturers are turning to wireless streaming devices in their droves. For the portable market, the revolution has already started. TWS is now here to stay. Samsung and Apple and Beats are well on board, and a few of our favourite companies have also jumped on board. HiFiMan was one of the first. I met up with the TWS 600 in a hotel in Canvey Island. Of all the bars in all the joints, and you had to be in mine... well, I was invited by Mark, of HiFiMan and Headfi fame.
At the time, the TWS had been on sale in China for less than a week. @dill3000 and myself were subjected to a bewildering number of top, middle and cheapy cheapy products from our Chinese friends. We went from the TWS 600 to the Susvara over the course of a busy few hours of work. Ahh....all work and no play. What a chore it must have been, I can hear you say!
My first impressions of the TWS 600? It worked functionally well, the buds and case looked splendiforous, all resplendent and shiny and new. But the sound.... I wasn't sure on that. The sound was detailed. But, it was thin and crisp. The bass sounded lean and artificial, there was some evidence of harshness in the upper mid and treble region, certainly to my ears.
I was subsequently sent a set. Eventually, my ears got accustomed to the eccentricities of the buds. While I was out running, as you can imagine with me gasping away and pounding the tarmac, certain frequencies were a little more muted. This made the whole experience a little more forgiving. I could appreciate the clarity of the vocal, or lead track. I had been working on eq to alleviate the bass issues and pulled some of the higher frequencies back.
I also had a few problems with the fit, my ears did not really like these buds, and had a particular dislike for the left one, attempting to dislodge it with any chance it got. I crushed a different sized tip into my ear canal and with a few micro adjustments on the hoof, I was able to safely transport them within the lugholes from a to b. The 2 problems had been slightly resolved, but I confess to putting the TWS 600 to one side for a few months.
My Wife did 2 things just after Christmas, both of which took me completely by surprise. 1 - she took up running. I never saw that coming again. 2 - she started using the TWS 600 for her runs. Jo swore by them, and, in fact, still swears by them. Jo is not an audiophile. She thinks we are all stark raving mad. She will think nothing of turning her nose up at a £1000 set of IEMs. The whole thing is nonsensical to the missus. And yet, she has made these buds her own. Jo was using stock tips, no eq and was happily playing internet radio through the phone, happy as Larry! I had not witnessed such behaviour. Jo hates wires. This was obviously the first attraction. Yet the sound signature that I had experienced didn't seem to faze her at all. These aspects caused a great disturbance in me. I clearly had to take another look at one of the few HiFiMan products I have disliked.


The above video explains my journey. I spent a long time working through the huge stash of eartips I have collected over the years. I would feel too guilty on these pages to confess to how long that time was. You know the score, you've been there too, right? If not, think in terms of way too long. You'll be halfway there. But, in my journey, I learned some things about what different types of tips do to the sound, certainly in my ears, and certainly for the TWS 600, which, incidentally, responds very differently to whichever hat you give it. My first thought, and Mark of HiFiMan's first suggestion too; the obvious, the good ole foamie. Yep, the Complys was always going to be the first port of call for a bud lacking a bitta bass. Trouble was, when said squishy was applied, things weren't perfect. There was more bass; it sounded less anaemic but it sounded too thick and artificial and the clarity of the upper mids and highs were too rolled back. The tips supplied by HiFiMan were of a very thin and flexible silicon. I contended that a thicker silicon with a foam insert might just the match I was looking for. I was right. I now have a bass that has a slight punch and have lost the harshness, or glare, in the upper frequencies, whilst retaining the clarity and detail that held a clue to the potential of the TWS all that time ago.
The next step was in finding a way for my strangely shaped ears to lock the 600s into place. I had been sent a big bag of tips from Venture Electronics to go with their Zen Dice LL earbud. 1 of the sets was what I can only describe as a silicon wing. The Dice LL would fall out of my ear. But with these wings in? Happy days! All good! I wondered whether such a set could be found that might fit around the bottom of the TWS shells. A few minutes of web trawling and I got my catch. 2 weeks later a set of wings arrived at my door. Without by chance or design, it appears that the TWS 600 has a protrusion around the middle of each shell. That shell will comfortably hold the silicon wings tightly into position. Once inserted in the ear, there is no need for any adjustments to the earbuds, no matter how much you sweat, no matter how hard you run. They don't move. And they are not in any way uncomfortable.
I have spent some time with the TWS 600 getting it right. I know there have been those before me who have just sent them back. It has proven to me, as I have been shown time and time again, that it's not over til it's over. Things can be done to make a product personal. And effort is always rewarded. Talking of which, is it time to lace up those trainers that are gathering dust under your shoe rack? Let's go running, people!
Pros: Comfortable design / good isolation
Neutral and very detailed sound for a true-wireless
Wide selection of ear tips included
Cons: Large earpieces
Average build quality
Light in bass and can be too bright
Cannot be stored in the case with all ear tips
Review – HIFIMAN TWS600



Website – HIFIMAN


Specifications
TWS600 product page

Price: $199. Now on sale for $99. HIFIMAN Online Store.

Credits to the HIFIMAN team for providing the TWS600 for review.

Note: This is supposed to be a new version of the TWS600. Apparently some changes were applied over the original version so impressions may vary from others.










Design

The TWS600 take a very eye-catching design, making pretty much all the other HIFIMAN earphones look plain. It is impossible to overlook the kind of old-fashioned futuristic design with all gunmetal painted surface. There are no metal parts on the earpieces, it is all plastic made, and just about average at best in build quality. The shells are clearly on the large size, consisting in not two but three parts attached together. For the price you would expect a more premium quality and design or at least a more inspiring tougher built. Certainly not the strong point of the HIFIMAN products. For the active use the TWS600 still feature a minimal IPX4 rated resistance.


Despite the large shells, the TWS600 actually fit well and comfortable enough. I doubt they’d fit smaller ears, and personally find the fit too tight. The large part is placed on the outer side while the inner side looks like a more standard in-ear set with a like half in-ear design and fits like many similar standard wired IEMs should. The wide selection of ear tips may help to achieve shallower or deeper fit, though I found the single flange tips to provide the best results (at least from the included ones). Isolation is actually surprisingly good for wireless IEMs and on pair with the more isolating among universal wired earphones. It is very similar to what the Jays m-Seven achieve, of course not as ergonomic and comfortable but still fine.


The oval shaped storage/charging case is also a bit large, not very surprising as it needs to store the large earpieces. It is all plastic as well both on the outside and inside parts, with a whole magnetic surface inside. Again, the plastic material is average but makes it lightweight to carry around compared to heavy metal cases from other true-wireless sets. Moreover, the TWS600 hold a decent battery time (~5hrs) and can also be turned off and on without the case, so it is less essential to take the case everywhere. Charging connection is by Type-C USB.


The package includes a variety of silicone ear tips from standard single flange tips to tripe flange and also the own Hifiman small and large dual tips. While the quantity is more than any other true-wireless sets offer, there are a few things to note. First, the white long tips do not fit the earphones’ narrow nozzle, and while the other tips fit well, all the triple ear tips do not fit inside the charging case. Removing the tips is a solution but definitely not a comfortable one.




Unlike other new true-wireless earphones with touch sensitive controls, the TWS600 opt for a physical multi-functional single button on each earpiece. Every true-wireless set I’ve tried had its own operating buttons sequence, rarely following a common pattern, and the TWS600 are no exception. Do read the manual before buying these to see if they suit you. Anyway, the buttons are used for the usual playback functions, play/pause, next and previous, and also have volume control as well as voice-assistant feature. The volume control is quite good with no high jumps from each step, but when reaching the maximum level there is a very, very loud beep sound which I honestly think must be fixed. Single press is for play and pause, double for volume up and down and triple for track skipping. Strange thing is that volume up is set on the right side and low on the left, but to skip to the next track is on the left side and previous on the right.


Battery and Wireless performance

Battery performance rates about 5 hours of continuous use, what may vary depending on the volume set on the earphones side. It is now a more standard average among new true-wireless set that already beat the previous low 3hrs mark, but still not up there with the higher 9~10 times from a few competitors. The case adds 30 extra hours and a single full charge takes just about 1 hour.

Bluetooth codec support limits to just the basic SBC and AAC, no AptX. However, the low-latency is still supported, more critical for video playback than music. The wireless range is advertised to be the best one ever for any wireless product. HIFIMAN claim to reach the 150m, though only on a clear open field which I yet have to try. Crowded busy areas will limit the reach and quality, and as usual with a few of walls in the middle the transmission already breaks.


Sound

For their first wireless set, HIFIMAN utilizes a dynamic driver with their own new ‘Topology’ tech., featured on the upper and expensive top in-ear models, RE800 and RE2000. In theory it sounds like an interesting new implementation for the classical dynamic drivers, though quite difficult to say how much improvements it presents over other driver options. Nevertheless, it is still nice to see this in the more affordable earphones and even more in a true-wireless form.

The sound itself of the TWS600 is very different from other true-wireless in-ear sets I’ve listened to. All the other true wireless earphones are tuned with a warm, dark or at least v-shaped sound signature, with strong, energetic bass response, and more or less even midrange, less focused in details and accuracy. It might make sense if they are intended for more active, sport use, or more casual listening, with an engaging fun, more musical presentation.

The TWS600 is quite the opposite of all of that. The sound reminds of the older Hifiman earphones, the RE-0, RE-Zero and maybe the RE-252 too, with a very neutral, uncolored sound, clean presentation, more focused into clarity and accuracy with some touch of brightness. As noted above, the review unit here is a renewed version of the first released TWS600, and I’m not aware of the actual changes made on the sound, if any.

The low-end is as could be expected, light. It is quick, not forward but yes effortless enough and accurate. It simply lacks the mass and body, and there is not much of extension to it. Bass quantity is very shy, just neutral at most; there is a very small hint of warmth, not for texture but to avoid sounding too clinical. As a result, the midrange is very clean and open. It is lean, more liquid and pretty much flat neutral. Lower notes, instruments and vocals are thin in body and missing texture. Upper midrange is a bit more upfront and also brighter, where female vocals gain higher priority and instruments extra energy. However, treble is not too favorable. It is not due its brighter tonality as it is not too offensive, but starting from the most upper mids and lower-treble, the sound is kind of splashy, not smooth, and a bit of artificial. This throws off the timbre too – it could be the effect of true-wireless sets, though the RE2000 also presented a certain treble peak. While, it does sound less engaging and immersive, relatively to other wireless earphones which offer a full, more musical sound, the TWS600 is much more airy and spacious.


Comparisons


VS Jays m-Seven ($130)

While both earphones are made of plastic, build quality still goes for the m-Seven which simply feel more solid, durable and better finished. Fit too, is easier on the m-Seven and rate as one of the most comfortable earphones. Isolation is practically the same, very good on both. Different control type, touch vs. physical button but same features, including volume control; TWS600 is better in volume adjustment.


In terms of sound these couldn’t be more different to each other. The m-Seven has a dark, bass oriented signature, with powerful and aggressive lows. Midrange is fuller, richer and more bodied, but then more distant and less resolving.





VS Zolo Liberty+ ($100~150)

Build quality is a bit better on the Liberty+ and they are more compact. On the other hand, fit is easier and more secure on the TWS600 even when the Liberty are used with the extra silicone adapters, but the less ergonomic shape and short nozzle limits the fit and comfort. Isolation too is much better on the TWS600.

In terms of sound, the Liberty+ is quite different than the TWS600 (although less as with the above m-Seven). The Liberty has a more standard, mainstream v-shaped signature with much more solid and present low-end, more dynamic bass, rumble, depth and impact. Control and accuracy goes for the TWS600, but extension is limited next to the Liberty. Midrange is the opposite; if the TWS600 is neutral to forward then the Liberty is more distant. The Liberty is still thicker and more bodied but less detailed, whereas the TWS600 thin, drier but then clear and more resolving. Despite the v-shaped signature on the Liberty, the TWS600 is still brighter and less forgiving.



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