Tronsmart Apollo Bold - Reviews
Full featured party earbuds
Pros: * Snug fit
* Charging case with USB C
* Strong bass
* App to adjust EQ
Cons: * Bass can be overpowering
* Hiss during playback when ANC is on.
Here's my review of the Tronsmart Apollo Bold.

First of all I want to say a big thank you to Tronsmart for sending me the Apollo Bold to review.


First impressions
My first impressions of the Apollo Bold were really good. The packaging looks slick and on par with what you would expect in 2020. When you open the box you are greeted with the Apollo Bold in all its glory. The bronze trim looks amazing and the Tronsmart logo is fairly low key and barely noticeable under normal use. The case for the Apollo Bold is small compared to my other wireless earbuds. The round shape of the case makes it quite pocketable as well.



In the box
Apart from the earbuds and case you also get a short USB-A to USB-C cable for charging the case. Yay for USB-C! You also get ear tips in different sizes, a carrying pouch and some paperwork.

The earbuds does fit nicely in the case. It takes a bit of practice to get the earbuds out but I got the hang of it by using a slight twisting motion rather than trying to pick it out of the case.



What’s it like in your ear?
Usually I use a medium size tip for all the other earbuds I have but for the Apollo Bold the best fit for me was the default one which came fitted. Compared to the other ear tips that came with the earbuds they looked to be the smallest.

It’s no doubt been drummed into you already by dozens of other articles, getting ear tips with a good fit is important for both sound quality and noise isolation. More on this later. But these ear tips were a good snug fit for me. They are not uncomfortable but because it is a snug fit it does push against my ear so I wouldn’t want to be wearing them for more than a couple of hours before giving my ears a rest. I imagine the tips would get more comfortable after longer use.

They are also tight enough that when I wore them while working out they didn’t come loose or fall out. In fact they were tight enough that I didn’t have to adjust them when I went for a run with these earbuds. Which I can’t say the same for any of my other earbuds.

Features
The Apollo Bold comes with active noise cancelling (ANC) which you can turn on and off using the touch sensitive earbuds. In fact there’s actually three modes (if you include “off”): ANC on, Ambient and Off.

In combination with the ear tips the ANC does a good job of blocking out ambient noise. I wore this while walking and running on the road and I didn’t hear much traffic noise unless cars came fairly close to me.

When using ANC at home it reduced the volume of any surrounding voices but didn’t block them out completely which is fine since you wouldn’t want to ignore whoever is trying to get your attention.

It is worth noting that with ANC on there is an audible hiss in the background. You don’t hear it at moderate listening volumes but at lower volumes it is intrusive.

Ambient mode changes this hiss to what sounds like white noise to me. It’s not a feature I found useful but others may beg to differ.

With ANC turned off the hiss went away but you still got a decent amount of sound isolation from the ear tips alone.



As mentioned earlier you control Apollo Bold with the touch sensitive ear buds. These work reasonably well and you could perform all the usual actions like play/pause music, next track, adjust the volume and of course toggle ANC. I could perform the actions with a fair amount of consistency but it’s worth noting that it was easy to accidentally trigger an action when adjusting the earbuds.

Another very useful feature is the auto pause/play feature when you take either of the earbuds off. They worked every time for me and activated a split second after you take the earbud out of your ears. It was really handy when I wanted to have a quick conversation with someone.

The earbuds and case also have LED lights on them to give an indication of various statuses but they are not glaring which is nice.

How does it sound?
Unsurprisingly the Apollo Bold has a V shaped sound. The sound stage is pretty decent as well. In fact I was listening to a Chesky recording which had a bell at the start of the track coming from the left and I actually turned my head because I thought the sound was coming from outside.

The bass on the other hand can be overpowering though especially if you have a phone like mine (Huawei P20 Pro) which also boost the bass when playing music. So be mindful of this. I had to turn down the EQ on my phone before I could really make any sense of what I was listening to. However when using it with my Lenovo laptop it was fine. The bass was still there but at a much more reasonable level.

While the bass may feel a bit heavy when you’re just listening at your desk while I was outside this definitely helped with making it easier to listen to the music. This was the case even when I took it out for a run.

I didn’t find the mids or treble overly exaggerated but given how elevated the bass was personally I felt that it performed better with pop or jazz music rather than classical. Podcasts also sounded good as the extra bass gave the spoken voice a nice timbre.

Comparison
I had the Mixcder T1 and Soundcore Liberty Air on hand to compare with the Apollo Bold. These two earbuds are one and two years old now respectively. So I expect the chips used are also one or two generations older.



That being said neither of these earbuds fitted me as well as the Bold did.

The Apollo Bold also gave a much richer and fuller sound than the other two earbuds. This was definitely due in part to the Bold’s better fit. But also the advancement in earbud technology.

And although I did find the Bold’s sound presentation good with the right type of music and it’s sound stage is better than I expected. However it is ultimately not going to compare with higher end wired headphones. After all this is not magic, :)

The App
After about a week I found out that Tronsmart provided an app for the Apollo Bold! It pairs via bluetooth and lets you update the earbud's firmware. Initially I had problems download the firmware via the app but it worked when
I tried again around mid October 2020. Connecting the earbuds to the app can also a bit fiddly but it usually worked usually after a few tries. I did wish you didn't have to do this step every time you wanted to use the app with the earbuds.

The app also shows the battery status of each earbud and which ANC mode is in use. As well as little user manual which tells you all the gestures that are available.

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Apart from that arguably the most important feature in the app is the ability to change the EQ of the earbuds. There are a few presets e.g. Classical, Rock, Jazz, Default etc. They are distinctly different and although there were EQ settings that had less bass I ended up going back to using the Default EQ. (Maybe the bass is growing on me :) )

Conclusion
Overall I was happy with the Tronsmart Apollo Bold. The sound stage in particular impressed me. The bass may need a bit EQ love if you have an equally aggressive turning on your phone or any other source. But once that’s done you should be good to go. A tidy round case with USB-C charging was a nice touch too.

The Tronsmart Apollo Bold is currently £84.99 on Amazon UK which is a similar price to the Anker LIberty Air. And I would definitely pick these over the Ankers.
Fantastic wireless earbuds for the price with some flagship features!
Pros: Decent sound quality
Decent ANC and ambient mode
Good battery life
Cons: No fully adjustable custom EQ
LED light on earbuds cannot be turned off
The Tronsmart Apollo Bold is the first flagship earbuds to include the latest Qualcomm QCC5124 chipset featuring active noise cancellation (ANC) and other top end features.

Packaging

First time you see the packaging, you notice the box is of high quality with a magnetic fold out cover and the presentation reminds me of the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro box giving off a premium feeling. There's plenty of literature and diagrams around the box and inside the flap - very nice!

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Once inside, you'll be presented with a round case and round shaped earbuds. You'll also find 2 additional set of eartips, a USB-C charging cable, manual, quick guide and warranty card. There's also a nice surprise because if you take out the bottom layer, you'll find a nice soft pouch to carry the charging case in.

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Design and features

The round case is a first for me and is still a pocketable size. It has a spring loaded magnetic lid with one LED indicator on the front. When the lid is opened, the LED lights up a white light if the charge is more than 10% otherwise, it will blink red if below 10%. On the back of the case is a USB-C port for charging and the LED light on the front will be lit red during charging.

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My initial impression when I looked at the earbuds was that the round shaped made it look large, however, once I put them in my ears, they didn't stick out too much and were in fact quite comfortable. The medium eartips already installed was a snug fit for me but it's best to try them all out to make sure you get a good fit as it affects sound quality and passive isolation.

The earbuds have white LEDs and slowly glow while in use - it's not as bright as some others but I would have liked if there was an option to turn them off in the app.

A welcome feature is the earbuds have a proximity sensor where if you take either one from your ear, the music will stop. The music will resume once you put back in the ear and it works quite well.

The pairing process was simple and the bluetooth connection was stable - I walked around the house and only got disconnected when I ventured outside. Either of the earbuds can be used independently.

Controls

The round shape offers a large touch pad with the following commands:

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Triple-tap any earbud: switch modes (ANC on, ambient sound, ANC off) with voice prompts
Double tap any earbud: play / pause
Long touch right earbud (2 sec): next song
Long touch left earbud (2 sec): previous song
Single tap on right earbud: increase volume
Single tap on left earbud: lower volume
Double-tap either of the earbuds during an incoming call: accept the call
Double-tap either of the earbuds during a call: end the call
Holding (2 sec) either of the earbuds during an incoming call: reject the call

Since the app is now available and after the firmware update, it is now possible to change any of these combinations to your own preference so well done Tronsmart for offering this freedom.

Sound quality

The 10mm graphene drivers, with support of aptX, AAC and SBC, provided a very decent sound where the highs was clear with alot of bass but no distortions - if you're a basshead, you'll love these. The mids were good and wasn't drowned with all the bass.

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Since the introduction of the app, I've played around with the various sound profiles/presets and I do like the pop profile where the bass is dialed back a little and the mids raised - this is very close to my preferred sound but would hope to be able to have a fully custom EQ in the future.

ANC and ambient mode

This is Tronsmart's first attempt at offering ANC/ambient mode in wireless earbuds and they've gone for the latest technology with feedback and feedforward ANC using 6 mics and boy do they not disappoint. It did well to eliminate low frequency noise, however, general chatter and high frequency was fairly muted but not completely silent.

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Cycling through to the ambient mode, you could easily have a conversation and made aware of surrounding noise - my only reservation is if only it was just a tad louder. Maybe this might be possible via the app to provide adjustable ANC/ambient levels.

Cycling through to the last mode which is "Off", the earbuds provide good passive isolation provided the eartips fit well.

I have noticed that ANC/Ambient mode does change the sound quality slightly where it adds some more bass to the sound.

Call quality

I've used the earbuds on an iPhone as well as a laptop in Teams meetings and all I can say is all conversations have been crystal clear on both ends. I guess having 6 mics really does help.

Battery life

I managed to get 6.5 hrs with ANC on and 8.5 hrs with ANC off - both very respectable in today's standard. The case provides an additional 3 charges and a quick 10 minute charge will provide 60 minutes of usage.

App and firmware

A recent addtion is the app being available for both Apple and Android which offers changing the sound profile, customisation of all the commands available, switching ANC/ambient/off modes and firmware updates.

The firmware process involves updating each earbud one at a time and I found a Youtube video that helped:

How to update the firmware of your Tronsmart Apollo Bold

I changed single taps to be pause which is the same as all my other earbuds now.

I also really like the Pop sound profile but hope that one day, Tronsmart can fine tune the app and offer a full custom EQ.

Very impressed for a first attempt and delivered as promised!

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Comparisons

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Taotronics SoundLiberty 94 (£60)

The sound quality is better on the Apollo with better bass, mids and highs especially now that we can choose sound profiles/presets on the app. Battery life (5hrs on the Taotronics), ANC, ambient mode and call quality are all better on the Apollo.

Panasonic RZ-S500 (£150)

The Panasonic provide better clarity in the mids but bass is about the same as the pop profile on the Apollo. ANC and ambient mode is a just a tad better than the Apollo and the Panasonic app provide adjustable levels which I hope Tronsmart can hopefully include some time in the future as well as an adjustable EQ. Battery life (5.5hrs with ANC on in the Panasonic) is better on the Apollo and call quality is about the same.

Update: since I recently updated the firmware on the S500, the ambient mode has taken a step back where voices are muffled and significantly quieter even on the highest setting in the app so the Apollo is now better than the Panasonic in ambient mode.

Technics EAH-AZ70 (£225)

The Technics has a more balanced sound than the Apollo which is heavier on the bass if some prefer that kind of sound profile. ANC and ambient mode on the Technic is the best one out of the bunch and again, the Technic app is the same as the Panasonic where the levels are adjustable together with an adjustable EQ. Battery life only offered 5 hrs so the Apollo's are clearly better in this department. Call quality is comparable with the Apollo.

Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro (£120)

Have included this as a comparison because in my opinion, it has the best sound in terms of bass, mids and highs but this is only achieved this with a custom EQ in the Soundcore app. Without this, I would say the default sound might be better on Apollo. The L2P does not have ANC or ambient mode so the Apollo wins here together with better call quality. Battery life is 7.5hrs which is bettered by the Apollo's 8.5hrs with ANC off.

Tranya T10 (£40)

This is an honorable mention purely for the call quality as it's the best one in this list. There's nothing special about the sound quality compared to the ones here where it's beaten by all apart from the Taotronics. No ANC or ambient mode but passive isolation isn't bad. Also worth mentioning is the battery which last the same as the Apollo at 8.5hrs.

Verdict

I received this as part of the review program here but for the price of £100 in the UK and frequently on offer to as low as £70, they are a fantastic buy competing with some of the best earbuds currently available at a fraction of the cost.

The connection is excellent as well as battery life. The sound quality can be changed via profiles/presets in the app so you can choose your sound preference. The ANC and ambient modes are decent with fully customisable touch controls, reliable proximity sensor and phone calls can be made is most environments.

If the app offered adjustable ANC/ambient levels together with a fully custom EQ, it would make this is into a highly desirable set of wireless earbuds and a tough act for the rest of the competition!

Definitely a great buy and highly recommended!
Sound at the End of the Wireless
Pros: Remarkable sound quality.
- Wide signal range.
- Reduced size of the charging box.
- Customisable tactile commands.
- APP control.
- Very good call performance.
- High active noise reduction.
- Effective ambient mode.
- Battery life.
Cons: The size and shape of the capsules is not the most ergonomic for my morphology.
- Some EQ modes feel less natural.
- A single set of silicone tips.
- The nozzles are short and oval in shape, not the best way to find alternative tips.
- When the ANC is activated, the lower zone gets out of control.
- Overall volume somewhat limited for my personal taste.
Introduction

Please use this introduction as a statement of intent: I am a sceptical Bluetooth. Maybe it's because of my academic background or maybe it's because I haven't found an IEMS TWS yet, that makes me change my mind. But beliefs are there to be broken. So, when I saw the opportunity to try the Apollo Bold, I did not hesitate for a second. Will these be the TWS that get me to think differently...? I hope so, I thought. And here we are. Because Tronsmart was looking for audio reviewers, to analyse the present TWS, I was able to submit my humble candidacy and, in the end, with great pride, be chosen among the 10 candidates to analyse them. Thank you very much for selecting me!

And now, let's talk about the Apollo Bold: they are a TWS IEMS, with a circular shape, curious, but big, at first sight. Inside, the Qualcomm QCC5124 chip, renowned for its high sound quality, is integrated. Equally important is the hybrid active noise cancellation technology 360⁰, which, thanks to its 6 microphones, achieves an external sound attenuation of up to 35dB. Another virtue is TrueWireless Stereo Plus, which allows individual access to each capsule, achieving fully synchronised transmission. Finally, this little intro is noteworthy for its long battery life: up to 10 hours of playback on a single charge.

I will now go on to discuss many other details of this curious product.

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Specifications

  • Driver type: Dynamic 10mm with customised graphite diaphragm.
  • Chip: Qualcomm® QCC5124, compatible with aptX, AAC, SBC. Bluetooth 5.0 TWS+
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
  • Bluetooth support: HFP/HSP/AVRCP/A2DP
  • Transmission distance: Up to 15 metres
  • Battery capacity of each capsule: 85 mAh. Charging case: 500 mAh
  • Playback time: ANC activated: up to 7 hours (50% volume). ANC off: up to 10 hours (50% volume). Charging case: over 30 hours (50% volume)
  • Capsule charging time: 2 to 2.5 hours. Charging case: 2.5 hours
  • Impedance: 32Ω±15%
  • Net capsule weight: approximately 7.0g. With carrying case: approximately 54.0g

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Packaging

The Tronsmart Apollo Bold comes in a white box, dimensions 165x115x64mm with realistic photos of the capsules on the front. On this side, you can already see the many technologies and features of the Bold. On the back side there is an extensive summary of them, together with a photo of the open charging box, showing the IEMS. The cover unfolds in several parts, towards the left. On the inner sides of the box, the Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) technology is detailed, as well as the construction of the capsules. On the right is the box containing the product itself: under a transparent plastic sheet, both the capsules and the charging box are embedded in a black protective mould. Under it, the rest of the accessories are stored: the silicone tips and a USB Type-C charging cable. In summary, the complete content is:

  • The capsules.
  • Three pairs of silicone tips, sizes SxMxL.
  • One charging box.
  • One charging cable, USB Type-C
  • A user's manual.
  • A quick start guide.
  • A storage bag.
  • A warranty card.

The box is large, made of very hard cardboard, colourful and very detailed, to emphasize the virtues of the product. Although, to tell the truth, the content is fair: a minimum set of silicone tips, insufficient to satisfy all the morphologies of each listener. In my case, none of the standard tips have been correctly adjusted. After much research, the JVC Spiral Dot Size L has been chosen.

On the other hand, the size of the load box, has been really very suitable, as much for its transport, as for its storage.

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Construction and Design

The capsules are practically round, with a diameter of almost 21 mm. The outer face is formed by two parts: a golden outer ring, which has a U-shaped deformation, containing the microphone, on its edge and a led, on the joint with the central plate. This plate is black and tactile and has 9 squares inscribed. The height of the capsules, excluding the mouthpiece, is about 17 mm. After a uniform outer crown, approximately 9 mm thick, the body narrows to 16 mm and then widens again to more than 18 mm when it reaches the inner face of the IEMS. There is a small depression on the surface where 4 gold contacts and a sensor are located. There are two holes adjacent to this area, in addition to the letter identifying the channel, inscribed on the surface. The nozzle is short, about 4mm, oval in shape, narrower at its base than on the outside. The smallest diameter of the oval is 5mm, while the largest is over 7mm. It is protected by a thick black grid. Both the shape and the length of the oval are not ideal for tip rolling, limiting the silicones that can be used. On the other hand, the outer face is also more oval, which seeks to facilitate the fit in the pinna.

Practically the whole body is made of plastic, very light although the size is not reduced. There are many holes, two on the inner side and two around the outer edge. It is possible that the holes on that edge hold the microphones.

The charging box is black, made of hard plastic, with the letters of the mark inscribed on the lid. The diameter is almost 60mm and its height 29mm. Under the hinge there is a Type C USB port for charging. On the front edge, next to the slot that facilitates opening, near the base, is the LED that indicates the charge and status.

The materials used are mainly black plastic. It cannot be said that they are not robust, but I think that the lightness of the product has been sought more than a constructive and more durable strength. I am not saying that they are weak, but so much plastic does not suggest that they are ultra-resistant.

On the other hand, the shape of the capsule, a priori, looks large, with a diameter that may not fit in all the pinna. Its thickness is also quite large, and there is a clear possibility that it will protrude.

The shape of the nozzles and their size also do not seem to be the most suitable for achieving the best fit, insertion and insulation.

Tronsmart will have its reasons for having designed the shape of the Apollo Bold, but I do not share with them that this design is the most convenient and universal. I would have preferred a more typical IEMS semi-custom shape. Perhaps it is more difficult to accommodate all the technology used in that type of capsule.

Finally, it should be noted that the Tronsmart Apollo Bold has an IP45 water resistance and the Bluetooth version is 5.0.

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Adjustment and Ergonomics

As I mentioned in the previous section, the almost round shape and large diameter may be too much for some. In my case, the body fits exactly into my ears. However, as time goes by, I notice that the size is greater and the discomfort appears. A slightly smaller diameter would have been more suitable for me. If we talk about thickness, this is also high. This means that the capsules protrude visibly and clearly. This would not be a major problem if the nozzles were longer, cylindrical and more ergonomically arranged, facing the canal. But no, they are oval and short, which makes the search for tips more difficult, causes a superficial fit, more susceptible to falls and detachments, as well as lighter passive soundproofing and a less immersive feeling.

In spite of all this, it is true that with the JVC Spiral Dots tips, which are very flexible, I have achieved a very adequate fixation, without them falling out. In addition, the sealing has also improved a lot, compared to the standard tips. Even so, the fit is very superficial and I think the sound could be improved if the mouthpieces were more normal and longer. I've tried bi-flange and tri-flange tips, but the orientation hasn't helped me adapt to my channel.

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Operation and Connection

The operation is classic: when taken out of the charging box, the TWS enters pairing mode. Take the opportunity to activate the Bluetooth on your device and connect to them. The pairing process of the TWS is normally simple. But sometimes it seems that there is no way to make the connection. This happens to me with all the TWSs I have. The Apollo Bold are no exception: both on my mobile, and on the Hiby R3 Pro, I find duplicate connections that sometimes don't work and sometimes do. At least, the pairing mode usually works the first time and lasts a long time, allowing the slower users, where I am, to activate the Bluetooth mode. The Bold can be used individually because they have microphones in each capsule, you just have to leave the other capsule inside the charging box. So far I haven't had any problems with individual pairing because they have been out of sync. That's good.

The voice indicating the status is clear and intelligible. It's a good thing, there are already times when the sentences are unclear, for those of us who don't speak English.

The LEDs light up in red and white; both their combination and alternation indicate the different states of the IEMS.

The complete operation is specified in the manuals. Below, I leave links to the multi-language manual and quick guide:

https://www.tronsmart.com/usermanual/?file=http://tronsmart.mediafire.com/file/7bdmxtjgi49r9v1/Apollo_Bold.pdf/file

https://www.mediafire.com/file/r41mj3v6nm6nir8/Quick__start_guide.pdf/file target=

The capsules have a tactile outer surface. A rich range of controls can be accessed by touching them. Their operation is explained in the following screenshot:



The experience of using tactile taps is moderately good: the detection is remarkable, but the speed between taps is something that I can't get right. Sometimes, to disable/activate the ANC, if they are too fast, they are not detected well. The same happens if they are too slow. Really, you have to find the average speed, something I don't usually achieve when I'm in a hurry or stressed at work.





The Apollo Bold has a PPP that allows certain extra features. Among them, it is possible to customize the touch commands, allowing to assign different functionalities to those programmed as standard. The APP also allows you to activate the sound reduction mode, environment or deactivate it, even displaying the battery level of each capsule. In addition, there is a screen where the various predefined equalisations can be activated:

  • Defect
  • Classic
  • Jazz
  • Pop
  • Rock




The use of APP is not very fast. The connection of it with the Bold, even with the mobile phone already connected to the headset, is not immediate, but it is necessary to look for it. Even, something that never ceases to surprise me and I find inconvenient, is that it is necessary to activate the location to be able to link to the Apollo.

At the APP you can choose your language, in my case Spanish. Although I must point out that, on some screen, the texts were in Italian.





Another feature of the APP is the possibility of updating the firmware via OTA. I have tried it multiple times and during several days, without success. From the Tronsmart website there is an alternative: a different APP and a manual process. This APP is called GAIA Control. You must follow correctly and to the letter, all the instructions explained in the following link, for the update to be satisfactory:

https://www.tronsmart.com/blog/85_how-to-update-the-firmware-of-your-apollo-bold.html

On this page you will find the APP GAIA Control and the firmware. At the time of writing this review, the most recent firmware was v1.2.3.




It is true that I am not an expert in TWS headsets, but I must admit that my experience of use, both with calls and with music, has been the most satisfactory to date. I have used the Apollo Bold in my office, for multiple work calls, using the ambient mode to not lose track of what is going on around. And, really, these TWS are the best that I have tried. Their microphone may not be the clearest, but even in a low coverage environment, none of my listeners have told me anything beyond that they were using a hands-free device. The sound has always been good, with no cuts, losses, achieving a full day's worth, talking for more than an hour, even two. And the next day he started again. In the evenings I used the Apollo Bold with my personal Smartphone or the HiBy R3 Pro indistinctly. The selected codec has always been aptX. One thing I would have liked, is that it was compatible with aptX-HD, or even with LDAC and that you could choose that codec by the APP, as well as the sampling rate or transmission speed.

These good sensations are probably the result of the chip that implements the Qualcomm QCC5124, as well as its LDS antenna. Thanks to it, the Bluetooth range, in large, open rooms, is clearly the right one. As soon as I moved inside my small flat, full of walls and doors, the connection was surprisingly maintained. Only at the points furthest away from the transmitter and behind several doors and walls have I noticed connection losses. But I really expected the range to be worse. This is another very positive point.

However, the use of the Apollo Bold in the street has not been so satisfactory. Using the ANC (default on) is convenient as a sound reduction, but it can ruin the sound experience. In the graphics (perhaps because of the noiseless environment in which they were taken) there is hardly any difference. But when sound reduction is activated, the bass becomes too uncontrolled, distorting at maximum volume. It may help to choose other equalisation modes, but I have always preferred not to use ANC, especially with electronic music, high volume and the default EQ mode.

On the other hand, disabling ANC changes things for the better, getting the best sound I could hear during my short TWS experience.

Another very nice feature is the proximity sensor, which allows you to pause the music automatically when you remove the capsules or any of them.



Sound

One thing that I don't like very much about TWS, is the limitation of its volume. For most users, it's quite possible that the sound pressure level is adequate, when playing current music. But when using older recordings, with greater dynamic range, the volume is considerably lower. In my opinion, and this is a general opinion among all the IEMS TWS I own, the volume is fair. Perhaps it is the best way not to damage our ears...



Profile

The Apollo Bold have different types of equalization, capable of changing their profile. By default, their profile has a tendency between U and V, with clear emphasis on sub-bass and early highs. If the EQ Rock or Classic is chosen, the presence in the sub-bass and early treble is reduced, adopting a more V sound, where the mid-bass and mid-high are emphasized (with less emphasis). With the EQ JAZZ, the bass is lowered and the mid-range is enhanced in order to achieve a flatter, more homogeneous and balanced profile. However, it is with the EQ POP that the most neutral sound is achieved, except for the enhancement in the high mids, and then lost in treble extension.

For my taste, the two preferred EQs are the default and the ROCK.

My considerations about the sound have been taken with the default EQ, since its sound, despite the marked enhancement in the low zone, has seemed to me more realistic in the rest of the bands.



Bass

The lower area is quite high, especially at the sub-bass end. Its tone is somewhat dark, the speed is not very high, the recovery feels a little slower and the definition is correct. As a result the sound is eminently bassy, with a clear warm tendency, but without falling into a sound completely devoid of light. Although, it is true that the notable presence of bass, makes a certain inclination to offer a somewhat more diffuse area, when the passages are complex, with overlapping bass. In these cases, the clarity suffers, generating a muffled and soft bass layer, where the precision is not very high, affecting the general resolution capacity of the low range. When the beat is simple, the work is done quite acceptably, generating a sound that has good depth, not too coloured, that seeks a realistic timbre, but without immediate recovery. It is, therefore, that deposit that prevents the area from being cleaned up more, preventing the sound from enjoying greater refinement. With the EQ ROCK or CLASSIC, the bass improves quickly, allowing more details to be revealed, finding a more contained and free sound in the lower area.

Tronsmart Apollo Bold 16_resize.jpgTronsmart Apollo Bold 17_resize.jpgTronsmart Apollo Bold 18_resize.jpg

Mids

The midrange drags warmth and sediment from the lower range, more because of the medium speed of the bass, than because of direct incidence. This makes the range not start in a pure way. However, there is a clear benefit in the lower part of the midrange: the body in this part gives a musical consistency that I miss in the rest of the equalisations. In this way, I feel the voices with a timbre that is quite pleasant, soft and free of sibilance. Its presentation is wide, rounded, homogeneous, quite smooth and soft, with a limited detail, but with a pleasant drawing, of long strokes that end diluted. In the female voices, the presence is slightly raised, offering a little more of a final spark. On the other hand, the clarity is not very high, which contributes to the definition not increasing, affecting the general resolution capacity. The softness and warmth, limits the sound to be more polished, clean, separate and defined. I still think that they are not dark, only that they have a medium-low analytical capacity. In this way the details recreated are not very high and the level of nuances is acceptable, very suitable for quiet, long and pleasant listening. Advocates of analytical sound, abstain. But those who flee from the elevated high-mids are welcome. (Remember: EQ by default).

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Treble

The upper area is quite well profiled. For my taste, the trebles are shown when needed, with a realistic drawing, relatively sharp, without excesses, but with a very dignified and palpable poise and presence, as well as a remarkable extension. They still do not possess a great delicacy or resolution capacity, which draws them very fine or thin. But they do have a good dose of sparkle and crunch, which makes them fun without being boring or even annoying. Quite the opposite, I think they are quite enjoyable, without feeling strange about the overall profile of the EQ by default. In this way, the treble offers a good counterpoint, without losing the quietness, nor gaining in definition, but adding a good dynamic to the Apollo Bold's sound.

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Soundstage, Separation

The Apollo Bolds have a moderate scene, which keeps them away from congestion. There is no perceived narrowness or heaviness in their sound. They enjoy a good level of depth and a more than acceptable height. In this way, the stage presented is perceived eminently frontal, but with a semi-circular drawing, without being wrapped up.

The instrumental recreation is not very precise and the location of the instruments does not stand out for its accuracy, but rather, the music is presented in a more fluid than focused way. In this sense, the perception of the separation has a great influence, since the soft cohesion of the sound does not contribute to the notes having the necessary space for the separation to be greater, the background to be darker and the scene to expand more easily and extensively. For the same reasons, the detail, although the highs are good, is quite primary, highlighting the obvious parts and the medium distances, without being very capable of revealing very deep or less accessible nuances at the micro level. Although it is not a sparse sound, too nuanced or dull. Rather, it is a soft, homogeneous, warm, fluid and calm sound, which does not seek an analytical presentation, but a more coherent, friendly and generalist exhibition, without losing sight of quality.

Tronsmart Apollo Bold 25_resize.jpg


Conclusion

I have to celebrate that Tronsmart has helped me to believe that Bluetooth technology has not yet had its last word. With their Apollo Bold model, I have been able to enjoy wireless music at a level, which allows me to dream of sound quality similar to wired IEMS. Or at least, make me forget about them for a while. It's undeniable that the many advantages this model brings have made the user experience much more rewarding: wireless comfort, wide signal range, battery life, ease of use, active noise reduction, ambient mode, customisable touch functionality, control APP and a more than remarkable behaviour in phone calls and conversations. I am sure that all these advantages are due to the fact that Tronsmart has used the best technology at a very competitive price: Qualcomm® QCC5124 chip, Hybrid ANC, aptX, TrueWireless™ Stereo Plus, LDS laser antenna...For all these reasons, I can say that there is sound at the end of the Wireless.



Sources Used During the Analysis

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro
  • HiBy R3 Pro
  • xDuoo X3II
  • Tempotec V1-A



Ratings

  • Construction and Design: 80
  • Adjustment/Ergonomics: 75
  • Accessories: 70
  • Operation and Connection: 88
  • Sound: 75
  • Quality/Price: 90



Purchase Link

You can read the full review in Spanish here:
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These have grown on me
Pros: Comfortable - Good wireless range - Good battery life - Very light weight - Volume - Full range sound - Active noise cancelling
Cons: Touch controls too sensitive - Bass boosted (but not too bad with Jazz EQ applied) - Case feels flimsy
Introduction

I reviewed the Tronsmart Apollo Bold active noise cancelling TWS a while back and the conclusion to my review was that I couldn’t recommend them due to their excessive bass in my opinion. Well, it’s time to eat some humble pie - After a combination of software update and burning in (I guess) they sound good - really REALLY GOOD!



What’s Changed
Much of my original review still counts - if you want the minute details on these headphones, check out the following link for some truly excellent reviews.

The recent software update has enabled some basic EQ controls (which are retained by the headphones themselves so they’re still in place when you use the Bold’s with other DAP’s). Although it would be nice to have finer controls, the Jazz setting seems to calm that bass down somewhat without overly affecting the other frequencies.

Even without the EQ though, the Bold’s had started to calm down somewhat - they’re a surprisingly detailed TWS and yet they’re not bright - just nicely detailed in the treble region. There’s still some additional noise generated when using either the active noise cancelling or ambient sound mode but then if you’re in an environment where you’re going to need these features, you probably won’t notice. In truth, the Sony WF1000XM3’s do offer better noise cancelling - but not by much.



The sound character does change when ANC/Ambient is switched off. The noise floor effectively disappears and the bass is reduced slightly. Truth be told, all the modes sound pretty good when used according to your environment.

Future Features

One feature I really would like to see in a future update is the ability to switch off the touch controls so that they can be used in bed. At the moment I find it virtually impossible to use these in bed because of the constant triggering from the touch controls. Strangely Sony uses a very similar touch-system on their WF models and yet don’t suffer with this problem. This is a shame because the additional bass from the Bold’s work really well when listening at lower volumes.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Good wireless range
  • Good battery life
  • Very light weight
  • Volume
  • Full range sound
  • Active noise cancelling
Cons
  • Touch controls too sensitive
  • Bass boosted (but not too bad with Jazz EQ applied)
  • Case feels flimsy
Conclusion

I feel that I can now easily recommend these headphones. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still not perfect but are definitely a step up from the usual budget offerings. They have a ‘big’ sound which kinda sounds like full-sized headphones. Whilst perhaps not accurate in the usual sense of the word, they do have a ‘fun’ or even ‘musical’ sound which I really like.
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A full featured budget TWS for the bass lovers.
Pros: - Suitable for bass lovers without loosing overall fidelity
- Active noise cancellation that works well
- Ambient pass through
- Configurable touch controls
- Lightweight
- Good battery life
- Good build quality
- Budget friendly
Cons: - Not suitable for the purist
- Fixed equalizer non user configurable
- Several stability issues
Tronsmart Apollo Bold TWS

A TWS for the bass lovers

Introduction


To be honest we didn't know anything about Tronsmart and their products until they called out for reviewers here at Headfi for their latest product a budget friendly TWS iem with the name Apollo Bold.
Specs and photos were promising so we applied for the review and luckily we were selected so Tronsmart provided a free sample of Apollo Bold to be reviewed.
Tronsmart Audio never asked for a favorable review or any other kind words.

As always our subjective but honest review is provided below after an extensive testing period.

Apollo Bold TWS

The Apollo Bold is a true wireless stereo plus ear bud with active noise cancellation and a very affordable price of 100€ for the EU market but with the almost always active promo coupon they can be bought as low as 80€.
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You can find them at Amazon.de
https://www.amazon.de/-/en/Apollo-Bold-Headphones-Cancellation-Microphones/dp/B08C3383B7/
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Specifications

Specs are really impressive as the Apollo Bold features a 10mm customized graphene driver driven by the latest Qualcomm flagship QCC5124 chip with aptX , bluetooth 5.0 and 6 microphones together with True wireless Stereo Plus technology and low latency.
True wireless stereo plus means that each unit gets its own signal from the supported device so that there is no master / slave relationship and each one can be used independently to answer calls.
The obvious benefit except for the better sound quality is that when the one ear bud runs out of battery we can use the other one.

Touch control is supported plus an auto pause feature when they are taken out and resume when you put them back in.
Dustproof and waterproof IP45 rating allows for use under all conditions without the risk of damaging the units.
Battery rating is up to 10 hours for the ear buds plus another 30 hours from the charging case which supports quick charging from the usb C port.
Inside the package we find three pairs of ear tips , a carrying pouch and a usb charging cable.
IMG_20201013_215221.jpg


Build quality and fit

The round shaped ear buds are discreet enough and offer a good fit that could be better and more stable if the nozzle was a bit longer.
The supplied ear tips are not enough to tailor the fit and double flanges would be a nice addition.
Weight is about 7g for each unit and 54g with the charging case as for build quality it is very good but not premium made from hard plastic with nice finish and touch really nothing to complain about for the asking price.
IMG_20201013_215408.jpg


Usability and features

The Apollo Bold is supported by a specific application for Android and iOS which allows for OTA firmware upgrades , features a five preset fixed equalizer and offers us the ability to fully customize the touch controls.
Screenshot_2020-10-16-22-18-32-441_com.geekbuy.tronsmart.jpg

The touch control system is pressure free and very responsive so we didn't experience any problems controlling the Apollo Bold.
Connection is very stable but there are some minor problems here and there like for example the ear buds will not automatically reconnect after they are pulled out and then back in to the ears or sometimes manual connection was required after a charging cycle.
Voice assistance is supported and call quality is good and crystal clear both for the caller and the answerer.
The noise cancelling system is a simple on / off one plus an ambient feature and both perform surprisingly well as the first option will effectively block the outside noise by a fair amount of dB and the second will mostly block low frequency noise while allowing for voices and other sounds to be heard.
The music reproduction is not affected with the main effect being some kind of raise to the overall volume we even preferred to listen with the ANC on as in contrast to some other reviewers opinion we thought that it even tightens the bass.
Real life battery is surely lower than the advertised one but still very good as we were able to have about a full 6 hours of mixed usage and with the charging case we didn't need to charge for about 4 days.
IMG_20201013_215441.jpg


Listening to music

The default tuning of the Apollo Bold is with a bass emphasis above the neutral point so we can call them bass heavy.
There is a very full sounding low end with great extension down to the sub bass with great dynamics and rumble.
Now don't expect audiophile quality sound as this isn't the tightest nor the most clear and layered bass performance.
But the good news is that despite the bass amplification there is only a little bleed to the mid-bass and the rest of the frequencies sound surprisingly clear without getting fogged by the bass.
So this is a bassy headphone done well because we can equally experience mid and higher frequencies clarity with ample detail resolution and an airy and spacious presentation.
There is the usually expected loss of high register fidelity due to the bluetooth connection but other than that the Apollo Bold is a well executed basshead ear bud.
But audiophiles don't step away as we managed to fine tune the sound to our liking with the use of the Jazz equalizer preset and the ANC on , managing to have satisfying results at least for on the go listening sessions.
Fine tuning is going to be even better if Tronsmart will offer us a user defined equalizer with a future firmware update.
Screenshot_2020-10-16-22-19-10-421_com.geekbuy.tronsmart.jpg


Compared to the Sennheiser CX 400BT

Compared to the three times more expensive Sennheiser CX 400BT the Apollo Bold manages to stand strong.
For a much lower price we get active noise cancellation with ambient feature , true wireless stereo plus performance , better battery life especially from the charging case and almost the same kind of fit and build quality plus the IP rating.
The Sennheiser on the other hand offers an even balanced and natural tonality with a touch of brightness that is , more stable connection and performance and last but not least a far superior fully customizable equalizer.
So as always judge your needs and budget before the final decision.
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Compared to the RHA Trueconnect 2

The RHA is two times more expensive than the Apollo Bold and it's main advantage is that it sounds great despite the lack of aptX codec.
It is the most balanced of the three with a very cohesive presentation and pleasing tonality suitable for all kinds of music.
The other notable features are better IP55 protection and greater battery life especially from the charger but this comes at a cost as it is heavier and bulkier.
The Apollo Bold takes a leap in all the other features as the RHA don't offer active noise cancellation , you can't configure the touch controls or apply equalizer due to the lack of a dedicated application and are a little bulkier because of the extra antenna.
So again judge carefully before you buy.
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At the end

The Apollo Bold is not by any means a bad performing TWS ear bud but on the contrary it packs all the features a modern TWS should have for a bargain price.
Surely there is room for performance improvements through future firmware upgrades but the only thing that holds it from being truly outstanding is it's coloured sound signature.
But let's not forget that one person's craziness is another person's reality so if you are a fan of heavy bass presentation this is the TWS to have without breaking the bank and not missing a single feature.

As always rating is according to the asking price.

Copyright - Laskis Petros 2020
regancipher
regancipher
The connection problems you are talking about were exactly the same as what I experienced until I upgraded the firmware through the app. That seems to have solved the problem.

Good review - can't argue with any of that. Great comparison with the Sennys
Ichos
Ichos
Thank you.
The firmware was updated before the review.
Tronsmart Apollo Bold, fun True Wireless for music with top Qualcomm chipset
Pros: Best Qualcomm Chipset with hybrid ANC
Good stereo separation
Full customizabile controls with app
Great Ambient mode
Very reliable auto play/pause sensor
Cons: Too much bass when ANC is OFF...
...exagerated when ANC is on
Not the best for call
No wireless Charging
Disclaimer: Tronsmart sent me the Apollo Bold for free to review the unit here and on my Website.

UNBOXING - 8,5

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Tronsmart Apollo Bold comes in a nice box (something similar to Soundcore Liberty 2 pro) including:

- The buds
- The charging case
- 2 extra pairs of tips
- A soft storage pouch
- USB Type C - Type A cable
- Instructions, warranty and quick start guide

IMG_20200921_140531.jpg
IMG_20200921_140557.jpg

CONSTRUCTION, MATERIALS AND DESIGN - 8

IMG_20200921_140642.jpg


The first thing I noticed is the build quality difference between case and earphones: case is light and it doesn't very solid or resistant. BTW hearphones are construcetd very well: no driver flex, nice, rounded and big touch surface and good three points structure fit which will make them stable and secure in your ear. They are not as stable as Galaxy Buds+ or Fiil T1 Pro but I didn't have any major problems.

IMG_20200921_140717.jpg
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I tried many tips before ending with the large Spinfit 360, and a good thing is that evey tip I tried fits great in the case.
Spinfit also improve passive isolation which is not the best with stock tips.

CONNETTIVITY AND LATENCY - 8,5

Tronsmart Apollo Bold are powered by the best Qualcomm Chip on the market: QCC5124 with Hybrid Noise Cancellation, TWS+ Technology and Aptx Adaptive Codec.

This premium Chipset allows a perfect connection stability also thanks to the presence of customized LDS Antenna. Super solid and stable connection.

The Qualcomm Chipset brings also one of the best codec for BT transmission: APTX Adaptive and the TWS+ Technology which offers an easy pairing experience where a user can pair one bud and the other is designed to automatically initiate pairing.

Latency when using Aptx Codec is of 200ms circa whis is good for video but
not intended for gaming.

CONTROLS AND APP FEATURES


The large touch surface of each earbuds allows you to control every aspect of the multimedia reproduction:
1 tap left lower volume/ 1 tap right raise volume
2 taps L/R: pause
3 taps L/R: Ambient mode on/ ANC and Ambient OFF/ ANC ON (ANC is on by default)
2 seconds tap L/R: previous/next song
Tap once and hold L/R: voice assistant

There is also a proximity sensor in each bud to auto-play/pause when removing the earphone, and it works great.

The controls are fully customizable with the recent update Tronsmart App

Screenshot_20201006-223021.jpg

With the app you can also equalize sound but preset are only 5 and they don't work good. I can suggest to use Wavelet App on Android which is great and works with all the music apps.

Further more app allows you to update firmware and check battery percentage of the buds.

Battery on TAB is great with ANC OFF (i measured 8,5 hours at 50% volume) and sufficient with ANC ON (a little less then 4 hours at 50% volume).

The charging case /Type C) allows you 3 fully recharge, there is not a noticeabile case battery drain and it allows 1 hour of music with a fast 10 minutes charge.

Unfortunately no wireless charging (not an issue for me).

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NOICE CANCELLATION AND AMBIENT MODE - 8,5

Noice cancellation is very very good considering the price: these are the best noice cancelling True Wireless buds I tried, far better then 1more ANC, 20Decebel and Fiil T1 Pro.

Low rumble, trains, cars and lower frequency noises are locked out efficiently.

The Hybrid ANC Technology is an embedded feature of the Qualcomm Chipset and I home more True Wireless buds will include it.

The only drawback is that when ANC is on (and by default ANC is active and there is no way to change the default choice) the sound of the earphones changes raising the low frequencies, forcing you to save different equalizations profiles to use when ANC is on or off.

Ambient mode on Apollo bold is very good and allows you to maintain a high level of attention when necessary or to have a short conversation without removing the earphones.

SOUND - 7

The sound is provided by a 10mm graphene coated dynamic driver. The sound is warm with a huge amount of bass. The perfect music target of the Apollo bold is Hip Hop and electronic music. Acoustic music and Rock will not
be reproduced perfectly: the mids are a little bit toned-down and also female voices are not brilliant as they should.

As said before with ANC ON the amount of bass become just too much for my tastes, so I hope Tronsmart will improve this with new firmware updates

But if the the tuning is not perfect for everyone the stereo imaging is superb with a great separation.

PHONE CALL - 6

You know, the best true wireless for phone call are (except few exceptions)
the one with the stem design, and Apollo Bold confirms this tradition.

Indoor call and in quiet places are ok (just ok) but your voice is never crystal clear and it appear a little bit muffled. In noisy environment Qualcomm CVC 8,0 Technology helps you a bit to reduce background noise but if the wind is stron you can forget to have a call using Apollo Bold.

CONCLUSION

Apollo Bold brings you the best ANC experience under 100€, a warm sound, an excellent stereo separation, a perfect Ambient mode and the best Qualcomm Chipset with Aptx.

They are not perfect (read my pros and cons) but the price for this is simply perfect considering the features.

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Tronsmart Apollo Bold, feature packed with latest QCC5124
Pros: -Feature packed with Qualcomm 5 series SoC. Ambient and ANC mode. Fully control options like volume and track skipping etc. Good BT strength. IP45 rating. Aptx
Cons: Case lid build quality. Can be too much bass without using EQ. A small sound difference with (bass) with ANC on and off.
20200922_121756.png


Disclaimer: Got these free in a contest here on head-fi.

So, it seems I have been waiting some years to finally try the Qualcomm 5 series SoC. Last month i have gotten two earbuds, the momentum true wireless 2 with QCC5121, and these .

These Apollo Bolds are feature packed, with ambient mode,anc, in ear detection,ip45 rating and all the necessary controls as volume, track skipping and assistant.

The packaging and accessories is very good, including a small pouch. Build quality on the buds is good, but the case lid could have been made with better material with firmer hinge.

Regarding the fit i spent some time trying different tips, and finally settled on spinfit 360 xl. These apollos accomodate more flush tips better.

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To me these sounded very good, but I needed to tame the bass. Reminded me of the first car I bought, old BMW 518i but with amplifier under the backseat. Very prominent on "Kari Bremnes - Det e min sønn".
So with poweramp I have different settings for each BT buds that gets selected automatically. On the apollo I toned down the bass and upped the treble for some sparkle.

Screenshot_20200921-220401.png


After that they sounded good to me. Warm with "subwoofer" bass, that I can listen to on lower volume. Soundstage and separation also seemed fine with tracks like "Love in Vain" From the Stones Stripped.
Better than on the Mavin Air-X i imported when they first launched, to try the new Qualcomm 3 series SoC. The Mavins are more intimate and in your head, but their bass is less boomy. A step above the "cheaper" syllable s101 with same QCC3020, that can be too narrow and intimate sounding.

One important aspect for tws for me is ambient mode, for use with dog walks and hiking. With ambient on your less in your own bubble outside. The Apollos performed fine, sharp and clear ambient sound while playing music on low volume. No static hiss or electronic noise that takes focus. Last two years used jabra 65t for hikes purely on ambient, and in that regard the Apollos performed good for me. The Jabras problem is the sound..for me the sound is too "small" and boring. Lacks warmth. So with ambient on the Apollos are better, wider and warmer.

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So, as a whole the Apollo Bold seems like a good package. Each bud can be used independently unlike the momentum 2. But the momentums 2 I think are now the class leader, once they finally fixed the drain issue from previous ones. They are balanced and airy with good bass impact when needed. But then said, their ANC is not miles ahead than that on the Apollos.

Looking forward to the Tronsmart app, and would like to see EQ adjustments be stored on the buds. For those older of us who no longer buy cars based on aftermarket stereo fitted
Tronsmart Apollo Bold Review - Dancing In The Moonlight
Pros: Comfortable, light, good build. Well fitting.
Good sound quality for TWS, music wise.
Good timbre for acoustic instruments.
Charging case for extra playback (up to 30 hours), up to 10 hours on single charge for the TWS.
ANC.
Strong and easy BT connectivity and range.
Supports voice assistant.
IP45 dust proof and water proof.
Superb for movies due to the subwoofer like subbass.
Volume controller.
Tronsmart has just released an app that supports various EQ profiles and configurations for the TWS buttons. They are continuing development of the app that possibly may have more features like aptX HD support in the future.
Cons: May be too bassy for some when ANC or ambient mode is on (the just released app has EQ profiles to possibly lower the bass for our bass averse breathen).
Not the best passive isolation, occasional wind noise.
May have muffled sound during calls.
No wireless charging support.
WhatsApp Image 2020-09-21 at 19.38.59 (1).jpeg


DISCLAIMER

I would like to thank Joy from Tronsmart for providing this review sample, my views are my own. It can be gotten at $99 USD at multiple sites/shops.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Tronsmart Apollo Bold is a great all rounder TWS set, packing many features, and providing good sound, stable connectivity, long battery life and ANC/Ambient modes. It has IP45 waterproofing and is very comfortable too.

Sound wise, it is a basshead set (when ANC/Ambient mode is on), but the recently released app has EQ profiles to lower bass (for our bass averse friends).


SPECIFICATIONS
  • Bluetooth: 5.0 TWS+. Mono or True Stereo. Qualcomm QCC5124 chip with customized LDS antenna (for more stable/longer transmission)
  • TWS+ Binaural synchronnus tranmission technology
  • Bluetooth codec: SBC, AAC, aptX
  • Driver type: Customized graphene driver 10 mm
  • Connection distance: Up to 15 meters / 50 feet
  • ANC: rated at 35 dB noise cancelling, 360 degrees hybrid noise cancelling via 6 mics
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
  • Impedance: 35 Ω ± 15%
  • Waterproof level: IP45 (sweat, light rain and splash proof)
  • Playtime: Earbud: up to 10 hours (50% volume); up to 4 hours (100% volume). Charging case: up to 30 hours (50% volume)
  • Charging time: Earbud: 2 to 2.5 hours. Charging case: 2.5 hours

ACCESSORIES

In addition to the TWS IEM, it comes with:

1) Soft carrying bag

2) Silicone ear tips (3 pairs in total)

3) USB C charging cable

4) Charging case
  • On the small side size wise, and can fit in a pocket.
  • It can charge earpieces fully 3 times.
  • There's an inner magnet so the earphones won't drop out when the charging case is held upside down.
  • The charging case supports type C quick charging, and one can get about 1 hour usage with 10 minutes charge.
  • I like that some aftermarket tips can be put on the Tronsmart Apollo Bold and can still fit inside the charging case and be charged at the same time (some other charging case models won't charge if the eartip causes poor contact with the charging pins). It may rattle sometimes depending on the aftermarket tip, but one can put padding inside the charging case so as to give a more secure contact with charging pins.
  • Unfortunately, it doesn't support wireless charging.
WhatsApp Image 2020-09-21 at 19.38.59 (2).jpeg



BUILD/COMFORT

The Tronsmart Apollo Bold is very comfortable, light and ergonomic, no issues using it for hours, you even forget sometimes it's in use. It doesn't look too secure, but I was pleasantly surprised the fit is rather secure when in use (it does have a three point structure to secure the fit when worn).

WhatsApp Image 2020-09-21 at 19.38.59.jpeg


Passive isolation (without ANC mode) on the Tronsmart Apollo Bold is above average but not the best, and wind noise can occasionally get in.

The Tronsmart Apollo Bold has a IP45 waterproof rating (i.e. sweat, light rain and splash proof), so it can be used for gym/exercising too, but probably not for heavy rain or water sports.


FUNCTION/CONNECTIVITY

The Tronsmart Apollo Bold powers on when taking it out of the charging case. Putting them back into the charging case once powers them off. I had no issues with pairing it with BT devices, they recognized the Tronsmart Apollo Bold on the spot.

The Tronsmart Apollo Bold starts music spontaneously when the buds go into the ear (ANC mode is the default mode when first using it out of the box), and they pause automatically when one takes them out of the ear. This might be useful when someone is talking to you when ANC mode is on. The Tronsmart Apollo Bold can be used in mono or stereo usage too.

Function for the Tronsmart Apollo Bold is as per this picture:
Tronsmart-controls.png

The functions work above as advertised, with adequately sensitive touch controls and fast response speed.

BT connectivity on the Tronsmart Apollo Bold is good, it can hit about 10 meters or so with thin walls/obstructions, but I did get a few drop outs in the past 1 month I've been using it. On some occasions also, the Tronsmart Apollo Bold did fail to connect to the last device, which necessitated deleting it from the device and re searching for it. But overall, the BT connection and range was pretty stable compared to my TFZ B.V2 TWS set.

Tronsmart just released an app for android and IOS a few days back. You can check out this link on how to install the app: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/goi…e-we-there-yet.861024/page-1738#post-15892622/. This first iteration of the app allows various EQ profiles and to customize what the button touches do. The default EQ mode is still a bass cannon, but the jazz preset is quite good to tame the bass in ANC/ambient mode, especially for our friends who ain't bassheads. The classical preset is also a tinge lighter in the bass, though I find the mids a bit overcompressed on this preset. There's future versions of the app to be developed, and Tronsmart is possibly looking into providing aptX HD support in future releases, so as and when there's further developments in the app, I'll update this review accordingly.


TECHNICAL ASPECTS

The Tronsmart Apollo Bold supports SBC, AAC and aptX codecs. As above, Tronsmart is supposed to be releasing further iterations of the app that may allow aptX-HD in the future.

Battery life wise, the Tronsmart Apollo Bold is marketed as having up to 10 hours (50% volume) and up to 4 hours (100% volume) in the specs sheet, on a single charge. Indeed, when bringing it out for a spin, I found the battery to last about 4 - 5 hours (ANC on) and about 8 - 9 hours (ANC off). I don't have iron ear drums to pump the volume to 100%, so these numbers were tested with listening at moderate volumes. If one factors in the charges provided by the charging case, there should be ballpark 12 - 15 hours playback with ANC on, and about 24 - 27 hours without ANC on (dependent on loudness of volume it is used at). I suppose in general the battery life would also decrease subsequently with repeated charges, but these numbers are already quite good for daily use for sure.

The ANC mode blocks out most of the lower frequency noises for me, such as droning traffic, air con sounds, low rumble of construction work etc. It may not block out higher pitch stuff like children's squeals or intermittent sounds eg dog barks/car horns, but I find it very adequate for ANC purposes. I ever tried some other ANC sets before that gave me giddiness/nausea, and am glad to report the ANC on this set doesn't.

Ambient Mode allows in some higher frequency environmental sounds, it might be useful say if one wants to have some awareness of their surroundings.

The Tronsmart Apollo Bold boasts 6 mics for noise cancelling, and the sound quality is adequate for calls. Some other callers have fedback that the sound may be occasionally muffled when speaking to me, like as though one were speaking thru a mask, but they said it was still intelligible.

I didn't detect much latency with videos and music, unlike the TFZ B.V2. I don't usually do gaming, but I think the latency speed is excellent for this set for non gaming purposes.

Soundwise, the Tronsmart Apollo Bold is a L shaped warm basshead set. Indeed, the bass becomes a bass canon when ANC/ambient mode is used. I'm a basshead and I like the bass quantities, but I suppose some of our friends who prefer a neutralish bass or are bass averse may not. The bass can be jawrattling on some recordings with a visceral grunt in the subbass. The bass slam and attack is very good. Watching movies with sound effects is a real treat as the subwoofer speaker like subbass gives an excellent rumble. Good news for our bass averse friends is that as per above, the jazz and classical preset EQs on the app can help to lower the bass a bit in ANC/ambient mode. Or one can consider using some aftermarket tips with wider bores to lower the bass a bit. With the normal mode on (without ANC/ambient mode), the sound is less bassy and more balanced.

Headroom is good, it can get very loud. Timbre is very good for acoustic instruments, though the bassy tuning may ironically not be that suitable for acoustic genres such as classical and jazz.

The upper mids and treble are a bit tamed and not fatiguing, but there are still quite clear. Despite the copious bass quantities, there's still room for the mids and trebles to shine, though they aren't the prominent frequency as discussed, with a slight midbass bleed present on ANC/ambient mode. Soundstage, imaging, details, clarity and instrument separation are good for a TWS, but probably won't beat some wired gear in this aspect.


CONCLUSIONS

The Tronsmart Apollo Bold is a great all rounder TWS set, packing many features, and providing good sound, stable connectivity, long battery life and ANC/Ambient modes. It has IP45 waterproofing and is very comfortable too.

Sound wise, it is a basshead set (when ANC/Ambient mode is on), but the jazz and classical preset EQs on the app can help to tame the bass a bit.

I'll write an updated review once future iterations of the app is released. But even currently, the Tronsmart Apollo Bold is already a set I would recommend for those looking for a feature packed TWS with ANC.
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Tronsmart Apollo Bold: Aptx HD,Qualcomm QCC5124 TWS
Pros: Stereo imaging,clear sound,that sub bass...
Cons: Call quality,case build
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So,the latest from Qualcomm in what Tronsmart kindly sent me for this review.First of all and don`t get me wrong,it`s a quite nice box, you get the regular usb cable,type c this time,instructions,a couple of tips and what`s important,the case and the buds themselves so no point of posting a picture with the box as i only saw it once and after that it joined the other empty boxes probably forgetting i have it,so i am getting straight to what matters:

The Buds:

1.The fit:

For me personally,i never had a tws that fit my ears with the standard tips,foam being the perfect ones for me even if i change them quite often although for this review i used the stock ones just to be impartial as the foam tips colour the sound a bit.
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So they fit quite good,i won`t take them to the gym unless fitting them with the foamies but compared to my daily buds,the sony wf-1000xm3`s which dangle like crazy when running the bolds do a nice job.

2.Connectivity

I used a Oppo find x2 pro,my laptop and a shanling m0 as my sources and other than the shanling where i have to manually pair each of the earbuds,no problem whatsoever,done some chores in the house with the phone on the couch and only lost connection when i stepped outside so the range is there with the sony buds.

3.Sound quality
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Now this is where the Bolds got me.I love a neutral to a bit warm sounding headphone when listening to my flac collection.The apollo`s are not that....noo.V shaped,sub bass boosted,the stereo image is better than the xm3`s maybe not than my wifey`s airpods pro,a bit lacking on the mids,the treble doesn`t pierce but sounds clear.Nice,for a daily use pair of wireless earbuds,listening to my hip hop and electro...love them.not so much without the anc on.
Tronsmart announced the app for these so i think with the eq these could be brilliant for a daily.

4.The anc

Well this is where it get`s a little wierd.Anc on,love the sound,off...not so much.Bass at a loss,they just sound like my 8 £ pair of tws.That`s why i said i think the eq will solve a lot.
The anc is good,covers most of outside noise,not yet wf1000xm3 or airpods pro level but not far.
The ambient sound function serves it`s purpose,the microphones do their job but still in my opinion,sony is still king.With further software updates and with the app that will follow i think tronsmart can get there,very close to a pair of earbuds twice their price.

5.The calls

This one is a little bit of a miss too.At least for me,tried it with a few people and all of them said i sounded like i was talking with a mouth cover.Tried both on my oppo and my wifes iphone to rule ot the phone.Now this needs to be improved,sure it will in next iterations,i know tronsmart is listening.

6.Battery life

Approx. 5 hours with the anc on...that`s a win for me.

The Case
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From my prespective,this is the most pocketable of my tws cases,as for the build quality another point Tronsmart nedds to take a look.It feels unsubstantial and when i touch the top part it creeks and squeeks.might be just my case but still...

Hopefully my review will help someone who is looking for a under 100£ tws,in my books this one is a winner with just a few niggles to iron out.Nice one Tronsmart,all the best guys.
Outstanding QCC5124 Flagship Earbuds
Pros: ANC, Sound Quality, Touch Controls, AptX, AptX HD (Coming in September)
Cons: Case Quality, Tip shape may not suit everyone
How I review:

Sound Quality

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

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

I do this just for confirmation of what I'm hearing. I'm not Scarbir, I'm not The Sound Guys. I have a demanding day job, study, and have three kids, so no long essays in these reviews (other than this one :gs1000smile:)

Microphone Quality

I conduct a few different tests, as follows:

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

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

Outdoor, static, ambient noise 40-80db
Outdoor, moving, ambient noise 40-80db
Outdoor, under a nearby railway bridge where lorries pass through

All are recorded for 1-3 minutes for future comparisons. I look for voice clarity, voice clarity amongst noise and glitches.

Tips

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

ANC

As per the sound quality tests, I usually test the ANC at the same time, looking for low and high frequency performance as well as my pet peeve, vertigo and jawache

Comfort

I use earbuds in four activities - calls, exercise, commute and relaxing. All three are taken into consideration to try to find the use case, as finding the perfect earbud is, lets face it, never going to happen.

Connectivity

I find most perform almost identically, but do the usual walk test, especially around congested 2,4ghz wifi areas. I leave a router on 40MHz just in case it messes with it, why the hell not?!

Ok, so onto the review:

Model: Tronsmart Apollo Bold
Vendor: Amazon UK
Overall Rating: 89%

The Unboxing - 9/10

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A section I've added. Usually, I couldn't care less as long as they perform. Tronsmart are consistent in their packaging. Their orange and purple branding is, whilst theoretically garish, clear. The tagline is HYBRID ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLING which is their main USP in this release, as well as Aptx-HD, which we will come to later.

They've mixed it up a bit this time, with the box contents, QR code and specs on the back. The sides show the layered build quality, and again emphasize the ANC modes. This is further elaborated as you open out the box.

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The Bold come with a draw string bag for storing spare tips.

The 'experience' is not what I pay for, but there you go. It's self-explanatory and good quality

The Case - 6/10

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A little underwhelming, if functional. Nice and compact, but the hinge doesn't look like it will last much impact. Not much different to any other Chinese manufactured case out there, connection is USB-C at the back. Single light at the front to indicate charge. Reasonable magnet that can make the buds difficult to remove at times.

The Fit - 8.5/10

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Tronsmart have shaped this odd looking bud with the ANC in mind. They've complemented the ANC by building around the earbud in the same way Tranya and a few others do. The passive noise cancellation isn't quite as good as Tranya's T10, for example, but they more than make up for it with the hybrid ANC and are comfy enough to wear all day.

You can exercise in these, wear them for all day calls, and listen to audio books in bed with them without discomfort. They aren't as comfy as the Spunky Beats/Onyx Free, which you forget are there at times, but their shape is designed to balance comfort, microphone usability and noise cancellation. And they've done a good job of achieving this.

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The driver is oval shaped. This stopped me in my tracks a little. I usually default to foam tips, which I did for a few days with these, but I've gone back to the supplied silicone ones, because I can't seem to get a good fit or sound with foam.

Oval shaped drivers are nothing new but they certainly aren't defacto. I've seen this design on Klipsch wired buds, Linner wired buds, Panasonic wired buds...but rarely on wireless. It's a risky move. You need a good seal, otherwise they will be uncomfortable or the sound will bounce around your pinnae and produce reverb and sound rubbish. This underlines the importance of good tips.

Fortunately, the supplied silicone tips are outstanding for a chifi product. You get a choice of 3 sizes and they are double strength around the 'tip' to add to the comfort factor. Too many earbuds are ruined because the driver digs into your concha. These aren't designed that way, and the tips complement them. You don't need spinfit on these. They are that good, I use the small size on my Onyx Free and the large on my Edifier TWSNB2.

ANC - 9/10

Best in class for TWS. They cut virtually all the low end out and perform surprisingly well at the top end. I can't hear my kids talking with no sound playing, and passing traffic is discernible, but not obvious.

With any kind of music playing they perform admirably. They have three modes, ON, OFF and Ambient. Ambient works very well, three taps to either bud changes the mode. I used this to good effect last week during a meeting, where I didn't even need to remove them.

I also tested the Tozo NC9 and Aukey EP-N5 at the same time. These blew them away. Since, I tested the Edifier TWS NB2. Even they aren't in the Apollo's league.

Don't expect over-ear quality, but it's not far off.

Sound Quality - 9/10 (for the price), 8.5/10 (raw score)

I've read a lot of reviews where it mentions these are bass-heavy. For me, I just don't hear it. There is a minor rumble around the subbass on techno tracks and this did show on the FR tests initially but after the first round they sounded flatter. Certainly nothing to get upset about.

They are rich in the bass department but are pretty flat and consistent when you get down to low end. You don't lose any of the detail, and I've seen reviews stating they 'wear in'...this wasn't the case for me, they were great out of the box.

Since firmware 1.2.5 was released, Tronsmart have eased the subbass on the default profile. You can get it back by selecting the jazz profile.

Everybody wants to rule the world by Tears For Fears sounds like a totally different song compared with most of the rubbish I stick in my ears.

Objectively, it's as per the subjective. Frequency response is what I would expect from Sony or Bose - very good. They notched a little short of 20KHz at around 19,100Hz, which is extraordinary.

There is a clear delineation of instruments, vocals, etc that you just simply don't hear on most wireless earbuds. These are a joy to use, the soundstage is up there with the Sony WF-1000's which were my previous favourite.

Latency - no issues on YouTube etc, which defaults to AAC. Haven't tried for gaming - not my thing.

Call Quality - 7/10

Call quality on these is quite consistent. It does a good job of isolating your voice from low frequency background noise, such as lorries all the way through to traffic, other human voices and air conditioning.

They use a 6 mic array to try to resolve the common issue of clarity vs isolation, and they do a reasonable job, but this can extend too far to the point your voice can sound muffled when moving, even indoors. The mic is an isolator- it cuts loads of ambient noise out, but with earbuds in this form factor it stands to reason that if you cut out a lot of your frequency range, that will include your own voice. That means indoors, it is fine for conference calls - actually quite natural sounding - but as soon as you get similar frequency sounds in the mix, it gets a bit muffled

This is a shade disappointing to be honest, the only real shortfall, but not surprising given the form factor. Whilst muffled, it at least doesn't sound like a robot in a submarine, which puts it ahead of most TWS, and is consistently 'pretty good' regardless of environment.

I have learned over time that with ANC off they seem to perform better on calls indoors.

Compared with the Edifier TWS NB2, they aren't as good in this department.

Connectivity, Controls and Other Features - 8.5/10 (app pending)

Connectivity is strong. They gave me some initial issues on Windows, but a new Intel BT driver has fixed that. They also gave me some problems on IOS 14 beta, again this has been sorted since IOS 14 Public Beta.

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They do sometimes fail to connect to the last device, and have occasionally dropped signal altogether, but I had no issues when commuting into London, which is not the busy metropolis it was pre-COVID, but still a decent barometer for its ability to remain faithful in populated areas.

Controls are very good. They have learned a lot from the Spunky Beats days. The large surface area means more often than not you manage to connect well with the button, which requires just the right amount of pressure to connect. Three taps on either ear changes between ANC>Ambient>ANC OFF, as previously mentioned, and other controls are intuitive.

These default to aptx on appropriate devices, but the app in September promises to open this up to aptx-HD, which the chip is capable of.

It would be good to see some other app features that, for example, improve the ability to switch between devices, ANC modes and change features such as whether the sound stops when they are removed from your ears (which I personally like, but I know is not for everyone) and gaming mode for latency (again, not my thing but I know others like it)

Vendor response is excellent, as we know from their presence here on head-fi.

These are not for running in heavy rain - they are only IPX45 - but for commuters and general users, you get a good 5 hours out of them, which I would expect to drop over time, on full charge, and 2-3 full charges from the case.

Final Comments

Despite the reported heavy bass issues, I don't hear it. The sound quality is superb whether you're using Windows, IOS, Android, it doesn't matter...still great results. I suspect this is down to the way they fit in your ears - the oval drivers are great for some ears, but can cause reverb and over emphasis of low frequencies in others. This emphasizes the importance of a good fitting set of tips.

I had hoped these would become my 'unicorn' single solitary set of headphones. Not quite. The microphone clarity just isn't quite good enough to replace over-ears and a boom mic, it's not even as good as the TWSNB2, but it's good enough.

Regardless, at this price point I haven't tested anything better. I much prefer them to the Sony WF-1000XM3, which I guess would be their closest competitor. They are acoustically more enjoyable than the Edifier TWS NB2, my next favourite, and I'm still waiting for the FIIL T1XS.

Tronsmart are an intriguing company that have great support, and as we have seen through head-fi, a desire to connect with their customer base and improve. Use of the new QCC5124 chip is testament to their relationship with Qualcomm, which I expect to be reflective of their progress going forward, as nobody else has used the chip yet, although I see Nuarl are hot on their heels.

Now they have released app support, the buds are improving with time.

Update for September 2020:

Massive well done to @Tronsmart Official who delivered on their promise of Apollo Bold app support by the end of September!



I've been working with them to iron out a few creases in the Android version, in a week they have made GIANT strides, fixing or remedying everything I mentioned and have released it now on IOS and Android. The beta allowed you to upgrade from fw 1.0 to 1.4.0 - now they are on 1.2.3, so these guys must be working day and night!

The firmware must be updated one bud at a time. Take one out of the case, update, then swap them over and repeat.

This is their first iteration so the controls are fairly basic at this stage. The main screen gives you battery indicators, and toggle buttons for ANC and ambient. The three dots in the corner take you to the next screenshot, where you can update the firmware.



First thing to do is update the firmware. I was testing 1.04 so to move to 1.2.5 shows they've been pulling out all the stops - the new version supports different EQ's, enables customised touch control, and distinguishes between the left and right bud when used in single mode:


Updating the firmware is done as per the clear instructions:

1. Take Left earbud out of case which should remain open
2. Initiate firmware download and install. Do not navigate away from the app and ensure the case and buds have sufficient charge
3. Once complete, restore the updated bud to its place in the case and remove the other
4. Repeats step 2
5. You have updated your firmware!


The Equaliser is a little rudimentary but it does a job. I know they wanted to integrate a spotify-style dynamic EQ - unfortunately it was outside the scope of what was possible within the timescales.

The default profile seems to notch the bass off a little more.
The classical overcompresses the mids
Jazz is nice, probably my preferred EQ after the default
Pop rolls the top end off and is ideal for dance music where it can be uncomfortable on highhats
Rock is pretty awful -avoid!

The new default handles the bass nicely now, and doesn't compress the life out of the mids, so those of you complaining of subbass rumbles should try this EQ first.



Finally, the controller. I haven't tried changing the settings as I like the existing ones, but here they are:




There is a spelling mistake on ambient, but we can let them off :wink:

Finally, to answer some questions:

Q1 - Is Aptx-HD supported?
A1 - No, not yet. Tronsmart are working with Qualcomm to try and get there - the issue lies with Qualcomm, not Tronsmart

Q2 - Is the mic quality better?
A2 - No, it sounds identical, perhaps a little more distant and slightly better at cancelling out background noise, but this could be the placebo affect!

Q3 - Any other comments?
A3 - Connectivity is definitely more stable, the app is intuitive and easy to use. As we have seen with Edifier, first releases are quickly followed with updates, so hold fire on flaming them for the apt-xhd situation and congratulate them on keeping their promises!

Price Weighted Score: 92%

Raw Score: 88%

Sub £100 TWS Leaderboard


1. Tronsmart Apollo Bold
2. Edifier TWS NB2
3. FIIL T1 Pro
4. FIIL T1XS
5. Lypertek Tevi

Images show some size comparisons with Tranya T10, Boltune BT-BH024 and 1More E1029BT

Attachments

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Tronsmart Official
Tronsmart Official
Thank you very much for your sharing!
SleeStack1
SleeStack1
gocam
gocam
I'm pretty certain that the Cleer Ally Plus uses the QCC 5124 also - and it was out way earlier ( https://www.globenewswire.com/news-...DEBUTS-NEW-BLUETOOTH-WIRELESS-HEADPHONES.html ) - I have it and it's a great set. Looks identical to this one, which also looks just like the zen tws 233621 - I know Tronsmart have mentioned that they are somehow different from the Cleer although they share identical shell and chipset, but I wasn't clear on the 'how'. Different microphone configuration and app tuning, maybe ? Bolds are $30 less than the Cleers, though, with the Zens $30 less than the Bolds.
Tronsmart Apollo Bold Review – Excellent ANC Earbuds with Extra Powerful Bass!
Pros: Clear treble with extra powerful deep bass
Excellent ANC for the price
aptX and AAC support
Outstanding microphone
Long battery life
Comfortable for long hour wear
IP45 splash-proof
Cons: None from me
Author's Note: The original review can be found at my blog - Tronsmart Apollo Bold Review @ JayceOoi.com.

Introduction
What a quiet world we have here? Yes, I can enjoy my favourite music peacefully. All thanks to the latest 360° Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Earbuds from Tronsmart. Apollo Bold is loaded with 6 mics that cancel the noises from every corner. In addition, Qualcomm QCC5124 flagship chip inside brings you the best sound quality with customized graphene driver through aptX and AAC codecs. IP45 dust and waterproof support. Over 30 hours of non-stop music playback with charging case. Does it sound great? Read on to find out...

Special Thanks
This review is possible thanks to below companies. Be sure to check them out...
  • Tronsmart for this Tronsmart Apollo Bold ANC TWS Earbuds


Package Content & Design
Yeah... Apollo Bold comes well-protected indeed. You got gift box alike packaging this round. Once opened, there is information about its hybrid active noise cancelling for you.



What is included in the package? You have Tronsmart Apollo Bold itself of course. Follow by the charging case. Extra 2 pairs of silicon eartips (S & L), USB-C charging cable, storage bag, warranty card, quick start guide and multiple languages user manual. As usual, be sure to go through the guides to get started.



Excellent build quality! Thanks to sturdy plastic housing. Stylish in design as well with black and gold colours. Small in size and light in weight too. Basically, the Tronsmart Logo is the touch-able multi-function button. And the golden round circle is the customized LDS laser antenna. Red and white LED light indicator in between them. Finally, the small holes are microphones. Yes, 6 of them in total.



Fit, Comfort & Isolation
It is comfortable to wear Apollo Bold for long hour even it is bigger than the other TWS earbuds. Fit very well too. Just pick the correct ear tips size that matches you will do. All thanks to three-point structure for stability and ergonomic design for ultra comfort. Round and smooth body helps too I believe.



In addition, it is loaded with IP45 dust and waterproof support. Just focus on your exercise and no worry about sweat, splashes and even rain. As for passive isolation, it is decent. It can block some of the environment noises while music is being playback.



Performance Result
Excellent Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling performance for the price. Yes, Apollo Bold does a great job on cancelling the environment noises. Better in ambient noises like engine from airplane, train and so on. They totally disappear when you play music with ANC turned on. Besides ANC, there are another 2 modes - ambient mode on and off. Ambient sound mode actually increases environment sound so that you can aware your surrounding while commuting. Off is the normal mode without ANC.



As for Bluetooth range, it is excellent as well for TWS. It can go up to 8m with obstacles like walls. Very stable connection too. Furthermore, aptX and AAC audio codecs are supported and they have lower latency than the usual SBC codec. Thanks for TrueWireless Stereo Plus too. Yup, audio and video are virtually in-sync that great for movie, games and MV. Lastly, you can use Apollo Bold as stereo or mono as you wish.



Based on specs, you can enjoy up to 10 hours of music playback. Over 30 hours of listening with the charging case. More than enough for your daily sport activities. And there is battery indicator status on iOS and Android devices. Never forget to charge it when low power.

Excellent phone call experience. Thanks to 6 microphones for noise cancelling making sure crystal-clear call and studio quality audio. Others can hear me loud and clear.

Sound Quality
Warm sound signature is what you get from Tronsmart Apollo Bold. Basshead will love it. Extra boom boom bass for everyone. Powerful and deep bass! But no worry, the bass is powerful yet still in control, not overloaded. Bass is basically the star of the show. However, treble is still managing to shine here and there.



For details, highs are clean and clear. Surprisingly it is still able to shine through the darkness, not completely covered by bass. Sharpness is there as well. For mids, vocals are clear for both male and female. Sound as they should be. Again, bass is deep and powerful. Those who loves extra bass will be satisfied. Action movie and games will never be the same again with those bass here and there. Soundstage is wide for the price. You can easily identify placement of the instruments easily even in a complex scene. Well done, Tronsmart.

By the way, there is an exclusive application coming up soon. You can use it to upgrade Apollo Bold through OTA. There is EQ sound effect switch (hopefully TWS built-in) and customizable touch control.

Advantages
  • Clear treble with extra powerful deep bass
  • Excellent ANC for the price
  • aptX and AAC support
  • Outstanding microphone
  • Long battery life
  • Comfortable for long hour wear
  • IP45 splash-proof
Limitations
  • None from me
Conclusion
Excellent ANC for the price. Period. Enjoy clear treble with extra powerful deep bass too. Better sound quality with aptX and AAC codecs support too. And a lot more useful features for you and me.
regancipher
regancipher
If I don't get the fit quite right, I get too much bass too. If I adjust the fit and use smaller tips than usual, they sound better. The Lypertek and FIIL T1XS have more refined sound, that's for sure, but the Apollo handles the bass well- even if it is a little beefy in the subbass region, mine still separate pretty good
magogo
magogo
Between these, the FIIL TX1, the Mpow M5/T5 and the Edifier TWS NB 2, which one would you pick? My preference is: 1 - sound quality (hip hop, house music), 2 - battery, 3 - being able to lift weights with them (not worryiing they will fall out of my ears). Many thanks! PD: I've got a pair ot Mpows T5/M5 but the right piece stopped pairing.
Aerosphere
Aerosphere
Thanks for the review!
Well made, lots of features but absolute bass cannons.
Pros: Lightweight. Go Loud. Good battery Life. ANC does work. Nice top end detail. Good bluetooth range. Ambient sound mode.
Cons: Bass too much. Touch controls too sensitive. Case feels flimsy.
Initial Impressions
I’ve had the opportunity to review a number of wireless headphones over the last couple of years - Tronsmart very kindly sent me a set of their latest active noise cancelling TWS earbuds to review - the Apollo. Packaging for the Apollo’s is extremely impressive - definitely comparable to the packaging used on my Sony WF1000XM3’s. Unfolding the magnetically secured box reveals the charging case and headphones embedded in some surprisingly difficult to remove packaging. Overall the packaging shouts out that you’re getting a good quality product.

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You get the usual accessories - short charging cable, a couple of instruction manuals, two additional pairs of silicone tips in different sizes (no foamies here) and a pleather drawstring carry case (which is a nice touch). Note that all three pairs of tips appear to be quite small (to me at least) so those of you with larger ear holes may need to raid their eartip collection - the good news is that, even with their unusual oval stem, you shouldn’t have any problems finding alternatives.

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As with many true wireless headphones, the case uses magnets to secure the buds in place when charging and assists in keeping the lid closed. Whilst it works perfectly well, the case does feel somewhat flimsy and doesn’t give the impression that it could cope with a lot of rough and tumble. The case uses USB Type C for charging but doesn’t feature wireless charging. Unfortunately there’s only one LED on the case to indicate charge - it would have been nice to have a row of LEDS to help more accurately show remaining battery life.

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The headphones themselves really do look nice with the gold trim around the touch sensor. To my eyes, they look as premium as anything from Sennheiser or Sony. Nice touch there. One of the first things I noticed was just how light they are - way lighter than I expected. These headphones have a reasonable IP rating so there shouldn’t be any problems with encountering water. Unusually, the stems are oval shaped but I’ve found that this actually helps keep the tips nice and secure. In all fairness I have to say that their lightness greatly helps when it comes to maintaining a good fit.

Functions
The touch sensors on the Apollo’s work in a similar way to the Sony WF1000XM3’s - kinda. I must admit it’s taking some time getting used to the unusual control logic on these buds but it’s nice to have the remote volume option - something that the Sony’s lack (unless you’re prepared to sacrifice other functions). Like many of the other TWS headphones out there that feature touch controls, the Apollo’s suffer from sometimes being too sensitive - usually resulting in unwanted changes to the volume. The controls operate like this:-

L/R 1 Tap - Change volume

L/R 2 Taps - Play/Pause/Answer/Hang Up

L/R 3 Taps - Cycle through the various noise cancelling modes

L/R Tap and hold - Skip Track

You can perhaps see just how easy it is to find yourself increasing the volume rather than pausing the music for example. Sony’s touch controls are definitely better - even if they don’t have the same degree of fine control.

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Battery life appears good - although I’ve not really had the chance to test this out properly yet. Tronsmart claim the Apollos’ have up to 10 hours playback from a single charge and 30 hours before you have to recharge the case - I suspect that these figures would be measured with active noise cancelling switched off, a fairly low volume setting and the SBC codec employed.

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Unlike the Sony’s, the Apollo’s feature a reasonable degree of water resistance - always a welcome feature on portable stuff. I can’t imagine just how difficult it would be to get these buds out of their case with wet hands, it’s bloody hard enough with dry hands. This is also a real problem with the Lypertek Tevi’s - it’s a good job they’re both water resistant because the moment you attempt to take either of them out when you’re outside in the rain - you’re practically guaranteed to drop them in the nearest puddle. Apart from the somewhat flimsy construction and the surprisingly light weight of the earbuds, the Apollo’s look like a decent package.

Bluetooth Performance is better than average and the Apollos easily pass the upstairs bathroom test with flying colours. They pair well with my Sony NW-A55 and can go more than loud enough for me.

Active Noise Cancelling
The active noise cancelling isn’t as effective as the Sony’s but in all fairness they don’t cost the same as the Sony’s either. The ambient sound is definitely muffled but it’s still there. The Sony’s can be uncanny sometimes with their noise cancelling but the Apollo’s do share one thing with the Sony’s and that is that the active noise cancelling doesn’t overly affect the sound quality.

Sound Quality
Right. Up front I have to say that these are ‘bass monster’ headphones. They’re not flat. They’re not audiophile - but they can sound fun. I’m not normally a big believer in ‘breaking in’ headphones - perhaps the first few minutes of playback allow the drivers to form their natural shape - microscopically speaking, but that’s about it as far as I’m concerned. I have given these headphones a good few hours playback at both low and fairly loud volumes and their sound character has changed slightly - but the bass just overpowers the other frequencies.

Bass
Definitely the dominant frequency. This boosted bass makes these headphones ideal for listening at very low volume.

Mids
Fairly recessed and perhaps lacking in some of the finer details but unfortunately just overpowered by the bass.

Treble
Treble is nicely detailed and falls just below my personal 'harsh' zone.

Due to the overall shape of the headphones and the fairly small tips/shallow insertion depth, this results in what I feel is a less than ideal fit. However, taking into account both the active noise cancellation and the excessive 'V' shape to the sound means that the actual overall sound quality is pretty good - as long as you’re listening at low volume and/or avoiding bass-rich genres. I've really enjoyed listening to some of the 70's rock in my collection. Rush, Floyd, Genesis, Wakeman, Yes and so on. These old recordings sound pretty nice with this massive bass boost.

One effective way of overcoming this massive amount of bass is to avoid deep insertion or even bothering to get an effective seal. Just simply ‘popping’ the headphones in - and not making any attempt at fit or seal, resulted in the excessive bass simply bleeding away - producing a ‘flatter’ sound profile. The downside is of course greatly redacted noise cancellation and loss of volume. All said and done though - wayyyyyyyy too much bass.

Conclusion
I really wanted to like these headphones. They’re well specced, look good and are comfortable. Unfortunately the excessive bass simply spoils them for me. On the plus side, they do make an excellent IEM for late night listening in bed at super low volumes - the excessive bass sounds really nice then. I’m hoping that one possible future feature the Apollo’s may have when they release the software is the ability to store EQ settings on the IEM’s themselves - then, after cranking the bass well down, you will end up with a really nice sounding pair of TWS headphones. Let's hope that this happens! As they stand right now, I can't recommend them. However I shall definitely keep my eye out for their application which is due out shortly.


Amazon Link
Tronsmart Website

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Amendments to the original review.
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I felt compelled to re-evaluate my thoughts on the Apollo's and, rather than re-writing the review I thought it might be more appropriate to leave it in so as to illustrate how first impressions can change. I've never been much of a believer in 'burn in' - especially with the tiny drivers in IEM's. My experience with these has made me rethink this. Whilst I accept that 'brain burn in' is as likely a phenomenon, there's no doubt in my mind that the Apollo Bolds' have definitely improved over time.

Whilst they're still a little too bassy for my liking, they really have begun to shine in their sound quality. Whilst at the louder volumes I normally listen to music at I still find them a bit too much but at significantly lower volumes (i.e. at night, in bed), they sound bloody fantastic.

At low volumes the extra bass humphhh really works well with pretty much all genres of music - and the soundstage really comes alive.

One criticism is that the touch controls are too sensitive making them a bit difficult to use in bed without occasionally triggering volume changes or track skipping. Sony's touch controls seem to be pretty good at rejecting accidental touches - I wonder if they use the accelerometer as well as the touch sensitive controller?

These may well turn out to be my new bedtime headphones.
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Peddler
Peddler
The excessive bass has calmed down somewhat-whilst still bass heavy they have improved quite a surprising amount.
regancipher
regancipher
I also found a set of tips that fit - the ikkon ones designed for jabra 65t. Wow! Completely different earphones.

My objective tests (the ones I use to test how they sound to everyone else, not just my knackered ears) put these in another league to everything else I've tried at this price. Balance is spot on.

They are very slightly bass centric but according to the objective tests this is not the case, they level off perfectly.

The app will make or break these, but they've been in touch with me and I believe they are working to get this right.
Peddler
Peddler
I hope their app enables the headphones themselves to store the eq settings (so that they can be used with my Sony NW-A55).
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