TrueFree 01 Open-Ear Bluetooth 5.3 Wireless Earbuds

General Information


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100+ Head-Fier
Super-fitting sports buds with long battery and decent enough sound at a bargain price
Pros: Good fit & ergonomics
Very stable for a variety of exercises
Bluetooth 5.3
Battery indicator on case
Long battery life with the case
Cons: Only IPX4
Huge case
No app support to adjust EQ
Touch controls rather than buttons
Could be a little louder
How I review: (See Previous Reviews)
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Model: TrueFree 01
Price: MSRP £44.99 - Amazon UK
Review Reference: RC108

Manufacturer Specification:
  • Brand: TrueFree
  • Model: 01
  • Driver: 16.2mm Dynamic Driver
  • Chipset: WUQI WQ7033
  • Mic: 2 mic ENC
  • ANC: No
  • Codecs: LDAC, AAC, SBC
  • App Support: No
  • Multipoint: Yes
  • Customisable Controls: No
  • Gaming Mode: Yes
  • Earbud Weight: 9.69g
  • Earbud Dimensions: 54mm (width) x 39mm (height)
  • Gross Case & Buds Weight: 101.3g
  • Case Dimensions: 92.3mm {maximum} (width) x 33.8mm (height) x 71,6mm (depth)
  • Case Charge Capacity: 700mAh
  • Quick Charge: No
  • Wireless Charging: No
  • Charge Time: approx. 120 minutes
  • Single Use Playtime: Up to 10 hours
  • Playtime with Charge Case: Up to 45 hours
  • Bluetooth Range: 10m advertised
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth® 5.3
  • Bluetooth Protocols: BLE/ HFP 1.7/ A2DP 1.3/ AVRCP 1.5
  • Water Resistance: IPX4

1 x Pair Wireless Earbuds
1 x USB Type-C Charge Case
1 x USB Type-C Charge Cable
1 x User Manual

YouTube Review:

Coming Soon



SoundPEATS' subbrand TrueFree are back with another release that wraps around their portfolio offering something slightly different to their core product line, and this time it's another addition to the uber-popular air-conduction sports wearable segment of the audio market.

Hang on.....this looks familiar! The TrueFree 01 not only bear a striking similarity to the Oladance wearable, but I'm pretty sure SoundPEATS actually released this as the 'Go Free' in selected regions! Anyway, it never made it to market here in Europe, it has now, and that's what we are taking a look at today.

The TrueFree 01 have a bunch of features that actually look a bit out of place on a sports bud. They offer hi-res audio support through the LDAC codec as well as multipoint connectivity courtesy of the same WUQI chipset used in a number of SoundPEATS releases this year - both very much in the 'nice to have' bucket as far as features go, but more importantly how do they fit, sound and wear?



The unboxing experience on the 01, similar to the T3 which I reviewed here a couple of months ago, is quite basic and very reminiscent of the old SoundPEATS way - functional rather than eye-catching. Instead of focusing on those 'nice to have' features I mentioned in the intro, TrueFree have showcased three specific parameters on the front - the 16.2mm dynamic drivers, up to 45 hours playtime with the case, and dual-mic ENC to improve the quality of your voice calls, and these are all very relevant for buyers of a sports bud, who recognise the larger drivers are beneficial due to the way such earbuds wear, and require longer battery performance due to the nature of the use-cases (long runs, bike rides, etc)


The manual is very reminiscent of SoundPEATS user guides, with an identical page setup and lexicon style. Even the controls are replicated, and the diagrams will be very familiar to SoundPEATS customers as well - this is definitely a good thing, because it is very clear what each motion corresponds to.

And that's really about it when it comes to the unboxing - you do get a generic USB-A to USB-C cable to charge the case, but that's all you're getting, and that's all you need really.

Charge Case


Let's not try and pretend it's anything but - the charge case for the 01 is an absolute monster! With the TrueFree logo displayed on the front and measuring rather unorthodox dimensions of just over 9cm wide, 7cm deep and over 3cm high and weighing over 100g, do not expect to be taking this out for a jog in your trouser pockets! It's often the case with sports wearables that, due to their shape, trying to compromise between portability and sufficient battery re-charges turns out to be a thankless task - we've seen the likes of Haylou and you'll soon see OneOdio (with their OpenRock S) trying to balance the two out, to fairly limit degrees of success, and I think TrueFree have recognised that and just decided to optimise battery life as much as possible - and I for one don't really have an issue with that, because the single use battery life as we will see in the battery section is sufficient that you're probably not going to be rushing to put these in the case at every opportunity.

The case is a grey, plastic affair with a lip at the front and a decent-sized hinge at the back. There are quite sharp edges to lid and the lip, which definitely give the impression of a bit of expense spared. There's no wireless charging - it's USB-C only, which is located at the rear, meaning you can charge the case with it sat in it's default position.


Flip open the case and you'll notice that the hinge has a fairly rigid friction stop at 90 degrees, although give it a little shake and it quite easily snaps shut. Notice the three LED's on the front - this means the case has 60% of it's 45 hour full-charge capacity remaining. Two LED's lit means you're at 59-30%, and one means less than 30%. Happily, it's exactly the same when you're charging it with it plugged in - the LED's will flash, and then stop at 100%.

As with many cases for buds like these, the orientation takes a little getting used to. The left bud is on the left, and the right bud is on the right, thankfully, but they are in vertical rather than horizontal position, so you have to twist sideways to put them in your ears, and again when you put them back. Putting them back is more counter-intuitive, but I soon got used to it. You've got a pairing/reset button in the middle too - a fairly familiar charge case cockpit.



The shape of the 01 is pretty much identical to the Oladance, with a bean-shaped control unit with the TrueFree logo on and a small LED, which is visible, but not super-bright, and is only lit when nothing is playing, or when they are in pairing mode where rather than white, it flashes blue and red.

They are constructed from mostly standard plastic, which is shiny on the outside to make sweat drip off a little easier. Each one weighs just under 10g, which sounds like a lot when you're comparing them to TWS, but is actually fairly standard, even on the lighter side for products of this ilk.


Flip them around and you see the more thoughtful side of the design - there's a matte, softer finish to the bits that make direct contact with your skin. The driver angles towards your ear canal a little, and there's some malleability to the ear hooks, meaning if your ears are larger (or smaller) than average, you do have a little wiggle-room.

For me, I wasn't overly-keen with the driver resting against my tragus (because I'm incredibly fussy when it comes to fit!) so this was very convenient - just bear in mind doing so moves the driver further away and gives you a less immersive audio experience.


Here you can see how the 01 wear - the control unit I guess could be a little smaller, but the lightweight nature means it isn't really noticeable when on the ear. The ear hooks are comfortable, and whilst they're not the prettiest, the profile isn't too obvious and when exercising, there's absolutely no issues with look or feel. It's a very comfortable, lightweight design that has good stability - I used them to do my daily Duolingo whilst out for a walk, and it was nice to know that the motion of my jaw moving wasn't going to result in the earbud coming a little loose - no such issues there.

The touch controls are located on the bean-shaped control unit, and this is one area where I do feel the buds fall a little short of their more-expensive-competition, which typically have a combination of tactile button and touch, or just tactile. I found that whilst the controls operated fine testing them out of my ears, when I tried using them whilst running, for example, I would routinely turn the volume up or down instead of pausing. I would imagine this would only be exacerbated with additional moisture from sweat or rain, so again something worth bearing in mind.


The typical use-cases for earbuds of this style are predominantly around activities whereby being able to hear your surroundings quickly without having to cycle through to transparency mode is beneficial. Open ear designs have no seal - so you are in constant contact with the outside world. One such scenario is out on the bike, and the 01 translated well to this activity. They are slimline enough that they fit well with a helmet, and I had no issues wearing sunglasses with them either due to their slim earhook.


I also tried them out in a number of activities in the gym, including lifting weights, HIIT and on the treadmill. The 01 have great stability, and have one specific benefit over banded-style designs, which is bench and floor work. When you're resting your head back with banded-designs, you will sometimes find the band is pushed forward, moving the drivers away from your ear canals. No such issues with the 01, so in terms of the fit I can highly recommend them for all of the above fitness-based activities - just do consider their IP rating - only IPX4 means you're going to have to be slightly careful if you get caught in torrential rain, and certainly don't think about swimming in them.

Granted, in the real world these differences (between IPX4 and IP67, for example) mean less than on the test bench, but do bear it in mind, particularly if you're into extreme sports, which may then pose you a selection dilemma.

Audio & Sound Signature


The 01, like most open-ear designs, is light on lower frequencies. They graph fairly flat across the midrange until the upper mids where you have a peak from 2-3k, a bump at 4k to give a little edginess to to percussion, and a tail-off at 8k - rather early even by open-ear standards. TrueFree have tried to balance accentuating vocal delivery whilst trying to minimise sibilance, and for the most part it works - you have a bright sounding audio experience that it is fairly clear, but lacks power and energy, especially with pop and techno, where kick drums can feel a bit thin and limp.

The bass is more something you can hear than feel - there's a bit of weight by open-ear standards, but don't expect throbbing basslines or anything like that. The staging is quite wide and open, and sound leakage isn't too bad either.

I always feel a little harsh graphing this style of earbud, because they shouldn't really be read in the same way an IEM or earbud should - the priority here is decent clarity, some bass without distortion, a little width to the soundstage and the ability to hear music in noisy environments without fatigue, and I think TrueFree get a good balance here - it isn't as organic sounding as the SoundPEATS RunFree, but it avoids the distortion that is apparent on the RunFree Lite.

My only issue here is the volume, which can be a little quiet when the scene gets really noisy. If you switch LDAC off, it bumps the volume up a fraction, but I found myself mostly at 100% outdoors, which is going to have an impact on your battery life.

My expectations are not overcooked when it comes to open-ear, and I think this sound is certainly good enough given the price.

Call Quality

The 01 actually perform pretty well on calls. Outdoors, wind is a challenge, but traffic and other road noises are mostly removed when you're taking a call on the daily commute. At the beach, the sound of the waves and kids playing is certainly not removed altogether, but it's relegated to behind your voice. Your voice has good body, but isn't as sharp as it could be.

In a busy indoor scene, it's a similar story, but those similar-frequency sounds to your voice aren't given any special dispensation, so whilst your voice is elevated over them, in a really busy scene you may lack a bit of coherence.

Performance is far better than the RunFree Lite, and comparable to the RunFree.

Other Features

Connectivity is pretty good - these are Bluetooth 5.3, using the same chipset as the Air4 Lite and some of the other LDAC-based SoundPEATS products. I had no disconnections or random cut outs.

They are capable of multipoint, although it's a bit of a faff - you have to disconnect from your primary, already paired device, connect to the secondary then reconnect to the primary. From pausing your primary to hearing audio on your secondary, it's a couple of seconds. You can do all of this with the buds still in the case, because it supports hall-switch mode, which is especially useful in this instance.

There's no app support, and that's something that would have been nice here really. If you're an android user, you can tweak the EQ via Wavelet, but on IOS you're stuck with the default, which isn't too painful unless you are looking for a bit more bass.

There's a dedicated Gaming Mode, which does improve latency a little, but again this is a feature I'm not really understanding the basis for inclusion of, other than that the chipset allows it. Regardless, you're getting close to lip sync on YouTube and other videos.

Battery Life

Battery life on this model is great by TWS standards, but a bit short compared to their competition. On a single charge, it's possible to get around 9 hours provided you switch LDAC off. This is a bit of a faff, but if you don't, be prepared to lose 20-25% as a result. I got upwards of 12 hours on models like Haylou Purfree Buds, Oladance OWS1 and OneOdio OpenRock S, so they're a bit behind those models on paper, but with the case you're getting 3.5 additional charges. This is fantastic - one of the leaders in their field in this respect, and whilst the case is a bit bulky, if you're out for hikes, camping for the weekend for example, you don't have to worry about getting power to the case - 30-36 hours is more than enough to last you the weekend and probably beyond!

The only disappointment is there's no quick charge feature - that's a shame, as most of the competition is supporting this feature these days. A full charge is around 2 hours, but that does reset you back to 45 hours (or 36 according to my tests) playtime again.


The TrueFree 01 are a very cost-effective alternative to the Oladance OWS Pro that feature similar specifications, a very similar design, and performance that exceeds their price tag.

Granted, you're not getting a powerful, dynamic sound - and they are a bit short of some of the recent open-ear releases like the OneOdio OpenRock Pro and Shokz OpenFit, at least from a bass perspective, but at 1/2 to 1/3 of the price, you're still getting a clear, bright sound that translates well to casual listening, podcasts and audio books.

They're super comfy, perform OK on calls and have adequate battery life that extends to great with the case. Do take into consideration the IP rating and whether this, and the other features, meet your needs as a buyer - for weekend campers/hikers, you're probably going to be fine. For occasional runners and cyclists, gym goers and HIIT enthusiasts, again, you'll get the best out of the 01.

Where they are less relevant are perhaps those who are exposed to the elements for prolonged periods of time - the minimal IP rating and touch controls will shorten the life span and cause frustrations, so if extreme sports are your bag, you may want to look at a higher IP rated bud with tactile controls instead. If you're in a position where you need to carry the charge case around - bear this in mind too, because it will need a fair bit of real estate in your pocket or even in a bag! There's also the relatively low maximum volume to consider - again, this isn't going to be a deal-breaker for everyone, but if you are planning on using these in airport-levels of noise scenarios, you may want to reconsider if they're the best option for you.

Overall, it's a decent release that offers a good alternative to Oladance at a fraction of the cost - a great introduction into open-ear technology and provided your use-cases match that of the 01, you're getting a bit of a bargain here.
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