best TWS under $100
Apr 8, 2021 at 9:21 PM Post #76 of 84

mp4192000

New Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 12, 2017
Posts
1
Likes
3
I just got those same Senns in the same sale and wasn't impressed. Excellent soundstage and imaging, but damn, the sound is SO thin. There's no bass. I'm not a basshead, but those buds have the classic Sennheiser sound -- clear mids and highs, with thin bass. Plus they have no IPX waterproofing rating and a weird fit because of their square shape.

At your price range, I recommend the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 or Helm Audio Truly Wireless 5.0.

The Melomania 1's have nice, balanced sound. Bass is present but not bloated. Clear mids and highs. Three negatives, though. One, the bullet-like shape isn't for everyone and could lead to a weird, uncomfortable fit. Two, the Melomania's don't get very loud. If you like to harass your ear drums, these aren't your buds. Three, the Melomania's don't come with an app.

Since October, I've tried quite a few earbud models, including the Lypertek Tevi (very good despite hot mids), Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 (excellent), FIIL T1X (mids a bit too hot and elevated), Sony WF-1000XM3 (bloated, uncontrolled bass, just like Sony over-ears), Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro (crap - unbelievably overrated), Soundpeats TruEngine 3 SE (not bad for $50) and Sennheiser CX 400BT (excellent soundstage but tinny sound -- no bass).

None of the above worked just right for me, either for sound or comfort, so I gave up on IEMs for a while and just focused on the sweet sound from my Meze 99 Classics closed-back over-ears. But then I saw a Flash deal on Amazon for the Helm Audio True Wireless 5.0 last Wednesday for $90, down from their normal $130. I watched and read a few reviews online, and they were largely positive, so I thought: "What the hell? These look solid. I'll give them a go on sale."

My initial reaction after about three or four hours of listening with the Helm True Wireless 5.0 is, "Why the hell aren't more people talking about these?" I think they're excellent, rivaled only by the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 in my list above. And I still think the Helm's are slightly better.

Many reviewers either complain or praise the Helm's for a lot of bass. It's true -- these babies go down low in ample supply. But it never bleeds or bloats into the mids like the Sony's, and it doesn't sound artificial as hell like the Anker Liberty 2 Pros. The midrange and highs are solid.

I would describe the sound quality as U-shaped. It's not nearly as V-shaped as some reviewers describe. It's vibrant, fun -- much like the Meze 99 Classics that I adore.

Other plusses of the Helm Audio are separation and imaging. While the soundstage isn't massive, you definitely get a good sense of where each instrument is placed. Plus there's also minimal grain in the treble. I'm not a basshead -- I like rich, smooth bass that stays in its place -- but I'm also sensitive to shrill and grainy treble. These roll off at just the right spot, with good detail.

The Sennheiser CX 400BT that I've most recently tested have wider soundstage and slightly better separation than the Helm's, but their sound is thin and tinny. Prominent mids -- the usual Sennheiser sound. Clinical but not engaging. Plus they're $200 at full price, with no IPX rating.

These are the first buds I've heard that have rich, warm bass that resembles those of a quality over-ear can. No, they're not as resonant or clear as my Meze 99 Classics. But they have a fun sound signature that works with a lot of different kinds of music.

Yes, much like the Meze 99 Classics, these are not buds for those who want a totally neutral sound signature or who worship the Harman Curve like a deity. But also like the 99 Classics, holy hell, they're a fun listen that is far more entertaining than some neutral, studio cans and buds I've tried. Isn't that what this hobby is about?

The Helms have AptX and AAC. They have battery life of about six to eight hours, with about 25-30 in the charging case. I like the diamond-cut look of the exterior, and the button is tactile and less finicky than many touch controls on buds. The fit also is excellent, as the one-size-fits-all wing locks the bud into your ear. And these buds have the best Bluetooth range of any I've tried, reportedly 60 feet. These stay connected in areas of my house where other buds lose signal.

Frankly, these buds have stunned me. They're the best I've heard in the price range, and they're on sale pretty often for less than $100. Helm also offers a 50 percent discount to first responders, which is cool as hell. About the only thing lacking with these buds is no app. That would have been a big plus, but I'm happy with the stock sound signature. Plus I can use music app-based EQ to tune the sound on my iPhone.

I'm pleased as hell with the Helm Audio True Wireless 5.0. I'm also surprised more people aren't talking about them in this and other headphone/earbud subreddits.
I just picked up the Sennheiser CX 400BT today for $99. BB price matched Amazon. At this price its worth it for me. I mainly use it for my walks or work outs. Iphone 12 pro max + the Sennheiser app it's OK.
 
Oct 29, 2022 at 4:37 PM Post #78 of 84

ldo77

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 4, 2014
Posts
577
Likes
916
Location
France
Under 100€ and still available, Sennheiser CX True on the outlet or Fill tx1s
 
Oct 29, 2022 at 4:47 PM Post #79 of 84

Cheesebuggah

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 12, 2020
Posts
249
Likes
495
Location
Leidenschaftlich
I got the Galaxy Buds Pro used for less than $100. I would have to agree with Crinacle: they are fairly good. I should've bought the AKG N400s when they were on sale for $50. I didn't bite the bullet then because I have heard of some connectivity issues and whatnot.
 
Oct 30, 2022 at 5:05 AM Post #80 of 84

profusion

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Posts
261
Likes
198
Location
Bulgaria
Under 100€ and still available, Sennheiser CX True on the outlet or Fill tx1s
I have the Fill, its impossible to use it for calls.

the Sennheiser…well strange shape if you want to look like frnkenstain with bolts from your ears :smiley:
 
Oct 30, 2022 at 5:53 AM Post #81 of 84

ldo77

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 4, 2014
Posts
577
Likes
916
Location
France
I have the Fill, its impossible to use it for calls.

the Sennheiser…well strange shape if you want to look like frnkenstain with bolts from your ears :smiley:
Agree with you... Strange shape but one of my TWS with best fit
 
Oct 30, 2022 at 9:33 AM Post #83 of 84

ldo77

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 4, 2014
Posts
577
Likes
916
Location
France
What about connectivity and the app, some complain also from constant disconnecting or random one earpiece drops?
App senheiser doesn't works very well.
For the first Time I use my CX, I had issues to detect them, yes.
But now I dont use it any more :wink: ... Like almost all my TWS... Except the Liberty 3 pro, wich are very good TWS, for a little more than 100€.

Otherwise, I have no disconecion with CX and Fill, with all my devices (DAP and Android device).
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top