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Hifiman TWS600 - First Impression

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  1. crabdog
    The supplied tips already offer a good selection and I think most people would be able to find something that fit from them. Besides that, I have literally hundreds of pairs of varying eartips so getting a seal is definitely not an issue. It's pretty obvious from the graphs that even a great seal can't help this IEM.
  2. glassmonkey
    Which graph, yours or Brooko's? They look the same through the mids, but have quite different bass. People using these will be using them with a smartphone and will have EQ options. Unless you just refuse to EQ these will be fine. I like that they've focused on making these clear. I've got reservations on these, but it is less about sound than usability of TWS in general, I just don't trust them for cycling to work like I do my neckband Bluetooth IEMs.

    Also, crabdog, your critique of not having higher codecs on a TWS is totally off base. Basically all of them, at this point, are limited to SBC and AAC. The reasons for this are technical, it is tricky to fit in receiving and transmitting for higher codec chips in a reasonable size TWS at a reasonable price.

    Here are my EQ settings (sorry bout double bass EQ pic) Screenshot_2019-08-24-08-22-40.png Screenshot_2019-08-24-08-22-40.png Screenshot_2019-08-24-08-22-49.png
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  3. crabdog
    Unless my unit is faulty, I see no excuse for the audio quality.

    Also, regarding your comment about TWS and higher codecs - did you even bother checking?
  4. glassmonkey
    Thanks for sharing, and for reminding me that the internet needs more civility. I'll try to model that. Looking around, through actual searches, there aren't many BT5.0 IEMs with aptX (whether BT5.0 is needed is questionable, depends on your transmitter). I was thinking of the Sonys when I said reasonable size, but after looking the Sonys up again they are SBC and AAC, which kind of proves my original point. I found one other BT5.0 TWS with aptX, other Google listings were not actually aptX. I still think the criticism for SBC and AAC in a TWS was out of line, given the current crop of TWS. Finding two new TWS IEMs with aptX isn't really finding a more modern or high res codec. AptX has been around since the 80s and is well under CD quality.

    If you check name brand TWS of the current generation (there are a bunch), it's a sea of SBC and AAC. AptX isn't really better than aac from a sound quality perspective, so I'm not seeing the big deal here. This is a whole lot of bun and no beef. I challenge folks to hear the difference. AptX is not a high-res codec (like LDAC or others; aptX HD is not high-res), which is what the review seemed to be calling for in TWS. I think the tech will get there, but we aren't there yet. I did a search for LDAC TWS and got a big pile of nothing. If we go back to aptX vs. AAC from a latency perspective, the Soundguys have done a big 2019 write-up of TWS with some measurements on latency and a number of other measurements. They basically say that latency for AAC isn't better than SBC on an Android phone. They haven't gotten the HiFiMAN TWS600, which HiFiMAN should correct.

    In my personal experience, I had lag watching YouTube on my Android phone with lypsyncing off, but not on my computer. I watched John Wick on my computer and sync was perfect. I also watched Netflix on my computer with no sync issues. The forwardness of the mids is good for movies as it makes dialogue pop nicely, it's like having a dedicated centre channel. The bass isn't distant, the mids are just very forward. When listening to just music, latency doesn't matter.

    For those interested in discussion of the 1More product, I'll keep it brief. It states that it has AAC-HD, on the linked listing, when I did a quick search it came up with Wikipedia and no phones. Other listings of the 1More show AAC, with no HD. It could just be a listing artefact. The 1More price is good, and 1More sound is generally good. I've reviewed three 1More IEMs and now will probably get the TWS mentioned.

    I think critiques of the TWS600 and HiFiMAN's tuning choices are reasonable. It's fine to not like this or any other IEM on HeadFi. But to state that is fatally flawed because you didn't like it is a bit far in my opinion. Saying you don't like it and why is enough, hyperbolic statements are overdramatic. To state something like HiFiMAN need to get with the program and use a higher fidelity codec and then cite aptX is ignorant of the basically undetectable differences in sound quality between the AAC and aptX. There are arguments to be made about latency, but we've been talking primarily about sound quality in this thread.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
    TeamHiFiMAN and Brooko like this.
  5. Brooko Contributor
    Thanks Micah. I still find it amazing how many people talk about SBC, AAC etc in terms of sound quality - then rave about apt-X, apt-X HD and LDAC being higher quality - without actually realising the major difference is latency (and unless you're watching video - then its not really relevant). I've heard plenty of people bag SBC as well, when in reality SBC can successfully transmit mp3 320 quality. As for aac - I'm yet to find anyone who can (in a properly controlled blind abx) distinguish aac256 from high res (same master, volume matched).

    People see higher numbers, and they "infer"

    Final thoughts - when people are using these - 9/10 will be in a portable environment. There will be external noise. Its not critical listening. Audiophiles are a weird bunch .......
    TeamHiFiMAN likes this.
  6. crabdog
    Thanks for sharing your take on civility. It was your patronizing tone that made me respond in the first place...

    I was only talking about the sound in here but you're the one who decided to bring up codecs and BT5.0. Since you're harping on it, typing "TWS atpx" in Google gives me at least 5 results that have BT5.0 and aptX (Xiaomi, Funcl, Mpow, YTom, Zeeny) on the first page. It's kind of a moot point anyway because codecs aren't going to change the default tuning.
  7. glassmonkey
    I originally said your critique of not including Hi-Res codecs was off base. I was right. Here is a quote from your review:
    • No support for Hi-Res Bluetooth codecs
    That's right at the top of your review. In fairness, you do say Hi-Res like aptX in your conclusions, which maybe means you don't know what Hi-Res means. You brought codecs to the fore here. The comment you left implied that I was stupid and lazy, a personal attack, because I didn't identify the 1More as having a Hi-Res codec, which was an unnecessary implication and misrepresents my critique. Factual statements without the aggressive and vaguely insulting "did you even bother" would have done to demonstrate the point you were trying to make. Further, 1More and the other TWS identified across two posts use aptX, it isn't Hi-Res, it is worse than CD quality. You could probably identify tons of aptX BT4.x TWS, I have one and YouTube shows many more going all the way back to 2017, which is why I restricted to BT5.0. The primary critique is about Hi-Res codecs, which has a meaning in audio, and it isn't "CD-like". AptX has never pretended to be Hi-Res. AptX HD calls itself high definition, not Hi-Res, because Hi-Res is adjudicated by the Japan Audio Society as being 24-96 or higher digital playback. AptX HD has 24-48 playback, no earphone using aptX HD can be certified as having playback above 40kHz (the criteria for analog playback) or play back 24-96 digital PCM audio when used with Bluetooth. There are no aptX products at this time that would meet Hi-Res standards, enhanced aptX has a bit rate better than aptX HD, but still only plays 24-48.

    The call for civility was for everyone and the rest of my comment did model that. I never personally attacked you, I disagreed with your position (or at least what I thought was your position) and supported it with (limited) evidence, which you've since critiqued by pointing to irrelevant evidence (aptX TWS) while calling me patronising for disagreeing with your assertion about Hi-Res--it looks like you may have not known that Hi-Res has a definition that no aptX product currently can meet while using aptX.

    So basically I made a factual statement about no TWS having the Hi-Res codecs I thought you were critiquing HiFiMAN for not including, you countered by insulting me and citing IEMs without a Hi-Res codec as evidence. To which I factually countered that aptX isn't Hi-Res, which got me insulted again while again misrepresenting the point I was making. Your review should say no aptX, not no Hi-Res codecs. There are no TWS that use Hi-Res codecs, as far as I know. I'm happy to be corrected. When somebody does LDAC transmission and receiving in a TWS, we should all get out our noisemakers.

    In none of your responses was there ever an addressal of the differences between your measurements and Brooko's, which shows flat bass, all the way into the sub-bass. Never did you address the substantive point of the use case of BT headphones primarily being with phones, and all phone audio playback programs being capable of EQ. EQ easily fixes the deficiencies of the TWS600 unless you like to listen at super loud volume--if you bump up bass too far, you get very audible distortion which is why I did most of my EQ by down-adjusting. If you wanted to talk about sound, rather than codecs, you could go try using any of the many EQ settings that have been listed in the thread.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
  8. glassmonkey
    LDAC has more natural sounding cymbals, to my ear. Both aptX and AAC tend to thin out cymbals and make them sound on the sharper side, especially on music where the mastering is already a bit suspect. Secondly, the noise floor is audible in both during really quiet passages.

    However, one of the things about Bluetooth headphones that is interesting is the role of DSP in tuning. I guess DSP can be in other headphones too, I just think it is more likely on Bluetooth. I think convolution to enhance sound stage is a frequently done thing on Bluetooth.
  9. subguy812
    Correct, which is generally why TWS seem to have a bit more bass lift, since bass creates a natural ambient noise barrier. That said, I am working on some initial thoughts. Previously, I had completed a review on the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless, so this is my second foray into True Wireless. These two companies came at this from almost opposite directions.
    glassmonkey likes this.
  10. glassmonkey
    My plan is to do comparisons with no EQ in my review. I will also put my EQ impressions in. My ratings in comparisons may not play too nice for the TWS600. I've got a Shanling TWS (DD version) on the way and I plan to get the 1More TWS. I initially looked at them and went aaaah, Frankenstein bolts! On more reading though, the bolt setup allows pressing the buttons without having them being uncomfortably pushed into the ear--something I don't like on other TWS, including the TWS600.
  11. subguy812
    I haven't read anything about Shanling DD, I have read about the Knowles BA
  12. glassmonkey
    I asked for the DD version specifically as it uses a 6mm graphene coated DD. I just don't trust full range BA, especially not on inexpensive IEMs.
  13. MrTwyst

    Was having occasional dropouts on the right earpiece, in over 50% of my listening sessions. Received a replacement pair and the dropouts are much worse, longer and more frequent! Going to return both pairs. I can't listen to music this way at all.
  14. TeamHiFiMAN
    Hi all, to those getting any dropouts would you mind specifying which device your using the TWS600 with so we can see if there might be any pattern and that we might be able to test the same devices here?
    HiFiMAN Innovating the art of listening. Stay updated on HiFiMAN at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
  15. penmarker
    Just want to double check with you guys, anyone had any issues with it while working out and sweating? Documentation says IPX4 rated, just want to double check.
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