On the face of it, the Edifier TWS NB earbuds are another set, in a long line of truly wireless Bluetooth enabled earbuds, to come to market. With Bluetooth 5.0, Qualcomm aptX technology, and active noise cancellation, along with a sub-£100 price, these hit a little differently.
- Excellent clean audio
- Good battery life
- Aesthetics are divisive
Unveiled at CES 2020, the Edifier TWS NB didn’t have the fanfare they deserve due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Truth be told, they possibly wouldn’t have had many column inches anyway with bigger hitters all releasing their new products at CES also, but weaving through the noise, and the Edifier option is one not to be ignored.
Inside the package, the carry case sits front and centre, with the earbuds stored safely within. The case is a cuboid shape and it’s not immediately obvious looking at it what it is, but we’ll come back to aesthetics later. Elsewhere in the box, there is a set of winged buds and foam buds, as well as a USB Type-C charging cable for the cradle, and the usual manual and warranty paperwork.
The Edifier TWS NB buds themselves are, again, polarising in their design. The metallic finish is brushed, with a curved outer edge. There isn’t much new in the shape of earbuds in this segment, and these are no exception. There’s a single button on each bud which controls playback and pairing, as well as a notification LED.
Specs – Edifier TWS NB
- Qualcomm TrueWireless Stereo Technology
- Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) with ambient sound monitoring (via AMS)
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Qualcomm aptX
- LDS antenna for stable bud connection
- 13mm graphene diaphragm
Performance & Use – Edifier TWS NB
Once you get these in your ear, the audio quality is extremely high. The 13mm driver delivers very clear and crisp bass but without overpowering the general audio, whilst there is more than enough finesse in the mids and highs to keep the majority of users happy. As I’ve said many times before I am not an audiophile and my musical taste are not eclectic. That said, these are hands down the best sounding TWS buds I’ve tested to date.
That listening experience is enhanced when in a noisy environment. Being on lockdown this has been difficult to replicate, however in a 6m x 3m room, with the TV on and two people conversing, enabling ANC is pure bliss. If you’re looking to block out white noise, these will be amazing, however, even in the scenario where noise is sporadic and of varying levels, the ANC kicks in and delivers a very good result.
Your experience with the Edifier TWS NB can be taken from the house, and onto the road for exercise due to the great battery life and the included IPX4 splash resistance. In my testing, without ANC on, I managed to hit over 10 hours of continuous playback, which is in line just about with the marketing material citing 11 hours. You can get another 2 full charges of the buds from the charging case though, and they do charge quite quickly. With ANC turned on, Edifier suggests you should half your expectations. That’s still a good return.
There are some out there that might look at this package and whilst be impressed with the specs and audio performance, be put off by the design choices Edifier have taken. I understand that. The charging case is for all intents and purposes a box, with aluminium chassis granted. The buds themselves are a little industrial and lack some of the finesses that perhaps some of the bigger players bring to the table. I would offer the following in an attempt to play Devil’s Advocate; you don’t spend too much time looking at the Edifier TWS NB – they’ll be in your ears!
Final Thoughts – Edifier TWS NB
The Edifier TWS NB earbuds are simply put some of the best sounding TWS buds £100 can buy you. The inclusion of ANC technology and good battery life elevates them to recommended status. They have some competition in a similar price range, but these are no shrinking violets, and deserve to be in the same conversation as some of the heavyweights.