I’ve grown to like Edifier products quite a lot and thankfully I was asked to review the Edifier TWS NB2. Having reviewed its predecessor, I was intrigued as to where they could improve and add value given the already excellent TWS NB. With a more striking design, compact case, and a switch in the chipset, is this another win for Edifier?
- Elegant, balanced soundstage
- Great accessories package
- Additional value propositions aren't just gimmicks
- Very comfortable
- Average ANC
- Annoying lack of previous track controls
Jumping straight in, the Edifier TWS NB2 threw me somewhat for a loop during the unboxing. The packaging was concise but premium, with callouts of the main features and then a jewellery style box that’s lifted back to reveal the TWS NB2 sleeping in their case. A very nice experience.
The buds are a completely different design to that of the Edifier TWS NB. Whilst they share a colour scheme (albeit other colours are available – the white looks particularly nice) the shape has altered dramatically, to great effect. There’s a bulbous section containing the 10mm driver which terminates at the bud. The rest of each bud is taken up with the stalk, which houses the touch controls for playback, etc.
Each stalk has an angular design that hints at its predecessor but is more sleek and premium looking. The previous NBs would have been an acquired taste whereas I’m sure that the Edifier TWS NB2 will suit just about anybody.
In the rest of the box comes an incredibly small manual (use the e-manual in the app is my advice), Type-C charging cable, different tips and a nice little carry bag.
- Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth V5.0
- Bestechnic BES2300YP Chipset
- Bluetooth Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP
- Playback Time: ANC On: about 7hrs(earbuds)+18hrs(charging case), ANC Off: about 9hrs(earbuds)+23hrs(charging case)
- Charging Time: About 1.5hrs(earbuds) / 2hrs(charging case)
- Battery Capacity: 60mAh(earbuds) / 500mAh(charging case)
- Response Frequency: 20Hz-20KHz
- Sensitivity: 94±3dB
- Impedance: 24Ω
- 10mm large graphene diaphragm drivers
- Edifier Connect App connectivity
- IP54 Splash and Dust resistance
- TWS NB2 buds
- Charging Case
- USB Type-A to Type-C charging cable
- Carry pouch
- 3 sizes of silicone tips
Audio & Use
I was expecting quite a lot here given the hefty score I gave to the TWS NB. The pairing was as simple as with all Bluetooth TWS buds nowadays; take them out, find them on your phone/device, connect, profit!
They felt immediately comfortable. So comfortable in fact that whilst my initial unboxing of the Edifier TWS NB2 was supposed to be checking everything was in place, and instead pivoted to a listening session lasting over 2-hours. I can imagine having these coupled with some Comply tips too for maybe even more comfort!
Call quality here isn’t the best. Whilst recipients said they could hear me just fine on group calls, as soon as I was walking in any wind or along a busy street, kiss goodbye to that clarity. As this isn’t the primary function of a pair of TWS buds for me, this is less of an issue, but worthy of note.
Let’s just get the battery life out of the way here too; it’s good, good enough. In my testing, I managed to get 6.5-hours of use (over 3 days without putting them in charger) with ANC on, which seems to come close to the 7-hours suggested by Edifier themselves. With ANC off you can expect longer. You can also expect to get 2-3 cycles of charging depending on your usage, from the charging case too. As I said, good enough for most people.
Now, on to the audio. I pulled out my “walking” Amazon Music playlist for most of this testing, which is a mix of Drill, Hip-Hop, and Pop. It handled all genres with ease. The deep staccato bass of Drill tracks was represented with rolling lows and accentuated mids, providing a pleasing experience. Pop tracks showed off the separation that the TWS NB2 can bring to a track, with highs and lows flowing neatly. Hip-Hop tracks showcase a bit of both, with deep rumbling bass which shows an improvement over the TWS NB buds. The NB had deep bass, but the TWS NB2 manage to deliver slightly punchier lows whilst maintaining their clarity and separating nicely as they move towards the mids too. A touch of finesse in the tuning here.
Active Noise Cancellation?
Several modes can be toggled either by multiple taps on the touch controls or via the Edifier Connect companion app. Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) is one such aspect. Toggle between Normal, Ambient and ANC modes. I was slightly disappointed with the ANC capabilities of the Edifier TWS NB2. Whilst on a walk along a semi-busy road, I found almost no difference between the ANC mode and Normal mode in most circumstances. Sat in the relative quiet of my home office I tested by playing some white noise on my speakers. I did notice a difference but it was minimal. One of the reasons for this might be the chipset being used for the Edifier TWS NB2. Edifier decided to steer clear of any aptX license from Qualcomm and instead plumped for the Bestechnic BES2300YP chipset.
The good news here though is that the combination of the isolation provided by the snug fit and the ANC itself manages to do a good enough job of keeping you immersed.
The ambient option does exactly what you’d expect and allows you to hear your surroundings, albeit with an annoying background hiss. There seems to be some processing going on in the Ambient mode. Imagine trying on your relative’s hearing aids and that weird spatial effect you encounter – it’s a more muted version of that. It’s not unpleasant for those times when you absolutely need to hear what’s going on.
Finally, there’s Game Mode. This is a very interesting inclusion and something I think will add value to many who plump for the Edifier TWS NB2. Game Mode tightens the connectivity and lowers the latency to approximately 80ms, which is around half of what other TWS buds can deliver. This is great for mobile gamers who want to have that edge.
Edifier App To The Rescue
It’s always nice to have added value, and the Edifier Connect app is a small, but happy surprise. Connecting the app to the buds allows more granular control of the ambient noise settings, the ability to turn them off without using the cradle, as well as controlling ANC and Game Modes. It’s also great for actually being able to read the manual instead of whipping out a magnifying glass for the included paper version!
By far the best feature here though is the Tap Sensitivity control. If you’ve read any other TWS reviews by me you’ll know of my intense dislike for side-mounted touch panels, like those found here. Tapping or clicking on the side puts more pressure on the buds and ultimately your ear canal. Perhaps my ears are just too sensitive, but either way, anything that allows me to lessen that pressure, I’m here for it. With this control, I can push it all the way to the top and control my TWS NB2 buds simply by brushing the sides. Excellent – my ears thank you Edifier!
One final moan, if you’re going to have touch controls, please ensure you have the full range of controls. Edifier omits the ability to navigate to previous tracks here instead of favouring control of their Game Mode. Equally, there is no way to adjust the volume on the buds themselves. I suppose something has to give, but the lack of previous track selection is close to troublesome to me.
TL;DR: If you want good sound, choose these. If you’re after better noise cancellation, go with the original TWS NB.
Extrapolating the above somewhat, the Edifier TWS NB2 is an intriguing prospect. Aesthetically pleasing, they fix what I thought might have been one of the only divisive choices Edifier made with their TWS NB offering. The included accessories and the Edifier Connect companion app are good value adds, and nobody is going to be unhappy with the soundstage on the NB2s; they just work and work very well.
Conversely, Edifier’s move from a Qualcomm chipset to Bestechnic (a company I hadn’t heard of before this review) seems to have introduced a few rogue elements. ANC is, despite the claimed improvements, a poorer implementation than that found on the TWS NB. Also, whilst the battery life isn’t harmed too much, there is a difference between the two.
Luckily, the price comes to the rescue here. The TWS NB2 are available for a smidge under £90 on Edifier’s website, and nearer £60 if you shop around. This is still cheaper than you can pick up the original TWS NB from Amazon UK. So, with improvements in design, a broader and more refined soundstage and an increase in splash and dust resistance to IP54, the Edifier TWS NB2 is a great all-round package.