crinacle's

Buyer's Guide

Best (sounding) True Wireless Earphones

Ah yes, “wireless”. A word that sends shivers down the spine of any self-proclaimed audiophile and the catalyst for many an internet argument. And yet its popularity grows, unfettered by claims of inferior audio and further bolstered by the success of Apple’s AirPods.

But you know, given its appeal to what is mainly the mainstream consumer market, there doesn’t seem to be anyone doing a proper comparison of these true wireless buds solely on the metric of “sound quality”. And so here I am, bringing to you my perspectives on these little things ranked in the order of worst to best.

Here is when I remind everyone again that this is my opinion on the best sounding TWS earphones. Let the other tech review sites talk about the build, the usability, the UI etc. whatever. I’ll focus on what I’m good at and what most readers skip to in the first place.

Overwhelmed? Refer to the list of recommendations

Master list of reviewed TWS IEMs

(Alphabetically ordered)

1More Stylish: “The Award Winner”
Advanced Model X: “The Pandering”
AKG N400: “The Sweet Spot”
Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro: “That Linus TWS”
Apple AirPods Pro: “The Mainstream”
Audio Technica ATH-CK3TW: “The Imbalanced”
Audio Technica ATH-CKS5TW: “Acoustically Challenged”
Audio Technica ATH-CKR7TW: “The Banshee”
Audio Technica ATH-SPORT7TW: “Combo Breaker”
AVIOT TE-D01: “Eastern Appeal”
BGVP Q2: “The Wired”
Bose SoundSport Free: “The Open”
Edifier TWS1: “The Expected”
Edifier TWS5: “Excellence in Theory”
Fostex TM2: “The Exotic”
Hifiman TWS600: “TWS: The Worst Sound”
Jabra Elite Active 65t: “The Popular”
Jabra Elite 75t: “The Anticipated”
Jaybird Vista: “The Has-been”
Kinera YH623: “The Bassiest”
KZ E10: “Mould Breaker”
KZ S2: “The Beater”
Lypertek Tevi: “The Acclaimed”
Master & Dynamic MW07: “The Hypebeast”
Noble Falcon: “The Unmagical”
Nuarl NT01: “Middle of the Road”
Nuarl NT100: “Local Hype”
QCY T5: “The Threat”
Samsung Galaxy Buds: “The Dark Horse”
Samsung Galaxy Buds+: “Objectivist’s Dream”
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless: “Carried by Name”
Sony WF-1000XM3: “Top Dog”

All awarded grades are in reference to the IEM ranking list.

Master & Dynamic MW07

"The Hypebeast"

Frequency response measurement

Product pagehttps://www.masterdynamic.com/products/mw07-true-wireless-earphones

MSRP: $300

Potentially the most expensive entry on the list as well considering that Louis Vuitton sells a reskinned version of these for $1,000, the MW07 is the epitome of the consumerist sound signature. The extreme V-shape appeals to the average shopper who asks “do you have something with bass?” the moment they walk into an electronics store, offering an exciting sound saturated with both low end thump and high end sparkle.

There are still many, many problems with the MW07 that I won’t go into details with but shall summarise: bass that bleeds extremely easily into the midrange, unnervingly recessed vocals, splashy (read: unnatural) treble, piss-poor staging and just a general bastardisation of any source track you throw at it. That said I’m still not as “offended” by the MW07 as with the E8; it at least sounds okay but you can do so much better for $300. For $200. For $100.

You know what, maybe your money is better spent elsewhere.

Grade:

Changelog

14/07/19: Guide created with the following IEMs

  • Audio Technica ATH-SPORT7TW
  • AVIOT TE-D01b/d
  • B&O  Beoplay E8
  • Jabra Elite Active 65t
  • Master & Dynamic MW07
  • Samsung Galaxy Buds
  • Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless
  • Sony WF-1000XM3

01/12/19: Added the following

  • Apple AirPods Pro
  • Audio Technica ATH-CK3TW
  • Audio Technica ATH-CKS5TW
  • Bose SoundSport Free
  • Fostex TM2
  • Nuarl NT01
  • Nuarl NT100

05/12/19: Added Noble Falcon

13/12/19: Added the following

  • Advanced Model X
  • Hifiman TWS600
  • Jaybird Vista
  • KZ E10
  • QCY T5

09/02/20: Added the following

  • 1More Stylish
  • Anker Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro
  • Audio Technica ATH-CKS7TW
  • Edifier TWS1
  • Edifier TWS5
  • Jabra Elite 75t
  • Lypertek Tevi

17/02/20: Added the following

  • BGVP Q2
  • Kinera YH263

19/02/20: Added Samsung Galaxy Buds+

10/04/20: Added KZ S2

26/06/20: Added AKG N400