LIFESTYLE – Edifier TW2 NB2 is every bit the contender in the premium earbud showdown

While Noise-cancelling is as a feature of headphones has been around for a long while, it has been the preserve of premium brands such as Bose, Sennheiser and Bang & Olufsen. Through these premium brands, this feature has found its way into the cockpits of air crafts and infantry tanks: where they have drowned out the sounds of engine and artillery shots, to enable clear and precise communications.

Noise-cancelling as a feature in earbuds, is all the rage now: with offerings for the mention premium brands, as well as the now “old” new kids representing California: namely Apple and Beats By Dre. Most of these have a price point between £125.00 to £250.00. Not to be outdone, is Beijing’s premium audio manufacturer, Edifier.

Edifier’s TWS NB2 is every bit a contender in the premium earbud showdown, in terms of Design, Functionality and Sound quality.

Design – The TWS NB2 arrives in a clamp shell case with a textured grain leather look. The colours are white and black with a metallic look and a matte finish, but they are plastic, hence a comfortable weight. The case has a lip for opening and houses a magnet and a sturdy spring in the hinge, beneath the cladding, which makes a satisfying closing “clung”: a sound quality.  This case also doubles as the charging pods, with nodes that connects to the underside of the stems of the buds, once placed in the receptacles. Internally, there’s a Bluetooth pairing button and a battery status LED.

The earbuds snuggly fit for comfort and comes with 3 pairs of tips with different sizes. The stems are refreshingly different as they are angular in design and chunky, unlike the slim droopy stems on most other buds. They do not have fins or hooks to secure them in the ear: which can be border some for gym workouts and running. They do have IP54 water-resistance rating, so they can withstand light splashes.  The microphones are neatly tucked on the tips of the stems.

Functionality – TWS NB2 features detection sensors, so they connect with the paired device the moment the case is opened. They automatically play and pause when they are taken out of the ear: they will close phone calls as well, when taken out of the ear.  These functions can be tweaked on the Edifier Connect app. 

The on-ear controls are operated by tapping the touch-sensitive stems on either earpiece: A double tap on the left ear cycles between ANC on, Ambient, and ANC off modes, and a triple tap turns Game mode on or off (in Game mode, the earphones have a lower latency time (80ms) than most Bluetooth in-ears). A double tap on the right ear controls playback, and a triple tap skips forward a track. Double taps on either ear answers or ends calls. A single tap achieves nothing, which is likely to prevent accidental misfires when adjusting the earpieces, but the controls end up limited as a result, with no volume, backward track navigation, or summoning a voice assistant.

Edifier estimates battery life to be roughly 7 hours (with ANC), with another 18 hours of charge in the case, but your results will vary with your volume levels and your ANC usage. With ANC off, Edifier estimates a total battery life of 32 hours.

Sound quality – The general sound signature of the TWS NB2 is good. It enhances the original studio mix down by delivering clear notes, and separation of the instruments and vocal. There is an all-round depth for the bass as well as a much heavier presence. High register instruments and vocals retain their pitch, whiles depth is added to the low register instrumentation.

The vocals have a low-mid richness, which is sometimes threatened by the powerful bass presence. Our test track was Dr Dre’s “Still DRE”, with Snoops and Dre’s vocal delivered cleanly and clearly.

Verdict- The Edifier TWS NB2 delivers a good balance of robust design, sound signature and practical functionality.

Kweku, Heart London Magazine