In-ear headphones aren’t exactly stylish and there’s always this fear that you’ll easily lose either one. I used the Treblab X2 for roughly three weeks and this is how it went.
Before we proceed, I need to get a few things out of the way. This is by no means an expert review; I’m nowhere near an audio expert; I’m just like a lot of you — a casual listener who enjoys a good tune or two. With that said, let’s go.
When Apple’s AirPods were first announced, it wasn’t received warmly. Two small in-ear headphones sticking out your ear is not exactly a good look. It also didn’t look secure and appeared like one might fall off at any given moment.
These concerns remain true today, even for other in-ear headphones. I did a quick poll on Instagram stories to ask people if they dig the look of the Treblab X2. It was a landslide victory for the no votes.
While taking photos for this article, our Creative Director Chay even said, “It looks like there are tiny hammers sticking out of your ear.”
I have to admit, in the beginning, I shared this opinion. Not anymore.
The Treblab X2’s hammer-like design actually helps in keeping the headphones inside your ear. It’s something our Lifestyle Editor Isa isn’t too fond off, but it doesn’t bother me.
I had these on while doing some light basketball shooting drills for a little over an hour and not once did it feel like they were going to fall off. Those drills involve a lot of running and jumping, but even then, the Treblab X2 stayed firmly in place.
It also has an IPX4 rating which means it can withstand body sweat and even a little rain.
I did get weird looks from some people as I made my way to the basketball court. It went on as I was going through the drills. It may take a while before people are used to seeing in-ear headphones out and about.
Inside the box are, of course, the two in-ear headphones. Each one has two buttons and are labeled L and R at the bottom tip so you know which one goes where.
It also comes with a charging dock that doubles as a carrying case. The dock can provide one full charge for each earbud. There’s a carrying strap for the dock so it’s easier to grab.
You’ll also find three sizes of silicone eartips, three sizes of expandable foam eartips, and three sizes of X-Drop ear-fins so you can find the one that works best for you.
Pairing is a breeze. Turn on the right earbud first. When you turn the left one on, it should immediately connect to the right earbud.
Press and hold the power button for about four to five seconds. If you have them on, you should hear a voice prompt say “pairing.” Otherwise, there is an LED light indicator that should blink red and blue to indicate the device is ready for pairing.
The Treblab X2 is made of beryllium — it’s the same material used in other high-end sound devices. How exactly does it perform?
In a word: Fantastic.
I’ve had a rough go with previous wireless headphones. The previous two or three I used didn’t quite live up to their billing and would quickly disconnect from the device even if I’m about 10 or 15 feet away. That’s not the case with the Treblab X2.
It can be paired with two devices and has a range of 38 feet or roughly around 11.5 meters. Once turned on, it pairs to your preferred device right away. There were moments when I would wonder why no sound was coming from my phone. I didn’t realize they quickly connected to the Treblab, but that’s just me being stupid.
The pairing and quick connection is key for me since I’ve used Bluetooth headphones wherein the connection didn’t feel seamless. It’s a little detail that users should not have to worry about and Treblab does it well.
How about sound quality?
As mentioned earlier, I am by no means an audio expert. However, I do deal with audio a lot. I have been in the business of video production for roughly five to six years now (yikes, I’m old), so it’s imperative I always have a good pair of headphones with me to make sure audio is good for publishing.
It produces a clear and loud enough sound that I can maintain focus despite editing in a noisy environment. But it’s not too loud that it would hurt my ears.
The bass doesn’t come at you with full force. Using the Treblab X2 feels more like watching a low-key gig at a bar than being in a jam-packed coliseum concert.
Its passive noise cancellation is great for when you still want to hear what’s going on around you despite having the headphones on. That’s perfect since I also use them while walking to and from work.
I still need to hear if there’s anything coming my way despite “Sugar We’re Going Down” by Fall Out Boy blasting in my ear.
In case you were wondering, I like listening to upbeat tracks while walking so I can keep my pace up. Here’s my playlist if you want to give a try.
Its battery is supposed to last for up to 10 hours. During my test, it actually felt like it lasted longer. I’ve gone two days without charging and I usually use it for roughly six hours per day.
I don’t recommend having it on for longer than four hours. Make sure you let your ears breathe after two or three hours of use. That goes for any in-ear headphones.
Will I use it even after completing this hands-on review? The answer is yes. It does everything I need it to do and accompanies me while playing ball or walking home.
The Treblab X2 performs probably better than you would expect from any wireless in-ear headphones. The look might put some people off, but if you’re after headphones you can use while working out, this is a solid option.
If, like me, you’re fed up with wires magically getting tangled inside your pocket, I would give the Treblab X2 a chance.
Sony’s WF-H800 h.ear in TWS headphones offer rich sound
Available in five colors
Already a leader in noise-cancelling headphones, Sony is offering something a little different in the true wireless headpones department — the Sony WF-H800 h.ear in headphones.
One of the first easily noticeable things is how the WF-H800 is available in five colors: red, orange, green, blue, and black.
Noticeably missing is the active noise-cancellation feature. However, it makes up for it with other Sony staple-features, primarily the 360 reality audio. The effect of which can only be truly felt once you experience it for yourself.
It also has a 6mm dynamic driver to deliver a wide range of audio frequencies as well as a feature Sony calls DSEE HX or Digital Sound Enhancement Engine. This tech restores the high-range sound that’s lost in compression. It reproduces digital music files with rich, natural sound.
It’s also lightweight and designed to fit your ears perfectly. The WF-H800 promises up to eight hours of music playback plus another eight hours with the carrying case giving you a total of 16 hours. Additionally, 10 minutes of charge time will give you up to 70 minutes of listening time.
Just like other Sony headphones, these are compatible with both Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.
Price and availability
The Sony WF-H800 will be available at selected Sony Stores, Sony Centers, Sony authorized dealers and the official Sony store on Lazada from March 2020. It will retail for SG$ 299.
Samsung Galaxy Buds+ levels up battery, sound quality
With the the headphone port nowhere to be found on the Galaxy S20 series comes a pair of improved true wireless earbuds — the Samsung Galaxy Buds+.
It’s a step up from last year’s Galaxy Buds. While last year’s version promised 6 hours of listening time, the Galaxy Buds+ takes it up to 11 hours on a single charge. You also get another 11 hours with the charging case.
In terms of sound quality, these are still tuned by AKG. It employs 2-way dynamic speakers and 3 mics to deliver better sound and voice quality
Inside the box you’ll also find a variety of wing and ear tips so you get the fit and comfort that’s made just for you.
It doesn’t have the noise-cancelling chip that you’ll find on the true wireless earbuds offered by Sony, Apple, and Huawei. Its approach to noise-cancelling has to do more with its physical design and rather than a tiny chip.
Speaking of its design, it retains the form factor of the original Galaxy Buds — which is great since it doesn’t look anything like the AirPods which many other manufacturers have taken a cue from. Speaking of Apple, if you’re not a fan of the AirPods’ design, you’ll be happy to know that the Galaxy Buds+, along with its companion app, will be compatible with iOS devices.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ will be available in Cosmic Black, White, Red, and Cloud Blue, starting February 14, 2020 on Samsung.com, followed by major mobile carriers and retailers on March 6, 2020 and will retail for US$ 149.
Samsung Galaxy Buds+ price and availability in the Philippines
A minor improvement
True wireless (TWS) earbuds are popping up one after the other. Samsung’s latest — the Galaxy Buds+ — is also making its way to the Philippines.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ improves upon the battery life of its predecessor promising up to 11 hours of listening time in a single charge. You also get another 11 hours thanks to the charging case.
Its approach to noise cancellation has to do more with its 2-dynamic speaker and physical design which means this may not be in direct competition with the likes of the AirPods Pro, Huawei Freebuds 3, and Sony WF-1000XM3.
It maintains the same design as its predecessor — a welcome look in the sea of TWS earbuds that all look like AirPods. If you use an iPhone but are not fans of the AirPods’ design, you’ll be happy to know that the Galaxy Buds+ will also be compatible with iOS devices.
Price and availabilty
The Galaxy Buds+ will be available starting March 6, 2020. It will retail for PhP 6,990.
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