Yamaha’s first open earbuds aim to keep you connected with the real world

Woman holding Yamaha TW-EF3A Earbuds with plants in the background
(Image credit: Yamaha)

Yamaha has announced the new TW-EF3A wireless earbuds, which are its first open-type buds and look to be packed with features and functionality.

The new buds are designed to sit inside the ear without ear tips, meaning they will not burrow in and seal the ear canal. This type of design is to ensure that you're aware of your surroundings; so an open-design earbud can be ideal if you want to listen to music without feeling completely sealed off from the world.

We’ve encountered other open earbud designs from big brands in recent years, such as the light and likeable Sony LinkBuds (four stars), JBL's Soundgear Sense and Bose's Sport Open Earbuds. Now Yamaha has thrown its hat into the ring and we look forward to testing its new buds out in due course.

Yamaha TW-EF3A Earbuds

(Image credit: Yamaha)

Each bud houses a 13mm driver made of titanium plating, which is claimed to capably reproduce low frequencies, something Yamaha notes as a flaw in many other open-type designs. The TW-EF3A also include multipoint Bluetooth functionality, meaning the buds can stay connected to two devices at once, handy if you switch between listening via your phone and laptop often.

The stick portion of the buds is where you’ll find the microphone and physical buttons for controlling things like volume, pausing media, and activating the different audio modes. Yamaha reports a decent 10-hour battery life on a single charge, with an additional 16 hours available via the charging case. The buds also carry an IPX4 rating for water and sweat resistance.

Moving on to the different settings available, firstly there’s Gaming Mode, a low latency mode which should reduce the lag between sound and video when playing games or watching video content on portable devices.

There’s also Clear Voice, a new feature for Yamaha earbuds, which is said to make dialogue and vocals easier to hear and allow users to listen to dialogue-heavy content at a lower volume. 

Yamaha’s TW-EF3A open earbuds will cost AU$99 (further prices pending) and will be available in black, grey, pink and green colours from February 2024.


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Staff Writer

Ainsley Walker is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. He studied music journalism at university before working in a variety of roles including as a freelance journalist and teacher. Growing up in a family of hi-fi enthusiasts, this naturally influenced his interest in the topic. Outside of work, Ainsley can be found producing music, tinkering with retro tech, or cheering on Luton Town.