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Hands on: Edifier TWS NB review

The Edifier TWS NB might just be the cheapest wireless earbuds with noise-cancelling you can buy

What is a hands on review?
Edifier TWS NB
(Image: © Future)

For

  • Noise-cancelling
  • Big battery life
  • Cheap

Against

  • Unlikely to match the best sonically

Believe it or not, the Edifier TWS NB wireless earbuds might just be the epitome of a CES 2020 new product. Wireless earbuds are everywhere at this year's tech show, thanks in part to new Qualcomm chips designed specifically to deliver the wireless earbud experience – and there's one inside these Edifier earphones. 

The company is far from the biggest brand launching new buds, but they might just have the lowest price entrant to the burgeoning wireless earbud market (the Technics EAH-AZ70W are twice the price, for example). We took them for a quick spin on the show floor to see how they measure up.

Design

Edifier TWS NB

(Image credit: Future)

You haven't got a lot of room to play with when it comes to a pair of wireless earbuds but Edifier has done its best to set these earbuds apart from the crowd. 

They sport a metallic, scratch-resistant finish around black buds. They come with the typical charging case, here in anodized, fade-resistant aluminium.

The earphones sport 13mm graphene drivers, which Edifier claims help deliver high-quality, durability, without adding unwanted weight. On each but you'll see basic button controls for stop/start and pairing, plus LED indicators for battery life and charging.

They come with a collection of earbuds which include a wing tip style rubber bud that aims to help them better stay in your ears by offering a little more purchase on your outer ear.

Features

(Image credit: Future)

The stand out feature here, not least for the price, is the active noise-cancelling tech, which comes courtesy of industry-leader, AMS. 

Qualcomm meanwhile is on hand to help deliver an impressive maximum of 33 hours of battery life (11 from the earbuds, 22 more via the charging case), albeit that's with noise-cancelling turned off. If you're using the ANC, expect to get 5 + 10 hours of listening time, which is still pretty healthy. (They charge via USB-C.)

By comparison, the class-leading Sony WF-1000XM3 earphones will give you six hours of playback, plus three charges from the case, for a total of 24 hours when using Bluetooth and noise-cancelling together. But they are almost twice the price.

Edifier TWS NB

(Image credit: Future)

Edifier TWS NB

(Image credit: Edifier)

The Edifier TWS NB use the Qualcomm QCC3026 Bluetooth chip, which claims ultra-low power consumption, to help with that battery life, and ultra-low latency up to 10m (33ft). 

Elsewhere there's an Ambient sound mode, an increasingly popular headphone feature, which lets you allow through more external noise should you at some point need to hear your surroundings better.

Last but not least, there's IPX4 splash resistance, so they should be fine should they get a little hot and sweaty.

Sound

(Image credit: Future)

Listening in isolation to the Edifier TWS NB earbuds using a demo playlist and tablet on the CES show floor is no time to make bold pronouncements on audio quality but it's fair to say they might have a hard time rivalling the class-leaders. But that's not really Edifier's aim. 

Due to retail for around $119 at launch, so no doubt dipping under $100 before too long, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more affordable offering with this spec sheet - most notably, active noise-cancelling and the decent battery life.

We found them a decent fit, light in our ears and capable of offering good noise isolation even without the ANC. The active noise-cancelling didn't seem one of the more powerful in our brief demo but we will reserve judgement until we get a pair for more thorough evaluation.

Similarly, sonically they seemed reasonably well balanced and capable of delivering vocals with intimacy, a clear treble, and bass with some punch and depth.

Verdict

(Image credit: Future)

If you're eager to jump on the wireless earbud bandwagon, but don't fancy AirPods or the more expensive offerings from Bose, Sony, Sennheiser or even Technics, the Edifier TWS NB may well pique your interest.

And at first look, they could well be competitive if you're prepared to sacrifice on premium sound - our budget favourites (without the noise-cancelling), the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1s, will be hard to beat.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view.