Thank you Mr. Paul of HIFIMAN Electronics for letting us give our honest take towards the HIFIMAN TWS600. Given that the review unit is from them and is free of charge, it doesn’t affect the honesty and integrity of this review.
HIFIMAN has been one if not the best headphone maker out there, they specialized in producing headphones with unconventional drivers, they used Planar Magnetic drivers as the owner, Dr. Fang actually has researches regarding the technology behind Planar Magnetic drivers. Up until now they are very popular in the audiophile realm with several awards and positive feedback. HIFIMAN ANANDA and SUNDARA are few of their new lineups and it is quite popular in audiophile groups. HIFIMAN continues to be one of the top brands in headphone class and it is my personal favorite.
The Hifiman TWS600
The Hifiman TWS600 came with a medium sized red box, company, product name and the product itself are all printed above the box. Turning it and looking the bottom of the box, the features are listed some of those are IPX4 and Bluetooth 5.0 capabilites. To be honest for a device at this price range, I’m expecting a larger box with more premium feeling, I mean the Sabbat E12 has a good looking packaging. Diving inside the box, there’s 8 various pairs of eartips which feels premium to me especially the transparent silicone tip which gave me the best sound and fit. There’s also a type C cable and some paperworks. For me the packaging experience should’ve been better, I mean for a price like this I’m expecting more like a carrying pouch for longevity of the charging case, well maybe the small box is for it to be less space consuming when it is shipped to other countries but for 7,500 Php (149 USD) TWS IEM and for me it’s forgivable given that they are relatively one of the biggest name in Audiophile world. The battery life is good though, the IEM can go up to 5 hours on my usage and the charging case can charge it up to 6 times which is note worthy.
I’ve tested it with devices which only has Bluetooth 4.2 but all of them supports aptX and LDAC which the Hifiman TWS600 lacks. It is easy to connect, the moment I turn on the Bluetooth and pair it, it took less than a minute before the TWS600 connected to my sources. The connection is pretty stable as well, both earpiece doesn’t have latency issues, even when watching videos there’s no lag or delay which is commendable. Distance wise, I tried leaving it at our second floor and I went down to cook some breakfast and it didn’t disconnect therefore the connection of the TWS600 is great.
I love gears with midcentric to flat sound signature as I really love listening to vocals rather than instruments. My genre ranges from heavy rock, alternative rock, pop rock, acoustic, pop, jazz and folk. Majority of my test tracks are in 16 bit – 44 khz and 24 bit – 48 khz FLAC file and here is the list of my commom test tracks.
- Reese Lansangan – For the Fickle (background, female vocals and upper mids)
- Foo Fighters – Bridge Burning (Imaging, Layering, Coherence, Sub bass and Mid bass, Mids, Treble)
- Jensen and the Flips – Come Closer (Mid Bass, Mids)
- Ed Sheeran – Dive (Mid bass, Lower Mids)
- Norah Jones – Don’t Know Why (Upper Mids and Instruments)
- Paramore – Hard Times (Imaging, Layering, Coherence, Sub bass and Mid bass, Mids, Treble)
- Utada Hikaru ft. Skrillex – Face My Fears (Imaging Layering, Bass, Mids, Treble, Coherence, Quickness)
- Passenger – Coins in a Fountain (Mid bass, Layering, Imaging, Instruments, Lower mids, Treble)
- Tori Kelly – Hollow (Background, Upper mids)
- Ariana Grande – Raindrops (Background, Upper mids)
Unlike all of the TWS devices that I’ve tried, this is something different, something unique in a good way. It doesn’t have that monstrous bass, it has decent extension everything below 100 Hz sounds faint, texture is above average and it is placed quite linear. Mid bass sounds modest as well, it doesnt punch hard and has subtle weight on it. Luckily it is tight enough and well controlled, texture is decent as it leans toward smooth sounding pair. Bass speed is definitely note worthy, most TWS that I’ve tried lacks attack and decay speed resulting to congested staging when subjected to complex tracks.
Another interesting part is the midrange, it’s forward and is presented in a lush manner. Lower mids sounds full and has moderate body, male vocals sounds satisfying and far from being thin nor hollow. Upper midrange has a bit too much thickness resulting to lack of sweetness and high pitch emphasis especially on female vocals. It has moderate amount of details and is really smooth, very good tuning for a TWS because it is made to be used casually and not for analytical usage.
Again, the treble is quite smooth just like the bass and midrange. The amount of air just enough, sparkle somewhat lacking but that’s a good point for someone who will use the device for four straight hours listening to metal and rock music full of splashes. Decay speed is quite snappy and it doesn’t congest the staging, the positioning is almost the same with the bass making the sound signature slightly inverted U shaped. Extension isn’t something stellar but definitely forgivable, there’s no signs of sibilance nor harshness due to peaks, a very smooth and relaxing companion for long hours of casual listening.
Sound stage and Resolution
As expected, it won’t excel that much in this area, due to the forwardness of the midrange there’s slight congestion especially with complex tracks. It has enough height and width but it lacks depth. Layering and imaging is good enough, I can easily pin point the placement for as long as the track isn’t complex by nature. Resolution is decent, it is quite smooth and soft in comparison to wired IEMs at this price but of course they’re like apples and oranges, for a TWS device and for casual listening it is detailed enough maybe close to resolution of sub 5000-6000 Php wired IEMs.
Sound Signature and Synergy
Sound signature of the TWS600 is leaning to mid-centric with velvety smooth presentation. I liked this one because mid-centric gears are not so popular and quite rare in this hobby thus, listening to the TWS600 with my female dominated library has been very enjoyable. Pairing this one with warm source is much recommended because for me it slightly lacks bass impact and weight, so adding a bit of warmth would be really great.
Huawei P20 and Mate 10
I wasn’t able to turn on the aptX of both these phone because it is locked with the current EMUI version but as per comments in some forums it will automatically choose aptX when the device used is aptX compatible, sadly the TWS600 doesn’t have it.
Both smartphone lacks Bluetooth 5.0 so I’m stucked with Bluetooth 4.2 which still performs nicely. I can literally use it when I’m cooking while my phone is charging at our second floor, there’s no latency issue too, I expected some kind of delay when watching movies but there’s none.
Sound wise, both phones almost share the same sound signature on bluetooth, they’re a bit warm compared to my Shanling M3s (high quality enabled) and has less treble presence. The TWS600 sounded nice with these two, slightly boosting the bass and retaining the midrange that I love. Detail wise it’s far from exceptional but again, it is more than decent for your casual listening. Sound stage isn’t that spacious and accurate but definitely forgivable because it performs better than any TWS that I’ve tried so far.
It sounds a lot cleaner and more detailed with the M3s. The M3s also have a Bluetooth 4.0 and I can use it within 10 m range and that’s more than enough, afterall you’ll not go somewhere further than that without bringing your source. Bass sounds lighter but more detailed, midrange sounds less thick and has better transparency, treble has better extension and sparkle. Sound stage sounds more spacious than Smartphones that I’ve used but the depth is still lacking. Layering and imaging is on point especially with less complicated tracks while overall resolution is above decent.
Advanced Model X
Advanced model X sounds different it has more sub bass and mid bass but it sounds smoother in comparison. Lower midrange to upper midrange sounds recessed on the model X which is the exact opposite of the TWS600, the TWS600 sounds more natural and has better resolution too. Lastly the treble of model X is more prominent and forward compared to the TWS600, both has good enough sparkle and extension with TWS600 being slightly airer. Soundstage seems to be slightly more spacious with the model X but it feels less accurate in terms of imaging and layering. Resolution goes to the TWS600 though the difference isn’t that far.
Feature-wise, they almost have the same functions but the TWS600 is click-operated while the model X is touch operated. Both TWS is rated at 4-5 hours per charge but the TWS600 has slightly more juice in the case (around 3 to 5 hours more). The TWS600 has the better fit, it has very strong suction making it almost impossible to fall from your ears, it has also a type C port which is an edge over the model X. Lastly both doesnt have LDAC or aptX support since it isn’t listed on their site, despite having bluetooth 5.0, its max operating range is just 10m in comparison to the TWS600 that is 50m.
The tuning of TWS600 is something that isn’t common, most of TWS that I’ve tried has big bass and slightly recessed midrange. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it is very good for jazz and acoustic genre, but it may not please someone who listen with classical and EDM because they aren’t bass or treble cannon. It has a very good battery life, nice fit, sleek housing and excellent connection, I never had any latency issues even when watching videos at any quality. Overall the sound signature is lovable (for me), it has a forward midrange and both ends has decent extension and quantity, it is ergonomic and has nifty control features if you want a premium TWS device that has excellent connection and fit then the TWS600 is one to consider the only downside is the lack of aptX or LDAC which is present with cheaper product but if I have to choose between this and Advanced Model X which is just 50 USD cheaper, I’d take the TWS600 in a heartbeat.