Hifiman achieved renown with their excellent planar magnetic headphones and value-orientated IEMs. With the more premium RE-800 and RE-2000 released in recent years, they introduced topology driver diaphragm. This technology implements a nano-particle coating layered in geometric patterns that lowers distortion and enables finer tuning of driver properties. With the TWS600, Hifiman now bring that technology into the realm of true-wireless in-ears. The result is a neutrally-toned sound with excellent control and definition contained within a convenient form factor. You can read more about the TWS600 here.
From initial perusal of first impressions in China, I couldn’t help but notice how chunky the TWS600 looked. However, they’re actually quite reasonable in the ear due to their shaping and deeper fit; so most of the housing gets hidden within the ear. I also get an excellent fit and seal, there is some driver flex yet this has caused no issues for me over my past days of testing.
Isolation is excellent, some of the best I’ve come across. They have a stable fit, staying put during a 6Km run and multiple gym sessions. It is interesting to note that each driver can be paired individually to a source which means you can squeeze double the battery life out of them when used mono, for instance, as a headset. They offer 5.5hrs each and 38.5hrs in total when factoring in charges from the case.
Call quality was above average but not outstanding with callers reporting that my voice didn’t sound distant but was slightly muffled. The build quality is above average, having a plastic construction but also impressive solidity in the hand. They have one button on the outer face that handles assistant, volume, playback and call controls in various combinations of presses and holds.
Upon first listen, I couldn’t help but find it refreshing to listen to a TWS earphone without overwhelming bass. Rather, the TWS600 is quite vocal forward with more reserved bass and treble. Similar to past Hifiman IEMs, it pursues a more reference orientated sound with a neutral tone. It isn’t quite as balanced or linear as their wired offerings nor as technical, however, it does carry the same style of presentation.
Bass is very tight and the mid-bass definition is outstanding. Extension is also quite good though sub-bass is very recessed and overall bass takes a back seat. The TWS600 is has heaps of vocal presence, they are clearly forward though they are also off timbre as the lower-midrange has a peak as does the upper-midrange around 4KHz. This makes them sound a bit hollow and, at times, strident, lacking some coherence and body. In return, they are very clear, separated and open sounding.
Treble is smooth with just enough crispness around the lower treble to provide nice detail presence without becoming too sharp. The background is also clean while retaining enough air so as to avoid sounding closed off. This is great coming from most TWS sets that tend to be V-shaped with boosted lower-treble. The soundstage is special to me, separation is terrific due to its thinner style of sound and I have yet to hear a wider stage from a TWS earphone.
Early Verdict –
Though initial impressions are positive overall, it is important to note that users should not expect the same quality as Hifiman’s wired in-ears despite the presence of a similar driver technology. Indeed, these earphones trade some level of sound quality for convenience. Yet, it is in this regard that they excel with strong ergonomics and isolation in addition to IPX4 water resistance, long battery life and a compact case. This is an interesting TWS model to watch for users looking for a convenient listen without exaggerated bass and treble.