Grell In-Ear Headphones TWS 1 Review

Grell In-Ear Headphones TWS 1 Review

Quirky buds with quality sound Epblogs goal is to be the tech side of trust. We are proud of our independence and of our Grell In-Ear Headphones TWS 1 Review thorough testing methods, in which we take our time with a product. We regularly check our test reports for changes and thus keep them up-to-date over a longer period of time – regardless of when a device was released.guaranteed reviews . Trust our Epblogs comprehensive reviews. We tested the products over a longer period of time and were able to see how they cope with everyday tasks. This is how we help you to find the best product for your read our guaranteed reviews .

Epblogs verdict

The Grell In-Ear Headphones TWS 1 deliver some of the best audio performance in their price range as well as quality noise cancellation, making it easy to forgive their shortcomings.

The Grell In-Ear Headphones TWS 1 are the first product from renowned headphone designer Axel Grell’s eponymous company. They deliver an excellent audio experience for $199.99, with beautiful high-frequency clarity and a deep, yet accurate, bass response. Their active noise cancellation (ANC) isn’t amazing, but it’s still competitive with that of other similarly priced true wireless earbuds. We’re also fans of Grell’s high-end design, though the lack of a companion app with EQ is disappointing. For the same price, Jabra’s Elite 7 Pro earphones remain our Editors’ Choice thanks their useful companion app and fully waterproof design, but the TWS 1 In-Ear Headphones are a worthy alternative for audiophiles.

High-End Design and Specs

Available in space gray, the TWS 1 earpieces look a bit odd, but in the most attractive way possible—they’re large, with flat circular outer panels and a tiny stem. Behind the panel, a bulky chamber houses the 10.1mm dynamic drivers, which deliver a frequency range of 4Hz to 22kHz. The earphones are compatible with Bluetooth 5.2 and support the AAC, AptX, AptX Adaptive, LHDC, and SBC codecs—a strong array, though LDAC is notably missing.

Despite their size (or perhaps because of it), the earpieces fit securely. They ship with a useful array of eartips—there are three pairs of silicone eartips in various sizes and material densities, as well as two pairs of Comply foam options. If we ran the world, these would be the standard eartip type; Comply foam tips ensure a more secure fit, provide better passive noise isolation, and can even enhance bass response.

The outside of each earpiece functions as a capacitive touch control panel. Tap once to control playback (right earbud) or toggle the transparent listening mode (left one); a single tap on the left earbud also handles calls. Swipe up or down on the right earpiece to control volume or on the left earpiece to navigate between tracks. Press and hold on the right to summon your device’s voice assistant. The same gesture on the left toggles ANC (one second) or Noise Annoyance Reduction (three seconds); we discuss the latter feature in more detail a bit later. The controls are easy to learn because audio tones accompany successful touches and voice prompts indicate which mode you select. The touch sensitivity feels excellent, and we like how many controls Grell includes here.

An IPX4 waterproof rating is typical for the category. The rating means the earpieces can withstand light splashes from any direction, so neither a sweaty workout nor rain should be a problem. Just don’t submerge them or rinse them off under a faucet. The case isn’t at all water resistant, so you also need to make sure the earpieces are dry before you place them inside for charging. For comparison, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro earpieces sport a fully waterproof IP57 rating.

The charging case is a bit large, but we like its easy-to-grip metallic design and functional lunchbox-style lid. That said, the position of the docks inside is a bit counterintuitive; the dock for the left earpiece is on the right side, and vice versa. The case supports the Qi wireless charging standard and features a USB-C port for wired charging.

Grell estimates that the earpieces can last roughly 6 hours per charge and that the case holds an additional 24 hours of power (with ANC on). Those numbers increase to 8 and 32 hours, respectively, if you turn ANC off. These are solid estimates, but your experience will vary depending on your volume level and use of ANC.

Surprisingly, Grell doesn’t offer a companion app for the earphones, whereas most models at this price (and even many that cost much less) do. That means you can’t customize the controls or tune the sound with EQ.

You can download the third-party SoundID app (available for Android and iOS), but it’s specifically for creating a customized listening profile you might love this feature, but we tend to find it unnecessary. Because you don’t need to download SoundID to use the earphones (except to update their firmware), there’s no harm in this, but it isn’t a unique offering the $99.99 1More ComfoBuds Mini also use SoundID, for instance.

Suitable Noise Cancellation, Superior Audio

The TWS 1 earphones deliver solid noise cancellation for the price. They significantly drive back powerful low-frequency rumble like you might hear on an airplane. That said, a recording of a busy restaurant with clanging dishes and boisterous conversation proved more challenging for the ANC circuitry, and a thin band of higher frequencies made it past the filters in testing. Compared with the best-in-class Sony WF-1000XM4 ($279.99), Grell handles lows almost as well, but Sony manages to cut back the mids and highs much more effectively.

One note about fit and ANC: Because it’s possible to comfortably wear the TWS 1 earpieces either with the stem pointed down or more forward, you might be able to improve the noise cancellation performance by simply rotating them.

In explaining its Noise Annoyance Reduction (NAR) feature, Grell claims that “very strong noise reduction in the low frequency range makes higher, more annoying, frequencies more audible.” For starters, that’s not quite true of the best noise-cancelling headphones, which manage higher frequencies with finesse. Regardless, NAR exists as a patent-pending psychoacoustic solution to this problem—it’s essentially a different ANC mode that attempts to minimize the side effect of heightened higher frequencies. In the various noise scenarios we tested it in, however, we didn’t notice much of a difference. It’s harmless to try, but the regular ANC mode was more effective to our ears most of the time.

Grell’s transparent listening mode, which allows you to hear your surroundings without removing the earpieces, is one of the brighter, louder implementations we’ve tested it raises the volume of your surroundings and even adds in a little high-mid clarity. Even with music playing, you can still hear most sounds in the room with it on.

Just as with the ANC, we need to issue another mention about fit in terms of audio performance. It’s possible to wear the earpieces at an angle that fits perfectly, but that doesn’t provide ideal sonics. The bass response should be full and rich if the low end sounds thin, try rotating the earpieces slightly.

With that in mind, on tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” the earphones deliver powerful low-frequency response. The lows don’t distort at top volume levels, and at moderate levels, the bass response is still robust. 

Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with far less deep bass in the mix, reveals the beautiful and balanced sound signature here. The drums on this track sound fantastic neither overly thunderous nor thin. They benefit from a pleasant, natural tone as well as an airy, spatial presence. Callahan’s baritone vocals get a lovely blend of low-mid richness and high-mid definition. The acoustic strums and higher-register percussive hits sound exceptionally crisp and clear.

On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” the kick drum loop receives an ideal amount of high-mid presence, allowing its attack to retain its punch in the mix. Meanwhile, the vinyl crackle and hiss in the background also seem to get an elevated focus in the high frequencies. The sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat come across with plenty of depth, too these drivers successfully present the deepest lows in a natural way that never threatens to overwhelm the rest of the mix. The vocals on this track sound clear and free of sibilance as well.

Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene from John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary, sound rich and crisp—Grell handles the lower-register instrumentation accurately. The higher-register brass, strings, and vocals have a natural brightness and definition, too. The sound leans a bit bright on orchestral tracks, but the earphones have no issue driving any bass depth in the mix.

The mic works fine and we didn’t have any trouble understanding every word in a test recording with an iPhone. We didn’t note any obvious Bluetooth artifacts in the signal either.

A Promising Start for Grell

The Grell In-Ear Headphones TWS 1 sound outstanding, which partially makes up for the lack of an adjustable EQ, though we would still have preferred a first-party app for more customization options. The ANC is good enough for the price, but if you need better, you’ll need to spend $80 more on the aforementioned Sony WF-1000XM4 or the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds. At $200, the Jabra Elite 7 Pro remain the most well-rounded earphones we’ve tested, thanks to a fully waterproof build and more customization options. But if sound quality is your primary concern, Grell certainly competes with much pricier options including the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E8 Sport ($350) and the Bowers & Wilkins PI7 ($399.99), making the In-Ear Headphones TWS 1 a particularly strong buy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *