In this article we review the $299 USD Hifiman TWS800 IEM.
Disclaimer: Hifiman sent us the $299 USD TWS800 IEM for the purpose of this review, free of charge. I only covered the import taxes and fees. All thoughts and experiences with the product are naturally my own.
Today, we’re taking a look at Hifiman’s new wireless in-ear monitors, the Hifiman TWS800. At the time of this review (October 24,2020) HIFIMAN has an active promotion. If you go ahead and pre-order the TWS800, they will throw in a RE600S for free.
As you probably noticed, the ever-growing trend of wireless products has successfully impacted our audiophile journey. As the days go by, more and more brands adapt to the change and conduct R&D towards a better wireless sound. I am not denying it, this makes me quite thrilled for the future. Hifiman’s first TWS was the 600. You can read our review here.
Now, Hifiman has released a better model. Let’s see what it’s about.
It is simply impossible that you have not heard of Hifiman. They’re this big, bold china-based personal audio company led by Dr. Fang Bian. It was founded back in 2005. I have used many of the company’s marvels such as HM801, HM901s, HE-560… These were legendary devices, gold standards in their respective time periods. I remember falling in love with the 901S, it was an exquisite experience I tell you. Hifiman still continues to set new bars and records both in digital and applied areas. Hifiman is an innovative company and now they’re engaged in the wireless business. Without further ado, I’d like to present Hifiman’s second True Wireless IEM to you, the TWS800.
Just like the TWS600, the TWS800 features Hifiman’s “Topology Diaphragm” dynamic driver. It means that this particular dynamic driver’s diaphragm surface is covered with a special nanoparticle coating. The idea behind this process is based on Dr Fang Bian’s Ph.D. thesis that “different nano-materials have differing structures and each of those materials have its own properties”. Hifiman says that “by carefully controlling the diaphragm surface structure you can yield different results in acoustic performance to a degree previously unobtainable.”
I am just guessing here but perhaps there is a connection between the RE600 & the TWS600 as there may be with the RE800 & the TWS800. Let me share the technical specifications and then I will do my best to describe the TWS800 to you!
* Driver: Topology Diaphragm Dynamic
* Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
* Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 5.0
* Available Codecs: SBC, AAC
* Water Resistance: IPX4 (Sweatproof)
* Single Earphone Weight: 6.9g (really light for metal construction!)
* Playtime: 4.5 + Approx. 30 Hours via Case
* Charging Time (earphones): 1 Hour
* Charging time (charging case): 2 Hours
* Standby Time: 140 Hours
Packaging & Accessories
TWS800 comes in a rectangular hard box, Hifiman listed some of the specs on the back side. Sliding up the top grants you access to the case and the buds. The accessories are located under the foam. You get a velvet carrying pouch, 9 pairs of tips including triple and double flanged silicones, wide tip, shallow bore silicones and a USB-A to USB-C cable for charging the case. Of course, you also get a warranty card along with the manual.
I can label the packaging as accessory-rich, as TWS earphones often come with less accessories than what we have here.
Design & Fit
Improvement. Pure, sheer improvement over the 600. Big kudos to Hifiman. The TWS800 looks and feels great both in hand and in ear. The metal face plate and metal accents near the nozzle compliment the matte black very well. The shape resembles that of custom in-ear monitors and offers an awesome fit.
Just like the TWS600, the TWS800 is not a small earphone by any means but with wide-selection of tips, I don’t think you’re going to have a problem unless you have very small ears. I personally wore them for a week around the city without any problem. They never fell out of my ear, I did not feel any discomfort or anything so the fit is quite good for me.
The TWS800 features a touch sensor on each of the face plate and there are status LEDs just under the faceplate. The TWS600 had the same red & blue LEDs and I must say that I do not like those. Gentle white would have been better with such elegant looking earphones. Let’s talk about the case.
Hifiman continues the metal & matte-black combination here as well, therefore the case looks very chic just like the buds. Matte black sides are some kind of smooth to hand plastic. The inside of the case is covered with the same matte black material. It won’t cause any scratches to face plates so your buds are safe. Hifiman did not forget to improve the magnets as well, compared to 600, they feel much safer.
The charging case has 4 LEDs to let you know about the battery status but those are located inside so the only way of knowing how much juice you have left is by opening the case. I like the overall design, it is apparent that Hifiman has improved the design considerably over 600.
Features & Stability
The TWS800’s connection stability is excellent. During my one full week of commuting & getting things done, I have never experienced a drop. Furthermore, the range is certainly impressive as they can transmit through 2 concrete walls around 7 meters far.
The earphones are IP4X certified, which means that they are sweat resistant. Take them for a spin in the gym, slap on your favourite motivation tunes. I mentioned in the design section that there are touch sensors on face plates, via these sensors you can increase or decrease the volume, accept and refuse calls, skip to previous or next song, activate Android or iOS assistant and of course, play or pause tracks.
The sensors are not lightning fast but they’re good enough for the job. Let’s talk about latency for a bit. Android’s YouTube had a very slight, minor delay which was not a problem for me. However, I noticed larger delay while playing mobile games so you might want to keep that in mind. As for battery life, the charging case features a 800 mAh battery, which may seem like big but 800s are hungry beasts! This means you get around 30 hours extra from the carrying case. Definitely not bad but definitely not industry-leading either. Earphones alone hold around 4-5 hours of juice.
Just like the TWS600, this earphone only streams in SBC/AAC codec. As you know, they are the most basic codecs and I’d want to see LDAC, aptX HD, HWLDC from a renowned company such as HIFIMAN. Now to one of the parts I don’t like about reviewing TWS earphones. The microphone quality. I know how hard it is to get this right without odd, protruding rods so I’ll keep it short. It does an okay job when there is no chatter or crowd noise around you. In crowded places, you have to hold one of the earphones right next to your mouth to communicate. The mic does not do a good job of filtering sounds other than your voice.
Hifiman promotes their amp module in the TWS and I can vouch for them as the amplification level is very high. Furthermore, If anyone is out there using only one side of TWS earphones, worry not, you can do that with the 800 as it allows standalone mode.
The article continues on page two with the part on sound. Click here or use the jumps below.