After my initial review of the TWS600, can their big sibling, the TWS800 improve on what came before?
HIFIMAN have been very kind and sent these my way for review.
I have not been paid or sponsored for this review.
These are my own unbiased views.
The HIFIMAN TWS800 retail at $299 at the time of this review.
You can find the TWS800 here:
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+.
Qobuz Studio Premier.
What’s in the box:
Wireless charging case.
USB Type-C charging cable.
8 pairs of ear tips.
Bluetooth Version : Bluetooth 5.0
Frequency Response : 20Hz-20kHz
Music Playback Time : 4.5 Hours+27 Hours
Earphones charging time : 1 Hour
Charging Case charging time : 2 Hours
Weight of charging case : 74.4g
Weight of one earphone : 6.9g
Standby time : 140 Hours
HIFIMAN’s numbers are so far spot on with the sample they sent me giving me the times per the spec.
Build and finish:
When I opened the box I instantly noticed that compared with the TWS600, the TWS800 have a more premium appearance and feel. USB Type-C is included in more and more true wireless IEMs now and I’m glad to see HIFIMAN carrying on with this.
A very welcome addition here would have been wireless charging. Alas this is still not to be found. Frustrating seeing that other high end brands have managed this in smaller charging cases. Which brings me to the size of the charging case… it’s big! Out of the 9 pairs of true wireless IEMs that I have had experience with this is by far the largest case. It’s pocketable but it creates quite a bulge and won’t fit inside smaller pockets.
One thing the charging case has going for it are the deeper ear tip wells, allowing you to use larger or longer ear tips and still be able to close the case and charge the IEMs.
As far as how well the case holds onto the IEMs, unfortunately again like the TWS600 the IEMs just fall out with the mildest bump or shake.
The case does look good, really good. It’s just a shame that it doesn’t follow through with the rest of the design.
The IEMs themselves are a beautiful pair of IEMs to look at. HIFIMAN really knocked it out of the park this time with the aesthetics.
On closer inspection, these are, like the case, big. when worn they protrude from the ear quite far, making them rather awkward to wear with a beanie hat.
The LED’s are now hidden behind the IEM facia which is a nice touch with the lighting now being a subtle feature instead of the TWS600’s “Gamer” styling.
Otherwise they are very well made with a nice quality finish.
Setup and use:
Paired in seconds.
No app. I really think HIFIMAN need to think about an accompanying app for their range of True Wireless IEMs, specifically an EQ.
Touch controls are frustratingly temperamental, I found that I need to touch a specific space on the surface of each IEM to get it to work and even then it’s hit or miss.
FF and RW are a bit odd, with the left ear being FF and the right ear being RW. I’m used to this being the opposite way around on other TW IEMs.
The TWS800 are comfortable to wear. Though the housings are a touch on the large size, a little heavy and not easy to wear comfortably with a beanie. Definitely not a pair you want to wear in bed for any soft listening.
I was able to wear these up to an hour, however they got quite uncomfortable passed this point.
The TWS800 offer a spacious soundstage with good separation.
The isolation / passive noice cancelation is quite pronounced with the TWS800 blocking out most external noise.
I don’t normally do measurements but looking at the chart in the image below, I would say it’s pretty close to the mark.
Bass is tight and clean with some punch to round things off.
Mids are smooth and natural, lending to great vocal presentation.
Mid highs too highs are somewhat bright and over extended.
I had to tweak my phones EQ quite heavily to tame the brightness to a level that was comfortable for my hearing. Once I had them dialled in I found the highs to be fast paced with a good level of detail.
Final thoughts and recommendation:
The TWS800 are without a doubt a lovely pair of true wireless IEMs to behold, they ooze class and elegance in their appearance.
Once EQ’d, they sound great and work well with all the genre’s I listened to while reviewing them.
Would I recommend them? I don’t know if I can at this price point.
At $299 and taking into consideration the size of the case, I would expect to see at this point, wireless charging and better magnets to hold onto the IEMs.
With a sound signature some will find a touch harsh I feel that by now the inclusion of an app with EQ settings from HIFIMAN would be a good way to go.
Finishing off with the size of the actual IEMs, lending to discomfort or awkwardness in certain circumstances I just don’t feel comfortable recommending them at this time or at that price.
I hope HIFIMAN can work on these issues and come out with a better thought out version next time around.
Thank you so much to my readers, sponsors and supporters for being patient with, and supporting me and the blog.
All my very best wishes for 2021.
The blog is sponsored by Silver Note Tonearms.