One would expect a high-end focused company to announce a new driver configuration, maybe some exotic materials... We were not expecting HIFIMAN Electronics to focus on the one feature that precisely distinguishes Apple's AirPods - its unique transmission range of 100 meters or more, typical of a Class 1 Bluetooth device, implemented with its own dedicated silicon and radio system. Unable to create the necessary custom electronics, so far, for true wireless, all other consumer electronics companies have focused on creating low power solutions allowing the user to have more playback time, and mostly trying to create cheaper alternatives. Very few manufacturers have attempted to improve sound reproduction, given the Bluetooth signal transmission restrictions.
HIFIMAN seems to have identified this as an area deserving attention. As a leading brand in high fidelity personal audio, HIFIMAN promises to "deliver a new True Wireless earbud design that offers demonstrably improved sonics and Bluetooth reception compared to most competitive models currently on the market."
Scheduled to ship in mid-July, HIFIMAN’s new TWS600 True Wireless Hi-Fi Earphones offer a technological twist with Bluetooth that extends reception as far as 150 meters/490 feet, thanks to the company’s customization of the standard True Wireless chip. The improvements in RF reception result in a significantly lengthened signal range. The company doesn't reveal anything yet regarding choices of codecs, just confirming that "its ultra-low latency characteristics allow users to enjoy videos without audible delay."
But of course the company also explored material design. As the announcement reveals, in addition to the extensive reach of the Bluetooth transmission, the TWS600 earbuds will feature HIFIMAN’s new Topological Diaphragm design, where each earbud’s diaphragm is covered with a Nano particle coating that contributes to greater sonic detail than is typically associated with True Wireless earphones.
And the company also reveals that the TWS600 will include several other "ingredients" in terms of driver design. For example, the company’s Advanced Alloy Voice Coil "maximizes vocal clarity and full-range sonic reproduction," while the Hi-tech Magnet "ensures maximum sensitivity, which is critical for achieving the best possible sound from smartphones, tablets, and other low-voltage portable devices."
“There is no shortage of True Wireless products flooding the market, so we know that if we are to introduce a HIFIMAN model, it has to stand far ahead of the pack,” says Dr. Fang Bian, HIFIMAN's founder and CEO. “With the TWS600, we not only achieve outstanding sound quality, but, thanks to our engineering team’s creativity and know-how, we’re able to give our customers unparalleled Bluetooth reception.”
Even though the Bluetooth transmission range will be higher than anything so far available (...of course depending on the transmitting device's own Bluetooth specs), the new TWS600 earbuds promise to still provide 5.5 hours of playtime, with an additional 33 hours available from the portable charging case. And another surprise - for a "high-end" product - is that HIFIMAN says the TWS600 were also "designed for active use," and are IPX4-rated for resistance to sweat and dirt.
“This is the year that HIFIMAN turns its attention to wireless audio. From what we view as the best earphone in the business to audiophile-grade headphones designed for critical listening, we are committed to offering best-in-class products to every listener who appreciates the best in form and function,” adds Dr. Bian.
The TWS600 True Wireless Earphones will be available in July in a special limited-edition that also includes the company’s popular RE600 wired earphone at a suggested retail price of $199 (so, not that expensive after all). It will be available from Amazon and HIFIMAN’s online store, http://store.hifiman.com/.