Yamaha TW-E5B Review

Yamaha TW-E5B Review

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Yamaha TW-E5B Review: Good audio quality, but can it stand out against the competition?

The Yamaha TW-E5B wireless earbuds sound really good for the price, but can it compete with other feature-rich products in the same price range? Let us find out.

The market for Truly Wireless Stereo (TWS) earbuds has grown exponentially in the last few years. In this fiercely competitive market where value for money matters, Yamaha, a brand known for its audio equipment has launched TW-E5B, a pair of truly wireless earbuds that tries to compete in the under Rs 15,000 price bracket. These earbuds offer excellent sound clarity, and can they stand out against other products like the recently launched Sony WF-LS900N? Here’s our review.

Yamaha TW-E5B: What’s good?

The Yamaha TW-E5B sports a design, unlike any other earbuds in the market. The shape is unusual and the earbuds are on the bigger side. My colleague and others struggled to make these earbuds stay in their ears. I have medium-sized ears, and these were a perfect fit for me. Yamaha has even posted a video guide on YouTube giving users an idea of how to make these earbuds fit tightly in their ears.

The build quality is really good and even though I did not drop them during my usage, they never felt flimsy. The earbuds have physical buttons on the side. The left earbud has one button, which lets you switch between normal and ambient modes. The right one has two physical buttons on the top which let you increase or decrease the volume level. Long-pressing the button bottom on the right triggers the voice assistant. To answer an incoming call, just double-press the button on the left earbud.

While I resented the physical buttons at first, they grew on me pretty quickly. If you wear earbuds when listening to songs at home or during work, you will not have to worry about those frantic accidental swipes. The physical feedback on these buttons is really good.

Yamaha E5B delivers well on audio. I listen to different genres of music using these, from pop to rock to metal to electronic, and enjoyed the experience. While listening to Tokyo Nights by Digital Farm Animals, the bass was not overpowering and the instrument separation was really good. If you are into pop or country music, these earbuds might cater to you. I listened to Drops of Jupiter by Train, and the vocals came out well, and the overall experience was close to perfect.

Yamaha TW-E5B: What’s not good?

Let’s start with the design. The Yamaha TW-E5B wireless earbuds are not made for everyone. Even though Yamaha claims the earbuds are designed to fit everyone, most people who had big ears couldn’t simply wear them. The size is another downside to these earbuds. If you want to wear this inside of a helmet, it’s just not possible. I also never got the confidence to wear them when working out because I always felt they would fall down.

My biggest disappointment is the lack of Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). The feature is pretty much standard on all premium earbuds, but for reasons unknown, Yamaha has chosen not to include this. Overall, these earbuds do a terrible job of isolating environmental noise. When I paused or listened to music at a low volume, I could hear everyone around me. Only when I increased the volume to somewhere around 50 percent, the background noise started to fade.

The Yamaha TW-E5B also comes with a dedicated app called ‘Yamaha Headphone Control’. Apart from the equalizer, you get only three options – ‘Ambient Sound’, ‘Listening Care’, and ‘Gaming Mode’. I tried turning on the Ambient Mode and nothing happened. I played a song on my PC on speakers and could hear nothing. It looks like the feature is not working on my review unit, since I tried installing the app on other phones but they had the same problem.

The second toggle is ‘Listening Care’. Yamaha claims that the feature helps boost lows even at low volume, and it worked pretty well, but in some songs, I felt like I was missing out on things when I increased the volume. It also has a ‘Gaming mode’, which works as expected, but when I turned it on, I could feel that the earbuds were having connection issues, with the audio cutting off for a second or two.

The microphone is average at best. While the other person could hear me clearly when I was talking to them, they could hear the background noise as well. Yamaha also claims that the TW-E5B lasts up to 8.5 hours on a single charge, with the case offering extra 21.5 hours of music playback. But they barely lasted more than six hours on a single charge. I think it was because the passive noise cancellation is really bad and I had to often turn the volume to more than 50 percent.

Yamaha TW-E5B: Should you buy it?

While the audio quality is really great, the Yamaha TW-E5B misses out on several features like a working ‘Ambient mode’, Active Noise cancellation, and a good microphone. If you are looking for a huge earbud with decent battery life and really great audio quality, the Yamaha TW-E5B might appeal to you.

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