Yamaha TW-E7B True Wireless Earbuds Review

Posted on 21st November, 2022
Yamaha TW-E7B True Wireless Earbuds Review

Matthew Jens tries out a newly released, feature-packed true wireless headphone design…

Yamaha

TW-E7B True Wireless Earbuds

USD $279.95

The true wireless market is a savage place to be right now. It's no longer the fresh-faced flavour of the month it was a few years ago when the Apple Airpods first came out. The market has matured, with clear favourites emerging and segments that can satisfy almost any taste. All of the stars have come out to play – even Devialet has given it a crack in recent months. So it was only a matter of time before Yamaha put all its tools on display and showcased its tech prowess in portable audio form…

Its new TW-E7B aims to undercut the main juggernauts of this market segment – the Airpods Pro, the Galaxy Buds Pro and Sony XM4 – by shaving off some dollars, but keeping the spec sheet respectable. But has the Japanese giant shaved off just a little too much to make this dream a reality? Let's take a look…

While still giving the nod to traditional Yamaha design language, the TW-E7B takes an interestingly Audio-technica-style approach to ergonomics – by having a contoured internal section that fits snugly to the inner ear, and a more bulky outer section that houses the electronics. The buds themselves are slightly larger than the comparatively form-fitting Samsung Galaxy series. They fit reasonably well and are balanced nicely, despite the bulk being positioned outside the ear.

No touch controls can be found here, but instead, there is an unusual button layout which I adore. There is just one button on the left and two on the right. These aren't customisable, so be prepared for a learning curve when adjusting settings. Thankfully, the three buttons allow for myriad possibilities, so you'll rarely need the included Yamaha control app. That's just as well, in this case…

Software isn't the TW-E7 B's strongest side, which is evident before downloading the app. There are two apps on the app store, both made by Yamaha. One is called Headphones Controller, the other Headphone Control! I had to check over the packaging and manual to determine which one I was meant to use. When I figured out that part, I discovered that neither of the apps worked on my iPhone 13 Pro Max. This issue is shared with others online, too. Come on, Yamaha, what's going on here?

I eventually managed to fumble into installing the iPhone app onto my iPad. From there, the five-band EQ revealed itself to be far more helpful than some competitors, which only have three-band alternatives. The usual suspects are also here: settings, firmware updates, and noise cancelling adjustments.

There's still some killer audio pedigree packed into the TW-E7B, boasting Bluetooth 5.2 (without multipoint support), AptX codec support and Yamaha's own “listening care” technology, which allows for full-range sound at lower volumes. A neat party trick, mainly because it listens to the external ambient noise around you to know which frequencies to boost.

THE LISTENING

Firing up Lose The Lazy by Airwolf Paradise, and it didn't take long to discover that the TW-E7B is a lively and spritely performer. Bass is tight and controlled, with a punchy timbre that I know and love from the Yamaha house sound. The 10mm dynamic driver pushes enough surface area to get some nice meaty rumbles from this track, and toe-tapping is inevitable. 

The upper mids feel solid and energised, so much so that the midrange takes a back seat in comparison, becoming almost recessed in the mix. This slightly V-shaped sound signature helps to retain plenty of detail and sparkle, at the cost of some neutrality across the midrange.

Noise cancelling and ambient modes do a decent job of their assigned tasks, but fall shy of the sheer strength of other offerings' abilities in this price bracket. ANC is focused mainly on the lower frequencies (as it should be) and leaves most of the midrange alone. Ambient mode allows outside noise, but doesn't feel as natural as the AirPods Pro. Instead, it's a little more coloured and unusual but perfectly functional for its intended use. Phone call quality was much the same – decent but not special. Callers on the other end of the line occasionally mentioned wind noise or low speaking level, but neither of these issues arose in an optimal speaking environment.

THE VERDICT

Yamaha's new TW-E7B aims to undercut the main juggernauts of the market, and largely succeeds. It offers solid sonic performance and features, but is slightly held back by software limitations and not-so-competitive noise cancelling for this price bracket. A good effort then, and there's enough here to keep me keenly interested in the next revision.

For more information visit Yamaha

Matthew Jens's avatar

Matthew Jens

Constantly keeping himself busy, Matthew is a production manager, Brazilian jiu-jitsu blue belt, Head-Fi fanatic, coffee enthusiast and all-round cool Dad.

Posted in:Headphones In Ear Monitors Noise Canceling Bluetooth / Wireless Headphones
Tags: yamaha 

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