Grell TWS-1 earbuds make good sound accessible

Feminine hands hold the Grell TWS-1 open case to reveal the earbuds.

Grell TWS-1 earbuds make good sound accessible

Information about Grell TWS-1 earbuds make good sound accessible

Kevin David

A feminine person wears the Grell TWS-1 earbuds.

TL;DR

  • The Grell TWS-1 use active noise-cancelling (ANC) to intelligently quiet background noise.
  • The earbuds use Bluetooth 5.2 and support AAC, aptX, LHDC, and more for high-quality wireless audio.
  • The Grell TWS-1 will be available for pre-sale this month and cost $199.99.

Former Sennheiser Chief Headphone Engineer Axel Grell has stepped away from the stalwart audio company to release the Grell TWS-1. These noise-cancelling true wireless earphones position themselves against products like the Apple AirPods Pro and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, and appeal to busy audiophiles.

Each earbud houses a 10mm dynamic driver, which is unusually large for a pair of true wireless earphones. While we don’t yet know how the Grell TWS-1 sound, we can look at the frequency response of other Axel Grell productions like Sennheiser HD 650 to get an idea of the TWS-1’s sound profile. Anyone can tinker with a parametric equalizer in the free SoundID app to fine-tune the frequency response. What’s more, the earbuds support stereo and mono listening, which keeps listeners aware of their surroundings when needed, and low-noise microphones relay clear audio suitable for personal calls and conference meetings alike.

Feminine hands hold the Grell TWS-1 open case to reveal the earbuds.

Circular glass plates act as touchpads so listeners can control playback, volume, and field incoming calls. While glass appears to be a delicate material choice, listeners will be at ease knowing that these have an IPX4 water-resistant rating. While these aren’t billed as workout earbuds, anyone can sweat while wearing these ‘buds without issue.

Bluetooth 5.2 affords a 50m (~164ft) wireless range and the earbuds feature multipoint connectivity. The TWS-1 support a slew of Bluetooth codecs (SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, and LHDC). No matter what operating system your smartphone uses, the TWS-1 will deliver consistent, high-quality audio to your ears.

See: The best noise-cancelling true wireless earphones

Grell Audio combines adaptive active noise cancellation (ANC) with its own noise annoyance reduction (NAR) technology. Traditional ANC quiets low-frequency ambient sounds as much as possible, but this still allows high-frequency sounds to come through. NAR uses auditory masking, when a loud sound makes it hard a relatively quiet one, to its advantage: it quiets low-frequency sounds a bit while intentionally keeping them loud enough to mask high-pitched sounds. While the Grell TWS-1 don’t have the most technically impressive ANC, they should yield a more consistent degree of noise attenuation.

The earbuds supply six hours of playtime with ANC on, totaling 28 hours with the USB-C case. When ANC is off, the total battery life increases to nearly 35 hours.

The Axel Grell TWS-1 will be available for pre-order early this month through the company’s website and retail for $199.99. After the pre-sale, the earbuds will be on Drop.com, formerly Massdrop.

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