Helm Audio’s True Wireless 5.0 promise audiophile sound quality, sport-resistant construction, and an impressive 60ft wireless range. But do they deliver on these promises? Yes… mostly.
Helm True Wireless 5.0 Headphone Review
Right off the bat, everything about these headphones are compact. The attractively sleek black box houses only the charging case, charger and manual. The charging case itself is about the size of my palm, and can easily fit in the front pocket of my jeans.
The earbuds seem bulky at first because the weight distribution is a little lopsided, but the fit is snug. They’re made out of a soft, rubbery-plastic material with a rubber hook to latch onto your outer ear fold. Twist them into place and they feel sturdy, and not too constricting.
The earpieces have only one button each, which leads to a rather clunky control layout. For example, you must press the left button three times to lower the volume. A minor complaint considering their small size, but worth mentioning.
It seems it would take only the most intense, head-slamming activities to dislodge these helbad boys. And with a 6 hour charge life that can be refilled 5 times with the charging case, these headphones are a perfect fit for someone living on the go.
The sound isolation also works as promised. On a busy city street, I could only discern a handful of sounds coming through while the music was playing (extreme highs, large engine noises). The sounds of human speech were almost completely absent.
I didn’t get a chance to test the mud and sweat resistance claims, but a water resistance rating of IPX4 means that unless sweat pours out of you like a low pressure hose, the headphones will be fine.
These headphones definitely have a very hi-fi sound to them. The bass does not disappoint. It is thick and punchy, but still controlled and tight. The tightness and the focus of the low end sounds specifically tuned for kick drum sounds, and can be felt with every beat. At no point did the bass ever feel boomy, loose, or overbearing.
The midrange and especially the highs are where things got weird for me. The highs are very high… crispy and snappy, which contribute to the ‘hifi-ness’ of the sound. But this leaves the midrange lacking the punch and detail of the highs and lows.
The high end nicely brings out layered acoustic guitars, synths and cymbals, but sometimes the boost seems to emphasize the wrong things. In a densely-layered rock song (like anything by Rage Against the Machine), the high frequencies of the cymbals drowns out the high end from the guitars in a wash of noisy sibilance. Also, higher voices sound much better than lower voices, which feel unduly pushed into the background.
That being said, if you use these primarily as workout headphones, this may be fine. While you’re breaking a sweat, maybe all you want to hear are the essential highs and lows, which come through loud and clear. Dance, EDM and other beat-heavy tracks sound great. And these headphones can get surprisingly loud with very little distortion, which again could benefit the active, sweaty listener.
The amount of depth in the soundstage is also impressive. Midrange frequencies may sound a little further away than I’d like, but clear highs and lows stack neatly on top of one another. For pair of headphones this size, the depth (and again, that low end!) are more than satisfying.
If you’re looking for a sturdy pair of workout headphones that can deliver a solid bass and crisp high end, I think you’ll be pleased with Helm Audio’s True Wireless. For pleasure listening, you might want to look elsewhere for richer midrange. But if you need features like noise cancellation, water resistance and a huge wireless range, these headphones should suit you.
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