Decked out in a fresh polo and the new Status Audio BT Transfer earphones, I’m reviewing in style here at MajorHiFi. Having previously investigated the $49 wired IEM X2 a while ago, I was downright chuffed to get my hands on this new wireless earphone. At a measly $79, the BT Transfer delivers a sports-ready IPX-5 water resistance rating and Bluetooth 5.0. But the real kicker? A dual-driver design with one dynamic and one BA driver. And, as an Audiophile who also likes to keep trim, this earphone seems right up my alley. But how does it stack up to its competition?
Status Audio BT Transfer Review
The BT Transfer comes in two colors – Gunmetal (gray-and-black) or Midnight (black-and-blue). While my review sample came in the form of the Gunmetal flavor, the Midnight color scheme is straight fire.
Regardless of the color you choose, though, the earphones arrive in a fairly large box. Accessories include a micro-USB charging cable, as well as 3 pairs of silicon ear tips and 7 pairs of in-ear hooks. There’s also a nice carrying case for holding the earphones when you’re not using them.
Once you get this baby out of the box, you realize it’s very well made. First off, the BT Transfer sports an aluminum housing. Despite a little weight, it delivers an impression of quality and craftsmanship. Plus, the back of the housings also connect via magnets, allowing you to wear them securely around the neck when not in use.
And speaking of use, the BT Transfer appears refreshingly easy to use. Unbox it. Put it in. Press and hold the power/play button on the remote until a blue light appears. Connect via Bluetooth. Rock out.
Connection strength is decent, too. The new Bluetooth 5.0 helps with this, while also offering support for the aptX codec. Out and about in Midtown Manhattan on a Saturday, I noticed that the BT Transfer was just as susceptible to interference as any other wireless earphone. Or at least, it was, until I placed my phone in my back right pocket.
Then, voila. Bulletproof connection. Talk about music to your ears, amiright?
As mentioned above, this earphone carries an IPX5 resistance rating. I tried working up a sweat, but it turns out I was just too cool in these earphones. That’s right – the BT Transfer feels so chill, it’s physically impossible to sweat while wearing them. That’s some good sweat-resistance right there.
Fit is comfortable and secure, with a ton of in-ear hooks to choose from allowing a near-perfect fit.
Battery comes in at a fair 8 hours – better than some, but still not class-leading.
Frequency Response: 20-40,000 Hz
Nominal Impedance: 16 ohms
Sensitivity: 102 dB
As you can see from these specifications, the BT Transfer offers a fairly standard low end and some extra extension in the high end of the frequency range. A low impedance of just 16 ohms is about on par with more-efficient wireless earphones. Lastly, sensitivity comes in at a fair 102 decibels, so getting decent volume shouldn’t be an issue.
In the low end, the BT Transfer delivers good detail and some punch. Bass impact registers with verve, giving the lows just a tiny bit of weight. This works well with rock and hip hop, but even better with pop and electronic tracks where the extra emphasis doesn’t detract from the highs or drown out low-end nuances. The result is a perfected balance between an engaging, fun sound and one that remains accurate.
The mids sound clean and clear, and instrumentation sounds just fine. Due to a good sense of clarity and separation, the vocal seem to jump out from my test tracks. This imparts a rich, three-dimensional sound on the mids. Emotion seems to pour out of vocals, while surrounding instrumentation still manages to sound precise and finite.
Just a tad bright at times, overall the high end manages to deliver a good account for itself. There’s a slight shine to vocals due to that brightness, and female voices and male falsettos sound fantastic (like countertenor Pharrell’s crooning on Daft Punk’s Lose Yourself to Dance). Instrumentation, in contrast, sounds detailed but somewhat smooth, with only the highest highs on violins approaching the same level of sparkle as vocal content.
There’s a good sense of depth at place here, and even some sense of spacing, allowing the BT Transfer to deliver a good impression of soundstage. Sure, it’s still an earphone, and it’s still wireless, so there’s some compression to that sound. But instruments still occupy their own spots in a recording, and while they might overlap at times, they never really seem to bleed into one another or drown each other out.
There aren’t many dual driver sports earphones out there, and that design is what vaults the Status Audio BT Transfer above its competitors. The result sound feels downright decadent, and allows audio junkies like myself to get their fix while still getting swole.
Is this headphone for everyone? I sure hope so. The wealth of detail remains impressive, but the BT Transfer only struggles in one key area: battery life. In comparison, the Sennheiser Sport CX SPORT (at $129) only has a trifling six hours, and the JBL Reflect Mini 2 (at $99) offers a whopping ten hours. However, when it comes to sound quality, both of these alternatives deliver more bass and good mids, with rolled-off highs. Unfortunately, I feel like most casual listeners will write this fantastic earphone off for lacking bass (when in reality, it’s just a little less bass-heavy than most consumer-oriented earphones).
Personally, I’d take the Status Audio BT Transfer, but it’s definitely a sports earphone aimed at folks who want more sound quality during their workout (like this reviewer).
While more consumer-oriented models may deliver a touch more bass and better battery life, the Status Audio BT Transfer remains an audiophile’s dream when it comes to sports earphones. At $79, this wireless earphone equates to a steal of a deal, with its wealth of detail, good balance, and developed soundstage. Our take? If you’re looking for HiFi you can break a sweat to, look no further.
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