Just another day in paradise, testing headphones and earphones. But today things got a little more interesting, thanks to the arrival of the new Strauss and Wagner SW-TW401. This true wireless earphone features a slim-fit design and 16 hours of playtime. But I’m already anticipating a solid sound, thanks to the performance of the older SI201 earphone. So how does this true wireless earphone measure up to my own expectations? And is it the right earphone for you?
Strauss & Wagner SW-TW401 Review
Arriving in a tiny box with just a few accessories, the TW401 comes with a charging case, a USB-C charging cable, and three pairs of eartips.
Once I removed the thin plastic backing on the earpieces, I threw them in the case for a few minutes to wake them from the sleep cycle.
Fit is decent, with the shallow, slim fit being a breath of fresh air after trying so many bulkier TWS models. Playback, volume, and phone calls are all handled through the touch sensors on the earpieces.
As mentioned above, a few pairs of eartips do come with the earphones. These tips are made of silicon and fit relatively well. But I also tried foam comply tips, and the sound got even better, thanks to a slightly even-more emphasized bass response. That being said, the sound with the stock tips is still solid.
Isolation also remains impressive, blocking out a ton of ambient noise. The only time I really find the isolation “too much” is when I try to talk with the earphones in. Doing so leaves me feeling like I’m underwater, or shouting to be heard.
Walking around Midtown Manhattan with them, I was surprised at the connection strength. Even right around Times Square, I never had a single drop out. Call quality also doesn’t suffer, and I’m amazed at how clear this earphone sounds when taking or making phone calls. Usually I find earphone designs with a stalk (like on the RHA TrueConnect) to be a little cleaner in terms of call quality, but there’s really no difference in taking calls between this $60 earphone and that more expensive RHA model.
Strauss & Wagner SW-TW401 Review – Sound Quality
I was pleasantly surprised with the low end on the Strauss and Wagner TW401. Sporting a punchy bass, this earphone definitely delivers some impact. But there’s also some good control here, preventing that energetic bass from ever bleeding too much into the rest of the lows. Detail is solid, too, for an earphone at this price. Rock and hip hop jump out with new life, and even electronica benefits from these lows.
In the mids, the TW401 stands out with a good sense of clarity and presence. Instrumentation here sounds fine, but vocals really steal the spotlight. Thanks to the slightly forward mids, vocal content sounds more intimate and lifelike. The result: a sense of immediacy you don’t normally get in earphones at this price range.
Just the slightest bit bright, this high end sounds uncannily good for the money. Sure, it might be just the slightest bit peaky on some tracks. But in most cases, that hint of extra emphasis tends to give some extra shine to female vocals and strings. And, to be honest, it works fairly well with the slight emphasized low end, leading to an overall w-shaped sound you rarely find in earphones below $100 – wired or wireless.
Space and depth make an appearance here, giving this true wireless earphone a somewhat-realistic sound. Under normal circumstances, I would expect this earphone to sound more cramped and flat, due to the twin curses of an in-ear design and true wireless connectivity. Yet, the Strauss and Wagner TW401 dashes my preconceptions quickly and effectively. This earphone offers an impressive sense of soundstage that can easily edge out options costing more.
Strauss & Wagner SW-TW401 Review – Conclusion
Pros and Cons
Pros: Great audio quality and a slim, comfortable fit allow you to enjoy the Strauss and Wagner TW401 for longer than you would expect. For the price, it’s a real bargain, and my new go-to recommendation for anyone who needs budget-friendly true wireless earphones.
Cons: Sounds slightly better with foam comply tips, but they don’t come included.
For the $59 price tag, the Strauss and Wagner SW-TW401 offers plenty of value. The sound quality shames most other earphones at this price, and it’s built like a tank. Furthermore, the slim fit means you can easily forget you’re wearing them once the music starts playing. Our take? If you’re in the market for budget true wireless earphones, you can’t go wrong with the Strauss and Wagner TW401.
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