The Canyon Doublebee GTWS-2 gaming earbuds are a solid budget pick for younger players, but muddy lows hamper their gaming performance and can spoil immersion during play.
Charging case is charming and aesthetically pleasing
Overall audio performance is serviceable
Touch controls are responsive
Terrible bass profile
Poor battery life over a single charge
Why you can trust TechRadar
The Canyon Doublebee GTWS-2 gaming earbuds are a smart, budget choice that’ll make a fine gift for younger gamers. Its attractive charging case, along with its responsive touch controls and decent audio performance, present an impressive package. They’re certainly a margin above most other true wireless earbuds at this low price point.
However, there is an element of ‘you get what you pay for’ here, and, while they’re by no means terrible, there are very noticeable caveats to keep in mind should you consider purchasing them. For one, the Canyon Doublebee GTWS-2 gaming earbuds feature a rough, overcooked bass profile, which can render your listening experience uncomfortable and potentially ruin in-game immersion. A pretty poor battery life doesn’t help the buds, either.
Still, as far as Nintendo Switch and mobile-compatible gaming earbuds go, the Canyon Doublebee GTWS-2 is a solid budget option at £29.99 (they’re presently not available in the US or Australia). However, you may miss some of the extra features and performance found in some of the best gaming earbuds like the Sony Inzone Buds or the 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones.
Design and features
Undoubtedly, the Canyon Doublebee GTWS-2 gaming earbuds’ best feature is its eye-catching charging case. While certainly imitating the look of Transformers’ Bumblebee, with a matte yellow finish and angular chassis, it’s not as garishly over-designed as you might think.
The top of the case is split in half, with two panels opening outward like a Lamborghini’s doors. Admittedly, this is quite fiddly, but I can’t help but be charmed by such a peculiar design quirk. A simple LED panel also shows the case’s battery life in numerical value, a nice touch that lets you see battery status at a glance. A couple of RGB strips flank the case on either side for some extra flourish.
Inside, both earbuds are held in place magnetically, and dislodge with relative ease. They’re relatively unremarkable in terms of design beyond keeping to the yellow colorway. An LED chevron on each will also indicate when the buds have successfully paired to your device of choice.
The earbuds themselves are fairly standard in terms of design at this price point. There are no soft tips here, meaning the hard plastic can grate on your ears after some time. I found that this wasn’t an issue up until they needed recharging, though your mileage may vary here depending on the size and shape of your ears.
The Canyon Doublebee GTWS-2 earbuds provide overall serviceable audio for both gaming and casual music listening. Testing on Nintendo Switch, the buds performed admirably with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s clean register and head bob-inducing jazz fusion soundtrack. For games with relatively laid-back soundscapes, the GTWS-2 gets the job done just fine.
However, it’s also worth noting that the buds have a rather flat audio profile, and they simply couldn’t match up to Astral Chain’s busy, bass-heavy soundscape. The character-action game’s usually excellent sound design felt muddled and lost much of its immersive qualities as a result. It was further impeded by what is easily the earbuds’ biggest flaw: that terrible bass register.
To put it bluntly, the GTWS-2 handles bass and lower-end audio with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. It’s got a real thudding quality to it that’s rather brash and occasionally uncomfortable to listen to. It’s so bad that it often registers at the lower end with unwelcome distortion. This problem also occurred when casually listening to music; the opening notes of Kuze’s theme from Yakuza 0 demonstrated this perfectly - those rough guitar chugs lost all their satisfaction and instead sounded like someone was knocking against the earbuds with their knuckles.
Battery life doesn’t do much to save the buds in terms of performance, either. You’ll get a paltry four hours on a single charge. The charging case does fare better, offering an additional 35-40 hours, which is impressive for such a cheap set. It’s quick to charge up via the included USB-C cable, too, taking roughly an hour to go from empty to full.
The earbuds also feature an in-built microphone, handy for calls and voice chatting online. And like many aspects of the earbuds, it’s also just decent. Certainly not as crystal clear as what you might expect from the higher-end Sony Inzone Buds, but it is a good deal less sensitive than the mic found in the Turtle Beach Battle Buds. A working, if unremarkable, aspect overall, then.
Should I buy the Canyon Doublebee GTWS-2?
Overall, the Canyon Doublebee GTWS-2 are serviceable and certainly worth the aggressively budget price point. However, the deeply muddy lows and poor battery life mean we’d recommend looking for a more effective pair if you can afford it. The SteelSeries Tusq are a great option here, if you don’t mind the fact that they are a wired pair.
Buy them if...
You’re after an effective gift for younger gamers: The GTWS-2 will make for a fine, affordable gift if you’re shopping for your child or a relative.
You want something aesthetically pleasing: The GTWS-2 has a confident, bold design that deftly avoids looking or feeling too gimmicky. Overall, the build quality isn’t bad either.
Don't buy them if...
You prize immersion above all else: We won’t sugarcoat it; the awful bass profile of the GTWS-2 takes much away from titles with dynamic audio design.
How we reviewed the Canyon Doublebee GTWS-2
I tested the GTWS-2 gaming earbuds over a few days, primarily gaming on Nintendo Switch and mobile. While I found the buds to perform decently for titles with less busy audio design, such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Suika Game, they routinely faltered with anything more dynamic.
Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.