Massachusetts, US-based company Atlantic Technology has been making speakers for decades, but only recently entered the headphones arena. The new TWS1 active noise-cancelling wireless earbuds are its fifth set of headphones to come to market, and it appears the company is making up for lost time by packing their new buds with much of the latest and greatest tech available to the category.
At $189 / £155 / AU$275, the TWS1 is priced competitively with the best wireless earbuds. And like other top wireless options, they offer active noise cancellation, along with a transparency mode that lets sound pass through for situations where you want to hear what’s going on around you without removing them from your ears. Both the TWS1’s noise-cancelling and transparency modes are customizable, and there are also preset modes such as Talk, Workout, and Transparency Boost.
Also like other top wireless earbuds, the TWS1 uses Bluetooth 5.2, a version that supports separate synchronized streams from a device to the individual earbuds for a more reliable wireless connection. And it has aptX Adaptive, a wireless system that can transmit audio in up to 24-bit/96kHz High-Res quality and features dynamic low latency for gaming. The TWS1 additionally supports Bluetooth multipoint pairing, which lets the buds link up to two separate Bluetooth sources.
Atlantic Technology’s TWS app, which is used for set up and adjustment, offers an AI Tune feature. According to the company, this uses an AI algorithm to test the user’s hearing and create a customized profile with optimal sound. Beyond that, listeners can create and store two sound profiles using the app’s 7-band equalizer.
As for design, the black with rose gold accent TWS1 employs 7mm Titanium-Coated drivers, has an IPX67 dustproof/waterproof rating, and comes with seven comfort tips and four earfins to create a secure fit for everyday use and for working out. Siri and Google voice assistants are supported, and a side tone activation feature provides voice feedback to prevent you from talking too loud during phone calls in public spaces. (Because, let’s face it, nobody wants to be that guy.)
Analysis: Competition is coming for the AirPods Pro 2
Apple’s AirPods Pro 2 deserves its high ranking on our best wireless earbuds guide alongside the top contender, Sony’s WF-1000XM4. Both models offer great sound and an impressive feature set, including high-quality noise cancellation. But at $249 and $228, respectively, Apple’s and Sony’s top earbuds are expensive, though both have dropped quite a bit in price since first released.
Looking at the specs and features for both the Atlantic Technology TWS1 and the AirPods Pro 2, there’s not much separating the two. Notably, the TWS1’s use of the aptX Adaptive codec allows it to transmit High-Res Audio, while the AirPods Pro 2 is stuck with an older Bluetooth codec that delivers sub-CD-quality sound. (Sony’s WF-1000XM4, meanwhile, supports that company’s High-Res-capable LDAC codec.)
Is this a deal-breaker for the AirPods Pro 2? Hardly. Apple’s latest earbuds are its best sounding ones yet, and their design, features, and battery life (6 hours on a single charge with 30 hours from the case) all contribute to making it a premium wireless earbuds option. They also deliver head-tracked Spatial Audio, which the Atlantic Technology TWS1 don't.
Even so, new competitors like the aptX Adaptive-supporting TWS1 sport specs that in some ways leave Apple’s earbuds in the dust. For instance, Atlantic Technology claims an AirPods Pro 2-beating 9 hours of battery life on a single charge and 35 hours with the case. Also, while some of the AirPods Pro 2’s features are strictly for iPhone users, the TWS1, along with top wireless earbuds like the Sony WF-1000XM4 , are perfect for use with iPhones and Android phones alike.
Apple’s AirPods are an earbuds juggernaut, so they will continue to be popular no matter what the competition does. But new products like the Atlantic Technology TWS1 are a reminder that there are more fish in the earbuds sea that may offer better features at a lower price.