There’s a new true wireless earbuds player in town. Grell Audio TWS/1 is here to shake up the big names in wireless earbuds, and they succeed.
They sound fantastic, and we can easily forgive the slightly weaker noise cancellation when the music is this good.
Read More: The Best true wireless earbuds (TWS) 2022
Grell Audio TWS/1: one-minute review
The Grell TWS/1 true wireless earbuds are the brand’s first product, named for its iconic, Excel grill. Those who take a reasonable interest in the headphone market (which means people like us, of course) have probably heard the name before, especially those of us who take Sennheiser as seriously as a brand. Deserves. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard the name before, though – just know that Axel Grell knows exactly what he’s doing.
This Girl Audio TWS/1 review score is proof. The battery life is significant, the specs are on the money, the build quality is reassuring and, best and most importantly, the sound quality is in close competition with the best wireless earbuds from any company.
no. And no, they’re not the most discreet true wireless earbuds (or charging case) you’ve ever seen. But if what matters most to you is the sound your wireless in-ear headphones can deliver, then you need to put the TWS/1 on your shortlist. Right near the top.
Grell Audio TWS/1: price and release date
The Grell Audio TWS/1 true wireless in-ear headphones are on sale now and cost £179 or more in the UK. That means $199 in the US and AU$299 in Australia. Eurozone customers are looking at €199 or thereabouts.
You are spoiled for choice where such products, which cost money, are concerned. Both big and small brands want to sell you their own variation on this theme, so, despite its main-man profile, Grell Audio needs more than just a glimmer of fame to make a case for the TWS/1. Required.
Grell Audio TWS/1: design and features
Slightly interesting’ basically means ‘more interesting when it comes to the design of truly wireless in-ear headphones. And thanks to their circular body, ultra-short stem, and a fine combination of aluminum in black and gray finishes, the TWS/1 are certainly mildly interesting.
They’re also relatively large, mind you, and at 7.3g per earbud they’re also relatively heavy. Thanks to some careful ergonomic sculpting of the business side of the earbuds, plus a wide selection of foam and silicone ear tips, Grill Audio is easy to position securely and comfortably.
The TWS/1 comes in some eco-credible unbleached packaging and is protected in an aluminum charging case that looks and feels great. The earbuds will last six to eight hours between charges (depending on whether active noise cancellation is turned on or off), and the case holds four more full charges. Hence between 34 and 45 hours of full battery life can be achieved, which should not be stressed. Charging takes place using the USB-C input on the case or wirelessly using a Qi-certified pad.
Grell Audio uses Bluetooth 5.2 for wireless connectivity, with support for AAC, aptX Adaptive, and LHDC codecs, as well as good old-fashioned SBC. Once the audio information arrives on board, it’s delivered to the listener’s ears via bespoke 10mm full-range dynamic drivers.
As for control, you have a few options. A full suite of voice assistants is available (and I mean full – plus The Big Three, TWS/1 is compatible with Bixby and Cortana), and there’s also compatible with third-party Sound ID control apps. This is where you can make EQ adjustments, participate in a listening test that helps create a custom EQ setting, get firmware updates, and more. Unlike some alternative designs, though, there’s no way to adjust active noise cancellation beyond ‘off’ or ‘on’.
Each earbud also has a capacitive touch surface, though they could be more reliable in their response. Touch controls available for ‘play/pause, ‘skip forward/back, ‘volume up/down, ‘noise cancellation on/off/transparency’, ‘answer/end/reject call’ and ‘NAR on/’ Is. Close’. And yes, that last explanation is worth it.
Grill Audio maintains active noise cancellation when it’s most effective at dealing with low-frequency sound, resulting in more prominent mid and high-frequency sound. Noise Annoyance Reduction continuously scans the frequency spectrum and adopts ANC to keep this annoyance to a minimum.
Grell Audio TWS/1: audio performance
If for no other reason than that it’s the shortest of the lists, and by distance, let’s start with things like TWS/1 not being better than average. It won’t take long.
Basically, these earbuds are pretty average when it comes to noise canceling — they won’t be rounding up our best noise-canceling earbuds, though they’re definitely on our best earbuds list. will be included.
Switch back to the ANC, though, and they’ll reduce external noise quite a bit, sure, but if you compare them to the real experts where it’s concerned (Bose, with its Bose Quiet Comfort earbuds, most, and Sony’s WF-1000XM4) aren’t that impressive. And while reducing noise annoyance is a laudable aspiration, in practice ‘noise annoyance reduction’ doesn’t reduce the annoyance that much. Maybe even ‘mild irritation’.
But when it comes to actually make music, ‘better than average is somewhat of an understatement for the TWS/1’s capabilities. Given the high quality of things to do, such as the TIDAL master’s stream of Jack Harlow’s Come Home The Kids Miss UK, Grell Audio is a convincing and absorbing sight.
The soundstage they create is big in every direction, well organized, and easy to understand. The separation is impressive, but so is the integration – so the sense of unity is strong, even when listening to recordings that are, as such, partly machined and sampled. And as a result, adequate insight into the recording is available easily and without affecting its coherence.
Tonality is well judged, even impressively from the top to the bottom of the frequency range, and never less than convincing. Low frequencies are deep, detailed, and well-controlled, and trebles attack crisply at the opposite end. In between, enough detail is available to simplify the singer’s emotion and intent.
Switching to Give Me Daughters by Jonathan Fire*Eater allows the TWS/1 to display its dynamic power, energy, and rhythmic conviction. As far as combining out-and-out punch with undisputed control, the Grill Audios are as good as anything around. They don’t overdo or underdo any area of the frequency range, they offer a colorless tonality and they seem to authentically enjoy all your favorite music. So unless you value noise cancellation as much as sound output, the TWS/1 deserves serious consideration.
Pros and Cons of Grell Audio TWS/1
- +Direct, positive and enjoyable sound
- +Good spec and battery life
- +Multiple control options
- –Far from the best noise-cancellation around
- –Relatively big and heavy
Should I buy the Grell Audio TWS/1?
Buy them if
You like the obscure sound.
The TWS/1 are about as clear as earbuds get.
You like to go as you please.
TWS/1 is a good alternative to Bose, Sony, etc.
You are always out and about.
Battery life is adequate.
Don’t buy them if
External sounds overwhelm you.
Where ANC is concerned the TWS/1 are ‘good’ rather than ‘great’.
You are charming.
There are more reliable touch controls out there.
You are in favor of slim fit.
The charging case is big enough to happily fit in a trouser pocket.