Harman Kardon Fly TWS: Great sounding true wireless for $150
Tv & Audio
These may be the best sounding $150 two wireless ear buds I've tried.
They're called the fly TWS.
TWS stands for true wireless stereo.
And they're from Harman Kardon, which hasn't made a new headphone in years.
They did use to make some really good ones.
So I've got something here that isn't going to be available until the end of May but I thought I should give you an early look.
Firstly, I noticed when I opened the box was that both the charging case and the buds themselves look more premium than I expected.
The case's top has a full leather finish on the lid and that's also present on the outside of the buds.
And both the case and the buds have a little bit of heft to them.
They're not heavy, but they have a solid feel.
They really feel like a substantial pair of ear buds.
The buds themselves are on the bigger side and do stick out of your ears a bit, which I think is there one small downside.
The Samsung Galaxy buds plus which also costs $150 are definitely more discreet.
Those sound quite good but these sound better with more detail and more energy in the bass with slightly better definition.
The harmons also have a little bit bigger soundstage, they feel a little bit more open, issues 5.6 millimeter drivers and have up to six hours of battery life and you can get an extra 14 hours from the charging case.
The Galaxy buds plus can last 211 hours on a single charge.
So they're easily Sapir in that department.
Also their case charges wirelessly whereas this one just has USBC charging with a quick charge feature that gives you an hour's worth of juice from a 10 minute charge.
Their IP x five and water resistant which means they can take a sustained spray of water.
I was able to run with them, but like I said they may be a touch big for some people's ears.
I should point out that Samsung owns Harman and brands like JBL and AKG are under the Harmon umbrella.
So this is kinda like Beats competing against Apple, which owns Beats.
But I digress these do seem quite different from the Galaxy Buds Plus, although their features are pretty similar.
These are noise isolating but there's no active noise canceling, like with the buds.
Plus you get an ambient mode that lets sound leak in from the outside world.
If you activate the talk through mode, you can hear your voice inside the buds when making calls.
I didn't see a way to adjust the level of talk through but that's a nice feature.
And these do work well as a headset for making calls.
Those who like to tweak their sound there are some preset EQ settings in the app.
It can also create your own custom EQ.
These have one button access to Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa or your phone's voice assistant.
The touch controls work pretty well.
They are responsive.
It's easy to advance tracks by double tapping.
And the controls for each earbud are customizable, and a little trouble with the swipe gesture that you can use to raise and lower volume with the right earbud.
But this is an early unit so some of that functionality may improve with software upgrades.
I also compare these to the $300 Sennheiser Momentum true wireless two.
As far as the fit goes I found the Sennheiser is a little more comfortable to wear, just nestled in my ear a little bit better.
Sennheiser worked on reducing the size of the buds a little bit in its second generation model and it paid off.
Sound wise the Sennheiser is a little bit warmer with bass that goes deeper as a little plumper However, the Harman does offer slightly better clarity and sparkle was slightly more forward sound.
How you feel about each of these models will depend probably on what kind of music you listen to.
But the point is you're getting very high quality sound from this Harman at half the cost of the Sennheiser which is a great set of true wireless ear buds.
As I said, these won't be out till the end of May.
But I was pleasantly surprised with both their built in sound quality and I think this new harmony is an indication that we'll be seeing more true wireless earbuds in 2020 that deliver better performance at more moderate price points.
I'm David Carter for cnet.com.
Thanks for watching and let me know what you think in the comment section.
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