A while back two lads got in touch with me about a new website they were launching to support their phone and gadget shops. Without knowing too much about them, but gut said to go along for the ride. Today, they launch their new look brand and a new website to match and it’s called Wireless. They guys have sent over some of the stuff they’ll be stocking for me to check out and I’ve got to say, it’s been eye-opening.
Who Are Wireless?
A little part of me is waiting for the day where Goosed.ie starts getting comments like “why is everything you write about Dublin-centric” or something similar. We’ve avoided this so far, likely down to me being from Kilkenny and having a large part of the team based in Limerick too. In all honesty, this is why I love the idea behind Wireless. Run by two Tullamore-born twins and starting out as Fix My I – a repair shop in an industrial estate – the shop is now a hub for the latest tech gadgets. The lads have focused on their stores in Westmeath and Offaly which for me is crucial. Ireland needs tech stores to challenge norms and stock the harder to get phones, while remaining willing to bring in high quality and affordable gadgets for everyone to try out.
Today, they launch their new website, stocking the latest phones and accessories on the market. They’ve sent me some of the latest audio accessories from Tronsmart to test out, a new brand the lads introduced me to.
Who Are Tronsmart?
There’s a fair chance you haven’t heard of Tronsmart but just to give you an idea of their stature; their brand ambassador is Luis Suarez. Tronsmart is a South Korean company who killed it back in 2013 when they launched their T1000 Miracast device. This lets you mirror your phone on the TV way before Chromecast even existed. If you’ve been following Goosed.ie for a while, you’ll know I’m a firm believer than Asian smartphone manufacturers like Huawei and Xiaomi is great news for shoppers. Well, Tronsmart looks to be doing the same for accessories. Here’s what I’ve been testing out.
Tronsmart Encore Spunky Buds
Oh stop laughing at the fact they have “spunky” in their name. Wireless audio is something I’m currently developing a mild obsession for. I’ve been testing out the Sony 1000XM2, had a quick look at the 1000XM3 at IFA in Berlin. I’ve also been testing out the Sony WF-1000X, a truly wireless pair of earbuds which deliver incredible quality, but have some annoying features too – like substantial lag when watching videos.
This is why I was both apprehensive and intrigued to test out the Tronsmart Encore Spunky wireless earbuds. These were also completely wireless but cost a fraction of the Sony earbuds. According to Pricespy, you could pick up a pair of Sony WF-1000X earbuds for around €150 yet the Tronsmart earbuds cost just €55 from the Wireless guys. So how do they measure up?
Tronsmart Encore Spunky Buds Review
When it comes to earbuds, these are the crucial things I look out for. I’m going to be pretty hard on the Tronsmart buds too because I’m comparing them to the Sony buds which cost €100 more.
The Sony WF-1000X combine great noise cancelling with incredible audio quality and frankly, considering the price difference, I hate little faith that the Tronsmarts could keep up. While the Encore Spunky Buds don’t have noise cancelling, the sound quality is great. I can’t say they’re on par with the Sonys but they are within reach of them and considering the price difference, that’s nothing short of incredible.
Personally, I can’t get my head around the fact that my Sony earbuds experience massive lag when watching video, the Tronsmarts are perfect. Again, given the price difference, this left me wondering how Sony ever let their earbuds get to market when Tronsmart nailed this for a fraction of the cost.
Not fantastic for either Sony or Tronsmart here. Both sets of earbuds give you three hours of playback. Now, the nature of wireless earbuds means you probably won’t be leaving them in much longer than three hours although considering I have a seven-hour flight to New York on the horizon I might change my tune on that one.
Both companies also sell their earbuds with a companion charge case. This means when you pop your earbuds into their case, they’re charging. The Sony case gives you an extra two charges, meaning a total of nine hours on the go usage. The Tronsmart earbuds give about 3.5 hours and again can be charged on the go, meaning you get over ten hours on the go.
This is why battery life doesn’t matter too much. Totally wireless earbuds can wear on your ears. I’ve found that around the two-hour mark for both brands I needed to take a break. This was a tie in terms of comfort, however, the Tronsmarts were a little more comfortable to run with.
The Sony WF-1000X are not waterproof, so you’re taking your life into your own hands if you even get sweat near them after a gym run. That said, I’ve used them in the gym and they’ve lived to tell the tale. The Encore Spunky Buds are IPX5 rated, so while they’re far from suitable for the pool, sweat won’t leave these banjaxed.
I’m no audiophile, but I can’t stand poor sound quality. I didn’t feel it was totally fair to put the Tronsmarts up against the Sonys, but they really stood up to them. If I’m being hypercritical, the Sonys look a little tidier and they do have superior sound quality and noise cancelling, but that’s just not the point. The point here is that for substantially less money, you can get a pair of Tronsmart Encore Spunky earbuds which will be more than enough for anyone who isn’t a total audiophile.
Tronsmart Encore Hydra Earphones Review
Coming in at just €34.99, the Encore Hydra earphones are certainly the right price. These are designed for exercise with an IPX7 water resistance rating meaning they’re capable of dealing with sweat and rain. Their wrap-around design means they’re perfect for running and other exercises where you’ll be moving plenty. Considering they have a twelve-hour playback battery too, these might just find their way into my bag for that trip to New York.
The one place these do fall down is sound quality. Now, don’t get me wrong, they’re fine but if you’re in a gym like mine where the techno music pumps loud, you’ll be straining to hear what you’re trying to listen to on your phone. These things come into their own when you run outside. Whether or not it’s by design, I’m not sure, but the audio profile of these earphones means you can enjoy your music while also being aware of your surroundings. It might be poor design or it might be a safety feature, but either way, for €34.99, there’s a place in the world for earphones like the Encore Hydras.
Tronsmart T6 Speaker
In a world of smart speakers is there still space for the humble bluetooth speaker? Well, the day this landed with me I needed it. I was streaming a match on SkyGo from my Mac to the TV and typically audio wasn’t working. I fired up the T6 speaker and was blown away by the sound – almost literally. Considering I have a Google Home which costs substantially more than this primarily because of the speaker quality, the T6 really stands up on its own two feet.
Using what Tronsmart call 360-sound, you can pop this in the middle of a can-drinking-circle and everyone will enjoy the same audio quality. I also can’t look beyond how much the T6 reminds me of a can itself, but don’t worry the features go beyond that.
The T6 has a massive bass output on the bottom, is water resistant and packs an impressive fifteen-hour battery. It can connect to other devices using an AUX cable or Bluetooth and you can even take calls on the speaker too. As much as I like it, I think Chris from the Wireless team does a great job explaining what life with the T6 is like. Take it away Chris:
On the one hand, I’m a little surprised just how impressed I am with Tronsmart but at the same time why am I? I’ve seen Asian manufacturers increase their quality by an incredible amount in recent years and Tronsmart is no different. My personal favourite from the lot here is the Spunky earbuds. Really, I should be kicking myself considering I paid so much for the Sony earbuds but in truth, I’m delighted to see tech progress this quickly.
Best of luck to the Wireless teams in Westmeath and Offaly. If you’re in the area, call in and see what gadgets they’ve got on offer for you. Naturally, if you’re not in the area, you can check out their shiny new site too.