It seems like it is almost impossible to buy a bad piece of tech nowadays, be it Android phones, wireless earbuds, smartwatches, or anything else. So top players in the game try to offer as much as possible in one package and then sell that for as little as possible. This has resulted in the existence of some spectacular budget wireless earbuds at astonishingly low prices.
Tronsmart is one of the many companies that focus on creating highly competitive value products. I personally love the company's affordable line of audio devices such as the Apollo Air+ true wireless earbuds and the 30W Studio Bluetooth Speaker. They embody the phrase "bang for the buck" through and through.
Priced at a reasonable $50, the Tronsmart Onyx Apex earbuds are the equivalent of an entry-level pair of buds. That's not much, but I still went into this review with moderately high expectations. Here's what I found out after using the Tronsmart Onyx Apex True Wireless Earbuds for a few weeks.
Tronsmart Onyx Apex
Bottom line: Tronsmart has done it before, and now it has done it again. The Onyx Apex True Wireless Earbuds are yet another value buy with an excitingly low price and amazingly robust internals. Qualcomm audio, ANC, and USB-C charging are some of the things that make this a stellar pair of cheap earbuds.
- Overall excellent sound
- Wonderful battery life with USB-C charging
- Decent active noise-canceling
- Crisp call quality
- Qualcomm aptX audio and Bluetooth 5.2
- No IP rating
- Bass isn't heavy enough for everyone
- Only one color option
- No companion app
Tronsmart Onyx Apex: Price and availability
Tronsmart launched the Onyx Apex TWS earbuds late in July 2021. They are currently available to buy in the US, UK, Canada, and other parts of the world from Geekbuying and Aliexpress for $50. An Amazon launch for the West is currently slated to go live in two months' time.
Tronsmart Onyx Apex: What's good
Unlike the Apollo Air+, the Onyx Apex buds have a pleasing design, even if it is a little cliche. The charging case comes in a nice matte black hue, and it has rounded corners. When in hand, it feels like you're holding a really fancy bar of soap, except the Tronsmart earbuds weigh next to nothing. The case's hinge mechanism is also much better than the Apollo Air+. I am glad that Tronsmart overcame the flaw with the loose hinges, and the charging case feels far more sturdy overall.
|Category||Tronspart Onyx Apex|
|Voice assistant support||Google Assistant, Siri|
|Battery||35mAh per earbud
Up to 5hrs on single charge
Up to 24hrs
|Wired charging||Yes, USC-C
10m gives 1 hour playback
|Transmission distance||Up to 10m|
|Water and dust resistance (IP rating)||No|
|Dimensions||2.48 x 1.19 x 1.65 inches
Pop open the case, and you will find two black glossy earbuds sitting comfortably within the box. They are lightweight, but I feel confident enough when holding them. They have a stem-like structure, and I like that the tips don't protrude as much as some other earbuds. Along with the earbuds and the case, Tronsmart also includes a USC Type-C cable and two ear tips in the package so you can change them to a smaller size if the earbuds feel too tight.
Each bud has a very snug fit and sits right in the auditory canal, tucked in tightly behind the tragus. The Onyx Apex earbuds stay put and don't budge whatsoever. You can boogie dance your way down the street, and these earbuds won't fall out. This means you can run with them on without fear of losing either bud.
You can boogie dance your way down the street, and the Tronsmart Onyx Apex earbuds won't fall out.
The head of each earbud has touch panels, and they respond well. You can't customize the controls, but the presets are comfortable to use. You can change the volume, pause/play music, answer/decline calls, trigger the Google Assistant or Siri, or power off one bud.
Internally, the Tronsmart Onyx Apex earbuds sport the latest Bluetooth 5.2, so the connection process is seamless. You also get support for a wide range of Bluetooth profiles such as AVRCP, A2DP, and HFP, as well as better quality audio codecs like Qualcomm aptX. In addition, the active noise canceling (ANC) is unexpectedly good at filtering out most background noises; the only exceptions being loud banging of doors or cars backfiring on the street.
Tronsmart's custom 10mm drivers and the entry-level Qualcomm QCC3040 chip work together to push out some solid sound quality. Vocals are really crisp, and the max volume level of the Tronsmart Onyx Apex true wireless earbuds is surprisingly loud for budget earbuds. I enjoyed my audio experience as I worked my way down my favorite tracks. Whether it's heavy metal you're listening to or rhythm and blues, every song sounds as it should, and the audio is well-balanced.
You won't face issues with murky-sounding vocals or instrumentals morphing into one garish tone. I do have a personal preference for heavier than usual bass, and I would have liked the sound to be a bit punchier. For instance, I wasn't a huge fan of the Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro for the same reason. At the end of the day, we all have our own tastes when it comes to audio so make sure you know what you like!
The Tronsmart Onyx Apex true wireless earbuds are incredibly reliable for all-day charge.
Taking calls with the Tronsmart Onyx Apex true wireless earbuds is a breeze. The earbuds have two mics each and use cVc 8.0 technology to eliminate unnecessary ambient noise in the background. Not only are the touch controls easy for handling calls, but the audio quality is crystal clear. I participated in several phone calls and video chats recently, and everyone said I sounded perfectly crisp.
The earbuds also last a very long time in one go, about 5 hours on a single charge and a whole day or more when taking the case into account. Of course, battery life will vary depending on usage, but the Onyx Apex buds are still incredibly reliable for an all-day charge. This is on par with some of the best wireless earbuds out there.
Tronsmart Onyx Apex: What's not good
Nobody — or nothing — is perfect, and this rings very true with the Onyx Apex wireless earbuds. As much as I am taken aback by the earbuds' many upsides, there are some downsides to them as well. First off, you can definitely run without worrying about them falling out, but that doesn't mean your run will be stress-free. The Tronsmart TWS earbuds are not water or dust-resistant, so they can be ruined by sweat or when they get wet in the rain.
There is no dedicated companion app for your phone, so you can't alter the controls or mess around with the equalizer to personalize the sound. This is very disappointing because I am fond of the Tronsmart app. It connects very fast and smoothly, even quicker than it takes for my Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro and Sennheiser CX 400BT earbuds to pair with my phone.
The lack of a water and dust-proof IP rating is unjustifiable.
Additionally, the Onyx Apex buds don't support wireless charging. For $50, the lack of this feature or even a companion app is excusable, but no water and dust-proof IP rating is unjustifiable. If you can get filthy cheap earbuds like the Mpow M30 that costs only $35 with an IPX8 rating, then Tronsmart has no excuse.
If you want to grab yourself a pair of the Tronsmart Onyx Apex true wireless earbuds, you won't have much to choose from in terms of colors. Unfortunately, the Onyx Apex buds are only available in black, and there is no alternative. This may not be a dealbreaker, but it certainly isn't a plus point. In the age of the consumer, at least two or three shades of even smartphones are expected.
Tronsmart Onyx Apex: Competition
Onyx Apex faces extremely tough competition, going against tens, if not hundreds, of the best affordable true wireless earbuds in the market. In the $50 price range, the most direct competitor would be the Creative Outlier Air V3 true wireless earbuds. Both pairs cater towards tight budgets, but the Tronsmart buds are $20 cheaper. They both offer similar aural experiences and have amazing battery life, although the Creative earbuds last significantly longer.
On the material side of things, the Creative Outlier Air V3 buds feature a stunning and unique design unmatched by Tronsmart. But when you look at things under a more technical lens, the Tronsmart Onyx Apex earbuds offer far better ANC compared to the Outlier Air V3 don't. The Onyx Apex case isn't as bulky as and that makes it more portable. The Creative earbuds do have an IPX5 "sweatproof" rating, which is better than nothing.
Then there are the Tribit Flybuds C1 earbuds that cost just a tenner more but bring better IPX8 water resistance to the table. However, the Tribit buds lack ANC, so if you want noise cancellation on your earbuds, you should stick with the Onyx Apex or the more costly Creative Outlier Air V3.
Tronsmart Onyx Apex: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You're hard up for cash
- You want ANC
- You need something with long battery life
- You like tight-fitting earbuds
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You want premium sound
- You prefer waterproof products
- You want a dedicated app with the earbuds
- You find black a boring color option
Students who are in college or high school are usually strapped for cash, so the Tronsmart Onyx Apex earbuds are perfect for them. If you don't have much of a budget, these true wireless earbuds will keep you happy. They're not just okay; they're amazing for the price. The only compromises you'd have to make would be an IP rating and an app to go with the earbuds.
Tronsmart used all the right ingredients to cook up the perfect pair of budget earbuds that money can buy under $60. The latest Bluetooth and Qualcomm chip, ANC, USB Type-C charging, the lightweight yet sturdy build all these factors contribute to the greatness of the Tronsmart Onyx Apex true wireless earbuds.
Yes, they lack an IP rating, and the bass won't blow your head off, but that's okay for most (normal) people. Even with the limited black option and the lack of a companion app on your phone, you still get an outstanding product for the asking price.
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