Tronsmart Onyx Prime review: All play and some work make this an excellent pair of earbuds

Tronsmart Onyx Prime True Wireless Earbuds Hero Widescreen Lifestyle
(Image: © Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central)

Android Central Verdict

Bottom line: Tronsmart Onyx Prime earbuds deliver a fantastic, rich, and distinct soundstage that's hard to come by at this budget. You get 40 hours of uptime, an IPX4 rating, seamless audio, and a great app, but there's no ANC or wireless charging.

Pros

  • +

    Brilliant sound quality

  • +

    40-hour battery life

  • +

    Sweatproof, comfy design

  • +

    Low-latency gaming mode

  • +

    User-friendly and feature-rich app

Cons

  • -

    No wireless charging

  • -

    Lacks ANC and ambient modes

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In the world of Android phones, there are budget options, upper-tier flagships, and mid-rangers that sit somewhere in between. Enter the bottomless pit that is the wireless earbud marketplace of today and you'll notice a similar pattern. You can get amazing Bluetooth earbuds that pull out all the stops with barely any compromises nowadays. It all depends on your budget and the segment you're targeting.

Just like the best Android phone brands, Bluetooth headphones and earbud makers usually offer something at each price point. Tronsmart stands tall among them, offering premium earbuds like the Apollo Air+ and cheaper, lower-tier options like the Onyx Apex. Adding to Tronsmart's portfolio, the new Onyx Prime earbuds have now joined the ranks. After taking a close look at the latest entrant, here are my two cents on the Tronsmart Onyx Prime true wireless earbuds.

Tronsmart Onyx Prime: Price and availability

Tronsmart Onyx Prime True Wireless Earbuds Lifestyle

Source: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central)

Tronsmart launched the Onyx Prime true wireless earbuds towards the tail end of 2021. You can purchase a pair of the budget Bluetooth headphones for $50 on Amazon, AliExpress, or Geekbuying. There is only one color variant of the Tronsmart Onyx Prime earbuds in matte black.

Tronsmart Onyx Prime: What you'll like

Tronsmart Onyx Prime True Wireless Earbuds Lifestyle

Source: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central)

For a quarter of the price of flagship earbuds like the Jabra Elite 7 Pro, the Tronsmart Onyx Prime earbuds pack one helluva punch. Starting with the physical aspect, the oval case isn't heavy and fits in pockets easily. Each earbud fits comfortably in your ears, with the optional soft silicone ear hooks adding to the ergonomic factor. It seems that Tronsmart has been paying close attention to the poor design decisions in their other earbuds.

Tronsmart's Apollo Air+ true wireless earbuds had everything but the looks, so I'm glad that the Onyx Prime buds have some personality. The only further improvement that I would add is a flatter base so the case can stand upright. To be honest, this doesn't really matter much in terms of practicality. It just made the photographing job such a bothersome task.

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CategoryTronsmart Onyx Prime
DriverHybrid Dual Drivers (Balanced Armature + Dynamic)
ChipQualcomm QCC3040
Audio codecAAC
SBC
Qualcomm AptX
Qualcomm AptX Adaptative
Bluetooth profileAVRCP v1.5,/A2DP v1.3/HFP v1.7
ANC
Voice assistant supportGoogle Assistant, Siri
Battery50mAh per earbud
Up to 7hrs
Case battery500mAh
Up to 40hrs
Wired chargingYes, USB-C
2hrs total
Wireless charging
Bluetooth version5.2
Transmission distanceUp to 10m
Water and dust resistance (IP rating)IPX4
Dimensions70 x 48.3 x 30.4mm
Weight1.94oz
ColorsBlack

Thanks to the Qualcomm QCC3040 chip, the Onyx Prime earbuds support plenty of audio codecs, including Qualcomm AptX and Adaptative AptX. The Hybrid Dual Drivers work hard to generate a fun and punchy sound that is much livelier than its predecessor. Bass is heavy and rich sounding, accompanied by well-balanced mids and treble. Vocals can be heard distinctly and individual instrumental sounds stand out clearly. Equipped with TrueWireless Mirroring Technology, one earbud mirrors the sound of the other to deliver a seamless connection.

The Hybrid Dual Drivers work hard to generate a fun and punchy sound that is much livelier than its predecessor.

I have zero complaints about the touch controls as they work well. You can customize them through the companion app on your Android phone. Speaking of the app, I love how smooth and quickly it pairs with the Onyx Prime true wireless earbuds. In the app, you can switch between a music mode and a gaming mode. Then there's the equalizer which allows you to choose from different audio presets. If that doesn't go with your flow, you can customize your sound profile and hit save to store the settings.

The Tronsmart smartphone app is extremely user-friendly, with no fluff and no confusion. It's so easy to get the hang of the equalizer and custom touch controls. I cannot stress the importance of a good Android app enough. (Seethingly looks at Sennheiser). It really goes to show that Tronsmart wants your experience to be as simple and hassle-free as possible. The 40-hour battery life is impressive, though I wish the IPX4 waterproof rating was a bit more rugged. Nonetheless, that's more than good enough for workout sessions.

Source: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central

The Onyx Prime earbuds aren't trying to be sporty, their focus seems to be on gaming and everyday use. Thanks to the earbuds' low-latency capabilities, there is no audio lag which is crucial for gaming. Spatial audio works well and you can hear footsteps coming from the right directions while playing games like Call of Duty: Mobile. The cVc 8.0 mic tech also comes into play here because talking to team members in-game is smooth and clear. You won't face any communications issues while making regular calls either.

Tronsmart Onyx Prime: What you won't like

Tronsmart Onyx Prime True Wireless Earbuds Lifestyle

Source: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central)

Tronsmart definitely had to cut some corners to meet that affordable $50 price tag. I've raved a lot about the Onyx Prime so far, but these wireless earbuds did have to compromise. Okay, so let's cut to the chase. What's missing? What do these awesome pair of cheap earbuds lack? The missing piece of this puzzle isn't all that complicated. There are two factors that keep me from recommending the Onyx Prime earbuds to everyone.

The Onyx Prime buds do reduce noise around you when you put them on, but that is flawed too.

The first issue with the Tronsmart Onyx Prime true wireless earbuds is ANC. Or rather, the lack of ANC. It's easy to find a filthy cheap pair of buds with active-noise cancellation. The competition is tough, so I can't gloss over this glaring shortcoming. Sure, the Onyx Prime buds do reduce noise around you when you put them on, but that is flawed too. Since noise reduction relies on the physical design, there is no ambient mode. You cannot choose when to allow sounds to seep through at your whim.

Secondly, there is no wireless charging feature in the Tronsmart Onyx Prime earbuds. Since wired charging takes two long hours to reach max battery levels, wired charging is an inconvenience. With Qi wireless charging, you can just plop the case onto a wireless charging mat and carry on with whatever you were doing. But being attached to a cable is annoying, and you are more likely to forget to top up your earbuds.

Tronsmart Onyx Prime: Competition

Creative Outlier Air V3 Loose Hand

Source: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central)

Looking at the competition will lead you down the rabbit hole of lower and mid-tier wireless earbuds. In terms of sheer audio quality alone, Tronsmart Onyx Prime earbuds can stand their ground against big names like Anker. The most direct competitor for the Onyx Prime Buds would be the Creative Outlier Air V3. Retailing at $60, you get noise canceling to some level and wireless charging. However, the case is bulky and the Super X-Fi feature is too limited.

Alternatively, you can score the Tribit Flybuds C1 at the same price as the Creative buds. Tribit Flybuds C1 earbuds stretch the uptime to 50 hours and use the same Qualcomm QCC3040 chip, but again there's no ANC or wireless charging. Divert your gaze to a lower $40 price range and you'll find the Soundcore by Anker Life P2 Mini true wireless earbuds. The Life P2 Mini earbuds offer a 32-hour battery life and a lightweight design, but not much else.

Tronsmart Onyx Prime: Should you buy it?

Tronsmart Onyx Prime True Wireless Earbuds Lifestyle

Source: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central)

You should buy this if ...

  • You have a small budget
  • You want superb sound quality
  • You like customization options
  • You need a two-day battery life
  • You are a mobile gamer

You shouldn't buy this if...

  • You want wireless charging
  • You can't live without ANC

Students and young working adults with constricted budgets will enjoy the Tronsmart Onyx Prime earbuds. They are perfect for commuting, everyday use, and light gaming on your phone. The ability to switch between work and play is a bonus. On the other hand, if you like your privacy and prefer to cut yourself off from the world with ANC, these buds aren't for you. The same goes for those of you who are really hung up on wireless charging.

4 out of 5

Tronsmart is up against some pretty big players in the budget earbud segment. That's probably why the Onyx Prime earbuds focus on delivering supreme sound first and foremost. These buds may lose on technicalities like ANC and wireless charging, but they make a remarkable case for themselves otherwise.

Tronsmart Onyx Prime True Wireless Earbuds Render Reco

Tronsmart Onyx Prime

Bottom line: Tronsmart honed the Onyx Prime wireless earbuds for gaming and commuting. You get an enduring battery life, water resistance, seamless audio connection, heavy customization options, and beautifully clear calls. Unfortunately, you don't get wireless charging support or ANC.

Namerah Saud Fatmi
Contributing Writer

Namerah Saud Fatmi is a contributing writer for Android Central. She has a passion for all things tech & gaming and has been an honorary Goodreads librarian since 2011. When she isn't writing, she can be found chasing stray cats and dogs in the streets of Dhaka or slaying dragons in the land of Skyrim. You can reach her on Twitter @NamerahS.