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Review: Tronsmart Apollo Air+ earbuds have it all, except looks

Tronsmart delivers great audio without bothering too much about looks.

Tronsmart isn't the first name that pops in your head when you think of true wireless earbuds. You may have heard of Tronsmart's Bluetooth speakers or quick-charge accessories, but not as much about earbuds. With these new Tronsmart Apollo earbuds, you'll want to start paying attention.

The under $100 segment of the wireless earbud market is heavily competitive and full of great choices. Now Tronsmart has thrown its hat in the ring with the upper mid-range Apollo Air+ true wireless earbuds. In a very calculated bet, Tronsmart has offered almost everything you could want from a great pair of earbuds, except for an enticing exterior.

Bottom line: The Tronsmart Apollo Air+ earbuds come full to the brim with upper-tier features. The star of the show is the excellent audio quality, which these earbuds deliver seemingly effortlessly. At this price point, you can't ask for anything more — except for a better-looking design. They may be rated IP45, but they sure don't look like it.

The Good

  • Fantastic sound quality
  • Wireless charging
  • IP45 dust and water-resistance
  • Great ANC and ambient mode
  • Good battery life
  • Perfect touch controls
  • Clear call quality

The Bad

  • Unattractive design
  • Feels ill-constructed
  • Loose case hinge is problematic
  • EQ presets in the app aren't customizable

$95 at Geekbuying $100 at AliExpress

Tronsmart Apollo Air+ True Wireless Earbuds: Price and availability

The Tronsmart Apollo Air+ debuted on June 15, 2021, along with the regular Apollo Air wireless earbuds. The duo is identical in every way, save for wireless charging and in-ear detection. Unlike the cheaper $70 Apollo Air, the Apollo Air+ earbuds are not on Amazon yet, but they'll be coming soon. Meanwhile, you can buy the Tronsmart Apollo Air+ wireless earbuds for $100 from Geekbuying or AliExpress.

Tronsmart Apollo Air+ True Wireless Earbuds: What I like

Although Tronsmart makes other wireless earbuds, this is the first time it's attempted to reach for the stars. Usually, budget earbuds have to compromise on at least one crucial feature to keep the price below the $100 mark. With the Apollo Air+ wireless earbuds, Tronsmart tried really hard not to trade off any key features. Before getting into the thick of it, let's talk about the Apollo Air+'s design for a bit.

The Apollo Air+ earbuds look bland, but they're functional, sitting reasonably comfortably in my ears.

The earbuds come in a plain rectangular case with a matte finish and rounded corners. Stowed away neatly inside the case are the earbuds themselves. Though I'm not keen on the overall look of the Apollo Air+ earbuds and their case, I must admit the earbuds themselves are not so bad. The earbuds are glossy and have a stem-like shape that Apple AirPods popularized. They look bland, but they're functional, sitting reasonably comfortably in my ears. These aren't the most ergonomic true wireless earbuds I've ever used, but they stayed put and did not fall out.

Category Tronspart Apollo Air+
Driver 10mm custom graphene drivers
Chip Qualcomm QCC3046
Audio codec AAC
Qualcomm AptX Adaptive
Ambient Mode Yes
Battery 5 hours (ANC off)
Case battery 20 hours (ANC off)
Wireless charging Yes, Qi
Microphones 6 mics
Bluetooth version 5.2
Water and dust resistance IP45
Dimensions 2.36 x 1.27 x 1.46 inches
43 grams
Colors Black, White

On the top of each earbud, the touch panel sits inside a concave surface. I loved these inward-curving panels because they fit fingertips perfectly, contributing to their effectiveness. The response time was excellent, and I had no trouble maneuvering through the various controls. You can increase or decrease the volume, change songs, press pause or play, answer or reject calls, trigger Google Assistant, and switch between ANC and the ambient mode via the touch controls. All these functions are fully customizable and can be set to your liking through the Tronsmart app.

The Tronsmart app works very well, and the Apollo Air+ earbuds connect to it consistently. Apart from the controls, the app also lets you personalize your audio experience somewhat. While there's an equalizer, you can only choose from presets present in the app — so there isn't much room for customization in that regard. Nonetheless, the sound quality on the Apollo Air+ true wireless earbuds does not disappoint with these presets.

Everyone has different tastes and preferences when it comes to earbud audio. But one thing's for sure, you know it's a great pair of earbuds when they bring a song to life. When you listen to the music, it doesn't sound like a recording; you can feel the soul and energy of the song radiate through. And that's what you get with the Apollo Air+ earbuds: music that can be felt, not just heard.

Every instrument stood out beautifully, and the vocals were crisp and clear.

I love different types of music, and my tastes are pretty well spread out. This helped with the testing as I played jazzy numbers like Frank Sinatra's Fly Me to the Moon and the classic theme music for Assassin's Creed, composed by Jesper Kyd. Every instrument stood out beautifully, and the vocals were crisp and clear. From there, I moved on to try louder stuff like Shinedown and Metallica, the upbeat tunes of Jay-Z's Empire State of Mind, and even pulsating trance melodies created by Armin Van Buuren.

These are some starkly different genres, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Apollo Air+ excelled across the board. They treated my ears to a cheerful, full-bodied, rich sound that had just the right amount of punch. The earbuds executed mids and lows very well. Best of all was the bass, which sounded fantastic. Having ANC on or off did not affect the audio experience much either.

The noise cancellation feature on the Tronsmart Apollo Air+ is really good.

Speaking of ANC, the noise cancellation feature on the Tronsmart Apollo Air+ is really good. You can either turn it on or off completely, or you can choose to switch to the ambient mode, which allows only certain sounds to seep through like vocals or car horns. As I am currently in lockdown, I did not get to test these earbuds outside. Luckily, the neighbors are redecorating. The Apollo Air+ drowned out the incessant drilling noises extremely well, albeit with a dull whirring sound slipping in here and there. I also tried the ambient mode out at home, and it performed just as well.

The 10mm graphene drivers push out sound quality that's worth every dollar of that $100 price tag.

When you get a great new pair of earbuds, it feels like you're listening to your favorite songs for the first time all over again. You can hear new little bits and pieces of the song that you hadn't heard before. It's like looking at something from a different perspective, and it's something I look forward to every time I get my hands on a new audio device. The Tronsmart Apollo Air+ certainly offer this transformative experience, with those 10mm graphene drivers pushing out sound quality that's worth every dollar of that $100 price tag.

Tronsmart Apollo Air+ True Wireless Earbuds: What I don't like

The buds feel as cheap as they look.

Despite all the great features on the Apollo Air+ earbuds, they have their faults. For starters, their build quality looks poor, and the buds feel as cheap as they look. There's no getting around the fact that the buds' plasticky construction combined with their glossy finish looks very ugly. I don't understand why Tronsmart decided to go with this design; they make plenty of other earbuds that are much more appealing, such as the Apollo Bold earbuds .

Similarly, the carrying case might be matte but otherwise looks very generic. I have seen bars of soap that are more interesting. Beyond my superficial concerns, the case has a design flaw. Its hinges are too loose, so whenever you open the case, the magnet will quickly snap the lid closed without you touching it. There were times when I didn't even take the earbuds out before the lid immediately snapped shut, 5 or 6 times in a row. It goes to show that very little thought was put into the form factor and design decisions.

The IP45 dust and water-resistance rating gave me little comfort.

The IP45 dust and water-resistance rating gave me little comfort because the earbuds feel like they'll fall apart if you so much as sneeze on them. To be fair, I did drop the case a couple of times and nothing chipped or broke, but I didn't risk dropping the earbuds. I hope the earbuds are not really as flimsy or fragile as they appear to be. However, it is the mark of an unfinished product when it doesn't give users confidence, and I definitely knocked points off the Apollo Air+ for that.

Tronsmart Apollo Air+ True Wireless Earbuds: Competition

There are hundreds of other earbuds priced similarly to the Apollo Air+ but very few that come close to offering the same specs in one package. One glance at the spec sheet, and you can easily say that Tronsmart is gunning for the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro. Both wireless earbuds have the same form factor and very close specifications. In terms of audio quality, the Apollo Air+ is superior, but the Anker Soundcore earbuds deliver far better noise cancellation and are very nice to look at. The duo shares the same number of mics and has equally good call quality.

In terms of audio quality, the Apollo Air+ is superior, but the Anker Soundcore earbuds deliver far better noise cancellation.

On the other hand, you'll have to spend a little more for the Liberty Air 2 Pro, which doesn't have the Qualcomm AptX codec like the Apollo Air+. Choosing Anker also means settling for only IPX4 water resistance and worse touch controls. On the other hand, the Soundcore app allows a lot more customizability, and you can personalize EQ for better sound as per your preferences.

If you've got your sights set high up, the Galaxy Buds+ are undoubtedly better. They cost a lot more, and you'd be giving up ANC, but you can find them discounted quite often and the premium build is definitely worth it. For those on a tight budget, the Creative Outlier Air V2 sound amazing but lack any luxurious features.

Tronsmart Apollo Air+ True Wireless Earbuds: Should you buy them?

You should buy these if ...

  • You enjoy rich and lively audio
  • You don't care about looks
  • You want ANC
  • You appreciate wireless charging
  • You don't mind fixed EQ presets
  • You need a pair of earbuds with pristine call quality

You shouldn't buy these if...

  • You want earbuds with solid build quality
  • You like stylish earbuds
  • You want something with a premium feel

If you're trying to make up your mind about buying a pair of the Apollo Air+ earbuds, get your priorities straight. These are some badass earbuds, and I believe they surely give the likes of the Liberty Air 2 Pro a run for their money in the sound department. But when it comes to look and feel, the cheapest budget earbuds could beat Tronsmart to a bloody pulp.

If you're really picky about the style, shape, and color of your true wireless earbuds, the Tronsmart Apollo Air+ are not for you. They're a great pair of earbuds, but there are so many better-looking options available in the same price range. Other earbuds may not sound this good or perform this consistently, but they'll certainly be pleasing to the eye.

On the other hand, if the external bits don't bother you, don't even bat an eyelid. Grab yourself a pair of the Apollo Air+ whether you want them for everyday use, business calls, or gym workouts. These trusty earbuds are a jack of all trades and can fit well in all these roles.

4 out of 5

All things considered, the Tronsmart Apollo Air+ are all-rounders. They can handle any audio-related task you throw their way with excellence. The ANC isn't the stuff of legends, but it's good enough for most people. You get fabulous sound quality and a heap of great specs like the IP45 dust and water resistance for durability, Qi wireless charging that is so handy, 20 hours of battery life, and great touch controls that are fully customizable. At a great price like this, you won't find another pair of true wireless earbuds that deliver all that the Apollo Air+ have to offer.

Bottom line: Tronsmart made a great sounding pair of wireless earbuds but forgot the importance of looks in the process. The Apollo Air+ offer an almost premium auditory experience, but the stuff they're made from is far from high-quality. If you don't mind the unattractive design or the plastic build, the Apollo Air+ earbuds promise to keep your ears happy.

$95 at Geekbuying $100 at AliExpress

Source: androidcentral

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