One of the best things about my job is that I get to listen to some amazing audio gear, including some very special headphones. One of the not so good things about this job is that I often hear questionable earbuds that aren’t that good; A lot of very cheap earbuds can be pretty awful.
So imagine my surprise when a new pair of true wireless earbuds showed up for review recently. The Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro is only $35.99 and it sounds like it should be three times the price. If you’re on a tight budget (and who isn’t?), then lend your ears to these amazing little earbuds and see what you think.
The Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro are AirPod-style earbuds that sit in the ear and do not have silicone ear tips to form a tight seal with the ear canal. Still, they fit very well with a slight twist, and while I don’t like earbud-style earbuds, these are surprisingly comfortable and secure.
At the heart of the Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro is a Qualcomm QCC3040 Bluetooth chipset with support for SBC, AAC, aptX Adaptive and a low-latency mode for watching movies and games. The earbuds’ design is AirPod-esque and their storage case has four white LEDs on the front to indicate the remaining charge in the case. There’s also a button on the bottom of the case for resetting and repairing the connection to a smartphone or other device if there’s a problem. That’s a nice touch.
A full charge of the Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro offers up to 6.5 hours, while the case has a reserve charge of 27 hours, including the charge held in the earbuds. That’s enough for a few weeks of commuting. There’s no wireless charging capability at this price point, but a two-hour charge with a USB-C cable is enough to fully charge the case and earbuds.
Like all these types of earbuds, the Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro has touch controls on each earbud and they can be used to adjust the volume, change tracks, pause the music, answer calls, reject calls, and the controls can invoke a voice assistant and Switch to low latency gaming mode by triple tapping the left earbud.
Luckily, Tronsmart didn’t use active noise cancellation (ANC) on the Onyx Ace Pro. Some budget earbuds try to offer this feature, but at this price point it’s hardly effective or worth it. It’s far better to have better audio quality than trying to sniff in ANC as well. The budget just doesn’t stretch that far.
Pairing the earbuds with a smartphone is easy and only needs to be done once. The driver in each earbud is a 13mm dynamic type, which is a beast of a driver that can shift a lot of air and produce a loud sound. These are impressive earbuds and there shouldn’t be any complaints about the volume being too low. They are some of the loudest true wireless earbuds I’ve ever heard.
Each earbud has two built-in microphones to pick up the user’s voice when on a call or issuing commands to Siri or Google Assistant. The pickup quality is very good and I would love to use the Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro for phone calls and calls. And if you’re on the phone while jogging in the rain or sweating it out at the gym, you’ll be pleased to know that the earbuds are rated IPX5 for water and sweat resistance.
Now let’s move on to the sound quality of those large 13mm drivers. The Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro produces a big sound, but it’s a refined sound with an impressive bass that doesn’t distort. The midrange is slightly deepened with a very weak nasal quality, but not enough to spoil the music. Finally, the treble frequencies are clear and sweet. Occasionally the sounds of things like cymbals can be a bit tangy, but overall the sound these earbuds produce is excellent. I even found myself tapping my toes while listening to Zé Amaro’s Excellent Homem de Sonhos Album.
For those who don’t know Zé Amaro, he calls himself “The Portuguese Cowboy” and his music is the perfect blend of classic country music with a touch of Portuguese folk and a side dish of sertaneja. The feeling of Bob Dylan runs through this album like a silver thread Desire Album from 1976. The accordion and violin meander through many tracks on the album, reminding me Desire. The violin is reminiscent of Scarlet Rivera’s playing on “Hurricane” while the smooth accordion echoes the track “Joey”.
The Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro was able to unravel all the intricacies of the instruments on this beautifully recorded album, separating everything perfectly and particularly well with the standout track, a duet with Spanish chanteuse Lucía Perez called “Tudo Se Paga”, to perform. which reminds me a bit of “Romance in Durango”.
Verdict: The Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro earphones offer amazing value for money, producing sound that’s big and bold but never uncouth or unruly. I don’t usually do very well with earpod-style earbuds, but the Onyx Ace Pro worked well with my odd ears. The beautifully balanced sound and the lush volume made the Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro a real pleasure to listen to. The ultimate test of a good pair of earbuds is when you soon forget you’re testing a pair of earbuds and instead start getting into the groove of the music. I did that with these affordable earbuds. If you want a pair of earbuds that sound great, don’t cost a fortune, and won’t make you cry in your coffee if you lose them, then the Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro are the earbuds for you.
Prices & Availability: The Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro is available now and costs $35.99 / £30.17 / €34.85.
More info: www.tronsmart.com
- Model: E2031
- Color variants: black or white
- Type: Semi-In-Ear
- Audio Codecs: aptX Adaptive, aptX, AAC, SBC
- Bluetooth version: 5.2
- Bluetooth range: 10m (open area)
- Microphones: 4
- IP protection class: IPX5
- Playing time: Up to 6.5 hours (single charge)
- Case charge: Up to 27 hours (with the charging case)
- Charging time headphones: 90 minutes, case: 120 minutes
- Driver: 13mm dynamic
- Frequency range: 20-20kHz
- Voice Assistant: Support Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant, etc
- Weight: Eartips 4g / Case: 37g