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New in-ear Headphones TWS 1 from Axel Grell

thewas

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As known he was involved in the engineering of some of the most famous headphones of Sennheiser like HD580/600/650, HD800/800S and HE-1 and left Sennheiser few years ago, so his new personal attempt will be interesting:


For over three decades, Axel Grell has crafted headphones designed to produce world-class sound — at times, with little-to-no regard for price consideration. Throughout his mission to enhance the clarity and transparency in the headphone lines he produced, Grell garnered a devoted following among members of the audiophile community for his close attention to detail throughout all parts of the manufacturing process, pairing high-quality components with cutting-edge product designs — until the 1990s, when his uncompromising pursuit to design the most neutral headphones possible catapulted him to legendary status among audiophile communities.

Grell audio in-ear headphones mark a pioneering step forward in the realm of high-end listening devices, providing a unique combination of high-quality technological components, German design and meticulous attention to detail. The result is a stunning sound-signature created expressly for a new generation of digitally-connected listeners. Featuring TWS/1 technology, custom 10mm dynamic drivers, 34-hour (combined) battery life (ANC On), and transducers with a tolerance of +/- 1 dB, Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) — plus, Axel Grell Noise Annoyance Reduction (NAR) technology — grell audio true wireless headphones boast minimalistic, industrial-style design, which contrasts the complexity and richness of the acoustic output, without sacrificing a comfortable fit.

Unlike any of the designer’s earlier endeavours, however, grell audio seeks with its business model to lower the cost for the end-user, ushering in the future of high-res audio through a sales model tailored towards the spending habits of the digital age looking for opportunities to save money on high-end products without sacrificing quality for price. Sold directly through the company’s website and through an exclusive pre-order release on Drop.com, grell audio’s online-only sales model seeks to remove some of the economic barrier-to-entry for budding audiophiles, and to nurture the next generation of sound for tomorrow’s listener.


Active Noise Cancellation
Firm Fit
NAR Technology
True Wireless
Wireless Charging


Sound

10.1mm high precision custom dynamic drivers
Dynamic transducers (tolerance +/- 1 db)
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) Qualcomm® cVc™ Noise Cancellation
Axel Grell Noise Annoyance Reduction (NAR)
Max Sound Pressure Level 105 dB SPL 1 kHz in some countries
Frequency Range 6Hz - 22 kHz
Low-noise, match-paired microphones
SoundID app

Design
In-ear headphones
Splash Proof (IPX4)
Weight: 7.3g each earbud
Aluminum charging case

Connectivity
Bluetooth 5.2 with Qualcomm 5141 chipset
Bluetooth range over 50 meters (164 feet)
Compatible with iOS and Android, as well as tablets and laptops.
Audio Codecs: SBC, AAC, Qualcomm® aptX™, Qualcomm® aptX™ adaptive, LHDC

Power
Up to 34 hours of listening time with ANC ON (6 hours in earbuds and over 4 full charges in the charging case)
Up to 45 hours of listening time with ANC OFF (Over 8 hours in earbuds and over 4 full charges)
USB-C charge connector
Wireless charging compatible

Controls
Glass touch field for gesture commands on each earbud
Built in voice-assistant


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Jimbob54

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Anyone tried these yet? Its a big chunk of change to gamble on a new company or roll the dice on the import duties etc for the Drop version. Id love a pair of TWS with good measurements and EQ settings derived from them, good for phone calls / vid calls but can then listen to music inbetween.
 

GaryH

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Looks like Mr Grell should stick to tuning headphones.
View attachment 172309
Aligning at 1 kHz and using Crinacle's (not blind tested) target makes it look worse than it is. The standard in the scientific literature is to align at 500 Hz:

graph-3.png


Still not great, and the poor channel matching is inexcusable (nearly double the claimed tolerance of +/- 1 dB).
 

ArthuRScarlet

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looks like an in-ear HD820, Grell is still thinking close-back headphones/IEM should have a boosted bass, a hollow low-mid, an anti-3Khz-high-mid with 2khz boost.
 

Jimbob54

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First I've seen of a Drop happening in conjunction with an actual release, lol. What's the difference, just the blue bits of plastic?
Exactly that. Suppose it depends what continent you are on as to which is better value.
 

Jimbob54

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Interesting. I'm in the US and both are the same, $199 + free shipping w/ Grell direct and Drop.
Customs and taxes via Grell direct from EU maybe? I think I read the blue bits were a Drop request. But no, I dont get the dual release either.
 

brandall10

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Customs and taxes via Grell direct from EU maybe? I think I read the blue bits were a Drop request. But no, I dont get the dual release either.

Nope, $199 shipped from Grell using my Denver address. Maybe coming from US based warehouse? It seems as if Drop is a marketing move.
 
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goldendeer44

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Anyone tried these yet? Its a big chunk of change to gamble on a new company or roll the dice on the import duties etc for the Drop version. Id love a pair of TWS with good measurements and EQ settings derived from them, good for phone calls / vid calls but can then listen to music inbetween.
Hello. This is my first posting here but I have been following this website for a while.
I was into earphones back in the days of UE triple-fi and recently getting into back.
I got Grell TWS/1 after Christmas and have been using it for the last few days.
I found it to be tuned similar to Harman in-ear target (with less treble) and has a surprisingly wide sound stage.
One gripe is that the volume is quite low so I have to crank up the volume on my iphone se (gen 2) to about 80% whereas I usually don't go over 50%.
I didn't bother much with EQ but it's available on the companion soundID app.
A head-fi review (review) is close to my impression so I would direct you there for more detailed description.

I haven't tested the mic so I cannot make any comment on phone calls.
ANC/NAR works but is weaker than Sony WF-1000XM3.
While ANC should be enough for daily usage but I don't think it will be enough to block train or airplane noise in a long distance travel.

The initial reception on this earphones has been quite negative, as indicated by comments above and at other forums.
I guess the reasons are 1) Crinacle's FR curve has a wonky dip in the mid and 2) soundID app doesn't work well.

About the first reason, the Grell audio's official FR curve doesn't show such dip.
I also used a tone generator to test this right after I got these and updated firmware.
I did not hear any decrease in the sound level around ~1000 Hz.
I don't understand how Crinacle got such result but he seems to have scrapped the initial impression on Grell TWS/1.

Comments on drop.com show a lot of people had problems on using soundID app.
But I never faced any problem and the firmware update was done faster than making a cup of coffee.
So I guess most of the initial launch problem have been addressed.
 

Gurkerl

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Why is it standard practice to align the graphs at a certain frequency? Wouldn't it make more sense to align them in a way it matches the target the most? The way they are aligned now makes it look like the TWS1 is extremely V-shaped,
 
OP
thewas

thewas

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Why is it standard practice to align the graphs at a certain frequency? Wouldn't it make more sense to align them in a way it matches the target the most? The way they are aligned now makes it look like the TWS1 is extremely V-shaped,
True, I would generally align audio transducers to something like minimising the RMS difference between 300 and 3000 Hz.
 

staticV3

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well what's important is that before firmware update 2.3, the frequency response with transparency mode enabled was straight up broken and that's the mode Crinacle used for his measurement. After the update, all three modes have the same response, which looks very balanced indeed (maybe a bit bassy).
 
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