Review: Helm True Wireless 5.0 headphones – Wait, I like K-Pop now?
Edgy looks for some smooth sounds.
You might not have heard of Helm Audio yet, but that’ll change after CES 2020, as the new audio company swept the floor with four innovation awards for its 2020 lineup. Those are all from the upcoming lineup though, so look out for those.
Today, we’re looking at the Helm True Wireless 5.0 headphones, which are normally $130 but you can occasionally find them on sale. Let’s see how they stack up in the crowded TWS market.
So, what are they all about?
Helm’s taken an interesting direction with these earbuds, choosing an edgy design in a sea of smoothed-over curves that the rest of the market is going with. It’ll likely be a love it or hate it design, but that’s good – it means Helm made a good decision to set them apart from the pack. The textured surface also makes it easier to adjust them into your ear, for the optimal seal.
Looking under that exterior is a veritable list of features that anyone would desire in a pair of TWS earbuds. There’s 24-bit aptX, 6+ hours of playtime before needing to recharge, auto-pairing and charging, a secure fit with ear hooks, a proprietary antenna that extend the wireless range, “Super Bass,” two mics for calls, and voice assistant compatibility. Sheesh, that’s a big package, metaphorically speaking…
Oh, and there’s another four or five charges in the carrying case, extending the playtime to 30 hours or so, according to Helm. The charging case is pretty small and recharges in a few hours via microUSB. Shame there’s no USB-C here, but maybe on the upcoming sets…
So, how do they sound?
Okay, I should start by saying that I’ve decided to take a different tack to my prior reviews. For the next few pieces of audio equipment I’m reviewing, I’m picking a different genre of music that I normally loathe, and seeing how well the equipment does. If it manages to convert me to the new genre, it gets a thumbs up. If it makes me want to scratch my ears out, maybe I’ll give some of my favorite tracks a listen to double-check it’s not just the new genre’s fault.
First up, K-POP:
Okay, so after pairing the TWS 5.0 to my Pixel 4, it’s over to Tidal for some K-Pop playlists (why, why did I decide this?). The thing is, I don’t know if it’s because of Tidal’s HiFi quality, or just how great these TWS 5.0s are… but I found myself enjoying Gangnam Style immensely. Yes, that’s right. The jaunty lyrics with that undulating bassline sounds amazing on these earbuds. That was the first track…
I’m not going to list the entirety of the K-Pop explosion that I’ve been listening to, just know that I’m now several hours in and I don’t want to turn it off. Seriously. This is a genre I loathed to begin with but now I can see the merits of its high production values and catchy hooks. I haven’t got a clue what they’re singing about, but I like it.
Is that enough of a commendation for the Helm TWS 5.0? I’d like to think so, I mean they made me like a genre of music that I previously avoided like the plague…
Tune in next time to find out what genre I subject my eardrums to next.
So, should I buy them?
In a word, yes. The TWS 5.0 from Helm beat everything I’ve listened to in the sub-$150 market to date.
Great connectivity, no glitching, chunky bass and a rounded sound that doesn’t lose the mids all combine to one heck of a set of TWS earbuds.
A sample unit was provided for the purpose of this review.
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