RHA TrueConnect 2 earbuds evaluation: Betting on battery life

“The RHA TrueConnect 2 carry wonderful battery life to snug wi-fi buds.”

IP55 weather-resistance score

9.5 hours of playback

Comfy design

Good sound high quality

Restricted codec help

Name high quality wants enchancment

It’s not simple being the RHA TrueConnect 2. Not solely are you anticipated to outperform your personal ancestor within the wonderful first-generation TrueConnect, however you’re now tasked with creating an influence in a category of true wi-fi earbuds that has turn into exponentially extra aggressive virtually in a single day.

Objectively, RHA did enhance on its authentic earbuds with its new, $150 TrueConnect 2 by doubling the buds’ battery life and heaping on even larger water resistance. However have these one-time true wi-fi champs superior sufficient to keep up their standing amongst a jam-packed area of nice earbuds? That’s the query of the hour for RHA.

Out of the field

Particularly within the case of true wi-fi earbuds, it’s turn into customary to maintain issues easy relating to packaging. Staying true to that custom, there aren’t any surprises with the TrueConnect 2. Contained in the field you’ll discover the earbuds and their charging case, a USB-C charging cable, and several other pairs of ear ideas secured in a stainless-steel ear tip holder.

Nick Woodard/Digital Developments

There’s no app to obtain with the TrueConnect 2, that means all it is advisable stand up and operating is a cellular machine with Bluetooth performance. These buds have Bluetooth 5 connectivity, and after over per week of utilizing these buds, I nonetheless haven’t had a single connection situation to talk of. If you happen to’re after buds that simply work, in the identical vein as Apple’s AirPods, these match that invoice nicely.

Design

There’s not a ton to say right here in regards to the design of the TrueConnect 2 that hasn’t already been mentioned in regards to the first-generation RHA buds. Each these pairs are almost equivalent in design, in all probability as a result of there wasn’t something damaged in regards to the authentic blueprint to repair.

Nick Woodard/Digital Developments

Again in these second-generation TrueConnects is the golf tee construction popularized by the AirPods, in addition to the identical matte black end that the originals had been wearing (there’s additionally a navy-blue choice). We mentioned it within the first evaluation, and it’s simply too good of a line to not repeat. These are Darth Vader’s AirPods, although I believe he already had all of the noise cancellation he wanted inside that helmet.

They’re barely heavier than the AirPods (6 grams, in comparison with Apple’s four), and the case is a hefty 79 grams versus the smaller, 40-gram AirPods case. The TrueConnect 2 is simply as well-built and distinctive as the unique, although, principally as a result of there’s actually no discernable bodily distinction between the 2.

What’s completely different are the controls on this pair. The primary era every had a button that required a number of presses to allow every command. With the second-gen TrueConnect buds, RHA included capacitive contact controls in an effort to make utilizing the buds that a lot simpler. I’ll agree that it’s higher — to a level. The contact controls are a bit too delicate, which precipitated me to unintentionally repeatedly pause podcasts and music as I attempted to regulate them in my ear.

Talking of changes, the match with the TrueConnect 2 is loads safe for extra intensive actions, although full disclosure, it was fairly heat throughout my time testing these buds, so the runs I often take new earbuds on had been a lot shorter. They held up wonderful for these stretches, however I can’t touch upon how nicely they might keep in place for the long-distance lovers of the world. Nonetheless lengthy you could have these buds in, they’re snug, due to the tender foam ideas included within the ensemble.

Options

The RHA TrueConnect 2 do have a number of new options in addition to some holdovers from the originals which can be nonetheless strong perks to level out. The problem, although, is these options don’t do fairly sufficient to distinguish these buds from the plethora of recent rivals that carry out the identical capabilities, oftentimes higher.

Nick Woodard/Digital Developments

RHA almost doubled battery life from the primary TrueConnect buds, outfitting the brand new model with 9.5 hours of playback and 44 hours of whole battery life with the included case. These numbers simply beat the Apple AirPods and would have been thought to be groundbreaking stats if these buds got here out, say, a number of months sooner. However the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ and Sony WF-SP800N each beat RHA to market, and every have higher playback instances (11 and 13 hours, respectively). So, despite the fact that I haven’t even unwrapped the USB-C charging cable but as a result of they’ve lasted so lengthy, 9.5 hours simply doesn’t have the identical luster to it that it might have earlier this yr.

Water-resistance received beefed up within the new TrueConnect 2, too, with an IP55 score in comparison with the primary gen’s IPX5. The brand new score provides the TrueConnect 2 safety towards mud along with being impervious to water jets, making these earbuds greater than succesful for exercises. Sony’s WF-SP800N carry the identical resistance, although they’re $50 extra. The Jabra Elite Energetic 75t are totally waterproof with an IP57 score, however as soon as once more value $50 greater than the TrueConnect 2.

The TrueConnect 2 can be suitable with voice assistants like Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, or Amazon Alexa. However when you wished buds particularly for that performance, the Google Pixel Buds 2, Apple AirPods, or Amazon Echo Buds would all be higher alternate options, respectively.

Past these three traits, the TrueConnect 2 are in any other case gentle on options. They don’t, for example, have lively noise cancellation. Opponents just like the AirPods or Pixel Buds don’t both, however a rising variety of rivals are including ANC on a funds (the Edifier TWS NB come to thoughts as do the Panasonic RZ-S500Ws), and RHA may have gotten a leg up on the Apples and Googles of the world by working in some efficient noise cancellation. Because it stands, its absence right here is tough to disregard.

Audio high quality

RHA says it “refined the sound signature” of the TrueConnect 2, however the reality of the matter is these buds seemingly received’t sound considerably completely different than the originals to the typical ear. That’s a great factor, nonetheless, as a result of each pairs sound fairly darn good.

Nick Woodard/Digital Developments

The authoritative bass from the primary era made the transition to the TrueConnect 2 properly, displaying managed low finish in songs like Maroon 5’s One Extra Night time or Lizzo’s Fact Hurts. Bass isn’t all the things, and fortunately the 6mm dynamic drivers on the coronary heart of those buds appear to have the ability to deal with no matter frequencies get thrown their approach properly. The Faces’ Ooh La La is all the time a favourite check monitor of mine, since I do know precisely how these opening chords are purported to sound, and I’m blissful to report the TrueConnect 2 did them justice.

I’m disillusioned that RHA skipped out on aptX help as soon as once more, one thing we had been trying to find within the originals. The TrueConnect 2 have SBC help however is in any other case extremely restricted in audio codec availability. That mentioned, I’d be assured in letting these buds toe the road with most different rivals of their value vary, from the AirPods to Google’s Pixel Buds and Samsung’s Galaxy Buds+, with the distinction in high quality being virtually fully subjective when it’s this shut. The TrueConnect 2 don’t contact our benchmark buds by way of audio high quality, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wi-fi 2, however for half the price we didn’t count on it to anyway.

The TrueConnect 2 have a dual-microphone setup that RHA says is meant to concurrently focus in your voice and take away background noise to assist enhance name high quality. From my experiences, RHA received it half proper. My voice did come throughout exceptionally clear throughout calls I made with these buds, however in a number of situations, the opposite finish of the decision caught all of the background suggestions. Once you’re strolling down a busy roadway whereas a woodchipper growls within the distance, it doesn’t make for a nice expertise for the individual you’re speaking to.

Our take

The RHA TrueConnect 2 used a pair of excellent true wi-fi earbuds as a basis and improved upon them in a number of key areas. However whereas the TrueConnect 2 took a strong step ahead, it looks like everybody else took three. Nonetheless, sound high quality and options versus the value level could be robust to steadiness, and whereas we had been on the lookout for extra right here, it’s laborious to fault RHA for the ultimate product given its comparatively low value.

Are there higher alternate options?

For $50 extra, I feel the $200 Sony WF-SP800N may very well be a really compelling choice with its higher battery life, comparable climate resistance, and its stellar lively noise cancellation. If you happen to had been on the lookout for buds that may very well be extra pleasant to a selected working system, you received’t lose a lot in the best way of high quality by trying on the $199 Apple AirPods or $179 Google Pixel Buds 2, although the TrueConnect 2 beat each by way of battery life.

How lengthy will they final?

The TrueConnect 2 include a three-year guarantee, which is way and away top-of-the-line warranties I’ve seen for true wi-fi earbuds. RHA is standing by their buds, which ought to offer you some peace of thoughts by way of how lengthy these will final.

Must you purchase them?

Sure. Regardless that many competing buds have gained floor on RHA, the TrueConnect 2 are a strong pair of buds identical to their predecessors. They might be at risk of falling right into a sea of comparable earbuds within the not-so-distant future, however for now, these are nonetheless a number of the higher buds you could find on this value vary.

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