Here is a review of another TWS (true wireless stereo) Earphones from a new audio brand, ThatAudioCo, shortened as TAC. No company details are available, and the domain website is not accessible, but the Facebook Page is running and it has a rather inspiring promo video.
The Singapore distributor, iCentral Mobile, brought this product in and contacted me for a review. The TAC Sportsfre True Wireless Earphones is available from all Mobilestop retail outlets at a retail price of S$129.
Unboxing and Design
The product comes with the charging case, the earbuds, eartips, ear stabilizers, and charging cable.
The dock is charged with micro USB port at the back, and interestingly has a power button so the user can decide whether to charge the earbuds when docked. I thought this was unnecessary and I left it on all the time. If the power is off, then the earbuds do not auto-power down when docked.
The earbuds are coated with matt silicone which keeps the earbuds secure in-ears. Operation is via the large click button occupying the whole surface of the earbuds. The key actions are different from the usual: click once to adjust volume, click twice to play-pause, hold to change tracks.
The earbuds connect to one another via Bluetooth promptly when powered on. If no device is found, the earbuds automatically goes into pairing mode, which makes switching devices a breeze. The earbuds suffer the usual disruptions when encountering places with high radio interference, but they appear to be more resilient than the average.
Noise isolation is also excellent, and I have problems hearing conversations or daily routine (dispensing water in the office pantry, for instance). For some wearers, they may experience discomfort due to the deep and tight seal. These earphones last up to 12 hours, with the earbuds alone providing 3 hours per charge and the dock another 3 times charge.
The earbuds are also rated IPX7, which means they have gone through Ingress Protection rating to protect against temporary immersion in water, but not rated against solid (like dust). For users of smartphone voice command, the Sportsfre supports Siri and Google Assistant.
The Sportsfre earphones has a sound tuning that should work well for casual listeners. The lower bass offers sufficient volume that bloats pleasantly in your ears with every bass line. The treble delivers articulated brightness that does not sound too harsh and fatigue. The vocals are also not hazy, which I prefer. The audio quality cannot be compared with the pricier brands, as the details and resolution are not as precise. For instance, the midrange can be somewhat muddy if the track mix has strong bass mix, bleeding upwards, but it adds to the overall warmth that makes the earphones deliver the good mix of boom and clarity. Comparatively, the lower bass is slightly more forward than the treble, which works well for pop tracks, and is also acceptable for Classical genres.
Another weakness is that Sportsfre supports only SBC and AAC codecs, and SBC codec that most Android phones and older MP3 players are connected to exhibit compression artifacts. Note that even though the Sportsfre supports Bluetooth 5.0, it only implies the connectivity protocol that delivers faster connection, lower power consumption, but does not mean improved audio quality.
But as always, when connected to an iPhone, Sportsfre delivers impressive fidelity over AAC, with rumbling bass and sizzling highs, though it still lacks the detailed resolution, which again is probably only discernible by sharp-eared audiophiles.
In terms of stereo imaging, the Sportsfre seems to go uncentered occasionally and skewed towards the primary earbuds. I encountered such phenomenon in some other TWS and the way to resolve is to disconnect and reconnect. Where sound staging is concerned, the Sportsfre achieves quite a feat in the transparency, but again, lacks the precision delivered by other premium earphones.
Despite, watching social media content is excellent, as it hypes up the clarity and lows. There is acceptably low audio lag when watching video.
The TAC Sportsfre is relatively inexpensive with a consumer-friendly audio balance, which is substantial sub-bass and comparatively bright treble. With an IPX7 rating and fuss-free auto-pairing feature, users will get to enjoy music than worrying about pairing.
Every product needs to have unique selling factors to entice consumers to buy their product. While there are competitive TWS at around the price with some brand history, the TAC Sportsfre should appeal to workout users who sweat a lot, love deep bass music, and speaks regularly to Siri or Google intelligent assistants.
TAC Sportsfre comes with 1 year warranty and the service centre is located at The Vertex, 33 Ubi Ave 3, Tower A, #02-21A, S408868. The operating hours are 10.30am – 6pm, weekdays only.
- Driver size: 6mm
- Frequency response: 20 – 20,000 Hz
- Impedance: 16 ohm
- Speaker sensitivity: 93 dB / 1kHz
- Bluetooth codec: SBC, AAC
- Bluetooth version: 5.0
- Bluetooth profiles: HSP, HFP, A2DP, AVCRP
- Wireless range: 10m
- Battery Life: 3 hours (earbud, 45 mAh), 9 hours (case)
The TAC Sportsfre is available at the following Mobilestop retail outlets:
1. Tiong Bahru Plaza #B1-114
2. Jurong Point #03-118
3. City Square Mall #04-30
4. Serangoon NEX #04-K21
5. Punggol Waterway Point #B1-28
6. Northpoint City (South wing) #B1-124
7. Vivocity Pushcart opposite GV