AVIOT recently shot into a mini stardom in the audio market. They were unknown until they won several prizes on VGP 2019, a major audio-visual award in Japan. In Singapore, AVIOT audio earphones are distributed by GrandTech Systems, a public listed company in Taiwan with offices in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan.
Prior to being released to the general public, the TE-D01b earphones were crowdfunded on the Japanese platform “Green Funding”. The campaign succeeded in raising 20 million yen (about USD 187,000), surpassing the initial goal of 1 million yen. The TE-D01b was awarded the Wireless Prize as well as the Gold Award in the Bluetooth True Wireless Earphones (over ¥10,000/Under ¥15,000) Category, beating Nufore BE Free5, NUARL NT01B, JBL Free X, to name a few.
With such an impressive accolade, I took the unit in for a test.
Unboxing and Design
AVIOT differentiates their products with a different suffix at the end of the model name. So, TE-D01a is completely different from TE-D01b or c or d. I would have expected some semblance with minor spec variations, but actually, they are all different designs. So, just be mindful when shopping for the units.
The AVIOT TE-D01b is the top line model (and I wonder why it’s “b” and not “a” or “d”), delivering up to 9 hours playback time per charge. The earbuds supports aptX and AAC codecs, connects using the latest Qualcomm TrueWireless Stereo Plus where the both earbuds receive the audio signals directly from the audio source. This is opposed to the cross-head transmission method from one earbud to another earbud which is prone to latency.
The charging case is made of aluminium body with a plastic-material slider which takes some muscle strength and some patience to pull out. At home, I would leave the case in the slide-out position for ease of use. The earbuds are symmetrical shaped, so the buds can be charged in either slots. A 4-LED indicator tells the remaining battery life of the charging case, which can support a total of 60 hours use time.
Operating the earbuds is via the respective buttons on each bud, which supports play-pause (tap with single tone) and track changes (hold for 3 seconds to wait for two tones). To go into pairing mode, press and hold for 6 seconds (and hear triple tones). You can initiate pairing with either earbuds, and once one side is paired, the phone will automatically prompt to pair the other earbud too. In the event that you find this auto-sync not working, you can reset the earbuds by pressing both earbuds for 10 seconds, which will make both earbuds re-sync to each other.
Depending on which earbud you power up (or remove from the case) first, the phone will connect to either one and then sync to the other. If one earbud gets powered off, the other earbud will establish connection with the phone automatically. The TE-D01b can store up to 8 devices, but in order to switch devices, you need to disconnect Bluetooth from the current device before you can connect to the next device.
Does the AVIOT TE-D01b sound good to deserve the VGP award? Honestly, the earbuds do not wow me at an instant. The bass is sufficient but not too heavy, the treble is clean and clear but not too transparent. AVIOT claims that their products are “Japan Tuned”, which is characterised by flat sound that is not stimulated with boosted lows or highs. But after listening it for a while, the audio characteristics starts to reveal itself.
Unlike the Mavin Air-X where it won me over with the utmost transparency, what I enjoy the AVIOT TE-D01b is the cohesive stereo imaging which creates a comfortable sound stage. There are layers of texture to be enjoyed, from the foundational bass that fills the lows without lingering too long, to the midrange that is warmly supportive and delightfully detailed, and the vocals that are intimate yet not too harsh and flat. The icing of the cake is the highs, while not exceedingly transparent, still achieves revealing presence that adds spatial dimension to the instruments.
The TE-D01b can absolutely deliver the sound that matches normal wireless earphones, and I would even say that the sound staging can almost match over-ear headphones. But I don’t enjoy playing at loud volumes, as the mid-treble tends to get more forward and harsh.
The only thing that might give it away is the compression consistency. Due to the constant negotiation and syncing of the earbuds, there are bound to be occasional transmission interferences and some imperfections at the upper frequencies. Listeners with sensitive ears would hear some faint random electrostatic noises during quiet audio passages or when operating the phone without music, but should not bother the general public.
Wear for Running
I have no issues wearing the earbuds for runs. They do not come loose nor fall out. The earbuds are rated IPX7 to withstand casual water encounters.
Audio Latency over Video
The TE-D01b appears to have zero audio latency when watching video, but occasionally, I encounter the audio playing ahead of the video.
True to AVIOT’s philosophy, the TE-D01b achieves a balanced frequency with sufficient bass response and treble clarity that do not immediately cause your ears to perk up, unlike other earphones. But it won me over with the comfortable sound staging, musical details, and versatile connectivity.
The TE-D01b retails in Singapore for S$239, with 1-year local warranty by GrandTech Systems, located at 10 Ubi Crescent, #02-02 Ubi Techpark Lobby A, Singapore 408564
AVIOT TE-D01b Specs
- Driver: φ6 mm dynamic type
- Sensitivity: 91 dB ± 3 dB
- Impedance: 16 Ω
- Maximum Input: 5 mW
- Playback frequency bandwidth: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
- Internal Microphone Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
- Internal Microphone Sensitivity: -42 dB /± 3 dB
- Microphone Function: cVc 8.0 with noise canceling
- Battery Capacity: Earphone 45 mAh / Case 800 mAh
- Playback Time: Up to 9 hours
- Charging Time: 1.5–2 hours
- On-board SoC: Qualcomm QCC3026
- Communication Method: Bluetooth 5.0
- Connection Method: TWS, TWS Plus
- Supported Bluetooth Codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX
- Supported Bluetooth Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
- Bluetooth Multi-Pairing: 8 devices
- Waterproof Performance: IPX7
- Weight: Earphone about 4.5 g each / Case about 85.5 g
Note: Product provided free of charge for the purpose of this review, and does not affect the final verdict and rating. No other compensation was received.