If you have read my other review of Advanced Model X, you would have already known that Advanced Sound Group is an audio equipment manufacturer who makes earphones, headphones, DAC amplifier, ear tips, cables. With the relative popularity of Model X and their expertise in customised audio accessories, Advanced developed the new M5-TWS which is crafted using 3D-printing technology.
The M5-TWS is the world’s first true wireless earbuds that is mass-produced with 3D-printing. Its ergonomic housing is designed based on 50,000+ actual ear impression data collected over the years to ensure maximum compatibility and comfort. Its complex contours that resemble the actual in-ear shape could only be achieved by implementing the 3D-printing technique over the traditional mould tooling method. The surface is hand-polished to perfection and the striped pattern plate added for that striking look.
To add to the distinctiveness, the earbuds are in different colours: one is in striking red while the other is in glossy black. The round casing is CNC-machined and uses anodized aluminium material for a durable build. 4 tiny LEDs provide information on the charging status and battery level.
As the earbuds are ergonomically contoured, there is no need for any twisting to lock them. Just push the earbuds straight into the ears and they sit in place comfortably. They seal the canal perfectly and cause no pain nor excessive intrusion because of the perfect mould where the earbuds hug onto my ear walls. The glossy surface feels like silk against the skin.
The M5-TWS automatically goes into pairing mode when no device is connected. Either earbud can be the master simply by picking up your favourite side first and let your smartphone connect to it first. The second earbud to remove from the charging case will be the secondary unit.
To prevent accidental triggers, a single tap on the sensor does nothing. To play-pause, double tap on either earbud. To jump to next track, triple tap the right earbud. To go to previous track, triple tap the left earbud. For calls, double tap answers, while triple tap rejects. The earbuds cannot control volume nor can they trigger smartphone assistant like Google or Siri.
Battery life per earbud is 9 hours, while the charging case affords up to 32 hours. With IPX5 water rating, you can safely use them in wet conditions but not submerge in water.
Like the Advanced Model X, the M5-TWS tuning has emphasis on the mid-treble frequency, but it’s a little more detailed in the tuning compared to the Model X (you can refer back to my other post). As a result, I find that while there are still hints of harshness on certain audio mixes, the treble is more palatable. Additionally, the bass is elevated with distinct body yet it does not overpower and occupy the ears.
I enjoy listening Classical and Jazz tracks on the M5-TWS because it brings out the treble energy supported by adequate brightness at the high treble. Occasionally they do sound a little veiled, but it was forgivable with the intense bass pumped up by the orchestra. On Jazz tracks, the acoustic double bass reverberates sweetly while the main instrument delivers a full and warm rendition. Strings do not sound clinically sparkling, more of a vinyl texture.
For pop tracks, where the vocals are already mixed with strength, the M5-TWS might further boost which turns out a little excessive for my liking. On Hotel California “Live” version, the vocal levels are nicely balanced, not too forward, with only harshness at the sibiliance vowels if you turn the volume too high. Other than that, the bass guitar is distinct and warm, the percussion is prominent but not too transparent, the guitar counterpoint lines are detailed but blended. On the whole, the M5-TWS achieves a neutral delivery of music, with distinct bass for enjoyment and energetic treble for expression.
With the latest Qualcomm QCC3020 chipset delivered through aptX and AAC, the M5-TWS has no lack of fine details which my ears picked up, especially in live recordings where I can detect orchestral instruments or audience creaking on their seats, in some cases, master recording hisses. Sound staging is close to the face and spread to the sides of the ears, not large enough to feel a sense of roominess, but on tracks with less crowded mixes, the spatial feel is more prominent as the echos are more apparent. Like all TWS, there are some audio lags on gaming apps, but general gaming is acceptable.
Any tech product will have usage glitches once a while, and I notice more of this occurring on TWS. In order not to give readers the impression that the reviewed products are infallible, I’ll share some unusual behaviour for reference. To me, as long as I found a resolution, I would not penalise the product rating.
- When putting the earbuds to the charging dock, the left earbud refused to disconnect from the smartphone nor have any charging indicator on the case. After I manually disconnect from the smartphone, the earbud light turned on.
- When removing the earbuds and placing it on my ear, one of the earbud did not play any sound. After I place the earbud back on the case and remove it again, the earbud reconnected and all is back to normal.
The Advanced M5-TWS scores high for me in the unique design and ease of pairing. I also appreciate the overall frequency response tuning but they are a little more picky in the mid-treble reproduction, hence do not complement across genres. If you enjoy the treble energy, you will be rewarded with detailed musicality and distinct low responses.
The Advanced M5-TWS is now available in Singapore, distributed by Leader Radio Technology (LRT) at S$309. Purchase it from their official online shop weareready, at your favourite electronic retail stores, or online shopping platforms.