Trek 2000 is the company that invented and patented “ThumbDrive”. It’s not very active in launching products, but a quick browse on their website at www.trek2000.com.sg reveals quite a handful of innovative products that appear to have the potential to be useful in our lives. The Trek Re-YTHM is their true-wireless earbuds with ANC and Transparency Mode. It retails at just S$59.90.
The product comes with two interesting features: drop alert and proximity alert. For Drop Alert, the earbud will notify users via sound alert and blinking LED Flash. In Proximity Alert, the earbud will notify users via sound alert on connected device being too far away. It works through the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) protocol to detect proximity. When the BLE defects that the earbuds are far away from the smartphone, it triggers a “Device Out Of Range” notification on the phone as well voice alert on the earbuds, even before the earbuds get disconnected. When both earbuds are detected to be away from one another, another notification “Earbud Dropped” will be triggered.
Other features include: IPX5, wireless charging, whopping 8 hours battery life per charge.
During testing, I find that the earbud drop alert detection does not work consistently. Occasionally, the drop alert was triggered even when I was wearing both earbuds. When drop is detected, the LED flashes briefly for 1 second. I would prefer that the earbuds LED flash for several seconds so that the owner can spot it when looking for it. Perhaps it would be good to have an option to manually disable the function to prevent false triggers.
On the other hand, the proximity alert works rather consistently, and I believe this is rather useful when you walk away from your phone while listening on the earbuds. The alert triggers before the Bluetooth transmission goes out of range. In reality, on other earbuds, even without this alert, you probably would have detected something amiss because if you walk too far away from the phone, your audio transmission would be disconnected. Then again, it might be too far and too late.
The earbuds is supported by a smartphone app, Trek Re-YTHM. It shows the battery life of each earbud, allows you to control ANC and Transparent Modes, volume, apply preset EQ, change voice language, and read the user manual.
The EQ presets are unable to lift the buds out from the muffled sound. Overall, the audio lacks detail and precision, while the lower frequency has some heft and punch. To fix this, aggressive EQ needs to be applied if your music player supports, like Poweramp. Also, the presets appear to be poorly balanced on both channels. For instance, the “Bass Boost” is skewed heavily to the left channel, while “Rock” is skewed to the right channel.
The mic quality captures the voice rather clear and loud, not too muffled. At noise environment, it struggles to gate off the background noise while capturing the voice, and windy conditions will also disrupt the mic pickup.
The ANC quality is effective for the price, matching most of the earbuds I have tested at the sub-$100 price range. It reduces ambient noise to let me listen to music without turning up the volume, but loud high-frequency noises are still audible. I believe these earbuds use OEM chips, so the quality will not be that poor. Transparent mode is also decent, allowing me to hear the surrounding as if I am wearing open-fit earbuds. I would wish that they create better-quality voice prompts.
The Trek Re-YTHM is retailing at just S$59.90, and includes ANC and Transparency modes, supports wireless charging, IPX5 water resistant, and 8-hour battery life. While the audio quality is not stellar, it is probably worth getting if you want an inexpensive true wireless earbuds to eliminate ambient noise and to prevent smartphone loss through its proximity alert feature. Visit this page to purchase, shipping only costs S$5.