In-ear headphones, like it or not. They are not always easy to bear but they have the advantage, given their shape, of being as close as possible to the eardrum and of offering interesting passive noise reduction by default. So, when in addition, they embark a active noise reduction (RAB or ANC), it can quickly be top. This is what Tronsmart offers with its Apollo Bold.
Sold on average at 70 €, you will be entitled to headphones True Wireless Stereo Plus (TWS +), ANC Hybrid, 3 x 10h autonomy, IP45 and can interact with your phone to launch your connected assistant ! Very good mid-range, therefore sold at the entry-level price. A good deal ?
Tronsmart Apollo Bold: unboxing
Tronsmart is a company specializing in the manufacture of audio accessories. Eric Cheng, its founder, began to design a wide range of gadgets and in 2013 started mass production of his inventions. Since then, the company has assembled a team of R&D professionals to constantly create and innovate. It employs more than 200 people, a third of whom are engineering specialists. Its leitmotif is: " if you offer the customer quality products with affordable price, nothing can stop you from developing ". And it is true that the prices are relatively low compared to the quality. But let's see if that's the case this time around.
Headphones Tronsmart Apollo Bold (or the bold Apollo if you prefer) come in relatively nicely crafted packaging in heavy cardboard boxes and glossy prints. We find the white and the orange touch of the brand. A visual of the product and the highlighting of the main characteristics on the front (ANC, SoC, autonomy, etc.) are in order while the back presents all, or almost all, of the specifications.
It opens from the side and the entire top will slide out like a book cover to let you see the products through a transparent plastic. Rather well seen. The inside of the flap shows how the graphics-intensive hybrid active noise reduction works.
By removing the first black plastic insert molded to the shape of the headphones and the storage box, you will have access to the accessories.
The accessories are also rather nice because, in addition to 4 silicone tips in advance (sizes M and L) and the USB-C connection cable, you will be entitled to a small storage bag where all the elements can fit.
The Apollo Bold from Tronsmart will take place in a charging and storage box in matt and smooth black plastic. It is shaped like hockey ring de 7,9 cm in diameter for 3 cm in height et 47g empty. It is quite big, it is true, but its shape means that it can be put in a trouser pocket without any problem.
The top opens to put the headphones in thanks to a magnetic snap. You will notice the inscriptions relating to the safety marks of use CE, FCC, RoHS… The set is well made and has no problem with the finish. You have on the front a small LED giving the charging status of the box. On the back, a USB-C plug will allow you to connect it. Charging is quite possible with the headphones inside. Once the box itself is loaded, count 2,5 hours, it will restore your headphones to 100% 3 times in a row.
The LED on the front of the box will inform you about the battery level:
- Flashing red: in charge
- Red off: charge completed
- Fast flashing white: more than 10% battery
- Flashing red: less than 10% battery
The in-ear headphones are also in black ABS-type plastic with a copper-colored metallic coating tower. The rendering is quite good but they are big. There are even bigger ones as we had seen with the Sony WF-XB700 but they are quite imposing, while the fashion is for delicate and curvaceous products. They do 2,3 cm in diameter, 2,1 cm deep, including 0,5 cm tip for 3,5 grams each.
The atria have 3 distinct parts:
- The headset which will come to be put in the auditory canal. The basic one is size S.
- The middle part, in shiny and smooth plastic, wide enough, which will help the earpiece to hold well in the ear pin thanks to its shape. It will come to rest on the conch of the ear.
- The outer part bicolor uses the brand's logo on the tactile surface. Indeed, this black disc is one and the same zone of control of the earpiece by the fingertips. You also have an LED showing you the status of the product.
o White flashing quickly: on but not paired
o Slow flashing white: ready to pair
o Red and white alternately: pairing
o Flashing red: low battery
o Red flashing twice: charging and the battery level is below 10%
o Slowly flashing red: charging and the battery level is above 10%
o The red light goes out: charge complete
Looking at the earphones in detail, you will see the mic hole on the end of the hook pointing down. This will be used for communications. You also have another mic on the top serving in this case for the ANC. Moreover, on six microphones of the Tronssmart Apollo Bold, four will be used for noise reduction. On the inside of the headphones, the brand has opted for the installation an insertion detector. Thanks to it, when you remove one of the headphones, the music or video playing will be paused. And will do it again when you put it back in place.
Despite this size, the finishes are relatively good, as well as the quality of the tips provided to adapt to your ear canal. But be careful, if you have a narrow pinna or just small ears, these headphones might bother you. Indeed, if you insert them fully, they will hold very well thanks to their three anchor points (one in the ear canal and two more on the concha of the ear). But it will quickly be embarrassing for some. You can push them down less, but in this case, be careful not to move too much because they will hold less well.
Once in place, they stand out a bit but nothing too bad, even if aesthetically, there are better than these Tronsmart Apollo Bold (like the Oppo w51).
Tronsmart Apollo Bold: technical specifications
- Case dimension: 7,9 cm in diameter x 3 cm for 47 grams empty.
- Headphone dimension: 2,3 cm in diameter x 2,1 cm including 0,5 cm of end cap, for 3,5 grams each.
In terms of sound:
- 10mm graphene diaphragm, a carbon derivative synthesized only in 2004 and costing a whopping 100.000 USD / Kg.
- Sound modes: only one basic but possibility of having preset modes via the Tron applicationsmart.
- Supported Bluetooth codecs: SBC (basic codec with a lot of losses), AAC (less loss, especially with Apple products) and aptX. The aptX codec will allow you to have much better sound quality than the previous two codecs. We are approaching CD quality but we are not at all Loss-Les nor Hi-Res Audio.
- Frequencies: from 20 to 20 Hz. That is to say everything that the human ear perceives, therefore a very vast sound.
- Bluetooth: 5.0 and 2,4 GHz. Profiles A2DP / AVRCP / HSP / HFP. Everything you need for streaming and audio communication.
- Log in multipoint : no
- NFC : no
- Voice Assistant : not integrated but possibility of launching that of the telephone.
- TWS +: binaural connection. Each listener will be linked independently to the smartphone. So you can only use one. This allows for better responsiveness, low latency and better stereo management.
- Reading autonomy: 10 hours in 50% play mode, 4 hours at 100%. 20 more hours by fully recharging them in the case, 30 hours in total. 10 min of charge also gives 60 min of listening.
- Loading time : 2,5 hours to charge the case, 2,5 hours to charge them in the case.
- Noise reduction : active hybrid. 35 dB reduction.
- IP 45 : therefore resistant to rain and sweat.
- Color: black
The features are excellent On paper . The Tronsmart Apollo Bold are equipped with an SoC Qualcomm QCC5124 dedicated to high-end products. It is thanks to him that the BT 5.0 is taken into account and that the autonomy is quite impressive. It can be criticized that the brand has not taken into account the Lossless aptX HD codec but only the aptX, while the SoC allows it.
Tronsmart Apollo Bold: use
You will have two options for using your headphones. First, you need to have them detected by your smartphone. To do this, take them out of the box, they will automatically go into pairing mode. Activate your GPS and Bluetooth, click on the headphones when they appear and select “Pair”. And There you go ! uh, no ... You have to do it now for the second earpiece. You remember, they are TWS +. But where brands still manage to make them work as a pair, this is not the case with Tron.smart.
It is possible to come and select the type of audio codec to use directly in the parameters (SBC or aptX).
To pilot your Apollos and activate or deactivate the different options, go through the touchpad of each earpiece. They are very responsive and it works quite well. The usage is as follows and varies depending on the side:
- Both independently:
o 3 supports: ANC ON, OFF / Ambient mode.
o 2 supports: Play/Pause
o 2 presses when your phone rings or in communication: take the call and hang up
o Press for 2 sec: dismiss the appeal
o 1 press and hold 2 sec: lanchoring of the voice assistant of the telephone. At the first activation, you can choose the wizard to launch: GA or Alexa.
o A short press to lower the volume
o Maintain 2 sec for the previous track.
- Law :
o A short press to turn up the volume.
o Hold for 2 seconds to the next track.
You will also have the possibility to use them via the Tron appsmart, even if the words to use and applications seem incongruous given the level. Once the application has been downloaded, open it and select the Apollo Bold headphones among the three possible. Then press connect and… restart pairing with your headphones… Both !. And this even if your headphones are already connected to your smartphone. A waste of time due to an application running alone and not in a global ecosystem. But beware, it does not stop there. Each time you open your application, you will have to start over, if you go back to the root of the application, you have to start over, even if you are already connected. Useless.
Once in the application, you can come and activate or deactivate the ANC and the ambient mode. Ambient mode amplifies external sounds to make them audible through headphones, the reverse of ANC. The interest is to make you aware of your environment as in the street for example. It is very practical. That said, all these settings are already available in physics.
With the middle tab, you will have access to pre-established and non-modifiable sound profiles (with a very nice translation of the word Rock). The last tab allows you to come modify actions to launch when you press the touchpad.
The application will also serve you to enable OTA, update, headphones. So there, be careful, it's not that simple. Take out one of the headphones, have it recognized, go to the updated part in the settings and let it be. Allow at least 5 min. And then start again with the other. Yes, there again, no common management. So 10 min for an update.
You would have understood it, the app is really bad and its only usefulness comes from OTAs. Even the audio profiles are not useful because you cannot modify anything.
Note that during our headphone tests, the connection turned out to be quite painful. Indeed, in general, as soon as you take the headphones out of the box, they connect to your phone. Well not there. You will always have to go through the pairing box with Bluetooth. It's not long for sure, but it's painful. And so if you put the headphones in the box during the day, bingo, let's go for a ride. No disconnection while in use though, although sometimes the re-association message appears when they are working fine. We did not tell you that the Tronsmart Apollo Bold are equipped with an LDS system (laser therefore) for a more stable and reliable connection? Well, here it is. And it is clear that this is not why the connection is simple.
Regarding the sound, it is a great surprise! From the start we have found flaws in this product (size, poor application, no Hi-Res audio…), but once in the ears, it's another story. The sound is very balanced. The bass is present. The mediums are also in the game. The highs are not metallic or nasal. The voices are clear, the backgrounds very precise. Stereophony is excellent. On the other hand, we are not on the high end either, the sound lacks a little depth, spatialization is good but not exceptional… You won't turn your head to the side when you hear an instrument coming in unexpectedly or feel like you are playing behind your back. But that said, the rendering is still very good and that makes them versatile headphones !
Active noise reduction is also very good and this is again a strong point. To say that we have a reduction of 35 dB seems exaggerated to us, but let's say that this is generally what high-end products announce (with the same reservation on the total reduction). The bass and mids are very well attenuated but the highs are a little less well managed. That said, it is quite common with the ANC. However, it is not possible to come and configure this reduction. That is to say that you will not be able to put it only halfway for example. Either you “cut yourself off” from the world, or you don't. Ambient mode also works very well. But even observation, it is not configurable.
The headphone port detection system also works wonderfully. It is also very convenient to wear only one if you wish.
Regarding its use with connected assistants, we must be clear from the start: we are not on Built-In. This means that there is neither Alexa, neither Siri, nor Google Assistant embedded. You will be able to activate the assistant on your phone, as long as it is not on standby, otherwise nothing will happen. But if you are a fan of the concept, you will be able to manage your playlists by voice, send routines or perform actions just like you do with your smartphone.
En phone mode, the sound is clear, provided that the telephone of the other party is of poor quality. The results are quite satisfactory without being exceptional either.
To get an idea of the Tronssmart Apollo Bold, take a look at our video test. Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube and like it!
In conclusion, these Apollo Bold headphones are a very good surprise. For around 70 €, we have True Binaural Stereo Wireless Earphones, with a Efficient ANC, for an its quite satisfactory and versatile. The aptX codec works wonders and you will really enjoy the sound. However, they are large and can therefore quickly be painful or bothersome. The Tron appsmart has no use apart from OTAs and connection system is quite tedious. But it is clear that we have good mid-range headphones at the entry-level price. Music lovers will go their way, but those looking for the best value for money will be in heaven.