Haylou W1 Review: Does it Deliver on its Promises?

Pros: Value, Bluetooth 5.2, Refreshing Balanced Tuning, Great Comfort

Cons: Limited Functions and No App Support, Not for Basslovers

Driver Setup: 1DD TWS

Price: US$30

Intro

Disclaimer: The Haylou W1 was purchased with my own money from Shopee for my personal use and this review is written of my own accord. All opinions here are my own. If you find yourself interested in a pair, you can check them out here.

I was searching for a pair of TWS to take with me on my light runs, so I was looking for a rather budget pair that could take a beating. I happened to chance upon the Haylou W1 on a sale and thought what other way to replace my current pair, the Haylou GT1, with another Haylou.

Accessories

The W1 comes with minimal accessories, just a USB-C charging cable and silicone tips. Nothing fancy, and I really didn’t expect anything else for a TWS IEM.

Build Quality and Fit

The build quality is where I might have to take some points off. The case seems to be q fragile and the plastic material takes on scratches really easily. However, it’s functional and not too bulky so it’s not all that bad.

I quite liked the style and fit of the W1. It’s similar to that of the AirPods Pro. As can be seen from the silicone tips, it has an in-ear fit but is much shallower than your average in-ear monitor. This is q comfortable and should be able to fit most people. The only downside is that isolation suffers due to the shallower fit.

Functionality

The W1 features Bluetooth 5.2 connection with a Qualcomm QCC3040 chip. It also claims a 20-hour battery life power reserve with a 6-hour playback time on the buds. It also supports aptX adaptive on Android devices, which is a nice touch. The buds themselves are IPX4 water resistant, which should do the job against sweat from moderate exercise. It seems pretty well spec-ed out so far for its asking price but misses out on functions like Active Noice Cancellation (ANC)

There is also no app support for the W1, so you’re not given any room for user customization. There is a touch sensor for the usual play/pause and call functions but no volume control functions. You’d have to change it on the phone.

Sound

For a TWS that boasts a “premium sound”, let’s take a look at how the W1 fares.

Sources

  • iPhone 12

Bass

Bass is quite well balanced in terms of quantity. There isn’t significant midbass bloating and is warm but well-controlled. People who prefer a tamer bass response might enjoy this. However, bassheads might be slightly disappointed with the W1, especially with its fit, offering a less snug fit, affecting the bass quantity and extension overall.

At times, while running, I occasionally find myself wanting a little more punch and rumble in the bass, especially with the wind noise fighting with the low notes of the music.

Mids

The mids of the W1 was a pleasant surprise and quite enjoyable. The tamer bass response meant that there was more room for the mids and vocals to shine, which worked well, as there were significantly more details present compared to say the Haylou GT1.

Treble

The treble is overall a bit brighter than what I usually expect from a pair of TWS, which was a breath of fresh air. There is quite a bit more nuanced and details being brought out from the music. That said, there is still quite a bit of room for improvement where the quality of treble is concerned. Detail retrieval, while better than most, is still not stellar.

Overall

The tuning of the W1 is an interesting one in the few TWS I’ve tried recently. It attempts to take on a more mature tuning at a relatively budget price and does pretty well actually. It’s quite a pleasant tuning, though it might not be the best combination with the shallow type fit causing quite a bit of bass leak and lack of sub-bass extension.

Comparison

Moondrop Nekocake TWS

Full review of the Moondrop Nekocake TWS

I recently tried out the Moondrop Nekocake TWS, which had a rather similar fit to the Haylou W1. The Nekocake has a darker, warmer sound signature. The sound is also less clear and detailed, but the TWS itself is packed with much more features, such as the iOS/Android App support, complete with EQ and Touch Sensor customisation options. It also features ANC, something the W1 lacks. Overall, I would say the Nekocake comes across as a more complete product for your average consumer, should you be able to stretch your budget a little bit more

Conclusion

The Haylou W1 is by no means a perfect product, and there are quite a few things I wished could be better while using it. However, it does sound really pleasant so I guess in a sense they did do pretty well for the price. The W1 does mostly what I hoped it to and it has held up well in my light runs, though the shallow fit means it might not be the best for more rigorous exercises.

However, should you prefer a TWS with more features such as more customisation options, or a different sound signature, there are other models which can do a similar job for around the same price range.

Overall Score: 7.3/10

75%
Build Quality and Fit
60%
Functions
70%
Sound
80%
Value

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