This week, we tested the Yamaha TW-E3B True Wireless in-ear monitors. Following the Yamaha TW-E3As, the TW-E3Bs have new features regarding the charging case and the monitor’s design, and also provide an improved sound experience. These Yamaha IEMs are now equipped with Listening Care and True Sound technology and are compatible with the aptX Bluetooth codec. Consequently, they promise a similar sound quality to audio CDs with any compatible smartphone or computer.
Well known in the IEM market for the Yamaha EPH-100s, the Japanese brand is now releasing next-gen wireless IEMs. These monitors have a battery life of 24 hours (monitor battery + case) and are sweat and water resistant (IPX5 certification), making them ideal for sporting activities. Available for €129, are the Yamaha TW-E3B IEMs ready to take on the market leaders in this price range?
Yamaha TW-E3B: packaging & accessories
The Yamaha TW-E3B IEMs come in a colorful cardboard box and are accompanied by their case and a 30cm USB-A to USB-C charging cable. Four sets of ear tips are also included to ensure a perfect fit for all users. The M size ear tips are already fitted on the monitors. All of these elements and accessories are securely held in place in a molded plastic insert.
Yamaha TW-E3B: presentation
The Yamaha TW-E3B in-ear monitors feature a 0.2” dynamic driver per earphone and have a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz. The Japanese brand’s IEMs look like the previous model, but aren’t the same size. The Yamaha TW-E3Bs are 25% smaller than their predecessors. Very practical, this revamped design ensures optimal comfort and less fatigue, especially during long listening sessions. To suit everyone’s taste, Yamaha offers 6 trendy colors: purple, green, gray, blue, pink and black.
The logo of the Japanese brand completes the look of each earpiece. Under this symbol is a button to control phone calls, music playback and voice assistants.
The letters R (right) and L (left) are featured on the inner side of the monitors so it’s easy to know which ear to put them in. Lastly, an LED lets the user know when they are turned on, the battery level and when they are paired with a compatible device.
- Blue (1 sec): power on
- Red (1 sec): power off
- Red (three flashes): low battery
- Red and blue (flashing): device ready to be paired
- Blue (20 sec): pairing successful
- Mauve (1 sec): the two monitors are connected with one another
In addition, the Yamaha TW-E3B True Wireless IEMs inform the user via the following audio messages: “battery high”, “battery medium”, “battery low”, “power off”, “pairing”, “pairing successful”, “pairing failed”, “connected” and “disconnected”.
The case’s color matches that of the monitors, and it also features the Yamaha logo. Compact and easy to carry, this case has three functions: to recharge, protect and transport the IEMs. The USB-C input on the back of the case allows for quick and simple charging. The four LEDs on the front indicate the case’s battery status.
Because they are extremely light (5 grams per monitor and 39 grams for the case), the Yamaha TW-E3Bs are designed for portable use. The different sized tips ensure a perfect fit in the ear canal. Choosing the right ear tip is crucial to fully appreciate the potential of the Yamaha TW-E3Bs. Too small, and the monitor may not filter out surrounding noise properly. Too large, and the user may experience discomfort and the monitors may even fall out. Once you find the right size, they offer both good passive isolation and optimal comfort.
24 hours of autonomy
The Yamaha TW-E3B in-ear monitors each feature a battery for wireless playback and great freedom of movement. When fully charged (after about 2 hours), the user can enjoy 6 hours of autonomy.
When the battery of the monitors runs out, the case allows you to charge them without the need for a power outlet. A quick charge feature is available to give each earpiece 1 hour of battery life after only 15 minutes. The case is highly functional and charges the in-ear monitors as soon as they are placed inside, minimizing the risk of the battery running out. The Yamaha TW-E3Bs therefore have a total battery life of 24 hours.
Voice assistants & control app
Each earpiece is equipped with a microphone that is optimized for voice pickup. For greater ease of use, the IEMs are compatible with Siri and Google Assistant. As a result, you can easily access the features of your smartphone vocally: place a call, send a text, pause the track, turn up the volume, etc… This feature can be activated and deactivated by three short presses on the right earpiece.
When the voice assistant has been deactivated, the in-ear monitors can be controlled using the buttons present on each earpiece. Different combinations allow you to access the volume settings, control music playback (pause, play, next track, resume from the beginning, etc.) and even control phone calls.
The Yamaha Headphones Controller app for Android and iOS lets you control the Yamaha TW-E3B True Wireless IEMs from a smartphone.
- Firmware updates;
- activation or deactivation of the Listening Care technology;
- setting the auto-standby time (5 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour or 3 hours);
- checking the battery level.
Listening Care & True Sound technologies
To offer users the best musical experience, the Japanese brand has equipped the TW-E3Bs with exclusive technologies: Listening Care and True Sound. The first improves comfort by correcting the sound balance and providing automatic equalization according to the listening volume and the characteristics of the human ear. In practice, this means that the lows and highs remain natural-sounding, even at low volume. Listening Care also reduces auditory fatigue and protects the listener’s hearing.
True Sound technology ensures realistic and detailed sound. To do so, it focuses on three elements: the tonal balance, dynamics and the sound image. As the world’s leading manufacturer of musical instruments, Yamaha is able to express the emotions that every artist wishes to convey.
Very versatile, the Yamaha TW-E3B True Wireless in-ear monitors are suitable for many activities, including sport. Thanks to a secure fit, wearers can run and jump without worrying about losing the earphones. The Yamaha TW-E3Bs are perfectly sweat and splash resistant due to their IPX5 certification. The case, however, is not waterproof.
Yamaha TW-E3B: key specifications
- Type: closed-back
- Coupling: in-ear
- 0.2” dynamic drivers
- Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz
- Certified IPX5
- Yamaha listening comfort function
- Bluetooth 5.0 (codecs: AAC, SBC, aptX)
- Compatible with Siri and Google Assistant
- Weight per earpiece: 5g
- Weight of the case: 39g
Yamaha TW-E3B: configuration
For our test, we used the Yamaha TW-E3B IEMs with an Android smartphone, and a FiiO M7 DAP compatible with the aptX Bluetooth codec. We listened to music via Qobuz as well as tracks stored in the DAP’s internal memory.
The first pairing was quick and easy. Once the monitors are taken out of their case, they are turned on automatically. This is confirmed with a blue light. The pairing is done in two steps: the right earpiece, then the left. Once the right earpiece is removed, its indicator light flashes blue and red, indicating that it is ready to be connected. Then you simply have to enter the Bluetooth settings of the source, select “TW-E3B (R)” and finish the connection. The left earpiece is then paired with the device by following the same steps.
To connect the Yamaha TW-E3B in-ear monitors to another Bluetooth device, here the DAP, they first have to be turned off when not placed in their case. To do so, simply press and hold the function button for 5 seconds, then follow the same steps as the first pairing.
The monitors are then ready to receive and play music. Playback is paused when one of the earpieces is removed and put back into the case. The IEMs are then automatically paired with the last Bluetooth device they were connected to.
The Yamaha True Wireless in-ear monitors are easy to insert and provide a secure fit in the ear. The different tips allow you to find the ideal size (which can be different from one ear to another). However, you have to be patient when changing the silicone tips, but once they’re installed, they remain perfectly in place. Consequently, we can imagine that they can be worn without any discomfort during long sporting sessions.
Compact and light, the Yamaha TW-E3Bs are pleasant to wear, even for long periods. Recommended for daily use, they are suitable for listening to music in noisy environments such as public transport or in the street, but also in quieter places like at home. It is also possible to use only one earpiece in order to be totally aware of your environment. This feature is very practical when crossing the street or talking to someone. Unfortunately, there is no transparent mode despite the presence of a microphone. This feature would have been very useful to hear surrounding noise and have a conversation while keeping both monitors in your ears.
Regarding the control of the Yamaha TW-E3Bs, the voice assistants are a real plus. The physical button present on each earpiece can be inconvenient as the monitors are pushed into the ear with each press (changing tracks, answering a call, etc.). We would have preferred touch sensitive controls.
Yamaha TW-E3B: listening impressions
The first thing we tested was the passive isolation of the Yamaha TW-E3B IEMs. We were pleasantly surprised by how effective it was in public transport. The sound of the road and surrounding conversations were greatly attenuated, letting the music take center stage. Paired with the smartphone, the Yamaha TW-E3B monitors delivered highly detailed highs and mids on the track Hotel California (40th anniversary expanded edition) by American band Eagles. The vibrant guitar chords were perfectly audible and the drums had great presence. The stereo effects, which are important in this track, were very pronounced and all of the instruments were reproduced excellently.
In aptX Bluetooth with the M7 DAP, the sound was spacious and balanced. The lows were slightly more powerful, providing the tracks with more energy. Moreover, the choice of ear tip was crucial for the reproduction of the lowest notes. Combined with the Listening Care technology, the sound became slightly deeper and more energetic.
On the track Lemon Tree by German band Fool’s Garden, the high end of the spectrum was emphasized and percussion instruments were more reserved, allowing the artist’s voice to come to the forefront. This was also evident with Nina Simone’s Feeling Good, where the singer’s unique voice was reproduced with precision and realism. On this track, the trombones gained in presence, accompanied by a more distant piano. Although the bass was more subdued, each instrument was precisely placed for a well balanced sound.
The addition of an equalizer in the app would have been appreciated in order to adapt the sound signature according to personal preferences or the musical genre. Nevertheless, the Listening Care technology did a good job and allowed us to hear the entirety of the low frequency range at low volume. With a 0.2” driver per earpiece, the sound reproduction was very satisfactory for a model in this price range.
We also tested the microphone for telephone calls. Once the call is received on the smartphone, a simple press of the right earpiece button answers it. In a quiet environment, the microphone provided a clear voice, without noise or echo. However, when the weather was bad (wind), the microphone wasn’t able to provide the same clarity.
Yamaha TW-E3B: compared to…
The Yamaha TW-E3As have the same 0.2” driver and provide a similar sound. The Yamaha TW-E3Bs have the edge thanks to True Sound and Listening Care technologies. In terms of design, both pairs of IEMs are equivalent, with a slightly smaller size for the TW-E3B. This allows an optimal wearing comfort and long listening sessions without discomfort. The case was also redesigned, allowing the monitors to be put away more quickly and easily.
Marshall Minor III
Launched at the same price, the True Wireless Marshall Minor III IEMs have a design that is very representative of the English brand. Although very stylish, the Yamaha TW-E3Bs offer a much better fit in the ear as well as effective passive isolation, and are much more suitable for sporting activities. However, the British monitors are distinguished by the presence of an effective equalizer.
To find out more about these IEMs, read our review “Marshall Minor III et Motif ANC: new additions to Marshall’s IEM lineup”.
Yamaha TW-E3B: who are they for?
The Japanese manufacturer’s True Wireless IEMs are designed mainly for those who listen to music on the go and while doing sport. Users can enjoy their music during every trip and walk, but also during their sporting activities. Compact and lightweight, the Yamaha TW-E3Bs are an affordable and effective solution for daily use with a smartphone.
Yamaha TW-E3B: conclusion
Particularly competitive, the Yamaha TW-E3B True Wireless in-ear monitors offer a pleasant musicality. Although the low frequencies are more convincing here than on the previous model, the TW-E3Bs would benefit from offering a manual equalization. The Listening Care and True Sound technologies nevertheless offer good sound reproduction at low volumes. These IEMs combine both comfort and audio quality, all at a low price.
- The good passive isolation
- The comfort
- The long battery life
We would have liked
- Touch-sensitive controls rather than buttons
- Equalizers in the dedicated app
- A transparent mode
- A microphone that performs well in windy conditions