True wireless noise-cancelling earbuds at a price accessible to all.
Having already covered practically every audio product angle in the consumer technology sphere – from headphones and soundbars to DAB radios and streaming players – noise-cancelling earbuds were almost inevitable from Cambridge, UK-based company Majority.
Naturally, the Tru 1 earbuds came first, as a true wireless set. There’s also the Earth-friendly Tru Bio, also true wireless. Now there’s the Tru 2 pair, true wireless and noise-cancelling earbuds.
With the Tru 2, Majority has taken the black yin approach to Apple’s white yang, with the only available colourway being black. A dark and moody classic. The finish is a satin matte on the buds themselves with more of a gloss elsewhere on the body, which helps create a subtle two-tone effect in the light. The USB-C charging case also has the matte finish, which helps to minimise fingerprints.
Form-wise, they’re the familiar ‘stalk’ design, which helps keep them in place in the ear and makes them easier to handle than the diminutive pebble-smooth, entirely-in-ear style of ‘buds. The stalk is a little more svelte than that of the Tru 1s, making the 2’s style more on point for 2023.
Tech spec sees them use Bluetooth 5.2 (actually a point downgrade from the Tru 1s and the Bios, both of which use 5.3, although the real-world difference with this is minimal), with a waterproof IPX7 rating, 30 hours of playback and fast-charging and that crucial differentiator – active noise cancellation (ANC).
ANC is the main attraction here and would be the reason to pay the extra over cheaper options (either from Majority’s earbud range or from any of the million other similar products endlessly flooding out of China by the container ship-load).
There’s a choice of two listening options: ANC or Ambient mode. Both have decent noise reduction, if not amazing (kind of to be expected at this price point).
The company claims the Tru 2s will eliminate up to 90 per cent of noise from your surrounding environment by generating anti-noise signals that analyse sound patterns (presumably like phase cancellation), but that 90 per cent sounds more like laboratory rather than real-world test results.
With ANC engaged, you will notice a suppression of exterior noise, but not total erasure. It’s a step in the right direction, although perhaps two steps would be preferable. At least it helps bring forward the audio you wish to focus on, be it music, video or voice calls.
You might even get similar ambient noise reduction – or enhance the Tru 2’s performance – by using memory foam eartips, such as those from Comply, which create a really snug seal in the ear canal to passively block out exterior noise.
The trade-off for including ANC with the Tru 2s is that direct volume control on the earbuds has gone, replaced by the necessary tap-tap controls to turn the ANC options on and off. Of course you can still adjust the volume from your device – and you’ll have to. There’s also no accompanying app from Majority (as yet), so there’s no deeper fiddling you can do to settings or any EQ adjustments you can make.
To be fair, the app side of things isn’t for everyone, anyway, and you tend to have to spend quite a bit more than the Tru 2’s £50 RRP to get a pair of ANC earbuds that also have an accompanying full-featured tweakable app.
The Tru 2’s target market seems to be more the person that wants a reliable product, with good battery life, which sounds good and which will do a solid job without too much extraneous fuss and bother. The Tru 2s are exactly that product.
Battery life is a healthy 30 hours of playtime, with around six hours available from a single charge without ANC, more like five hours with. The pocket-friendly charging case holds a clutch of backup charges, with the fast-charging feature generating around two hours of playback from a 30-minute charge. To fully recharge the case takes around one hour. Incidentally, the charging case and earbuds have the same magnetic contacts as the Bio buds we reviewed last month, which help lock them in place for charging. Note that the charging case is not Qi wireless enabled, so you’ll need a USB plug or socket.
The sound of the Tru 2s is good. Not ‘golden ears audiophile’ good, but absolutely ‘commuting on a train and working in the office’ good. Also, workout good, Teams call good, chilling on the sofa good, doing the weekly supermarket shop good and so forth. Buds for life. The inclusion of 13mm dynamic drivers undoubtedly helps here: the bigger the drivers, the better the sound. The Tru 2s are pretty loud, with a firm grip on the full sound spectrum. Disappointing, they are not.
There’s no multipoint connection, so if you want to jump between devices you’ll have to be forgetting from one and connecting to another. It’s only the work of a few seconds, but if you have to do it often enough it could become annoying.
There’s also no support for Hi-Res Audio, LDAC or Spatial Audio, but we weren’t expecting any of this from a £50 pair of earbuds. Maybe in another 10 years’ time (or even five).
There is a three-year warranty available from Majority, after you’ve registered your product with them, which is commendable and shows that Majority stands by its products and anticipates them lasting beyond the industry-standard 12 months. Perhaps this taps into the company’s ecological commitment, whereby it plants a tree for every product sold.
Given that the company has already shipped over one million products, that’s a lot of new trees sucking in carbon. The Tru 2 ANC earbuds are a solid choice for the majority (!) of users, with contemporary styling and a respectable tech spec that should see quite a few more trees joining the Majority Forest.
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