Although German brand Blaupunkt is best known for its car audio products, its headphones and earphones are popular in India as well. Marketed in India by Envent Worldwide (well known for its own range of affordable audio products), Blaupunkt caught our attention last year with the BTW-01 true wireless earphones, which we had then regarded as among the best true wireless earphones that you could then buy for less than Rs. 5,000. Today, we're reviewing the successor to those earphones, the Blaupunkt BTW Pro.
Priced at Rs. 6,999, the Blaupunkt BTW Pro is more expensive than BTW-01, but promises a bit more to justify that. The big improvement here is support for the Qualcomm aptX Bluetooth codec, which promises better sound quality when used with a compatible device. There's a fair bit more to these true wireless earphones as well; find out everything there is to know about the Blaupunkt BTW Pro in our review.
The true wireless earphones segment has come a long way since last year, but Blaupunkt's design hasn't. The Blaupunkt BTW Pro earphones are a lot like the BTW-01 earphones; while the ordinary looks and basic styling might have been forgivable in the affordable space a year ago, we've come to expect more in 2020. The dull plastic and boring finish of the earphones and charging case make the BTW Pro feel cheap, and certainly not what Rs. 7,000 should buy you.
The earphones resemble the Skullcandy Indy earpieces, which are themselves inspired by the Apple AirPods; a stem extends from each one, and there's a primary microphone at the bottom with a second one near the top of each. The earphones have an in-canal fit, but have small tips that didn't sit very securely in our ears or give us the optimal level of noise isolation.
The outer side of each of the earphones has a touch-sensitive area which can be used to control playback and volume on the Blaupunkt BTW Pro; a single tap on either side adjusts the volume, a double tap will play or pause the music, and a long-press will skip to the next or previous track. You can also invoke the voice assistant on a paired smartphone through a triple-tap on the right earbud. The gesture controls were simple enough for us to master, and we appreciated being able to control volume on the headset itself.
It's possible to use either earbud independently, but both will need to be separately paired with the smartphone for this to work. We found that this occasionally caused connection issues; at times, only one of the earphones would work, with the other failing to latch on as the ‘slave' earbud. Leaving only one paired with the smartphone yielded the best results in terms of connection stability and speed.
While our review unit was a grey-black one, the Blaupunkt BTW Pro sold on Amazon is available only in plain black. The earphones are IPX7-rated for water resistance, and should be able to comfortably handle water exposure for long durations. The dual-microphone system claims to improve performance on voice calls using environmental noise cancellation.
The charging case of the Blaupunkt BTW Pro is made of plastic and doesn't look or feel very good. The earphones sit snugly inside the case, and a small indicator light on the outside shows the status of charging, but the Micro-USB charging port is a big drawback here. With many affordable manufacturers already having moved to USB Type-C, it's surprising that these earphones stick to the dated Micro-USB port at this price.
The Blaupunkt BTW Pro uses Bluetooth 5 for connectivity, and supports the Qualcomm aptX and SBC Bluetooth codecs. The lack of support for AAC is odd, and means that these true wireless earphones are more suitable for use with Android smartphones which widely support the aptX codec.
Battery life on the Blaupunkt BTW Pro is impressive, with the earphones running for around seven hours at a high volume level before needing to be charged. The charging case provided three full charges, giving the earphones a total battery life of around 28 hours per cycle.
We quite liked the Blaupunkt BTW-01 earphones, and so we were looking forward to seeing what the company could do with better Bluetooth codec support. However, although the BTW Pro is more expensive than its predecessor and is better equipped on paper, our experience with it wasn't quite as positive. The new earphones felt dated, awkward, and definitely not as impressive-sounding as other products in the price segment.
We primarily used a OnePlus 7T Pro (Review) as the source device to test the Blaupunkt BTW Pro earphones, which took advantage of the aptX codec. We used Spotify, YouTube Music, and our collection of high-resolution audio tracks, and we also tested performance with videos and voice calls.
Starting off with Passion Pit's Sleepyhead (Borgore Remix), we immediately found the Blaupunkt BTW Pro to be too boomy. The bass was aggressive, reverberating, and excessive with this punchy dubstep track, to the extent that it routinely overpowered other elements of the track. Some of the highs in the track were completely lost thanks to the rumbling low-end. The sound was like what we'd experience in a nightclub standing right next to one of the big speakers.
Moving away from tracks with aggressive lows, we listened to Days To Come by Bonobo in FLAC format. The bass, while still aggressive and overpowering, felt a bit more calculated thanks to the higher quality of the audio track. It's here that we experienced the benefits of the aptX Bluetooth codec, as a fair amount of detail could be heard across the range despite the excessive low end. Some of the fainter instruments in the track sounded decent and distinct, giving us a good sense of direction and soundstage.
That said, the bass always had the final say in any track, and it took some effort on our part to be able to appreciate the finer details of the music we listened to. While the earphones are detailed, the bass was still unduly punchy, which was fatiguing. We didn't enjoy our music as much as we did when using similarly priced competition such as the 1More Stylish True Wireless earphones. If you do like your bass punchy, you might enjoy what the Blaupunkt BTW Pro has to offer.
Watching an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine on our smartphone with the Blaupunkt BTW Pro connected, we found that the boomy sound doesn't make for a very clean audio experience. Voices had a rumbling after-effect to them, which quickly grew tiresome. On voice calls at reasonable volumes, performance was adequate; noise cancellation did seem to help make conversations a bit clearer, but we didn't find the sound to be as natural and detailed as on the Oppo Enco Free.
Considering how much we liked the Blaupunkt BTW-01, we had big expectations from its successor. The Blaupunkt BTW Pro unfortunately doesn't live up, feeling dated in design and poorly tuned compared to the ever-improving competition in the segment. Bass lovers might appreciate the punchy low-end, but we found the earphones to be too boomy for our liking.
While there is some detail to be heard through the rumbling sonic signature, and battery life is very good for true wireless earphones, we feel that the shortcomings of the Blaupunkt BTW Pro will outweigh its benefits for most people. This pair of earphones is worth considering only if you like your bass excessive; if not, options such as the 1More Stylish True Wireless earphones and Shanling MTW100 might be better bets at this price.
Price: Rs. 6,999
Ratings (out of 5)