Thanks to Apple’s massive success with their Earbuds, every other tech company wants to make a pair of wireless earphones of their own to try to capitalise on Apple’s success and the fact that people will spend ridiculous amounts of money for devices like this. A noble idea except because most often these devices turn out to not be very good and just end up falling out of favour with the market.
A new company called Tranya is also looking to try their hands at this lucrative business, with the Rimor. It doesn’t revolutionise the market or bring anything new to the table, but it offers a fairly compelling package when you consider its price.
When reviewing any device of this type, I think its important to start off with the design. If these headphones are going to actually be of use to you, then they need to fit comfortably in your ear and allow you to move around freely without concern that they will fall out. Tranya’s design here is nothing revolutionary, though they have gone away from Apple’s more ergonomic approach into something that bulks up in the ears and utilises the shape of the ear tips itself to fit comfortably into the ears. I was sceptical at first, but to be honest, I was surprised at just how well these ear buds fit into the ear – allowing me to walk, run and even gym with no issues or concerns they would fall out. There is nothing sexy about this design though, leaving you looking a little sillier compared to Apple’s take on the design.
I had a couple of issues with my left ear pod occasionally where it felt a little loose in my ear when active, but this had to do with it just not always ending up positioned well during active movement. The version released to reviewers didn’t come with adjustable covers which could’ve also solved the problem with a more comfortable fit.
The headphones are also waterproof and while I didn’t take them for a swim because I am always risk-averse to these sorts of things, I found them fine with a light drizzle outdoors during a run and as someone who sweats quite easily, they didn’t get too loose in my ears, save for that left pod issue.
Ultimately, the main reason you will get a set of ear Buds is to listen to music and so it needs to play music and play it well. Thankfully, this is one area where Tranya has really focused on. The 10mm titanium driver in the Rimor can reproduce a wide frequency of sounds (20Hz to 20000Hz) across bass, mid and treble. What this means is that you can hear the sounds of each instrument and nuance of different voices clearly. I was really impressed with the overall audio quality on display in this device and while it’s definitely not the best on the market, it is definitely competing with many and you would be hard-pressed to find something this good in the price range.
Arguably the biggest issue with the sound is that it has no Active Noise Cancellation, relying on a passive seal. While I like this when using at work, around the house or going for a run because I enjoy having some sense of what is going on with the surrounding environment, I can understand it is an issue for people who may prefer more silence with their headphones in and if you are looking for a peaceful night’s sleep with soft music in the background on a plane, these are unlikely to work. Given that the overall sound quality is so good, you are probably not going to mind putting the volume up a little to block the rest of the world out.
The headphone aspect of the Rimor really is exceptional. Sadly the same cannot be said of its performance in calls. While the company advertises that the microphones of the device have environmental noise cancellation, the only noise it appeared to cancel was my own voice as the voice comes across particular soft on the other side. I thought it could be something to do with the settings, but even with microphones levels turned up to maximum, the voice on the other side comes across as far too soft and to have any sense of decent conversation you really want to disconnect yourself from the headphones and just chat using the phone normally. It is a pity because it does ruin a lot of the portability that a device like this can bring and if they had paid as much attention to the microphone as they did into the speaker technology, this could’ve been a real winner here.
Another area where Tranya has definitely put in a clear focus on is its case. As with all devices of this type, the case offers more than just a convenient place to store them but charges the device as well. Here though despite its relatively small size, I was impressed at just how much extra battery life it offers. The manufacturer claims that the case extends the battery life of the ear Buds to 25 hours. And while I didn’t quite hit those numbers, you can definitely get around 20 hours out of the case, which is not industry-leading by any stretch, but still very good.
The egg-shaped case has four lights on the front to see how much power it has left so you have a rough idea of when it needs to be charged, in which case it has a USB C port to allow for easy charging and it takes around 2 hours for the case to regain full power.
The case also includes pins which are able to discern when the ear Buds are placed in them automatically switching the them off and on when they are placed in or taken out of the case (if your case is out of power though you will lose this functionality), meaning you never truly need to activate the power button, which comes in pretty handy – especially because…
Control and connectivity
The device makes use of different type of tapping gestures to pause, play, skip tracks or adjust volume and while it’s simple in concept, I found it quite tricky to work with. Too often while trying to double-tap either my left or right ear to adjust volume or change song, it just assumed I was trying to pause the music instead. The more you practice it, the better you get, but it’s not intuitive. Unless you are in the middle of an intense workout and can’t honestly reach elsewhere you should be able to control this from your phone or smartwatch directly, so for me, it wasn’t a big concern.
The device also integrates with your device’s voice assistant, though I did find this a little problematic give the above microphone issues. It’s better at this than phone calls though, which leads me to believe it might be something related to the device being in call mode that affects the volume levels.
Regarding connectivity, I also found the headphones connected seamlessly with my Android phone and it was quick and responsive in connecting the moment you take it out the case. It could also maintain a clear connection over a decent short distance though once you exceed distances of 8-10 metres between your phone and the headphones, it would jump occasionally. Something which can annoy if you intend to leave your device in one location and walk around your home or office listening to music.
And while I didn’t have too many issues connecting the device to a mobile phone, I found it a little more problematic when I tried to sync with my laptops, both a Windows and iOS one, with the MacBook machine not picking them up at all. My MacBook is old though and this could’ve been related to its old Bluetooth drivers.
I have already mentioned the extra battery life that the case impressively brings. As for the Buds themselves, they claim to last a full 8 hours and I could get relatively close to that depending on whether I was just purely listening or using phone calls to as well. Overall, I thought this was reasonably impressive and coupled with the case which provides a quick charging facility where 10 minutes in the case can get you just over an hour of listening time (less than the 90 minutes advertised) I never found battery life to ever be an issue.
Value for Money and Final Verdict
I was left impressed by what Tranya has put on offer here. This is by no means something that is as good as what the likes of Apple and other industry leaders can offer, at R1200 excluding import tax it is very good value for money – and for someone looking for a cheaper alternative with great sound quality and battery life that doesn’t offer too many other features, they will find their money’s worth. You can definitely get better, but you will need to pay a lot more for it.
Last Updated: March 3, 2020