The Haylou W1 is Haylou saying, hey guys! We’ve got a premium-looking and sounding TWS earbud too. You don’t have to go the Anker or QCY route to get your hands on a solidly built TWS earphone.
I just recently got my hands on the W1, and I’ll have to say I agree. On first impression, this does look and feel very premium, certainly more premium than the Haylou GT5 (which was awesome, by the way) and the Haylou GT3.
In this review, I dive deeper into the Haylou W1 to see its flaws, strengths, and everything else you need to know.
What’s in the box
Let me start by saying the W1 comes in a nice and premium-looking package, very unlike anything I’ve seen from Haylou. In that package, you get the W1 earphone, the carry case (which also feels very nice), a USB C charging cable, and an extra set of ear tips.
The Haylou W1 is unlike any other Haylou TWS earphone I’ve reviewed before now. The design and build is, in very simple terms, exquisite. I especially like the overall form factor of this TWS earphone.
While the GT5 was curvier in hand, the W1 takes up a boxy machined look. It looks really great in-ear, even better looking than the QCY HT01, which was until this point the nicest looking TWS earbud I’d reviewed.
There’s a touch of minimalism here and there on the W1, so while it does try to make a statement with its looks, it’s a TWS earphone that makes a subtle but elegant statement. I like the Haylou brand lettering on its sides, which says a lot because I’m not really a fan of lettering on TWS earphones.
Certainly was not a fan of the lettering on the Mpow X3. On the Haylou W1, however, it’s lettering that’s sleek and stylistic. It doesn’t scream for attention, neither does it take center stage of the earphone’s design – it’s just a subtle reminder that this is coming from Haylou, which, as I said, is trying to announce its presence in the premium TWS earphone market.
The Haylou W1 is both good-looking and well built. It feels nicely solid to the touch, and if you didn’t know better, you’d assume the build was brushed metal on the first impression. It’s not brushed metal; it’s plastic.
But the build execution is so good it mimics the premium brushed metal look to perfection. I’ve got mine in the bluish-green color combo, and it’s the color I’d advise you to get if you do end up buying this TWS earphone.
Fit and comfortability
Given the immaculate design and build of the W1, I was expecting it to fit rather comfortably in-ear, and I wasn’t disappointed. The W1 one is of the most secure-fitting TWS earbud I’ve reviewed in a while, right next to the Mpow Mdots, and that has an extra appendage to help it stay in place.
And it’s not just the way they fit; it’s how they effortlessly slide into place in-ear without any hassle whatsoever. In-ear, the grip is great, so you can use this for pretty much any physical activity without worry that they’d drop off mid routine. I’ve been using mine for regular jogs in the morning, and it’s been awesome all through.
The W1 is also comfortable in-ear – so comfortable that I’ve gone hours typing and editing content with it in-ear without feeling as much as a slight discomfort. That’s all thanks to its sleek and finely streamlined build. It also helps that this is a feather-light TWS earphone.
They don’t put any stress on your ears, and once in there, the soft and plush ear tips do all the extra work of softening the impact of the W1 on your ear canals. Totally recommend this earphone if you’re searching for a TWS earphone that feels really good in-ear.
The spec sheet
As a budget TWS earphone trying to compete with the big boys, the W1 comes with what most people will consider a rather impressive spec sheet. Out of the box, this ships with;
- A Knowles balanced armature driver
- aptX codec support
- Active noise cancellation
- IPX4 water resistance certification
- Bluetooth 5.2
- Touch control support
The Knowles balanced armature driver
The Knowles balanced armature included in the Haylou W1 is an obvious upgrade over the dynamic armature system found on the Haylou GT5 and pretty much every other TWS earphone in this price range.
On the W1, this balanced armature driver setup delivers better throughput sound performance with clarity and reduced distortion across all sound frequencies. I’ll dive deeper into this when I talk about the sound performance of the W1.
aptX codec support
software side Haylou has equipped the W1 with aptX codec support thanks to the onboard Qualcomm chip powering this earphone. aptX codec support pairs nicely to the balanced armature set up on the W1 to deliver a more immersive audio listening experience. You, however, need an aptX compatible device to take advantage of this feature.
The W1 has an IPX4 certification for water resistance, meaning it can withstand mild to moderate water exposure without getting damaged.
The water resistance rating is lower than what you’d get on the Mpow M13, which ships with an IPX8 rating, but it’s enough cover to protect the Haylou W1 from water damage that can occur during light rains, sweaty workouts, or water splashes. It’s, however, not enough protection to allow you to swim with this, so no funny ideas.
As one of the more recent Haylou releases, the W1 comes with Bluetooth 5.2, the latest standard of the technology available. Bluetooth 5.2 is a marked upgrade, so you get;
- Larger transmission bandwidth and sample rates make sense on a TWS earphone that supports aptX codec.
- Lower latency ensuring that there’s no audio la
- And better range so you can use the W1 at longer distances from a connected device
Touch control support
Touch control support is pretty much a standard feature on any budget TWS earphone right now, so this is not something special.
That said, I really like the implementation on the Haylou W1 – it’s not too sensitive, so false touches are reduced to the barest minimum, but it also works well to pick up actual touches. Touch control on the W1 works like pretty much any other Haylou TWS earphone:
- One-click to pause/play the current item on your playlist
- Double click on the right earphone to skip to the next item on the playlist
- Double click on the left earphone to skip back to the previous item on the playlist
- Triple-click to activate your voice assistant
The sound profile of the Haylou W1 comes off as balanced, and no, this is not a reference to the ‘balanced’ armature driver on board the W1. What I mean is the sound profile is well-rounded with the full-on representation of all sound levels and frequencies. Specifically, you get:
- Moderately punchy bass
- Trebles that fit with the W1’s bass output
- Good vocals output
- Detailed surround sound
- Detailed sounding instrumentals and effects
While many TWS earphones sort of emphasize one segment of their sound profile (for instance, treble on the QCY T12), the W1 blends everything together in moderation for a smooth and rolling audio listening experience. Bass is deep and punchy enough.
Treble sounds great. Vocals and instrumentals pop ever so slightly to give a rather engaging music listening experience. Playing my favorite tunes on the Haylou W1 has been a pleasant experience overall.
So does the Knowles balanced armature driver make any difference? I’d say yes. It certainly increases the dynamic range of the W1.
That’s why this earphone can produce all sound levels and frequencies at practically all volume levels without distortion. It’s, however, fair to note that some TWS earphones (the QCY HT01, for instance) achieve this without a balanced armature on board.
Call and media playback quality
Call quality on the Haylou W1 is excellent. I’ve had mine for well over two weeks now, and in that time, the calling experience has been nothing short of smooth. This earphone has two dedicated microphones (aside from the active noise canceling mics) to pick up sounds during calls. They work quite well, never did anyone on the other side of the call complaining of poor sound quality while I made and received calls.
It’s the same case for media playback quality. Of course, sound quality when watching movies or YouTubing is great. With Bluetooth 5.2 on board, you also get ultra-low latency. This makes the W1 a really handy gaming earphone if you’re not a fan of the larger form factor of over-the-head earphones.
The advertised battery life for the Haylou W1 is six hours when you’re actively listening to music and well over 20 hours when the earphone is on standby without playing music.
In real-life use, I’ve had them stay on for up to five hours when I’m actively listening to music. Surprisingly they go a whole 24 hours (as opposed to the 20-hour advertised time when on standby.
These are pretty decent battery life numbers for any TWS earphone. Very few, if any, get to that 6-hour active on-time threshold. The carry case acts as a power reserve with its 500mAh battery. They can charge the W1 to 100% three times consecutively to bump active on time to about 18 hours and standby time to well over three days.
Connectivity and range
The Haylou W1 connects to your phone via Bluetooth 5.2; I’ve already mentioned that. Right now, Bluetooth 5.2 is the best connection standard you’ll get on pretty much any budget TWS earphone. On the W1, it delivers an extremely low latency connection, which works to improve media playback and gaming experience.
Range is top-draw as well. The advertised number is 10 meters. In real-world use, it’s the same 10 meters when you’re using the W1 in free space. Walls and other solid barriers might drop this to about 6 meters, but from experience, the W1 does enough to allow you to use it without any hassle in the typical household environment.
Should you buy the Haylou W1
There’s very little to hate on the Haylou W1. This thing packs all the features you’ll need in a budget TWS earphone and then some. In fact, I’ll go on to say it’s punching far above the budget TWS mark and well into the premium TWS category. It’s an excellent sounding wireless earphone with an excellent build and a really trendy design.
And the best part is it cost under $40. I absolutely loved the Haylou GT5, but after having a taste of the W1, it is, for now, my best Haylou TWS earphone. Nothing else I’ve reviewed from the Haylou brand comes close to this. So should you buy it? That’s a yes from me.