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Former Sennheiser engineer Axel Grell made a $200 pair of ANC true wireless earbuds

·Contributing Writer
·1-min read

In 2019, Axel Grell, the designer of Sennheiser’s legendary HD580 and HD800 headphones, left the company to found Grell Audio. Two years later, the startup is coming out with a pair of true wireless headphones known as the TWS/1. Set to cost $200 when they go on sale next month, they feature components individually sourced and designed by Grell. Highlights include custom 10mm drivers, support for ANC, glass touch panels and a proprietary feature called Noise Annoyance Reduction (NAR) that the company claims cancels out high-end noises.

Grell Audio TWS/1
Grell Audio TWS/1

Codec support is also extensive, partly thanks to Qualcomm's QCC5141 chipset. In addition to mainstays like SBC and AAC, the earbuds can connect to your device over LHDC, aptX, aptX HD and aptX adaptive. Outside of a handful of proprietary Sony formats, all that’s missing here is Qualcomm’s recently announced aptX Lossless codec. You can get up to 6 hours of battery life from the earbuds alone (with ANC on), or a total of 34 hours with the included aluminum charging case.

Grell plans to employ a direct-to-consumer model that will see the company sell the TWS/1 earbuds exclusively through its website and Drop. Pre-orders open today, with general availability to follow in November. The Drop version of the headphones will be known as the tws.01 and feature an all-black finish and come with an additional set of blue wingtips.

Update 10/6/21 4:03AM ET: Article updated with the correct battery life figure.

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