Ex-Sennheiser engineer Axel Grell rolls out affordable audiophile earbuds

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A stylized image of some stylish Grell Audio earbuds.
A stylized image of some stylish Grell Audio earbuds.
Photo: Grell Audio

Audio engineer Axel Grell designed Sennheiser’s much-admired HD580 and HD800 headphones. Then he left the company in 2019 to start Grell Audio. And now he offers a pair of premium, true wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation (ANC) called Grell TWS-1 for the not-too-lofty price of $199.99.

Grell TWS-1 earbuds: audiophile-worthy?

The company said Grell individually sourced and designed each earbud component to achieve audiophile-worthy sound quality. The earbuds include custom 10mm drivers, ANC support and responsive glass touch panels. And they also feature a proprietary “Noise Annoyance Reduction” (NAR) feature that cancels out high-pitched sounds.

Grell described the drivers as “high precision.” The company said they have fast response and should deliver a broad frequency range — as low as 6Hz and as high as 22kHz.

Grell TWS-1 earbuds feature an industrial design and high-quality sound.
Grell TWS-1 earbuds feature an industrial design and high-quality sound.
Photo: Grell Audio

Support for numerous codec formats

The earbuds contain Qualcomm’s “Snapdragon” QCC5141 chipset, which allows for significant codec support. The earbuds can connect to your audio device via SBC, AAC, LHDC (high resolution, low latency), aptX, aptX HD and aptX adaptive codecs. Not included are a few of Sony’s proprietary formats and Qualcomm’s new aptX Lossless audio codec.

With ANC enabled, the earbuds offer up to six hours of continuous battery life. Or, with the included aluminum charging case in use, you get up to 34 hours. The earbuds feature IPX4 splash resistance. They’re compatible with iOS, macOS, iPadOS and Android devices.

Pricing and availability

The Grell TWS-1 earbuds will come in a space gray color and cost $199.99 when they go on sale next month, the company said. That version will sell exclusively through the Grell Audio website to help reduce costs.

And a version of the earbuds called tws.01 will sell on Drop.com, featuring an all-black finish and an additional set of blue eartips.

Pre-orders start Wednesday, with general sales opening in November.

Price: $199.99

Where to pre-order: Grell Audio