Transparent electronics are all the trend lately, largely thanks to Nothing and its devices, the Nothing Ear (1) and Phone (1). There’s no denying that internal circuitry looks pretty, and ever since Nothing took the initiative, many brands have jumped on the bandwagon, one of which is Acefast. Here’s our Acefast Crystal (2) T8 review, a set of truly wireless earbuds inspired by the Nothing Ear (1)’s design.
Acefast sent us a Crystal (2) review unit, and we’ve been testing it for over a week now. Here’s what we think about it, and in the end, let’s look at if it’s worth buying.
Acefast Crystal (2) Review
Before we jump into the review, the TWS earbuds come with a generous amount of accessories that most manufacturers don’t usually provide. Here’s everything you get in the packaging:
- Acefast Crystal (2)
- A rubber case
- Small, medium, and large ear tips
- User manual
- Type-C cable
The unboxing experience was alright, but the pungent smell of the foam really took away the glam. The outer box is flashy and quite non-minimalistic, with texts all around it.
Design & build quality
The design of the Crystal (2) is quite unlike other TWS earbuds in the market. On first look, you can clearly see the insides of both the TWS case and earbuds, thanks to the transparent design. On the top lies a digital battery indicator which tells you the percentage of battery remaining in the case, which is pretty cool. Above that, it shows you four bars each for the left and right earbuds, which indicate the battery remaining in the earbuds.
The earbuds sit flush in the case, and the overall body feels curved and seamless. There’s a Type-C port at the bottom, and both earbuds have white lights on them that light up while charging or connecting. Since the earbuds sit flush for the design’s continuity and seamlessness, the edges of the same are a bit sharp and may cause discomfort. That wasn’t the case with me, though.
The shell is made of plastic and feels very sturdy. There are no creaking sounds since there are no hinges. The earbuds are held with magnets strongly and won’t fall off on their own. The best part about it is the pulsating LED inside, which showcases the internals of the earbuds. It’s unlike any earbuds on the market and looks very cool. Overall, the Acefast Crystal (2) hits the right spot in terms of design and build quality.
As you may have guessed, these are not your typical audiophile-grade earphones (most TWS aren’t), but the main focus is design. I originally had low hopes about the sound quality, and I was partially correct. Yes, the sound output is just too bassy, which I don’t like. However, tweaking them using an equalizer hugely helped improve the listening experience. The highs are decent, but the mids are terrible. There’s a huge focus on lower bass and sub-bass frequencies, and while they might appeal to audiences who love EDMs and a few Pop tracks, music of Rock and Classical sounds terrible.
Surprisingly, the bass is well separated from the vocals, meaning it doesn’t end up overpowering the vocals. The bottom line is, not all users know how to tweak sound via an equalizer, and these may not be good for folks who prefer genres other than EDMs. The earbuds are loud enough for outdoor listening, but there’s no AptX or LDAC, only AAC, and SBC. There’s also no active noise cancelation, but they do support the latest Bluetooth 5.3.
Comfort & Controls
The Crystal (2)’s are decent in terms of comfort. It’s not ideal to wear them during workouts due to their form factor, and they don’t fit snugly into your ears. I often found myself forcing them into my ears as they tend to slip out soon, and other ear tip sizes didn’t help either. However, your mileage may vary.
I have mixed thoughts about the controls. They’re not very responsive, take time to register touches, and there’s no way to customize them. However, once you get used to them, they should serve you well. A single tap adjusts the volume, a double tap pauses the track, and triple tap skips the songs.
Battery Life was just as advertised. I got 6-7 hours of listening time on a single charge, while the case charged the earbuds in around an hour. I was able to charge the earbuds a little over three times using the case, which puts the overall battery life at around 25 hours, which is not far off the claim of 30 hours. The case charges via a Type-C port and takes around two hours to charge with both the earbuds and case empty. Also, there’s no wireless charging.
25 hours is a good battery life for a pair of TWS earbuds, and you could extend that to 30 hours by listening at lower volumes. That said, the case provided in the box will give you a hard time when removing or seating the earbuds in the case. To make things worse, the case rotates freely inside the case, so whenever you force the earbuds into the case, it rotates.
The Acefast Crystal (2)’s aren’t great
The price of $99 puts the Acefast Crystal (2)’s against many other compelling options with far superior specifications like ANC, better codecs, wireless charging, and way better sound quality. A few great alternatives are Samsung’s Galaxy Buds2 or refurbed Buds2 Pro, Sony LinkBuds S, Sony WF-C500, which sometimes go on sale for $99, or even the Nothing Ear (1)’s if you live in the subcontinent.
Acefast Crystal (2) T8 TWS Earbuds
We don’t recommend the Acefast Crystal (2) T8 earbuds unless you’re getting them for sale for a hefty discount of 40-50 bucks. The design is great, and the sound quality is not so great, and for most people, the latter matters the most in the longer run. Not to mention, there are many TWS options in the market that offer great sound for the price, while having striking designs.