Fully wireless headphones are becoming more and more popular. However, there are small details in their technologies that can make a big difference in sound quality. Among them, the presence of True Wireless Stereo (TWS) stands out, which can make the user experience richer and more complete.
Unfortunately, such features are not well presented to users and, for this reason, they become little known and no longer influence when choosing a good pair of headphones. Therefore, TecMundo has prepared a small guide to detail what exactly TWS technology is and the purpose of its presence on devices, in order to facilitate the consumer’s decision before a possible purchase. Check out:
What is TWS and what is it for?
TWS technology, which can be loosely translated as Fully Wireless Stereo, exists in two main variants: TWS and TWS+, both aimed at fully wireless headphones such as Galaxy Buds. Its presence defines how media will play on devices, changing the way data is sent to the left and right of each pair.
In this context, the default variant is TWS, which works by connecting the player device to just one of the two headphones, which in turn sends the media data to the other. This method of connection tends to minimally impair part of the user’s sound experience, since it ends up compressing the audio files a little more. In simpler terms, it can be said that this system “creates” an “invisible wire” connecting the main phone to the secondary phone.
On the other hand, TWS+ works as a sort of evolution to what is found in standard technology. Its purpose is the same, but it works more elaborately, allowing the player device to connect the left and right channels directly to their respective headphones, without the need for a “main” part. The result is to minimize the loss of quality in sound reproduction, in addition to providing more versatility for the user.
Although superior, the TWS+ is unique to Qualcomm processor-based phones, specifically those in the Snapdragon 845 series and beyond — the only exception, however, is for the iPhone, where the technology became available from the XS and XR models, launched in 2018.
Generally speaking, all fully wireless headsets support TWS technology. Among them, most of them support the TWS+ version, with the way it works depending on the device to which it is connected.
In this context, the exception is once again for AirPods, from Apple, which use proprietary technology. Briefly, it works as follows: if only one side is in use, the media will be played in mono mode; if the full pair is used, the media will be played in stereo mode, with the audio channels being sent to their respective sides.
It is noteworthy that this technology is often misleadingly promoted in advertisements for “unbranded” or “rebranded” headphones in order to favor the image of an unsupported product. Thus, it is important to research the origin of the models before choosing a favorite.