While it seems white wireless earbuds hang ubiquitously from many ears, Apple hasn’t cornered the market. Innovation and style come from many corners, not the least of which is Helm Audio.
I saw these intriguing, diamond cut and shiny headphones promoted in my inbox and requested a pair for review. They have become a companion to my iPad Pro since their arrival.
I am not an audiophile. I do love music, and I listen to plenty of it—and to hours of television and movies for reviews. But I don’t need perfect audio with all the subtleties of live performance. I need good audio accessories that help inform and entertain.
What I like about the Helm True Wireless 5.0 Headphones
I have tested other wireless earbuds, most notably the Jabra 65t’s, which I still have eagerly paired to my iPhone for roaming podcast listening, music and mobile phone calls. But I was looking for earbuds to support travel, ears buds not just for walking around, but for sitting in a leather pub chair and enjoying some good streaming content. The securely fitting Helm True Wireless 5.0 Headphones fit all those needs well. And they work just as well during phone calls.
At the core of these functional headsets resides good design: Qualcomm aptX, up to 8 hours of playtime, with 30 hours of standby, Bluetooth 5.0, and an included charging case.
The Helm Audio Wireless Earbuds 5.0 meet that needs for multiple reasons:
Magnetic attachment to case charging dock
Including charging case
Beautiful, differentiated design
Long-range connection (up to 60 feet)
Great ear fit (with multiple silicon tips to accommodate ear differences).
Most importantly, I love how these earbuds fit. They are the first earbuds I have owned that make sense of the little rubber prongs, at least for my ears. They bring me no ear fatigue, delivering solid audio performance on the ground and in the air.
Suggestions for Helm
I have few suggestions for Helm. It would be obvious to suggest a smaller overall package, but the larger case accommodates enough backup battery to recharge the headset 5 times. That is worth a little extra bulk. And wireless earbuds already work at the edge of physical limits. Yes, the Helm earbuds are a bit bigger, but they fit well, look good and hold a charge longer than many competitors.
But I do have two suggestions.
First, the controls could do with some separation. Two clicks for volume is out of the norm for design. I would rather see discrete controls on each earbud, rather than slightly convoluted controls duplicated and different. I find myself not memorizing the button functions and therefore tending not to use them. (Helm’s FAQs can be a useful memory prompt). That said, the one-button solution likely helps keep costs down while protecting the integrity of the design.
And second, given where technology is heading, I would also like to see the charger charged via USB-C rather than micro-USB input.
Helm True Wireless 5.0 Headphones bring a unique design to the market, along with solid sound and an affordable price. The combination of Bluetooth 5.0 and its greater range, along with good batteries and included charging case transform what might appear as a value-based offering into an authentic value.
Note: Helm provided a pair of Helm Audio True Wireless 5.0 Headphones for review. Serious Insights may be paid a small affiliate fee for purchases made through Amazon links.
Daniel W. Rasmus
Daniel W. Rasmus, Founder and Principal Analyst of Serious Insights, is an internationally recognized speaker on the future of work and education. He is the author of several books, including Listening to the Future and Management by Design.