Tranya T40 and Scoshe ThudBuds™ Review
I do not like to write bad reviews. Now and then I receive a product that doesn’t make it to a review. All products can be improved, so it could be argued I should review everything in order to help people avoid buying bad products. The other side of that argument states: I only have a limited amount of time. I should write about things that bring me joy. If I can make a clever observation that helps inform the market or the vendor, great.
But sometimes a product comes across my porch, then my desk, that looks great but disappoints. I have been putting off reviewing the Scosche Thudbuds™ true wireless earbuds because they are, frankly, unlistenable. I have reviewed many a headphone, and while I may dislike the fit, the controls, or the sound, I can usually find some redeeming quality or a niche that they serve.
Let me be clear, the Scosche Thudbuds do offer some design innovations. Unfortunately, and this is the takeaway, Scosche is not an audio company. The marketing of the Thudbuds says nothing about their audio capabilities, driver design, or sound profile. And that is telling. Even most low-end headphones attempt to appeal to buyers based on the audio expertise of the vendor. To Scosche’s credit, they don’t claim any expertise, and therefore the lack of detail about the product isn’t all that surprising.
Most of the time that would be the review, if it was posted at all, of the Scosche Thudbuds. But interestingly, Tranya sent me their 13mm Driver T40 Sport earbuds that look almost identical to the Scosche Thudbuds. Fortunately, the Tranya headphones deliver great sound for their price.
So this created an opportunity to point out that headphones from companies with credentials other than audio likely fall into the catalog filler category—and to discuss how two visually similar products can offer very different experiences.
What we like
Since I’ve already bashed the $59.99 Scosche Thudbuds sound, let me talk about their good points.
Most innovatively, the Thudbuds deliver detachable magnetic ear loops. The sports feature, that of an ear loop aimed at keeping earbuds from falling out of an ear during a strenuous workout, can be left behind when not being used in such a demanding way.
I found the magnet held well while I wandered and jumped around, bent over my garden and tilled my flower beds. And they are pretty comfortable to wear. More comfortable than Tranya’s T40s. They support Bluetooth® 5.0 and rate at IPX7 for water resistance.
Notably, the Thudbuds include a wireless charging case, which makes sense given Scosche’s power and charging heritage. The Scosche Thudbuds run about 6 hours on a charge, with another 24 hours tucked away in the charging case.
And with that, I end the What I like about the Scosche Thudbuds part of the review.
For Tranya, their $39.99 headphones don’t offer a conversion to straight earbuds, but they do bring a much richer sound than the more expensive Thudbuds. The 13mm driver and Bluetooth 5.1 deliver solid audio which leans into the treble, but not annoyingly so. I usually listen with Bass Boost on, which creates a more balanced sound. The sound stage feels more open than might be expected in this range. Tranya works their sound profiles, and the T40s, while in the budget arena delivers great sound for the price.
Keep in mind these are basic earbuds, so while they cover AAC and SBC, they don’t support aptX or LDAC for higher-quality audio.
I do like the physical buttons and separate volume switches, which makes controlling them relatively simple.
More critically, Tranya brings an awareness of audio features, even to these inexpensive buds. They explode out their Dual EQ 13mm driver so buyers can see the components. Rather than saying they have a microphone, as Scosche does, they show the 4 microphones and their role in filtering out noise and voice correction. They at least know what the microphones should do.
They also offer a low-latency game mode for mobile gamers.
Both earbuds also include USB-C charging.
What could be improved
As noted above, Scosche doesn’t play to the audio market. They need to share some insight on components so that comparisons can be made. I’m sure if I asked them what was inside, somebody could share that, but not even the manual offers any audio specifications in its fine print. They are simply wireless earbuds with speakers and a microphone. On the good side, Scosche also doesn’t oversell their capabilities, they make few claims about the audio (they do, however, say it is “exceptional sound quality,” which it is decidedly not).
The one “audio” thing Scosche mentions is a “built-in equalizer” but they offer no insight on the profiles, how it is tuned, or well, anything else about the sound.
Key to Scosche going forward is deciding they want to be in the audio business and spending some time thinking about what that means. Currently, they have an audio offering, which is all they can say. They have no audio credentials. Ideally, they will pick up a manufacturing partner with an audio background that can be more directive about how to represent the components in the market.
As for Tranya, I would like to see more attention paid to fit. I can make them work, but the ear loops are a bit smaller than I like, and the angel isn’t perfect. If I don’t work at it I find the earbud portion pulling away, then popping out of my ear. That is not a good look for a sport earbud. Over time the tight-fitting top of the loop can cause discomfort. Fit will vary by wearer, so others may not experience this issue, but I found it hard to wear them for long periods of time.
While I usually prefer touch to physical buttons, the Tranya T40 buttons work well, although, as with all earbuds, they are unique and sequences can be hard to remember.
I would like to see Tranya invest more in proper English on their site and in Amazon listings.
Tranya T40 and Scosche ThudBuds™: The Bottom Line
Scosche clearly created the Thudbuds™ so they had an audio product in their catalog. They probably spent more time obtaining the trademark than they did engineering the sound experience. Scosche needs to go back to the drawing board on the audio components, but they should retain the wireless charging case and maintain the overall design.
But earbuds are about sound first, so we can’t recommend the Thudbuds given their weak audio performance.
Tranya’s T40s offer better sound by far than the Thudbuds, but they aren’t without their fit issues. That said, they also run about $20 less, and even more with discounts on Amazon (currently showing at an additional 20% off)—so as a second pair of earbuds for exercise or other exertion, they will serve well.
Tranya and Scosche provided the T40 and Scosche ThudBuds™ for review. Images courtesy of Tranya and Scosche.
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