So you’ve spent a few hundred dollars on some high-end earbuds from the likes of Shure or Westone, and now you’re looking at the true wireless wave that’s sweeping the world you’re and feeling a bit left out. Fostex has you covered. The Japanese company, better known for its over-ear headphone models with meticulously handcrafted wooden cups, has come to the NAMM show this year with a clever marriage of existing premium in-ear headphones and cutting-edge wireless performance. The new Fostex TM2 wireless earphones are a true-wireless set in their own right, but they’re also modular, allowing you to hook up your favorite pair of earphones that already have an MMCX cable connection.
The TM2s are built around Qualcomm’s QCC3026 chip, which Fostex credits for making their laudable 12-hour battery life possible (well, that and the chunky battery modules that go behind the listener’s ear and give the TM2 that inelegant hearing aid look). But hey, if you have longer hair and an absolute disdain for the piddling five-hour battery life most truly wireless earphones provide, this TM2 idea is intriguing, maybe even compelling.
The earphones that Fostex provides feature a 6mm dynamic driver in each bud, which is relatively small, but then the Zero Audio Carbo Tenores that I’ve praised to the high heavens are in the same size range, so that shouldn’t worry anyone. Unfortunately, Fostex didn’t have a functional pair on hand at the NAMM show for me to try their sound.
Supporting Bluetooth 5, AptX, and Qualcomm’s True Wireless Stereo — which connects the source device directly to each earphone, allowing for independent use and a more robust connection — the TM2 modules will have physical switches for play / pause and call control along with touch control for volume and, of course, voice assistant activation.
Fostex aims to have the TM2 on sale at a price of $299.99 sometime around April.