Canyon Doublebee GTWS-2 Gaming Earbuds Review

Let’s start with the positives shall we? It’s not often that I have to launch straight into finding the best possible things to say due to the less than positive ones I’m going to be saying later, but in the case of the Doublebee GTWS-2, a gaming-focussed pair of wireless earbuds, it’s sadly unavoidable.

The Doublebee gets its name thanks to its Bumblebee-styled visuals. Now, we’re talking Transformers Camaro more than fuzzy honey-making insectoids, so the case for the GTWS-2 looks like the bonnet of Michael Bay’s favourite yellow and black car. It’s certainly eye-catching, and for a certain type of gamer, it might prove irresistible.

Things become even more interesting when you open the case up via two gull-wing door-styled sections, revealing the earbuds, two glowing RGB strips and the case’s charge level via a numeric LCD display. I especially liked the charge indicator, as it lets you know exactly how much juice is left in the case before you have to charge it up, rather than the vague, non-existent indicators you’ll find elsewhere. You get around 4 hours of playback per full charge, which is solid, if a little on the short side, while the case bumps that up to 37 hours before you have to reach for the USB-C charging cable.

The earbuds carry on the yellow and black theme, with an RGB indicator built into each side to indicate battery levels and connection. They’re smooth and wholly formed out of plastic, much like early Airpods, but without silicon or foam earbud tips you can’t get a perfect, or gentle, seal. However, they’re also rock solid, and won’t discolour or break as they age.

There are onboard touch controls, allowing you to pause and play, move back and forth through audio tracks, and make incremental volume changes via a triple press on either earbud. It’s a simple enough system, and the responsiveness is good, though the triple press for volume changes can become exhausting if you’re making big alterations.

The Canyon Doublebee GTWS-2 is budget-focussed, and at its sub-£30 price point there are very few gaming earbuds at this price, especially ones that can match the build quality and aesthetics. Unfortunately, that’s where the positives stop.

The audio from the Doublebee GTWS-2 is fatally flawed, with the worst bass response I’ve heard from any headset or earbud I’ve reviewed in the past five years. There’s no control, and anything remotely close to being a bottom-end tone clips and squelches in a frankly unlistenable manner. I was so surprised to experience this that I requested a second review unit, thinking that the original was broken, but as it turns out, this is how the earbuds are being shipped.

There is a very specific use case for the Doublebee, and that’s in an FPS or battle royale where you’re focussing on the top-end details of footsteps and gunfire to help locate your foes. It works well enough here – I played a few rounds of Overwatch 2 and the location of enemies was clear enough, but then the music between rounds sounded truly awful, bringing the experience crashing back down.

In this day and age, where audio performance from budget headsets is getting closer and closer to that offered by the bigger manufacturers, I simply don’t understand what’s gone wrong during the Doublebee GTWS-2’s audio design and testing. It’s a real shame when clear effort has been put into various other aspects of its construction.

Summary
The Doublebee GTWS-2 bodes well for future products from Canyon, and if they can pair the build quality on show here with a better audio performance they’ll be onto a winner. However, even if you’re on a very specific, limited budget, I simply can’t recommend them as a suitable audio option for anybody.
Good
  • Build quality is good
  • Eye-catching design
Bad
  • Terrible audio performance
  • Lack of rubberised eartips
3
Written by
TSA's Reviews Editor - a hoarder of headsets who regularly argues that the Sega Saturn was the best console ever released.

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