Hands-on review: Majority Audio Tru Bio biodegradable wireless earbuds
Image credit: Majority Audio
Music to both your ears and the planet's.
When it comes to Bluetooth earbuds, we're living in a bountiful era where the cost of manufacturing has plummeted and the essential core tech spec is by now well understood and easily replicated. It's become increasingly difficult to make a bad product.
Equally, it's a bamboozling time to be a consumer. You're in the market for a new pair of true wireless earbuds, but you discover that there are approximately a million different styles and brands to choose from. These range in price from around £30 to over £300 (and then some, if you can afford to be truly profligate) and a lot of them look awfully similar to one another.
Perhaps what you need – both you and the brand – is a specific niche, a USP. Something that differentiates: a reason to be chosen, a filter by which to hone the search.
Cambridge-based, Chinese-manufactured British company Majority Audio have been doing this niche/USP/differentiator thing for a while now and with great success. Designers of stylish, affordable TV soundbars, DAB and internet radios, hi-fi systems and headphones, many of its products are named after villages signifying the firm's Cambridge roots, e.g. Histon, Little Shelford etc.
Now, Majority has released its latest TWS wireless earbuds – yet another pair of Bluetooth buds for your emminent consideration, only given a biodegradeable twist. Care about the damage being done to the environment, about e-waste, the overuse of plastics, the culture of casual disposability at the heart of the consumer electronics world? Here's your USP. The Tru Bio Biodegradable TWS wireless earbuds are billed as a sustainable hands-free solution for audio on the go, as the company aims to become the first carbon-neutral audio brand.
The True Bios are made from certified compostable plastic for both the diminutive earbuds and the smooth, tactile oval charging case (itself only a svelte 80mm), with each speaker's 13mm dynamic drivers also made of a bio-cellulose material.
Majority is also further putting its money where its eco credentials are, teaming up with climate action platform Ecologi to plant thousands of trees for every Majority product bought – even planting trees for products reviewed (this review alone is worth 100 trees).
According to Majority's own data, as of February 2023 the company was responsible for planting 435,000 trees in the Majority Forest, which have collectively removed approximately 482 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
However, tree-hugging credentials alone are not going to be enough to loosen everyone's purse strings: the earbuds also need to deliver the sonic goods and more to be worthy of consideration. And that they do.
The Tru Bios adopt the tiny teardrop in-ear form factor – thus using less materials overall – measuring merely 29mm x 17mm x 13mm and weighing in at a barely-there 43g. A lot of people like this style of extremely low-profile in-ear bud, as they allow you to lie down on a pillow more comfortably than with the classic 'stalk' style of earbud. It's a popular choice for people who want to fall asleep listening to audio.
For a change, there is no black version available (which some people might find disappointing), only classic white and a choice of two vivid pastel (if that's not an oxymoron) colours, blue or pink. "Funky", Majority calls them.
Unboxing reveals the classic complement of three silicone ear tips (small, medium, large – no extra small or extra large), the True Bio earbuds themselves, the charging case, and a short USB-C to A charging cable.
Connecting to a smartphone was pretty much instantaneous. The buds use Bluetooth 5.3, so there's no loss in connection, audio quality or data transfer. There's no multipoint connection, which is always nice to have, but it's not crucial. Latency is stated as being 55-70m/s, which should be acceptable to many gamers.
Button controls are available on each ear bud, for the usual play/pause, answer/hang up commands. Given that these are petite buds, precision tapping with sausage fingers can be a delicate exercise if you want best results, but anything's possible with the gentle touch.
The built-in microphone works well for calls and video chats, even if there is some inevitable compromise from a bud so small, with the mic itself effectively in your ear.
The True Bios are also IPX7 rated, so they are waterproof and sweatproof. At this price point, that is impressive – especially given that certain well-known earbuds at double or triple the cost are only IPX4 rated.
Battery life is stated as being around 30 hours, which is fine. You've got around 7.5 hours per charge, with three more top-ups on tap in a fully charged case. Other buds can significantly outlast the True Bios in raw endurance tests, but in normal day-to-day use-case scenarios 30 hours is more than enough to get you to work, through another day at the office, to the gym and back home again without dying. It's like a smartwatch: if you plan to wear it every day, just charge it every night.
Fast charging is also supported and a short 30-minute top-up charge will provide another two hours of battery life. In the charging case itself, the earbuds snap neatly into place in the charging case using magnets, neatly aligning the contacts with the pins and thus solving connection issues and charging fails. This magnetism also holds the tiny buds in place when you open the case, so you don't lose them in busy places.
Sound-wise, for music, video and podcasts, there's nothing to complain about: the True Bios sound good. The bass is present but not flabby or insipid; the mids are strong without becoming congested or overly dominant, and the highs are crisp without being shrill.
While not audiophile-grade or a serious challenge to the LDAC and APTx-supporting 'Hi-Res Audio' offerings from the big brands, the True Bios have a punchy, engaging sound with a modern signature. It's an enjoyable listen.
At around £35, you know you're not going to be getting the absolute apex product in the TWS earbuds category. There's none of the AI smarts or biometric tracking of high-end products. No special sensors. There's no active noise-cancelling aspect here. No spatial audio. The True Bios are not, it's fair to say, wireless earbuds at the very cutting-edge of technology.
However, that may not be what you want or need. A lot of the time, there can be too much technology in a product, just because, which inevitably jacks up the purchase price but may deliver only negligible real-world benefits. Thus, depending on what's really important to you, there's no significant harm in operating slightly behind the curve. You can get all the key features and save yourself a tidy sum.
Sometimes, all you want is a decent-sounding, grab'n'go pair of wireless earbuds that tick all the major boxes and literally don't cost the Earth – allowing you to burnish your own eco credentials, even if you never told another living soul about it. The True Bios can do all that for you.
Majority Tru Bio Biodegradable TWS wireless earbuds
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