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HELM True Wireless 5.0 review: Surprising tone and great fitment

HELM True Wireless 5.0 headphones

Through our testing, we found that the HELM True Wireless 5.0 headphones performed at the top of their category and held their own with similarly priced products.

9.3/10 rating

We have reviewed dozens of headphones around here, and the line of brands sending us headphones is out the door. We still have a decent pile of true wireless headphones to get through along with a few over-ears. The latest set is the HELM True Wireless 5.0. This is the first time I’ve heard of HELM Audio, but they aren’t new. The HELM True Wireless 5.0 is a follow-up to last year’s model with some big improvements.

Some of these big improvements include Bluetooth 5.0 and much better battery life. Through our testing, we found that the HELM True Wireless 5.0 headphones performed at the top of their category and held their own with similarly priced products. Read on for the full review of the HELM True Wireless 5.0.

Specifications

The HELM True Wireless 5.0 Headphones have the following features and specifications:

  • Bluetooth 5.0 with 60-foot range
  • Qualcomm APTx
  • Noise isolating eartips
  • Stereo phone calls
  • Auto-on and pairing
  • IPX4 water-resistant
  • Siri and Google Assistant
  • 6-8 hours playtime with 30-hours on case

What’s In The Box

  • HELM True Wireless 5.0 Headphones
  • Charging Case
  • Micro-USB cable
  • Extra eartips
  • Documentation and Manuals

Design

HELM True Wireless 5.0 headphones
Lightweight and small.

Let’s start with the design cue which I don’t particularly like, that diamond cut exterior. While I really do not enjoy this look at all, I know others will appreciate it, and that’s okay. This design cue certainly doesn’t take away from the HELM True Wireless 5.0 sound or any other category. It just isn’t for me.

That being said, these things are very comfortable for sure. I was pleasantly shocked at just how well they fit in the ear and just how snug they were. I can’t say that about every pair of in-ear headphones so that’s a huge plus. Like many other true-wireless headphones the HELM True Wireless 5.0 have a small footprint and are super lightweight.

The charging case is a bit larger than others I’ve used, but it can easily be dropped in a purse or backpack. While it can fit in your pants pocket, it does bulge a bit, which not everyone will like. The charging case uses a MicroUSB cable to recharge the case and buds. I really wish they would have made this USB-C but I guess we can’t have everything. The charging case feels decent with a good build-quality.

The HELM True Wireless 5.0 buds themselves are fairly basic with a button on each earbud. More on those in the ease of use section. Pushing these buttons did not cause any discomfort to me while using them. They were tactile and didn’t require a whole lot of pressure to operate. The ear tips and fins do a good job of keeping the buds in place, and I never felt like these would fall out.

Overall, a good design. I’m not a fan of the diamond cut look and the charging case could have used USB-C, but those are really only minor gripes.

HELM True Wireless 5.0
MicroUSB port

Ease of Use

Bluetooth products have become very simple to use and the HELM True Wireless 5.0 earphones are no different. First, be sure to charge these and the case to 100% before your first use. Once that is done just pop out one of the earbuds and it will go into pairing mode. Then, find it in your device’s Bluetooth settings and pair. Take the other bud out of the case and it will pair to the first bud and you’re ready to go.

The HELM True Wireless 5.0 also has one button on each earbud which give you some control without having to grab your device out of your pocket. Some of the functions are mirrored but others are specific to each earbud. Here’s a rundown of what each earbud button does:

  • Right earbud control:
    • One click: Pause/Play or Answer Calls
    • Long press for 1-second: Activate/Deactivate Siri/Voice Assistant
    • Two clicks: Volume Up
    • Three clicks: Volume Down
    • Long hold: Turn earbud off
  • Left earbud control:
    • One click: Pause/Play or Answer Calls
    • Long press for 1-second: Activate/Deactivate Siri/Voice Assistant
    • Two clicks: Next track
    • Three Clicks: Previous track
    • Long hold: Turn earbud off

Overall, these are super simple to use. At this point, I think most users are pretty well versed in how to pair and use Bluetooth devices.

HELM True Wireless 5.0 headphones
The charging case

Sound

The HELM True Wireless 5.0 actually surprised me a lot. What I was expecting from these was a bass-heavy soundstage that muddied out the mids and highs. On HELM’s website they say the following:

Finally, a True Wireless with TRUE sound quality, featuring proprietary high-powered rare polymer and alloy enhanced drivers that deliver commanding bass, captivating mids, and crystal clear highs with an ultra-realistic soundstage that brings your music to life.

HELM

Anytime a brand tells me they have “commanding bass” my first reaction is that the low frequencies will dominate. I was really surprised that this isn’t the case at all. While the bass is most certainly present and it really is “commanding,” it doesn’t kill the rest of the stage. The mids and the highs are present and accounted for. The overall sound is actually pretty well balanced and very pleasing. For the most part, I think these reproduce the sound close to what the artist intended, not 100% but pretty close.

I will say if you want to get the absolute best out of these, be sure to get them fitted into your ears properly. A good quality seal in the ear is paramount to getting the best sound.

Overall, these have a pretty great sound that is mostly balanced with some slight favoritism towards the bass frequencies. I think the majority of users will enjoy the soundstage of the HELM True Wireless 5.0.

HELM True Wireless 5.0 headphones
The sound surprised me.

Reception/Call Quality

Bluetooth reception is 60-feet, thanks to Bluetooth 5.0. That number is accurate and I actually could get further if my device was inline and not behind too many walls. Call quality is good as well, especially if you get a snug fit into your ears.

Overall, no complaints about reception or call quality, both more than acceptable.

Battery Life

The HELM True Wireless 5.0 are supposed to get 6-8 hours of battery life per earphone. I’d say this is accurate, I was able to get just over 7-hours, but you must remember that volume and distance from your device are also factors. Battery life will vary by user. The charging case provides an additional 30-hours which is great for travelers.

Overall, great battery life and great case with extra battery life.

Price/Value

Priced at US$129.99 you can get these earphones on both Amazon and HELM’s websites. They are priced competitively for their feature set and sound quality. HELM is in a crowded segment of the market but they do offer some good value with their sound, fit, and ease of use.

Wrap Up

The HELM True Wireless 5.0 is a solid choice of true-wireless earphones and should make your final shopping list. The few minor gripes I had with them aren’t going to be the same for everyone and probably a non-issue for most.

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HELM True Wireless 5.0

US$129.99

Design

9.0/10

Ease of Use

10.0/10

Sound

9.0/10

Reception/Call Quality

9.0/10

Battery Life

9.5/10

Price/Value

9.0/10

Nailed it

  • Very comfortable
  • Buttons are easy to push and do not push the earbuds into your ear
  • Very simple to pair and use
  • Decent sound with an emphasis on the mids and bass frequencies
  • Excellent battery life
  • Current sale price makes them a strong contender

Needs work

  • Not a fan of the exterior diamond cur design cue
  • No USB Type-C charging

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