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Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro
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Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro

The best bargain buds.

(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

A great budget set of wireless earbuds. The Onyx Ace Pro offers great battery life, a responsive gaming mode, but a distinct lack of sound dampening.

For

  • Great price with regular discount
  • Good battery life
  • Responsive game mode

Against

  • Weak audio
  • No sound isolation

I will admit I wasn't expecting a lot from the most budget of wireless gaming earbuds that I've tested recently, but honestly they're not bad. At full price I would absolutely recommend spending that little bit extra on the Creative Outlier Pro (opens in new tab), but if you're willing to ship from Tronsmart via its AliExpress storefront (opens in new tab) you're looking at almost half the $60 sticker price.

And at that level these are some great budget wireless buds. They have a decent battery life, solid Bluetooth 5.2 connection, and come with a dedicated gaming mode accessible directly through the headphones rather than enabled via a separate app.

And that gaming mode is actually pretty impressive, too. It perfectly matches the gunshots in Hitman 3 via Bluetooth on the Steam Deck (opens in new tab) or a gaming laptop (opens in new tab), and makes for a great, super portable gaming experience. Tronsmart recommends disabling gaming mode for music as it won't offer the best audio experience, but I noticed nowhere near the same strange aural artefacts as with the Gravastar Sirius Pro buds.

Generally speaking, the audio is good. Not great, but it's only really a lack of direct oomph in the low ends that marks the sound out. I don't love an overly bass-heavy tuning anyway, but the Onyx Ace Pro buds do still feel lightweight on that front. The highs and mids are crisp, however, and the audio nicely detailed despite that slight bass tone failing.

Onyx Ace Pro specs

Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro

(Image credit: Future)

Drivers: 13mm
Frequency response: 20Hz - 20,000Hz
Weight: 0.14oz | 4g
Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
Battery life: 6.5 hours | 27 from charging case
Price: $55 (opens in new tab) | £55 (opens in new tab)

But, because they're aping the popular EarPod design, with no silicone ear-tips, they rest in your ears rather than get pushed into your ear canal. That will arguably make them more comfortable for people who cannot stand the feeling of intrusive earbuds, but it sure does kill any chance of noise cancelling.

These things are leaky as a colander that's been sieving shotgun pellets direct from the muzzle. You can hear everything. If you're concerned about being oblivious to traffic when you're crossing the road, fine, but if you want to use the Onyx Ace Pro buds to game on the go you're going to suffer.

Sat on a bus playing Stray (opens in new tab) on the Steam Deck and I can hear the youths mocking my failure to find the right path around this feline dystopia over the strained mews of my frustrated kitteh. Sat on a plane all I can hear is the general roar of the aircraft, and barely anything of the game I'm playing.

And that's a problem, because most of the situations where I want to be using a set of wireless earbuds for gaming will find me on some sort of transport or in a public place. And generally not sat in a quiet room with a level of noise that isn't going to aurally intrude upon my play time. 

I mean, I love a good pair of open-back headphones when I'm after an expansive open-world soundscape, but I'm not going to wear those in a LAN party.

If you're after a good budget set of AirPod-a-likes for your Steam Deck, however, the Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro will make for a solid purchase. So long as you pick it up with that AliExpress discount, that is.

The Verdict
Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro

A great budget set of wireless earbuds. The Onyx Ace Pro offers great battery life, a responsive gaming mode, but a distinct lack of sound dampening.

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.