One of the best headphone values around.
In July 2018, I reviewed a pair of noise-canceling headphones from a company called TaoTronics. I’d never heard of TaoTronics going into that review, but once all was said and done, I came away incredibly impressed.
The headphones sounded good, were comfortable to wear, and provided surprisingly solid active noise cancelation for just $70. TaoTronics is back with a new 2019 model of the headphones, and not only are they $10 cheaper, but they also improve things on a couple notable levels.
Here’s my full review.
Worth every penny
TaoTronics Active Noise Canceling Headphones 2019
Great all-around headphones for a killer price
It’s really easy to spend a lot of money on noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones, but TaoTronics’ manages to, once again, deliver about 80% of the experience found on flagship cans for a fraction of the price. For just $60, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything better in this price range.
- Good sound for the money
- Comfortable to wear
- Easy-to-use buttons
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Free carrying case
- Still uses Micro-USB
- A little cheap feeling
What I like
When you buy a pair of wireless noise-canceling headphones for just $60, you have to get your expectations in check. These obviously aren’t as good as headphones like the Bose QC35 or Sony WH1000XM3, but considering TaoTronics’ option is also close to $300 less, it’s pretty damn impressive just how close of an experience they actually deliver.
Starting first with the design, TaoTronics did a pretty commendable job.
The faux leather padding around the headband and earcups allows for comfortable listening sessions, the physical buttons have a good, tactile click to them, and there’s a sturdy metal frame hidden underneath the top plastic layer.
You can easily adjust the height of each earcup by pulling up/down, and each earcup also swivels out so that the headphones are easier to rest on your neck when you aren’t listening to any music.
Great sound, looks, and battery for just $60. What more could you want?
On that note, the sound quality of these headphones is way, way better than it should be at this price.
Bass can get muddy and not all sounds are as pronounced as they would be on more expensive headphones, but there’s nothing about these that make music-listening unenjoyable. Volume levels are great, audio doesn’t sound muffled like it can on other headphones at this price, and thanks to the inclusion of active noise-canceling, you have a way of blocking out background noises that may otherwise distract from whatever you’re listening to.
Active noise-canceling is enabled by toggling the switch on the left earcup, and while it’s nowhere as impressive as what I experience on my QC35s, it’s still a welcome tool to help make your music/podcasts sound better in a noisy environment — even if it isn’t as magical as some of its more expensive competitors.
A few other goodies here include 25-30 hours of battery life per charge, a feature called Hyper Speed Charge that delivers two hours of use after just five minutes of charging, and Bluetooth 5.0 that allows for more reliable connections with your devices compared to last year’s model.
You also get a free carrying case just like before, but it’s been shrunken down a lot to be more portable than ever. Score!
What’s not so great
No gadget is perfect, however, so let’s take a second to talk about what holds these headphones back.
Although not everyone will see it as a con, I really don’t like that Micro-USB is still used as the charging method here. With all of my other devices charged either wirelessly or via USB-C, it’s a pain in the butt to have to revert back to the dark days of Micro-USB.
Something else that gives me a little bit of pause is how well the headphones will be able to hold up over time.
The plastic sometimes creaks if you move the earcups a certain way, and the swivel mechanism feels a bit too loose for my liking. I suppose you can’t expect a lot for headphones of this price, but it’s something that stuck out to me.
Should you buy them?
Here’s the thing — you can find plenty of other headphones out there that are built out of nicer materials, have better sound quality, more impressive noise cancelation, etc. However, as you find options with those improvements, you’re going to spend more and more money.
For its price, these TaoTronics headphones deliver far better than they should on every front. They’re enjoyable to listen to, comfortable to wear, and have excellent battery life. What more could you want?
out of 5
To put things into perspective, you could buy five pairs of TaoTronics headphones and still have $50 leftover instead of buying Bose or Sony’s latest options. That’s kind of insane.
Tl;dr — If you want great Bluetooth headphones that will put a smile on your face and wallet, this is an excellent buy.
February 11, 2019 at 04:31AM