Bottom line: TaoTronics' latest headphones bring a lot to the table for $100. They feature a super premium design, solid sound quality, and good noise cancelation. I'm not a fan of Micro-USB charging or the old Bluetooth standard, but for the price, it's a great deal.
- Great built quality
- Solid sound/noise cancelation
- Reliable battery life and charging
- Free carrying case
- Bluetooth 4.2
- Headphones don't fold up
If you've ever looked on Amazon for good, cheap headphones, chances are you've come across a company called TaoTronics. TaoTronics makes a wide array of headphones and earbuds for the budget segment, and while they may sometimes seem too good to be true, we've found that that's not the case.
I've reviewed quite a few TaoTronics headphones over the last year, with the company's latest pair of headphones before this being one of my favorite options in the sub $100 price range.
This new TT-BH046 model ups the build quality and price, but also drops a couple of features that could deter you from buying. Let's take a closer look.
TaoTronics Hybrid ANC Headphones What I like
Compared to TaoTronics' last two pairs of noise-canceling headphones, I can safely say that these have the best build quality by far. Where TaoTronics' headphones usually feature an all-plastic design, this pair features a combination of matte plastic and solid aluminum.
Not only does this give the Hybrid ANC Headphones a good bit of heft that I really appreciate, but it also means they're structurally more sound than past iterations. The other TaoTronics headphones I reviewed back in February tended to creak when moved too much and didn't feel like they'd hold up too well after lots of regular use. This time around, I have no such concerns.
The size of the Hybrid ANC Headphones is undoubtedly larger than its siblings, but it's a tradeoff I'm very willing to make for the vastly superior build.
Similarly, these are also very comfortable headphones to wear. The cushions around the earcups and headband are soft, squishy, and make long listening sessions a breeze. The length of the earcups is also easily adjustable and provides a satisfying click each time you move them up and down.
As for how the headphones sound, I have nothing to complain about. You can listen at high volumes without much distortion, audio is clear, and I didn't notice any lag when watching videos. The headphones are certainly bass-heavy, but I really like the sound profile. There's a surprising amount of kick without it going overboard, and at the end of the day, I just enjoy using these for jamming out while I work.
Also impressive is the noise-cancelation. There's already a level of passive cancelation thanks to the Hybrid ANC's design, but with the flip of a switch, you can also enable active noise cancelation. While still not on quite the same level as the Bose QC35 (opens in new tab), it's remarkable just how much sound these can block out. Even with a roaring washing machine running in the next room of my apartment, I can still listen to my music and not hear it whatsoever.
And, lastly, battery life. The 30 hours of use you can expect on a single charge means you'll be able to get through a week or more of regular usage before needing to charge up. And thanks to a fast charging system that delivers two hours of playback in just five minutes, you won't have to wait too long in between charges to keep the music flowing.
TaoTronics Hybrid ANC Headphones What I don't like
With that out of the way, it's time to address where the TaoTronics Hybrid ANC fall flat.
Technically, these aren't the most impressive headphones. The older Bluetooth 4.2 standard means that the wireless range isn't as good as headphones with Bluetooth 5.0, and similarly, there's also a lack of aptX technology for better audio compression.
Those two omissions don't have a big impact on me, but there are a couple of other things that I don't like.
While charging speeds are really fast, TaoTronics once again opts for Micro-USB instead of USB-C. No matter the price, it's my belief that no headphones being released in 2019 should be using this outdated port. A lot of them still do, however, and TaoTronics doesn't appear to be eager to change that anytime soon.
Finally, going back to the design of the headphones, I really wish you could fold them up for easier transportation. TaoTronics does include a free carrying case, but thanks to the lack of folding, it's incredibly large and certainly not the most travel-friendly.
TaoTronics Hybrid ANC Headphones Should you buy them?
It can be tough to keep up with all of the wireless headphones on the market, especially ones competing in this budget space. TaoTronics has proven time and time again that it's one of the better brands in this niche, and with the Hybrid ANC Headphones, that notion is further reaffirmed.
4 out of 5
For $100, it's impressive how much TaoTronics can mimic the experience found on headphones that cost hundreds of dollars more. The build is top-notch, sound quality and noise-cancelation are excellent, and battery life is a non-issue.
Having Bluetooth 5.0, support for aptX, and USB-C charging would have been icing on the cake, but as it stands right now, the Hybrid ANC Headphones are one of the best options you'll find in this price range.
TaoTronics Hybrid ANC Headphones TT-BH046
Premium design at an affordable price.
TaoTronics' latest headphones bring a lot to the table for $100. They feature a super premium design, solid sound quality, and good noise cancelation. I'm not a fan of Micro-USB charging or the old Bluetooth standard, but for the price, it's a terrific deal.
Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.
At some point, I have to wonder how much of a kickback you're getting for some of these articles. For about the same price, you can get a set of Marshalls with improved Bluetooth spec, aptx compatibility, sound sharing, no distortion, the ability go wired if you want, same battery life and they fold making them more portable. How are these a great bargain?
I recently purchased these after weeks of research. Outside of the microUSB, I'm very happy with them. If I travelled frequently, I'd probably opt for the TT-BH060, since those fold into a smaller case. Amazon had a clip coupon which dropped the price by $20. I'm not an audiophile, but I find the quality to be pretty awesome and more than good enough for my needs.
Do you have a link of the marshalls and are they just as good as the bh046 in all the features like anc and sound quality?
I used those as an example of headphones in that price range that were better. But, you can check out the Marshalls here: Marshall Major III Bluetooth Wireless On-Ear Headphones, Black - New https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CDZD8B7/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_WagVCbVF4NXMK?... The Major II model is still available at only $70 as well. Not a lot of differences between the two.
I just got mine this afternoon and can definitely concur that they are terrific. Bass heavy, but with a fairly neutral midrange and no boxy sound, and quite good noise cancellation.
Only negative for me is they have a bit of clamping but that does help with the air seal to block out noise. Might discourage long sessions for me though as I'm pretty sensitive to that.
If you can't afford the Sony WH 100xm3's, (which I also own) then grab these!
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