True wireless earbuds were immensely popular in 2019, and for 2020, we aren't expecting anything to change on this front. The convenience and trendiness for this style of buds are just as strong as ever before, and now that the form factor has been out in the wild for a few years, we're seeing more and more affordable options.
Perhaps even more important, the lower-cost true wireless buds that are coming out now are shockingly good — so much so that spending $100 or $200 on a pair of them just doesn't make sense for most people.
One of the newest contenders in the space comes from TaoTronics with its new TT-BH079. While the name may not be all that exciting, the TT-BH079 deliver a good design, long battery life, and Bluetooth 5.0 — all for just $60.
Bottom line: Continuing its reputation for creating low-cost audio gear that's actually worth using, the TaoTronics TT-BH079 deliver a solid true wireless earbud experience. The earbuds are comfortable to wear, sound quality is decent, and the 40-hour battery life is some of the best out there. Paired with a compact charging case and USB-C charging, the TT-BH079 check a lot of boxes.
- Comfortable in-ear fit
- Fantastic 40-hour battery
- Small, secure charging case
- Uses Bluetooth 5.0
- Charges via USB-C
- AI noise canceling doesn't seem very effective
- Flat sound profile
- Inconsistent pairing
TaoTronics TT-BH079 What sounds good
Starting off with the positives, which there are a lot of, I want to first talk about the TT-BH079's design. I wasn't expecting too much in these regards considering the low price tag, but I ended up being really pleased.
The case isn't quite small enough to fit in that oddly-sized pocket of your jeans, but it's still plenty compact that you can take it with you just about anywhere. The magnets in the lid keep everything securely shut, and while the hinge does feel a little loose, I haven't had any issues with it not opening and closing as intended.
You'll find battery life LED indicators on the front of the case, and around back is a USB-C port for charging. Far too many headphones and earbuds continue to use Micro-USB as the go-to charging standard, so I'm thrilled that TaoTronics decided to hop aboard the USB-C train. More of this, please.
The combination of 40-hour battery life and USB-C is a match made in heaven.
As for the earbuds themselves, I don't have any major complaints with them either. The standard ear and wing tips feel great in my ears, not causing any discomfort and staying in just fine as I walk around my apartment or head-bang to my favorite songs. If the out-of-the-box sizing isn't right for your ears, TaoTronics includes other ear and wing tip sizes to make sure you get everything just right.
Another big win for the TT-BH079 is battery life. You'll get up to eight hours of continuous playback with the earbuds, and when the charging case is full of juice, it can provide a total use time of 40 hours. That's some of the best stamina you'll find in the true wireless form factor, and it makes the TT-BH079 a compelling option for folks that are always on the move.
Rounding out the positives, it's great to see that Bluetooth 5.0 is used as the wireless standard for connecting the earbuds to your phone. This allows for a maximum range of 30 meters, and in my experience, the TT-BH079 hold a solid connection to your device once properly paired.
TaoTronics TT-BH079 What sounds off
Therein lies my biggest annoyance with the TT-BH079. When the earbuds establish a connection with your phone, they stay like that just fine and have solid range. I can leave my phone in my office and walk all around my apartment — with lots of walls and doors between me — and the music keeps playing without any interruptions.
Connection inconsistencies are the last thing you want with true wireless earbuds.
Unfortunately, getting everything to talk to one another isn't nearly as seamless as it should be. When I take the TT-BH079 out of the charging case and put them in my ears, there's a voice confirming that the buds have been connected, even though they actually aren't. Instead, I regularly have to go to the Bluetooth settings of my phone, tap on the earbuds, and then they actually connect.
I'm not sure if this is a bug with the particular pair I have, but it proved to be persistent during all of my testing.
Then there's the matter of sound quality. It's — fine. The TT-BH079 are vastly better than the TT-BH052 earbuds I previously reviewed, but I don't think they're the best you can get in this price range. They sound good enough and are perfectly enjoyable for casual listening, but the extra amount of oomph and clarity you get from the Back Bay Duet 50 is noticeable enough that I'd rather reach for them over the TT-BH079.
Lastly, I suppose I should say something about TaoTronics' advertised "AI Noise Reduction Technology" that's supposed to reduce ambient noise by up to 96%. Compared to other true wireless earbuds I own that just use passive noise cancelation (like the Galaxy Buds and the aforementioned Back Bay Duet 50), I couldn't notice any real difference between them and the TT-BH079.
I suppose something has to be happening to reduce background noise if TaoTronics is hyping the feature up this much, but whatever effect it puts out, it's barely noticeable (if at all).
TaoTronics TT-BH079 Should you buy them?
Compared to where TaoTronics was a little over a year ago, I'm pleased with the improvements the company has made. Compared to the old TT-BH052, the BH079 have a much nicer charging case, upgraded audio quality, incredible battery life, and charge over USB-C.
The TT-BH079 deliver a pretty solid package considering the low price tag, but that's not to say everything is perfect. My biggest concern is the shoddy Bluetooth performance, which has been consistently inconsistent to the point where it makes the BH079 rather annoying to use.
It's a shame this is an issue in the first place, because if it wasn't, I'd be much more willing to recommend checking the earbuds out (even if the sound profile isn't my favorite). You could certainly do worse than what TaoTronics is offering here, but it's also easy to get something better for the same price or cheaper.
The market for cheap true wireless earbuds is fiercer than it's ever been, with the BH079 being a clear reminder that there's not much wiggle room to slip-up — even at such low prices.
A big, imperfect improvement
Continuing its reputation for creating low-cost audio gear that's actually worth using, the TaoTronics TT-BH079 deliver a solid true wireless earbud experience. The earbuds are comfortable to wear, sound quality is decent, and the 40-hour battery life is some of the best out there. Paired with a compact charging case and USB-C charging, the TT-BH079 check a lot of boxes.
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