Should you buy TaoTronics headphones? Are they any good?

Should you buy TaoTronics headphones? Are they any good?

If you're in the market for a pair of cheap headphones, you may have stumbled acrossed a brand called TaoTronics. It specialises in budget headphones.

And when we say cheap, we mean really cheap. TaoTronics Bluetooth headphones can cost you less than two months of your Spotify subscription, while you’re unlikely ever to pay a three-figure sum. 

It sounds attractive but is it too good to be true? What are you actually getting for your money? And will these wireless headphones do for the casual listener, or are you simply throwing away cash before paying more for a better pair? 

Read on and we'll help you make a sound buying decision.

What is TaoTronics?

Based in China, TaoTronics is not specifically an audio brand. As well as its ranges of earbuds and over-ear headphones, it manufactures a selection of TaoTronics soundbars as well as other electronics such as LED lamps and air-care products.

That in itself isn’t exclusively a bad thing – we wouldn’t like to be ones to criticise innovation – but it might make us wary the company’s focus isn’t directed entirely on sound quality. Nevertheless, many of the world’s largest audio and visual brands, such as Samsung and Sony, cast a wide net when it comes to the consumer electronics they design. The proof, as always, will be in the listening.

Are TaoTronics headphones any good?

Our experience of TaoTronics is limited, but it’s fair to say we were slightly underwhelmed when we tested the TaoTronics TT-BH07 wireless earbuds (£20/$22) back in 2017.

These TaoTronics earphones' build and appearance could have fooled us into thinking we were testing a product at four times the price, which as a primary concern when buying cheap headphones ought to calm a few nerves, but their sonic performance was very much fitting of the price.

“A lack of glaring tonal gaffes has seen them labelled (online, by some) as an almost like-for-like alternative to much more expensive pairs,” we wrote at the time in our three-star review. “In truth, they make your music sound flat thanks to their poor separation, limited detail and pancake-like presentation.”

What may encourage potential customers, however, is the lack of drop-outs in the wireless connection. Even by mid 2017, this was by no means a given even for more established headphone brands, so we take some confidence that TaoTronics has at least nailed the technological side of its designs – and that can carry over into the company’s other dirt-cheap wireless and noise-cancelling products.

Making your own assessment

If you have a chance to get your hands on some TaoTronics headphones before you commit to buying, then it’s always worth conducting your own tests, even at this price. 

There are a number of things to watch out for at this end of the market. Sometimes bass response is imprecise or over-egged, treble can be coarse and detail lacking. By far our most common complaint, however, is poor timing and dynamics, the musicality of a performance that is most essential when listening to music. Some people’s ears will be more sensitive than others, so there is perhaps little point in spending more if you don’t truly hear the difference, but a flat and disorganised presentation is the thing most likely to put you off.

See below for a selection of our playlists, created to help you uncover any sonic imperfections.

UK deals on TaoTronics headphones

TaoTronics SoundLiberty 53 earphones£39.99 £37.99 at Amazon

TaoTronics SoundLiberty 53 earphones £39.99 £37.99 at Amazon
Looking not unlike a black pair of AirPods, the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 53 promise IPX7 waterproofing, five hours of playtime from one charge and up to 40 hours total charge using the case. You can answer and hang up calls, as well as listen to music.

TaoTronics TT-BH07UK in-ears £19.99 at Amazon

TaoTronics TT-BH07UK in-ears £19.99 at Amazon
Bluetooth 5.0 in-ear headphones with secure fit for sport and gym, IPX6 waterproofing and noise-cancelling mic.

TaoTronics BH-060 headphones £79.99£55.99 at Amazon

TaoTronics BH-060 headphones £79.99 £55.99 at Amazon
Bluetooth active noise-cancelling headphones with quick charge and 30 hours playtime.

US deals on TaoTronics headphones

TaoTronics wireless earbuds $74.95 $59.95 at Amazon

TaoTronics wireless earbuds $74.95 $59.95 at Amazon
Wireless earbuds are all the rage in 2019 and TaoTronics has its own pair of very cheap earbuds, the SoundLiberty 77. They promise IPX7 waterproofing, five hours playtime from a single charge, and an extra 15 hours from the charging case.

TaoTronics TT-BH07 earbuds $23.98 at Amazon

TaoTronics TT-BH07 earbuds $23.98 at Amazon
Bluetooth magnetic wireless sports headphones, IPX6 waterproof and with nine hours playtime.

TaoTronics TT-BH040US headphones $49.99 at Amazon

TaoTronics TT-BH040US headphones $49.99 at Amazon
Active noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones with noise-cancelling microphone and 30 hours playtime.

Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is the Content Director for What Hi-Fi? and Future’s Product Testing, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for almost 20 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).

  • martycaf
    I think you should test some of the Taotronics phones at the upper price range. I own a couple of pairs and also a pair of Goldring NS1000 which you gave 5 stars, and IMO the sound is better on the Taotronics
  • GarryDJ
    In my opinion... No.
    Bought a set of Taotronics TT-BH070 In ear bluetooth headphones and after 6 uses they stopped working, wouldn't switch on. Thought the battery must have discharged, so attempted to charge and the device wasn't charging, manual states that normally when charging there is a red LED, nothing illuminated. Contacted customer support and they sent me a reset procedure which was no use because it said switch on the device then press and hold the power button for 5 seconds.... hello, they wouldn't switch on!
    For reasons unknown, after plugging in to a charger which I'd already done a handful of times, the red LED illuminated, diconnected from the charger and the device now swtched on... No idea why.
    So all working again.... for a while.
    Then recently they did exactly the same again, this time i was absolutely sure it wasn't a charge issue because they were charged previously.
    Stopped working, wouldn't power on and no LED when connected to the charger.
    Contacted customer support again, set me the usual reset procedure which is no use to man nor beast and a polite notice saying sorry you are out of the warranty period so we can't assist you further with this matter.... all 23 days out of warranty.... But if i had registered and applied for the extended warranty then they may have helped me. Who knows, I'll not buy another Taotronics product to find out.
    In my opinion, they are cheap components, priced above what they should be.