TaoTronics makes some of the most popular pairs of earphones currently available at Amazon. They sell by the truckload because they are extremely cheap.
But are they worth buying?
The TaoTronics TT-BH07s are remarkably affordable Bluetooth wireless earphones, with amazing technical specifaction for the price.
There’s just one problem: they don’t sound good enough, and aren't necessarily an upgrade on the earphones bundled with your phone.
The TaoTronics TT-BH07s look, at a glance, like they might cost £80 or more. They have a wire between the buds, unlike Apple EarPods, but also have aluminium backs with magnets - a staunchly ‘premium’ feature.
You can stick them together around your neck when you’re not listening so they don’t fall off as you walk around. This nice extra is emblematic of the TaoTronics approach: to pelt you with features that make alternatives like Beats X seem bad value.
Even up close there are no obvious ‘tells’ to reveal the TaoTronics TT-BH07s are as affordable as they are.
The metal earpiece caps have a smart finish of embossed concentric circles and, while the rest of the earpiece is plastic, there are no wide seams and they don’t appear flimsy.
Comfort is also perfectly acceptable. The TT-BH07s have a rather large 3-button remote, but it is very light and makes operation very easy - the buttons are so well-spaced.
Similarly, the earpieces are large but light, and the use of both silicone tips and separate ear hooks keeps the fit secure. These aren’t the kind of heavy-duty hooks that make knocking them out of your ears almost impossible, but they do help.
Noise cancellation for the remote’s mic and aptX Bluetooth support elevate the TaoTronics' value-for-money into downright improbable territory. Battery life is pedestrian at five hours, but it’s not hard to see why these earphones have massive online appeal.
More after the break
The down side of the TaoTronics TT-BH07s is their sound.
A few seconds of listening don’t highlight any major sins. The treble isn’t eardrum-piercing, the bass doesn’t hang around too long, but the TT-BH07s are an unengaging listen because their dynamics are extremely flat.
The upper midrange and treble sound synthetic and lifeless, and negligible bass punch contributes to very limited rhythmic drive.
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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.
In truth, they make your music sound flat thanks to their poor separation, limited detail and pancake-like presentation.
The price may seem to excuse these issues, but for just a little more money the Skullcandy Smoking Buds 2 Wireless offer a much more fun, involving listen.
The appeal of the TaoTronics TT-BH07s is obvious. You a lot of earphone, and audio tech, at an impulse-buy price.
Sound quality is a real weakness, though. Their lifeless interpretation sucks a lot of the joy out of music, and there are much better-sounding alternatives for just a little more money.