TaoTronics Headphones: First Impressions

Recently, I made a big leap by investing in wireless Bluetooth headphones…

Back in 2017, I purchased my previous set of headphones. For $13 and some change, I was the proud owner of a pair of “Ear Pollution” headphones by iFrogz.

The iFrogz Ear Pollution headphones

Despite the name, design and cheap construction – for $13 those headphones were not bad. While they didn’t sound like the $400 Bose noise-cancelling headphones, they did have a pretty good sound and were relatively comfortable. While others were rocking their wireless Beats and AirPods, I had my $13 over-the-head headphones that had a cord.

Apple dropped the 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7. Being an Android user before recently switching to the iPhone 6S (which was the last iPhone model to feature the 3.5mm headphone jack), I had no worries.

For $13, the iFrogz Ear Pollution offered good sound, despite the cheap construction

Recently, though, I’ve been eyeing new Bluetooth headphones. When I upgraded to my iPhone 6S, I started listening to my music on my phone again. There are times where I like to lay in bed and listen to music – and being tethered to my phone is uncomfortable.

The TaoTronics Headphones

While surfing the web for a list of good Bluetooth headphones for under $100, I came across a listicle with Amazon links. I was looking to replace my iFrogz with another over-the-head headphones (I really dislike in-the-ear earplugs like the AirPods) that had wireless Bluetooth capability.

It seemed like all the reviews, guides and pricing pointed me in one direction: toward the TaoTronics TT-BH040 headphones.

They’re Bluetooth/wireless, boasting a 40-hour battery life. They have noise-cancellation. And they’re $60 – well under $100. I was very skeptical since most similar headphones cost well over $200 (Bose – the leading brand in noise-cancelling headphones, cost between $200 and $400.) I had never heard of TaoTronics.

But the Amazon page description looked legit. Many of the reviews were very positive, with a 4.2 average rating, over 1,000 reviews and even “Amazon’s Choice” ranking.

So, I purchased them. And on Tuesday, July 3, they arrived at my door.

The Review…

When they arrived, I put down my iFrogz and opened up the box. Inside, the TaoTronics headphones come in a nice hard carrying case. The case is a nice feature, since I used to just throw my iFrogz in my backpack with everything else – something I didn’t like doing. I wish they had a zipper compartment for cables and the airplane adapter in the case.

The TaoTronics hard case for storing and transporting the headphones… a nice case, although I wish there was a zippered compartment for cable storage

Included in the case with the headphones is a bag containing the 3.5mm audio cord (“aux cord”), USB charging cord and an airplane adapter.

I plugged in the 3.5mm audio cord straight to my ThinkPad and started playing music.

The headphones themselves…

They sound really good. For $60, I’m beyond impressed. The frequency range is excellent. They’re very comfortable – much more than the iFrogz. The cushioning helps to block out noise, which is does a fairly good job of. They’re also much better built than the iFrogz, which I expected since you could buy approximately 4 iFrogz for the price of one pair of TaoTronics.

Included is a 3.5mm audio cable, USB-to-microUSB cable for charging and an airplane adapter

Now to test the Bluetooth/wireless functionality and the noise-cancellation. Before I can test the Bluetooth functionality, I’ve got to charge the battery in the headphones. TaoTronics claims the battery lasts approximately 40 hours on one two-hour charge. They charge using a standard USB-to-microUSB cable and can be charged while listening (at least while using the 3.5mm audio jack.) You cannot use the Bluetooth/wireless functionality while the 3.5mm audio cable is connected.

Charging is done through a USB-to-microUSB cable. TaoTronics claims a 40-hour battery life on a two-hour charge…

The Bluetooth works very well. It paired right up with my iPhone, and Spotify defaulted to the headphones. The iPhone shows the battery level of the headphones when paired. You can control the volume from the headphones.

Then there’s the noise cancellation. My lair has the constant roar of a fan (it’s summer) and a window air conditioning unit, so there’s a lot of background noise to cancel out. These headphones do a phenomenal job of cancelling the sound of both. I wasn’t expecting much – but they delivered.

If you’re in the market for over-the-head headphones, I highly recommend the TaoTronics TT-BH040. For the price, they’re extremely impressive. (Click here to visit the Amazon page.)