A few weeks ago I reviewed a pair of noise cancelling headphones. I flew long distance with them a few times and I fell in love. They absolutely changed my flying experience. The price point was a tough one. The headset cost R6500. That’s a lot of money however I started saving because I knew what a joy noise cancelling can be in an environment like flying.
And then I was introduced to another headset
TaoTronics is an electronics company that has started releasing some really interesting products. I say interesting because the gadgets they’re dropping look premium in the press pictures but come in at a far lower price point. Which brings us to the TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Headset. The headphones retail at R1499 which is far more competitive than the more “high end” headsets on the market. But are you going to lose out on anything?
Out the box
I was rather surprised taking the TaoTronics out the box. They look good. Granted, they’re made of a cheaper plastic than the more expensive counterparts but they still offer ample padding on the ear cups and band. They’re durable while also light and sit comfortably on your head. They also come in a hard shell case which is awesome if you carry them around a lot. The left ear can has an Aux cable port and the active noise cancelling switch while the right has volume switches, a power button and the USB port. The case includes a microUSB and Aux cable.
How do they perform
It seems unfair to compare to a headset in a far higher price bracket but I’m going to do it anyway as I’m personally looking at these as a potential “other” option to the 6k offering I tried. The headset can connect via bluetooth or the aux cable. The battery life, when wireless, was really impressive. I got a good full two days of work out of them before having to recharge. Recharging was also far quicker than I expected. The Active Noise Cancelling is decent. I’m not going to beat around the bush, I didn’t think it was as impressive as the more expensive offering BUT it did the job and did it reasonably well. It drowned out constant hums and the distant chatter of a television set which makes me confident that the TaoTronics would successfully kill the hum of the engines on a plane.
Sound wise, you’re not going to get super clean crisp beats. There’s a slight “tinny” sound quality if you’re blaring loud music (I usually do a Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody test with headsets, if you’re wondering) and I thought the base was a bit heavier than I’d like. I’m not too phased by this though. I’d use these headphones primarily for travelling and focus music during my work day which means super sharp audio isn’t the biggest demand. And the audio is good unless you’re trying to push the headphones to the limit and are being extremely critical – so it really shouldn’t be the decisive factor in your purchase. Unless you’re an audio snob than by all means go drop some stupid money and feel superior with another brand.
The entire review of the TaoTronics Headset seemed a bit unfair from the start. I was immediately comparing them to their 6k counterparts. On paper there is no way to fairly review a headset costing less than R1500 vs. one that is more than R6000. And yet, these headphones held their own. Yes, maybe the materials they’re made out of aren’t as premium and maybe the sound could be considerably sharper. But their noise cancelling does the job and they honestly are great for what I need. I cannot justify more than R4000 extra now and have decided these will be my go to travel companions. I also really feel far more at ease knowing I’m not carting such an expensive headset around the world with the risk of leaving them on an airplane or in a hotel. The TaoTronics can rough it a bit and I like that.
I was really impressed. I didn’t expect to be but I was. If you travel or commute a lot these are the perfect purchase and you won’t feel sick at the thought of the money you’re dropping. You can grab them at Takealot.
Disclosure: I was sent the TaoTronics to try out and keep.