We review a ton of headphones here and we’ve run the gamut of prices from US$900 headphones to the US$99.99 TaoTronics TT-BH046. Throughout my years of reviewing headphones, I’ve come to understand that they are a very personal thing.
What sounds great to one person may not sound very good to another. When TaoTronics asked me if I’d review their TT-BH046 headphones, and then told me they were ANC over-ear priced under US$100, well, I just had to check these out.
An important note before we start: the headphones sent to me have a different logo, and the company has since updated that logo. The TaoTronics TT-BH046 headphones we link to below are the same but sport the new logo. Read on for the full review of these affordable and powerful ANC headphones and find out why we awarded them with a Techaeris Top Pick award for 2019.
The TaoTronics TT-BH046 ANC headphones have the following features and specifications:
- Speaker drivers: 40mm
- Soft protein cushions for ear cups and headband
- Weight: 7.7 ounces
- Bluetooth: Yes
- Battery life: up to 30-hours
- Battery charge time: 5-minutes of charge provides 2-hours
What’s In The Box
- TaoTronics TT-BH046 ANC headphones
- Hard shell carrying case
- Airplane adapter
- MicroUSB cable for charging
- AUX cable for wired use
- Users manual
- Warranty and “privilege service” registration card
I’ll be honest, when TaoTronics first asked me if I wanted to review these headphones I wasn’t expecting much. My first thought was a cheap plastic build with synthetic ear pads that make your ears sweat. I have to say that I was very surprised with what actually came in the box.
The build-quality of these headphones is pretty amazing for being under US$100. Most of the material used in these headphones is aluminum, but there are also “soft protein” ear pads and headband. There are some plastic elements but not nearly as many as I thought there would be.
The headband is sturdy and rigid as are the ear cups and every other part of these headphones. The ear cups do fold flat for easy storage in the included hard shell case. The case itself is well-built and super protective, which is something you don’t usually find in sub-US$100 headphones.
The clamping force of these headphones is a little on the aggressive side, and I occasionally felt they were putting a bit too much pressure on my head. The headband and ear cups are well padded and feel comfortable, and my ears didn’t sweat at all. That may be different if you exercise in with these on.
The right ear cup has the power/Bluetooth button, volume/track button, headphone jack, and the ANC button. There are also two LED lights, one is the Bluetooth indicator while the other is the charging indicator. The left ear cup only houses the MicroUSB port for charging. It would have been nice if it was a USB-C port but at this price, that’s not a huge issue.
Overall, for this price, these headphones are really well designed. Sure, there are more expensive headphones that look and feel better but those will cost a lot more. For this price point, these are really well done.
Ease of Use
There’s nothing major in this section. If you’ve used Bluetooth headphones before then pairing with these is a breeze. Just push the power button down and hold for a few seconds until you hear “pairing.” Then look for the TaoTronics in the Bluetooth settings of your device and tap it. You’ll be paired and you’re all set.
Using the volume and track buttons is straight forward as well. Overall, I don’t think anyone should have any issue with these simple controls.
So here we are in the sound section. This is what most people want to know about. I’m just going to jump right into this. The TaoTronics TT-BH046 ANC headphones lean very heavy to the bass side of the soundstage. These are tuned for bass lovers. That doesn’t make them bad, it just makes them bass heavy.
Not everyone is going to enjoy the heavier bass of these headphones, but many will and many will appreciate that. The bass isn’t so bad that it stifles the mids and highs, but it is very noticeable that bass is the preferred frequency here.
I tend to like a balanced soundstage where every frequency is heard the way the artist intended. I do like a slight tuning towards the bass frequency but ever so slight. I enjoyed the sound of the TaoTronics TT-BH046 sound, but not as much as other headphones. Knowing that my tastes aren’t everyone else’s though, I enjoyed these.
While the bass is heavy, the TT-BH046 manages not to muddy out the sound to the extreme. So you’ll still get the nuances of the mids and highs, although they won’t be as clear as a balanced soundstage.
The ANC works pretty well. It’s not perfect by any means and there are more expensive headphones with better ANC. That being said, the ANC is acceptable here, especially given the price tag of these headphones.
Overall, these lean to the bass side of the spectrum, so expect your bass to rumble, even on songs that aren’t really bass driven songs. If you’re not into bass, these may not be for you, but if you are, then these are great.
Bluetooth reception is excellent, no issues here and I was able to get away from the source about 45 feet before experiencing dropped signal. This will vary depending on your situation. Call quality was just okay. Callers were a bit muffled and said I sounded hollow or tinny. So the clarity isn’t the best for calls, but I suspect most won’t be using these for calls all that much anyway.
TaoTronics says these should last 30-hours. I did not test the 30-hour window but I was able to go a few weeks without charging. I used the TaoTronics TT-BH046 ANC headphones almost every day for about 2-4 hours a day (give or take). So the battery life is excellent here, but I’m sure using ANC all of the time will eat up some of that battery.
The TaoTronics TT-BH046 ANC headphones are normally priced at US$99.99 but from now until May 10th, 2019 you can get them for US$79.99 by using our Amazon coupon code at checkout. Just use the code E58ZF9Q5 at checkout and you’ll get US$20 off these headphones.
I think the US$99 price is already great but these headphones have even more value with that US$20 coupon. Even if you’re reading this after the coupon expires, the US$99 price is really a great deal.
The TaoTronics TT-BH046 ANC headphones are really well-built and look and feel more like a US$200 pair of headphones than a pair of US$100 pair of headphones. The ANC works well. It’s not the best on the market but it works well enough for this price point. These headphones are bass heavy, so if you’re not into the lower end of the sound spectrum these may not be for you. But even if you’re not into bass, these may not be so bad and you could tolerate a bit heavier bass simply because the price is so great.
*We received a sample of the TaoTronics TT-BH046 ANC headphones for the purposes of this review.
Ease of Use9.5/10
- Very nice build quality
- Easy to use and setup
- Great battery life
- Priced right
- Sound is decent, although bass heavy
- Great value for what you get
- Bass heavy sound signature may not be for all
- ANC works but is still not as good as higher priced ANC headphones
- Slightly aggressive on clamping power
- Call quality could be better