Decent Audio Performance, Outstanding Hybrid ANC
Nowadays, the main hurdle to buying noise-canceling headphones isn’t battery life. It isn’t audio performance either, nor is it how amazing their noise canceling feature is. It’s how much they will cost you.
Sure, top brands do occasionally go on sale, but even with the price slashed, you’ll still need to let go of your hundred-dollar bills. Being able to enjoy your favorite music in peace is a treat that comes at a price, and affordable models rarely provide the performance and reliability that we crave.
That’s why the TaoTronics’ TT-BH046 2019 edition earned a raised eyebrow from me. They promised good ANC and audio. When I finally got my hands on a pair, I immediately proceeded to dissecting the headphones. I wanted to find out if they are just good on paper, or they are the real deal.
Build And Design
The TaoTronics SoundSurge 46 are build to look smart. They are matte black with a TaoTronics logo on the side. Not much but just enough to make a cool statement. The size is just right for me. With dimensions of 6.9 x 7.9 x 2.2 inches, the unit doesn’t look too big or too small on my head. For its weight, 7.7 ounces, it doesn’t register that much on the head. That is a headset that can be worn comfortably for long periods.
Aside from being padded well, the TT-BH046 are adjustable. They settle right on the contour of my head. Good fit and comfort.
The SoundSurge 46 headphones have fine and snuggly cushions for the ear cups. They fit easily over my ears, and even though I spent quite a long time wearing the TT-BH046, my ears did not get sweaty or hot.
The TT-BH046 feature standard controls that you would come to expect in wireless headphones. They have the power/pairing button and the volume/track controls. Sadly, TaoTronics don’t have a designated app, so you can’t make adjustments to the equalizer.
The true value of TaoTronics TT-BH046 is in their audio capabilities. The bass response is moderately punchy, but it doesn’t really have a powerful thump that you would expect from its 40mm drivers.
I also observed that bass guitars lack power, but it is vibrant enough for non-audiophiles. Mid-range is remarkably tuned, while lows are relatively warm. High notes are lacking, and vocals are just standard at best.
Overall the TT-BH046 2019 edition’s audio is decent. It will deliver fairly good performance, but it is not on par with top performing devices out there.
Hybrid Active Noise Canceling
The TaoTronics TT-BH046 have a hybrid active noise canceling under the hood. This feature is slightly different than your standard ANC headphones.
Usually, ANC headphones employ a feedforward or feedback mics (inside or outside) to catch noise then cancel it out. However, hybrid ANC uses mics on BOTH the outside and inside. This is, of course, much better but undeniably the more expensive choice.
The extra cost did not fail these headphones, the ANC is superb, and I was indeed treated to a quiet music binge. The low-frequency noises were muted while car honks and other high frequencies were drowned out.
No pairing issues, no jitters, no static in wireless mode. The range is up to 35 feet. I did not really test the limit, but I was more than happy to enjoy music in the living room, while my phone is docked on the kitchen counter.
The battery life of the SoundSurge 46 2019 edition is impressive. Mere 5 minutes of charging will give you 2 hours of usage. If you are not in a hurry, a full 45 minutes of charging time will reward you with 30 hours of music playback.
The microphone of the TaoTronics TT-BH046 falls short. During my test, the person on the other end reported that my voice sounded distant. Background noises such as wind and dog barks could be heard loudly.
For a budget pick, it’s hard to pass on the TaoTronics SoundSurge 46. Decent audio and its hybrid active noise cancelation are good advantages. The long battery life and comfortable build are also characteristics to consider. The TT-BH046 are a great pair of headphones with great features, sold at an affordable price.