It rivals headphones that are double or triple the price, believe it or not.
Everyone who knows me can tell you I heavily invest in smartphones, wearables, maybe a tablet or two. Not in audio, though. So I’m not likely to change headphones easily, especially when I find a pair that completely blows my mind. Like I did an year ago; while I’m not considering swapping those headphones for the TaoTronics SoundSurge 46, I will tell you this – they could have been my first choice easily, especially at the ridiculously low price they sell for.
The pair comes in a nice, sturdy yet light case with the TaoTronics logo on the front. Inside, you can find the USB charging cable, an AUX cable and an airplane adapter (we all know those free earphones never do justice to any music or movie playing on a trip).
Made to fit, lightweight
Once I got them out of the box, I was pleasantly surprised to find they were very lightweight, coming in at 7.7 ounces. That’s for the most part due to the materials used – you won’t find heavy metal or real leather here.
That said, the memory foam lined with a material that imitates leather works, isolating your ears pretty good and keeping the padding at a minimum for the headband, even though it gets wrinkly at times.
Speaking of the headband, it can be adjusted up and down and on a 90° rotation axis. This means you’ll get a perfect fit, while making sure they are still easy to carry on. The headphones are not foldable, though, which is quite a pity.
Very intuitive, flawless call audio and connection
After adjusting them for my configuration, I found the power and volume buttons easily, along with the ANC (active noise cancellation) switch and the AUX input. They are all on the same headphone with the other one holding only the charging port.
That made it incredibly easy for me to set up the volume, opt for noise cancellation or not, take and reject calls. Yes, the SoundSurge 46 have a mic so I also had the opportunity to test the sound quality during a phone call.
I was frankly impressed by how steady the connection was, although I went from indoors to outdoors and even tested it in places I knew the signal would be unreliable. More importantly, I could hear the other person clear and sharp, not at all muffled.
Learning the right button combination to press during a call comes naturally after an hour of use, so TaoTronics definitely paid attention to the intuitiveness consumers expect.
Battery-wise, I loved the hyper-speed charging feature. Indeed, you get about four hours of playtime after about 10 minutes of charging. TaoTronics says the battery will be completely depleted after 30 hours of continous playing but I don’t think you’ll ever get that far.
Actually, if you use earphones more frequently than over-ear designs (like I do), you’ll find yourself restless after 4 hours of usage. I had to eventually take them off because they were feeling too tight. The faux leather material became a nuisance, especially during this summer heat.
Impressive ANC, great deep bass performance
Now, let’s talk about audio. If you are not a reviewer, intent on finding a product’s tinies flaws, you will be extremely pleased with the sound TaoTronics SoundSurge 46 give. The hybrid active noise cancellation does a great job at capturing all the middle tones, though the high treble tones are pretty distorted. Of course, the experience is completely different with the ANC off.
The TaoTronics SoundSurge 46 shine in the ANC department, so you’ll want it on pretty much all the time, even if that means charging more often.
With 40mm drivers, these headphones capture beautiful deep bass, almost as good as the Sony WH-1000XM2. (In case you were wondering, these are the headphones I feel in love with a while ago.)
Compared to the Sony WH-1000XM2?
As you know, the ones from Sony are considered premium in the industry and the price matches that status. The Sony ones do fold, have touch controls and an unrivaled app.
That is why I found it even more impressive that the TaoTronics ones raised to the occasion, with a deep bass performance almost as good as the one Sony offers. Plus, if I’m being honest, I almost preferred the physical buttons to the touch controls – they are easier to navigate.
In terms of noise isolation and power to convey sound, the Sony headphones are much better but is this difference worth the $200 more? I’m not so sure, especially if you’re not an audiophile.
Bottom line: When a below $100 pair of headphones comes close to a $350 one, in terms of audio quality, comfort and battery, I say it’s worth your attention.
Want to buy it? Amazon has it in stock here.
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