You might already have some experience with wireless headphones or you might be a newcomer to the wire-free existence we’re headed towards. You’ve done some research and you’re curious about why some pairs cost anywhere from 3-5 times as much as the other similar-looking models.
You’re not ready to spend $300 on a pair of true wireless earbuds but you want to cut the cords and grab a pair of earbuds that you can travel with, use at the gym, or watch YouTube/Netflix at home with. Our TaoTronics Bluetooth Headphones Review will answer all of your questions and hopefully point you in the right direction.
If you need some quick tips on what to look for before you make your decision – read through our Headphone Buying Guide. Here are the main areas we’ll be covering for this review:
- Wireless Connectivity and Battery Life – How Strong Is The Connection?
- Waterproof Rating – Can I Workout or Run In Them?
- Bluetooth Sound Quality – What Does “aptX Codec” Mean?
- Earbud Sleeves, Ear-hook Design, and Overall Comfort
- They’re Inexpensive, But Are They Worth The Money?
Feel free to read from start to finish, or use the links above to jump around in the order that you want to. Let’s start by taking a quick look at the technical specifications and basic features.
TaoTronics Bluetooth Headphones Review – TT-BH16 Wireless Earbuds
Tech Specs and Basic Features:
- Waterproof Rating: IPX6 Waterproof Rating
- Audio Playback: aptX codec for better wireless audio quality
- Battery Life: Listen for up to 8 hours on a single charge (with 175 hours on standby)
- Charging Time: approx. 1 hour
- Bluetooth Type: Uses Bluetooth 4.2 for better connectivity
- Control Features: In-line volume control, micro USB charging port, and MFB button for answering calls
- Microphone: Features a built-in CVC 6.0 Noise Cancelling Mic for calls, Skype, etc.
- Magnetic Build Design: Magnetic earbud backs to attach them around your neck when not in use
- Weight: 0.5 ounces
- Dimensions: 1.42 x 1.41 x 0.83 in
Are you ready to see how the TT-Bh16 wireless earbuds performed? Let’s get started!
Wireless Connectivity and Battery Life – How Strong Is The Connection?
Their battery life is expected to last about 8 hours but you’ll usually get closer to 6 if you’re turning them on and off (or pairing/re-pairing) them multiple times throughout your listening. This is one reason why they’re perfect for shorter listening sessions or use during your workout at the gym.
They weren’t exactly built to have an extremely long-lasting battery life because in most cases, workouts are done in shorter increments of time. If you go to the gym 4 or 5 times a week (for an hour at a time) these could last up to a week or week and a half of most workouts.
Bluetooth Connection and Wireless Pairing Steps
The wireless connectivity is pretty impressive considering how low these usually retail for. Pairing with your laptop, smartphone, or tablet is super easy and the connection hasn’t cut out or gotten fuzzy once during my testing.
Here are the pairing steps:
- Make sure you’re about 3 ft. away from the device you’re pairing with
- Hold the MFB (middle) button down for a few seconds until the LED light flashes red and blue
- Make sure the Bluetooth function on your device is active
- Select “TaoTronics TT-BH16” on your device
- You’ll know that your earbuds are paired when the LED light flashes blue
- Listen away!
Now that you know how to pair these with the device of your choice, let’s take a look at the waterproof rating and how waterproof they actually are.
Waterproof Rating – Can I Workout or Run In Them?
The TT-BH16 carry an IPX6 waterproof rating. You can read more about IPX ratings if you’re not familiar with the varying levels. Basically, and IPX6 rating makes these water-resistant for most uses. They’re designed to withstand sweat caused from intense workouts and will also hold up if you decide to take them for a run in the rain.
They do come with their limitations. You can’t dunk these in a glass of water and if you forget they’re in your pocket and they go through the washing machine – you’ll have to grab a new pair. (Even headphones with stronger waterproof ratings won’t survive the wash due to the heat of the water.) If the IPX6 won’t cut it and you’re looking for a pair of headphones that you can swim with, take a look at the best Waterproof Headphones For Swimming here.
These are perfect for working out, biking, hiking, casual use, and are a great, compact travel pair of earbuds that you can wear around your neck, keep in your purse, or keep in your pocket for easy access.
Magnetic Earbud Necklace Feature
Another cool feature that make these ultra-portable and ideal for an active lifestyle are the magnets on the backs of both earbuds. It’s not a feature that will affect their performance while you’re using them for music. When you’re not using them, you can drape them across the back of your neck and attach the magnetic backs to each other.
They’re then transformed into a necklace that plays music. If your gym shorts or other clothing doesn’t have pockets, it’s an easy way to keep them close and also helps you keep track of your ‘buds. (We all love compact technology, but none of us like to lose a pair of earbuds because of it.)
We’ve established that these earbuds have an awesome build design for workouts, but is the Bluetooth sound quality is up to par?
Bluetooth Sound Quality – What Does “aptX Codec” Mean?
Most wireless headphones are still trying to recreate the robust audio playback that wired headphones are known for. It’s pretty well-known that even the most expensive Bluetooth ‘phones don’t sound quite as good as similarly-priced wired models do.
The TT-BH16 earbuds have something called an aptX Codec which allows for audio playback that’s close to CD quality. Earlier wireless models don’t sound nearly as crisp, clean, and powerful as the TT-BH16. These headphones sound well-rounded across a wide variety of genres.
Low, Mid, and High Frequencies
The highs are clear, not too sharp, and blend well with the mids and lows. Mid-level frequencies don’t get drowned out and have an evenly-distributed presence. The lows aren’t earth-shattering but don’t necessarily lack either. They sound surprisingly pleasing and the in-ear design doesn’t hurt. As long as you don’t expect a booming bass like you should with the JBL Xtreme wireless speaker, these will meet your expectations.
As good as these sound, if you’re looking for “audiophile-level” sound quality, these won’t work for you. (Then again, if that’s what you were looking for, you probably wouldn’t have found our review for these.) If you’re someone who just wants the wire-free convenience and adequate sonic performance, keep reading to see everything else these have to offer.
If your headphones sound great but lack the comfort you need to use them for longer, they might not be worth it. See how comfortable the TT-BH16 actually are below.
Earbud Sleeves, Ear-hook Design, and Overall Comfort
When the package arrives, your headphones will have a pair of rubber ear-hooks and earbud sleeves already attached. You’ll also receive two additional sizes of both that you can play around with until you find your desired fit.
Small, Medium, and Large Earbud Sleeves & Ear-hooks
They are sized as small, medium, and large. With the total of 3 size options, you should be able to find a pretty good fit for your ear size. The ear-hook fin design might take some time to get used to if you’re not familiar with the fit. Once they’re in your ears they feel comfortable and lightweight.
The in-ear design isn’t overly obtrusive but there is a slight downside. When you bite down or clench your jaw, the seal tightens between your ear canal and the earbud. It can get a little bit uncomfortable but isn’t so bad that they’re unusable. It feels similar to wearing a pair of earplugs which is good for passive noise isolation, but not the most comfortable sensation. Once again, this is only an issue until you find the right pair of interchangeable ear fins and tips.
Overall, the soft earbud sleeves and rubber ear hooks are comfortable enough for shorter periods of listening. Around the second hour or so, you may start to notice some slight discomfort.
You’re willing to experiment with the included earbud/ear-hook sizes and you’re satisfied with the other areas we’ve gone over. Now, you want to know the question of the hour – are these worth investing in?
They’re Inexpensive, But Are They Worth The Money?
After some in-depth testing in the areas we went over above, what’s the final verdict? The TT-BH16 make for a great, ultra-portable, travel-ready pair of Bluetooth earbuds. They’re great for working out or running and they have a waterproof rating that makes them suitable for virtually any outdoor use (and if you accidentally spill some water on them they’ll still work).
They Get The Job Done – Without Extra Frills and Fashion
Do they have hi-fi premium audio quality? No, but they get the job done and they’ll help you stay motivated at the gym. It’s hard to beat the portability, IPX rating, wireless streaming quality, and quick charging time for a pair of Bluetooth earbuds in this price range.
If you ever did happen to misplace the TT-BH16, (or forgot to use the magnetic necklace feature) it won’t be as expensive to find a replacement. They offer a good balance between performance and overall quality. They’re the perfect companion for an active lifestyle that you won’t have to cradle like a baby or obsess about them accidentally breaking. Some people like using expensive headphones at the gym but I’d rather use a durable, inexpensive pair that gets the job done.
After Rigorous Testing Here’s Our Final Verict
We put the TT-BH16 earbuds through rigorous testing and hours of listening. Our hope is that this TaoTronics Bluetooth Headphones Review gave you a better idea on how well the most important features perform – and whether or not they’ll work for you.
Take a look at the table below to see a final pros and cons checklist, and our final rating (out of 10). Click the button at the bottom or use the link here to check the current price on Amazon and see additional star ratings/customer reviews.
If you don’t think these will work for you and you want to browse a few more options, take a look at our Best Wireless Earbuds For Working Out.
What are your thoughts, do the TT-BH16 seem as functional as you’d like them to be? Did TaoTronics do a good job creating an extremely affordable pair of wireless sports earbuds?
I’d love to hear your feedback – leave your comment or question below and let me know what you think!
Sonic Elevation: Ride The Waves.
TaoTronics TT-BH16 Bluetooth Sports Earbuds
Overall Design + Fit8.0/10
- Innovative Magnetic Earbud Necklace Design
- Strong Wireless Connectivity
- IPX6 Waterproof Rating
- Extremely Affordable
- Slight Discomfort For Longer Listening
- Average Sound Quality