Offering good sound quality and active noise cancellation at a bargain price, the TaoTronics TT-BH060 is our top recommendation for those looking for a refined listening experience on a budget. While these headphones can't match the performance of the top models from the likes of Sony and Bose, we feel they get within the same ballpark for a small fraction of the price. If you're looking for the absolute best sound quality you can get out of a pair of consumer headphones, these unfortunately aren't it. But, if you're trying to find a way to block out some ambient noise and enjoy music or podcasts without venturing into triple-digit price territory, these are by far the best option we've found.
TaoTronics TT-BH060 Review
Pros: Good sound quality, active noise cancellation, inexpensive
Cons: Earcups on the smaller side
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The TaoTronics TT-BH060 provide the best balance of price and performance that we've found in a pair of wireless headphones, making them our top recommendation for those looking for good sound on a budget.
The TaoTronics TT-BH060 managed to turn in at or above average performances in all of our tests, putting it just outside the echelon of top performers on our overall scoreboard.
The TaoTronics TT-BH060 sounds quite good but fall short of great. These headphones will likely please the vast majority of users, but if you're looking to enjoy every tiny, subtle nuance in your music, you may be somewhat disappointed.
Overall, the TT-BH060's sound is fairly well balanced with good bass power and decent clarity. We enjoyed listening to everything from bass-heavy rock and hip hop to acoustic numbers and podcasts on these headphones. Their clarity and bass power are, notably, both much better than those of other budget models like the Mpow Bluetooth Over Ear and the Cowin E7 Pro. These are also by far the least expensive headphones we've found that offer any sort of effective active noise cancellation. While this noise cancellation isn't perfect, it is certainly able to create a more flattering listening environment, upping the headphones' overall sound quality.
Most of the TT-BH060's noticeable shortcomings come when compared to the top-shelf models from Bose and Sony. These headphones are able to pull out much more detail in acoustic numbers and provide good bass power without muddling the high end at all. That, in fact, is the main weak point of the TT-BH060's sound. It sometimes seems to artificially raise the bass level, often to the detriment of the mids and high end. For bass heavy music this actually sounds quite good, but for acoustic numbers or classical music, it can be less than ideal.
Bottom line, we think the TT-BH060's sound quality will please most people and will likely be a vast improvement over whatever earbuds you're using now. Just don't let the addition of noise canceling technology harbor any false hopes that they can compete with the much more expensive models from Sony and Bose.
Offering active noise cancellation at such a low price point is the main thing that sets the TT-BH060 apart from other budget models. While the headphones certainly still let in some sound, they are far ahead of all the other models in their price range.
In our experience, the TT-BH060 offers far and away the best noise isolation that you can get for under $100. Without noise cancellation engaged the earcups themselves are thick enough that all noise gets fairly muffled. If you're not particularly prone to being distracted by noise, you'd likely be able to concentrate and get some work done in a coffee without noise cancellation turned on.
Once you flick the noise canceling switch you'll notice that muffled, low rumble all but disappear. We've found that, especially while playing music, the TT-BH060's active noise cancellation is very effective at blocking out lower pitched noises. Higher pitched noises, like glasses clinking in a coffee shop or most peoples' speaking voice, do get through unless you crank up your music really loud. In general, you'll be able to notice someone speaking right next to you, but their voice will likely sound quieter and indecipherable. If you want the near perfect, completely oblivious of someone standing next to you trying to get your attention level of noise cancellation, you'll unfortunately have to spend a lot more on the Sony WH1000XM3
For most people, we think the TaoTronics TT-BH060's noise cancellation will be enough to block out distractions and let you focus on work or enjoying your music. However, you can get a noticeable step up in noise isolation if you're willing to spend a lot more.
The TT-BH060 provides a fit that is accommodating to most, but not all, earning it a fairly average score in our comfort testing.
Plush padding makes these headphones feel quite comfortable against your head. The earcups themselves are reasonably large and deep, so most people's ears will feel unencumbered. However, if your ears are larger (or even on the bigger side of average) the earcups may feel a bit restrictive.
The TT-BH060 keeps things simple when it comes to its user interface. It also doesn't offer any of the bells and whistles that some other models do. This combo earned it yet another slightly above average score in this metric.
The TT-BH060 distills its controls down to 3 buttons and switches, one for power, one for volume, and one for active noise cancellation. Long presses on the power turn the headphones on and off. Once on, short presses of the power button function as play/pause commands. The volume up/down switch adjusts volume with short presses, and can skip tracks forward and backward with long presses. The noise canceling switch turns active noise cancellation on and off, and has a little blue LED that indicates when it is on.
One thing to note is that the noise canceling switch can turn active noise cancellation on even if you haven't powered the headphones on with the power button. This great for places like museums where you might want to block out noise without listening to music, as you can use the noise cancellation without wasting battery on having the Bluetooth switched on. However, the noise cancellation does not turn off when you power off the headphones using the power button, you have to remember to turn the noise canceling switch off as well. This isn't a huge deal, but it does make it quite easy to accidentally leave the noise cancellation on all night, and thus wake up to a dead battery.
Many wireless headphones have connected apps that let you adjust things like EQ, noise cancellation level, and sound presets. The TT-BH060 lacks such a feature. We do like the adjustability offered by those types of apps, but if forgoing one keeps the TT-BH060's price tag smaller, we're all for it.
The TT-BH060 offers a fairly average level of portability. They fold up relatively small, weigh only 7.6 ounces, and come with a protective, semi-rigid carrying case. They also last for 30 hours on a single charge, enough for even the longest flights and layovers.
Providing good sound, active noise cancellation, and relative comfort for a good price, the TaoTronics TT-BH060 offers the best value-per-dollar of all the headphones we've tested. If you're looking to maximize your headphone investment, or just want the best sound you can get for less than $100, the TaoTronics TT-BH060 will serve you well.
The TaoTronics TT-BH060 is the best relatively budget-friendly pair of headphones that we've found. They are a perfect choice for those that want good sound quality without breaking the bank.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata