I’d never heard of the company before, so I had no preconceived notions about them or their products. I didn’t look at the price or specs before giving them a good listen. It just happens that I was looking to buy a new set of Bluetooth headphones and these arrived for review just in time. Let’s jump right in and see how they do!
Lithium Metal Batteries, 30 hours from a 45-minute charge
1x 40mm per side
6.89” x 7.87” x 2.17”
TaoTronics, Wireless Headphones, Headphones, TaoTronics Headphones
Unboxing the SoundSurge 46s, I found a really nice carrying case. I didn’t expect to find such a nice case included with a pair of sub-$100 headphones. Picking them up, I was surprised to feel a very well-made set of cans with no cheap plastics or unnecessary flare. They just felt right in my hands and on my head. I was able to pair them with my iPhone in seconds without issue. All the buttons are clear and easy to use, nothing about these headphones is hard to figure out, they just work. There’s no need to break out the manual either. I was able to adjust them to my head just as easily. There are handy little indicator lines to adjust each side with precision, something most headphones lack. So far, I’m liking everything about them.
I have tested $20 headphones and $5000 headphones and I’ve discovered that price and comfort rarely go hand-in-hand. If you find something you can wear for over an hour without discomfort, it’s a winner in my book. After listening to the SoundSurge 46s for a little over an hour, they seem to almost disappear on my head. There are no pressure points or crushing pain on my ears. It’s simply amazing how comfortably they sit on my head. Neither too light nor too heavy, each earpad has very thick padding, much more than most headphones. While writing this I got out a tape measure to see just how much padding there was and found there was nearly one full inch of padding over the ears which compresses to about half-an-inch, very comfortable indeed!
I enjoyed these headphones a lot, but I won’t say they sound perfect. The bass is deep, but not extreme like some I’ve tried (V-moda comes to mind). Highs are good, but not mind-blowing. I don’t feel like I am fully immersed in the sound stage, but instead just listening to the music. In my opinion, the midrange is the most lacking. The best way to describe it would be undefined, but this isn’t a deal-breaker. I think they sound great, but they won’t go head to head with any pair of headphones over $500. For $99, I think they compete favorably with a few $200-300 headphones. They are very good for the price, but they don’t claim to be a game-changer for super crisp audio.
When I first received the SoundStage 46s, a full charge took about an hour to complete. While I haven’t timed it precisely, battery life has been fantastic. TaoTronics claims 30 hours play time and I have no reason to doubt that. They also claim that just five minutes of charging is needed to get two hours of playback, which is very useful for users who, for example, need to catch a flight and are short on time. Moving on to the hybrid active noise cancellation, I found it to be good, but not amazing. It works well for light office use, but for more serious needs like a 20-hour plane flight, I wouldn’t reach for these first. Ambient noise rejection is about what I’d expect from a sub $100 pair of headphones. They do a reasonable job of keeping things quiet. There are better options out there but expect to pay a much higher price.
Headphones can be hit and miss, but these are really easy to recommend. If you’re looking for a well-built pair of wireless headphones for an affordable price, you need to try out TaoTronics’ SoundSurge 46s. I liked them so much, that they are now my daily go-to wireless headphones. I was considering the B&W PXs, which sell for around $400, but for just $90, the SoundSurge 46s are a fantastic value. Comfort is beyond amazing and the headphones just work and are easy to use. It’s hard to find any fault that would prevent me from buying another pair. I would go so far as to say these are the best value Bluetooth headphones I’ve tested this year. Highly Recommended.