The Taotronics wireless earphones are ideal for sports like jogging with tiny earbuds, bluetooth and also ear supports to stop them falling out when running.
They can be paired to any device which transmits data over the wireless (this is not wifi) Bluetooth protocol (these are version 4.0) .
Old style earphones were always huge and cumbersome, hardly appealing for sport / keep fit activity such as jogging – imagine trying to run round the block with a pair of old dobbing headphones on like the ones your grandfather used to sit next to the stereo with! Fortunately those days are long gone and we can now enjoy our music or voice without the need for long springy twisting wires and ear warming micky mouse style head speakers.
The Taotronic earbuds we are reviewing were purchased primarily for the purpose of wearing indoors, in bed actually, and for listening whilst watching movies on an android tablet being streamed in from Netflix. The objective was to remove any irritating wires from the equation so if I fell asleep, I wouldn’t wake up tangled up with the wires – not that it bothers me – more is the problem that this puts pressure on the jack socket in the tablet, potentially breaking it or bending the actual plug if pulled too hard in the wrong direction. So I bought these in to get around this issue.
Above you can see the headphones themselves in a stylish mixture of black matte and shining gloss finish. The circle on the right side earpiece is actually the power on / off button, and is operated by holding it down for 1 second to power them on, and 3 seconds to power them off. To identify when they are coming on, the button flashes blue three times rapidly – and turns briefly red as they are turned off. This may sound petty but that is actually a very useful feature, as pairing up a bluetooth device when you don’t even know it has power can be a nightmare! You can also see the rubber loops which allow for the attachment of the ear hooks or supports – these help with positioning and retaining the earphones when being worn.
The full kit comprises of all of the following items shown in the picture below. A handy storage bag for all the bits and pieces with a pull string to keep it closed, three different sizes of ear supports (which are intended to fit in the outer part of the ear – not around the outside or near the earlobe), buds and connecting extenders (the buds and extenders of one size are already fitted to the earpieces in the picture). The cable at the top is a micro usb to usb charge cable. The kit we show does not come supplied with a wall mount 240v usb converter plug, but I have these already from other products. My preference would be to have all the correct charging equipment supplied with any electronic product which contains re-chargeable lithium ion batteries, I would be more than happy to pay the extra, but many producers do not provide the final connection to the electricity supply. The buds are made from very soft rubber and are therefore flexible – easily fitting into the ear and then shaping naturally to fit and hold in place. A user guide which explains the basic operation and charging function is also supplied with a friendly “hello” on the front!
Taotronics Bluetooth Earbuds Performance.
Ok – moving on. Below you can see an image of the controls on the headphone casing. On the left is a small flap which pulls away to reveal the micro usb charging port. The right hand earpiece has the volume control incorporated, although it can often be easier to manage the volume from your source device such as a tablet or mobile / smartphone.
The earphones came with some pre-charge but just to be sure I charged them fully before the tests.
In our first test we used a tablet running Android lollipop and installed with the latest version of the Netflix app from google play. The pairing process was very straightforward, first of all turning the earphones on, then the usual case of going into the android settings / bluetooth option and selecting them from a list of devices. There was absolutely no problem encountered during the pairing up sequence. Once paired, Netflix was fired up (incidentally with Breaking Bad), the earbuds were positioned in place and voila – we have sound. The actual quality if the sound is superb, deep and with plenty of volume and base – not tinny at all.
For a second test, I tried to pair the headphones with a samsung galaxy s2 – now I have to admit that I do not know what version of bluetooth this is compatible with. The device was not listed in the list of “available” devices – so the connection did not get past actually locating the headset. I tried again and it worked, ensuring that the blue and red alternating LED flashing is the key to pairing – worth noting. It is always worth a couple of tries when setting up these gadgets.
For a third test of the taotronics wireless headset, I tried connecting to a Nexus 7. I followed the instructions to hold down the button for around 2 seconds to initiate pairing mode on the headphones and the Nexus paired up perfectly. Note that the directions of two seconds holding the button down to place them into pairing mode is for AFTER the headphones are powered on. I held the button down from being completely powered off, until the alternate flashing blue / red showed – this worked for mode selection.
In terms of playback performance, it seems to depend (at least for my trial and review process) on the device you are using to play the video………..
For example, the first tablet I tried was the Pola Tab – and when watching the movie I noticed that there was a bit of a delay between the sound playing on the headphones. This was most apparent when a person was talking and the movie showed their lips fairly close-up – the movie was not in synchronization with the sound so their lips had stopped moving, but the sound was still coming through to my ears! Additionally, whilst paired – Netflix intermittently showed its red circle as though it was delayed in sending the data during streaming – more typically you would see this with network performance or broadband issues. This did not happen on the pola tab with headphones using the normal hard-wired connection, or just playing with the normal speakers built into the tablet.
The test on the Nexus was different however – there was no delay in the sound transmission over bluetooth and netflix did not struggle with its red circle. I would say that the Taotronics / Movie / Nexus test performed to 100% satisfaction.
Using the headphones on a Samsung S2 was just as perfect as the Nexus 7. There were no problems with pairing, and no delay in sound transmission or video buffering from netflix.
At the end of testing on three android devices I was satisfied that any problems lay with the Palo tablet (perhaps there are wireless compatibility issues) and that the wireless headphones were 100% spot on.
Other tests have included interfacing via google play music on the S2 – perfect – stunning sound quality and simple connectivity. I cannot fault these headphones from taotronics and in summary I would buy them again and again. With a 5 hour battery life (I got around 4 and a half hours on the first charge) and a price which is next to throwaway I would fail to see how anyone could be anything other than completely happy with these. I would strongly suspect that any review you come across which knocks these down would be from a jealous competitor and nothing more than something to be ignored.