TaoTronics TT-BH085

Cheap over-ears with active noise cancelling

Admittedly, the name of these circumaural wireless headphones with active noise cancelling may sound a bit bulky, but that shouldn’t prevent anyone from listening to the TT-BH085 more closely, because their features, workmanship and sound are quite remarkable for the price range of “around 50 Euros”.

First impressions

Matt black plastic, memory foam and some metal are the materials TaoTronics have used to make the TT-BH085. This makes for a very good feel – the headphones don’t look cheap, even though they weigh only 230 grams thanks to this mix of materials. Nothing grinds or squeaks, no matter if you are folding them to minimum size or adjust the size of the headband. The driver housings are attached by means of a U-shaped bracket, and they move smoothly and fit quite precisely to the head. The soft padding around the ear cups gently but firmly presses on your ears, keeping out external noises, and this fit can cause you to sweat a little, especially in summer. In addition to the TT-BH085 headphones, TaoTronics also supply a USB-A to USB-C cable and a mini jack cable for unpowered operation, a cloth bag and a short instruction manual.

Technical specs

The dynamic 40mm drivers get their signal via Bluetooth 5.0, which encodes with aptX or AAC. The 750mAh battery lasts 40 hours without ANC and 25 hours with ANC switched on. Pairing works fine, but multipoint is not supported. If the battery is empty, it can be fully recharged in about 45 minutes via the USB-C socket or a quick recharge of five minutes gives you two more hours. And if you have no power at all, the good old jack cable does the job – as long as the player has a 3.5 mm jack socket. However, they have sacrificed the convenience of a remote. Controls work via Bluetooth with three buttons on the right driver housing: Start/Stop, Phone, Volume up/down, Skip forward/backward. The switch for active noise suppression is located on the left housing. No protection class – of any kind – is indicated, so it is probably better to keep the TT-BH085 away from significant amounts of dirt or rain.

Sound

These headphones deliver a satisfying sound image, which is voluminous and differentiated, even if the basses push themselves into the foreground a bit unpleasantly, the mids are not warm enough and therefore the highs seem a bit too cold. The basses lack the very low frequencies that would get you nodding your head when the music really rumbles. The mids make voices and guitars appear a bit faded and because of this missing transition from low to high, the sound doesn’t fan out as much as it might with a more expensive product.

If you switch on the ANC, the sound will change to become little bit more midrange with a little bit less treble. A slight diving bell effect sets in, and low frequencies and uniform noises, like the rumble of a tram, are minimised quite effectively, while the sharp typing noises of a keyboard can still penetrate. A slight background noise is added to all this by the active microphones. So far, the character of the suppression corresponds to what you would expect from ANC technology. Due to the microphones mounted inside the ear cup, high noise frequencies are less likely to be cancelled out than lower ones. Better hybrid noise-cancelling technology, which uses microphones both outside and inside the ear cup for wider signal cancellation, is not built into the TT-BH085.

To sum up, the ANC of the TT-BH085 doesn’t really make the sound better but neither does it make it dramatically worse; you do, however, notice a certain isolating effect. Of course, the power consumption with the ANC switched on is much higher and the runtime is reduced by almost half.

In contrast, the voice quality over the built-in microphones with CVC-8.0 noise suppression is good during telephone calls.

Sven Opitz
6 months ago by Sven Opitz
  • Rating: 3.63
  • Sound
  • Handling
  • Price/Quality
  • Function

The TaoTronics TT-BH085 are by no means bad headphones – they do many things well! To become super headphones, however, you would have to make some improvements: the tuning, the low bass, the ANC or the materials used. All in all, though you still get plenty of headphones for your money, with solid features, robust sound and good wearing comfort.

Technical specifications

  • Ear couplingOver-ear
  • Typeclosed
  • Transducer principledynamic
  • Weight without cable230 g

What's in the box

  • 3.5 mm audio cable
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Transport case

Special features

  • BT codecs: aptX, AAC, SBC
  • BT version: 5.0

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