As long as you don’t mind the bass-heavy tuning of these headphones, you’ll find plenty to appreciate here. The robust construction, quality fit and ANC functionality that reduces ambient noise in the lower frequencies are all underlying perks of the TaoTronics EP003. Considering the price, these headphones offer good all-round performance, but there’s a few drawbacks to the deal, with missing treble elements and a rather dull and muted sound character to be considered before you decide whether these are the right choice for you.
With the EP003, TaoTronics offer a pair of in-ears with a quality fit and powerful sound, along with an ANC function with ‘Aware’ mode so that important announcements and ambient sounds don’t go unheard. A 3-button remote with integrated microphone is also included, allowing for device control with Android and iOS systems.
These in-ear headphones have short earhooks and an oval-shaped attachment at the earpieces to provide a more secure fit that doesn’t skimp in the comfort stakes. It offers plenty of stability for short sprints or during jogs, with jerky movements possible without a problem. At the same time, there’s no issues with contact pressure. Made primarily of plastic, these in-ears appear solid and robust, even if the material choice doesn’t immediately suggest a high-quality build. The rubberised cable is tangle-resistant, although there’s a slight incidence of cable noises when listening at lower volumes. This can be minimised by the use of a cable clip, however..
Device functions can be controlled via the 3-button remote, with start/stop playback, as well as call acceptance and termination all available with a simple push of the multifunctional button at the centre. What’s more, a double-click will skip forwards to the next track in a playlist, while a triple-click skips back a track. Individual plus and minus buttons can be found for volume control, both displaying instantly recognisable symbols so you’ll quickly become adept at handling core functions. Speech intelligibility during telephone calls also delivered, with reliable performance on both sides of the conversation.
These in-ears have a high output, with good volume reserves and a balanced sound. As such, these headphones are fit for purpose for a wide array of applications. That beings aid, increasing the volume too will reveal sharper, hissing sounds. Additionally, a drop in the higher frequency range produces a rather dull sound character. Taking this into account, these in-ears won’t meet the more exacting demands of audio enthusiasts. However, when you consider the asking price, they’re a good all-rounder with powerful sound and well-structured stereo imaging.
The component for controlling ANC function can be found integrated into the cable itself, sitting at seat height so it can be tucked away discreetly into a trouser or jacket pocket, without the worry of tension or pulling at the main device. Charging time via the supplied USB cable is approximately two hours. After charging is complete, you can expect around twelve hours of playback time. According to the manufacturer, Active Noise Cancelling technology found here can eliminate external sounds such as aircraft engine noise by as much as 70 percent. This figure seems a little too high for me, but the noise suppression is still satisfactory. It reduces deeper, more uniform sound disturbances reliably. At the same time, the ANC alters the upper basses and lower mids when enabled, raising the bass and lowering the mids. With ANC enabled, the tuning is more bass accentuated, with a much fuller sound overall than when it’s turned off. As such, you should find a setting that suits your listening habits. In particular, those who like their music with plenty of emphasised bass will love what’s in store here.
What’s particularly good about the ANC function of these headphones is that the Aware function has its own on/off switch. As such, playback can be lowered at the touch of a button, allowing ambient sounds and announcements to be heard clearly. In fact, you can even use the function to pause for brief conversations with people you pass, without the need to remove the headphones in order to do so.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Weight with cable25 g
What's in the box
- 3 pairs of ear tips
- 3 pairs of ear hooks
- USB charging cable
- Airplane adapter
- Carrying pouch