The last review I did on this channel was of the Senso Wings Wireless Earbuds which concluded that they are awesome budget-friendly earbuds that most people would be satisfied with if they purchased. They may not be as good of quality as say the Apple AirPods or Samsung Galaxy Buds but they are a third of the price!
However, after I reviewed them and starting thinking more and more about how far wireless earbuds have come in the last few years, especially because of Apple and other mainstream companies offering them as an option, I started to wonder what other budget-friendly options there were out there and if the Senso Wings were actually as good as I thought or if there was an option even better!
So I went to Amazon and found the highest rated, most reviewed wireless earbuds I could find and ordered them to test them out and see just how good wireless earbuds can be in the budget-friendly category.
TOZO was the company that stood out and while the version I ended up buying was not their most reviewed model, they were still highly rated and they had a few features that I had wished the Senso Wings had like Transparency mode and Active Noise Cancellation!
So let’s roll the intro and jump in to my review of the TOZO NC9 wireless earbuds!
ROLL THE INTRO!
Before we start diving in to the review of the TOZO NC9 wireless earbuds I do want to mention how much they cost. They run about the same as the Senso Wings that I reviewed previously and will set you back about $60 USD. I say about because, just like the Senso, these things constantly go on sale. I picked them up for about $50 whereas I picked the Senso Wings up for about $45 dollars. So they were just a touch more than the Senso Wings but unlike the Wings they offer Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode which were two features I was dying to check out when it came to budget-friendly earbuds. Especially since the Senso had claimed Active Noise Cancellation but then didn’t actually have it!
Now just like in my review of the Senso, right off the bat I’ll also say that if you’re expecting any of these earbuds to be just as good as something like the Apple AirPods you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment. Like I tell most people, budget-friendly does not mean you are getting the best for the cheapest price. It means you are willing to accept a seven or an eight out of ten and save quite a bit of money doing so! If you’re looking for the absolute best that money can buy, well…you’re gonna have to spend that money! Instead, what we are hoping for, is to get close without breaking the bank!
With that said, the first thing that jumped out to me the moment I unboxed the TOZO NC9 was the quality increase compared to the Senso Wings. Not in the actual earbuds per say, but in everything else. The storage and charging case was of much higher quality and opened and closed with the use of a magnet instead of a plastic clip. It has USB Type C which is what most newer devices, outside Apple, use for connectivity and is the most recent technology in regards to USB and it came with 7 different ear tips to make sure you get the perfect fit compared to the 3 different ear tips you get with the Senso Wings.
The second thing I noticed was the fact that the carrying case footprint was much smaller than that of the Senso Wings, which makes sense since these are a touch different than the Wings. The Wings have clips that go around your ears to hold the earbuds in place, while the TOZO NC9’s simply insert in your ear canal in similar fashion to the Apple AirPods or more accurately the Samsung Galaxy Buds.
After my initial pleasure in regards to the quality I knew that the real test would be the quality of the actual earbuds as well as how they actually performed.
The moment I put them in my ears I noticed a difference compared to the Senso Wings. The bass. Now if you watched my Senso review, I said that while the Wings lacked bass, they sounded crystal clear and still had enough bass. This is true, but the TOZO NC9’s sound crystal clear and actually have bass so it was nice to get it back if I’m being honest! I will say, that I think the bass can sometimes be a bit too heavy, but overall, I found myself more pleased with the sound coming from the TOZO’s then I did coming from the Senso Wings.
However, sound isn’t everything! One thing I really loved about the Senso Wings was the fact that I knew, once I put them in, that they weren’t going anywhere because of the clip that goes around your ear and holds them in place. As I said in my last review, I go to the gym daily and do intense workouts, like jogging on a treadmill or burpees and my fear was the TOZO’s just wouldn’t be able to stay in place. I’m happy to report that after using them for the last month in the gym, every single day, I’ve never once had to worry about them. They just stay put! I was super pumped about this!
There is one small complaint I have though, which is, because these are entirely being held in place by your ear canals, when you are doing high intensity exercises like burpees or jogging on the treadmill they can bounce in your ear and the earbud tapping against your ear can actually cause a weird sound, especially if you’re using Active Noise Cancellation mode!
This only happens when doing very high intensity exercises and for the most part I didn’t find it to be that big of a problem. If I was doing something like jogging on the treadmill or burpees and it was bothering me, I’d just switch to Transparency Mode while doing those particular workouts and then switch back to Active Noise Cancellation once I finished.
Speaking of Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode, one thing that does actually bother me with these headphones is that you must use one or the other. There is no way to just use them without either mode activated. There are times when I want to hear my surroundings a bit, but not at the excess that is caused with Transparency Mode.
Also, while overall I think both the Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode work okay, they do suffer a bit compared to more premium headphones and earbuds that offer it like the AirPods Pro which again makes me wish that sometimes I could just use them like I would typical earbuds without either.
While they do work to filter out or allow in most sounds pretty well, there were several times when they just couldn’t seem to filter a certain sound quite right and I’d end up finding myself having to switch from one mode to the other just to combat the weird sounds the earbuds were producing.
I really wish they had some type of app or way to control the amount of Active Noise Cancellation or Transparency or just turn it off overall as I mentioned, but that’s one of the biggest downsides to budget-friendly tech is that most of the time you’re not going to receive things like apps or future firmware updates to improve on features like Active Noise Cancellation or Transparency Mode.
The last thing I’ll mention is the connectivity of the earbuds. When I used the Senso Wing’s for about a month I had one earbud disconnect and immediately reconnect three to five times. While it’s a bit of a pain I found it acceptable, especially since the times it happened were all at the gym where there is lots of Bluetooth interference happening and because while it would drop connection, it wouldn’t happen in both earbuds and it would instantly reconnect in just a split of a second.
With the TOZO NC9’s I’ve had it happen much more frequently. In a month’s time I’d say it’s happened at least 15-30 times, however, like with the Wings, always at the gym and when it does happen, the earbud that drops the signal connection restores it back almost immediately thus making it more of a nuisance than anything else.
However, even with the several flaws I’ve mentioned in this review and after using both the Senso Wings and the TOZO NC9’s for about a month a piece I’ve found myself drawn to the TOZO NC9’s without even thinking about going back to the Senso Wings.
This is because of a couple reasons.
The first is the improved bass. I didn’t think I cared that much when I used the Senso Wings and they didn’t have much bass, but after using these, I’ve just had a hard time giving up that extra bass that the Wings lack.
Also, while the Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode can be buggy every once in a while, overall, they work fine and I find having the ability to completely shut out the world or completely take it in while listening to podcasts or music to far outweigh the negative quirks of it acting up on me occasionally.
Lastly, the size. While I will say the Wings stay in place better, and the TOZO earbuds tapping against my ear is a nusance, overall, I never had to worry about the TOZO’s falling out and the smaller footprint they allowed me to have when it came to the carrying case made it an issue I was willing to ignore.
So if you’re looking to pick up a pair of budget-friendly earbuds. I can confidently say that these are the best overall that I’ve used and would easily pick them up over the Senso Wings if I had to decide. I’ve not tried them all, so if there’s one you think I should try, let me know down in the comments below and maybe I’ll pick them up and give them a go!
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Thanks so much for watching and until next time! Peace out everybody!