If you are looking for some new wireless headphones, then the now revamped SoundSurge 46 (the old TaoTronics TT-BH046) might be just what you’ve been looking for. TaoTronics specializes in low cost products produced in China that are sold through local distribution. Some of their products have even received the much praised “Amazon’s choice” designation.
The SoundSurge 46 comes at an accessible price of $90 and it recently went through a branding change in May 2019. The headphones now have a new TaoTronics swirled T logo and the name “SoundSurge 46”. This name revamp might mean that TaoTronics is moving away from their messy letter-and-number product names.
The headphones display a premium design inspired by a few other products.
They come in a hardened case that also features the new TaoTronics swirled T logo. Inside the case you’ll find these Active-Noise-Cancelling (ANC) headphones, as well as a 3.5mm audio cable, a USB charging cable, an airplane adapter, and the user guide. They support both standard 3.5mm and Bluetooth wireless connections. They are only available in one color, black.
Regarding their sound quality, you might love it or not, depending on your personal taste. The ANC should definitely not be turned off, since users will notice a major difference between having ANC on and off; and the 46’s sound signature is built around the active cancellation mode. Powering on the noise cancelling also activates some internal DSP correction that helps overcome some of the flaws in the sound signature. Without ANC, the 46’s won’t offer a decent enough sound quality. The SoundSurge 46 feature a powerful bass and a decent midrange, but barely enough treble for you to even notice. These are some great headphones for any regular user, but if you’re an audiophile, or just like the best sound experience possible, there are better choices out there.
In terms of comfort, the ear pads are found side-by-side with the best of the best in the headphone competition. The ear pads are covered in soft, nice fake leather material, and the foam inside is a thick and luxurious memory foam. The headband padding also offers extreme comfort. The SoundSurge 46 are built like a tank. Everything is solid, and they feature an overall great build, especially when taking their price into account. The adjustment sliders work great, the cup hinges have no creaks, and the cups themselves are very solid.
Regarding the ANC (Active-Noise-Cancelling), it’s not the best ever, but it’s still great when considering the price; it’s more powerful and isolating than most of the cheap headphones out there, making the SoundSurge 46 a great pair. It handles low frequencies much better than high frequencies. The power switch for the ANC system is separated from the Bluetooth power button, so you’ll have to remember to turn it on and off manually; and forgetting to turn it off after taking off the headphones will just slowly drain the battery.
Speaking of the battery, they feature a rechargeable battery that lasts for 15–20 hours; depending on the volume. The battery charge port is Micro USB; like many other solutions out there, these also do not feature a USB-C connection. The headphones charge quickly even from a standard USB port, but they’ll charge even faster when plugged into a cell phone quick charger. They feature the now-industry-standard fast charge capability and deliver 2 hours of playback from five minutes of charging.
There’s a built-in mic for phone calls, but it’s a bit noisy and unremarkable. This is not the ideal pair for clear call quality, but they do the trick if you just use them for the occasional call. The microphone doesn’t work when you use these in wired mode, so you can’t use these as a headset with a game console controller by default. However, the 3.5mm jack supports third party microphone cables.
The Bluetooth range is 30 feet through walls, but this pair only supports standard SBC encoding. Also, the amplifier isn’t very powerful, and the lower end of the volume range can be very quiet.
In the end, the TaoTronics are decent. The build is good, the ear pads are comfortable, and the ANC works fine. If you’re okay with a thick and deep sound and like the look offered by the SoundSurge 46, they’re available on TaoTronics website for $90. You can find them here.