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Impressive ANC performance – MBReviews

TOZO has been doing really well in the entry-level earbuds segment, so I suppose it was only a matter of time until a device such as the TOZO HT2 ANC headphones were made available to the general market. And it does seem that it’s the first pair of headphones that the manufacturer has developed so far, even though the H10 is available as well.

The TOZO HT2 and H10 appear to be the same device, so I assume it’s just a different name for different markets. In any case, the TOZO HT2 competes in the budget-friendly market segment, so the idea was not to pursue innovation, but to port technologies that were only available on expensive pairs of headphones some time ago into a more affordable device.

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TOZO HT2 ANC headphones.

And yes, the headphones do support adaptive hybrid ANC which is now pretty much a mandatory feature, there’s the 3-microphone ENC call noise canceling and TOZO also proudly announces that the HT2 have Hi-Res audio certification.

That’s excellent, but does that mean we get better codecs or a wired connection? TOZO mentions that there the frequency response ranges between 16Hz to 44.1kHz, but there is no codec support that would suggest a better audio quality over Bluetooth. It’s still limited to SBC and AAC. I assume that it’s the cabled connection that will perform better, so without further ado, let’s put the TOZO HT2 to the test.

The Build Quality and Design

Design-wise, the TOZO HT2 looks very similar to other ANC headphones since there isn’t that much wiggle room in this department. But we do have multiple colors available, including pink, blue and khaki, but I did get the white version. And it does look good. Obviously, the most important aspect is just how comfortable the TOZO HT2 headphones are and how easy it is to operate the controls.

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TOZO HT2 ANC headphones – a closer look.

For the former, I can tell that they’re a bit tight and it’s not that I mind it that much because the earpads are very soft. But the top-positioned foam is a bit far from ideal. The arch is decent even for people with larger head, but TOZO made the weird decision to position the foam in between two protruding pieces of plastic. The pieces are at the same level as the soft foam and you’re going to feel the plastic on your head, unless you’re having a smaller skull.

Perhaps the TOZO HT2 is targeted towards the younger demographic? No idea, but I suppose it would make sense if I also check the earpads cushions. They’re not very large and instead of circular, they’re more like oval. The ears are still properly sealed, so it’s not really a complaint. The hinges are made of plastic and hopefully of better quality than those of the ex-flagship Sony WH-1000XM3.

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The softness of the cushions – TOZO HT2.

But the sliders are robust and even if not completely made of metal, the plastic does have a metallic plate to keep it strong. The sliders also move only a few inches, further enforcing the small-head assumption. The earcups are foldable, so it’s easy to carry the headphones around in your backpack but I noticed that it is possible to remove the earcup section with the cushion. Just rotate them and they should pop off easily. This means that the cushion can be changed, right? Well, not by default.

The faux leather is glued to the earcup, so, to change it, quite a bit of work is involved.. Now let’s talk about the controls. They’re all positioned on the right earcup and there’s a prominent NC button (which enables ANC), followed by the type-C charging port and the 3.5mm audio jack. Further around, we can also find the Volume up and down switch, as well as the Power ON/Off button. This last button will also Start or Pause a track on a single click, while to move to the next song, you need to press and hold the Plus button (from the Volume).

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TOZO HT2 controls.

To return to the previous track, press and hold the Minus button. I also like that there is a factory restore function available and it can be triggered by pressing and holding both the Up and Down buttons. As for the NC button, there are two states, one is the Normal Noise Canceling, followed by the ANC mode. I do have one complaint and that’s about the length of the cable.
It’s only 3.3-foot long (1 meter), so it can get very awkward if you intend to connect the headphones to a PC or laptop.

I have a 6.5-feet long cable and it’s still not enough. I have looked around the earcups and I could see that there is a large microphone at the top of the headphones, one in between the controls and the last one can be found on the outer side of the earcups.

Internal Hardware and Connectivity

As I mentioned before, I was able to detach one earcup and I could have a quick glance at the driver.

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A sneak peak at the driver.

TOZO says that we’re dealing with a 40mm dynamic driver, but I couldn’t find any other info about the platform that they’re using. In any case, we do know that there is support for Bluetooth 5.3 which ensures a good connection to the audio source. The range is pretty much the same as with older gen Bluetooth, about 30 feet with some interference, but there is now a wider bandwidth. But is the TOZO HT2 able to utilize this bandwidth to the max? Not a chance, not with AAC and SBC codecs. There is support for Bluetooth Multipoint which is a welcomed addition, hopefully becoming a standard even at the budget-friendly-segment.

The Bluetooth Multipoint

The TOZO HT2 headphones can connect to a couple of audio devices at the same time using Bluetooth and the pairing process is fairly simple. First, connect the headphones to a phone (or any other similar Bluetooth device) and then turn off the Bluetooth to that device, but keep the headphones turned on.

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The TOZO HT2 are foldable.

Afterwards, enable Bluetooth on the secondary audio source device and connect the TOZO HT2 to it. Lastly, re-enable Bluetooth on the first audio source and the headphones should now be connected to both devices at the same time.

The Sound Quality

TOZO has been implementing the origX technology on most of its earbuds and now, headphones as well. And its role is to make the sound quality better, so I decided to check out some songs and see if that’s truly the case. But before that, as with every other pair of headphones or earbuds that I test, I first decided to check out some technical aspects of the TOZO HT2. The first test checks if there’s any buzzing when a tone moves between low and high frequencies.

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Source: TOZO official website.

The good news is that the tone was clear with no buzzing. Next, I checked if the drivers are balanced, so the sound should respond equally. And indeed, the sound played in the middle with no noticeable deviation which is excellent. After that, I played some binaural songs to get an initial idea about what to expect from the TOZO HT2. Coming from an OneOdio Monitor 80 pair of headphones, the sound stage is definitely narrower.

Then again, the sound is fairly detailed and I could tell with good accuracy where the instruments were positioned, as well as where the singers were at all times. What I also noticed was that the ANC does not have an impact on the sound quality at all. And trust me when I tell you that this is quite the feat at this price tag. The sound remains the same, only the environmental noise goes silent. But let’s not yet jump to final conclusions and check out the usual list of songs. First, I listened to Faded by Zhu which is a low-bass-focused song and the bass is definitely present, although not overwhelming the scene.

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Using Amazon Music for the higher sound fidelity.

I did notice a slight difference with the ANC mode because it gained a sort of artificial bloat, but with ANC off, it sounded more natural, albeit less boomy. The best sound quality can be hear from a wired connection where the low bass truly shines. So, for the sound quality, Bluetooth continues to take second place over a wired connection. Bear in mind that I didn’t make any changes to the sound profile, it’s was left on default. Moving to ‘Morph the cat’ by Donal Fagen, I couldn’t really tell a difference when turning off the ANC. In any case, the song is detailed, the voice is properly placed and the jazz-y sound is excellent, so no complaints.

Next, I listened to ‘She Burns’ by Foy Vance and, although not as detailed as on other, more expensive headphones, it still sounded so good. We can definitively say that the male voice is well placed and the TOZO HT2 are a fun pair of headphones for mid-focused songs. Now let’s listen to ‘Breathin’ by Ariana Grande. The female voice is also well placed and due to the nature of the song, the booming bass is more prominent with ANC on, although a bit hallower than with ANC off. Overall, it’s still a solid performance.

Lastly, I listened to ‘Sweet Child o’ Mine’ by Guns n Roses and the highs are a slightly bit fatiguing, so if you intend to listen to multiple similar songs, you should dial it a bit down from the EQ (can be done from the app). Even so, the song sounded good, a bit on the bright side, but enjoyable nonetheless.

The ANC Performance of the TOZO HT2

I think that the ANC on the TOZO HT2 is one of the most subtle, yet impactful I have seen on a pair of headphones. It actually reminded me of the Sony WH-1000XM3.

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Source: TOZO official website.

The manufacturer says that the ANC should be able to cut up to 38dB and while I don’t think it’s that effective, it’s actually way better than expected. I think it may actually be better than the ANC on the Haylou S35. The passive sealing already cuts quite a bit from the environmental sound, but the ANC can make my keyboard typing completely silent (a loud mechanical keyboard). It also performed well on a flight, where the sound engine was cut to about a half. Still not as good as the premium brands, but damn close to it. And we’re dealing with a very budget-friendly device.

There’s an App?

There is indeed an app and it’s actually a useful one (kind of a rarity at this price point). The app is called TOZO and the pairing process simply requires that the headphones are connected to the phone. Then the app will simply reveal it.

Then, there are three areas of interest. One is the Active NC where you can choose the mode you prefer and it does include a ‘Reduce Wind Noise’ which will help a bit when outdoors. Then, there’s the EQ, where you can change the frequency response manually or choose a preset mode. Lastly, there’s the Setting which offers a way to update the headphones and surprisingly, TOZO did release an update not long ago so do keep an eye on it.

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The mobile app – TOZO HT2.

The Call Quality

The TOZO HT2 seem to be well equipped to offer a good call quality, and that’s fairly easy to achieve with headphones due to more space where to add microphones. And if there is not a lot of environmental noise, the caller said that he could hear my voice very clearly. Even with some background chatter from a coffee shop, my voice was still positioned in the front. But, near a highly trafficked area, the ENC tech had some trouble with keeping my voice clear.

The Battery Life

The manufacturer says that the TOZO HT2 can offer up to 40 hours with ANC on and 60 hours with ANC off due to its 500mAh battery. And it did get very close to that value because with ANC on and the volume set to about 60%, the battery got depleted after about 35 hours. Not bad.

The Conclusion

It’s impressive to see how the ANC technology gets better and better every passing ear on budget-friendly headphones and the TOZO HT2 is among the best in terms of ANC performance. The sound quality is decent, nothing impressive, but good for the large majority of people (not near actual Hi-Fi though). The battery life is good, the construction solid, although I did have some grievances about plastic poking at my head. There’s also manual EQ, so there isn’t that much to complain at this price point.

TOZO HT2

TOZO HT2 TOZO HT2

Pros

  • The ANC implementation is well done.
  • The sound quality is good
  • Long battery life
  • Offers manually-adjustable EQ
  • Multiple colors available

Cons

  • The headband plastic pokes at my head

Author

Silence Dogood

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