Look out everybody, the Far East is ripping up the HiFi game at the moment and they’ve finally realised it is quality that counts, not just price. HiFiRose (Korea) and new entrants Eversolo (China) are making (or should be making) the likes of Bluesound and Cambridge Audio quake in their sub £1000 streaming DAC boots. The likes of Auralic have always been Chinese-centred but they have concentrated on quality, now the price of this quality is falling rapidly.
The same is happening with earpieces, buds, pods, headphones, etc. These TOZO on-ear open-backed buds are just crazy good in sound quality terms and if you’ve ever had a bud fall out of your ear, or put pressure against your eardrum, this is the no-compromise design for you. If the TOZO Golden X1 in earbuds were great, these TOZO OpenBuds have crushed it for me, and they are currently glued to my ears!
On my recent birthday, I received the same card five times with a dude walking around with a pair of speakers on his head and a turntable rigged up on his chest. These TOZO OpenBuds are that card (see the main picture); on-ear open-backed headphones with a simple clip that holds them on your ears. The driver itself can be angled to anywhere you feel most comfortable.
The driver here is a single 14.2mm dynamic driver unit. It is not the Hybrid driver with the armature from Knowles which was a key feature of the excellent Golden X1s. Interestingly, there are no frequency specs but for the purposes of these buds, I don’t think that is important.
What is not here is noise cancelling, though they claim DSP call noise reduction is available to help out with isolating your voice in phone calls.
The TOZO OpenBuds come with a slim, pebble-style charging case that offers up to 42 hours of battery life in the TOZO OpenBuds. Otherwise, the OpenBuds are claimed to last 12 hours in continual music use.
The OpenBuds feel fairly solid though the dual-axis nature of them inevitably ends up with them feeling a fraction wiggly and plasticky. The charging case is a bit of a letdown after having the digital Golden X1 case that felt higher quality. Overall, though, there’s nothing of concern in the build quality on offer here.
The TOZO OpenBuds are retailing at £69.99 on Amazon in the UK at the time of writing (Aug ’23)
They are light, don’t fall off and I’ve been rowing with them for the last two weeks, no sweaty ears anymore. For me personally, they’re a great on-ear solution. I’m walking or doing fitness work mainly so I’m unconcerned about the noise bleeding out, I don’t think these work on public transport in the interests of being a good citizen. They fit on and off pretty easily.
I’ve had no Bluetooth synching issues with my Pixel 7, you turn the headphones on and off by lifting them from the case which means you can have just one in if you prefer.
In the office in the garden, they’re dead easy. The best thing about them for me is I can pause (tap the right ear) and listen to someone, without having to take out a bud because they’re open you can have a normal conversation!
I’ve had my reading glasses on and they’re fine. The ONLY issue is someone asked me if they were hearing aids which was a bit of a shock (with all respect to those who may have them). Not the worst thing really.
I’ve had no battery issues at all, the charging case seems to go on and on, I’ve not proven the 12 hours charge retained or the 42 hours with the case. My only wish is there’s wireless charging, like the X1s.
The sound is surprisingly good, clean and profound, I like it a lot. There is plenty of detail here too but these are not the last word in earware, but again, I don’t see that as an issue.
These TOZO OpenBuds are hugely competent open-backed Bluetooth ear-ware that fit very comfortably and securely on the ear. These OpenBuds have been one of the surprises of the year for me in this space. They are not only Highly Recommended but Outstanding at this price.
42 hours battery (claimed, not proven) with case
No ear wax
They didn’t look like ‘hearing aids’
Full details are on the company’s site.