Every day, I’m shocked and astounded by the way tech is changing. What was unimaginable ten years ago is now commonplace, and developments are constantly improving and changing. Take headphones. Ten years ago, there was no ANC, and now active noise cancellation is included on even ultra-affordable, tiny little earbuds. Amazing!
But all that incredible tech comes with a catch. Which brand and model do you choose? In my in-depth Tozo NC9 review, I’ll take you through all of the features of these affordable wireless earbuds to help you decide if this is your next pair of earbuds. So, let’s get cracking!
Tozo NC9 Overview
The Tozo NC9 earbuds are true wireless, ANC earbuds in the “very-affordable” price range. They retail at under $50 and yet have active noise cancellation that works, good sound, and a customizable fit to your ears. They come complete with a charging case, a USB-C charging cable, five pairs of interchangeable silicone ear tips, and, of course, a manual to get you started.
These earbuds are light and small, fitting into most ears comfortably. Their tips do go into your ear canals, but the depth of penetration is controlled by the ear tip size you select. The rest of the body sits comfortably in your concha – that’s the bowl-like space created by your ear cartilage.
They also look pretty stylish. These buds come in black, matte black, white, brown, khaki (beige), and blue, so you can find a pair that matches your style. The bodies of the buds are plastic, and so is the charging case. But both seem durable and strong enough to stand up well to daily use.
Want to Know About Battery Life?
Sure you do! These buds hold only a moderate charge of about four hours with their ANC turned on. And it’s basically always turned on (we’ll talk about this in a second). The charging case can hold enough juice for about three full charges, or another 12 hours. In total, you can get about 16 hours of playback with the whole thing.
As for function, these earbuds do the normal business of playing your music and taking calls hands-free. Well, you need to press a few buttons, but you don’t need to go to your device to handle most commands. That’s because these buds are Bluetooth-compatible.
Furthermore, they have the latest and greatest version of Bluetooth on board. Version 5.3 gives you a reliable, fast, and easy connection to your phone, tablet, or smart TV.
Active Noise Cancellation
At this price, you’re probably already surprised that they have ANC at all. So, you’ll be extra surprised that it works quite well! You have access to two modes on the latest (2022) version of these earbuds.
Either full ANC mode to block out most environmental sounds, or transparency mode, which lets in sounds when you need to be aware of your surroundings. The ANC also works on the mic to block out other sounds and focus on your voice for clear calls.
So that’s the general run-down for these earbuds. Now we’ll dig deeper and look at the top features of the Tozo NC9 earbuds, including all their pros and cons.
Tozo NC9 Earbuds – Top Features
Most people expect budget-range wireless earbuds to sound pretty bad. But, honestly, engineering has come such a long way that even disposable buds can sound better than the top-quality buds of 10 years ago. In the case of the Tozo NC9s, the sound quality is good, though it falls short of great.
These buds give a frequency response of 14Hz up to 20,000Hz, so they cover the full range of human hearing and then some. The frequency profile is a bit V-shaped, meaning that they’re not flat and natural. Instead, they have a boost in the bass and treble.
The mid-range, though quieter, is very clear and accurate and sounds great for music and voices. The bass is a bit over-emphasized. This can be a big plus for EDM and Hip-Hop fans. But other users might find the bass too strong. The treble is also emphasized and can sometimes come across as harsh when you turn up your listening levels.
Overall, the sound profile is good and makes most music sound exciting…
The downside is that there are no EQ settings onboard or in a support app. Meaning that the factory settings are just that – set. Finally, the onboard mic does a decent job of keeping your voice clear. Callers will be able to hear your voice, and the sounds around you are well-diminished by noise cancellation as well. Even in moderately loud environments, you’re going to be heard alright.
Since these are very inexpensive earbuds with active noise cancellation, I was excited to see if it was any good. You wouldn’t expect it to be for a price tag under $50. And, yet, I was very pleasantly surprised.
With the ANC on, you do get great noise cancellation. Environmental noises, especially bass sounds like heavy traffic rumbles or jet engines, are reduced to almost nothing. The ANC doesn’t handle higher-pitched noises quite as well, but still does a pretty good job there.
Sudden noises can come through, like a scream or a dog bark. But, consistent background noise is effectively reduced here. You get a reduction of about 30 dB, which is quite impressive and on par with most higher-end ANC earbuds, but for a fraction of the cost.
Passive noise blocking is also good…
You can get a very good seal by selecting the best ear tip size for you, and this helps to drop the outside noise effectively. The NC9 also has a transparency mode that allows environmental noise in around the passive seal.
This mode helps keep you aware of your environment when you need to be, such as when crossing busy roads. The good news is that it’s easy to toggle quickly between ANC and Transparency modes with just a single tap.
The bad news is that when these earbuds are on, they are always in one of these two modes. That means they are always using extra battery power.
Battery and Charging
The inability to turn off ANC imposes a serious limit on battery life. On most buds, you can turn off your ANC when your battery is getting low so that you can still listen for a longer period. But the NC9s don’t let you turn ANC off.
This leaves you with enough juice for about four hours of playback. This isn’t terrible, but it’s well below average for true wireless earbuds, even those with ANC. Most other companies are hitting seven to eight hours, if not getting into double digits. The batteries in the buds are just 70mAh each, so they don’t store enough juice.
The storage/charging case has a 500 mAh battery in it that gives you enough power to hold three more charges. So, in total, you can walk around with 16 hours of playback capacity. Still, charging the earbuds from flat takes about one hour and 20 minutes, which is quite slow for a 4-hour charge. The case charges to full in two hours, so that’s acceptably faster.
Construction and Design
These earbuds are generally made from plastic with a gloss or matte finish, depending on which of the six colors you choose. They’re pretty fresh with a sleek modern design. The buds fit a bit deep into your ear canals, and that might be a bit uncomfortable for some users. However, they don’t push in farther when you tap the controls like some other buds, so that’s a plus.
They come with five sets of silicone ear tips that help you find the best fit for your ears. Once you do, you’ll find great consistency in sound. And you won’t have to spend a lot of time fiddling with them to get them in just the right position.
They also don’t leak sound much at all. This means you can get your music pumping, and the people around you will barely notice it, if they do at all.
The controls for these buds are all onboard. Unfortunately, there is no app to help you control the buds or make changes/personalize to ANC and EQ levels.
The controls have good sensitivity and are different on the left and right ears. So, they take a bit of time to learn but are convenient once you’ve got it. You can toggle between ANC and Transparency modes, skip tracks, increase or decrease volume, and take calls easily all through the bud controls. You can also connect to your device’s virtual assistant through these buds.
Tozo NC9 Review – Pros and Cons
- Great ANC.
- An exciting sound profile.
- Comfortable fit and sleek look.
- Limited battery power.
- Slow charging.
- No app for customization.
- Cannot turn off ANC / Transparency modes, just toggle between them.
- No water or dust-proofing ratings.
In the Market for Some New Wireless Earbuds?
We can help. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Earbuds under $50, the Best Cheap Earbuds Under $100, the Best Noise Isolating Earbuds, the Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds, and the Most Comfortable Earbuds you can buy in 2023.
Also, have a look at our comprehensive reviews of the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best Bass Earbuds, the Best True Wireless Earbuds, the Best Earbuds for Running, and the Best iPhone Earbuds currently on the market.
Tozo NC9 Review – Conclusion
All told, I think the Tozo NC9s are a great pair of earbuds, but only for some users. They have a bass-heavy, exciting sound profile that will appeal to people who like their music pumping. The ANC is surprisingly good, but you can’t really turn it off. So, if you want fun-sounding inexpensive earbuds to use in loud environments, the Tozo NC9 is a very good choice.
If you’re looking for something you can wear all day, though, this pair of buds will let you down. They hold only four hours of charge and take a while to recharge, so they’re not suited to all-day use. But, for short periods, they do well. So, take all that to heart when you decide if the Tozo NC9 earbuds are the best choice for you.
Until next time, happy listening.