REVIEW – I’m well past the point of being amazed at the sheer number of wireless earbuds that are being released into the market, and to this point at least, I’ve not grown weary of reviewing them in search of the “perfect” ones for my needs. Enter the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 92 True Wireless Stereo Earbuds. They are a minimalist, semi in-ear design, with a slim charging case. Let’s check them out.
What is it?
The Taotronics Soundliberty 92 is a product that includes a pair of semi in-ear style true wireless earbuds with smart-touch controls as well as their own USB-C charging case.
What’s in the package?
- TaoTronics True Wireless Stereo Earbuds (TT-BH092)
- USB-C Charging Cable
- User Guide
- Quick Start Guide
- Model = TT-BH092
- Style = Semi in-ear
- Color = Black only
- Bluetooth Version = 5.0
- Audio Codec = SBC, AAC
- Sound = Hi-Fi Stereo 13mm PU + Protein Membrane Drivers
- Controls = Smart Touch Control
- Transfer Distance = 50ft / 15m
- Playtime = 30 Hours
- Charging Case Battery Capacity = 420mAh
- Charging = USB-C Quick Charge
- Quick Charge = 1 hour of playtime after 5 min charge
- Waterproof Rating = IPX8
Design and features
My initial impression of the EarFun Air earbuds was that they bear quite a close resemblance to a similar product by a well-known consumer electronics company. However, TaoTronics SoundLiberty 92 earbuds appeared to have a few features that convinced me to evaluate them without comparing them to similar products.
Removing the earbuds from their charging case, the first thing I noticed was that they were very minimalist and lightweight, but this did not detract from what seemed to be a high-quality look and feel. These earbuds are a semi in-ear style that “hook” over the wearer’s ear and this was my first experience with earbuds of this type.
The earbuds can be used together of course, but can also be used independently if desired. They have a high-gloss finish and each has a tiny LED indicator on the side. Each earbud also has a diamond-shaped touch control that is used to control various functions.
The top part of the earbuds that house the speakers have a contoured shape that helps them fit in the wearer’s ear canal.
Unlike many other wireless earbuds, the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 92 earbuds do not include interchangeable tips in various sizes that can be selected to best fit the wearer’s ears. Instead, because these are a semi in-ear style, they rely on their “hook” shape to hold them in the notch shape in the bottom of the wearer’s outer ear. The bottom of each earbud has two tiny brass circles which are the contact points for charging them while they sit in their charging case. Between each of these charging contacts is a small hole for the earbuds’ microphones that can pick up phone calls or voice commands through a smartphone.
I quite liked the styling and form factor of the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 92 earbuds’ matte black charging case. It is a very simple, sleek design, with the front only having the TaoTronics logo printed in gold and a single tiny LED indicator.
Charing cases for wireless earbuds continue to get smaller and thinner, and the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 92’s charging case is the smallest and most compact charging case for a pair of true wireless earbuds that I’ve reviewed to date.
The charging case is very thin, in fact, only about 7/8 inch (20 mm), which makes them quite easy to carry in pants, shirt, or jacket pocket.
The charging case includes a 6-inch long USB-C charging cable. While charging, the small LED indicator blinked on and off, then stayed solid after the case was fully charged.
Flipping open the lid of the charging case for the first time put the earbuds into pairing mode, as indicated by the tiny LEDs blinking in alternating blue and white colors.
Closing the lid of the charging case with the earbuds inside was intended to automatically begin charging of the earbuds. This worked for a while, but after about a month, the left earbud stopped charging and I only noticed this when I would hear a “Battery Low” voice prompt from the left earbud only a few minutes after removing it from the case, which indicated only about 10 minutes of battery remaining for the left earbud, while the right earbud was fully charged. I was sometimes able to wiggle the earbud slightly inside the case to get it to charge, but this was not always effective.
Pairing the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 92 earbuds was as simple as opening the lid of the charging case, going into my iPhone XR’s Bluetooth Settings, then selecting “TAOTRONICS SoundLiberty 92” from the “My Devices” list, and it was done. The earbuds are intended to automatically power on and connect with the user’s phone every time the case’s lid is opened. They did this for a while, but after about a month, the left one stopped powering on and pairing automatically and I had to turn either the left one or both off and back on again manually to force them to re-pair with my phone.
In the photo above, you can see the diamond-shaped touch control as well as the tiny LED on each earbud that indicates when Bluetooth connectivity has been established. (You will also see that the earbuds’ high-gloss finish attracts fingerprints.) The list of touch controls are as follows:
- Play/Pause = Tap touch control on either earbud twice
- Next Track = Tap touch control on right earbud three times
- Previous Track = Tap touch control on left earbud three times
- Volume up = Tap touch control on right earbud
- Volume down = Tap touch control on left earbud
- Answer Phone Call = Tap touch control on either earbud when call incoming
- Hang up Phone Call = Tap and hold touch control on either earbud for 2 seconds
- Decline Incoming Call = Tap and hold touch control on either earbud for 2 seconds
- Turn Voice Control On/Off = Tap and hold touch control on either earbud for 2 seconds until beep is heard
The charging case has a small, oval-shaped button that is used to reset the pairing of the earbuds if this becomes necessary.
Although they are difficult to see, the above photo shows the tiny charging contacts that are located down in the bottom of the spots into which the earbuds are placed in the charging case.
The above photos illustrate how the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 92 earbuds fit in my ears. With their semi in-ear design, they “hooked” into the notch at the bottom of my ear and essentially hung there. I discovered rather quickly that this is not my preferred style of earbud for two reasons. The first reason was because of their fit, or lack thereof—they just barely stayed in my ears. If I bumped them in the slightest, they fell out. I was able to exercise in them somewhat, but if I sweat at all (which I do—a lot), they slipped right out. They even fell out in a strong wind. The one situation in which they stayed in my ears fairly well was when I was sitting at my desk working. The second reason was that I prefer a tighter fit in order to at least somewhat block ambient sounds—these earbuds don’t block ambient sound in any way, but they are purposely designed for this and this may be your preference. While their sound quality was good, with sharp highs and fairly deep lows (especially considering the size of these earbuds) this lack of any ambient noise blocking detracted from the listening experience for me.
The earbuds are intended to have an effective range of 50 feet (15 meters) from your phone and based on my limited evaluations, this seems to accurate unless walls or other objects obstruct the
What I like
- Small and lightweight earbuds
- Small and slim profile charging case
What needs to be improved
- Left earbud eventually stopped charging in the case
- Left earbud stopped automatically pairing when removed from the case and had to be manually turned off then back on again to pair it
I was initially excited to try out the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 92 True Wireless Stereo Earbuds. They looked quite promising, and I really liked them initially. The earbuds themselves are slim and lightweight, but because of their semi-in-ear “hook” style design, they didn’t stay in my ears very well. Their charging case is slim and easy to fit into a pocket. However, after about a month, the left earbud sporadically began to both not charge when in the charging case as well as losing its connection with my phone, which required powering off then back on again. If, as I suspect, these issues are not common with the TaoTronics SoundLiberty 92 True Wireless Stereo Earbuds, then they are worth taking a look at as a solid pair of semi in-ear true wireless earbuds which can legitimately give the Apple Airpods a run for their money and at a significantly lower price.