REVIEW – When I’m working out in the gym or running outside I prefer open ear headphones that allow me to maintain awareness of what’s happening around me. I had previously reviewed some bone conduction headphones that I really like and still use but I wanted to see if the Tozo Open Buds could provide a little better sound quality over bone conduction. Let’s see how the Tozo Open Buds perform.
What is it?
The Tozo Open Buds earphones utilize an open ear design with 14.2mm dynamic drivers to deliver high quality sound with powerful bass. The Open Buds are IPX6 water resistant and with bi-axial rotation you can angle the earbuds two different ways to suit your preference. Using the Tozo App you can update firmware and select from five preset EQs.
What’s in the box?
- 1x Tozo Open Buds
- 1x Charging Case
- 1x User manual
- 1x Quick Start Guide
- 1x 10in USB-C Charging Cable
- Weight: 20.8 g or 0.73 oz
- Open Buds Battery: 70 mAh/ 3.85V Lithium Ion
- Charging time: Fully charges in 1.5 hours via USB-C
- Playback: 12 hours at 50% volume
- Charging Case Battery: 650mAh 3.7V providing an additional 30 hours of battery life
- Case Charging Time: 1.5 hours to full charge
- IPX6 Waterproof Rating
- Bluetooth 5.3 allows for dual device connection
Design and features
The Tozo Open Buds earbuds look like most earphones without the in the ear portion. There’s just a flat surface on the inner side that houses the driver. You can swivel the ear band 90 degrees and tilt 60 degrees to get the perfect fit.
The case charges with a USB-C port and is nice and sleek. The Tozo Open Buds are magnetic and snap right in place to charge.
Setup was pretty easy. I opened the case and went to my Bluetooth settings where they popped right up and connected. There is a little chime when you put them on to let you know they are connected but you might miss it if you don’t put it to your ear right away.
I downloaded the Tozo App and after performing a firmware update I tried the five preset EQ settings. I ended up leaving them on Standard but you can also pick from Bass +, Classical, Dance, or Treble +.
You can wear a single Open Buds but you will lose whatever touch controls are designated for that bud. A nice feature in the app is you can customize the single click, double click, triple click, and long press for the left and right bud. A single click on either bud will pause playback but I would prefer a single click to change the volume which unfortunately isn’t an option. Instead a long press on the right turns volume up and a long press on the left turns volume down by default. Maybe a future firmware update could allow a little more customization so I can change that.
Music playback was very clear with great sound. I got more bass on the Bass + preset but I think Standard was just fine for a non-audiophile like me. Of course, if you really want great sound I think most people will get over the ear headphones anyway so for open ear earbuds these sounded pretty good to me. The biggest thing for me is they were very comfortable, light, and didn’t fall off while doing workouts.
After three hours of continuous music playback, I was down to 51% on the left bud and 47% on the right bud. About half the advertised 12 hours at 50% volume playback but I did have it a little louder and was fiddling with settings quite a bit which could have contributed to the higher battery loss. Putting them back in the case charged them up to 100% in 30 minutes which was pretty quick. Phone calls were clear both ways but I couldn’t get voice assistant to work with the triple click although it works on my other headphones so not sure why it wasn’t working on these.
What I like
- Clear sound comparable to in ear headphones
- Allows me to hear my surroundings
- Comfortable for long time use
What I’d change
- More button customization to allow single click for volume
For $55.99 I think these are great sounding open earbuds. I can maintain my situational awareness just like my bone conduction earphones but with what I think is better sound in a smaller and lighter package. The charging case is USB-C and charges quite quickly so that’s a positive in my book. I do wish there was more customization options for the button functions but a firmware update can solve that in the future so not a real deal breaker for me. Overall I really like the Tozo Open Buds so they get a highly recommend in my book.