In my previous review of sub $70 bluetooth noise cancelling headphones, the Taotronics BH22s came out on top. Since that review, Taotronics have released two more similarly prices headphones, the BH040s & BH060s.

Below lets look at their differences…

(Left to Right): BH22s, BH060s, BH040s – Note the large size of the BH040 carry case (far right), due to their fixed frame.

Feature Comparison Table

The table below covers some of the key differences, note for example the different weight of each headset, and different bluetooth standards:

BH22 BH040 BH060
Battery Life 25-30 30 30
Active Noise Cancellation
Built in Microphone
Carrying Case
Foldable Design
Micro USB charging port
Quick Charge
3.5mm headphone jack
Airplane 3.5mm Adapter
Bluetooth Standard 4.2 4.2 5.0
Weight (grams): 217 g 264 g 281 g

Audio

In terms of sound quality I’d put the BH22s and the BH060s roughly on par with each other. I’m definitely not an experienced audiophile, so there’s that. But they both sound very similar, over the range of music I tested on. Overall they are both pleasurable to listen to.

Unfortunately the BH040s sound was noticeably inferior, in particular when it came to the low ranges (bass).

Active Noise Cancelling

All 3 have reasonably good noise cancelling (for the price range). To pick at the small differences… the BH22s & BH060s seem to have a small amount “shhh” type noise going on when activated (only noticeable with no music/sound playing). If the BH040s have this, it’s barely noticeable. I’d put the BH040s and BH060s on par with each other, and say the BH22s noice cancelling is marginally worse. This might also be in part because both the BH040s and BH060s have tighter headbands, which creates a stronger seal between the earcup and the ear. I guess the later is a form of passive noise cancelling, which combines for the overall effect.

Design

Foldability (Can that be a word?)

If you’re already familiar with the BH22s, then the BH060 is very similar in design; including the ability to fold down into a small carry case. The BH040s on the other hand are fixed frame, meaning that their carry case needs to be twice as large in order to transport them safely (illustrated by the images below):

(Left to Right): BH22s, BH060s, BH040s

To me, the large carry case, and lack of folding design is a big step backwards. Part of the beauty of good noise cancelling headphones is that you want to use them all the time. Perhaps to a coffee shop, the office, or on vacation. So making the carry case any bigger than absolutely necessary is a pain.

Headband Tightness

My “headphones of choice” are the Bose QC35s, and thus I’m used to a relatively loose headband. The closest to this are the BH22s – whereas the BH040s and BH060s both have tighter headbands. Because I’m not used to it, I find it less comfortable, but there a couple of potential upsides:

  • The headphones are less likely to come off when exercising. Not that I expect the BH22s to fall off, but if it were a competition, they would likely fall off first.
  • As mentioned above, the tight headband leads to a tighter seal between earcup and ear, providing some additional passive noise cancelling.

Button Layout

Whilst there are some layout differences between each of the models, the core functionality stays the same. They all feature:

  • Right side: Power/Pause button combined + Up & Down separate volume buttons (the volume buttons also skip tracks with a long press)
  • Left side: Noise cancelling button (except for BH040s which puts all the buttons on the right side).
  • Micro USB ports and 3.5mm jacks are on all the headphones, but the location does vary a bit between models.

Earcup Cushions

  • BH22s they use a kind of memory foam – such that when you make an imprint, it takes a few moments to form back into its original shape.
  • BH040s and BH060s use a regular cushion “without memory”.
  • From testing so far, I wouldn’t say it makes a noticeable difference without the memory foam. Any difference I might notice feels overruled by the tighter headband.

(Left to Right): BH22s, BH060s, BH040s

AptX Bluetooth Latency

AptX is a compression standard that lowers the latency of the audio transmission in Bluetooth mode. This is not important listening to music without video, but if you want to use wireless headphones to watch your favorite movie it becomes more important. Latency = the delay between what you see on screen, and then the corresponding sound in your headphones. You ideally want this delay to be unnoticeable. This delay is reduced to near wired levels when you have an AptX transmitter to an AptX receiver.

Unfortunately, Taotronics didn’t include AptX for any of these models, which is worth noting.

Conclusion

In terms of deciding which to buy, the first, easiest, elimination are the BH040s. The combination of their non-foldable head band (thus larger carry case), and their inferior sound quality put them at the bottom of the list.

When choosing between the BH22s and BH060s, it’s not so easy. For me, the BH22s win out in terms of comfort. Sound quality on both is similar. Noise cancelling is marginally better on the BH060s. Aesthetics? I’d probably give the nod to the BH060s, which has a fresher design.

It appears the BH22s may be getting phased out (old model?) to make way for the newer BH060s. If comfort is your thing, and you prefer the looser headband, then it may be worth seeking out the BH22s. But otherwise, the BH060s are certainly superior in terms of aesthetics and active noise cancelling.

(Left to Right): BH22s, BH060s, BH040s

Alex

Posted by Alex

7 Comments

  1. Thanks for the review. Curious if you had a chance to check out the BH060s? I’m guessing it’s a newer model because the model number is higher?? And wondering how they stack up against the BH22/BH040/BH030.
    Here’s a link to the the BH060:
    https://smile.amazon.com/TaoTronics-Cancelling-Headphones-Bluetooth-Cellphone/dp/B07L5LPSQT

    Reply

    1. Alex

      Hi Josh, apologies for the slow reply. I’ve just been able to get a pair of the BH060s to test, and have updated the review. As far as I can tell, Taotronics look to be phasing out the BH22s in favour of the BH060s, which are similar in specification and price. Personally I found the BH22s more comfortable to wear, as I’m not a fan of the tighter headband on the BH060s. Otherwise the BH060s win out in terms of noise cancelling and aesthetics. Sound quality seemed to be very similar on both. I haven’t reviewed the BH030s, in part because they don’t offer noise cancelling capability (which is why I got into reviewing headphones in the first place – I found it such a useful feature for getting work done).

      Reply

  2. The BH22 is a superior product in all respects and outshines the bh40

    Reply

    1. Alex

      I personally agree, for me the main benefit is the foldability and comfort of the headband. But we all have different priorities/preferences.

      Reply

  3. I was wondering how the TT-BH030 compared to these as it states it does have aptx

    Reply

    1. Alex

      Hi Michael, apologies for the delayed reply.

      The BH030s appear closest to the BH040s, with their rigid (non-folding) frame. Other minor differences are their 25 hour battery life (as opposed to 30 on the BH040s) & 50mm drivers for the over ear speakers, vs 40mm for the BH040s.

      Regarding the difference in driver size, take this with a pinch of salt. Larger is not equal to more powerful, necessarily, so would need to do a side by side audio comparison to gauge the practical difference.

      Reply

  4. The BH-040s are cheaper than the BH-22s on Amazon at the minute so I was confused as to which was better. I’m going to go for the 040s, may as well. Thanks for the info.

    Reply

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