In my previous review of sub $70 bluetooth noise cancelling headphones, the Taotronics BH22s came out on top. Just to confuse matters, Taotronics have more recently come out with a new pair of headphones called the Taotronics BH040s, which are positioned slightly more expensive than the BH22s, and appear (at least at first glance) to be an upgrade.
The TRUTH of the matter is a bit more complicated.
Whilst the pricing + model numbering + design, are all pointing towards the BH040 being a superior model, it doesn’t actually out perform the BH22s in all areas (unfortunately).
Lets address a few key issues.
Foldability (is that a word?)
The upshot of this is that the carry case for the BH22s is smaller. Likely useful for those with small bags, perhaps commuting each day. But for others it won’t be a huge deal.
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 unoticable. This delay is reduced to near wired levels when you have an AptX transmitter to an AptX receiver.
Unfortuntaely, Taotronics didn’t include AptX for either the BH22s or BH040s. This is despite some information online suggesting the opposite. Therfore they both lose out in this respect. Taotronics do have a similarly priced model to the BH040s, called the BH030s, which do offer AptX – and could be a good option for movie fans who want low latency.
Due to the different frame designs, the BH040s stick tighter to the ears. For some, this may be uncomfortable, but for others this could be desired (perhaps if you want to wear them for more intense exercise workouts).
Beyond the aforementioned differences, the BH22s and the BH040s are very similar. Same active noise cancelling technology, same button placement, same sound quality. The BH040s sport a more flashy design with chrome accents, which may suit some people. For others the more understated look of the BH22s may be preferred.