Top critical review
if it doesn't stay paired, either one bud to another AND/OR to phone right next to your person...
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 13, 2019
CAN IT BE WORTH KEEPING?
<preface this review noting the following was gleaned with over 1 month of usage, on 2 different units, as the inital order was VERY susceptible to cutting out/losing phone pairing. Hardly worked at all, actually – just enough that i liked the potential and opted for a replacement to see if something got past QC...whatever form QC takes for Tozo>
<second context provider: this is the only pair of wireless ear buds i've ever used. it's easy to see on Amazon, as well as crowd-funded sites, that this form-factor is the currently, predominate iteration. case/dock that serves as recharger; buds very close, if not exactly the same, shape and general layout; claims of Bluetooth 5.0 and typically IPX6, 7 or 8, although these T10s are the only IPX8 rated i recall seeing.>
<CAVEAT each and every one of us really should keep in mind as we happily shop away online, wherever that may be: WHO or WHAT centralized agency, reputable or not, is testing and certifying these products?
by exactly what measure is it that products are found to actually be and do what the things "marketing" indicates is so? Hmmm???...lets think on that for a moment...instead of blindly swallowing whatever hook is cast before us and then complaining that we've a hook embedded in our mouth.
that said – IDK where to go to get reputable answers to the obvious questions regarding online (only, typically) product in 2019. if someone does, please post under this review cos I damn sure would like to explore that further.
moving along to this item...>
it is unfortunate, really – as otherwise, there is MUCH to like about this ear bud set up:
* the price was outstanding, at least for this purchase as it was made during a lightning/gold box – whatever Amazon calls their countdown-timed deal opportunities. in my case, it was $29.99. what i paid is actually the teetering point for me as my inner-monologue vacillates between "when they work, i really do like these...and they were astoundingly inexpensive" to "when they cut-out or lose bud-to-bud pairing, no price compensates for resulting escalation of irritation to aggravation..." but as far as evaluating on price relative to sound, feature set and (mostly present) functionality +2
* surprisingly good sound, incl much more low-end than was expected, particularly as one ought remember, they're wireless, fairly small form, ear buds. think about that for a moment...personally, i'll put them firmly between a good set of cans and any of my wired buds, of which i have a half-doz, incl some decent Sony's and a set of Bose sports – granting the Bose are not in-ear buds; which makes a CONSIDERABLE difference in sound quality, as well-fitted in-ear buds both better block outside noise and seal desired audio's path, directing toward the eardrums. +2
*voice calls show well, both from the send and receive side. i have one colleague who routinely complains about calls made either through my car's bluetooth-connected system (mic is in steering wheel) or the now out-of-production Jawbone Icon – yet he's made no comments about my use of these buds, which tells me they're doing the job and then some. i have also made calls to other parties, for the purposes of testing call quality, and no one has observed any issues. my ability to hear and communicate effectively has been surprisingly good, although i haven't yet tested the buds on a call driving down the road with the windows open, or through a call standing outside on a windy day. the Jawbone did a pretty nice job with purported, military-grade noise-cancellation; not sure what/if considerations are employed to that end in these T10s. +1.5
* fit/form is comfortable and stays in place – albeit w/o any running around. my most active conditions involve wearing while operating a residential, riding mower over uneven terrain, getting on/off, sweating were the most vigorous, operational conditions. they can droop some, and they do get a bit uncomfortable after a couple of hours, but then, show me some ear-buds that don't. +1
* battery life was good (roughly 3-hrs) and the recharge time (via an unplugged, but charged, case/dock) seemed to be about 45-minutes in very generally observed times. IOW, i did not run down the buds, break out the stopwatch, note start/stop times; just looked at the clock when initiating recharge and then again when lifted. +1.25
* i get that this form-factor—charging a case/carrying buds in case for on-the-go, cord-free recharging, IS the way these many, many iterations of wireless, BT earbuds are presently made—can't really be attributed to Tozo, but the functionality of the "case as charger" has real value. specific to this case, Tozo appears to use rare-earth magnets, resulting in small form and commensurately strong magnetism. very good for keeping that lid closed and your buds in the case where they belong. i've had my case hanging on my technician's toolbag for a couple of weeks now and have yet to find the lid opening on its own, or of course, my buds out of the case other than when i pull them out. the buds themselves are magnetically drawn into the form and onto the charging contacts, once you've got them most of the way inserted. +1.25
*most necessarily, and glaring, is the frequent and random connectivity drop: some times it was the Rt-ear (phone pairing) bud from the phone, despite the phone's proximity sitting next to me in my mower's cup holder or in my front shorts pocket, ALWAYS on my right side. other times, it was Lt-bud connectivity loss to Rt-bud, despite the buds having recent charge. this happens FAR TOO FREQUENTLY and does so while they're worn – making it an obvious engineering/technical flaw. Surely the distance through a human's head is so similar that nailing down electronics appropriate to afford solid connectivity across this distance and through incredibly similar material (flesh/bone/brain/bone/flesh) or around the same, should be made certain before this product hits market.
add the pairing drop that i easily—with about 90% consistency reproduced—initiated by tightly cupping an ear with one hand...now that i type this, would seem the bud-to-bud pairing is made with shockingly short-range/weak electronics. so, forget going through the head, these have trouble going AROUND the head and are interrupted by nothing more than the composition of an ungloved, human hand and some of the time, nothing more than...air?
back to the drawing board or lab, Tozo... -5.5
presuming that deal-breaker gets corrected, next suggestion is
* add a feature that makes it clear that the buds are fully charged. update the voiced component to include current battery-life status, or put a meter on the case that provides visual status of the same, or change that LED series (essentially serves as a meter, but with 4-LEDs lined up vs a numeric display) from blue to green, or even better, have the earbuds' go from red to green? there is no way to know how much life left the buds have, other than the voice prompt that kicks in and repeats 3 or 4 times that the battery is low. the auto power-off function comes pretty swiftly thereafter, which is fine, but outside of this, the user has no way to know the buds current, charged state of being. this is kind-of irritating, really.
as it is, appears the display times out. If the buds are lifted from the charging case with a full charge (?), the buds change to blue. Put them right back in the case, they revert to red and sit that way until timing out – unless the battery life is so erratic/poor that a full-charge isn't really a full-charge, or is until lifted from direct charge contact, or...see what i'm saying, Tozo? -1.5
Nit-picky suggestion here, but valid all the same:
* make the charging case/dock's molded loop a wee bit larger. not sure what Tozo expects would be looped through this, but it is too small—without modification—for anything other than a string. i have several cables w/screw-together, end crimped connectors that are typically used for/found in; keeping together keys. the 1/8" threaded end of this cable would not fit through the loop. i took a very small, sharp utility knife and shaved off little bits of plastic on the case-side (not the loop-side) of the loop, until i was able to get the threaded end of my cable's connector through the opening.
my workaround now ensures i can easily and securely attach the buds' case to a carabiner, a tool bag, a belt-loop (although haven't done that), etc. -1
RESULTS: with this highly unscientific and also highly arbitrary summary of my Tozo T10 observations, based on just a a couple of week's sporadic usage with the initial purchase, followed by several, much more intensive weeks now with the "replacement" unit...it's a wash.
would i say to someone who doesn't already have a strong interest in wireless, ear-buds, "rush out and buy these"?
i would not.
would i encourage someone to try this or a different maker to see if another has defeated the paramount and absolutely necessary condition of consistent and persistent pairing to both phone and bud-to-bud? sure, why not – return them in within the appropriate time frame if they're no bueno.
what's to say that should i go to and through a third set of Tozo's T10s they'd not work splendidly? seems unlikely, but...or that another manufacturer has nailed some technical shortcoming and consideration that appears to have eluded Tozo's grasp? w/o going down that road, can't know.
for me, relative to my specific instance and most definitely considering the price paid and approximately 80% up-time in which the buds work as expected, coupled with already having backup, alternatives if/when the T10s get too exasperating, i'll probably just keep them. reach out to Tozo–if that's even possible w/o further time-suck as has been already been spent in grappling the issue, contacting Amazon multiple times to correct some bizarre-to-me SNAFU in which reviews for this product were disallowed due to (my paraphrased summary here) some goofiness with reviews and legitimate account, product purchases and now the subsequent, even-further time-suck of typing out this loooong overview...but roll the dice and pay full price ($49.99 as of this review's post)...nah.
i suspect the technology is suuuuper close, but just isn't.quite.there.yet to pull off what is trying to be done with the wireless ear-bud market.