Tozo has been a brand that I have always been a fan of. They’re one of the better budgets true wireless names on the market, offering quality earbuds with good sound. The NC9 and Golden X1 have been favorites of mine, and now they have a new product that’s unlike the rest of their catalog. The OpenReal are air-conduction headphones designed for sports, and I’ve never tested these kinds of products before. I’ve heard bone conduction headphones before, but the OpenReal doesn’t have that. They only cost fifty bucks from Amazon, but do they have more value beyond that?
What You Get
- TOZO Openreal Wireless Earbuds
- Charging Cable
- Quick Guide & User Manual
Look & Feel
The OpenReal is a neckband headphone with no in-ear design. Instead, the speakers loop over your ear and play sound from speakers into the open air. There are a few buttons on one side that is multifunctional, but otherwise, the construction of the headphones is very streamlined. It has a classy, clean appearance, with a professional design. This is a one size fits all deal, which might not work for some, but I had no issue wearing the OpenReal for hours on end.
Design & Functionality
There are 16.2mm dynamic drivers built into the OpenReal headphones, powered by Tozo’s in-house acoustic technology. It also contains air condition technology that keeps the sound isolated to your ears, preventing leakage. I was very happy about this, and the sound is definitely contained when playing music even at high volumes. Someone sitting right next to you might be able to hear a little bit of sound, but nothing substantial. The right side has a touch-sensitive panel that gives you easy access to most of the OpenReal’s controls. These controls are very responsive and never gave me any issues. You also have Tozo’s companion app that gives you access to other features like EQ, which gives you a ton of customization options.
Bluetooth version 5.3 is offered here, for an incredibly stable connection and lightning-fast pairing. Only standard CODECs are supplied.
In total, you should be able to get 16 hours of playtime from the OpenReal. Ten minutes of charge should give you at least two hours of charge. This is the average battery life for a Bluetooth device in this range.
I had only listened to a few air-conduction headphones, which usually involved bone conduction. The OpenReal is purely air conduction, which means I didn’t know what to expect. What I got was something I didn’t expect. In terms of the soundstage, I’ve never heard a headset sound this open before. The open part of the OpenReal name should clue you in on what these headphones feel like. I’m struggling not to compare this to the feeling you get from open-back headphones, but it’s closer than you might think. Everything about the OpenReal’s soundstage appears to me like the sound is coming from the open air rather than from drivers. Its spatial imaging gives you some surprising precision, with some impressive layering that adds dimension and separation to its sonic environment. You won’t get more outside headspace on any pair of wireless headphones in this price range.
Due to the open nature of the OpenReal headphones, the bass isn’t going to be very central to the sound signature. It doesn’t exactly take shape, but the contents are there. You’ll get good clarity from the bass, but not much volume from it. With the right tracks, the bass can come out and show some organization, but you won’t get much weight from it. EQ doesn’t make too much of a difference either, no matter how much you boost. At best, you can achieve a just noticeable difference in tone, but not much else.
Everything mostly falls into the right place in the midrange. Instruments and other sound elements appear full in the mix, but there is some notable fogginess. It’s not always the most elegant response, but the presentation is lively enough to give the mids an edge. Using the EQ can bring out vocals quite significantly, giving them exceptional command and realism. It’s quite a feat for these headphones to accomplish. Instruments are done justice mostly by the roominess that the OpenReal possesses, making their appearance in the mix easy to identify. Aside from some instances of precision, the OpenReal doesn’t paint much detail beyond the surface of the tone. The actual timbre of the notes being hit is quite smooth though, as the OpenReal does the best it can to express things naturally.
Without EQ, the OpenReal doesn’t have the most vibrant treble, but the texture of it is very enjoyable. It’s a smooth response that isn’t too bright or relaxed, but rather somewhere in the middle. Using EQ develops the timbre into an airier feel, which compliments the openness of the sound signature overall.
The Tozo OpenReal nice surprise for me. I did not expect this kind of sound to be housed within a set of Bluetooth headphones that looked like this. It immediately makes me excited to try more air-conduction headphones in the future, seeing if they have the potential to outperform the sound of other wireless headphones. For fifty dollars I think this is a great item to try and see if you might be in to something like air-conduction headphones because the OpenReal definitely made me a fan.
The TOZO OpenReal is available from Amazon.