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9 Most Durable Earbuds in 2024 (Heavy-Duty Models)

Last updated: 7 months ago
9 min read

We tested 193 headphones, and here are:

  • The most rugged, durable earbuds that don’t break
  • Our hands-on experience with each pair
  • IP protection ratings, so you know how resistant they are to water, dust, and drops

Let’s dig in:

We test and evaluate headphones using a standardized 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

More info Price Material Water & Dust protection Warranty Battery (Connection) Mic & Controls
Jaybird Vista 2 Toughest overall
Jaybird Vista 2 small image
Under $200
Rubberized plastic
IP68
2 years limited
8h (Bluetooth 5.0)
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Jabra Elite 7 Pro Runner-up
Jabra Elite 7 Pro small image
Under $170
Brushed plastic
IP57
2 years extended
8h (Bluetooth 5.2)
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Beats PowerBeats Pro Best with ear hooks
Beats PowerBeats Pro
Under $250
Hard Plastic
IPX4
1 year limited
11h (Bluetooth 5.0)
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JBL Reflect Mini NC Best under $100
JBL Reflect Mini NC
Under $100
Plastic
IPX7
2 years limited
9h (Bluetooth 5.0)
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Anker Soundcore Life A1 Best under $50
Anker Soundcore Life A1
Under $50
Plastic
IPX7
2 years limited
8h (Bluetooth 5.0)
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TOZO T10 Best under $30
TOZO T10
Under $30
Plastic
IPX8
n/a
6h (Bluetooth 5.0)
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All earbuds on our list are evaluated based on 9 key factors (Sonic9Score).  The main criteria we looked at to pick the top earbuds are water and dust protection and build quality. See our testing and ranking methodology.

Tired of earbuds breaking?

Are you wasting your hard-earned money on new earbuds just to see them break in a couple of months?

Here are the toughest earbuds that survive submerging in water, covering in dust, and an accidental drop on the floor.

The listed models are made of quality materials, like tough plastics and aluminum, don’t have major weak points, and are resistant to “human abuse.” No matter how much money you spend on your new in-ear earbuds, these will last longer than the average (which is 2 years and 8 months).

CONTENTS (show more)

    The Most Durable Earbuds

    1. Jaybird Vista 2

    1st-place Toughest Overall
    • Water & dust protection: IP68 provides full protection against dust and water submersion
    • Build quality: Hard plastic shock-resistant casing, water-resistant charging case
    Jaybird Vista 2 covered in dirt

    Jaybird Vista 2 are the most durable wireless earbuds we’ve tested. They have an IP68 certification for water and dust resistance and MIL-STD-810G military standard of endurance – Jaybird Vista 2 review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 6mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 8h + 16h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2h + quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IP68 (IP54 on case) | Features: Ambient mode, mono mode, EQ
    • Great sound for all music genres you can fully customize with EQ & presets
    • They stay comfy and stable in your ears during activity, even when sweaty
    • Can easily survive dust AND water, even submerging
    • 8-hour+ battery provides convenience without worrying about charging
    • Fully customize the earbuds to fit your needs in the companion app
    • Removes background noise with ANC so you can focus on the workout
    • Occasional connection stutters
    • Annoying errors during firmware updates

    During testing, we submerged the Vista 2 in water to see if they’d still work after.

    They survived. These tough true wireless earbuds come with an IP68 rating (ingress protection explained). This is the highest dust protection and the 2nd highest water protection. The Qi wireless charging case is also protected and rated at an IP54 rating. This means it survives rain and dust.

    For the added shockproof protection against drops, Jaybird made sure to meet the MIL-STD-810G durability standards. All in all, these are the toughest earbuds.

    Expect high sound quality right out of the box. But the best part is, that you can tweak it with EQ settings inside the Jaybird app. It’s punchy and energetic, with a good-sized soundstage.

    They come with ANC too. Noise-canceling earbuds have a soft rubberized finish with a silicone ear fin that locks them securely into place no matter the ear size. Three sizes of fins and silicone tips are part of the same ear gel, so you don’t have to worry about losing them.

    They come in a sleek case that is small enough to easily fit in a pocket with a short attached string. And if anything goes wrong, you can trust the dependable Jaybird warranty.

    Overall, the Jaybird Vista 2 are the most durable earbuds we’ve tried, with certifications to prove it.

    Most Durable Runner-Up Earbuds

    2. Jabra Elite 7 Pro

    2nd-place Most Durable Runner-Ups
    • Water & dust protection: IP57 provides high dust and water submersion protection
    • Build quality: Sturdy plastics, silicone ear tips, and a well-made carrying case
    Jabra Elite 7 Pro earbuds and case on concrete surface

    Jabra Elite 7 Pro are the runner-up of rugged earbuds we’ve tested. Fully waterproof and dustproof wireless earbuds built to last – Jabra Elite 7 Pro review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.2
    Driver size icon Driver size: 6mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 8h + 22h in case | Wireless range: 60 feet (18.3m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2.5h + quick charge – USB-C & Qi wireless | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IP57 | Features: Multipoint, ANC, HearThrough, EQ, app
    • Balanced sound out-of-the-box that gets better with EQ
    • Comfortable fit for long listening sessions
    • High IP57 rating and premium-feeling build
    • Good battery life of 8 hours per charge & wireless charging support
    • Jabra+ app has overwhelming amount of features
    • Impressive passive noise isolation
    • Mediocre active noise cancellation with almost no effect
    • Custom EQ doesn't let you tweak frequencies above 7kHz

    In terms of durability, Jabra Elite 7 Pro are pretty much identical to the Elite 7 Active model, which is the successor to the Jabra Elite Active 75t.

    They have a smooth, uniform body without any visible weak spots and an IP57 rating. This is a bit less than the Vista 2 above but enough to keep out the water and dust. You can also submerge them without a problem.

    Out of the box, these are balanced-sounding earbuds that are suitable for all music genres. If you want extra bass, you can boost it inside the Jabra app.

    The ergonomic design doesn’t need ear fins to glue itself into your ear canal. The Elite 7 Pro come with ANC and ambient sound mode, both working reasonably well.

    Another interesting feature is the SAATI Acoustic mesh, which ensures cleaner conversation when you receive calls in windy situations. Read more in our review.

    For durable TWS earbuds that don’t break, check out the Jabra Elite 7 Pro.

    Most Durable Ear Hook Earbuds

    3. Beats PowerBeats Pro

    trophy Toughest Earbuds with Ear Hooks
    • Water & dust protection: IPX4 sweat protection, but susceptible to submersion and small dust
    • Build quality: Hard plastic casing with flexible ear hooks, high-quality feel in hands
    Beats PowerBeats Pro review

    Beats PowerBeats Pro are the most durable ear-hook earbuds we’ve tested. With quality yet flexible plastic construction and great stability, these are an amazing sports companion for bass enthusiasts – Beats PowerBeats Pro review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 12mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type:: In-ear | Battery Life: 11h + 24h in case | Range: 33ft – 10m | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Under 1h + quick charge – Lightning | Mic & controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX4 | Features: Ear hooks, H1 chip, volume controls on both sides
    • Deep, punchy bass that energizes music (V-shaped signature)
    • Great battery life with quick charging (we got over 11 hours out of them)
    • Perfect stability for working out
    • High build-quality and nice materials
    • Sweatproof, but can’t be submerged
    • Ear hooks rub against skin
    • Pricey
    • No way to turn them off without the charging case

    When it comes to build quality, the PowerBeats Pro are great. Construction is excellent, with hard plastic housing and a flexible ear-hook design for extra stability.

    With the IPX4 water protection, they are sweatproof, although you shouldn’t submerge them in water. They also aren’t certified for dust, so you should keep them away from dust.

    Beats is finally going for clearer sound quality, although PowerBeats Pro are still bassy wireless earbuds. They have a distinct V-shaped frequency response, which is enjoyable for modern music.

    Not only are the PowerBeats Pro dependable but they also last long.

    In our tests, we got over 11 hours of playtime per charge.

    With an additional 24 hours from the fast-charging case.

    All in all, these are durable earphones with an integrated mic, volume control, and the option to summon a voice assistant, perfect for active use.

    Related:

    Most Durable Earbuds under $100

    4. JBL Reflect Mini NC

    trophy Toughest under $100
    • Water & dust protection: IPX7, fully submerge-proof, with no certified dust protection
    • Build quality: Sturdy plastics, silicone eartips and wings.
    JBL Reflect Mini NC earbuds

    JBL Reflect Mini NC are the toughest true wireless earbuds under $100 we’ve tested. The heavy-duty earbuds are made for sports and don’t cost an arm and a leg – JBL Reflect Mini NC review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.1
    Driver size icon Driver size: 6mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 7h + 14h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 2h – USB-C | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX7 | Features: Ambient Aware, TalkThru, mono mode, EQ
    • Excellent sound quality (after EQ)
    • Great stability during workouts
    • Comfortable fit
    • Stable Bluetooth 5.1 connection
    • Companion app with custom EQ
    • Durable build with an IPX7 rating
    • Poor active noise cancellation performance
    • Control customization could be better

    To ensure great durability, the JBL Reflect Mini NC are made of plastic and tested for an IPX7 rating. And to prevent accidental drops, earbuds use long ear fins to latch to pinna.

    This means you can wear them in the rain, wash them under a tap, and submerge them in water. But it’s best you don’t cover them in dust since it might get inside and damage the electronics.

    We submerged them in water during testing and they worked fine.

    You can tame the default enhanced bass within the app’s EQ. After some corrections, the listening experience gets a more natural sound signature, yet it is still very energetic and punchy.

    These are the best JBL option for working out. Each durable earbud is rather big and bulky. But as long as you don’t have really small ears, it should provide a perfect fit.

    Different sizes of mushroom-shaped silicone eartips ensure good noise isolation. The latter is crucial since the active noise-canceling is rather poor. Read more in our review.

    Most Durable Earbuds under $50

    5. Anker Soundcore Life A1

    trophy Most Durable under $50
    • Water & dust protection: IPX7, fully waterproof, can be submerged, no dust protection
    • Build quality: Solid plastics, it feels less premium but still survives a drop or two
    Anker Soundcore Life A1 review

    Anker Soundcore Life A1 are the most durable cheap earbuds under $50 we’ve tested – Anker Soundcore Life A1 review.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 8mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 9h + 26h in case | Wireless range: 60ft (18.2m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: Quick charging – USB-C & Qi charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IPX7 | Features: EQ presets, ear fins
    • Good sound quality
    • Fantastic comfort & stability
    • Reliable Bluetooth connection
    • Great battery life (more than 8h per charge)
    • Usable physical controls with 3 EQ profiles
    • Okay passive noise isolation
    • Some audio delay when watching videos

    Cheap doesn’t mean low build quality. These rugged earbuds have an IPX7 rating and have a simple yet durable design. It sits flush with your ears and prevents wind noise. No amount of water breaks them. But there is no certified dust protection, so climbing with chalk is not the best idea.

    Anker Soundcore Life A1 have strong sound quality with elevated sub-bass and shimmery highs due to a boost of around 8kHz. You can further boost the bass if you’re into extremes by changing the EQ profile. There’s also a Podcast mode with a clearer vocal range.

    The battery is great at more than 8 hours per charge, also giving you the option for Qi wireless charging.

    Thanks to physical controls (which aren’t annoying to use), you can use them even in a cold environment or when your fingers are wet.

    For cheap heavy-duty earbuds, get Anker Soundcore Life A1.

    For more options, see the best true wireless earbuds under $50.

    Most Durable Cheap Earbuds

    6. TOZO T10

    trophy Most Durable Cheap Earbuds
    • Water & dust protection: IPX8, fully waterproof even for submersion
    • Build quality: Solid plastics, feel better than the price suggests, waterproof carrying case
    TOZO T10 earbuds and case

    TOZO T10 are the most rugged earbuds under $30 of all cheap earphones we’ve tested. (Waterproof earbuds and case) – TOZO T10 review.

    TOZO T10 review

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: 8mm dynamic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 18-20.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 6h + 24h in case | Wireless range: 40ft (12,2m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 1.5h – quick charge – USB-C & Qi charging | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: SBC, AAC | Water resistance: IP68 | Features: Qi wireless charging, Quick charging, Mono mode, Mic, Touch controls
    • Fun sound quality with natural midrange
    • IP68 rating for both earbuds & charging case
    • Comfortable fit
    • Reliable touch controls
    • USB-C & Qi wireless charging
    • Extreme audio delay during videos
    • Mediocre microphone quality

    TOZO T10 are more than great for the price. Despite the bass-heavy boost, they sound relatively natural. Therefore, they’re suitable for a wide range of music genres.

    The most impressive feature about T10s is that the sturdy earbuds and the charging case share the same IPX8 rating. Meaning they can both survive getting drenched in water.

    That’s higher case protection than the #1 Jaybird Vista 2. However, the cheap wireless earbuds themselves aren’t as rugged and shockproof as the Vistas.

    Still, they’re small, so they fit perfectly into any ear. They’re comfortable to wear for long periods, as well. The battery longevity is good at 6 hours per charge, having another 24 hours inside the Qi charging case.

    Find more under Honorable Mentions.

    More cheap options:

    Honorable Mentions

    7. MEE audio Pinnacle P1

    MEE Audio Pinnacle P1

    MEE audio Pinnacle P1 are the most durable wired earbuds with detachable silver-coated cables (MMCX connector type) and amazing sound quality. They’re made of zinc alloy that survives any accidental drops as long as they don’t land in water (no IP rating, unfortunately). Also, avoid the Pinnacle PX from the Drop website. It comes with a worse-quality cable and fewer accessories.

    8. Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro

    Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro wireless earbuds

    Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro use dual drivers to output lower and higher frequencies. They are the most durable earbuds with an IPX7-certified water resistance and effective ANC. So, we recommend these if removing ambient noise is a priority. 8 hours on a single charge is among the better, and you can use them for phone calls in noisy environments.

    9. TOZO OpenReal Open-Ear Earphones

    TOZO OpenReal on head

    These are the most durable air-conduction earbuds we’ve tested. With IPX8, they’re fully waterproof, and you can easily submerge them. The flexible silicone covers the whole surface, making it soft to the touch. Plus, they produce a clear, balanced audio that punches above their price tag.

    TOZO OpenReal review

    How We Tested Build Quality?

    Each pair of earbuds in our list is objectively measured and tested by an expert to gather hands-on experience. To determine the durability, we looked at the water and dust protection, the feel of materials in hands, tested for possible weak points, and covered them in dirt (if dust-protected).

    Jaybird Vista waterproof case
    Waterproof earbuds are exposed to water to test their certified protection.

    Then, we also considered other categories. Altogether, we test them on 9 key points: Sound quality, noise isolation, ANC, battery life, comfort, features, etc. This helps us compare and pick the most suitable earbuds we can confidently recommend. Read on our testing and scoring methodology.

    How did we pick the models?

    As mentioned above, we primarily focused on 3 decision points: water protection, dust protection, and build quality.

    All recommended earbuds have high durability scores. Then, we also looked at their overall performance in other categories (mentioned above). This makes them capable earphones in their own right. We ranked them for different use cases and prices (cheaper towards the bottom).

    What Makes Earbuds Durable?

    Quality materials: Strong, durable plastic is lightweight and offers great protection from physical damage. The metal housing is even better, offering better structural integrity, and looks nice.

    Water resistance: For athletes and fitness freaks, sweatproof earbuds are a must. Look for minimum IPX4 or waterproof IPX6+ earbuds (What’s IPX?).

    You can find more of the top waterproof Bluetooth headphones and the best workout headphones for the gym.

    No weak points: Most earbuds have potential breaking points, whether it’s a badly made connector, inadequate strain relief, or weird, crack-prone earphone shape. These points are revealed after the first few weeks of use, so it’s impossible to know them beforehand.

    Hinge design: If hinges are present, it’s important they’re made for long-term use and don’t crumble after a few weeks.

    Cable coating: Some cables are reinforced with Kevlar, and some have extra layers of rubber coating, but since cables are one of the usual weakest points, cable strength plays an important role. Though

    A good warranty helps: Customer support plays a big role in deciding whether to buy certain wireless earbuds. If you know that you have access to good customer support that can quickly replace your broken pair of earbuds, then it’s much easier to make the purchase, especially if the product has a lifetime warranty like Koss’s.

    Why Do Earphones Break?

    There are many reasons:

    • Dropping them on the floor
    • Sitting on them
    • Stepping on them
    • Crushing them in a pocket/backpack
    • Soaking them in water and sweat damaging the electronics
    • Exposing them to dust that gets inside
    • Accumulating earwax and dirt that clog the components
    • Exposing them to extreme temperatures
    • Battery dying of old age or misuse
    • Manufacturing defects
    • Pulling and detaching the wires
    • Snapping the cable
    • Your cat or dog chewing the wires or earbuds themselves

    And there are probably more reasons we didn’t think of (tell us how your last earbuds died in the comments).

    Check our survey on the average headphone lifespan and the average AirPods lifespan to get some perspective.

    Why Trust HeadphonesAddict?

    At HeadphonesAddict, we provide honest headphone tests through a rigorous methodology and a transparent process. See how we test here.

    More reasons to trust us:

    • We test headphones ourselves on 9 key points (wired models require fewer tests).
    • We don’t take money for tests and reviews.
    • We don’t delete or edit “bad reviews.” Even when brands ask us, if the headphones sound bad or have other faults, we tell you without embellishment.

    FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

    How long do durable earbuds last?

    Durable earbuds last over 5 years. The longest-lasting wired earbuds can last for decades. But average quality wireless earbuds last for around 3 years on average. The problem is the battery because the capacity drops over time and not the build quality itself.

    Are headphones more durable than earbuds?

    Generally speaking, headphones are more durable than earbuds. Most over-ear and on-ear headphones have a metal headband. They’re heavier and bigger, so we tend to take better care of them. On the other hand, earbuds are often thrown into backpacks, carried in pockets, and exposed to clumsy situations that end their “life”. Normal wear and tear is harder on earphones in the long run.

    Are true wireless earbuds durable?

    True wireless earbuds can be durable. A solid pair has water and dust protection and strong construction that survives accidental drops on the floor. This is something many wired earbuds lack. However, no matter how durable a set you get, the batteries eventually deteriorate, so TWS earbuds can’t last forever.

    Conclusion

    We hope the list helped you find tough earbuds that fit your needs. After testing many, we believe these are the top picks right now.

    • #1 Heavy Duty Earbuds

    Have you picked earbuds from the list? We’d love to know which ones. Let us know in the comments.

    20 Comments
    1. Hi! Are the J4M better than the newer model J5M? I’m asking because the J5M are way cheaper.

      Reply

    2. Our opinion is that J4M are slightly better durability wise, with better materials and more durable design. J5M are still pretty good for the price.

      Reply

    3. You missed reviewing the ToughTested audio series. They are the only earbuds that are actually designed to be heavy duty.
      The “Jobsite” earbuds were awarded the prestigious CTA Innovations Award.
      Please try them and let us know what you think.

      Reply

      1. We’re afraid they don’t sound good enough to bother reviewing them. Maybe they make a new better model.

        Reply

    4. Is there a known way to get my hands on AudioOHM RNF? I haven’t found any stores which deliver to Hungary..

      Reply

      1. Have you tried German Amazon? I think they deliver to some of the nearby countries as well, might be worth checking.

        Reply

    5. I’m a landscaper who needs something that’s rugged enough to handle my work days. After about 3-4 months of use, the earbuds are toast. I have the sport style Bose in ear earbuds. Here ismy problem. The connection cable that plugs into phone always shorts out. This is probably from me moving around a lot and accidentally bending the cord until it eventually shorts out. Bose has been great about returning my earbuds to the store, but I have returned 4 pairs in the last 4 months. Any recommendations as to what earbuds I should be looking for? I don’t mind paying more money for the earbuds, but I want to make sure they last longer than 4 months. Any suggestions/recommendations for this landscaper? Also, cannot do wireless because they will die before my workday is over.

      Reply

      1. If cabling is the problem maybe go with earbuds with detachable cables so you can replace them when broken. (Shure SE215)

        Since cabling is the problem have you tried putting your phone in a different pocket to relive the strain on the cabling, maybe experimenting with this would be worth it.

        Unfortunately we don’t think there is a model of earbuds out there stronger than the ones on this list.

        Reply

    6. Great list! I was so tired of having my headphones break so I finally looked into getting a pair that is very durable, I used this list as a guide. Helped me a lot!

      Reply

    7. bullshit list, see lots of reviews on amazon saying lots of them broke in less than 6 months

      Reply

    8. Very informative and useful writing. I really enjoy it. I work in a big palm oil plantation in Indonesia. These earbuds what I was looking for, since the working environment in my company is harsh (and boring too). I will definitely buy one of these headphones .

      Reply

    9. I’m here because my ActionPies are failing. Also, they do tell you which bud is for which ear..look closely on the black ring that connects the cord to the ear bud and you’ll see an “L” and “R.”

      Reply

    10. Headphones are different than earbuds….need to fix misleading title. And only state earbuds.

      Reply

      1. Where do you see headphones mentioned? Earbuds can’t also mean in-ear headphones or buds or in-ear monitors. There are many names.

        Reply

        1. when I first read this article almost a month ago, you referred to all these ear buds as “most durable headphones” Its how I even arrived on this article because my search was most durable headphones, and your link came up but back then 99% sure google crawled it as most durable headphones as the title but it was a page about earbuds which is why i even bothered to comment…So you probably changed it from the last time I looked at this article but all good man it was still a solid and informative read.

          I also get that there are many names but all of the names you’ve mentioned identify it as clearly ‘in the ear’, not on ear (ear pads) or over ear (full sized headphones) which are both traditionally referred to as headphones across the internets. And earbuds, which is what is covered in this article are in the ear (aka in-ear headphones, buds, IEMs or earphones).

          Anyways article is still a solid read, thanks for writing it.

          Reply

          1. Thanks for your nice words. Appreciate it.

            Probably Google saw the earbuds as “in-ear headphones” and served our page.

            Reply

    11. These are all earphones, none of them are earbuds.

      Reply

      1. I understand what you mean. Technically you’re right. These are in-ear headphones. But to reach a wider audience we use the most popular term for both.

        Reply

    12. A note on the TOZO T10 was that there was an audio delay when watching videos. Do you know if that has been resolved through updates or have an estimation of how much of a delay it is?

      Reply

      1. As per our review: “There’s around 1 second lag on Android, while iOS suffers from at least a 2 second delay.”

        Full review at: https://headphonesaddict.com/tozo-t10-review/

        Reply

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