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TOZO is a newer audio company that has recently seen massive success in the earbud market, ecommerce in particular, for having produced a wide variety of performant, versatile, and feature rich wireless earbuds at very competitive prices.
The T12 originally came out in 2020 and has become a hugely popular monitor style earbud that sits flush with the entire outer ear. It was subsequently updated in 2022. The Crystal Buds, also released in mid 2022, are a newer and slicker looking pair of wireless earbuds, befitting their name, that bring some interesting new features to the table.
Is one decidedly better than the other? Which should you get between the two? I have fully reviewed both of these products and will answer those questions in this comparison article.
Article Sections Navigation
- TOZO Crystal Buds vs T12 Side by Side at a Glance
- How Are the TOZO Crystal Buds vs T12 Similar?
- What Are the Main Differences Between the TOZO Crystal Buds and T12?
- Do the Crystal Buds or the T12s Have Better Fit and Comfort?
- How I Evaluate The Sound Quality of Headphones
- Do the TOZO Crystal Buds or the T12s Sound Better?
- Which Should You Choose Between the TOZO Crystal Buds or the T12?
- Relevant Articles
TOZO Crystal Buds vs T12 Side by Side at a Glance
How Are the TOZO Crystal Buds vs T12 Similar?
Design style – both use a contoured housing with a flat back, though the Crystal Buds are somewhat smaller than the T12s, which are pretty large.
Replacement tips – both come with 5 additional pairs of replacement tips in varying sizes and styles to help you get the best possible fit.
Bluetooth version – with it’s upgrade, the T12 got the latest version v5.3 of Bluetooth, which is the same that the Crystal Buds have.
Warranty – all non-premium TOZO earbuds come with a 30 day return/exchange window and a 1 year warranty against defects. This is the fairly common and standard minimum for budget headphones.
What Are the Main Differences Between the TOZO Crystal Buds and T12?
Isolation – while the natural isolation of the Crystal Buds is fairly decent, that of the T12s is noticeably better.
Weatherproofing – both have IPX8 waterproofing certification, but the T12 case also has the same IPX8 certified waterproofing while the Crystal Buds case does not.
Battery life – the Crystal Buds have decent earbud and total purported battery life (9h/40h), but the purported earbud and total battery life of the T12 (11h/48h) is about 15% better.
Case – the Crystal Buds case is smaller and more pocket friendly, while the T12 case is relatively large and heavy. The Crystal Buds case also has LED indicators for the individual charge of the left and right earbuds while the T12 case does not. The Crystal Buds case also has the transparent lid, which I think is actually a great idea – it prevents you from not realizing you forgot to put the buds back in the case to charge or take with you.
EQ adjustability – the Crystal Buds are compatible with TOZO’s EQ app, which allows for fairly extensive sound customization, while the T12s are not compatible with the app.
Do the Crystal Buds or the T12s Have Better Fit and Comfort?
I was able to achieve a decent fit with both without the seal breaking, and I think most people will be able to too with the plethora of replacement tips that TOZO includes, and that’s a major strength of their budget earbuds by the way.
The T12 does have some weird quirks though – the sound gets a little sucked out if you contort your face or jaw enough, and the narrower tips (the ones I was able to get the best fit with) also get temporarily deformed if you push them in only to click back into place with an audible pop moments later.
The Crystal Buds didn’t have any such quirks, and the buds are also a little smaller and lighter, so I’d say their fit feels slightly better.
How I Evaluate The Sound Quality of Headphones
I preface the sound portion of all my review and comparison articles with this section - to explain the way I decide how performant a pair of headphones is:
I am a music guy first and foremost, and fidelity is what I mainly care about. To that end, I look at three primary things, and I think any other factors ultimately stem from them: balance, clarity, and accuracy.
Good balance - means a well tuned frequency response curve, or that the volume of all sounds from low to high is decently even and well blended. This does not necessarily mean the curve needs to be flat/neutral, just that no parts of a song sound weirdly quiet or overly pronounced.
Good clarity - is somewhat a function of good balance, and means that you can clearly hear and make out each voice, instrument, and any other individual part of a song with decent detail.
Good accuracy - is roughly just a more general term for tone or timbre, and means the headphones produce sound that theoretically replicates the original recording and feels real or natural. For example a cymbal sounds like an actual cymbal as you would hear it with someone playing drums near you.
Do the TOZO Crystal Buds or the T12s Sound Better?
I think the T12s sound better out of the box – they are definitely bassy but their default tuning has good overall balance and accuracy. The Crystal Buds out of the box, on the other hand, are very bassy and somewhat flat, and the deemphasized mid-highs give them a bit of a boxy sensation with some lack of clarity.
However, the Crystal Buds can be tweaked with the EQ app, and the more I’m seeing and using these apps as they come with more and more products, It feels more and more like they can make a really big difference.
If I peaked the mid-highs per a Harman curve style tuning and also lowered the bass some, the Crystal Buds sounded way better – the lack of clarity and weird boxyness was solved, and the overall balance and detail became better than that of the T12.
Which Should You Choose Between the TOZO Crystal Buds or the T12?
The T12 is overall a decent product, but I do think the Crystal Buds are better on the whole, mainly because they are compatible with TOZO’s EQ app, which is something that can make a major positive difference in sound quality, both objectively and subjectively to any person’s preferences. The Crystal Buds also have a slightly better and more comfortable fit without any weird quirks like the T12 had, for me at least.
That said, the really long battery life and waterproof case in addition to the buds are definitely appealing aspects of the T12, and if you care more about either of those things and perhaps also don’t want to deal with EQ adjusting, the T12 might actually be the better choice.
Get the TOZO Crystal Buds on Amazon (affiliate link)
Get the TOZO T12 on Amazon (affiliate link)
• Full Crystal Buds review
• Full T12 review
• Is TOZO a good audio brand?
• Our current picks for the overall best budget true wireless earbuds