TOZO is a relatively new audio brand that has come into prominence from having released a variety of high quality, feature rich earbuds for minimal prices. Active noise cancellation was once something reserved for premium tier gear that costs hundreds of dollars or more, but now it is available on earbuds like the NC7 and NC9 (aptly named with the prepending “noise cancelling” acronym) for under $50.
The NC7 and NC9 both debuted in 2020 and were both subsequently updated in 2022, and at face value look like very similar products, so much so that one might wonder why two different models even exist. But earbuds that might look almost the same can actually have quite different sound and usability, depending on what type of hardware is under the hood or a variety of other factors, and indeed the NC7 and NC9 do have some key differences. But is one better than the other? Which one should you get? I have fully reviewed both, and since a lot of people have asked this question I am going to answer it in this comparison article.
TOZO NC7 vs NC9 Side by Side at a Glance
What Are the Main Differences Between the TOZO NC7 and NC9?
Touch Sensors – the NC7 earbuds have little sensors that can detect if they’re been taken out of the ear, and any playing media will automatically pause if either earbud is taken off. It’s a neat little feature that the NC9 does not have.
Battery Life – the NC7 has more purported battery life than the NC9.
Togglable Active Noise Cancellation – the NC7 is able to turn off the anc without just switching to transparency mode, effectively giving it three modes of operation while the NC9 can only switch between anc and transparency mode. Noise cancellation can actually be a significant drain on battery life, so it’s nice to be able to turn it off if you don’t actually need it at the time. This likely contributes to the NC7’s superior battery life.
Case Size – despite the actual NC7 and NC9 earbuds being close to the same shape and size, the NC7 case is more flat, compact, and thus pocket friendly.
Does the NC7 or the NC9 Have Better Fit and Comfort?
Despite both the NC7 and NC9 earbuds being somewhat large and bulky, they both fit great for me – very comfortable and secure with no issues holding a seal. One thing that makes TOZO stand out in the budget earbud market is that they often include a variety of different size and style replacement tips, whereas most budget earbuds come with just the small, medium, and large sets of tips.
Given the variety of tips both these earbuds come with, I think just about everyone should also be able to achieve an solid fit, so they both get an emphatic and equal thumbs up from me here.
Does the NC7 or the NC9 Sound Better?
While the NC7 sounds decent, the NC9 sounds better in my opinion. While they both follow a Harman/U-shape response curve, which is fairly standard for budget headphones, the NC7 peaks are particularly pronounced, with very emphasized bass and a fairly sharp peak in the highs that gives it a thin and bright sensation. The NC9, on the other hand, is noticeably more even – the mids aren’t sucked out and the result is an impressively full sound with superior clarity and detail than the NC7.
Which Should You Choose Between the NC7 or NC9?
Feature wise the NC7 is the same or slightly better than the NC9 in just about every way, and on paper looks like the best choice. But, I do think the NC9 sounds better enough that I’d still choose it over the NC7.
That said, I do think the NC7 sound signature is fairly unique and very much intended to not be compromised by a lot of external noise. If you’re looking for something specifically for noisier commuter use, and that has a potentially very long battery life, then I’d say the NC7 is a solidly viable alternative to the NC9. Some might prefer the bassy and bright NC7 sound signature anyhow. The noise attenuation of both the NC7 and NC9 is excellent, but the fact that you can’t turn anc off with the NC9 invariably means the battery will drain sooner.
Get the TOZO NC7 noise cancelling wireless earbuds on Amazon (affiliate link)
Get the TOZO NC9 noise cancelling wireless earbuds on Amazon (affiliate link)