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Tenqa Remxd headphones review: Bluetooth cans for those on a budget

A good pair of budget Bluetooth headphones is hard to find. Do Tenqa's inexpensive wireless cans make the grade?

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Mobile accessories and portable audio, including headphones, earbuds and speakers Credentials
  • Maggie Award for Best Regularly Featured Web Column/Consumer
David Carnoy
3 min read

A set of entry-level stereo Bluetooth headphones typically costs over $50 and usually closer to $100. But Tenqa's selling its Remxd Bluetooth headphones, an on-ear model that comes in black or white, for just $39.


Tenqa Remxd headphones

The Good

The $39 <b>Tenqa Remxd</b> headphones are sturdy, offer good battery life, and are a decent value for Bluetooth headphones. You can also use the headphones as a wireless headset for making calls on your Bluetooth-enabled cell phone.

The Bad

Headband won't fit smaller heads; can't charge the headphones with a standard Micro-USB charging cable; headphones don't fold flat.

The Bottom Line

Despite their ho-hum design and sound, the relatively inexpensive Tenqa Remxd headphones are a good value for a Bluetooth model.

So are they any good?

Well, the short answer is they're not bad. They have a pretty ho-hum design and are relatively compact, though they don't fold up. You've probably seen headphones with similar designs (Urban Ears was apparently the first with it). While they're not swanky, the headphones have a serviceable quality to them. Everything is faux leather, of course, and the material on the earpads has a little bit of a vinyl feel to it.

The Tenqa Remxd headphones come in white or black. Sarah Tew/CNET

The headphones were easy to pair (they're compatible with most Bluetooth phones) and the Call Answer/End and Play/Pause buttons are amply sized and well placed on the left earcup, so you can operate them by feel. There's a rocker switch for the volume control that also can be used to advance tracks forward and back.

The volume rocker and other controls. Sarah Tew/CNET

One small drawback: the headphones are a little big and didn't fit my head quite right. People with larger heads shouldn't have a problem, but I couldn't get as snug a fit as I might have liked. I could still wear them, but they felt a little loose on my head. In general, this type of on-ear headphone offers middling comfort: OK but not up to the level of on-ear models that feature memory foam earpads.

It's also worth noting that these can be used as wired headphones with an optional 3.5mm auxiliary cable, and they sound better that way, but you also charge the headphones through the same jack with an included USB cable. The trouble with that is that since it isn't a standard Micro-USB cable, if you lose it, you're going to have a problem.

The charging cable is not a standard Micro-USB cable. Sarah Tew/CNET

On a more positive note, battery life is rated at 16 hours from a single charge. That's quite decent. I had them off and on my head for a few days at work and during my commute without having to recharge.

As with all Bluetooth headphones, the range on these guys is about 30-40 feet, which means you can leave your phone or another Bluetooth-enabled audio device on the other side of the room, though most people will simply stow the phone in their pockets while wirelessly streaming audio.

The headband is better suited to people with larger heads. Sarah Tew/CNET

As noted, you can also take calls using the headphones -- the microphone is built into the left earcup. I found call quality to be acceptable, though not great. I could hear callers well, but they said I sounded slightly muffled when I was walking outside on the streets of New York, where there was more ambient noise.

As for sound quality, it's OK. Depending on your frame of reference, the type of of headphones or earphones you normally wear, you may think it's just fine. However, if you're coming from a pair of decent wired headphones, you probably won't be so generous.

The Tenqa logo is on the right earcup. Sarah Tew/CNET

Bluetooth headphones have offered better performance in recent years, but my music over the Tenqa Remixd headphones felt a little stripped-down and lacked any sort of dynamic quality. There's a reasonable amount of bass but it's just not really punchy or vibrant (that's a polite way of saying it's a tad muddy).

You can look at the Tenqa Remxd Bluetooth headphones from a couple of angles. If you're comparing their sound with that of $40-$50 wired headphones (the Panasonic RP-HTX7 monitor headphones, for example), you're going to be disappointed. They just don't sound as dynamic or detailed.

But if you're someone who's on a very tight budget and wants Bluetooth headphones, they offer reasonable value for their $39 price. I have some quibbles about the design -- the headband won't fit smaller heads and I don't like the nonstandard USB charging cable -- but they sound OK for Bluetooth headphones and seem pretty sturdy.

If you're willing to spend about $25 more, you should check out the MEElectronics Air-Fi Runaway Bluetooth headset. I think the Air-Fis sound a bit better and fit slightly better, plus they have a fold-up design. I also like the LG Tone stereo Bluetooth headset (around $55). But that's an in-ear model, which some people don't like.


Tenqa Remxd headphones

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 7Sound 6Value 7