TA-ratings-88

Here we are with another true wireless earbuds review! This time, we’re taking a look at Tivoli Audio‘s latest offering. Our Tivoli Go Fonico review takes a look at the company’s true wireless earbuds which offer up to 14 hours battery life with the included carrying case. Read on for our full review!

Specifications

The Tivoli Go Fonico true wireless Bluetooth earbuds have the following features and specifications:

  • True wireless stereo with a full dynamic range
  • Water and sweat resistant
  • Carry case with 3 charging cycles built-in
  • 3.5 hours playback
  • Multiple adapters for proper fit
  • Multifunction controls on earbuds
  • Mic for Voice commands
  • 6 mm drivers
  • Up to 120 dB at 1 kHz
  • 20Hz – 20 kHz frequency range
  • Sweatproof and rainproof (IPX5 rating)
  • 2 sets of buds and ear adapters for a comfortable fit
  • High-quality Bluetooth 5.0 audio file transfer
  • Micro-USB charge
  • Weight
    • Earbuds: 4.5g each
    • Carrying Case: 47.6g
  • Dimensions
    • Earbud: .77 Ø x 1.03 in ( 19.5 Ø x 26.2mm)
    • Carrying Case: 3.13 x 1.25 x 1.25 in (79.38 x 31.75 x 31.75 mm)

What’s in the box

  • One (1) pair of Fonico earbuds
  • Micro-USB charging cord
  • Quick Start Guide
  • 3 pair of in-ear adapters
  • 2 sets of hooks for a perfect fit
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What’s in the box…

Design

True wireless earbuds seem to fall into two design camps: the Apple AirPods “dangling stick” style (as I like to call it) and the slightly larger “wholly fits in your ear” style. The Tivoli Go Fonico true wireless earbuds fall into the latter camp.

As a result, the main unit consists of a circular piece that is roughly 3/4-inch in diameter and about 1/2-inch thick. The entire earbud is a matt black with the exception of the physical multi-function button (MFB) which has the Tivoli Go wordmark in white along the bottom. Just under the T of the wordmark is a small LED indicator light. A slight groove wraps around the middle of the main unit. This is where the included ear hooks sit in. Two sets of red or black ear hooks are included, one set with a slightly thicker hook and one with a slightly thinner hook.

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Tivoli Go Fonico true wireless earbuds.

Jutting out from the bottom of each earbud, and angled slightly forward and down, is the stem to which the earbud pad/adapter fits. There are three sets of earbud adapters for optimal fit. At the base of this stem is an R or L to indicate which ear each earbud belongs to. On either side of the indicator is a recessed pin receptacle for charging.

My only real complaint about the design of the earbuds themselves is Tivoli’s choice of using a physical button instead of a touchpad. Admittedly, this is the first set of true wireless earbuds I’ve reviewed with physical MFBs. After using them though, I’m glad more companies don’t use it. I found that when I pressed the MFB on either earbud, the action forces the earbud further into your ear, causing some discomfort. This discomfort is even more so when long pressing or double pressing to change tracks, answer calls, or other functions. While it’s not a deal breaker, it’s definitely something to keep in mind.

The included carrying/charge case has a pillbox design. With a soft touch black finish, it is just over 3-inches in length and about 1 1/4-inches in diameter. The Tivoli Go logo is printed on the top of the case. The bottom of the case is flat, allowing it to sit nicely on your desk or counter. The Micro-USB charging port is centered on the back underneath the lid hinge.

Opening up the case, you’ll see two receptacles labelled L and R for the earbuds with two pins inside which line up with the holes on the earbuds for charging. Between these two receptacles are four LED lights with a physical power button above them. When opening the case, the lights flash and light up to indicate how much power is left in the case. In order to charge the earbuds, you must push the power button down. It’s another odd design choice, and I ended up just leaving it down so the earbuds charged whenever they were in the case.

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The Tivoli Go Fonico with included carrying case/charger.

Between the ear hooks and earbud adapters, you should be able to get a nice tight — and fairly comfortable — fit. Overall, the design is pretty basic and standard, although, as mentioned above, I’m not really a fan of the physical MFBs as I find they tend to push the earbuds into your ear, causing slight discomfort while being pressed.

For those who plan on using these for working out, they are also IPX5 sweat and rainproof rated. They also stay nicely in your ears and I didn’t have any issues with wearing them while cycling.

Ease of Use

The Tivoli Go Fonico automatically start when removing them from the case and turn off when placed in the case. You can also turn them off manually by pressing and holding the MFB for five seconds. If you turn them off, you do have to turn them on the next time you want to use them.

The first time you use them, they will enter pairing mode. Find Tivoli Go Fonico on your device, pair, and you’re good to go.

Now for the MFB functions. Pressing the button on the left earbud will decrease the volume while pressing it on the right earbud will increase the button. Double pressing the left button will invoke Google Assitant or Siri, double pressing the right will pause playback. When paused, a single press on the right earbud will start your music back up. Pressing and holding the left MFB for about three seconds will return to the start of the current track while doing so on the right earbud will skip to the next track. Finally, to answer or end a call, press and hold either MFB for a couple of seconds.

Overall, functionality is pretty straightforward and easy to get used to — if you can ignore the discomfort of using physical MFBs.

Sound Quality

First off — and this is true with any in-ear type headphones — make sure you have the proper earbud adapters and ear hooks for a nice, snug, solid fit. Doing so will ensure better sound quality. Oftentimes, those complaining about sound quality simply haven’t used the right adapters for a proper fit.

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Different colour and sized ear hooks are included for optimal fit.

With that out of the way, the Tivoli Go Fonico are pretty solid sounding earbuds. In a first I’ve seen, Tivoli actually provides a Spotify playlist called “Tivoli Audio Highlights: Fonico” with a range of different music types so you can hear how they perform across a broad spectrum. I have to say, the playlist not only has some decent tracks on it, but really shows the balance that the Tivoli Go Fonico bring. Highs, mids, and lows are fairly balanced, and the low bass end is more on the warm side (which I prefer) as opposed to being punchy.

I still ran the earbuds through my regular playlists as well and my go to testing song — “Unfinished Symphony” by Massive Attack — didn’t disappoint.

While these don’t offer up noise cancelling, when worn and at about 50% volume, I was hard-pressed to hear any outside interference, allowing me to listen and work away in my own little world.

Reception/Call Quality

As for reception, the Tivoli Go Fonico easily remained connected to my smartphone within the 30′ range. As for call quality, I definitely felt like I had to speak louder while on a call for the other party to hear me properly.

Battery Life

Tivoli claims 3 1/2 hours of battery life before needing to recharge the earbuds. I was able to consistently get 3 hours or so out of the earbuds while at around 60% volume. The right one would always die first at or around that mark, while the left would chug on for 15-20 more minutes. While they come close to meeting the company’s claims, there are other options out there that offer 5-8 hours of battery life before needing to be recharged.

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The Micro-USB charging port is located on the back of the charging case.

Once depleted, the earbuds take about an hour and a half to recharge. We were able to get just under 4 full charges bringing these to around 12 1/2 hours of battery life before needing to recharge the case. While charging the LED on the headset will show red but are a bit difficult to see unless at the proper viewing angle.

During our testing and review, it takes about 3 hours to fully recharge the case once depleted. While the case recharges, the LED lights inside the case while flash and go solid once fully charged.

Price/Value

At US$129.99, the Tivoli Go Fonico are fairly reasonably priced for true wireless earbuds. Granted, there are more affordable options if you don’t care about branding, and there are others that last longer as well at various price points.

Wrap-up

While the Tivoli Go Fonico offers solid sound, longer battery life would be nice. The physical MFB works fine as well, although I do personally prefer the touch sensors on other true wireless earbuds.

*We were sent a sample of the Tivoli Go Fonico for the purposes of this review.

Tivoli Go Fonico

US$129.99

Reception/Call Quality


8.5/10

Nailed it

  • Comfortable
  • Plenty of include ear tip/ear hook options for optimal fit
  • Solid, balanced sound with warm bass
  • IPX5-rated
  • Voice assistant compatible

Needs work

  • Physical MFB causes some discomfort when used
  • Average battery life
  • Had to speak louder on calls



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