Tivoli Go Fonico Review: Wirefree Workout Buds

Boston-based Tivoli Audio merchandise are identified for excellent sound, however they’re additionally identified for his or her eye-catching appears. Design-oriented audio system are nothing uncommon, however Tivoli’s vintage-style radios and audio system are notably irresistible. If you’ve an Eames Hang-It-All or Emeco chairs, you kinda want a Tivoli Model One sitting on a shelf close by.

Last yr, Tivoli tried to translate its signature type to transportable merchandise with a brand new line known as Tivoli Go. So far, the road consists of a beautiful, outrageously priced, small Bluetooth speaker known as the Andiamo, and the Fonico, a set of wirefree buds which can be not outrageously priced.

The Fonico are supposed for an “on-the-go lifestyle,” as Tivoli places it. That means touring, strolling, commuting, and figuring out. Accordingly, I’ve used them for the previous week whereas working, doing calisthenics, and mountaineering with my canines. I had a number of quibbles with the Fonico, however principally they work nicely and sound fantastic. And clearly, they’re fairly cute, too.

Light Bright

Like most wirefree buds (and by “wirefree” we imply there is not any wire round your neck like some wi-fi buds), the Fonico click on right into a rounded, pillbox-sized case that’s about Three inches lengthy. The buds click on magnetically within the case. To recharge them, you activate the facility button after you place them within the case. Blue LED lights point out the case’s battery degree, and an LED gentle on every bud lights up once they’re charged.

At least, that’s what the handbook signifies is meant to occur. The LEDs on the buds by no means lit up, so I needed to join them to my telephone to verify in the event that they had been totally charged or not. The buds charged whether or not or not I pushed the facility button, which I could not complain about, since that is the way it must be. And placing them within the case didn’t all the time make them disconnect and switch off.

The match on the Fonico is superb. I’ve minuscule ears which can be onerous to suit, particularly with exercise headphones, however the smallest ear recommendations on the Fonico labored completely. Not solely do they arrive with three units of ideas, additionally they include two totally different rubber ear hooks that wedge the bud into the fold of your ear.


The Fonico had essentially the most safe match that I’ve had to this point with wirefree buds. And the hooks are available in two totally different colours, pink and black! They appear to be a pair of kettlebells for mice. If you’re going to wander round city with a pair of pebbles wedged in your ears, the Fonico are a number of the better-looking buds I’ve tried.

You management the buds with a spherical, shiny multi-function button. This looks as if an excellent time to admit: I can by no means bear in mind which buttons do what on a pair of wirefree buds. The Fonico are not any exception. Usually the left button makes the amount go down and the proper button turns the amount up—I’ve gotten that far.

But so far as skipping tracks or pausing podcasts, it’s a misplaced trigger. If somebody may engineer a pair of buds that make these features intuitive, they’d Win Earbuds Forever. As for now, it’s nonetheless a lot simpler to tug out my telephone than to face in the midst of the sidewalk clicking totally different buttons in my ears, or to attempt to memorize the handbook like I’m taking a driver’s check in 1992.

Take Charge

On paper, the Fonico will get about 3.5 hours of battery life. I received somewhat extra time than that in my testing (about 15 minutes extra, to be precise). On prime of that, the case holds about three expenses, and it takes lower than an hour for the buds to recharge totally. Compared to different wirefree buds, 10(ish) hours of battery life is not nice, however I didn’t have an issue with it. It was greater than sufficient to get me via a 20-minute trek to and from the espresso store, a morning of labor, and strolling the canines.

Nothing makes me really feel like extra of a bully than choosing on a product for having wonky Bluetooth, however alas, I’ve to. The Fonico has Bluetooth 4.1, and generally the connection between the buds cuts out. Once whereas working, the left bud began clicking so loudly, and so repeatedly, that I began to fret that it wasn’t the headphones in any respect and possibly my neck vertebra had popped misplaced. When I reached out to Tivoli for remark, they famous that being outdoors within the wind, rain, and chilly—all notable options of a Pacific NW winter—can have an effect on the connection.

As it seems, I’ll forgive a pair of wirefree buds nearly something in the event that they match nicely and sound nice. Listening to totally different sorts of balls bouncing forwards and backwards in Yosi Horikawa’s “Bubbles” or listening to a distant snare drum rattle in Solange’s “Losing You” sounded so good that it made my again enamel ache.

In reality, I began choosing up issues on tracks that I’d missed on the primary—or 4 billionth—go-round. I’ve had the album because it got here out in 2013, however it took me this lengthy to appreciate that there’s a recording of Waffle House chatter and dish clatter within the intro to Kacey Musgraves’ “Blowin’ Smoke.” Podcasts additionally sounded clear, and telephone calls had been simple to select up and intelligible to each me and my caller. And I may hear the decision in each earbuds, not only one! (This is usually an issue for wirefree buds.) Sound-wise, my solely grievance was that heat, reedy voices, like Emmylou Harris, didn’t fairly have sufficient oomph behind them.

Bluetooth points, wonky LEDs, and brief battery life apart, an important half about an amazing pair of exercise headphones is that they keep put and sound wonderful. With a pair of wirefree buds, nothing terrifies me greater than carelessly pulling off my jacket and watching an costly bud come out, bounce away from me, and get misplaced eternally, just like the proverbial meatball on prime of spaghetti.

I did not fear concerning the Fonico falling out in any respect. The buds stayed placed on hour-long runs, below beanies, and within the rain, and I received to get pleasure from loads of candy tunes (and a few bizarre ones). Along with these flashy pink ear hooks, that’s all I actually need from a pair of exercise buds, and greater than definitely worth the problem of toggling your Bluetooth a number of occasions each different day.

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