“The Colorbuds combine great design with solid properties and exceptional sound.”
Valuable sound quality
Solid codec support
Mediocre Bluetooth range
Functional but limited control
When 1More released Colorbuds in July, the audio company said the vibrant, new, true wireless earbuds aim to “bring fashion and audio together.” With color options like Midnight Black, Twilight Gold, Sakura Pink or Spearmint Green, it has nailed an end to that combination straight out of the gate.
The other end, of course, requires a little more research. As much as the eye-catching colors of the $ 100 worth of 1More Colorbuds may speak for you, knowing exactly what you’re getting into in terms of audio with these tiny, affordable earbuds is just as important.
Out of the box
The Colorbuds and their charging case are waiting to greet you as soon as you open the box. They are kept in the light color you want. I chose Spearmint Green and to be honest, these buds are way more “Spearmint” than “Green”. For what it’s worth, my significant other said it looked like I had mini Easter eggs in my ears. I don’t know if this is the look 1More is going for, but I didn’t mind.
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There are three additional pairs of earplugs in the box, a USB-C charging cable, a quick start guide, a warranty card and, to my pleasant surprise, a sticker. It’s mostly standard material that comes with a pair of real wireless earbuds, but the sticker was a nice added touch.
Here’s the deal with setting up the Colorbuds: it’s not difficult, but you have to follow the directions. There are small strips of plastic that must be removed from each bud and then put back into the case to activate them. Don’t make the mistake of forgetting a strip, then using the standard bluetooth pairing process and taking a walk straight away to find that mono sound is stuck with a bud not yet on. Trust me it’s a minor but insane inconvenience.
The Colorbuds have Bluetooth 5 technology, which normally allows an automatic cycle in terms of range and connectivity. But for some reason the Colorbuds don’t seem to have the range I enjoyed using other buds with the technology. I couldn’t get to the other end of my house without my audio noticeably dropping out, while I could go into my yard without other products falling out. Maybe it’s just my special pair, but they didn’t have the range I expected from Bluetooth 5 earbuds and headphones.
Aside from the Apple AirPods, which weigh 4 grams each, the Colorbuds have a simple size advantage over many more expensive products. They are 4.1 grams per bud and therefore significantly lighter than industry heavyweights such as Google Pixel Buds 2, Samsung Galaxy Buds + and Amazon Echo Buds.
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The case is comparatively more compact and weighs 40 grams compared to the 40 gram housing of the AirPods. Run out the numbers and it equates to earbuds that feel extremely light in your ears with a slim case that won’t be a factor in your pocket. The earbuds themselves have what 1More calls “optimized ergonomic design,” and since the marketing sounds what it sounds like, I kind of have to agree with that. They fit flush in your ear and make you feel safe, yet comfortable.
They fit flush in your ear and make you feel safe, yet comfortable.
There are no physical buttons on the Colorbuds, just touch controls on each bud. When I first played with them, I was so ready to write about how the Colorbuds are another pair of true wireless earbuds to leave out volume controls that seem so obvious and harmful when not available. Then I downloaded the 1More Music app and was mostly relieved that the touch controls are programmable and can include volume commands.
The remaining problem here, from my point of view, is that in the current configuration of the Colorbuds there is really only room for two different controls. There is no single control here, only double and triple control. If you can set four different commands (play / pause, track forward or backward, volume up or down, and voice assistant) you will have to choose two and lose the rest. I chose track forward / backward and volume up / down, but can’t say I wasn’t crazy asking Alexa for help.
The earphones most comparable to the Colorbuds in terms of features and price are possibly just one of their close relatives, the 1More Stylish. A couple of important things to remember before I go any further: The Stylish first hit the market when the standards for true wireless earbuds were very different from what they are today. While the Stylish originally retailed for $ 100, you can now find it cheaper for $ 20 than the newer Colorbuds for $ 100.
Nick Woodard / Digital Trends
Let’s talk about the battery life: The Stylish offers 6.5 hours of playback time on a single charge and a total of 24 hours of battery life with the charging case, plus a quick charge option that gives you 2 hours of time after 15 minutes in the case. In comparison, the Colorbuds are slightly worse at 6 hours per charge and 22 hours with the case. That’s better than the roughly 5 hours found in the Pixel Buds or AirPods, but at a time when earbuds like the Samsung Galaxy Buds + and Sony WF-SP800N can be immersed in double-digit playback times and the best of options, not considered great will hit there at least 8 hours per charge. At this price, I give the Colorbuds a pass for the battery life. Note, however, that there are better options.
I’m a fan of the IPX5 weather resistance of the Colorbuds, which outperforms the Pixel Buds 2 (IPX4) and products like the Apple AirPods and Sony WF-1000XM3 with no weather resistance. It offers the Colorbuds solid protection against water and sweat, making them an effective training option. They may not be the budget true wireless product I would choose for athletic activities – that would probably be the Anker Soundcore Spirit X2, which despite its unconventional ear hook design has IP67 weather resistance and nine hours of battery life – but they are in a pinch suitable .
I’m a fan of the Colorbuds’ IPX5 weather resistance.
This section wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the auto-pause feature built into the Colorbuds, which pauses audio when you remove a bud and resumes melodies when you put it back in. This is a feature that we’ve seen in many earbuds. But it’s also a feature that has been strangely omitted from a growing number of products. It’s a welcome surprise to have it in this price range.
From true wireless earbuds like the Stylish to wired buds like the 1More Dual Driver ANC Pro, 1More’s track record of creating valuable sound is nearly flawless. The formula for success is no secret either: most of these products have powerful drivers, excellent codec support and professional tuning.
Nick Woodard / Digital Trends
I think with the Colorbuds, it’s safe to add another (pun!) Pair of wearables to this list. You’re on the 1More checklist with a balanced full-range anchor at the center of the sound, support for the aptX / AAC / SBC codecs, and voting from a Grammy-winning sound engineer. The result: you sound great.
To be more specific (and more specific), they sound great for their price. For $ 100, the Colorbuds give you a more than adequate level of clarity, good low end, and solid stereo separation. With these earbuds, it just feels like a jack-of-all-trades situation that is truly a win for the cost. I couldn’t choose and wish these buds moved through frequencies more fluidly instead of sometimes blurring them, but that hardly seems fair for buds of this stature and price. The Colorbuds shouldn’t be up to the Sony or Sennheiser standard, but they certainly meet the expectations we have of 1More hearing aids.
The Colorbuds shouldn’t be up to the Sony or Sennheiser standard, but they certainly meet the expectations we have of 1More hearing aids.
The company has also touted the call quality of the Colorbuds, which have four microphones and built-in ambient noise cancellation technology. As is the new norm, I couldn’t test these earbuds out under the excitement of a daily commute, but for the environments I found myself in, from a quiet home office to the sidewalk of a busy street, the Colorbuds were amazingly efficient at holding both of them My conversations end clearly.
The 1More Colorbuds’ battery life is worse than their older cousin, and there are some built-in control limitations. But those are small prices for great design, solid overall features, and exceptional sound in the latest version of 1More.
Are there any better alternatives?
If ear hook designs don’t turn you off, the $ 80 Anker Soundcore Spirit X2 has better features for $ 20 less. Plus, the older 1More Stylish has similar features for a reasonable discount. But the Colorbuds have a design and features that make them more attractive than some much more expensive competitors.
How long will they last?
The Colorbuds have a one-year guarantee and an IPX5 rating for weather protection. I would be more concerned about losing a bud on the couch than damaging it.
Should you buy it?
Yes. For $ 100, the design, features, and sound of the 1More Colorbuds match the bright colors they’re dressed in. They are meant to be fun and fun for the budget conscious, and that is exactly what they are.