Cases And Accessories

1More ColorBuds 2 Assessment: Enhance The Stake With ANC

1More ColorBuds 2

RRP $ 80.00

“A great set of buds is now even better with ANC and at a lower price.”

advantages

  • Very convenient

  • Great sound with SoundID personalization

  • Good call quality

  • Good ANC

  • Wireless charging

disadvantage

  • Limited control

  • No EQ settings

  • Mediocre transparency mode

1More wired and wireless earbuds usually offer great sound at low prices. For a while, it was one of the few brands that did this reliably and offered an excellent alternative to Apple’s iconic but expensive true wireless earbuds. But now there are tons of cheap, high quality options from companies like Wyze, JLab, Soundcore, EarFun, and Skullcandy. Even Jabra is now making a range of buds for well under $ 100, which means 1More needs to find new ways to stand out from the crowd.

The new ColorBuds 2 are an attempt to do that, with an attractive price point ($ 80) and several in-demand features like Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), wireless charging, and personalized sound profiles. Do these new buds go far enough? Let’s check them out.

What’s in the box?

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

It was good to see that 1More has gotten better with its packaging lately. While there are no magnetic closures on the box and no foam inside, there is still some plastic to deal with. Inside you will find the earbuds, their charging case, a USB-A to USB-C charging cable and silicone earbuds in four sizes (the medium-sized ones are pre-installed).

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Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

It’s pretty hard to tell the difference between the ColorBuds 2 and the original ColorBuds. It’s nice to see that 1More kept the same size and shape for the earbuds and charging case – we really appreciated the originals, so why fix what isn’t broken?

The rounded contours and egg-shaped case feel smooth, and our black review unit has a nice satin finish that sets it apart from a sea of ​​glossy white and matte black products. The buds are easy to pull out of the case, and the magnets are just strong enough to lock them back in securely and hold them in place.

The touch controls can be fussy, but the ColorBuds 2 are responsive.

In keeping with the topic of consistency, the ColorBuds 2 adhere to the IPX5 water resistance of the original, which should offer sufficient protection against sweat or occasional splashing water. In fact, the biggest change cannot be seen at all: the egg-shaped charging case now supports Qi wireless charging.

Comfort, controls and connections

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

The rounded shape of the ColorBuds 2 is not just for the look. In addition, it is very comfortable to wear. Unlike stem-based headphones or earplugs with large main bodies (ahem, Sony WF-1000XM4), nothing prevents the ColorBuds from sliding as far into your ear as you need to, balancing a good seal with avoiding it finding unwanted pressure.

The touch controls can be fussy, but the ColorBuds 2 are responsive. The large surface area helps ensure contact, but the shape of the case also makes it easy to grip the earbuds without accidentally triggering these controls.

I’m no longer a skeptic – SoundID works on the ColorBuds 2.

Unfortunately, 1More is a bit stingy when it comes to control gestures. You get a double tap and a triple tap on each earbud as well as a long squeeze gesture. That sounds enough until you get into the 1More Music app and find that you have some tough decisions to make. The long press isn’t customizable – it always controls toggling between ANC and transparency modes – and the other two gestures can’t be set for each earbud. You have to choose from control groups: play / pause, skip tracks, volume and voice control. Select any two. I don’t see why 1More ditched the single tap idea, but I’ve seen this on other true wireless earbuds. As strange as it is, it’s not a problem unique to the ColorBuds.

On the other hand, you get in-ear detection with customizable auto-pause – when you pull out an earbud you can choose to pause and resume the music when you put the earbud back in, just pause, or do nothing at all.

Pairing the headphones is easy on both Android and iOS. Simply open the bluetooth control panel, then open the charging case and select the ColorBuds when they appear in the list of available devices. Once paired, it’s a reliable connection that also extends a good distance – I was able to place 9m between them and my Pixel 5 even with two walls in the way. This is significantly better than our experience with the original ColorBuds, but maybe that’s because of an upgrade from Bluetooth 5.0 to 5.2.

Sound quality

Out of the box, the ColorBuds 2 have a pleasant, balanced sound signature with a lot of deep bass, clear mids and high frequencies. You also have the option of improving the acoustics by setting up a SoundID profile.

SoundID, developed by Sonarworks, combines the specific acoustic properties of a set of earphones like the ColorBuds with your personal hearing. It does this by walking you through a short series of A / B comparisons in which you indicate your preference for one of two different sounds (or neither if you can’t tell the difference). Once the test is complete, SoundID will use your settings to adjust the ColorBuds’ EQ.

I’ve tried the SoundID system on other products like the Beats Solo 3 and wasn’t very impressed with the results, but that was an app-based version of SoundID that delivered customized sound to otherwise normal headphones. For the ColorBuds 2, 1More put the SoundID tweaks into the earbuds themselves, and I think it makes a huge difference.

Enabling ANC can make all the difference in whether or not you are listening to your podcasts with ease.

For me, turning on SoundID not only improved the overall sound quality, it also expanded the soundstage and created better stereo imaging. I’m not quite at the point where I think all headphones and earphones should have SoundID, but I’m no longer a skeptic – it works with the ColorBuds 2.

Unfortunately, 1More has effectively outsourced EQ control to SoundID. If you don’t like the factory sound signature, all you can do is set up SoundID and hope you prefer the results – there is no other way to adjust the EQ manually or through presets.

It’s also worth noting that the ColorBuds 2 support both aptX and aptX Adaptive, two of Qualcomm’s Bluetooth codecs that can deliver higher quality audio than SBC or AAC. The catch is, your phone has to support them. Unfortunately, iPhones don’t support Qualcomm codecs, and support for aptX Adaptive is still limited to a handful of Android models.

Noise cancellation and transparency

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Considering their price tag of under $ 100, the ColorBuds 2 have very good noise cancellation. It’s not the kind of cone effect you get from something like the AirPods Pro or the Bose QuietComfort earbuds, but it’s just as good and maybe even slightly better than other earbuds in the same price range as the Soundcore Life P3 and the Earfun Air Pro.

Noises like the roar of a loud fan aren’t eliminated, but are greatly reduced, and in a noisy environment like a gym with ambient music and the noises of treadmills, turning on ANC can make all the difference in whether or not you’re listening to your podcasts with ease.

The transparency mode, on the other hand, is weak. Compared to ANC mode, you will definitely hear more of your surroundings, but your voice will still be quite muffled.

Switching between the two modes is easy – a long press on one of the earbuds is enough.

Battery life

The battery life of the ColorBuds 2 is six hours for the earphones when the ANC is switched on and a total of 18 hours when you include the charging case. This goes up to eight and 24 hours if you stay in transparency mode (which counts as “ANC off”). When listening at 50% volume, these numbers are spot on.

It’s not the kind of massive endurance we’ve seen in some earbuds (with up to 15 hours on a charge), but it will still get you through a full day of listening, which is really all most people need. If you run out of juice, a quick charge option gives you two additional hours of running time with just 15 minutes in the charging case.

Call quality

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Telephoning with the ColorBuds 2 is generally good. In quiet places, your voice comes through very clearly and with almost no compression. If it gets a little louder, that may change as the earbuds try to cancel out certain noises, which can cause wobbling and distortion. Unless you’re trying to hold a business meeting next to an active construction zone, you should be getting perfectly acceptable calls.

Our opinion

With a compact and comfortable design, good sound quality, and ANC that greatly reduces unwanted noise, this is it 1More ColorBuds 2 are very good value for money considering the price is under $ 100.

Is there a better alternative?

You’ll have to spend a lot more to get a set of earbuds that beat the ColorBuds 2, but there are still some great alternatives for the same price:

  • Soundcore Life P3, $ 80: Longer battery life, adjustable EQ, more controls, but no in-ear detection.
  • Earfun Air Pro, $ 80: Longer battery life, better sound quality out of the box, better transparency mode, but no controls or EQ adjustment, and no wireless charging.

How long will they last?

With an IPX5 rating, they shouldn’t have a problem with moisture and rain, and the ColorBuds 2 appear to be well built using high quality materials. I suspect they will last as long or longer than other earbuds at this price point. The company supports its products with a one-year guarantee.

Should you buy it?

Yes, especially if you are looking for a very comfortable set of earbuds that sound great and offer decent noise cancellation.

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