1More ColorBuds 2 hands-on: seriously good earbuds for less than $100!

1More ColorBuds 2 hands-on: seriously good earbuds for less than $100!

Then, a second, much deeper test determines how well you hear different frequencies. In the end, it produces a sound that is fine-tuned not only to your specific tastes, but the characteristics of your ears as well.

To give us a chance to test the fruits of their labor, 1More sent us a pair of the new 1More ColorBuds 2 — affordable true wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation, enhanced with SoundID technology. And test them we did!

The Christmas Sale is on!

1More ColorBuds 2 design and fit

Upon first opening the packaging of the ColorBuds 2, you have a feeling you are in for something special. Their charging case is tiny, soft, and pleasant to the touch, and its flap opens and shuts with a solid, reassuring clack.The buds themselves look unique — they don’t try to mimic anything I know of. Their shape is slimmed down, they look a bit aggressive and high-tech.

The ColorBuds 2 come with a total of 4 different-sized ear tips, which I really do appreciate. I am the kind of person who has one of two issues with earbuds — either they don’t stay in place in one of my ears, or they do but they cause fatigue and pain after a couple of hours.

With the ColorBuds 2, I had neither of those issues — these are among the most comfortable in-ear buds I’ve tried.

The earbuds have touchpads on their outer shells, allowing you to control your media playback. And this is where I have my first complaint with these earbuds — the touchpads are not very sensitive and often don’t register a gesture. Ultimately, I preferred controlling playback through my phone.

1More ColorBuds 2 sound quality

If you get the 1More ColorBuds 2, you absolutely need to download the 1More Music app, which holds the SoundID sound personalization suite tailored for the ColorBuds 2.

See, on their own, the ColorBuds 2 don’t sound very special — they are kind of flat, tinny, and not even very wide-sounding. They are made to be fed that SoundID virtualization before they can truly shine.

So, what happens once you go through the 1More Music SoundID suite? Well, the earbuds started sounding much wider and deeper, for sure — I would absolutely not use them with SoundID off.

You may want to take the SoundID test a couple of times, just to get yourself acquainted with how it works and how it enhances your results. It takes about a minute and makes a world of difference. Sadly, the enhanced SoundID hearing test (which can be found in the standalone SoundID app) is not available for 1More just yet, just the preference test. The good news is that the hearing test will be coming in 2022, meaning that the ColorBuds 2 will be able to provide the full SoundID experience.The earbuds do improve a lot once you go through the simple SoundID preference test. But they still suffer a bit in the higher regions — the higher mids sound a bit overcompressed and squished, the highs don’t seem to have much air to them. I am very curious to see if I will hear more improvement when the hearing test comes on.

But even now, considering that the ColorBuds 2 can typically be picked up for around $79, I really can’t complain too much. I am not sure there are truly-wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation in the sub-$100 range that sound as good and fit as well. Usually, they are tinny, ice-picky, and annoying.

The ColorBuds 2 have a solid, soft bass and don’t sound harsh. While they are not the best-sounding earbuds I’ve tried, I absolutely didn’t mind listening to music through them for hours at a time.

The Christmas Sale is on!

1More ColorBuds 2 noise-cancellation

You have two modes to pick from — noise-cancelling or pass-through. I’d say the noise-cancellation is a bit light, not very aggressive. It silences out the hum of my air conditioner pretty well, but sounds above the low-mid region get through it.

That’s barely a problem while listening to music and maybe 1More chose to go light here because aggressive noise-cancellation can also mess up the quality of the music.

The pass-through mode works well enough — it’s slightly muffled in the top end, but you can hear what’s going on around you pretty well nonetheless. It doesn’t compete with playing music very well — when using pass-through, you will probably choose to dial the volume down or pause your track for a few seconds.

The 1More Music app

A couple of words about the app — it’s a pretty straightforward experience, which takes care of the core features. You can customize what tapping on the earbud touchpads does, you can monitor battery levels, and there’s even a “Smart burn-in” feature, which you can enable to “break-in” your fresh earphones before using them.The one thing I truly missed in the 1More app is profile and cloud save. See, I already have a SoundID profile and it would’ve been cool if I could download it here instead of re-doing it. And also — I switched through a few phones and tablets while testing the 1More ColorBuds 2, it would’ve been nice if I can move my profile from one device to the next instead of having to re-take the test.

I did find that if you enable your profile from one device, it “stays” with the headphones even if you pair them to a different one, just the software doesn’t reflect this.

Also, as noted above, the SoundID suite in the 1More app is still a bit basic — but promises have been made that it will be fleshed-out in 2022.

Final words and verdict

Overall, I do believe that these are very solid buds for $79. Their design is comfortable, the case is compact and features wireless charging, and their sound is OK. They are great to pick up if you are looking for a pair of wireless buds that don’t break the piggy bank, or as a gift for someone that needs their own. Personally, I’d keep them in my tech bag without a doubt.

And with 1More’s Christmas Sale going on right now, these are basically a steal at $69.59.

The Christmas Sale is on!

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