In case you haven't checked in a while, there are a lot of wireless earbuds on the market these days. 1MORE is trying to make finding a set a bit easier by offering earbuds that combine as many desirable features into a bank account-friendly package — and the 1MORE ColorBuds 2 are an excellent example of that goal.
The first round of the 1MORE ColorBuds from 2020 got a lot of things right. There wasn't much that needed to be changed in a second version with a good price, very comfortable to wear, and solid battery life in tow. So, 1MORE kept the fan-favorite parts of last year's model and made a few key adjustments to give even more bang for the buck in the ColorBuds 2. How do these changes pan out in everyday usage? Let's get into it.
Bottom line: The 1MORE ColorBuds are more than just comfortable earbuds. They bring great features like ANC and SoundID audio personalization to the budget category allowing everyone to enjoy quality audio without breaking the bank.
- Comfortable for long periods of wear
- ANC and passthrough modes have been added
- Great price
- Solid battery life
- Customizable sound profile
- ANC is just OK
- SoundID is required to adjust the audio profile
- Touch controls are a little finicky
1MORE ColorBuds2: Price and availability
The 1MORE ColorBuds2 were released on September 21, 2021, through both Amazon and the 1MORE websites. The wireless earbuds have a launch price of $79.99 and come in three colors — Midnight Black, Frost White, and Twilight Gold.
1MORE ColorBuds2: What's good
As I started unboxing the 1MORE ColorBuds2, one of the first things that I noticed was how compact and comfortable the case was. I know it may sound strange to say that the case is comfortable, but it is. The rounded pebble-like shape is not only nice to hold but fits well in a pocket. I thought if the case was this nice, I couldn't wait to put in the earbuds. So, I popped the charging case onto one of the excellent wireless charging pads I own to juice the ColorBuds2 up.
After about an hour, the case and earbuds were fully charged, and I was excited to give them a listen. Thankfully, my hopes for earbuds as comfy as the case were realized. The ColorBuds2 are lightweight and have a nice shape that nestled its way into my ear canal just right. Whether it was sitting at my desk — and because the earbuds are IPX5 sweat-resistant, working out — I never felt like the earbuds were going to get wiggled out of my ear.
|Earbud Dimensions||27 × 21 × 20 mm|
|Case Dimensions||60 × 30 × 38 mm|
|Earbud Weight||4.9 g|
|Case Weight||34.5 g|
|Earbud Battery||55 mAh|
|Case Battery||410 mAh|
|Playtime (ANC on)||6hrs Earbud
|Playtime (ANC off)||8hrs Earbud
|Water and Dust resistance||IPX5|
Wireless charging case
I love to listen to music, and I listen to a wide variety through various means. Whether it's in my truck, through my phone, on my Nest Hub Max, or on a pair of wireless earbuds, there's always tunes flowing. But I'm also particular about the tone quality for what I'm listening to, and one of the features included on the ColorBuds2 is SoundID.
Out of the box, the 1MORE ColorBuds2 sounds very flat, and the audio is bland. However, after downloading the 1MORE app and connecting to the earbuds, you can take a test with SoundID to tune the earbuds for your ears. The test is a bit like when going to the optometrist and you're asked if one or two is clearer. Here, choose from one of the preloaded audio tracks and then choose whether you prefer A or B.
After doing this a few times, SoundID will build an audio profile based on your choices. From then on, unless you choose to disable the feature, everything you listen to on the ColorBuds 2 will be tuned to your preferred listening style. SoundID works regardless if you are using the new QuietMax active noise canceling or the passthrough mode.
Yes, you read that right. These are $80 earbuds that not only have a personalizable sound profile but also offer ANC. 1MORE's QuietMax ANC accompanies that passive noise cancelation from the excellent fit by reducing up to 25dB of ambient noise. There are a lot of great wireless earbuds with ANC, but looking at the best cheap wireless earbuds — few have ANC and fewer with customizable sound profiles.
Something that I was pleasantly surprised with was the battery life offered by these little earbuds. Rated at 6 hours of playback with ANC on and 8 hours with it disabled, I was able to get those times consistently. The case can also deliver a full 24 hours of use when not using ANC or 18 hours if active noise cancelation is enabled. But even better is that with only a 15 minute charge, the ColorBuds2 can provide 2 hours of listening.
1MORE ColorBuds2: What's not good
The 1MORE ColorBuds2 have a whole lot going for them. They are very comfortable and have a great feature set for the price, but a few areas could be improved. To me, the area that could use a bit more polish is the SoundID feature.
The ability to set multiple sound profiles via SoundID would be fantastic — but it's not possible.
Firstly, SoundID is not a 1MORE product; instead, these two companies partnered on the ColorBuds 2. But for as much as the feature adds to the audio quality, I would like the ability to tweak a few things manually. The only way to change that tuning for the earbuds is by taking the test within the SoundID feature from within the 1MORE app. This means that if you like a different sound based on different genres of music, you have to redo the test each time.
Creating multiple profiles for different audio types would be great, but that's not an option. It would also be helpful if there were a way to manually make changes to the profile created from the SoundID test. I couldn't get the tuning perfect for my taste as I felt the mids were always lacking, and a basic equalizer would help fine-tune the sound for the ColorBuds2.
I am glad to see ANC make its way into the budget category of wireless earbuds, and the implementation in the ColorBuds2 is OK. While I would like the option to disable ANC, the only option for it is on or passthrough mode. The active noise cancellation is noticeable and doesn't make me feel like I'm in a bubble, but it will not block out everything.
In my office, I have a window AC unit directly behind my monitor, and thanks to the Kansas summer heat, it runs a lot. When I need to focus, I rely on good ANC to block out that sound. The ColorBuds2 tone it down but not completely out. But keeping in mind, these are $80 earbuds and not the super high-end Sony WF-1000XM4 or the mid-range Samsung Galaxy Buds 2, it's acceptable.
1MORE ColorBuds2: Competition
When looking at competitive earbuds that can bring similar features at this price, it's a shortlist. One of the first options that come to mind is the Creative Outlier Air V3. Thanks to the comfortable fit, excellent battery life, and active noise reduction, these earbuds a worth a look. While there isn't full ANC, the noise reduction feature blocks some ambient noises, and that's better than nothing — especially at $60.
Creative did manage to include an ambient mode for the earbuds and wireless charging into the case that's a bit on the bulky side. What isn't available is SoundID for custom tuning the audio, but Creative does have Super X-Fi. This aims to provide a 360-degree sound stage, but sadly it isn't widely available.
Another great alternative are the Anker Soundcore Life P3 earbuds. The standout features here are the better than anticipated ANC and good sound quality. The stem design of these earbuds also allows for good microphone pickup for both calls and the ANC mentioned above.
While the overall audio quality is good, the drivers suffer from the same mid-range weakness that befalls the ColorBuds2. Anker offers the Soundcore app to adjust many of the earbuds' features, including an EQ for audio tuning. But if you prefer a more automated approach to adjusting the sound, the SoundID option with the ColorBuds2 will be your best bet.
1MORE ColorBuds2: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want earbuds that you can wear comfortably for hours
- You want to automate the audio tuning of your earbuds
- You want active noise cancelation on a budget
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You want the ability to fine-tune your audio manually
- You need the ANC to block out ambient noises completely
The 1MORE ColorBuds2 offer a very compelling package for the price. The inclusion of ANC and sound that can be personalized to your ears, all into a compact and comfortable earbud, is something to appreciate. But if you need ANC that will save you from the annoyance of outside noises, or you need to be able to make individual adjustments to your earbuds' audio tuning — these aren't for you.
In a world where earbuds are seemingly everywhere, 1MORE is doing a great job of making a niche for itself. It's doing so by bringing features usually reserved for higher-priced earbuds to a more affordable sector. A wireless charging case that provides up to 24-hours of playback and offers quick-charge capability is largely underrated.
However, the ANC could be better, and adding a few more audio tuning options would be nice. But when taking in the fact that the ColorBuds2 are some of the most comfortable earbuds I've ever worn and that ANC is even available with automated audio personalization of SoundID — it's hard to fault these $80 earbuds too much.
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