After having a brief encounter with the 1MORE Stylish True Wireless in-ear headphones late last year we’ve been searching for an experience that was comparable.
The Galaxy Buds Live offered a great listening experience but the form factor meant that my weird ears weren’t suited for them. Recently we reviewed the Taotronics SoundLiberty 53 earbuds which were good but some corners were cut in that product to keep the cost down.
Today we’re back with 1MORE and its ColorBuds (yes, the spelling makes our eye twitch as well) which are currently available over on Takealot for R1 825. This is below what Samsung is charging for its beans and after two weeks we’re rather pleased with the ColorBuds which do fit in our ears and rather comfortably.
Inside the buds
Inside you’ll find a Qualcomm Bluetooth chip as well as the aptX algorithm which makes a return in the ColorBuds. This ensures audio fidelity isn’t compromised as it travels from your device to the buds. The technology works to an extent but you’re not getting pure lossless audio though for most people the listening experience is comparable to wired cans.
Bluetooth 5.0 is supported here so that you have a more stable connection and you can walk up to 11m (line of sight) before you start to notice the audio quality suffering.
In terms of power you will find a 410mAh battery in the charging case and 55mAh batteries in each of the earbuds.
There are also touch controls but they are a bit odd at first glance. To answer an incoming call, for instance, you need to double-tap either of the earbuds. The same gesture ends a call. To bring up your virtual assistant you can tap thrice and when music is playing you can double tap to play or pause.
This means that you are less likely to skip or pause music as you adjust the fit of the ColorBuds but the functionality is incredibly limited compared to the Taotronics SoundLiberty53 which are half the price.
The microphone in the ColorBuds are actually four microphones that use noise cancelling to make you clearer on the phone when you are in a loud environment.
Out of the box the ColorBuds are decently balanced. We did notice that lower frequencies are favoured when switching between Equalizer APO and the stock settings. If you love bass this is fine but if you aren’t a fan of having your eardrums blasted with thunderous tones, maybe use a graphic equaliser to adjust the ColorBuds.
The sound stage is rather wide but it’s not all that deep. This is most noticeable in rock and metal where oftentimes bass and drums can become blended in with each other. This is not an issue in pop music and hip-hop though here bass can be overpowering at times.
When these earbuds are at full volume you can hear nothing around you unless the environment is particularly loud, which we can’t speak to given we’re working from the quietness of our homes these days.
The microphone experience is fine but the limitations of Bluetooth microphones mean that these aren’t replacing a wired microphone just yet. That having been said, the quality is good enough for Zoom calls and the like.
1MORE claims that ColorBuds will net you six hours of life between hour longs stays in the charging case to juice up.
That holds true so long as you aren’t pushing the gain on these earbuds like we did. At a 5dB gain we managed 5 hours and some change of power. The buds charge up in just an hour and you will be able to do this dance three times before the charging case needs to be charged up.
This is rather good battery life and should keep you plugged into your tunes for an entire day.
The charging case uses a USB Type C connector and can be fully charged in an hour and a half.
The sound quality of the 1MORE ColorBuds is excellent and on par with far more expensive beans on the market at the moment.
The form factor is nice and something we didn’t mention is that should you pull a bud out of your ear, the music will automatically pause until you put the bud back.
While R1 899 is a lot of money, the ColorBuds Pro are more than half the price of Apple’s AirPods and Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live and quite honestly the sound quality is fantastic.
We would’ve liked some better functionality as regards the touch controls and perhaps 1MORE can consider adding this in future iterations.
As these are though, good job 1MORE.