A secure bet in the sub-premium TWS segment
The San Diego-based audio brand 1MORE, the most popular for their critically acclaimed piston-fit earphones, has returned with their second product to the growing real wireless market. Dubbed 1MORE Colorbuds, the company’s new-gen genuine wireless earbuds are available in four different colors (Twilight Gold, Sakura Pink, Spearmint Green and Midnight Black) and strive to combine good audio quality with a dash style. The black color variant is the most discerning of them all and we got it for review. Other color variants look lively, though not too glamorous with pastel tones. The earphones include some upgrades from the company’s previous pair of TWS earphones, the 1MORE Stylish True Wireless Earbud. The design has been streamlined, Touch Control has replaced Physical, and USB Type-C charging is now supported. Setting aside the attractive shades of colorbuds and setting aside some improvements over its predecessors, let’s see if colorbuds can deliver an impressive audio performance with the technology packed in these relatively tiny buds.
Construction and comfort
1MORE has streamlined the colorblind design as it is smaller in size and shape than its predecessor. The earbuds have improved ergonomics which has led to the removal of the ear fins which further streamlines the overall design. During our testing, we found the colorbars to be light weight, highly ergonomic, and reliable when it came to overall fit. Add three extra pairs of silicone tips to the box and you’ll find a great fit for almost every user out there.
The earbuds, each weighing just 4.1g, fit better with an angled nozzle in a smooth, matte texture. Earphones are one of the safest pairs we have ever tested. They get stuck even during intense activities like running or gym without breaking a sweat. Speaking of sweat, the IPX5 rating of these earphones ensures that they can break a sweat during a workout and even withstand a light splash.
There are 1 more logos in the housing behind the bud. This area acts as a touchpad for buds through which users can control music playback and calls. Touch controls are limited by default. A double-tap on any of the buds pauses / plays while a triple-tap calls your device’s voice assistant. 1MORE has also added an auto-pause / resume feature that activates when you remove the buds from your ear and return them respectively. This feature works extremely well, however, the same cannot be said for touch controls, which sometimes fail to read input, accidentally register touches, or sometimes perform different actions than input.
Since the break / play can be controlled by moving the earphones back and forth, we chose to customize the double-tap controls to skip the tracks (right) and go to the previous track (left) which can be done via 1MORE app we have voice assistant control. I also opted for volume control with triple-tap instead. So, while the default functions are limited, you can customize them to your liking through the app. Customizable controls are a Nifty feature and we were delighted to add track looking and volume controls. However, we want 1MORE users to be allowed access to single-tap controls as well. This will give users another way to control pause / play instead of just auto-pause / play feature, if you, like us, switch out the double-tap control for something else.
Now, when the earbuds finally get into the charging case, they feel a bit weak, especially in the grip of the case. Also, the case doesn’t feel as premium as some competitors like Lyptertek Tevi and Jabra Elite 75t. If you prefer a glossy finish, the round design is nice to look at, and it can stand up straight. These are fairly pocketable but can be a bit swollen from the pocket of tight women’s jeans. The front of the case has a small battery indicator LED while the back has a Type-C charging port.
Overall, you’ll be having a hard time finding a pair of truly wireless earphones with a better fit than the Colorbud. However, we hope that the next true wireless earphones from 1MORE will refine the responsiveness and accuracy of the touch panel as Colorbuds’ touch panel has at times proved to be quite unreliable.
Priced at Rs 7,999, 1MORE Colorbuds offers a fair number of features, however, don’t expect features like ANC and Ambient Sound at this price point though some earphones like Oppo Enco W51 and Realme Buds Air Pro offer these. Features below 5K. 1MORE offers more refined sound and its resources are allocated to ensure good sound reproduction and excellent fit. Still, you get features like IPX5 sweat and water resistance, customizable touch controls and auto-pause / play, as mentioned above, which is quite decent.
Powered by Bluetooth v5.0, you get a pretty decent wireless range of 10m or 33 feet. In real life, the connection stays strong if we move to a cell next to the source device, but more than that, the connection starts to break. Bluetooth 5.0 also ensures that there is no unexpected lag and skip in the audio. Earbuds support aptX and AAC for streaming on Android and iOS devices. The inclusion of the APTX codec means smoother streaming and somewhat better sound and wireless connectivity to Android devices. The latency is also quite low. On streaming services like YouTube and Netflix, there were rarely significant delays between audio and video.
In addition, buds support mono mode, where one bud can be used independently of the other. However, the buds take a little longer than usual to register the mono mode and the music stops when you put a bud in the case. The other bud then reconnects and then you have to restart the music playback manually, which is a bit tedious. Unfortunately, Bluetooth Multipoint (the ability to connect two devices at the same time) is missing in these buds.
Finally, coming to the app, there is no customizable EQ available, which is an annoying one. You can only customize the controls, enable or disable smart playback (auto-pause / play) and update the firmware via the app.
From wired headphones like the 1MORE Piston Fit to truly wireless like the 1MORE Stylish, the company is well-respected for its admirable audio performance for its powerful driver, good codec support and professional tuning of Grammy Award-winning sound engineers. , Luca Begnardi. Colorbuds builds that legacy by offering attractive sound at alluring Sub 10K price points. The buds are not overly strong, which means they manage to store a lot of detail in the middle and height.
The full range of balanced armatures with colorbars, of course, make mistakes on the lower side, but they are in no way muddy or distorted. Amped up low and bass reactions are evident on EDM, pop and Bollywood tracks, and there is some audible masking in the middle due to exaggerated logos. However, midges are not suppressed by themselves, so they do not have hollow-sounding vocals and lead instruments in their earbuds.
Tracks such as Stains By I won There are full-volume voices despite the slightly heavier drum beat. However, on the same track, when the whole array of instruments arrives at the same time, the voices may lose some detail. So, these are by no means audiophile-grade earphones, but they do have enough elements and character that can be enjoyed across a wide range of styles.
There is also solid stereo separation which is evident on the tracks The hunter By Bjork. Passive isolation further enhances the base rumble of the bud and the background noise decreases significantly with the stellar fit.
In terms of call quality, Colorbuds uses four microphones combined with cVc 8.0 ENC (Environmental Noise Cancellation) technology, which provides quite decent microphone performance. During the call, our voices sounded clear and distinct, and the background sounds muted significantly. Note that due to COVID-19, we could not test the call in a noisy environment like a train station.
Unfortunately, Battery Life is a place where new colorbeds lag behind its predecessor, the 1MORE Stylish. While the stylish single charge provides 6.5 hours of continuous playback on earbuds, Colorbuds reduces that number to half an hour. The earbud has a rated battery life of 6 hours, while the total battery life including the charging case is a respectable 22 hours.
In our experiments, we were able to get about 5 hours and 45 minutes of playback from a single charge with a 60 percent volume set. The charging case was able to completely bud out twice and reach about 50 percent before the third time the juice ran out. These figures are strictly decent in 2020, especially since we have competitors like Lypertek Tevi that have a total battery life of 70 hours! Still, 24 hours of total battery life by 2020 is standard, and Colorbuds moves closer to that desired figure.
The buds are equipped with fast charging capability, where if you keep them in the case for only 15 minutes you will get two hours of play time. To fully charge the buds, you need to keep the buds in its case for about an hour and 10 minutes. If battery life is important to you, then you might want to use devices like Lypertek Tevi or Sony WF-SP800N. Although the latter is significantly more expensive, you will receive ANC as an added bonus.
The last row
If you are looking for a reliable pair of true wireless earphones below 10K, 1MORE Colorbuds is a pretty safe bet. Especially now, since the buds have been given a discount of Rs 5,999, which is 2K deducted from the original price of Rs 7,999. The buds sound great, the fit is great, they come with aptX support and an IPX5 rating. However, if you are looking for something with more balanced sound output and battery life then Lypertek Tevi is a great choice for you. Honestly, it’s a toss up here and it comes down further for personal preference. If you prefer a few more ‘omph’ in low and base responses, go for 1 more colorbud, and if not, you’ll probably want to look at other options.