Page 3 - Subjective Audio Analysis
Reviewing audio devices require extensively trained ears and lots of experience. Even for audiophiles, it may prove challenging at times to obtain an accurate evaluation of a product without a thoroughly familiar product to use as a simultaneous reference. While I am not going to even try to claim that I am the only trustworthy or best reviewer for sound, it is fact that most computer review sites have editors who are insufficiently trained in reviewing audio equipment. Give them practically anything and all you will read about goes along the line of "good bass, nice midrange, awesome treble, really clear sound, 10/10". While there are many knowledgeable audio reviewers at various respected online media outlets, they are by far the minority.
As I have mentioned in my past audio reviews, there are really no true objective measurements for sound quality. As the reviewer, however, I will put it through a series of subjective tests to try to come up with the most objective rating possible. Yes, it sounds like a paradox. For all tests, I used an Apple iPhone X. This is a device that requires no introduction and will reduce its potential to be a limiting factor in our auditioning.
After over 50 hours of break-in time -- well above typically required period -- we put the 1MORE ColorBuds True Wireless to the tests. All tracks are high bitrate AAC or LAME encoded MP3s.
I have to admit testing these earphones and evaluating them accurately was challenging. I started with one of my favorite headphones, the V-MODA XS, to calibrate my ears before and after the tests to ensure my auditioning results were correct. My comparison with the 1MORE Stylish True Wireless was the biggest challenge. It was clear they were both made by the same manufacturer and tuned for the same goals, which made technical listening very hard. However, after a very extended trial, I could conclusively tell the difference between the two, even though the difference was not significant.
To start off, I have to say I really appreciate the 1MORE ColorBuds True Wireless' fast pairing speed, since it starts the process right after you open the case lid. Once I put them on, I noticed the sound character of ColorBuds True Wireless was generally neutral overall. This means it is more neutral than the Stylish True Wireless, which has a very slight V for a hint of enhanced punchiness. I generally like neutral sounding products, so score one for this.
To get into the technical details, let us break it down into the "big three", which is the bass, midrange, and treble. The bass of the 1MORE ColorBuds True Wireless is pretty much neutral, which makes sense, given its neutral sound signature. I found the bass to be consistently deep, round, and solid in the music I listened to. Its consistently smooth and defined low frequencies are well-articulated.
The midrange was good overall with its natural sounding output. I found the thickness to be moderate and the sound to be decently warm with acceptable saturation, richness, and smoothness. There is a slight enhancement on the upper midrange for increased vocal clarity like the Stylish True Wireless. However, the ColorBuds True Wireless sounded moderately richer, a bit more defined, and slightly better saturated than the Stylish True Wireless. All these were hard to notice at first, but once you compare them side-by-side, the difference became more apparent. The treble is also boosted just slightly above neutral; which remained clean, clear, and sharp in pretty much every scenario I have tested these earphones in. The tightness and immediacy were good, but the 1MORE ColorBuds True Wireless does not have a whole lot of energy or brightness in this realm. That said, both its energy and brightness are slightly improved compared to the Stylish True Wireless. Wetness and crispness can be increased along with better depth, but in the grand scheme of things, the treble is still pretty good.
One thing the 1MORE ColorBuds True Wireless suffers from, and this is no different than the Stylish True Wireless, is a mostly narrow soundstage in both depth and width. The full-range balanced armature drivers found in the ColorBuds True Wireless are a bit better than the Stylish True Wireless, but the difference in this area is very minimal.
Closing off with the auxiliary auditioning results, the imaging of the 1MORE ColorBuds True Wireless was realistic; staying mostly faithful to the original production or recording. The layers were produced with a great amount of detail. The resolution is good across the range, as it picked up most things in a quality encoded track. In complicated and messy situations, these earphones managed to retain small details well. Deriving from this, the frequency separation is decent. Details were well reproduced thanks to its clear and defined output. The entire spectrum was a smooth gradient with no immediately apparent banding effects, making it sound cohesive. The sound is clean and smooth across the range. Generally speaking, you will not be disappointed in these areas with the ColorBuds True Wireless.
The 1MORE ColorBuds True Wireless are closed in-ear monitors and comes with four different-sized sleeves for maximum compatibility. The earphones exhibited an excellent fit in my ears and sound isolation was good regardless of the environment I was in. As I have mentioned on the previous page, when I am running, these do not lose its seal easily. It has never come close to falling out of my ears no matter how hard I tried either. The 1MORE ColorBuds True Wireless does not have significant background hissing noise when turned on, which is a pleasant surprise because this a common problem found in wireless earphones.
In terms of lag, I did not notice any significant delay. Audio appeared to be properly synchronized to videos I was watching on my iPhone X. The microphone worked very well in calls. I tested it my calling my friend while I was going on a walk, and she reported it sounded like I was speaking directly into the microphone, which is excellent. The noise canceling feature also worked as intended. Distant background noise like neighbors mowing the lawn was not heard in the call, and sound from passing cars were mostly blocked. The ColorBuds True Wireless can also handle low to moderate wind. However, once wind speed increases, the microphone will end up canceling out your voice along with the wind. Overall, I am quite pleased with the microphone performance.
The company estimates the battery to last around 6 hours on a single charge at 50% volume. I got 7 hours and 24 minutes at 50% volume from my tests, which considerably exceeds the rated specifications. The rated wireless range is about 10 meters, and from my tests, this is very underestimated. The maximum line of sight distance I was able to get, measured by a LIDAR device, was 67.1m. During normal usage, I have never experienced any wireless inconsistency issues paired to my Apple iPhone X.
Overall, I am quite pleased with the audio performance of the 1MORE ColorBuds True Wireless. I thoroughly enjoyed them, and I use them as my daily driver. I found both its audio performance and comfort to be an improvement compared to the Stylish True Wireless. That said, if you already own the Stylish True Wireless and its form factor does not bother you, then the ColorBuds True Wireless should not send you running to the store.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Subjective Audio Analysis