“You won’t be amazed by the sound quality, but they are tiny, comfortable and affordable.”
Tiny charging case
Good call quality
Fast and reliable coupling
Auto play / pause
Some functions still require phone access
Mediocre sound quality
Bad battery life
No wireless charging
Most of the true wireless earbuds you can find there share a common design: they seal your ear canal with silicone or rubber earbuds. This is a good approach to sound quality. The more you can prevent external noise from entering the ear, the better the audio from the earbuds will sound. But it can also lead to fitting problems – especially if the company doesn’t offer a good range of earplugs. Then there are the people who just can’t stand the feeling of having something in their ears.
This is one of the main reasons Apple’s original AirPods continue to sell so well. They just sit in your outer ear and there is no twisting or fiddling with the earplugs required. At $ 149 (excluding wireless charging), AirPods aren’t exactly cheap, which has paved the way for lower-cost earbuds that offer the same functionality as the AirPods. The latest company to try this is 1More with $ 60 ComfoBuds. The name says it all: These affordable earbuds value comfort. But has 1More made a real AirPods alternative or just another discount? Let’s take a look.
What’s in the box?
In the simple white cardboard box you will find the ComfoBuds in their charging case, a USB-C charging cable and operating instructions. It’s mostly recyclable, with the exception of a layer of black foam on the lid of the top box. Before using the ComfoBuds, you must pull them out of the charging case so that you can remove some protective plastic strips from the charging contacts.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends
The ComfoBuds and their cover are available in black or white and are made of high-gloss plastic. Digital Trends received a black test device. If you look closely at the case, you’ll see tiny, subtle blue enamel flecks beneath the surface. It’s pretty noticeable, at least for the first few seconds after you open the box. After that, the glossy surface quickly turns into a fingerprint pizza, and you wonder why 1More didn’t include a microfiber cleaning cloth in the package.
Aside from stains, the ComfoBuds are incredibly compact. Instead of using Apple’s cigarette-box approach to vertically charging the AirPods in their case, 1More puts the ComfoBuds on their sides. This gives the case an elongated diamond shape, which is reinforced by gently rounded corners and edges.
All of that slippery, shiny plastic can make it difficult to free the buds from the case, but 1More suggests rolling the ComfoBuds towards you with your finger and that seems to work.
The buds happily snap back into their loading crevices with no effort and stay there until you need them.
True to its name, I found the ComfoBuds very convenient. Even after a few hours, I hardly noticed her.
The charging case lid is the only weak point. It feels thin and cheap, and doesn’t open very wide. Once opened, there is no notch in the hinge to hold it in place so it flutters around a bit. You can’t open it all the way while charging – something you have to do with the included cable as there is no wireless charging option.
Finally, 1More claims an IPX5 rating for the ComfoBuds, which is decent. That’s more than enough water repellent for sweaty workouts – just don’t immerse them in water.
Convenience, control and connections
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends
True to its name, I found the ComfoBuds very convenient. Even after a few hours, I hardly noticed her. The part that sits in your ear is shaped very similarly to the Apple AirPods, which in turn are similar to the company’s EarPods. If you’ve ever tried one of these other earbuds and found them comfortable, the ComfoBuds should feel great.
Tiny rubber seals are attached around the speaker openings, which are supposed to make the fit a little more secure, but didn’t make a big difference to me. That’s probably a good thing: if at some point they wear out and fall off, you won’t miss them.
The ComfoBuds have almost no mass, which means that they stay in position even during training – as long as your training is not too intense.
Like the vast majority of earbuds, the ComfoBuds currently use tap control. These can be fully customized in the 1More app with triggers for playback, call, volume, title and voice assistant. However, you only get two gestures per earbud: a double tap and a triple tap, which limits the possibilities of something on the earbuds themselves.
Taps are usually well known, but I found the response times to be a little slow. The gap between double tapping to play / pause and actually playing or pausing my iPhone was up to 2 seconds.
On the other hand, the automatic pause / play function (also configurable in the app) works like a charm and reacts immediately when you remove or reinsert an earbud.
Although the ComfoBuds can deliver a clear and precise sound, they suffer from a lack of deep bass.
The device coupling is another bright spot: Open the lid and the ComfoBuds are connected immediately. Bluetooth Multipoint would have been nice (to pair two devices at the same time), but as long as you originally paired the ComfoBuds with a second device – and they are not yet connected to the first device – they can switch back and forth as quickly as you can yours Toggle Bluetooth settings.
The Bluetooth range is a little less impressive. Indoors, I couldn’t get lost more than 20 feet before losing contact.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends
I mentioned earlier that the more you can prevent external noise from entering the ear, the better the audio from the earbuds will sound. Unfortunately, the opposite is also the case.
Although the ComfoBuds can deliver a clear and precise sound, they suffer from a lack of deep bass. When you are in a busy environment, some types of audio are difficult to hear.
My usual torture test for this is listening to my favorite podcasts while walking through busy streets. The ComfoBuds do a great job with spoken words, but these words are drowned out by outside noise.
Turning up the volume is usually the answer, but it can damage your hearing if you’re not careful. On the other hand, the earphones don’t get that loud. At 80% volume on my iPhone 11, I wish there was more electricity on tap.
But let’s put this into perspective. The AirPods aren’t particularly notable for their sound quality either, but they offer slightly better overall performance compared to the ComfoBuds. This is particularly noticeable at the lowest frequencies. If you’re not a big bass fan, this could be a perk for the ComfoBuds, and at least their semi-open design allows you to have a conversation without removing an earbud.
It is possible that the ComfoBuds would sound better if you could tweak their EQ, but the 1More app doesn’t currently offer that option.
Conclusion: The ComfoBuds are well suited for casual listening. However, if sound quality is your priority then you should definitely check out the many excellent earbuds at this price point that feature an in-ear canal design.
It’s a bit strange that a line of earbuds like the ComfoBuds, where long-term comfort is a priority, have been given batteries that only last four hours per charge. That puts them at the bottom of the true wireless earbuds category, and their charging case doesn’t help much – it only extends that playtime to 18 hours.
The call quality on the ComfoBuds is good. You will have no problem being understood.
This would have been easier to swallow if the ComfoBuds had a fast charging system like the AirPods, but not that lucky. It takes about 85 minutes to recharge the buds once they are dead.
Simon Cohen / Digital Trends
The call quality on the ComfoBuds is good. Most competing sounds are suppressed very effectively, wind noise doesn’t seem to be picked up much, and your voice, while not crystal clear, is certainly clear enough that you will have no problem being heard.
The highly deployable 1More ComfoBuds are a very affordable AirPods alternative with great convenience for those who hate the feel of silicone earbuds. They won’t please audiophiles, and their batteries will barely get you through a day, but as long as these drawbacks aren’t deal breakers to you, the ComfoBuds are definitely worth considering.
Is there a better alternative?
Since the ComfoBuds are semi-open true wireless earbuds, it is not appropriate to compare them to earbuds that use a closed design. And while it’s certainly possible to buy half-open earbuds with better sound quality, battery life, and features like wireless charging, you’ll have to pay well over $ 60.
If you’re okay with that, I recommend checking out the $ 149 Strange branches. They are just as comfortable as the ComfoBuds, but they sound a lot better and have quick charging and a wireless charging case. I think their aluminum-clad stems look really good too.
How long will they last?
With a 1More one-year warranty, the ComfoBuds will likely last as long as any other true wireless earbud at this price point. However, be aware of the following: as battery capacity decreases over time, you will have less stamina than models that begin their life after six hours or more.
Should you buy it?
Yes. If they were more expensive I would hesitate, but for their price, I think they deliver the kind of affordable AirPods alternative that most people are looking for.