1More keeps cranking out new wireless earbuds as fast as Adidas drops Yeezy sneakers. First, it was the ComfoBuds early this year, then the ComfoBuds Pro over the summer, and the ColorBuds 2 followed a few weeks later. Now, we have another member of the family making its grand entrance into the cheap wireless earbuds market: the ComfoBuds 2.
- Our expert picks for the best wireless earbuds, per budget and style
- Check out our Apple AirPods Pro review
- …and our Sony WF-1000XM4 review
This sequel carries over the same highlights as the original, from the boisterous audio output to the striking design to the water-resistant aesthetics. It also features longer battery life and more features such as Bluetooth 5.2, a low-latency Gaming Mode, and an EQ with multiple presets. These buds also have some bugs in their system and don’t match the higher frequencies of other competitors. Let’s find out if the ComfoBuds 2 is still worth the investment.
1More ComfoBuds 2 review: Availability and price
The 1More ComfoBuds 2 goes for $59 and can be purchased on Amazon or directly from 1More. It is sold in two colors: Black and White. Bundled with the purchase are a charging case, USB-C charging cable, user manual, and one set of ear tips.
By comparison, these buds are priced slightly lower than the ComfoBuds Pro ($69.99). Noteworthy rivals like the all-new AirPods 3 ($179), AirPods 2 ($129), and Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 ($89) are priced higher and carry more features, as well as category leaders like AirPods Pro ($249) and Sony WF-1000XM4 ($279).
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1More ComfoBuds 2 review: Design and comfort
Unless you read the front packaging, you can easily mistake the ComfoBuds 2 for its predecessor. Same colors. Same ergonomics. Same IPX5 water/sweat resistance. Same pointy, long-stem design. The only changes I picked up on were the smaller microphone grille at the top and the extra matte finish. Besides those, any other upgrades lie underneath the plastic sheath.
The charging case seems to be left untouched as well. You still get this tiny, super-slim, and elongated piece of plastic with an airbrushed logo on top that stores and displays the buds nicely. An LED is on the front and a USB-C charging port is on the back, while the inside has a button for manual pairing. It isn’t very durable, and the lid is flimsy, so be careful how you drop this.
While the ComfoBuds 2 found inspiration from the AirPods design, these buds provide a better fit. The semi-in-ear design doesn’t insert all the way into the canal, but just enough for the small silicone ear tips to create a decent seal for proper stability. I’m not saying you’re going to be able to exercise with them because that’s far from the truth; they will slip off during lateral-heavy workouts. At best, you’ll be able to walk comfortably over a sewer drain without worrying about them falling in.
Speaking of comfort, this is one area where the AirPods beats the ComfoBuds 2. I could feel the sound port poking at the front of my ear, which resulted in soreness after about an hour of use.
1More ComfoBuds 2 review: Controls and digital assistant
1More programmed the ComfoBuds 2 with several media controls, including playback, call management, volume, and digital assistance. On-ear detection is also present for auto-pause/play. The good news is that all functions operate well, primarily the touch controls.
As for the bad news, input is limited to two- and three-tap gestures. You can assign functions to each gesture, but they are paired together, not allowing you to optimize the full control scheme. To further elaborate, if you assign play/pause to the double-tap command, that’s what it will be on both buds. You can’t assign this function and gesture pairing to the left bud and another to the right bud.
Google Assistant, Siri, and Bixby are compatible with the ComfoBuds 2, but only two of them function properly. Hint: they are the ones not made by Google. 1More’s four-mic array demonstrates great speech recognition and grabs every syllable spoken, while Bixby and Siri registered and responded to commands quickly. Google Assistant was one buggy mess. I asked for my next event, and it told me I needed to ask my Google Workspace administrator for permission. Never have I been asked to do such a thing. Something even stranger was when I requested to open Gmail, and it chose to access my email account through the web browser instead of the companion app. It did the same thing with Spotify.
In addition, there seemed to be a bug that always put the volume on max whenever switching from my Android phone to my MacBook Pro.
1More ComfoBuds 2 review: Audio quality
The ComfoBuds 2 carries a warm sound signature that emphasizes lows for an energetic and satisfying listen. On the inside is a 13.4mm dynamic driver, likely the same one featured in the original version, and it still pumps out crisp mids and thumping lows, granted highs take a hit. Access the 1More app and you’ll discover an Equalizer with over 10 presets, some useful and others that don’t bring much to the table. In any case, let’s start by discussing the default EQ.
The opening drums and bass riff on Third Eye Blind’s “Semi-Charmed Life” had an amazing snap to them, fueling my spirit while burning the midnight oil. To hear the cheesy “doo doo doo” hook and lyrics clearly over the loud, upbeat production was impressive. Seeing what would happen when switching EQs, I enabled Bass Booster and was hit with bloaty sound, while selecting Pop raised the mids too high, diminishing bass presence.
For tracks like Dr. Dre’s “Nuthin’ But A “G” Thang,” these buds delivered plenty of bounce, reproducing the P-Funk bassline and synths very well, and giving Dre and Snoop’s vocals plenty of room to shine. Listening with Bass Booster muddied up the track, but Hip-Hop slightly elevated the low end for the better.
If you’re looking for earbuds that will let you hear the subtle nuances in complex records, look elsewhere. Details on the ComfoBuds 2 are either veiled or lost in the background, specifically highs. Just give any Jazz record a listen to hear what I’m talking about. The hi-hats are practically non-existent on Duke Ellington & John Coltrane’s “My Little Brown Book.”
You won’t find 3D listening modes like spatial audio on these affordable buds, but there is a low-latency Gaming Mode that supposedly improves audio synchronization on mobile games. I noticed very little improvement. Footsteps and gunfire were still a bit off when playing first-person shooters, along with the drifting effects when partaking in Mario Kart Tour races.
1More ComfoBuds 2 review: App and special features
Despite no active noise cancellation or SoundID functionality, the ComfoBuds 2 still has a handful of features to enhance the user experience. I already touched on control customization, Gaming Mode, and EQ. As for the rest, well, it’s slim pickings.
Smooth Sounds is available, which is the brand’s soundscape mode and has 16 different profiles to mask the ambient noise around you with nature sounds. Most of these are true to their backdrops; Spring Water makes you feel like you’re bathing near a waterfall. Unfortunately, 1More refuses to fix the same lingering issue, and that is each profile restarting after about 10 seconds, not running on a continuous loop. This gets frustrating after a minute of use.
The other two major features are Smart Burn-In, a setting designed to break in the buds by using a special range of frequencies, and an experimental feature called Pairing Pop-Up Window that offers one-touch access to the ComfoBuds 2’s settings on your smartphone.
Rounding out the app are battery level indicators for each bud and the charging case, firmware updates, toggle controls, and a visual quick guide.
1More ComfoBuds 2 review: Battery life and charging case
1More rates battery life at 6 hours on a single charge. Not the best, nor the worst, but more than the AirPods 2 (5 hours) and equal to the AirPods 3 (6 hours), which is what matters most to consumers. This should suffice for 3 days of moderate listening (1.5 to 2 hours daily) before recharging. Be mindful that high volume and special features drop playtime by about 45 minutes.
The charging case holds the same playtime as the AirPods 2’s charging case: 24 hours. That’s fine since it is the average industry time. Do the math and this equates to 4 extra charges. Quick charging is equally powerful, generating 3 hours of playtime when placed in their cases for 15 minutes.
1More ComfoBuds 2 review: Call quality and connectivity
The ComfoBuds 2 is OK as a calling headset, mainly when used indoors. I managed to achieve interference-free voice and video calls with several clients in my office. Outside wasn’t as gratifying, as several people mentioned about how I sounded muffled and far away; my wife even complained about how loud the whooshing effect of cars sounded on her end.
Bluetooth 5.2 performs a lot better than I anticipated. The range is wide and surpasses what the company has advertised on their product page; it extends to 12 meters (40 feet) in open spaces instead of the promoted 10 meters (32 feet). Connectivity is instantaneous with iOS/macOS and Android devices. Auto-connect isn’t as reliable, meaning you’ll have to pair the buds manually time and again. I won’t hold the absence of multipoint technology and one-touch Google Fast Pair against the ComfoBuds 2, especially not for the price.
1More ComfoBuds 2 review: Verdict
The 1More ComfoBuds 2 feels more like a follow-up to the ComfoBuds Pro, only without noise cancelling, and that’s a good thing overall. The sound is loud and punchy, giving contemporary music genres a strong representation with impactful bass and detailed mids. Connectivity is another high point and offers a lengthy and steady range when streaming music or jumping on calls. However, the buds do have some bugs in the system, specifically with Google Assistant, and the lack of highs won’t satisfy true audiophiles.
That being said, if you want inexpensive wireless earbuds that don’t skimp on bass and let you personalize sound, the ComfoBuds 2 can be a rewarding pickup. Those looking to add ANC into the mix should strongly consider the ComfoBuds Pro since it’s only $10 extra and delivers similar performance.