So tiny that pets and toddlers could mistake them for a snack
Can’t tweak equalization outside of the SoundID process
The 1More ComfoBuds Mini noise-cancelling true wireless headphones offer excellent audio quality and active noise cancelling for the price, and they’re a godsend for anyone with small ears who’s had trouble finding in-ear headphones that fit well.
1More’s ComfoBuds Mini headphones offer excellent audio quality and active noise cancelling for the price, and they’re a godsend for anyone with small ears who’s had trouble finding in-ear headphones that fit well.
The manufacturer says its ComfoBuds Mini are the “world’s smallest pair of active noise cancelling true wireless buds,” but 1More’s emphasis on size undersells a surprisingly full audio experience for the size and the price. That’s partially due to the Sonarworks SoundID software that helps you customize the sound of these headphones to your preference.
Larger than a regular M&M and just a bit smaller than a peanut M&M, the ComfoBuds Mini are available in Obsidian Black or Mica White. The IPX5-rated charging case that comes with them is remarkably tough: My sample survived with no visible teeth marks after an attack from a relentless puppy who had previously taken big chunks out of a Kindle Paperwhite, two pairs of eyeglasses, and a pair of Shure headphones.
This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best noise-cancelling headphones, where you’ll find reviews of the competition’s offerings, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping for this type of product.
The earbuds support the latest Bluetooth 5.2 standard, which consumes less power to boost battery life. You can expect five hours of playback from a full charge to the earbuds with active noise cancellation turned on, and six hours with ANC off. The case extends total battery life to 20 and 24 hours respectively. The manufacturer says ANC can reduce background noise up to 40dB.
1More built the ComfoBuds Mini to support the HFP, A2DP, and AVRCP profiles. Each earbud has a 7mm driver with graphene film and a double magnetic circuit design. The case charges via USB C cable or via Qi wireless charging. In a pinch, a 10-minute charge offers 80 minutes of playback.
The headphones turn on when you open the charging case. Once they’ve made the Bluetooth connection to your phone, you can utilize touch controls with either earbud. Standard settings allow you to play and pause with two taps or summon your device’s smart assistant (Siri or Google) with a triple tap. Double taps also allow you to answer or hang up a phone call.
Using the ComfoBuds Mini with the 1More app
The 1More Music app, on the other hand, is essential, because it provides the only means to change the ComfoBud’s ANC settings, especially since ANC is turned off by default. Touch controls allow you to switch between ANC on, ANC off, and Transparent mode with a long press on the earbud, but you must use the app to choose between the Strong, Mild, and Wind Noise Reduction settings. The app also allows you to tweak the headphone’s sound and to control various other settings, in addition to displaying the exact battery level for each earbud and for the case.
The Custom Settings pane allows you to assign different actions to each ear for a double or triple tap beyond the standard ones mentioned above. Options include play/pause, previous track, next track, volume up or down and voice assistant. The app also features a Soothing Sounds pane with ambient playback that includes summer rain, medium fire, drizzle, thunderstorm, breeze, and spring water sounds. Each sound can be programmed to play back for 30 to 150 minutes in 30-minute increments. Since the ComfoBuds Mini headphones have such a firm fit and they’re so easy to wear, you could wear them to bed as a sleep aid.
1More partnered with Sonarworks to include that company’s SoundID technology in its app. The SoundID software was developed with tuning by four-time Grammy Award-winning sound engineer, Luca Bignardi. SoundID controls administer a listening test and customize the playback based on your choices. Based on my results, the ComfoBuds Mini added some low end and reverb that makes for a more intense listening experience. Listeners can’t customize the settings beyond what’s generated by the listening test, so you’re out of luck if you’re looking for a slight treble boost or want to lower the bass.
Listening to the ComfoBuds Mini
Listening to the new album from Radiohead side project The Smile, it was easy to hear the difference between the low-res version streaming on Spotify versus the lossless versions on Apple Music and Tidal. The ComfoBuds Mini are designed for pop, rock, and hip-hop, and they sound more than fine for podcast or audiobook listening. The noise-cancelling performance is excellent, and I got positive feedback about the microphone when I used the earbuds for phone calls.
The 1More ComfoBuds Mini will be a revelation for people with small ear canals who’ve struggled to keep other earbuds from falling out. They’re easy to wear for long periods of time, and their sound is competitive with other headphones in their price range.
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