1More ComfoBuds Mini Review

1More claims that its latest noise-cancelling true wireless earphones, the ComfoBuds Mini ($99.99), are the smallest pair in the world. We don't track that stat, and a small size isn’t always an advantage (earpieces with more surface area sometimes offer a more secure in-canal fit), but the ComfoBuds Mini still fit well, particularly if you have small ears. They also deliver a strong, bass-forward audio experience and solid active noise cancellation (ANC) for the price. That said, unless you specifically want the smallest earpieces possible, Anker's $79.99 Soundcore Life P3 earphones offer a stronger value.

A Compact Design With Limited Controls

Available in black or white, the ComfoBuds Mini are indeed tiny. But their small size isn't necessarily an advantage in every aspect—they fit securely, but the earpieces are a bit difficult to handle. The package includes four pairs of silicone eartips in various sizes to help ensure an optimal fit.

Internally, each earpiece houses a 7mm dynamic driver. The earphones are compatible with Bluetooth 5.2 (which includes a low-latency gaming mode) and support the AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs, but not AptX.

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The earpieces rely on capacitive touch surfaces for controls, but the default layout is somewhat limited in scope. A double tap on the left or right earpiece handles playback and call management, while a triple tap summons your device’s voice assistant. Touching and holding either earpiece for one-and-a-half seconds lets you switch between ANC On, ANC Off, and Transparent listening modes. By default, you don't get track navigation or volume control—you can add these features via the app, but you must drop another function to do so. And even though playback requires a double tap, we found it almost impossible to put the earpieces in our ears without accidentally triggering them.

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An IPX5 water-resistance rating is slightly better than most other true wireless ANC options, for which IPX4 is the norm. You can expose the ComfoBuds Mini to water with slightly more pressure than a simple misting or splash from any direction, but don't try submerging them or rinsing them off under a faucet. And the charging case isn’t water resistant, so make sure to fully dry the earpieces before docking them. If you want a pair with an even better water resistance, consider the much pricier Jabra Elite 7 Pro earphones ($199.99), which carry a fully waterproof IP57 rating.

The rounded charging case, with its flip-top lid, is also quite small. Unfortunately, the magnetic pull of the dock is a bit too broad in its reach; as a result, it’s possible to close the lid even if the earpieces aren't in the correct position. At one point, the earpieces even stuck magnetically to the interior of the lid, which shouldn't happen. In any case, the front panel has a status LED, while a USB-C port sits on the lower portion—the box includes a USB-C-to USB-A cable for charging.

1More estimates that the ComfoBuds Mini can last roughly five hours on battery with ANC on or six with ANC off, while the case holds an additional 15 hours of charge. Your real-world results will depend on your use of ANC and typical volume levels.

The 1More Music app (available for Android and iOS) unlocks some useful features, including ANC and Transparent listening mode options, as well as customizations for the on-ear controls. You can also adjust the sound signature, but you first need to create a SoundID hearing profile—this type of setup is increasingly common, but it's an irritating hurdle if all you want to do is adjust the bass, mids, and treble levels to your preference. Otherwise, the app also offers a user manual and a feature that plays soothing sounds.

Above-Average ANC

The ComfoBuds Mini deliver strong noise cancellation for the price, impressively dialing back powerful, low-frequency rumble like you hear on an airplane. That said, there is an audible (though not unpleasant) hiss with ANC on, which is typical of lower-priced noise cancellation circuitry. The earphones handled a recording of a busy restaurant with clanging dishes and boisterous conversation quite well—they cut back the lows, lows-mids, and mids significantly. However, the hiss is still present here, plus the high-mids and highs largely make it past the ANC circuitry (most earphones struggle to reduce higher-frequency noise).

In the app, you can choose between three ANC modes—Strong, Mild, and WNR (wind noise reduction). The Strong mode offers the most effective noise cancellation, but we appreciate the option to dial the ANC back a bit to preserve battery life. You can also turn ANC off entirely or switch to the Transparent mode (which lets you hear your surroundings) in the app.

Although it's effective, we noticed some additional ear pressure when we enabled the Strong ANC mode. How much of an issue this is will vary from person to person, but we thought the pressure felt especially strong in this case. The good news is that the ANC doesn’t seem to impact the sound signature.

Balanced Sound

With the default audio settings, the ComfoBuds Mini deliver some serious low-frequency depth on tracks with intense sub-bass content, like The Knife’s “Silent Shout.” At top, unwise listening levels, the lows don’t distort, and at more moderate levels, the earphones drive powerful bass with sculpted highs to match.

Bill Callahan’s “Drover,” a track with far less deep bass in the mix, gives us a better sense of the sound signature. The drums on this track pack some extra bass heft, but they don't sound unnaturally thunderous. Callahan’s baritone vocals come across with a solid balance of low-mid richness and high-mid treble edge, while the acoustic strums sound crisp and bright. The lows are a bit too boosted to meet the definition of accurate, but they’re not wildly off. Because the sculpted highs again complement this tuning, you get a balanced presentation.

On Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild,” the kick drum loop receives enough high-mid presence for its attack to retain its punchiness, while the vinyl crackle and hiss take a step forward in the mix. The earbuds deliver the sub-bass synth hits that punctuate the beat with solid low-frequency depth, and the vocals on this track sound clean, without any noticeable sibilance.

Orchestral tracks, like the opening scene from John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary, sound fairy natural through the ComfoBuds Mini—the higher-register brass, strings, and vocals retain their bright place in the spotlight, while the lower-register instrumentation benefits from some additional richness.

The mic is merely average. We understood every word from a recording we took with an iPhone's Voice Memos app, but Bluetooth audio artifacts make the edges of words a little fuzzy. That said, the mic still produces a strong signal, so calls shouldn't be a problem.

Solid Earphones With Some Small Compromises

The 1More ComfoBuds Mini get plenty right—the audio is sculpted but balanced, and the ANC is pretty good for the price. You might like their small size, though in our case it made the earpieces difficult to handle, and the capacitive touch controls are easy to accidentally trigger. The bigger concern is the amount of competition in this price category. The aforementioned $79.99 Anker Soundcore Life P3 earphones are our top pick for the price, though we also like the $129.99 Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro and the $79 Jabra Elite 3, all of which provide a better user experience. None are as small as the ComfoBuds Mini, however, and that might make the difference for you.

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1More ComfoBuds Mini Review