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1MORE ComfoBuds Mini review: Good things in a very small package

Ben Johnston
15 Mar 2022
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
93
inc VAT

Despite some trouble with trebles, the 1MORE ComfoBuds Mini pack an impressive punch for their tiny size

Pros 
Mostly solid audio quality
Incredibly compact design
Decent ANC and wear detection
Cons 
Some treble distortion
No aptX support
No EQ presets
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The 1MORE ComfoBuds Mini are marketed as the world’s smallest true wireless noise-cancelling earbuds and that certainly feels like a valid claim. They’re the smallest true wireless earbuds I’ve reviewed, ANC or otherwise, and if smaller noise-cancelling options exist, I’m yet to see them.

1MORE is fully aware that size isn’t everything, however, and the ComfoBuds Mini manage to pack in an impressive amount of technology, despite their diminutive dimensions. Active noise cancellation is the headline feature but there’s also wear detection, which automatically pauses audio when one or both of the buds are removed from your ears.

Both features are welcome inclusions, but do the 1MORE ComfoBuds Mini compromise too much in areas like sound quality and battery life to squeeze them into their diminutive frame? Read on to find out.

1MORE ComfoBuds Mini review: What do you get for the money?

The 1MORE ComfoBuds Mini are relatively standard fare in terms of their specifications. There’s Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, which is fast becoming the norm, and support for the SBC and AAC codecs. Support for high resolution audio codecs would be nice but it’s a rarity around the ComofoBuds Mini’s retail price of £93.

Unlike most of the ComfoBuds series, the Mini forgo the stemmed design for a more discreet drum shape, similar to the ComfoBuds Z, which are designed for sleeping. The compact build, along with a range of differently sized ear tips, means that a snug fit is easy to achieve. This is especially important because, at just 3.7g each, the buds are incredibly light, so a conforming fit will keep them from falling out during a jog or rigorous gym session. To that end, the IPX5 rating also ensures that they’ll hold up against splashes of liquid, such as rain or sweat.

The egg-shaped case is very pocketable and looks fairly stylish too – even if the matte surface is a magnet for fingerprints. Despite its size, the case still adds a further 18 hours to the buds' six-hour lifespan, bringing the total to a respectable 24 hours if you’re not using ANC. With ANC on, these figures fall to 13 hours from the case and five hours from the earbuds themselves. Wireless and fast charging are also both supported, with the latter producing an hour of playback from five minutes of charge.

In terms of features, the ComfoBuds Mini offer wear detection, customisable touch controls and three different listening modes – standard, active noise cancellation and a transparent mode that filters in outside noise to keep you aware of your surroundings. These can be cycled through either via the touch controls or through the 1MORE Music App.

The app also allows you to toggle the wear detection on and off and customise the control scheme. By default, a double-tap on either bud will play/pause audio, a triple-tap will hail your voice assistant and a long hold will cycle through listening modes. These work well enough, and though the lack of single taps limits the number of commands you have at your disposal, it also avoids accidental activations when adjusting the buds in your ears.

The final app features worth noting are Soothing Sounds – a collection of calming tracks designed to aid with sleep – and the personalised audio profile, SoundID. While the lack of simple presets means it’s not as accessible as the typical seven-band graphic equaliser you’ll find in most other apps, SoundID is still a nice touch that helps to fine-tune your sonic experience.

READ NEXT: These are the best noise-cancelling headphones to buy right now

1MORE ComfoBuds Mini review: What do they sound like?

Tiny frames don’t automatically mean tiny sound, and that proves true with the ComfoBuds Mini. A 7mm dynamic driver is squeezed into each bud, and while the buds won’t win any awards for audio quality, they deliver a satisfying sonic experience for the most part.

The soundstage isn’t particularly spacious, but instrument separation is solid enough, with plenty of detail, especially in the mid-range. Low-end reproduction is relatively subtle, which some may find underwhelming, but I personally prefer this to jacked-up bass, as it gives the lower mids more room to breathe. Vocals get decent play too: they’re articulated with clarity and detailed enough to fully appreciate a singer’s unique characteristics and shifts in pitch.

The ComfoBuds Mini’s biggest issue sonically is their delivery of certain higher frequencies. For the most part, these come over well, but when they struggle they really struggle. I found this to be most problematic in a playlist of 80s hair metal – the wailing electric guitars and shrieking rockers were prone to becoming distorted.

I remedied this by jumping into SoundID, which gives you a selection of different audio clips to choose from and then plays two slightly altered versions. Pick whichever one sounds best (there’s also an option for no difference if they sound the same to you) and after several rounds, you’ll have your own personalised profile. While promising in theory, I found that, in practice, this was rather hit and miss.

The treble distortion was solved – everything above a certain frequency was smoothed out, but it also lost a level of detail – and the soundstage felt broader. This proved beneficial to most tracks, with more mid-section focus and a greater sense of depth, but also added a slightly jarring echo to some vocals. Overall, the audio produced through SoundID was definitely better than the standard profile, but it wasn’t perfect. And, as any changes require retaking the test, it’s also not as easy to tweak as an EQ.

Thankfully, the listening modes are both more accessible and more effective. While the touch controls will switch to ANC, you’ll need to pick which level you want from the app. There are three to choose from – Strong, Mild and Wind Noise Reduction (WNR) – and whichever you pick will become the default. As the name implies, Strong is by far the most effective, quickly reducing a whistling kettle or a busy road to faint murmurs.

Transparent mode is also impressive, filtering in enough ambient sound that you’ll hear someone speaking or a car horn blaring through your music. The only slight drawback is that a faint hiss can be heard during quieter moments in the audio; this mainly affects podcasts, as there tends to be more opportunity for background noise to feed through.

1MORE ComfoBuds Mini review: What else could be improved?

After praising how much technology the ComfoBuds Mini manage to cram into their tiny frames, it almost feels ungrateful to say that they may in fact be too small. The fit is great and they’re very discreet in-ear, but removing them can be a bit fiddly, especially for larger fingers.

The wear detection could also be a bit snappier. When removing an earbud, it takes roughly three seconds to pause audio, which is noticeably slower than other models I’ve looked at recently – both the Edifier TWS NB2 Pro and the LG Tone Free FP8 pause closer to two seconds. The ComfoBuds Mini fall in line with their peers when it comes to restarting audio once the bud returns to your ear, so this is again a small niggle rather than a huge issue.

The only other flaw of note is the omission of certain features that are becoming more common among budget earbuds. As mentioned above, there’s no support for high-resolution codecs so these aren’t going to appeal to those seeking supreme sonic prowess.

Equally, the SoundID profile is fairly limited, and due to its lack of easily selectable presets, is not as accessible as a standard EQ. Considering the Aurora Blue version of 1MORE’s ComfoBuds Pro benefit from EQ presets for all manner of genres, its omission here is all the more glaring.

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1MORE ComfoBuds Mini review: Should you buy them?

If these issues sound nitpicky, that’s because they are. For what they are, 1MORE ComfoBuds Mini don’t do too much wrong. The audio quality may not be the best around, especially if you’re a fan of treble-heavy music, but the SoundID personalised profile negates any major issues.

ANC and wear detection work well, and considering just how small these things are, the battery life is decent enough that it doesn't feel like a cut corner. If you’ve got £100 to play with and want compact, ultra-discreet earbuds, the ComfoBuds Mini are a strong contender.

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