Up for review today we have the PistonBuds True Wireless Headphones from 1More. Priced below $50, they have promise some rather interesting features. How do they fare in our testing? Read on to find out.
What first struck me about the design of the PistonBuds True Wireless Headphones is how lightweight the case is, and how thin the plastic feels. The second thing I noticed was that 1More went with USB-C for the charging port, and I can’t express how happy I am to see that, especially on headphones at this price point.
After opening the case, I was surprised to feel how curiously strong the magnets are that hold the buds in place. I found I struggled a bit trying to remove them on occasion, but that’s a small price to pay for not having to worry about losing your buds when opening the case.
Comfort & Fit
I’ve mentioned in many of my previous reviews that I have smaller than average ear canals, that can make it challenging to find wireless buds that fit comfortably. For the most part, 1More does a good job of including ear tips that provide a pleasant and secure fit with its products.
And while the PistonBuds True Wireless Headphones were comfortable using the smallest ear tips, I still wish 1More would have included an even narrower pair like they did with the Stylish True Wireless Headphones. In fact, I even tried the smallest ear tips from the Stylish True Wireless Headphones on the PistonBuds, and it improved the fit and comfort immensely.
In the end, I was satisfied with the fit of the PistonBuds, they stay securely in my ears and ear fatigue doesn’t set in too soon. Still, it could have been better if 1More recycled the ear tips from its Stylish True Wireless Headphones.
The PistonBuds make use of touch-sensitive controls that work fairly well. However, something I noticed was the lack of gestures. A double-tap on the right bud will play/pause music or answer calls, while double-tapping on the left bud allows you to access Google Assistant, and that’s it.
If you want to skip tracks or adjust the volume the app informs you to use your phone. Now, it is possible to use Assistant to skip tracks or adjust the volume, however, it’s a little cumbersome and some additional gestures would have been appreciated.
I can understand the need to cut back on features in order to meet a lower price point. For instance, there is no sensor in the PistonBuds to automatically pause music when you remove them, but the lack of basic playback controls seems like a bit of an odd choice. Surely, it’s not that expensive to add a couple more gestures.
Besides the lack of gestures, the PistonBuds were a pleasure to use and I didn’t encounter any major issues with them.
I’ve always wished 1More would add a couple more features to its app, most notably an equalizer. However, the PistonBuds are lacking even basic options inside of the app, or any options at all. For all intents and purposes, it is only used to upgrade the firmware and serves no other function.
Even though the app is essentially useless for the PistonBuds, there was a firmware update during my time with them. For that reason alone, you’ll want to download it to make sure you’re running the latest software.
The 1More PistonBuds are reserved in the highs with low thumping bass. Overall, they provide a warm sound signature because of this, and lack some of the clarity and brightness you’d hear from the more expensive Stylish True Wireless Headphones from 1More.
That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the PistonBuds; they sound especially good when listening to rap and pop tracks where the bass takes center stage most of the time. Without a doubt, the sound quality is more than worth the price of admission on these buds.
1More rates the PistonBuds for up to 3.5 hours of consecutive playback with a total of up to 20 hours with the charging case. In my experience, that all rang true. If anything, the battery life was slightly under the 3.5-hour claim, but it was extremely close.
I’ve been a fan of 1More’s Piston lineup since I first tried the wired versions years ago. The quality of the audio combined with an affordable price made them a fantastic value. I’m happy to say the same is true for the Bluetooth version of the PistonBuds.
For $50 or less, you get a lightweight pair of true wireless headphones that provide rich sound with decent battery life. There are plenty of Bluetooth headphones on the market at this price point, but this pair from 1More truly impresses for its audio prowess, and it’s perfect for any music fan on a budget.
1More is also running a Christmas sale between December 7 and December 24, 2020, and as a special thank you, they have provided us with a code for an additional 10% off. Just enter the code ANDROID10 at checkout and enjoy the extra savings on some great headphones during the holidays.