I'm so used to my AirPods that I occasionally need to remind myself that they're not really the gold standard; a lot of true wireless earbuds are their equal or even better. David Carnoy recently rounded up the, and there are a number of models on the list that will make you forget about your AirPods -- at a fraction of the price. One of David's favorite pairs that made the list is the 1More True Wireless ANC model, which regularly sells for $180. Right now, though you can get the when you apply promo code CNETV10 at checkout. That's a CNET-exclusive promo code that stacks on top of the already discounted price on the 1More site.
In his review, Carnoy says that "this updated version sounds fuller and richer, with more balanced, cleaner sound that's pretty dynamic." I've been wearing these earbuds for weeks, and I wholeheartedly agree with his assessment. Switching from AirPods to the 1More earbuds reveals more depth and nuance in the music. Switching back to the AirPods is jarring; it's surprising how lean and trebly the AirPods can sound in comparison. One tiny example at the low end: Check out Paul McCartney's Maybe I'm Amazed. Paul's restrained kick drum in the first few measures of the song really pops when played through the 1More earbuds; it gives that section of the song a feel that's missing on the AirPods.
The earbuds are also easy to control thanks to a physical power button and separate touch control for cycling through two levels of noise cancellation, pass-through mode and no ANC at all. You get about 5 hours of use on a charge, and a 15-minute quick-charge is all it takes to net you 2 hours of battery life.
If I have any concerns about these 1More earbuds, it's the fit -- they're just not as secure in my ear or as comfortable as the original AirPods. But the fit is no worse than what I get wearing the, so perhaps it's not that big a deal.
Bottom line: I'm pretty jazzed about the 1More True Wireless ANC earbuds (though to be clear, I would never tarnish them by playing jazz). If you're looking for one of the best-sounding earbud models around, you can save $83 on these now through Feb. 16.
First published last year. Updated with a new version of the deal.
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