H1 HBUDS may be the perfect pair of earphones for your workout or work life.
Over the Labor Day weekend, I could think of nothing better to do than to spend some time with my family at the campground. We typically mandate a tech-free daytime but allow movies and tablets/Nintendo 3DSXL at dark. Thanks to Amazon Prime Music/Movies, Vudu, and iTunes, I can watch movies and listen to music whenever and wherever I want. Another incredibly fun activity is to listen to Audible Books. Since my wife favors other genres of music, movies, and books, I turn to headphones for my listening/viewing entertainment.
The H1 HBUDS, arrived in a white glossy box, with a high definition image of the Wireless Sport Headphones on the cover. The back of the box displayed a young female wearing the headphones. By utilizing eye catching, high-quality images, to display their product, they did not add a bunch of verbiage. Lift open the magnetic flap, along the right side of the box, and enjoy the showcased H1 HBUDS. As a consumer, I absolutely love when the company uses the clear plastic window over a molded blister pack. I feel that I am more likely to purchase a device if I can actually see what it looks like. Images on a box do help, but there is nothing like actually seeing your future purchase directly.
To the left and right of the clear plastic are two small flaps. Each of the flaps provides some information about the features of the device. The HBUDS earphones have multiple bonus features to include: a built in microphone, multipoint (multi-device) connection, voice prompting, IPX7 waterproof/sweatproof status. To the right, you will find information relating to the placement of the device, for optimal listening. Along the bottom of the display, you will find a small clear thumb flap, which you can utilize to lift up the clear plastic window. Easily lift the white blister pack out of the box and set it aside. Within the plastic, you will find the Bluetooth headphones and four additional sets of earbud tips (small/large foam and small/large silicone). Additionally, within the box, you can enjoy the 3 1/4 inch by 3 1/4 inch black carry pouch, an 8-inch micro-USB to USB-A cable, a cord clip and the HBUDS user manual.
The user manual is very well constructed and intelligently uses a mixture of diagrams and text. To turn on the headphones, you will need to press the multifunction button that is located on the right (master) earphone. Press the red sideways S shaped button and hold it for four seconds. You will hear a female voice state “Power On” and then you will hear a beep. Many of the headphones I have tested will also alert you to the pairing status, but this headset did not. Honestly, I was a little surprised that this feature was lacking. Navigate to settings on your phone, open Bluetooth and find HBUDS H1 in the list. You will then hear the same female voice state “connected.” Setup was very straightforward and took just moments.
As stated above, the right earphone serves as the master control for the entire device. The company did a great job with their programming and use of the buttons. The on/off/pairing button is located along the side of the device and the volume up “+” button and volume down “-” buttons are located along the top edge. Along the bottom edge, you will find the microphone and the rubber covered micro-USB port. To start/stop music or to make a call, short press the multifunction button. If you desire to turn the device on or off, you can hold the multifunction button for 3 seconds. To increase the volume, short press the “+” button and to decrease the volume, short press the “-” button. Instead of adding spurious buttons, the top buttons will also allow you to move to the next and previous songs by long pressing the buttons, for approximately 3 seconds. I have tested some headphones that utilize the reverse short/long press sequence and the volume tends to be very hard to control. This is the best method I have found so far and works incredibly well.
In addition to listening to books/music, you can utilize the headphones to make a phone call. The volume buttons work very similarly to volume mode, but the multifunction button does have different features. If you double press the button, you will redial the last call. Short pressing the button will accept/end a call and a long press will reject the call. You can hear the call in both headphones, which is a little different than some of the earphones I have tested (some only use the master for sound). The microphone is located near the right ear, which is not ideal. There tends to be a lot of background noise and the sound is somewhat muffled. This is probably the greatest weakness of the device, second to the lack of voice recognition integration. With other devices, double pressing the multifunction button will allow you to control Siri. I was not saddened by the lack of the feature, as I do not tend to use it. Some, however, may find this a glaring deficit.
The sound is on par with other devices I have tested. Navigating to audiocheck.net, the headphones passed my typical tests. I utilized the low frequency and high-frequency range tests and found that I could hear 20hz-15Khz, which is reasonable for my age. Remember, the ability to hear is user specific and age specific. My sons, aged 8 and 5, are able to hear up to 17 and 18 kHz respectively. The bass is very reasonable and works through a successful seal between your ear and the ear tip. I am thankful that the company included the extra ear tips for our convenience. After testing the range, I tend to check the left/right/center status of the speakers and they are correct. I also like to listen to the binaural test, which is a really neat knocking demonstration. As I was camping, I listened to some CCR, Alabama, Dr. Hook, ZZ Top and others. Cee Lo Green “Bright Lights BIg City” showed the bass to be pretty strong as did the opening to Star Wars Episode 3, Attack of the Clones. I use the same test tracks with each pair of headphones I review, to allow for fair comparisons. This set of headphones did very well with the test tracks. Batman Dark Knight Rises “Joker Theme” did quite well between 2 minutes to 3 minutes. Again, make sure that the tips are well seeded and are the appropriate size. To test the higher frequencies, I like to use instrumental soundtracks from Far and Away and Braveheart.
The headphones are listed as IPX7 waterproof. To test this feature, I held the H1 HBUDS about 1 foot underwater for about 3 minutes. They survived just fine, but the sounds were muffled for about 3 minutes. I shook out the headphones, blew against the speaker and found that this did improve the sound quality. I took them boating/tubing and they stayed in my ears just fine. The ear hooks, combined with the silicone ear tips to create a very comfortable and secure fit. Whether jogging, jumping, running, or simply turning my head I felt that the headphones stayed snugly within my ears. Utilizing Bluetooth 4.1, EDR with HFP, HSP, A2DP, AVRCP you can expect a 30-foot range. I was able to get 8 hours of near continuous music listening ability and found that it took just at 1.5 hours to charge. Weighing just at 0.3 ounces, you will hardly notice that the headphones are on your person. Lastly, you can expect a degree of noise cancellation too, if you utilize the correct tips.
I had no issues connecting the device to my iPhone 7 Plus, my iPad Air 2 or to a Galaxy S8. Having used the device over the past week, I have enjoyed the eight-hour life of the device. When you charge the device, a red LED will illuminate in the right earphone Once charged, the LED will change to blue. This is a really convenient visual indicator about the status of your device. In addition to testing the waterproof status, I also tested the Bluetooth range and found it to be just at the 10-meter mark. Of course, that was with a direct line of sight, without any obstacles. Indoors, this range was dependent upon the number of internal walls/obstacles and was quite variable.
- Sound quality is good
- Bass is good
- Great weight
- IPX7 waterproof/sweatproof
- Accessory ear tips
- Convenient carry pouch
- 1-2 hour charging time for >8 hours of use
- No Siri integration/voice integration
- If dropped in water, they will sound weird for a few minutes until they dry (make sure the port is closed)
- The included USB-A to USB-micro cable is short
- Microphone sounded a bit muffled.
- The power button is easily depressed when placing a device into the ear.
I would rate the headphones at 4.5/5 stars, really only missing out on the few above cons. When you factor in the price, I will actually rate them at 4.5/5 stars. I have tested other models, significantly more expensive models, with some additional bells and whistles. Guess what? I am often afraid to take these with me camping with my family, or to the water, to do yard work or to work out. The above cons are in no way a deal breaker, as these earphones have now become my yard work/travel/camping earphones. I love that the tips are red/black, as they provide some contrast to the grass if dropped. Definitely, consider these headphones if you are looking for a budget friendly, yet a quality pair of earphones.
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