Sonobo One TWS Earbuds Review

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The Sonobo One TWS earbuds have a unique shape that make them stay in my ears like nothing else

Who Are The Sonobo One TWS Earbuds For?

  • The Sonobo One TWS earbuds are the best-fitting earbuds I have used
  • The audio quality on the Sonobo Ones is impressive, with no tinny sound commonly found in other earbuds
  • The Sonobo One earbuds have a very low latency Bluetooth connection

It is true wireless earbud time yet again here at International Business Times, and we may have finally cracked the code with this one. I must have oddly shaped ears, because earbuds generally don't stay put that well when I use them. However, the Sonobo One earbuds are incredibly secure and stable, making them possibly the best-fitting earbuds I have used.

A Funky, But Stable Shape

The Sonobo One TWS earbuds are the kind that get nestled into an ear as opposed to the Airpod style with a stem that hangs down from an ear. Generally, I prefer the latter, as they typically stay in my ears better. However, the Sonobo One earbuds have a bit of a funky shape that really helps them stay put.

The big difference between the Sonobo One earbuds and other earbuds of a similar style is that the Sonobos have an extra little wing that sticks out from the rest of the earbud. This wing gets hooked into the folds in my ear, making the earbuds stay firmly in place. The downside is that it can feel like the Sonobo Ones are kind of stretching my ears out with prolonged use, but it usually takes a while for that feeling to set in.

That extra little tip works wonders for keeping the earbuds in

The Sonobo One earbuds are a bit on the bulky side, but that isn't as much of a detriment here as it is with other bulky earbuds. The big difference is that the Sonobo One earbuds are fairly lightweight, despite their larger size. While the earbuds are a bit big, they aren't too noticeable once actually in my ears.

Solid Audio

Overall, the audio quality with the Sonobo One earbuds is very good. There's a healthy mix between lows, mids and highs, and the earbuds definitely have a neutral tone to them. What's really impressive is that the Sonobo One earbuds don't have that flat, tinny sound many earbuds have. Music comes across feeling very full and well-rounded.

If I did have one complaint about the audio quality with the Sonobo Ones, it's that they seem almost a little too heavy on the high-end. This is a rare one for me, as audio with headphones (especially from brands such as Skullcandy and Beats) is generally bass-heavy. However, with the Sonobo Ones audio can come across a little peaky. Violins can get a little shrill when listening to classical music and women's vocals can come across a little louder than normal.

The Sonobo One earbuds in my ear

The Sonobo Ones boast about how low the earbuds' latency is with paired devices, and I have to say those claims are true. Bluetooth is inherently laggy, which is why most Bluetooth devices seem to never be able to line up a video to its audio. However, the Sonobo Ones use aptX technology to bring this latency down to virtually zero. That makes the Sonobo Ones great for gaming and watching content like movies and online videos.

A Microphone That Is Almost Too Good

Like just about any other true wireless earbud option out there, the Sonobo One earbuds have a built-in microphone to make phone and video calls. While I was told I sound nice and clear when using the Sonobo One earbuds, the microphone seemed like it was picking up too much sound.

I also dig the orange color

The person I was talking to said she could hear my wife clearly, but my wife was seated about as far away as possible from me in our apartment. It was also possible to hear sounds from the street, despite no windows being open. If I were to have a conversation outside, all of the natural city noises would overwhelm the person on the other end of the call.

Not Final Version

One of the problems with reviewing technology that hasn't fully released yet is you often get a sort of prototype device that doesn't necessarily reflect on the finished version everyone else gets. So is the case with the Sonobo One earbuds. The earbuds are filled with tons of bells and whistles, but the ones I have are missing some.

What features aren't included with my version of the Sonobo One earbuds? I don't know, to be honest. It didn't seem like there were any active noise cancellation features on, though as anyone who has read a previous review of ANC earbuds from me will know, the feature rarely is that impactful across all earbuds I've used.

Why is this case lit up? I haven't used the earbuds in over 12 hours

Of the features I know are included, the Sonobo One earbuds have their own line of tap controls. These controls are all the basic play/pause, adjust volume, access voice assistant-type controls one has come to expect from wireless earbuds. The problem is that the tap controls frequently don't register, and often have a bit of a lag. This results in me tapping multiple times just to pause my audio, which should only be a single tap. By the time I hear the chime indicating that the earbuds recognized my tap, I often have tapped again, triggering the music to go back to playing.

However, here's an extra "feature" that I assume is not going to be found on the finished version: the Sonobo Ones sometimes don't turn off. After putting the earbuds back in their case, the case will continue to glow. This could be because the case is charging the earbuds, but the case will still be glowing over 12 hours after putting the earbuds away. Even weirder, my phone will sometimes start to pair with the Sonobo Ones, even when they're put away in their case.

Final Thoughts

Judging solely on the pair I was sent, the Sonobo One earbuds are pretty solid, if a little expensive. However, if all of Sonobo's claims for additional features are true, the retail version of these earbuds is probably going to be something to look out for. As it stands, the Sonobo One earbuds have some pretty great audio, a microphone that is almost too good and some tap controls that are hard to get working correctly. All of this is contained in an earbud shape that is probably the most stable and secure I have used.

The Sonobo One earbuds are currently available on Kickstarter for $99, though the campaign comes to an end on September 29. Those interested should act quickly, as prices are likely to rise once the earbuds are available to purchase elsewhere. The good thing about the Kickstarter campaign is that it has already well surpassed its goal, so contributing to the campaign is more or less a pre-order at this point.

Assuming the earbuds that people get through the Kickstarter are complete, and all of the features work as intended, the Sonobo Ones are a steal at $99. It will be interesting to see how much the price will increase once the earbuds are available to purchase from retailers.

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