If you haven't moved over to wireless earbuds by now, you are in a shrinking group of smartphone users. Ever since Apple decided to ditch the headphone jack, the days of wired earbuds as the default option were numbered.
There are some hold-outs of course, particularly in the mid- and lower-priced market, but if you look around you on the street, wireless ear buds are everywhere.
The main problem with that though is that wireless earbuds tend to be more expensive than their wired counterparts, even for the more basic models. Add into it the fact that you need to charge them and that they can be easily misplaced, and wireless earbuds aren’t always a great option. On the other hand, there are no cables to get caught up in or break. And wireless earbuds are far more convenient to carry around because they come in their own compact carry case.
So there are pros and cons to both. If you are new to bluetooth earbuds and don’t want to pitch for the top end of the market, the OneSonic HD1 earbuds may be the right choice for you. Irish-designed and not too tough on the pocket, OneSonic’s buds will give you all the portability and convenience of bluetooth earbuds with a much smaller price tag than you would expect. That makes them a much more attractive option for users.
Similar to Apple’s original AirPods in design but more angular, the OneSonic buds are one-size-fits-all. There are no silicon tips to swap out or wings to fit: what you see is what you get.
I’m not usually a fan of open-fit earbuds. They’ve never really felt all that comfortable on me, either hurting after a short while or sitting in a strange position, so they never really feel like they are secure.
But the OneSonic HD1 earbuds may finally be the exception to this. They are lightweight, so they don’t press in the wrong places on your ears and the design has been altered from the standard earbuds to make them fit more snugly. There is a small notch taken out of the stem on each of the earbuds so it sits more closely against your ear; even the odd jog didn’t dislodge them.
Of course the price means you get few extras. The OneSonic buds have touch controls for tracks and volume, and work with the digital assistant on your phone so you can control your phone via voice. You get about four hours of listening time out of the buds on a single charge, with the charging case extending that to almost a day of continuous listening. But charging that case will mean using the USB-C port rather than popping them on a wireless charger.
All that aside, the most important thing is how the earbuds sound. With cheaper buds you would expect the sound to be poorer, but the OneSonic buds hold up well. They were a little heavy on bass at first listen, but some adjustment to the equaliser on the music player saw it righted.
The outside noise can bleed in a bit though. There is no active noise cancelling (ANC) on these earbuds, which can be both a disadvantage and a bonus, depending on whether you need to be aware of your surroundings while wearing them. While ANC buds usually have a pass-through mode to let you hear what is going on around you, it is something you have to actively choose to enable.
I took several calls on these earbuds while testing them and call quality was excellent on both sides. Unlike some earbuds I’ve tested in the past, there was no muffling of voices at either end of the call, and in some cases – the audio only calls – the other person wasn’t even aware that I was using earbuds. That hasn’t always been the case with other brands.
Lightweight, good sound, with good quality on calls, the OneSonic earbuds are great value for money.
The not so good:
No active noise cancelling means you can hear the outside world a little too loudly at times. There is also no wireless charging for the case, but since there are more expensive headphones out there that don’t include this, it’s a little unreasonable to expect it at this price point.
There are touch controls for volume, switching tracks and calls.
If you are going to buy a set of earbuds, these are among the best you’ll get for under €100. And they have the added attraction of being home-grown.