1MORE, popular for its audio products, entered into the India market through its sub-brand, omthing, today with the launch of Airfree pods, AirFree TWS and AirFree Lace Neckband. I have been using the Airfree Pods, which is the company’s top-end TWS earbuds, among these which has a Qualcomm chip, aptX support, in addition to AAC, Qualcomm cVc 8.0 noise-cancelling technology, 4 built-in ENC (Environmental Noise Cancellation), support for wireless charging and lots more. Specifications look good on paper, is it worth the price? Let us find out in the review.
- omthing By 1MORE AirFree Pods in Snow White colours
- USB Type-C Cable
- User manual
Design and Build Quality
The charging case has an oval box that has a soft finish, even though it is made of plastic. You can see the four LED indicators on the inside that shows the charge left in the case. This glows only in white colour. The white version gets dirty easily, so I would prefer the Black colour. The charging case measures 56x25x56mm and weighs 55 grams.
You can see the omthing branding on the outside. There are case specifications on the back. There is a nylon strap that lets you connect the case to your backpack or keychains while you are on the go.
The USB Type-C port is on the back of the case. You can also see the metal connector that that connect the two parts of the case. It doesn’t have a function key since the headset directly pairs with the phone, and not the case.
The headset has a plastic finish that is shiny on the inside, so it is prone to fingerprints and scratches, but the outside where the touch controls are present has a matte finish. The earbuds weigh about 4 grams, which is light. These feature a half in-ear design that look a lot like Apple Airpods. Still, it doesn’t fall out of your ears when running or cycling. The primary microphone is present on the bottom of the headset and the secondary microphone is present on the back. There are touch controls on the back of both the earbuds that lets you control volume, play or pause or skip music, launch voice assistant and accept or reject calls. You can also see the omthing brand on the outer side.
You can see the charging contacts and LED on the inside. Since the headset doesn’t have an optical sensor for Wear Detection, it can’t automatically pause the audio when you remove it from your ears. The earphones also have IPX4 ratings for water resistance so that it can withstand splashes or light rain, but you can’t immerse in the water.
Connectivity, Pairing, and Controls
It has Bluetooth 5.2 and Qualcomm QCC3020 chip. The pairing process is very easy, just remove the earbuds from the case, and the LED indicator on one earbud will flash white and blue slowly, and that on the other earbud will flash white slowly. Enable the Bluetooth function on your device, and select the ‘omthing AirFree Pods’ and connect. After it is connected successfully, the white LED indicator will flash once every 5 seconds.
The touch controls are easy to access and are responsive to touch. Since the earbuds are not connected to the case, you can turn them on or off and use it in mono mode.
|Function||Left earphone (L)||Right earphone (R)|
|Power on||Press and hold the touch area for 2 seconds|
|Power off||Press and hold the touch area for 5 seconds|
|Play / Pause, Answer call / Hang calls||Single tap|
|Reject calls||Double tap|
|Previous track||Tap and hold for 1s|
|Next track||Tap and hold for 1s|
|Launch voice assistant||Triple tap|
If the earbuds are not connected to a phone for more than six seconds, then it enters the power saving mode.
You can customize the controls from the settings in the omthing app on Android and iPhone. You can change the tap once, tap twice, tap and hold for 1s and triple tap, but presets for power on / off and call controls can’t be changed.
You also get firmware updates through the app, but it takes time to push them to the headset.
Audio Quality, Call Performance and Noise Cancellation
The omthing Airfree Pods packs a 13 mm composite titanium dynamic driver that handles high, middle and low frequencies well. The app doesn’t have any equalizer options. Since this has a half in-ear design, there is no passive noise isolation since there is a small gap. The volume also needs to be kept high when you want to get a loud, audible sound if you are outdoors.
It has aptX codec that can bring down the latency down, so these are useful especially when playing games. There are dual microphones in each headset that helps when it comes to voice clarity during calls, but it doesn’t cut out wind noise. Overall, these have decent audio quality and average call quality.
The earphones promise about 5 hours of standalone battery life when listening at 50% volume. During my run with aptX enabled, I got about 4 hours of battery life in 70% volume. This is decent, but it might be less if you travel, so if there is an option, you can disable aptX if you need better battery life. It takes 1 hour to charge the earbuds, and it doesn’t have fast charge support.
With the 400mAh charging case, it promises up to 25hours of battery life. We got about 18 hours or four additional charges wit aptX. The LED lights in the case indicate that the remaining battery, but the battery life of the case doesn’t show up in the app since the cases is not connect to the phone. It takes about one and half hours to charge the headset fully.
The case also has Qi wireless charging that you rarely see in a headset in this price range, but it takes longer to charge.
Overall, the omthing Airfree Pods is an average Bluetooth true wireless earbuds for a price of Rs. 3999. It has a lightweight, compact design, offers decent audio quality and come with aptX, however call quality is not the best, and the battery life is average. It could have offered ANC for the price, since there is a heavy competition in the price range. The omthing Airfree Pods is available from Flipkart in Reddish Orange, Midnight Black, and Forest Green colours, in addition to Snow White colour that we have.
The company has also launched a standard AirFree model with an in-ear design, but these have 7mm drivers and the battery life is slightly less.
- Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX support
- Decent audio quality
- Good build quality
- Lot of touch control options, including volume controls
- Call quality is average
- Average battery life
- Can’t check case battery life in app