IKODOO, a new brand, launched Buds One, the company’s first ANC earbuds with 50dB Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and wireless charging last month. These features are usually available only in the top-end earbuds, and not in any earbuds in the price range.
Are these the best true wireless earbuds with ANC under Rs. 6,000? Let us dive into the review to find out.
- IKODOO Buds One in Starry White colour
- USB Type-C charging cable
- Ear tips in Small and Large sizes (Medium sized tips pre-installed)
- Quick user guide
I like how the contents in the box are arranged neatly.
Design and Build Quality
Starting with the design, the headset is housed in a round charging case that fits in your pocket. It has a glossy finish, so it can easily attract fingerprints, smudges and is prone to scratches.
The charging case measures weighs 39g. There is a tiny LED indicator on the front that glows in green, yellow and red colours.
The USB Type-C port is present in the the bottom, along with a set-up button and a buzzer, which is used to find the case by trigging a sound from the app.
Opening the case, you can see the slots for Left and Right earbuds with the markings. It has a magnet to secure the buds in its place.
The headset has a plastic build that also has a glossy finish that attracts fingerprints easily. You can also see the microphone on the inside, on the outside, and there is one near in the stem. It uses touch controls which are responsive.
The earbuds weigh about 5.19 grams. The earbuds feature an in-ear design and also come with medium-sized ear tips pre-installed. You can change to bundled Large or Small sized ear tips if you wish. There is an Optical Sensor for Wear Detection so that it can automatically pause the audio when you remove it from your ears and play when you put it back.
Overall, the headset offers a decent build quality except for the glossy finish and fits your ears perfectly so that they don’t fall off your ears easily, even during outdoor activities like running.
The earphones also have IP55 ratings for dust and water resistance, so it can withstand splashes or light rain. However, the case doesn’t have IP ratings.
Connectivity, Pairing, and Controls
The IKODOO Buds One supports Bluetooth 5.2 with AAC audio codec. We can’t expect LDAC for the price, but the company could have added aptX or aptX HD. The pairing process is very easy. Just open the charging case of the buds, place the charging case close to the phone, and follow the prompts.
If not, you can press and hold the setup button in the case for 2 seconds to enter Bluetooth settings. Then, select IKODOO Buds One. To restore factory settings, place the buds into the charging case with the cover opened. Press and hold the setup button of the charging case for 10 seconds.
We tested it on the Xiaomi 13 Pro and OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G, and never faced any pairing or disconnection issues. Since the phone pairs with the case and not the headset, you will need the case if you want to reconnect it or even turn on the headset if it’s disconnected from the phone.
|Function||Left earphone (L)||Right earphone (R)|
|Play / Pause and answer / end a call||Double tap|
|Previous track||Slide up|
|Next track||Slide down|
|Volume up / down||Slide up / down|
|Switch between noise cancellation and Transparency||Press and hold|
|Reject call||Press and hold for 2s|
|Activate voice assistant||Triple tap|
You can customize the controls from the settings in the IKODOO app on Android and iOS. You can charge double tap and triple tap and also noise control options, but can’t change the slide option.
The “Find my Buds” feature enables you to track the location of your misplaced earbuds or the case by triggering an alarm through the app on your smartphone. There is also a map feature, but it didn’t show the location for me.
The new sleep aid melody is a feature that is similar to Zen Mode Air on top-end OnePlusPro series earbuds. Apart from stock music, you can also add custom music, but the music doesn’t store in the earbuds, so you will need to go to the app to enable it.
Audio Quality, Call Performance and Noise Cancellation
TheIKODOO Buds One pack a 13.4mm dynamic driver, which the company says is tuned for deep bass and clear treble. The company says that the earbuds have been tuned by Vifa Sound, a global technology brand based in Denmark. This uses precision audio processing technology with patented acoustic algorithms.
Audio from the earbuds are loud and crisp, and the mids and highs sound well. However, the lows or bass could have been higher for those who likes a punchy feel.
There is an equalizer feature that offers some modes, or you can set a custom equalizer setting. With the bass mode setting, the bass is slightly better.
Regarding the Noise cancellation, the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) blocks the ambient sound up to 50dB that helps in most cases. You can feel the difference when you are listening outdoors and even indoors when the AC or fan is on. There are Three modes, Mild, Balanced and Depth. You can switch between noise cancellation, transparency (TalkThru) and noise cancellation off (Ambient Aware) by pressing and holding the earbuds.
For the price, it does a good job in blocking the outside noise and is better than the OnePlus Buds Z2 that is slightly cheaper. However, you can’t compare it with the flagships from Samsung and Apple.
This Transparency mode (TalkThru) allows you to listen to ambient sound so that you can recognize the surrounding situation and any potential risks. This is a useful feature that every headset should have. It offers a low-latency experience as low as 48ms that is useful when gaming. Without the gaming mode, the latency is clearly visible.
Coming to the call noise cancellation, it uses 3 MEMS microphones on each earbud that work together to filter out unwanted noise. This does a brilliant job in cutting down wind and traffic noise, thanks to smart anti-wind technology.
The earphones pack 52mAh battery that promises about 8 hours of standalone battery life and 6 hours with noise cancellation enabled. During my run with AAC and noise cancellation on and off rarely, I got about 5.5 hours of battery life in about 50% volume, so it is good. For calls, it lasts for less than 4 hours since it uses call noise cancellation tech.
With the 450mAh charging case, it promises up to 27 hours of total battery life without ANC and 21 hours of total battery life with noise cancellation enabled. The green light in the case indicates that the battery is high, yellow for medium, and it turns red when it is low. You can also see the charge left in the case in the companion app when the earbuds are placed in the case. Charging the case fully with the earbuds takes about 2 hours.
It also has fast charge, so that you get 2 hours of playback with 10 minutes of charging with ANC off.
The case also supports wireless charging, which you rarely see in earbuds in the price range. However, it takes about 5 hours to charge the case fully with the earbuds.
Overall, the IKODOO Buds One offers a great value compared to other earbuds in the price range. If offers a good audio quality, segment-best noise cancellation and good call noise cancellation. The design looks more generic. It also has a compact case, but the glossy finish might not impressive everyone. The standalone battery life is good, but total battery life with the case could have been better.
The IKODOO Buds One was sold at an introductory price of Rs. 4999 for a week after launch. Now it is available for Rs. 5,999 from Amazon.in, which is still a good deal.
- Good audio quality
- Good call quality and call noise cancellation
- Up to 50dB ANC is good
- IP55 ratings for the headset
- Good battery life with fast charging
- Glossy case and headset
- No aptX