There are plenty of companies around aiming to offer good headphones at a super-low price, and we’ve reviewed a few of them. Often they’re worth completely avoiding — they’re generally badly-built, terrible-sounding, and riddled with poor design choices. Hbuds is hoping to change that, with the Hbuds H1 in-ear headphones.
But do they really break the mold? Should you hand over the $25 to buy them? We put them to the test to find out.
The first thing to notice about a pair of headphones is their design, and they don’t look terrible, though they’re not the best-looking headphones out there either.
The headphones feature an ear hook that wraps around your ear from the front, and is connected to a somewhat large module that arcs into your ear. On the right unit, you’ll find the power button, which is unfortunately placed where you would push on the headphones to put them in your ear. That’s not a great design choice — and means if you need to adjust it you may end up accidentally turning the headphones off. On the right unit you’ll also find volume up and volume down buttons.
The build-quality of the headphones is pretty good, but not amazing. They’re built largely out of plastic, but it’s a decent-quality plastic, and the headphones shouldn’t break too easily.
In the box, you’ll find the headphones themselves, along with three pairs of silicon ear tips, and two pairs of memory foam tips. That’s a very nice addition, and one that we wouldn’t expect on a pair of headphones in this price range.
One of the claims of the headphones is that they’re waterproof with an IPX7 rating, which means they should be able to withstand up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. After briefly submerging them we found that they still worked fine.
The headphones aren’t amazingly designed, but they’re pretty comfortable — at least more comfortable that most other in-ear headphones. That’s not only thanks to the ear hook, which helps alleviate any issues with weight, but also the contour of the unit, which hooked perfectly into the ear canal.
On top of that, the memory foam tips were super helpful in ensuring the headphones remained in the ear.
Now, all this is not to say that the headphones are more comfortable than over-ear headphones — they’re not. But if you’re looking for a pair of in-ear headphones that put comfort first, these might be a good option.
While you might buy these for their comfort level, sound is arguably a lot more important than comfort. So how do the Hbuds H1 headphones sound? Well, they leave a little to be desired.
Let’s start with the bass, which is the most pronounced area of the frequency range. Kick drums are punchy and strong, while bass guitars are easily heard through the mix. Coupled with the low-mids, however, and things get real tricky real quick.
The low-mids are quite pronounced too, but because of the cuts in the high-mids and highs, the sound is ultimately muffled and muddy.
The highs are almost non-existant. In fact, without the knowledge that you have the headphones in your ears, you could easily assume that you’re hearing music playing in another room — it’s muffled, lacks clarity, and is generally badly tuned. Safe to say, you won’t be buying these headphones for their sound quality.
The performance of the Hbuds H1 headphones is pretty standard. They connect to your listening device through Bluetooth 4.1, and they offer a standard 10-meter, or 33-foot, range.
According to the company, these headphones offer a nine-hour battery life, which we didn’t quite reach, but they still offered a decent battery life. You’ll want to make sure that you’re good at charging up your devices in order to ensure they don’t run out while you’re in the middle of a run or a workout.
Ultimately, the Hbuds H1 headphones did not live up to our expectations. There are a few design quirks to live with, and while they’re decently comfortable, they sound pretty bad — which is, in the end, the most important thing to consider. If you’re looking for a pair of headphones to take to the gym and while running and don’t care at all about sound-quality, then these might be fine — any other situation, however, and we would recommend looking elsewhere.
|Frequency response||Unknown||Active noise cancellation
|Driver size||Unknown||Noise attenuation||Unknown|
|Sensitivity||Unknown||Eartip material||Gel, memory foam|
|Total harmonic distortion
||Unknown||Water resistance||Yes, IPX7|
|Rated input power
||Unknown||Battery life||9 Hours|
|Maximum input power
||Unknown||Wireless distance||10m (33ft)|
||Bluetooth 4.1||Cable length||N/A|
|Weight||Unknown||Colors||White, black, blue, orange|