Over the past few weeks, I’ve been taking a look at a couple of true wireless brands you may not have heard of. This time we have the OneOdio A100, a true wireless system for $59.99. This is OneOdio’s first true wireless, as they have previously developed studio, DJ, gaming, and noise-canceling headphones. Let’s see how OneOdio fairs in their true wireless debut.
What You Get
The A100 comes in a small scale package, opening like a jewelry box. The charging case will be the first item you’ll find, with the earbuds themselves already inside. Take out the cardboard inlay that displays the charging case to access the rest of the accessories. You’ll find 3 pairs of silicone ear tips, including the ones that are already attached to the earbuds. This is one of those wingfined earbuds, so you’ll find two extra sets of those as well. Lastly, the A100 comes with your typical USB-C charging cable and user manual.
Look and Feel
The first thing I notice when talking about true wireless is how big the charging case is. Portability is a big factor in true wireless design, as carrying the device with you without obstruction is part of the wireless philosophy. The A100 has a sleek white case with OneOdio’s neat looking insignia. It features a flat top surface which gives the case a nice feel in your palm. It may take up a little more room in your pocket than you may prefer, but portability still manages to go by with a breeze.
Now for the buds themselves. The build of the A100 resembles the design of another model like the WF-1000 series from Sony, with the addition of a wingfin of course. The tooth-shaped housing, with it’s white, pointed aesthetic is a welcome design that I’d honestly like to see implemented in more models. The end part hangs from your ear like a stem would, but with a more natural fit. The wingfins also add extra secure support for an all-around unnoticeable, unobtrusive fit.
Design and Functionality
Inside of the A100 is a 9mm driver, which can output some powerful signal compared to most other true wireless earbuds in this price range. Like a lot of true wireless systems, the A100 features a touch-sensitive surface to access its functions. The surface is especially easy to access, as the housing is shaped with the point of your finger in mind.
OneOdio ensures a user-friendly experience, as the touch gestures are all tap-based, and operations work on each panel. So play/pause only takes one tap on wither bud, same goes with picking up and disconnecting a call. Double-clicking either side actives transparency or ANC mode, you cycle through the options until you get the feature you want. Triple tapping will wake up your voice assistant on your smartphone, or laptop, and holding each bud down at the same time turns the device on/off.
The A100 boasts IPX5 water resistance against splashes and sweat. If you’re looking for a secure pair of earbuds that’ll get you through a workout, the A100 might have the durable build you’re looking for. The last thing to mention is that the A100 has a mono mode, so if one earbud dies you can still continue listening with the earpiece that still has charge.
OneOdio implements Bluetooth 5.0 with the A100, giving these buds up to 10m of range with high bandwidth. It is undisclosed what type of CODEC OneOdio is supporting here, but the wireless quality seemed adequate and never seemed to dip at any point. The pairing was seamless and I never experienced any semblance of desynchronizing or interruptions.
For a sixty dollar pair of earbuds, the A100 boats quite the battery life. In normal mode, you’ll get 8 hours of charge from a single-use, and 5 hours with ANC turned on. The charging case gives the A100 a total of 30 hours or 48 hours of life, which is great for a true wireless at this price. Considering how fast they charge, and the fact they even support wireless charging, there’s a lot of power going on in this 800mA battery that will be sure to give you a ton of playback time.
Noise-Canceling and Transparency
When activating ANC, you’ll experience a gradual decrease in noise, and will get down to around 26dB of reduction. It’s not the strongest cancelation, but should still get the job done well enough. The A100 also offers a transparency mode for being more aware of your surroundings and a safer listening/traveling experience.
Although the A100 doesn’t present anything special in terms of the stage for a true wireless, it does a fine enough job communicating the spatial imaging when it’s most needed. Most of the time, the main elements start to fight for dominion over that center headspace. I’m usually not a fan of this type of sound, but for what the A100’s are, it’s easier to give it a pass. On the plus side, the A100 has some sufficient layering going on and is especially noticeable in tracks where balancing harmonics has the potential to become a garbled mess. The track “Loomer” by My Bloody Valentine features clean and distorted guitars, as well as soft female vocals which the A100 does an okay job of deepening these instrumentals.
Besides the noise-canceling, I would say the bass acts as the feature presentation of the A100. While I don’t believe the lows are particularly clean in their response, they offer some good thickness hard rock and hip-hop tracks some heft. They lift the sound signature considerably well, however, that can also be to its detriment. The lows have this boomy tonality that sinks the clarity of some of the more lower-mid bands.
One of the more disparaging parts of this sound signature is the reduction of some fundamental mid-range tones. While some musical elements, like crunchy distortion, are reproduced with an enjoyable enough timbral response. However, vocals take a serious dip, as male vocals become especially muffled.
While not being openly clear, the A100 keeps some necessary top-end that do a good job adding a much-needed sparkle. They might have the same, overly compressed nature of some of the mid bands, but retain a small amount of clarity when it comes to cymbal response, which gives the signature a much-needed coat of shine.
Although I’m not too high on sound quality, there’s no getting away from what value the A100 is. The touch gestures respond great, it’s got a significant amount of battery life, and they’re an easy fit. For $59.99 you’ll get an inexpensive pair of wireless earbuds that are easy to use, and gives you good bass.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Fit, functionality, battery life, price
Cons: Only available in white
OneOdio A100 is available from their website here.
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