Crazybaby has been all over the map with its true wireless headphones.
While we were excited about the original Crazybaby Air True Wireless headphones' unique design, comfort, and USB-C charging, using them was frustrating. The wireless connection kept cutting out, battery life was awful, and the earbuds would die suddenly. It was an underbaked product, plain and simple.
We then reviewed the Crazybaby Air Nano ... which, somehow, was even worse. So bad that, often, we couldn't get them to stay paired for a single song.
You can imagine our hesitation, then, before reviewing the Crazybaby Air 1s, a sequel to the original that promises to improve on its predecessor in every way.
Thankfully, that's turned out to be the case - the company fixed most of the issues and it’s what the Crazybaby Air should have been originally. While it’s great to see the company address the problems ... unfortunately, it's too little, too late. There are already better true wireless headphones out there, all of which best the Air 1s in battery life, feature set and, most importantly, price.
Crazybaby kept the brilliant design of the original Air, merely changing the color options to differentiate the two generations. (The review unit sent to TechRadar came in a handsome matte gray and looks awesome.)
The earbuds are some of the smallest and lowest profile we’ve tested, making them extremely comfortable, and even enabled us to fall asleep while wearing them.
Each earbud features a single button and each earbud controls different features, which makes things a bit confusing. The left earbud controls answer/hanging up calls and activating your phone’s voice assistant, while the right earbud controls music playback. It took awhile to learn but the controls felt natural after a few days.
Overall, we’re not fans of buttons that require you to push into your ear but the buttons on the Air 1s worked well since they were braced well against our ears.
If the design seems familiar, it's because the charging case is the same pill shape of the original. The bottom of the case still sports a USB-C connector, which allows the headphones to be charged quickly, and the case opens and closes with a twist and a slide, revealing the earbuds which are kept in place with magnets.
Although it's only a minor inconvenience, taking the earbuds out doesn’t automatically turn them on - you’ll have to press and hold the button on each earbud to turn the headphones on before every use.
Thankfully, putting the earbuds back in the case automatically turns them off.
While the design of the original had a few niggles, the biggest issue was wireless reliability and we’re happy to report that the Crazybaby Air 1s fixes this: The earbuds now reliably play music with minimal audio dropouts and stay paired.
Now that we could listen to our music without getting interrupted, we noticed that the sound quality is good, but lacks detail. Bass is strong but not overwhelming and mids are well represented. Highs are rolled off and lack detail but never sound harsh. It's a big improvement from what we heard on the original, but we hope Crazybaby is working on improving resolution in future models.
Similarly, battery life is just mediocre with a rated 3 hours per charge and a total 12 hours of listening time with the case. In our testing, we got closer to 2.5 hours on a charge and around 10 hours of total listening time with the charging case but were frustrated by how quickly the earbuds would die after the low battery warning.
We love the design and comfort the Crazybaby Air 1s and are glad to see that the company fixed many of the issues we had with the original. However, it feels like the Air 1s' only purpose in life is to simply fix the issues of the original headphone, rather than pushing the true wireless category forward.
While they're a good step forward for Crazybaby, there are much better options out there for the price: Our favorite true wireless earbuds, the Jabra Elite 65t, cost the same amount and beat the Crazybaby in sound quality, battery life, and features.
Unfortunately, having a unique design and a slightly improved sound quality over the abysmal originals just aren’t enough for us to recommend the Air 1s.
- Looking to cut the cord, don't miss our round up of the best true wireless earbuds
from TechRadar - Technology Reviews http://www.techradar.com/reviews/crazybaby-air-1s