Crazybaby is a relatively new company, but they've already released a few different offerings in the audio equipment realm . The Air Nano, which we reviewed last week, was a bit above average, but nothing too amazing, about on par with Apple's "true wireless" Airpods. Now, we've got the Crazybaby Air 1S earbuds, a sportier option that, at $159.99, are the same price as the Airpods from Apple. The obvious question here is, how do they compare? We tested the bejeesus out of these, and here is what we found.
For this review, we were sent one of the two available colors, Star Gray, the other being Space Silver. Although the colors sound similar, they are pretty different, but both colors look rather sleek, and the muted tones are pleasant on the eyes. They also fit comfortably flush in the ear, much better than the Air Nano, which stick out of your ears in a cork-like way that looks kind of silly. This makes them much more comfortable when wearing them for longer periods of time, and they just have a more streamlined look in general.
While the earbuds are definitely cool looking, I'm not a fan of the charging case, despite the futuristic look. The magnetized earbuds are stored inside the tube shaped case, but unlike the Nano, this case is pretty big. It made me think of the "flashy thing" that gives you amnesia in Men In Black. I still like how you store the buds inside, shut the case, then plug a USB-C cable into it, then take the whole thing on the go for portable recharging, but bringing the case with you is kind of pain, since it is so large; jamming it in a pocket is uncomfortable. Luckily, the case twists to lock into place, which should keep it from popping open accidentally if you are storing these in a backpack or purse.
The controls work more or less identically to the Air Nano. You turn them on by holding each earbud button for a couple seconds and you turn them off the same way. I had no problems at all connecting them to my Galaxy S8, which some other testers had problems with. The rest of the controls are pretty intuitive and easy to remember: when music is playing, one tap on the right earbud will pause and resume a song, two presses will skip the song, and three taps will skip backwards on your playlist. The left bud allows you to answer/hang up calls and talk to
Skynet Siri. All of these worked just fine, except for the first time I used them, for some reason. After I paired and repaired, everything rolled along just fine.
The fit is snug and pleasant, and perhaps almost as important, feels very light. The trade off is a slightly cheap feel (at $160, you want to feel the quality), but they don't feel like junk either. I was just using the out of box ear-tips, and after I experimented around with the different tips, I still liked the straight out of box tips the most. I went bike riding, did some burpees, climbed rope and more with these buds in, and I never felt like they were loose or shaky at all; they stayed right in my ear where I wanted them. The sweat/water resistance is solid as well, as I walked through a light drizzle and got caught in a flash rain-storm with no ill effects whatsoever.
As far as connectivity goes, they did better than the Air Nano earbuds (which cut out rather consistently), but I still got the occasional quick drop out, almost as if I was listening to a CD in a car and hit a bump. Overall, I had a pretty steady connection, but it was still disappointing to have these minor hiccups in a $160 product. Working out in these was great though, and despite jumping and running all over the place like a lunatic, they stayed consistently connected.
If you are using these for phone calls, these are good, not great. I could hear my party clearly, but I had a few complaints of my voice being muffled or far away. Overall, they seem to work better in quiet environments (duh), but if you are outside and not flying down the freeway with the windows down, they'll do just fine.
Finally, let's talk music. The Air 1S are definitely an improvement over the Air Nano buds. The bass is surprisingly heavy for such a small earbud, almost too much at times. We listened to "The Seed 2.0" by The Roots, and while keeping in mind that there are necessary trade-off's to having the convenience of "true wireless", I still didn't feel like I was missing out too much with the bass. Additionally, the opening and repeating cymbal crash throughout the song held much longer than I expected to, and sounded clear, even with the bass rather over the top.
The mids are good, not great, and occasionally, especially on metal or rap, the kick drum (or double bass petal) can drown out a singer with a lower register. On the unrelenting brutality of Lamb of God's "Confessional" (which, I have to mention, no one should ever listen to with earbuds for the sake of your hearing) the constant kick drum sounded muddy, and took away from the vocal performance (f you can call the wailing screams of a man being mauled by a bear a "performance," of course).
While listening to "Am I A Good Man" by Band of Horses, I noticed that the highs and mids didn't exactly back each other up as I would have liked, mainly with the highs sounding a bit... not muddy, exactly, but cloudy for sure. Similarly, with "Lies" by the Black Keys, the highs sounded ok, but the mids were not as crisp as I would like. If you enjoy a lot of artists like "Fleet Foxes", "Band of Horses", etc., these might not be the best earbuds for you, as they tend to sound stronger at the lower end, while not doing a ton for acoustic guitar based stuff or falsetto singers.